Sharing Your Lifestyle

If you have some sort of unconventional (as defined by society) relationship with your SO/spouse, you might find it difficult to share your philosophy with friends and family, as most people don’t understand open relationships and they can be very judgmental when faced with those choices. When I started blogging openly about the topic, I had this very conversation with my husband. Since I’m a very open person, often sharing way too much (definitely have TMI issues), I asked him what we should tell family and friends. His response was simple.

It’s none of their business.

He likened it to sharing your favorite sexual positions with your mother. It’s just not something you generally talk about. It’s private.

This touched on something I’ve long felt regarding sexual preferences across the board. For example, I could never understand why so many people are hostile toward homosexuals. Why do people spend huge amounts of energy and time preaching against homosexuality? What two consenting adults do behind closed doors is their own business. It doesn’t affect the lives of these Bible-thumping protesters. It’s rather absurd, really.

Now this is not to say one should stay in the proverbial closet, by no means! If anyone understands the need for self-expression and open communication, not to mention the need for validation and acceptance, I do. Nor am I suggesting you should hide it away, necessarily. I’m just saying there is no need to make a grand gesture or announcement that you choose to live an open lifestyle, unless *you* really need to do so.

If you want to be open with friends/family about your lifestyle, expect harsh judgment and high emotions. But don’t react to them. Remain calm and tell them that this is a decision you and your spouse/SO came to together. Neither was coerced into the decision, you just feel it’s what you both need.

A reason to tell or attempt an explanation is if they see you flirting with others or in the company of others, and you don’t want them to misunderstand the situation as infidelity. This is usually when I tell friends, as their opinion means enough to me to clarify that I’m not unfaithful.

If you’re finding it difficult to bring up the subject, try citing this blog series to test the waters. A “what do you think about this” scenario, although I can guarantee their response will be “that doesn’t work.”

Ultimately, your sexual decisions as a consenting adult is your business, your spouse/SO’s business, and potential or established satellite lovers’ business. No one else’s.

Remember, what other people think of you is none of your business. Their thoughts are their own. It’s one of the maxims I try to live by.

~ by omgrey on August 17, 2011.

13 Responses to “Sharing Your Lifestyle”

  1. I think that if you tell people, even if you’ve tested the waters, you should be prepared for them to react negatively. While that’s on them, it can still really hurt.

    I had a friend that always claimed to be really open minded… and she was! Just as long as she didn’t have to deal with it reality instead of just theory. Once she knew my husband and I had a nonmonogamous marriage, she wanted to tell me all about what a whore I was and how I was suddenly going to hell and didn’t deserve my husband.

    I always found that interesting too. Somehow *I* was the whore and *I* didn’t deserve HIM but his doing the same thing was okay? I’m amazed at the judgements women pass on each other that they don’t also apply to men.

    We’re not friends any more. I let the friendship go and went my own way. She remains hostile at me for ending the friendship. It’s weird. It was painful at the time but only for a little while. Far better to not have people like that in my life 🙂

    • Agreed. Far too much judgement in the world to deal with it if you don’t have to, especially from a friend. I’m sure that did hurt, and I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through that.

  2. I have friends that I share my life with and others that is is not any of their business. Family is treated the same way.

  3. I agree entirely. Well stated. I’ve been thinking about coming out to my family, but they really don’t need to know.

  4. Well put Grey! Holding our tongues is typically the best position — your husband’s sentiments are spot on. What takes place in PRIVATE bedrooms, or within private places, is indeed only between the consenting participants. But if I must, I can most definitely explain & firmly establish ALL the wonderful benefits of our lifestyle as ANY “Bible-thumper” could their’s…if it seems worth it. Otherwise, choose your battles very wisely. 😉

    • Yes. I could as well, but I’m trying to get away from justifying my lifestyle or my choices to anyone. I’m becoming much more about…this is the way it is. Deal or don’t.

  5. I think I’m with your husband on this. It is really none of their business.


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  7. I’m with your husband on this too. Let’s get over the TMI era and return to civility.

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