Polyamory is starting to become more accepted in society but so many people don’t even understand what it is or what it’s all about. I strongly believe that it can enhance a relationship if it is done in a safe and honest manner. It has been a few months now since we came out as being poly and we have had mixed reactions since then. I am happy to say that most people reacted positively and were very supportive. This did surprise me honestly. I feel that people should live their lives the way that makes them happiest. For us, that is to embrace the Polyamorous lifestyle.
After putting a public Facebook post declaring our status and to raise awareness of Polyamory we had feedback from a lot of people. Many people chose not to comment or contact us which is completely fine. I understand that this type of lifestyle does not fit into many religious beliefs or a person’s idea of what is right. I have respect for the people who chose not to respond negatively to us when they have a different opinion of what is right.
I was surprised by a number of people that wanted to understand Polyamory and how it works. In my post, I encouraged people to reach out to me with questions and they did. Many of my coworkers genuinely wanted to know what Polyamory was and how it was practiced in our dynamic. I was most concerned with telling my Mom but she took it very well. She said she had an idea that something was going on but that Matt always seemed happy so she didn’t mention it. I thought that was kind of her. Some people wanted to know how we have our sleeping arrangements. I told them that Mark did not live with us but stays over often. When he is staying overnight he sleeps in our guest bedroom and I usually sleep with him. I am a light sleeper and Matt snores at night, waking me up. I sleep in the guest room a couple of times a week anyway to get a good night’s rest and try to do so when Mark is over. We have occasionally all fallen asleep in the same bed after watching a movie or when we travel and I sleep in the middle. Everyone’s arrangement can be different and there is no rule to how it has to be. This is what works best for us.
I was happy to get a very nice letter from my second cousin Mac. He and I use to be very close when we were growing up. Our lives became busy and we have lost touch somewhat, unfortunately. So I was very surprised to receive such a sweet and supportive letter from him after I made my post. Here is what he said:
Hi, Stephanie! I hope that you and Matt are doing well. I was thinking about you the other day and how we use to talk so often 🙂 I miss those times a lot! 😦
I read your Facebook post about your relationship with Matt. For what it’s worth, you and Matt have my full love and support!
Many people (our family) will try to cite religious reasons for your decisions. I’ve just finished reading the bible from cover to cover and I can see that my views on many things have changed as a result.
You and Matt make a wonderful couple! Whatever you both choose to do with your marriage is none of my (or anyone’s) business! I love you both very much! The only part that I feel bad about is that you had a to hide it for so long that must be really tough! Hope to talk with you soon 🙂
His kind words made me feel so good. I appreciated it so much at the time he sent it which was the morning after I made my post.
I do feel that our relationship with a few people who are close to us have been stressed since we have come out. This was a risk we discussed taking and felt it was important to live an open life for our health and to bring awareness to an alternative lifestyle. I still feel we made the right decision in going public with our lives and do hope it helps other people relate to our dynamic. I will admit that I miss the openness we use to have with people.
I also feel that our dynamic is a major cultural difference compared to the culture women grew up in a few decades ago. Women are much more independent than they use to be these days. Women’s rights, responsibilities, and voice have come a long way from what it used to be. I believe that I am an independent woman who goes after what makes me happy while still maintaining a healthy marriage. This independence, and support from Matt to be so, gives me the freedom to travel, set goals, go after dreams, and love others in a manner that is a little different from how it used to be for women. My Mom said to me shortly after we told her we were poly, “Poly is not something I could do but I support you guys living that type of life if it makes you happy”. This meant a lot to me and I appreciate her support very much. She has continued to show her support to us which is impressive of her considering the era she grew up in. She is from a very religious family as well which makes me have even more admiration for her support of our dynamic.
I hope that everyone can eventually come to accepting themselves for who they are and what makes them happy. That they can eventually have the confidence and courage to show the world who they are and live a true life without fear of hiding qualities about them that make them who they are. I understand the risk of being rejected and judged is a serious concern with coming out but hope that there are enough people in their life to support and continue to love them. Rejection and judgment are difficult to handle but it is necessary if you want to not live a double life. We hide our lifestyle for years until we felt confident enough to tell the world and try to handle these challenges together. It has worked for us and I hope it does for everyone that is brave enough to stand up for who they want to be.