DEAR ABBY: Sometime ago, you printed a letter from one of your readers who was upset over her son's polyamorous relationship. I didn't respond then, but now that my triad is ready to come out to my boyfriend's family (we are out to mine and to my husband's·family), I feel the need to address this lifestyle in your column and ask your advice.
My husband and I have been together 10 years. We started out as swingers. When we met my now-boyfriend, it became apparent that it was going to be more serious than "play" partners. Our particular arrangement is a "V" triad, meaning I am involved with two (husband and boyfriend), but they are not involved with each other.
My boyfriend is extremely important to us in every way. We all work together to make a very smooth-running, loving household.
I want you and your readers to know that this is a viable relationship with love, respect and, most important, open communication. This kind of relationship -- or any, for that matter -- is doomed without it.
An estimated half-million people in the United States are part of polyamorous relationships. We're not freaks in need of counseling, but people who realize that love can grow and that there is an alternative to monogamy.
Abby, I would like to get some tips from someone who doesn't readily accept this life or even know it's out there. My boyfriend's family is conservative and they know he lives with a married couple. We've all spent time together, and I think they like me. Of course, they don't know I'm romantically involved with their son.
What's the best way to tell them about our triad? We want them to know this isn't the end of the world and that I love him very much. I'd appreciate any advice from you or your readers on this. Until we're out of the closet, please sign me ... NOWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
DEAR N AND E: Because you're looking for input from someone who "doesn't readily accept this life," you have come to the right place. You didn't say how long your boyfriend has been living with you and your husband, but if it has been any length of time and his parents know he isn't involved with anyone else, it's possible they already have some suspicions.
Because they are conservative, if I were you I wouldn't shatter their illusions. I can almost guarantee they won't embrace you for it. If you feel you must disclose the information, then do it in the same way that you have explained it to me. But don't expect them to jump for joy.