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mtnrdredux_gw

WWYD? Asking for a friend.

mtnrdredux_gw
7 days ago
last modified: 7 days ago

Actually not even for friend. This is from the NY Times. I thought their answer was cra-cra.

My 30-year-old daughter is in a polyamorous relationship with a married man. She brought him home for the holidays, and while he was charming, I felt uncomfortable. (This may have been triggered by my husband’s infidelity that led to our divorce.) Now, my daughter tells me she would like to bring this man on our family trip to Greece this year. It may be petty, but I don’t want to foot the bill for another woman’s husband. And I don’t see any way this relationship can lead to my daughter’s happiness. Should I lay out my boundaries and risk my daughter not joining me on vacation?

Comments (115)

  • Arapaho-Rd
    6 days ago

    The very last question posed from the mother:

    Should I lay out my boundaries and risk my daughter not joining me on vacation?


    From reading this, the mother's main concern seems to be with the daughter not joining HER on vacation. Maybe this is more about the mother-daughter relationship and the fear of alienating the daughter. The mother, now divorced, may need the companionship of the daughter more than she is willing to uphold her own values. All speculation since relationships, especially within a family can be very complex.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    The Q's columnist is obviously having an affair with a married person and is justifying his/her bad life choices by projecting that on to others.


    Don't think so, he is a gay man in a committed relationship AFAIK.


    KSWL, I think the difference is that (most?) of us have come to appreciate that sexual orientation is innate. "Moral" choices like polyamory are just that; choices.

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  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    6 days ago

    I would hope if I found myself in that situation, that I would be able to have a conversation with my daughter where I could talk to her about why the relationship makes me uncomfortable but be able to communicate that the discomfort is my issue to work through. However, working through issues such as that take time and that I would also need time to see how their relationship progresses before inviting someone on an international holiday. One element of that to me is if things in this new relationship went south while on vacation, being saddled with the company of somebody who is unhappy potentially ruining the experience. I think one can be supportive of their children and still say no. No does not even have to be this person will never go on vacation with us, but it can mean let's wait and see how things play out for a while before adding the pressure of a family vacation.

  • texanjana
    6 days ago

    I haven't read comments above yet. My first thought is how does the columnist know that the spouse is agreeable to this relationship? IMO the mother has every right to set a boundary here, especially considering that she is paying for the trip.

  • nini804
    6 days ago

    @Kswl I am an Episcopalian, and marriage is a sacrament in our church, and I feel very strongly about the sanctity of those vows. I don’t see how this situation can compare at all to your example. If my child were gay, and we were including significant others, of course their partner would be invited. However, if they wanted to bring someone who was already married, I would have the same objections.

    (And homosexual couples can get married in our church, so their marriage is no different in the eyes of the church.)

    I have no qualms and no shame in saying the situation in the NYT article icks me out. If that makes me closed minded, so be it. I’ll happily wear that label. Doubt I’m going to be alone on that boat, lol.

  • just_terrilynn
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Mtn, I still can't wrap my head around it. If the columnist believes in committed relationships like you say how can he believe condoning cheating is ok? Makes no sense. The whole response is weird.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    I believe the author would say he is not condoning "cheating;" as cheating implies dishonesty and this is all out in the open. I understand some may be skeptical of that, but I will take it on faith that his wife knows, since that daughter could easily find that out it seems.

  • just_terrilynn
    6 days ago

    Strange.

  • palimpsest
    6 days ago

    Does her daughter go on vacation with him and his wife? Do they socialize together?

  • beaglesdoitbetter
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    This is just gross. Marriage should be a committed, loving relationship between two people (whatever their gender). Fidelity goes along with marriage, it's kind of one of the points, to create stable families.

    If people want to do weird threesomes, then why get married at all -- just live your alternative lifestyle and don't foist it on the rest of us including your poor parents. Just eww. I hope no children are involved in this mess at any point.

  • Lars
    6 days ago

    To answer the question WWYD - I avoid traveling with relatives, except my brother. My parents did not even like to travel with each other, and I would not want to travel with my sister. She was rather annoying when we went to Catalina together, and that was just a day trip.

  • 1929Spanish-GW
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    As it relates to ”banging”, i also firmly believe that there are those that you bang and those that you marry. They are most often mutually exclusive.

    So if I think about this from the banging perspective, why would I include someone in our family when they were most likely to be there temporarily? And if the ”those you marry [and bang]” becomes “those”, then I would have to invite all three.

  • Kaya
    6 days ago

    I dunno. The older I get, the less interested I am in how other people choose to define and conduct their romantic / sekshual (because we probably can't post that word here - insert eye roll) relationships. I understand that the question has to do with a mother's dilemma, but I don't quite get the consternation over open marriages in general. I do understand beliefs (including those of a religious nature) dictating how one conducts one's own relationship, but why should that be construed as something to which others, with their own unique values, should adhere? I see Kswl's comparison to negative judgments once made about gay relationships (well, still made by some who are ignorant, sadly). You and I may look upon marriage in a certain way, but does that mean that everyone must share our convictions? I don't think so.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    mean that everyone must share our convictions


    Nope, not everyone. And I could care less what others do. But it would give me pause if my DD chose this, and I would feel duty bound to discuss it with her.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    6 days ago

    I am a pretty open minded person. My grandfather, born in 1911, attended a gay "wedding," some time in the '30s. Homosexuality has always been considered normal/inherent in my Catholic family. On the subject of s$x before marriage, my great grandfather told my mother to never buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first. And yes, absolutely, there were no double standards in my family regarding that issue.

    All that said, at some point s&x creates children and children need some stability. Polyamory does not seem like a brilliant way of bringing up children- Just ask Mohammad bin Salman's siblings. As my grandmother always said, we are never on to something new.

    So, no, this is not on a continum with understanding LGBTQ issues, it is not the same as accepting cohabitation instead of marriage. Just because we drew the line in the wrong place in the past, it does not follow we can never draw any lines. And while this specific question did not raise the question of children, it is hard to take children out of considering issues around s&x in general since one thing inevitably leads to another.

  • jojoco
    6 days ago

    I would want to know if the polyamorous lifestyle is a positive thing to the daughter, or something she just has to accept because she is into this guy. If it's the former, then more power to her. If it is the latter, then I feel like she needs to see how devaluing this relationship is overall.

  • jmm1837
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I don't think the issue here is really morality as such, but more the potentially exploitive nature of the relationship. If the boyfriend is relying on girlfriend's Mom to finance his vacation, what does that really say about him and his ability to pay for the lifestyle he has chosen? Is he always going to need someone to help subsidise his choices? And the same applies to the daughter, for that matter.

  • patriceny
    6 days ago

    Does anyone happen to know if there are any quality scientific studies done regarding whether children do better in a 2 parent household than a single parent one? I know everyone just assumes they should do better, but I'm wondering if the science bears that out.


    So many of the challenges with single parents revolve around money/financial stressors, and time. I'd want to see controls for that.


    This whole thing has me wondering if 2 parents are better than 1....would it follow that 3 good, stable parents are better than 2..?


    And now I think my head just exploded.

  • 1929Spanish-GW
    6 days ago

    Zalcro - I think the only misrstatement is that it leads to children. It doesn’t naturally lead to children, because we have options to keep that from happening. Do children come from all kinds of interactions? Absolutely, both wanted and unwanted. But assuming that there are potential negative impacts on children from any non-standard relationship implies bias.

  • Lars
    6 days ago

    I think that the issue of 1 vs 2 vs 3 parents could be explored using numerology, as outlined in the Kabbalah. There is a lot of symbolism there could possibly give insights into this, I think. From this point of view, it could appear that three parents would be better than two. In extended families, this could also be compared to having a grandparent as one of the three parents.

    Also in this type of symbolism, there is much that can be said to support having only one parent, and so that has its own advantages as well, in addition to disadvantages. This is to say that having only one parent may no be not all that bad.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    6 days ago

    Spanish, of course not all relationships lead to children. As for non standard relationships not being good for children, I suppose it's down to the definition of standard. Gay parents, unamrried committed couples, all seem stable to me. Polyamory strikes a very different note, reminds me too much of polygamy, which seems problematic as it is practiced in much of the world.

  • jojoco
    6 days ago

    If someone invites you to dinner, the implication is that the invitor will pay for the meal. If I invite someone to join our family on a trip, I intend to pay for that person's trip. The invitee isn't freeloading, nor is his or her acceptance of the invitation an indication of their lack of ambition or future earning power. Now, it is perfectly ok for the person who is invited to offer to contribute--but not necessary--or graciously treat everyone to a dinner out while traveling.

  • Indigo Rose
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Well, two parents who don't get along is not better for kids than two apart parents or just one committed to the kids, IMO.

    I agree with most that's been said. Hard no. My concern is also the precedence set if the mom caves in fear of alienating the daughter. What happens next time if there is someone else similar, etc. maybe that she likes even worse- how do you draw the line then without risking a bigger rift?

  • terezosa / terriks
    6 days ago

    I've never read the Social Q's column before, and I have a question. I found the particular column in question, and then went down the rabbit hole of reading other recent Social Q columns.

    My question - the columns that I read from other dates have a comments section, but this one doesn't - why?

  • woodrose
    6 days ago

    Kaya, no, we do not have to share our convictions about marriage, but my convictions are just as important as yours. There is no such thing as an open marriage, it's just flat out cheating and breaking your marriage vows. If a person can't be trusted to keep their marriage vows, how can they be trusted about anything else ?

    Yes, the mother needs to stand up for her convictions. No, this man would not be going on a vacation with me. He also wouldn't have spent the holidays with my family. My immediate family members are all kind, tolerant, loving people, but even they wouldn't put up with that nonsense. I don't understand women who are willing to settle for a cheating married man. Do they think they don't deserve better ? IMO, the wife and daughter both need to kick this loser out of their lives.

    mtnrdredux_gw thanked woodrose
  • beaglesdoitbetter
    6 days ago

    You and I may look upon marriage in a certain way, but does that mean that everyone must share our convictions?


    Well, marriage isn't just a relationship people enter into with each other. It's a formally recognized arrangement with the state that confers all sorts of legal and financial advantages. It is also a societal institution that speaks to the way that a society as a whole wants to promote family and community organization. This is why we celebrate marriage, whereas we don't necessarily have a big party and tell all our friends we're going to have s*x with someone new.


    In other words, marriage is important and it should have some shared meaning within a functioning society. To my understanding, this is why gay people rightly fought so hard to have their relationships recognized as "marriages" rather than something else like civil unions or domestic partnerships. Marriage matters. While I don't really care how people want to organize their s*x lives, I do care a bit more about a formal institution like marriage and its role within a society.

    mtnrdredux_gw thanked beaglesdoitbetter
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    Original Author
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    This is why we celebrate marriage, whereas we don't necessarily have a big party and tell all our friends we're going to have s*x with someone new.


    lol


    There's a difference between thoughtful tolerance and chaos.

  • jmm1837
    6 days ago

    "If someone invites you to dinner, the implication is that the invitor will pay for the meal. If I invite someone to join our family on a trip, I intend to pay for that person's trip."

    Not necessarily. Even back in the dim past when I was dating, if a guy suggested we go out to dinner, I paid for my own meal. Nowadays, when we go out for dinner with friends or family, we almost always split the bill.  In this case, it seems to me the Mom invited (and was willing to pay for) the daughter but she didn't invite the boyfriend, so if the daughter wants him to come along, he and she should be prepared to pay the price of his admission.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    6 days ago

    I am from the school that if you invite, you pay. Organizing a dinner out or a trip is not the same thing as inviting people on a trip.

  • jmm1837
    6 days ago

    And I am from the school that I pay my own way. So, call me an "organizer" rather than an "invitor." ;)   Maybe it's because I grew up in a family with not much money, and had to become financially self sufficient early, but the notion of having parents pay for an adult child's holidays is totally alien to me. I'd have been embarrassed to accept that offer. And the notion that an adult child would expect the parent's offer to extend to a boyfriend is utterly beyond me.

  • pricklypearcactus
    6 days ago

    This is such an interesting discussion. To me the answer is to start with a conversation with the daughter and be open about discomfort. I think parents paying for adult children to join them on a vacation have some rights to set boundaries and limits on additional guests (duration of relationship, seriousness, etc). Hopefully if they have a conversation they could come to an agreement that is respectful and comfortable for both mother and daughter.


    On the topic of polyamory, I will say that I work with 2 indviduals who are polyamorous (1 male, 1 female) who started an intimate relationship with eachother while both married with children and their spouses aware and accepting of the relationship. Both families also spent a lot of time together (all four adults and often all of the children). At some point, the polyamorous arrangement imploded because one spouse was no longer ok with it. And then the other married couple divorced. From what I've witnessed, the work relationship is akward now due to boundaries set by the remaining spouse. I'm not an expert on polyamory so I can't speak to whether it can work, but I certainly watched this relationship over a period of time wondering if it would eventually implode, which it did.

  • SeattleMCM
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I don't have an issue with polyamory as long as everyone is consensual. I think that for those who do have a problem, it's very old fashioned and closed minded. I have many friends who have been poly for years (over a decade for some of them), and it's working out well for them. it's simply a kind of alternative relationship. to each their own.

    as for the vacation thing though: no, I don't think the mom should foot the bill for any type of boyfriend unless their relationship is well established. new boyfriends/girlfriends should be welcome but foot their own bills.

  • patriceny
    6 days ago

    What I'm remembering is that 3 people relationships are inherently unstable. People tend to form pair bonds, so that when you add a 3rd person in - eventually two of the 3 will end up being closer than the 3rd. Someone eventually gets mad, or feels excluded, etc.


    I know exactly 1 woman who was married, and ended up bringing a guy in for what at the time was an open polyamorus relationship. It too imploded as others relayed above. None of them ended up in a committed relationship with anyone else. The original husband seemed to be a truly good guy and he was devastated. They had 1 kid together before the new guy moved into their family home - and said kid is now in their late teens and has significant emotional issues, has attempted suicide multiple times. The entire thing just felt unbearably sad to me from Day 1.


    I don't particularly care what consenting adults do behind closed doors. But it does tear me up inside when little kids get caught in the crossfire. Small children and animals - neither group has any power, and they often get hurt by adults who should damn well know better and/or do better. That I have zero tolerance for.....

  • 1929Spanish-GW
    6 days ago

    My parents were married 30 years. Had I internalized much of what I whitnessed, the result would have been a series of terrible interpersonal, communication and coping skills. There is no guarantee that a traditional relationship will be better for children.

  • l pinkmountain
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I knew a lot of people who were devotees of the "friends with benefits" types of relationships, promiscuous with the idea that it was a "no harm, no foul" situation. This rarely bore out to be true over the long run. It was much more about being a relationship commodity than it was about being true friends. But hey, to each his own. However, when I was 30 and single, no way in heck would I have the nerve to bring my married lover along on a family vacation and expect to stay with my parents. Grow up and get a room in a nearby motel! Like some have said, consideration should go both ways. I'm not sure of the semantics, but the guy sounds like a polygamist and this is his week to get a free vacation with wifey number two. Good on him!

  • Tina Marie
    6 days ago

    Call me old-fashioned and close-minded if you wish, but if this type of relationship involves a married couple, then I think it is wrong. Because you are breaking your marriage vows (unless you had some wild vows written up to include polygamy). I'm with Beagles. Marriage means something (or it should). The Mr. and I made vows to each other, and I don't take that lightly. Call me crazy, but next month, we've been happily married 40 years.


    As to the question asked, I do not think the mother should need to pay for the boyfriend, or even invite him. It sounds like this is time away for her and her daughter. I think it would be a very awkward situation and TBH, I think the daughter should consider her mother's feelings and show a little respect.

  • Jinx
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    While this has brought on a fascinating discussion, there’s a whole lot missing from the somewhat vague question.

    I think we need to get the mom, the daughter, and the guy on Dr Phil and get to the bottom of this.

    Wait. Maybe Dr Phil is The Guy?



  • robo (z6a)
    6 days ago

    I certainly could never manage the emotional demands of more than one serious partner (I’m more the “single cat lady” kind - it’s a miracle I got married).

    But I did grow up in a 3-4 adult household because my aunt and older brother lived with us kids, and it was great. I’m no firm believer in the nuclear family unit.

    I could definitely see why a gay man writing an advice column would be more open minded on this question because I think many gay men have done a lot of thinking and living outside of conventional dyads for a host of reasons - one being oppression and lack of access to legal marriage, two being that surprise babies aren’t an issue, three being that nonmonogamy can be a whale of a good time. even talked to a few gay men in my life who thought it was a real shame gay marriage would be legalized before we had a chance to really question what marriage should entail. Why copy oppressive, limiting and patriarchal institutions from the straights instead of forging our own way? Are there other ways we should be thinking of to afford legal protections to our chosen family? What kind of people constitute a chosen family outside of a traditional dyad?

  • robo (z6a)
    6 days ago

    I should clarify that I know many more lgbtq+ people that fought for/donated to/marched for/voted for marriage equality, I don’t mean to say that a few spoke for the whole. It’s a complicated issue!

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    What kind of people constitute a chosen family outside of a traditional dyad?

    Plural marriages are not an innovation. Non committed s&xual hookups are not novel either.

    Living with grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, has been around for a while too.

  • bbstx
    5 days ago

    Why not invite the wife, too, as long as the husband pays for all three of them? bpath, you literally made me laugh out loud with this comment.


    My biggest struggle with all of this is how to pronounce polyamory/ployamorous and all of its iterations.


    I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said. The whole thing sounds like a train wreck to me. You can give that pig a latin-ish name, but it is still a cheating pig.

  • bpath
    5 days ago

    The writer calls it a family trip. The daughter is in a relationship. Is that relationship a family, with all the shared rights and responsibilities, hopes and fears, commitments, duties, plans, love, forgiveness, on and on? If so, they all need to have a talk.

  • Yayagal
    5 days ago

    I would have to say NO to the whole situation as the person who is going to pay for all this will not be comfortable and the man who the daughter wants to take is a freeloader. NO NO NO


  • hhireno
    5 days ago

    Just based on the scant information provided, I think Mother is still carrying unhandled baggage from her divorce (which might have been finalized last week or 20 years ago 🤷🏼‍♀️), and doesn't have a great relationship with the daughter. (I have a great relationship with my Mum so I’m not projecting 😆. I can easily be misreading the situation because, as we know, we have very little info.) She’s afraid that not inlcuding the guy means her daughter won’t go on vacation with her. Does she treat to vacations because she’s generous or because she has to pay for the daughter to spend time together? Also, she brings the concern to an advice column and not the daughter. She will pay for time together but she can’t talk to her honestly? That’s sad.

    I don’t understand the poly lifestyle, but I think that situation is secondary to her relationship insecurities.

  • deegw
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    The article popped up on my FB again. Almost 5,000 comments! We are not the only group that has a lot to say about it.

  • l pinkmountain
    4 days ago

    I wouldn't call having a fun side relationship with a married man a polyamorous relationship, even if the wife is fine with it. I can well see why Mom would post on an advice column, because she probably can't advise daughter on the long term consequences of this kind of relationship at her age. But in my mind, it would take a lot of insensitivity on the daughter's part to expect her family to pay for this guy to accompany her on a family trip to Greece. Not to mention, how does the wife feel about hubs being off having a big Greek vacation with his girlfriend? One could hope she has similar fun times planned for herself . . .

  • terezosa / terriks
    4 days ago

    I wouldn't call having a fun side relationship with a married man a polyamorous relationship, even if the wife is fine with it.


    I don't think that is what it was called in the original letter, which didn't go into any detail about the relationship.

  • jojoco
    3 days ago

    I finally saw this letter in print yesterday's NYT. Barely gave it a glance. So yesterday's news. lol

  • Tina Marie
    3 days ago

    My pastor actually used the word polyamorous in his sermon yesterday and I about choked!! LOL

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    For, or against, Tina? LOL