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Dear Abby: Should Triad Come Out to Family?



Dear Abby: Should Triad Come Out to Family?

Polyamory polyamorous triad
Polyamory: Polyamorous Triad
August 16, 2011

Dear Abby: Should Triad Come Out to Family?

Up to 1,400 newspapers

When poly triads and quads first began seeing their inquiries taken seriously by newspaper advice columnists, it was truly a big deal. Here we were being recognized in public as actually existing; millions of people were reading, with their eggs and toast, that poly relationships are actually possible and happening in the real world.

Now that this kind of attention is becoming almost commonplace, it hardly seems like news. But yes it is, and yes it really matters.

This week, huge numbers of newspapers are about to print the following from Dear Abby, supposedly the most widely syndicated newspaper columnist in the world:

Woman with husband and lover wants one big happy family

By Abigail Van Buren

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.

Here’s a typical newspaper appearance (Aug. 16, 2011). Join the comments; they’ve just begun. And here’s her official site.

Why is this a big deal?

Because according to her syndication service, Dear Abby is the most widely syndicated newspaper columnist in the world…. Abby commands a client list of about 1,400 newspapers worldwide, and a daily readership of more than 110 million people.

Abby receives more than 10,000 letters and e-mails per week… has appeared as an expert on all major networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC… uses her column not only to entertain, but also to educate. In the U.S., public and private middle schools use her column to teach sex education and generate classroom discussion on a variety of subjects; the same is true in colleges and universities…. Dear Abby is used by educators worldwide as a teaching tool in adult level ESL (English as a Second Language)….

Every Web site mentioned in Dear Abby receives an immediate onslaught of viewers, and organizations mentioned are routinely encouraged to gear up to accept millions of hits….

Reply by World Polyamory Association 43 minutes ago
Delete Polyamory’s huge, getting bigger every day. There have always been polyamorous relationships. Polyamory is in the most ancient writings, from Sumer to the Bible to current times, people have always loved who they love. In more recent times moral values changed and a part of our society has found it necessary to go underground. But anyone who looks at what’s actually going on, studies DNA and the internet will soon come to the conclusion that many are not monogamous. Few marry only one person for life. Even fewer have only one sex partner their entire life.

Time for a reality check. Time to honor what is and stop making people feel bad for doing what comes naturally. It’s natural for nature to diversity its gene pool. Genetic studies show there are few if any animal species that are monogamous.

There are ways to love that honors all involved, that move past lying, cheating. Infidelity hurts. Honesty shows respect for all involved, all the way around.

Support relationship choice, whatever your personal choice may be. We tend to shift throughout life based on necessity and circumstances. Allow a natural flow, for yourself, your friends, family, co-workers, community members. Love is the answer. Love is the high road to living a conscious life.

Please contact us at, email:, 808-244-4103. I recommend you attend a conference, network, go to local poly support groups. Honor yourself.