Thanksgiving Advice: How To Bring Your Boyfriend Home For The Holidays -- When You're Polyamorous
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One year, several years ago, I asked my mom if I could bring my then-boyfriend home for Thanksgiving. He didn't have local family to celebrate with and I thought it'd be nice to spend the day together.
"I think that would make me and your stepfather very uncomfortable," she said.
It's not that she didn't like my boyfriend. It's just that I'm happily married to someone else, and having my boyfriend and my husband both there for the holidays seemed like a bit much to her.
I decided not to push it. I went home for a family dinner with my husband and kids, and met up with my boyfriend at my place afterwards. We had dessert together, and it was lovely.
Did I do the right thing? It was the right thing for my relationship with my mom, certainly.
It would have been a different story if my boyfriend and I had a different relationship. As it was we were close, deeply in love even, but not cohabiting or working towards building a partnership. The mechanics of our lives were separate. Our families were separate. If we'd been cohabiting or otherwise building a family together, spending the holidays together would have been a package deal: We'd all go to Mom's or no one would.
As it was, I was willing to compromise. It wasn't the most politically radical move of my life, but on balance, it was the right decision for me at the time.
Going home for the holidays once you're an adult can be a tricky business under any circumstances. It can be hard to make your grown-up life fit in with your family-of-origin.
When you have more than one partner, there can be a whole new layer of challenges. Ultimately of course, bringing your husband and your sweetie home for the holidays shouldn't be a big deal. We all go out and form new relationships as adults, and our parents have to deal with them. They might not like our choice of partners, but they don't get to pick.
And if what they don't like about your date is that she's bossy or he's a bore, most family members won't feel like it's their position to say anything. They certainly won't bar you from Thanksgiving for your personality faults.
If their objection to your choice in partners is that you've chosen more than one, though, be prepared for some pushback.