It can be hard when your in-laws have different values and belief systems than you. Maybe their political affiliations couldn’t be further from yours or maybe you practice different religions.
In the case of one Redditor, her Catholic in-laws initially had no idea that she and her husband engage in a polyamorous lifestyle—until she broke the news in a very blunt way. Was she justified?
“I (26F) have been married to my husband (27M) for 5 years. My husband’s family are your typical snotty Catholic mega religious people. My husband is not religious in the slightest, but still remains respectful of their beliefs and has always lived his second life in private. I joined a dating app with the sole purpose of finding us another couple, or even a unicorn. This was my husband’s idea. Usually we go to swinger parties where we feel safe and not judged.”
“I’ve never used a dating app, so I posted your typical ‘what I do for work, what music/movies I like’ etc. I identify as bisexual, so myself and my husband have shared a few women and never had an issue. While on the app I guess some girl who knows my husband and his family saw me. They confronted me, in front of everyone, and accused me of cheating. His aunts said horrible things about me. I tried to tell them he knew, but he didn’t back me up or say anything. The argument got heated more and that’s when I ‘exposed’ us.”
“I told his family everything. How we’ve ‘shared’ other women, slept with other couples, and even that they’ve babysat while we did this. I believe that was the asshole part; my husband felt I disrespected his family for saying that, even though he didn’t stick up for me while they called me a whore among other things. Now his innocent holy reputation is ruined and he says because of me he cants show his face to his family. AITA?”
Redditors were conflicted. They understood the OP’s need to defend herself and rightfully pointed out her husband’s cowardice. However, they also saw the couple as practicing polyamory in a harmful way.
“NTA – his family attacked you (verbally) and he did nothing to defend you so you did what you needed to defend yourself,” said JudgeJed100.
“ESH he should have backed you up, but you shared far far too many details. ‘We made this decision together to try something new’ would have sufficed, you didn’t need to tell his family all of your past conquests together and seriously why the heck would you tell them you’ve made them babysit so you could sleep with other people? Your husband fucked up here, but you then went and crossed so many more lines,” noted redditor191389.
“The problem with this is that she already said that he knew, except he stayed silent and didn’t affirm which makes her sound like a liar. It’s his responsibility to defend his wife when she is getting attacked for a decision they BOTH made. But no he stayed silent so that she could be a scapegoat and feign his own innocence. Boy had it coming imo,” said alepko5.
“Honestly, esh, for a different reason. One of the annoyances anyone trying to date non-monogamously have (whether that’s poly, swinging or otherwise) is that couples will only put the woman on their dating profile, rather than both of them. Which means if you are actually looking to just date a woman rather than another couple, you get to spend hours having to read through profiles trying to work out if the ad is a couple or a single woman. It’s so bad it’s become a needle in a haystack situation. And some of them aren’t even open about it, you have to ask. It’s a huge huge issue and incredibly fucking annoying and bad etiquette. By the op’s own admission, they were trying to find someone as a couple, not her dating solo. That ad shouldn’t just have been for her; it should have featured both of them. And if it had, this argument would never have happened because it would have been clear from the outset that it was a thing both of them are doing, not just her. So esh. The family for being judgmental a-holes. The husband for being a cowardly git who didn’t step up when he should have. And the op for making a dating ad that presented has as a single option when she should have been honest in her profile. Frankly, this is one of the possible outcomes if you decide to look like you’re checking every box on the ‘toxic unicorn hunters to watch out for’ infographic,” explained ZeeLadyMusketeer.
“ESH. He’s the biggest A: He is the one that wanted the dating profile to be up, knowing the risks of people finding out. When they did find out, the husband was fine to not speak and let everyone believe the wife was a manipulative cheater. When she just tried to say something vague, they didn’t believe her and they wouldn’t give it up. If she hadn’t have shared at least a bit of private information, the entire family would have continued to believe awful things about her. The fact that his family now knows his business is mostly on his choices. You both suck for trying to find a ‘unicorn’ in the first place. This is incredibly biphobic. This article does a fairly decent job at explaining why what you’re doing is harmful. (Note that trying to find a unicorn on a dating app is so much different than going to a swingers party where there’s a clear ‘buy in’),” said automationalley.
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