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    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Ask Amy: "Open Marriage Not Good For Grandchildren"

    Dear Amy: I have always considered myself open to diversity and open to people in general.

    I have a good, strong relationship with my daughter. But she has thrown one at me that I am having trouble negotiating.

    Two years ago she married a man whom I adore for accepting her and loving her the way she is, and for adopting her two children who were fatherless. The children are both doing much better with him in their lives, and so is she.

    Last May, however, she and her husband announced to me that they were both gay. They were planning to remain in the marriage, and each of them would be free to have a significant other on the side.

    Her husband already had someone. Not only did they want me to accept this, but to celebrate it.

    I told them I could do the first, but not the second.

    Now the holidays are arriving. My daughter asked if she could include her new girlfriend at Thanksgiving, because, she said, she's proud of me and wants her girlfriend to know me. She knows that in the past I have always been open to including others at the Thanksgiving table.

    I told her I like "Amanda" just fine (I've met her), but I didn't feel right including this big, happy extended "family" at the table as if everything were OK, partly because I feel that the whole thing has not played out and that it is endangering her marriage.

    I told her that maybe in the future I can manage it better, but just now I'm not up to it.

    I know this is not the end of the discussion.

    Any words of wisdom for me?

    -- Stymied in Portland, Ore.

    Dear Stymied: Your openness and liberal attitude about diversity are beautiful.

    Now your daughter is whacking you over the head with it.

    Don't let her.

    Stop bending over backward to understand and accommodate this. This sort of open marriage and chaotic personal situation cannot be good for your grandchildren, and I imagine that you must be worried about them.

    This isn't a gay thing. This is a question of your daughter stepping way over the line.

    Let's pretend that your daughter and her husband are both straight and that she wants to bring both her husband and her male lover to Thanksgiving dinner. Would you even consider including this threesome at your Thanksgiving table?

    I don't think you would. The only difference here is that your daughter is attempting to "play" you. Don't fall for it.

    At some point you have to say, "Honey, I love you like nobody's business, but you need to give me a break already. Leave Thanksgiving alone."

    Open marriages are BAD for kids. It's better if Mom or Dad cheats and everyone tiptoes around it for eternity.

    Also, there is a "line". This line is having more than one partner. And this bitch has crossed it. Despite this wonderfully open parent's having always been open to including "others" at Thanksgiving, the person her daughter loves is too much to deal with.

    Don't worry Stymied in Portland, you are still "open to diversity and open to people in general." No need to interrogate your reluctance to treat your daughter like you love her and accept her for who she is.


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