In a carefully orchestrated family beach vacation, the Original Poster (OP) finds herself caught in a crossfire between her sister’s quest for acceptance of her polyamorous relationship and the rest of the family’s struggle to understand it.
The Vacation Conundrum
The tale opens with OP and her family preparing for a group vacation, pooling resources to rent a beautiful beach property for a week. OP and her husband reluctantly take the lead in the planning process. In the midst of coordination, an unexpected character addition shakes things up—OP’s sister’s girlfriend.
The Complicated Family Tree
The vacation includes OP, her husband and their two kids, her brother, his wife and their three kids, and OP’s parents. Additionally, OP’s sister, her husband, and now their girlfriend have been invited. The diverse family dynamic and the assortment of age groups set the stage for complex interactions.
The Unexpected Guest
Initially, OP and her family only invited OP’s sister and her husband to the vacation. However, her sister insists that her girlfriend, part of their polyamorous relationship, be included as well.
The Struggle for Understanding
OP’s sister’s polyamorous relationship is a subject of mystery and misunderstanding for the family. Despite not fully grasping the nuances, the family tries to be understanding. Yet, the acceptance of this new relationship model proves more challenging than expected.
After some deliberation, the family decides to invite OP’s sister’s girlfriend on the trip. However, they ask that all family members refrain from any public display of affection (PDA) in front of the children.
The plan is to introduce the girlfriend merely as a friend. This seemingly simple compromise stirs up more drama than OP intended.
The children attending the trip range from 3-9. One of the main arguments for refraining from PDA is that it is very confusing and inappropriate for children to be around any PDA, regardless of whom it is with.
OP’s sister is unhappy with the family’s request to limit PDA and to refer to her girlfriend as just a friend. OP’s sister threatens not to attend the vacation at all under these conditions.
Worse Than Exclusion
On top of threatening not to attend, she feels marginalized and constrained by the family’s lack of complete acceptance. She feels like she should be able to express herself fully.
This puts OP and her husband in a tough spot. Since they are in charge of planning the trip, they feel like the ball has been put in their court to make a decision.
The Family Fatigue
The continuous argument over the inclusion and treatment of OP’s sister’s girlfriend exhausts the rest of the family. They want no part in dealing with her drama.
So Be It
Many members express their willingness to let her exclude herself from the trip if she so chooses. They don’t mind her not attending if it puts a stop to the arguments.
The Sibling’s Dilemma
Torn between her love for her sister and the need to maintain peace within the family, OP faces a difficult decision. Should she stand by her sister’s decision or side with the rest of the family, who are trying their best in this delicate situation?
Was Asking His Sister To Be Discreet About Her Relationship Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “You get to decide what you feel is or isn’t appropriate around your kids. If she doesn’t like it, that’s a shame. You are accommodating, and she wants more. They can plan their own vacation elsewhere.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “You are the parents. You understand your kids and decide what’s appropriate for their level of knowledge and maturity.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “Kids don’t get freaked out about something until someone teaches them to freak out about something. If you make a big deal out of it, you will only make it worse and make literally everyone uncomfortable.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “It’s okay to have the no PDA rule if it applies to everyone, but you’re asking your sister to hide a part of herself from her family by asking her not to refer to her girlfriend as her girlfriend. You’re implying that this relationship is shameful somehow.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.