Should I confront them, or go hide somewhere for the rest of my life?
By Logan Hill
I just recently found out that my parents are having relationships with their best friends--like, swinging. They don't know I know, and I would like to keep it that way. However, it is kind of hard for me to accept or get used to this fact, mainly because I don't think you should sleep with other people when you are in a committed relationship. Should I let them know that I know somehow? Or pretend to be in the dark?
You've gotta talk to them! It could be the most uncomfortable conversation since your first sex talk. It will be a lot for all of you, but you've got to air this out.
Let's do a thought exercise: Picture yourself at Pizza Hut with Mom & Dad. You're half-way through one of their new "Sweet Sriracha Dynamite" pizza and your mouth is burning, when, all of a sudden, a middle-aged man and woman walk up to your parents and give them long, lingering hugs. Now your face is burning too, with embarrassment. As these flirty folks dip mozzarella sticks into your parents' marinara sauce, you're speechless: You can't stop picturing all four of them on the family couch—doing what, exactly?—and you can't help but think: Is that how you made me? So you freeze.
The point is: There are going to be lots of awkward moments and unanswered questions and false assumptions that will pile up for the rest of your life if you don't talk this out. This is a big issue—and a big secret for them to keep. You obviously have a lot of questions, and if you hold this in for long, that knowledge going to create a huge wedge between you and your parents that may pry you apart. (Plus, aren't you just curios as hell?) No matter how open-minded you attempt to be, you'll find yourself silently judging them or dodging the truth or maybe even reading innuendo into everyday situations. You've got to ask them why. (And maybe even how and how long?)
It's important for you to be up-front with them so you can have an honest relationship, but this isn't just about your family. It's about you: You want them to be honest with you, so you can be honest with them. And you also want to understand the first people in this world who ever loved you. Everyone wants to know where—and who—they came from. No matter how strange our parents may be, or how difficult our relationships with them become, it's always healthier to try and understand them.
You may completely disapprove of their choices. But you shouldn't asking them about swinging because you want to figure out how to judge them. You should talk about this so you can figure out how to accept them as who they really are.
Taken from Cosmopolitan