Wow. This is really super helpful and I am SO glad I found this forum. Nothing has been more helpful to me in this process so far than reading your words here and on other threads. Thanks again.
I really appreciate how you all are able to call me (and other people on this forum) out on stuff, in a straightforward yet supportive way. I DO feel guilty about what I am doing, and I DO end up asking Alex for things like a bad girl asking for permission to be naughty. It's true, it doesn't feel good to anyone. I suppose this may be left over from old ways of being (i.e. lying and cheating) and also from the sense that Alex is agreeing to things because she is afraid of losing me rather than really truly being invested in poly. But the reality is she probably would lose me if she were to insist on being mono, so I guess she is also choosing what she feels is best for her in this situation.
By the way, I hear that a number of you are objecting to the idea that someone cannot feel NRE for more than one person at a time. That is not my personal thought or opinion, just something I heard on a clip of a researcher speaking about different types of love (there's a link to it on this forum somewhere), so it was just something that had just stuck in my mind. I get that people have had experiences that contradict this idea. I am just so IN IT with Sam and I was fantasizing that maybe she only has NRE for me, but that is not very mature of me and totally contradicts what poly is about, I get that. She is so super hot and amazing and we have INCREDIBLE sex, and its okay that other people find her hot and amazing, and maybe even have incredible sex with her too.