The pace of the one who is struggling most
I've often read this wise little piece of advice on this forum, to go at the pace of the one who is struggling the most. What it usually seems to apply to is when someone gets a new partner, and an existing partner is new to polyamory or otherwise unhappy with the situation, so the new relationship slows down until the existing partner works through those feelings. I get that.
I've been trying to go at my (monogamous) husband's pace for the past couple of years now, by keeping relationships with the other two men I love at a pretty platonic level, where we don't see each other much and we keep our clothes on. I guess in all this time my husband has been coming to terms with the fact that I love them, but he has no intention of letting it move forward. We don't talk about it (or when I bring it up, he tries not to talk about it), he's unwilling to read about polyamory, and he's basically just trying to accept this "flaw" in my role as his wife by not thinking about it.
Meanwhile, I'm really starting to struggle. It's not just a sexual urge, although that can get pretty strong at times. I feel like my life needs these relationships. My husband is very reserved, and I feel starved for connection and intimacy of all kinds (as I've written about in my last thread). I try and try to draw him out, but after years of this I feel like I'm vainly trying to make him into someone he's not. He makes a good husband in all sorts of ways, and he's my children's father, so I don't want to leave the marriage, but the marriage is not providing me with what I need.
Is it ever the case that the person who is struggling the most is the one who wants to move the newer relationship(s) forward? How can I tell if doing so would hurt him as much as I hurt now, if he is unwilling to talk about it? I've told him how lonely I feel, and his response is that I shouldn't feel that way. My emotion is not logical to him. I cry and cry, and he has nothing to say to me. Is it reasonable to ask him to go at my pace for once? That doesn't even have to involve sex at this point, but just the freedom to make these men a bigger part of my life, so I can enjoy some relationships that are close, communicative, interactive, enriching.
He has said I should do what I want, but that he won't like it, and I should weigh the pleasure I would get (from a kiss or sex or whatever) against the pain it would cause him. It's not about the physical pleasure of the kiss for me though. It's the pain of denying myself the kind of deep relationships I sorely want, and have been trying in vain to have with him for such a long time.