I think it is a very mature and compassionate thing you are doing by taking a break, and I think setting a goal of three months to check in and see how they're doing is wise and generous of you. I admire you for that. It is much better that such a break come from you, rather than them. That indicates strength and love on your part. I am thinking of a married couple who was having deeply damaging difficulties, very similar to what your bf and his wife are going through but with lots of nastiness and arrogance toward his wife. The gf was almost arrogantly standing by, not budging, and both she and the husband were making it seem like the wife was the problem and she had better shape up because the gf wasn't going anywhere. It was very sad, the wife was so depressed, and the whole thing pushed her to the brink. The gf only backed off for a few weeks when wife finally insisted on it, but couldn't really keep her word on that. I hated to see the wife jerked around like that. So kudos to you for being the one to acknowledge that the strength of your relationship cannot be allowed to run roughshod over their relationship, and that for you to flourish, you need them to thrive also.
As for how much of a break is needed, I think, for me personally, that I would take a break from all alone time with him. Being around him yet not being with him sexually might distract him from looking at the relationship he has with his wife. I would make it a clean break and have very little contact, and probably not see him in person much at all, whether in a crowd or not. In fact, I would limit contact to a phone call maybe once every other week. He needs to see the severity of the problem, and I think that would do it.
Are you also ready to walk away completely, as well, if they do not remedy things between them? Because you really don't want to be part of an unhealthy dynamic. And I would be very cautious about involvement with him again, whether they stay together or not, because of the way he treated her. There has to be an effort shown that he will treat all his relationships with respect and loving consideration, I would think, for me to trust him myself if I were in your shoes.
Independent solo polyamorist seeking lover-friends willing to invest in friendship, companionship, and love, but without a need for partnership.
Never confuse commitment with exclusivity, love with ownership, nor sex with intimacy!
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
~ Carl Sagan
Last edited by nycindie; 12-30-2011 at 01:12 PM.