I wouldn't even entertain the thought that you're "bad at being a secondary" if I were you, so stop that!
I think your situation sounds wonderful!
You are married, so you have a fulltime partner, plus a shared household and two children who also need your time. You have a boyfriend whom you see several times a week
and not just for getting laid, which means it is a relationship that has some depth and quality time. Poly relationships don't have to require living together to be successful and, indeed, many do not.
Yet you say you want more, and you wonder how your relationship can grow with the limits it already has. As I see it, some of the things you mentioned you want, such as more opportunities for sharing physical affection, and having overnights, don't seem too unreasonable to me. I don't know why being committed to a family and other partners would preclude those things. They can be negotiated. Perhaps you can ask for an overnight once a month.
As for talking to him "whenever you want," that would probably be problematic. Since he has two children and two other partners beside you, there will be times he cannot talk to you, and to disrupt his time with another partner could be seen as a bit disrespectful if you were to expect that.
My question to you, however, is how much time do you have -- realistically -- for him to be more involved in your life? You didn't say how old your children are, but I would imagine that your schedule is not wide open either. How long have you been seeing the bf? If it's still new, it could be NRE euphoria that just makes you want more. But even if it's not that, it could be just that this is new territory for you and you're not used to having a serious relationship that is not completely
entwined with your life. I say, be grateful for that! Maybe all you need to do is a little reframing of your perspective. Being with him can be an oasis when you need it. And you can grow in intimacy by letting down emotional boundaries (when you're ready), even if the amount of time spent together never changes. Taking risks with your heart only needs quality of time, not necessarily quantity of time.
Or maybe you think that if he is more available to you, it will mean something
, like that it's a good relationship. We ascribe meaning to all sorts of things, often without realizing it. Like you said, a "pattern ingrained in your psyche." So maybe somewhere in you, you don't think a relationship is real enough or meaningful enough if you're not with him or in touch every day. You seem smart and like you have a good awareness of yourself, so take a look at your belief system regarding intimacy and relationships and see if there is something like that at play here. If this is coming from some old idea from the past about what relationships "should" be, that doesn't necessarily mean that what you want is not valid, but if you know where it's coming from then you have a choice instead of running on automatic pilot. If wanting more involvement and more time with him actually is something you want/need in the present
, then you can talk to both your bf and husband about how to have it.
I think it would benefit you to look at all the good, juicy positive stuff you get from this relationship, see if the things you are pining for are really what you need to make you happy or not, and then figure out if there is a way to negotiate for them. But make sure that you're not shortchanging your husband, kids, and your own alone time, in wanting more from the bf -- and be prepared that he might not be able to accommodate your request. Like I said, I think what you have seems pretty sweet to me, but only you know if it is satisfying enough for you.