Originally Posted by Valentine
...perhaps being a secondary does not suit, but being a primary would? I need some outside perspectives.
Just because you would be considered a secondary in someone's life does not automatically mean that their partner has any authority over your relationship with that person. The fact that the wife was dictating and changing rules over how he was to be in his relationship with you really speaks to major insecurities.
I firmly believe that no one should be managing a relationship except for the people in it, and couples that embrace poly had better be willing and mature enough to let their partners handle their own relationships without imposing a lot of bullshit rules on them. When I am interested in someone who is poly and partnered, I ask them what rules or boundaries they have that would affect me. I can live with time/scheduling restraints, and wholeheartedly agree with safer sex boundaries for obvious reasons, but anything beyond that or overly restrictive and I walk. I would rather not get involved with someone who allows their spouse to interfere in my relationship than try to alter who I am and what I want to be happy.
This does not mean I wish to be someone's primary. In fact, I don't use those hierarchical terms for myself. But I have no problem being a secondary as long as I am respected and the person conducts himself like a grown-up. I never want to be in a situation where I need permission from someone's spouse (like asking mommy) for what level of emotional or physical involvement I can have with him.
So, all that is to say that it isn't necessarily that you aren't cut out for poly or being a secondary. It would seem that, simply, this wasn't the right relationship for you. If it is bringing up so much hurt and confusion to continue kissing and cuddling with him after having broken it off, then don't. It's true, seven months is still the beginning stages of a relationship to me, but still hanging around and not being able to have what you'd hoped for will probably drag it on and make you feel worse. Ask for a break, take time away so you don't have to be so close to the unhealthy dynamic between him and his primary partner, and date other people. There are plenty of fish in the sea!