I don't think you messed up anything, there are just two construction zones you need to take care of. The talk with the wife is inevitable and you know that. That is one part of the work. By talking to the co-worker about what you struggle with and how your situation looks like you only tried to make sure if there is anything to hope for when addressing the second area you need to work on. Those aren't related and as long as you only ask for reactions and kind of make sure what it is you are dealing with, you did nothing wrong.
So what if you would talk to the co-worker before you talked with your wife? It is what it is, as long as you are just making sure what the status quo in this situation is, nothing went wrong. And regarding your self-doubt: You seem to do right now what you did for years; assuming, guessing, waiting, hoping ... not a thing will change and you will never know as long as you don't confront the situation and ask/talk. I know how that works, I did that for nearly four years. And nothing gets easier with time, this only builds up to a huge mess of assumptions, hopes, fears and what-ifs.
So stop feeling like you 'fucked this up', it won't help you here. After all this time you can be pretty sure that things won't change for you and that you need to do something. Waiting some more months or years won't do this any good. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place will never feel right, therefore if you feel that you can't live with this any longer, get your act together. If you are too scared to take action, accept that this feeling will dominate your future life. It's your choice; being constantly scared while hoping for some miracle is draining and arduous. You endured it quite long, it's up to you how long this will continue.
Facts: 30, female, bi, v-type relationship with Sward (husband, straight, mono) and Lin (boyfriend, straight, mono), poly-fi and co-primary.
Last edited by Phy; 02-28-2012 at 09:23 AM.