I call it another module in the Learning Curve of Polyamory. I'm new to this lifestyle and have been wading my way through for the past 21 months with this amazing man.
We have a V relationship. I am the single girl...he's in a committed relationship with a woman. They live together. I live apart, with my 2 children. When they started down this path, it was to salvage a relationship that was null and void of physical intimacy. Then she got ill. The list of dysfunction is endless. He has had a number of ladies come and go from his life. I have now been around for almost 2 years. He loves her deeply, but he is in love with me. For the first time in the 7 years they have been "open", he is in love.
Despite being 100% honest with each other about this lifestyle, he hasn't told her that he is in love with me. So much for honesty. I don't know why he hasn't, he probably fears that if she knew, she would insist on leaving. She has offered to leave in the past so that he isn't burdened with a sick spouse. But that racks him in so much guilt. I tried to talk to him about this, but he won't engage in that conversation.
I've been trying so hard these past 21 months to understand and trust in this relationship. It wasn't hard to do in the beginning when it was strictly physical between us. But now that we have declared our love for each other, things have gotten a little more complicated. Despite some emotional outbursts and conversations between us where tears have been shed by both him and I, we are doing well. We are trying to figure it all out, how to compromise and how to co-exist. He has told me several times that he will understand if I leave to find a full time deal, but added how much it will hurt him. He's confessed to me that he's often thought of just being with me, having a full time life with me, and me alone. That helps and hurts at the same time. Helps because I know I'm not alone in that thought and hurts because it will never happen.
I love him deeply and would never ask him to choose. I would never draw that line in the sand. I could never put him in that situation to feel that guilt and hurt.
Her and I are friendly, but not friends. She seems very passive aggressive towards me. I've never told him of this, he would defend her and cause an issue with him and I so I won't go there with him. In his eyes, she is a poor, sick angel. He is blinded with compassion, which I love about him.
So, most of our situations have resolutions. But now I have a new dilema.
When we were just "f'ing", no major emotional attachment, I didn't mind being his secret. But now that he is in love with me and claims that I'm his priority and can't imagine being without, it sucks to be the secret. They continue to socialize as a couple, which they are, and I feel excluded. Some of their friends know about their lifestyle choice, more do not. His parents and brother know about me. A handful of friends know he has someone, but not specific to me. And I'm a secret from the rest.
Where it really started to hurt was recently when us 3 went on a tropical vacation. He posted pictures of the trip on his FB, and I was there, as a casual mention for a photo credit and a side shot of me. I was torn; it was his way of including me yet I wasn't acknowledged as being there, being his comfort and love during the trip while she kind of just did her own thing. He and I slept in the same bed, spend alot of alone time together the entire time I was there. I left after a couple of weeks, they stayed for another 2 weeks. Non-physical other than foot rubs and cuddling as they slept. He messaged daily how much he missed me. Yet I feel insignificant and for the first time, I feel like I'm living this massive lie. I look at the pics he took of her and posted and the comments people make about them and their wonderful vacation together. I was on that vacation too, yet feel as if I've been erased from it. One huge lie. My pictures tell a different story, so many of he and I together on that trip, even some of her. My close friends and family know about the arrangement we have, others assume he's just a normal boyfriend. I know that he and I have different circumstances, to acknowledge me would be to acknowledge the whole deal. But as Dr Seuss says "Those who matter won't mind; those who mind won't matter." Right?
One part of me wonders why it even matters!?! He and I know the truth. Why should it bother me to be the less-significant other? Maybe I should be grateful that nobody knows so that I'm spared the ridicule of being "the other woman" and he the bastard cheating spouse of a poor, sick woman.
Anyways, sorry for the long disertation! Just curious to know if anyone else struggles with being the Secret, apparantly Less-Significant other after this long....