Originally Posted by sinew;130025And now that he works again, his desire to have plenty of time to connect with Juliet leaves me with little idea of how I even fit into his schedule.
So if I wanted to live poly for his sake, but be a primary for my sake, I have to ask - what do healthy primary relationships look like for others?
[...] Am I just being selfish to say I want most of his free time, not the least of it? Is it common to feel uncomfortable with the level of investment one's poly partner is making in your metamour? How do we negotiate between asking one to meet the other's needs and avoiding denying one's own?
Hey there, sorry that things are still so dire. As you have asked for the experience of others, I decided to talk about our solution as you seem to be quite similar to my husband in many ways. For a short orientation on our situation: I am the poly one, my husband is mono, my male spouse as well; we are living together.
First of all: Starting into an arrangement after such a long history of betrayal and cheating makes my heart flinch. And I am not confident in my independence or whatever you want the coping skill to call to be ok with this situation. I have experienced what being betrayed means, but I was told kind of immediately when the deception had happened and I needed some years to overcome it completely (meaning thinking of it without hurting). I can't imagine coming to terms with this situation when living with the people who hurt me that much and see them celebrate the relationship that has come into being by their deception without giving me time to adjust to it and work through it. No way.
You asked what a healthy primary relationship looks like for others. For me/us it is about caring for each other in a way that no one has to feel unwanted or disrespected, considering the needs and desires everyone has and certainly not worrying how one fits into the tight schedule of the so called primary partner. As soon as I imagine this situation being present at our home, I wonder how your husband can possible face your suffering without desperately trying to ease your pain. I couldn't watch my husband suffer like that every day. We choose to live together, as my husband couldn't imagine being away from me for that long when I spend whole days with my bf at a different place. By moving him in, all three of us have the utmost of the possible time everyone has to give. And we decided to try to do poly with full investment, as everyone wanted to be part of every other's life to feel the deepest level of connection towards everyone.
The part that wouldn't work for us (dh, bf, I) is the part about MOST of the free time. We try to handle things equally, as I have some kind of a co-primary or double-primary arrangement. But we aren't trying to go by stop watch, as long as everyone is feeling satisfied with the situation, there are some hours spend 'unequally' (husband is working all day, bf and I are mostly at home right now). But I always try to make up for that by spending some extra quality time with my husband.
Therefore I would say: Yes, it is common to feel uncomfortable if the investment your partner is making in your metamour comes across as being 'too high'. It's the nature of every relationship to shape its own needs and structures. If your need to spend time with your husband is too high for the current arrangement, you need to renegotiate how to handle things differently.
You are right to ask how to avoid denying the other his needs as well. This is a difficult one. If there are clear discrepancies between you two, both have to compromise a little. Like meeting on middle ground. In your case I don't really know how big the difference is between the time he spends with her or with you, but wouldn't it be a starting point to request some equal time management?
Lastly, and I consider this as most important: This has been going on about a year... consider NYCindie's suggestion. Some people aren't cut out for this kind of relationship style. You worked your way through it, at least you tried to. And you are still hurting. This may be because they didn't give you time to process things slowly and kept on disrespecting the things you needed to come to terms with it. But this may just be due to the fact that you aren't able to feel comfortable in this kind of relationship as well. Think about if you actually WANT to be ok with it, deep down in your heart. If not, you should start caring for yourself and walk away from this.