Originally Posted by Autumn
She sometimes has this view about me only having with another what I don't have with her, ie sex. That would be less threatening to her I suppose.
Hi and welcome. There are a few other folks from down under here.
I agree that it sounds like you are both taking a careful, considerate approach and that is good. I also just wanted to respond to the part of your post I quoted. Many people in long-term relationships feel that they could handle their partner being sexual with someone else, but not emotionally intimate. I think that it is easy for the long-term partner to imagine those tender moments they share together and not want to lose that special feeling they have by seeing their loved one share "the same things" with someone else.
However, it would never -- could never -- be the same, because those intimate moments are between different people and unique to them.
Whatever you have with a new partner simply would not be what you have with her. So, what is the threat, exactly?
Even if, outwardly, it looked like a partner was sharing the same kind of intimacy with someone else that they share with us, like activities such as breakfast in bed or deep conversations about their hopes and dreams, for example, it wouldn't be like the first partner is losing anything (provided the poly partner does not substitute intimacy with the new person for intimacy with the established partner). Sure, there would be a loss of time spent with the partner, necessarily because they are now spending time with someone else - but regarding love, tender emotions, and intimacy beyond the physical, each relationship would simply have its own unique dynamic. That is not to say that the long-term relationship would not be affected, but I don't see that a partner's developing intimate feelings like love, caring, and affection with someone else needs to automatically be threatening.
So, I think it's very important, when a fear or insecurity comes up, to question it and keep drilling down to all possibilities, so that you would both be able to see the realities of a situation. It is totally possible for a person to be intimate on all levels with multiple partners and not shortchange any of them, emotionally, but it takes compassion and a bit of balancing. And lots and lots of talking.