Originally Posted by WhatHappened
And you shouldn't have to. And the thing is, I see a few people here who appear to be pulling off the equal fairly well, but when I look at my situation, no, I will never be 'equal' to his wife, and really, I don't think anyone should be equal to his wife. They have a long history together. She has supported him through many things including financially supporting him while he worked his way up the career ladder. Now that she has some physical limitations on continuing her career full time, he largely supports her financially. I would never want to step in the middle of that. If somehow she and I both 'needed' him (emergency surgery scheduled for the same day, emotional crisis, house burned down, I don't know...), it would be morally right for him to be with her.
It's very respectful of you to have that stance - that his wife is rightfully his priority. To some extent, I felt that in my situation as well, but only a little. The poly couple in my situation had circumstances very different from from a life time (or even a decade or so) of being a "team." They met in March of 2010. Heck, *I've* known her
for longer than he has (although...as I mentioned, I only knew her as a distant classmate). At any rate, they've only been together two years, and they're not married.
Also, as I understood it, she didn't want to live with him. There was a lot about them that struck me as "you guys aren't so together, are you?" I think now they are more so (emotionally, even if still not live-in) because somehow the threat of me made her appreciate him more. But then, I didn't see them as having some sacred bond that I'd be so wrong to intrude upon. He was singing an "equal relationships" tune to me the whole time, and I took him at his word. And I think he really wanted that with me. But she wasn't crazy about that once it started to go into effect.
I really didn't want to displace her (when I attempted the reconnect). I understood that they'd been together for a while and had a bond. I wouldn't have minded being a good friend to her and supporting her relationship with him. But she didn't give me a chance. I do contend, though, that it would've needed to be pretty equal for me to be happy long term.
I respect your ability to respect a wife who's been there for her husband for years and years. And on some theoretical level, I would too and know that I should. But emotionally, for me, it wouldn't matter what she did for him for how many years; I don't want to be significantly
less important than another woman. I just don't think I could be happy that way.
I think I actually COULD do poly, but it would have to be with a couple who's extremely mature and equality-minded about it. And I get the sense that that's as rare as "unicorns" (lol). I think more often than not, it's a primary couple that's working (either one or both of them) really hard to protect the sanctity of their relationship and will sacrifice anybody else's feelings to do it. I'm not saying they don't have a right to do that. I'm just saying that's not the type of poly couple I could be involved with. I need the type of poly couple who knows how to put the "amorous" in polyamorous. A lot of poly people are just poly without being amorous.