Originally Posted by mercury
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 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.
Yes, I do think that 25 years together, financial support, marriage, all of it makes for a very different situation than yours.
As to the bolded part, I completely agree. And that's why I think the system has inherent flaws, why I would probably not agree to be part of this again, and why I will not let him be the love of my life without whom I cannot live.
In part, I worry about him, too. He's very, very emotionally invested, although he himself told me from the start that he can't offer me any real future and I MUST keep myself open to someone who can and he knows it will end someday. But he would ideally like what we have to last forever, even when he knows it can't and won't. In part, it can't or won't for exactly the reasons you said. I love every minute with him, and it suits me very well right now; I like him very much. But I'm not going to spend my life as second fiddle. To be fair, he went into this knowing that as well I went into it knowing there's no normal progression of the relationship with him.
I guess what I'm saying is, yes, no matter how much I understand it, there's still an inherent unfairness to one person, and I'm not willing to live with that longer than I'm satisfied with the situation as it is.