Yeah, W was definitely more into a swinger sort of thing than poly. That was his past experience with other partners.
We have essentially tabled the discussion until he comes home and until then I am trying to figure things out for myself. I've had some great discussions with a new friend on here and that has done wonders to sort my thoughts out.
I know that I am hard wired to love. When I was with my ex-husband, I loved him very much. If I had known about poly, could have accepted it and practiced it at that point, I'd probably still be married to him. Well, maybe. I still love him. I am glad now that we don't live together but I will always love him. I still buy him birthday presents and go to family get-togethers with his family and our children and it works.
This married guy who is one of my best friends: definitely in love with him. I can, however, keep it platonic and just be his friend, which is what the relationship needs to be. Doesn't mean I wouldn't take a bullet for him because if it came down to it I absolutely would.
W, despite his 'being an ass' (yeah, I agree with that!) has been overall the most loving, caring, supportive man I've ever been with. I think if he wasn't 7000+ miles away right now, all of this would have played out a lot differently. Anyway, that's not how things happened. At this point he is doing everything he can to understand where I am coming from now. He's doing a lot of reading and trying to see things from my point of view and not his own. That make me feel a lot better. I think we're always going to have conflict but we can figure it out, hopefully. I love him so much; I want this to work out for both of us. Maybe it won't, but we're sure as hell going to try.
Now, A, on the other hand...he's got a gf who knows all about me and is also learning about poly. Despite him telling me that we were two separate and distinct relationships, she's definitely the primary. That's fine. He's backed off big time, saying he'll love me and be there for me any way I need him to be, as little or as much as I want. I do love him. He's sweet, he's kind, he's very mellow, calm. My life is very chaotic and when I'm with A I don't have to think about all of that; I can just 'be'. It's beautiful. When I'm not with him though, simple communication can be so sporadic it's maddening. I don't know if it's because he's trying to give me space to think or because he's busy or doesn't want to see me or wtf is going on. I'm trying to talk to him about it. We'll see where it goes, if it goes anywhere.
So we're up to four men I love for four completely different reasons. If I'm not poly, I don't know what the hell else I could be! Now to impress that upon W without him freaking out. I'm realizing just because I love these men, it doesn't mean I have to act on that love in a sexual nature, or as a relationship more than friendship. It's all a huge learning process, isn't it?
There'll be more to follow, I'm sure... Thank you for your help!!