^^ I loved GalaG's post!
Something struck me when reading your thread.
You say there were other reasons for ending things with your other lovers... but sometimes, we meet someone we connect with and the old monogamy wiring kicks in and we just get rid of everything else to form some sort of pseudo-monogamous relationship with this new person. Especially if we fear them leaving us... we can subconsciously hope that us getting rid of others will encourage them to do the same. Then when they don't, we start dating again. And we look for their reaction.
Because your marriage is wonderful and full of love, your NRE with your lover is going to be even stronger... because your mind is exploding with freshly poked insecurities and internal drama. Just try to be aware of that and don't lose sight of your husband whilst you are going through all this.
I know that you want to deal with your insecurities. It's great that you've pinpointed that. Maybe I can tell you the ones I picked up on and this might help you focus on them?
I do agree with GalaGirl that you should be able to communicate your fears and insecurities to your lover. However, you have to be careful not to push them onto him - you have to own them yourself. You have to try to find that balance between being too 'needy' and communicating. For me, being too needy is needing constant (daily) reassurance on the same issue, over and over. Communicating is saying "I'm new to this and it's bringing up some personal issues I have to deal with. Can we please have a conversation about where we stand so that I know where your thoughts are?"
I know that they aren't together for as long as we are
This is the classic comparison cop out.
Throughout my post, I'll use my experiences to relate to you, if this helps you to feel less alone.
Last week, my girlfriend slept with someone else for the first time in our 1.5 year relationship.
I was just starting to deal with the pangs, when she told me that he wasn't great in bed.
What do you know? Immediately my pangs went away. I was actually frustrated - I know that if my feelings go away because something is poor in comparison to something I give her, I'm not really dealing with my feelings. It's a cop out.
What you have to do is imagine they are together for as long as you are. Then what? What difference would that make to you? Really force your mind to consider that.
she is giving him something that I can't, since I don't identify as a submissive. He doesn't expect that of me and we have a more than satisfying sexual relationship but I still worry despite his assurances that I'm not giving him what he needs.
I used to have this worry too. (I'll keep relating to my experience if this helps). My GF is a Mistress and I am the first woman she has been with, sexually and in love. I used to constantly worry that she'd be better off with a sub boy.
Now I don't think like that.
I'm giving her something that other people can't give her.
I'm a Mistress and I can tell you with 100% certainty that whilst I love D/s sex and need to get that somewhere, my favourite sex is with my girlfriend. Passionate, wild, fun, intense, Domme vs Domme sex. ~grins~ Just because I need D/s, doesn't mean it's actually my preference in the bigger picture. I just wouldn't want to live without it.
Another thing is that, to be honest, Domming people can be tiring. Sometimes there's nothing better than cutting all the D/s crap and just having sex. Sex that doesn't require my complete orchestration of control. Non-D/s sex can be a respite from D/s sex!
Furthermore, you hit the nail on the head - "she's giving him something I can't".
You have to remind yourself that this is what poly is all about. You can only tick certain boxes for a person; you cannot tick every box.
Yes, it is a possibility that he prefers the D/s sex and ultimately, given the choice, would give up your sex for that. But given that the sex between you is amazing, I'm doubting that is that case. And given that you are poly - he doesn't have to choose - he can have both and be happy. Keep reminding yourself - that's the point of poly.
Then, he and I have been experimenting with a particular sexual activity, and taking it slowly. He told me a couple of weeks ago that not only did he do it all with her, but she loved it. That really hurt and made me wonder why he'd still want to do it with me since it is more difficult for me and apparently easy with her.
I understand your feelings on this. This relates to the idea that poly means the end of special things. And to some extent, it does.
Again, my personal experience - there is one thing that only I can do for my girlfriend. She's had about 60 lovers before me and I was the first person to give her this experience that she loved. Then she taught her new sub boy my technique. So now he can do it to her too.
I had a five minute stomach twisting AGHGHGHG moment.... and then said... no... you should enjoy sex and if you love that thing, I am happy to have shared my (very talented) gift with you
As for your lover wanting to do it with this other girl more because it's easy...
Let me tell you something... I have a massive thing for straight women. Do they turn me on because it's easy? Nope! They turn me on because they are slow-moving, cautious, timid, naive, new, scared. I love that. I also love corrupting people
It is very possible that your new lover feels the same way about you in terms of this thing you were shy about doing.
Ultimately, if he doesn't, it means he'll be happier elsewhere. And that is the point of poly - finding happiness.
As much as it would hurt me, I'd rather my partner leave me and find what she needs/wants, than stay with me for the sake of it. That's the best way to look at this.
(Also, you might want to have a talk about how much info you reveal to each other - that level of info might be too much for even the most experienced poly players in here).
Then, I worry because of the distance, that he is just going to not want to go to all the hassle to see me anymore. I mean, it's not like he has a shortage of sex locally.
I'm not going to lie - this could happen.
But... would I travel from England to France to have sex with Audrey Tautou regularly? Definitely. Hahaha. Seriously. And I don't have a shortage of sex locally
In fact, my girlfriend lives in the US. I pay a lot of money and make a lot of sacrifices to travel around the world to see her, because our connection is worth it.
A connection is a connection - if it's there, nothing stands in the way easily.
If things easily get in way, the connection is not as strong as you thought and there is no point living a lie. You'd be selling yourself short.
Or maybe he'll find someone more attractive for whatever reason, or who can satisfy him sexually better.
Obviously, this self-confidence needs working on
He could find someone physically hotter, but still feel an intense attraction to you.
He could find someone better in bed, but still feel this amazing connection during sex with you.
He could find someone hotter and better and it could eradicate his feelings for you. You cannot change that. The same thing could also happen to you one day - you could prefer someone else to him.
I have expressed my worries to him and he did tell me that he is not looking for any more partners. I still worry about him getting tired of the distance and deciding he's fine with his two local women and his wife.
Just be careful about drifting into a closed poly situation with him.
I do think that closed poly is absolutely fine when people decide they want that. I will probably want that in about 10 years.
But if you force closed poly as a way to hide from your insecurities and fears, you will be selling yourself short.
Far better that you face those fears head on and grow strong.
If this helps at all, I was very jealous and insecure before I was poly. For various reasons which I won't go into. I did all those ridiculous crazy mono woman things like reading my boyfriend's texts and getting jealous when he had female friends.
It wasn't until I met my girlfriend 1.5 years ago and became poly that I realised how fearful I was.
The first 6 months of our poly relationship were very hard. We were very jealous, very accusatory with each other and didn't deal with our emotions well.
But... I'm really not exaggerating when I say this... every single argument and upset and scary event we've ever had over the past 1.5 years has taught us something.
Today, I still get a little insecure and a little jealous, but I feel a million times more stable than I did back then. I genuinely believe that is greatly down to poly and greatly down to confronting my fears... letting go of them... letting go of my desire to restrict my partner through fear... and just accepting that she loves and wants me, in this moment.
We have always had an analogy about poly and our arguments surrounding it. We have a house. Every time we hit an issue, we're hitting a rotting brick. We confront that issue (our fear), pick it apart, deal with it and replace it with a good brick. We knocked a hell of a lot of bricks out of that house last year. And now, our relationship and our personal security has many, many more good bricks - it's a much more solid house. We are much more solid people.
I used to think that the worst thing in the world would be abandoned by someone I love. Now I think that the worst thing in the world is kidding myself. if someone prefers someone else and would be happier, far better that they chase that rainbow than waste your time and energy.
I hope that this answer helped a little bit.
Sorry I waffled!