"I want to keep in touch more frequently without sounding needy or clingy. What works best for you?"
This. In my world?
You'd have the RESPONSIBILITY
to know and articulate your wants, needs, and limits. He'd have the right to clear communication.
So you'd speak up to HIM. Not to us.
You'd have the right to nurture and support.
You'd have the right to feedback though -- so if he says you feel too clingly, needy with the volume you want, you have to be willing to take it to the negotiation table to find the happy medium compromise even if it is hard to hear that feedback.
And this work... would break out thus.... in my world.
I sometimes feel like I have no right to make demands because I am married and he and I can never be more than what we are now.
Fine. We acknowledge you cannot marry him legally.
Call him (O)ther (S)ignificant (O)ther then. OSO.
But for your "me+ OSO" relationship tier in your polyship's polymath
breakout what ARE the rights he will/has granted you if you play ball with him? The responsibilites you expect to undertake? And vice versa? So you function in right relationship to each other?
Has this framework conversation happened yet? Why not? I keep mine short and sweet.
Can't hack that mission? Don't play with me, don't choose to accept it. We can be friends.
don't you feel you have the right to needs in that tier?
You can't ask your daughter to pick up the towels from the floor because you ask your son to do the dishes? That's silly.
So is this. You can't ask for respect and good treatment from your OSO because you have DH? Equally silly.
Speak up. TO HIM. And formulate your game book. I keep mine short and crystal clear. My conflict resolution framework is another page.
Areas of discernment, I expect to discern with the concerned parties at the Negotiation Table.
I also get a lot of anxiety when I don't hear from him for days and worry "what if he is losing interest" "what if he found someone else" and my imagination gets the best of me. I appreciate any thoughts!
Stop what iffing yourself into a tizzy and demystify the fear.
Go there within yourself and Name the un-NAME-able. Own it. Take the bull by the horns and do the first stage internal processing. Fill in the blanks.
"If you are losing interest, I want to hear the heads up by....I promise to react in this fashion..... so please just tell me in that way. So I can deal better."
"Hey, if we have to break up, here's my wants, needs and limits:______ I'd like to part as ____. I want to keep it real, and while I do not WANT to break up, if it MUST happen, I want to walk away with minimal dings and still be ___(friend?)___ in time."
Then when you square those up (one sheet of paper bullet list max forces you to think) present to partner OSO.
Have him sign off.
There. Now you can relax it down to the comfortable uncomfortable volume and just live with it. Butterflies in stomach CAN be pinned down so they stop fluttering so bad. In NAMING it. Then OWNING it.
Rather than amping it up to impossible volume you cannot stand just because you are what iffing it up into internal maelstrom winds making butterflies even crazier in there.
Everyone own your own bag!