What I'm aware of in terms of work I have to do is making them both feel like they are valued and spending enough time with each of them without wanting either to feel neglected. It is a lot of work.
This is very important. It's not easy-that's true. But it helps a lot if everyone involved owns their own feelings. Actually ceoli was talking about this on another thread. At risk of possibly stepping on toes-I'm going to paste her statement here, and hope she understands its with ALL due respect and appreciation for her well thought out explanation of her opinion-and I think it really pertains!
Here's the thing: If a person is holding another person responsible for their emotions in a conflict, it is usually very difficult to address it without taking on that responsibility for that other person's emotions. And that's just plain not healthy.
Here's what I mean:
Holding the other person responsible:
A: You're attacking me.
B: I'm not attacking you.
A: Yes you are attacking me and I can't deal with that.
B: But I'm not attacking you.
A: You have no right to tell me how I feel.
etc etc etc.
Being responsible for your own emotions:
A: When I read that it makes me feel attacked.
B: I'm sorry it does that, but I'm not attacking you with that.
A: I still have that feeling of being attacked though.
B: What is making you feel attacked about it?
A: Well, A, B and C.
B: Ok, let's talk about that.
My point is conversations and conflicts tend to break down easily if anyone involved holds the other person responsible for their feelings. This happens doubly so in an online conversations because 90% of the context is missing. And the thing is, there is usually nothing that can be done when that dynamic is set up, because it's all reactionary to a completely subjective standard. Some things may hurt feelings, some things may not. I can't enter into a dialogue about those feelings until that dynamic is fixed.
It's a lot harder for such things to break down when people take responsibility for their own feelings, especially the negative ones.
I think there is often confusion between being compassionate and feeling responsible for someone else's feelings. For me there is a huge difference and I cannot think of taking on such responsibility as an act of compassion.
I'm also a little resentful of my husband dating new women because I'm an introvert and it takes energy for me to have to get to know someone who may not even stick around for long.
THIS makes PERFECT sense to me! It's important to me (and my V I believe I can speak for all 3 of us) that if ANY new person is going to enter the picture that they MUST first become friends with US. It's not reasonable to have a "FB" or just start dating someone because they look good or impress you the first time you see them. We have children at home-so we are more diligent about not "Dragging home every stray cat" so to speak. But I think some people without children might benefit in the same type of strategy. It's all good and well if people WANT to have the freedom to randomly check each new opportunity (and some do) but it's equally important to know if you or your live-in partners don't-that there are ways to date and meet people and get to know them, that don't include dragging them through your home life before having some security in the permanence (or at least long term semi-permanence) of their participation in that home life... AND
they certainly do not need to be moving in before there is a sizable history of stability in their relationship with you.
What I try to look at is how it would be if he did get into some sort of stable arrangement. He'd be happier and I'd have to have less worry about him feeling abandoned when I was with my girlfriend. So all in all I know it's for the best even if getting to that point is difficult.
I am waiting for "that day" when hubby finds someone. But I think it's going to be awhile. Me coming out poly and changing the dynamic of our relationship has brought up a lot of stuff that needs worked on in his past (and some in mine) that we are dealing with for now. I'm open to it-but for now he's decided to put relationship searching on hold while he settles into who HE is. Which is ok too-sometimes makes me feel guilty-in brief moments. But at the same time it makes me feel proud of him. It also leaves me feeling a little insecure about "who will he be when it's all done and said" but that's no reason to worry-we'll find out when he gets there!!