You asked about "primary" vs "secondary" partners. So this is as good a place to begin to respond to your post, overall. I've been living with my partner, Kevin, for 12 years. Pretty much the whole time our relationship was basically open and polyamorous in spirit. On a very few occasions, Kevin & I have explored other relationships, but none were lasting--though we were open to that possibility, and neither of us are interested in casual sex. Anyway, to get to my initial point, I've decided not to consider Kevin my "primary" partner, despite the fact that we have a very solid, long term loving relationship, and we live together. I have decided this because, last summer, I fell in love with another man ("R")--who at the time was pretty much my best friend--, and didn't want him to think that he was somehow "second" or "secondary" in relation to Kevin. I wanted him to know that I could and would love him equally. I did this because, were the shoe on the other foot, or the tables turned, I'd not want to be anybody's "secondary" lover. (I ended up somehow losing both my friendship with "R" and the loverly explorations with him in the bargain, but that's another story!)
Of course, there are those who would be delighted to be #2 or #3..., and that's fine for those who want that. But I wouldn't. I want to be loved in whole by my lovers, whether I am with one or two or three -- and beyond that is just too many! I haven't got time enough to have more than two or three! Love needs nurturing, like a garden, and I have other loves in my life, as well, like my work and my learning to make music, etc. And all of this needs proper attention and love. And time.
So, since you're looking for advice, I suggest that you find out what you want and need which is also considerate of what all of the others involved want and need. This is a never-ending process, I think, because, if we're lucky, we're growing and changing all the while. But we get better and better at knowing ourselves and how to be sensitive and kind to the others in our lives. This begins with being sensitive and kind with ourselves -- but not to the exclusion of others. Never to the exclusion of others.
Last edited by River; 06-02-2009 at 02:02 PM.