I really did not set out to serialize this situation or create an ongoing soap opera for anyone else's edification. I've really just been using this forum to sort out my feelings and thoughts about my role, limited though it may be, and seek input from a few experienced poly outsiders.
Let me just clarify that the metamour, to use yet another word that's new to me, has told her husband that they need to separate. He fears that prospect, but he did offer to go to a counselor with her if there's any chance they can salvage their relationship. She's agreed to the counseling, but is not leading him to believe their marriage can be saved. At the very least, the counselling may help or convince him they need to part ways and can do so relatively amicably.
He's apparently confided in one mutual friend and she has a few friends she's told - that their marriage is troubled, NOT that there's another love, same-sex or otherwise, waiting in the wings. He has promised not to disclose that to anyone. The finer point is she has a support network that he lacks. Even joint counseling is counseling for him, something he sorely needs but is not seeking himself or for his own sake.
But I wonder, as does my wife, if the marriage counselor won't conclude that she should not pursue a relationship with my wife, at least as long as it takes to sort out their marriage/breakup. Isn't that more likely than the counselor proving sympathetic to polyamory and nudging the husband toward accepting his wife's love for mine?
So that's one question. Another question we've had is whether the women's relationship should progress during the separation? Sure, he now knows about them, but they don't have his consent. Frankly, he sees that relationship as an obstacle to repairing the marriage. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn't.
My wife says she can wait for all this to be sorted, even knowing it could take a very long time. Her higher priority now is helping her good friend through a very difficult period. My wife's been good about telling her and myself when she thinks her advice may be self serving. I don't know that that admission makes her support for a separation/end to the marriage any less problematic, but at least she checks herself and encourages me to call her on that.
Incidentally, I asked my wife if she thinks her GF is in a hurry to end her marriage so she can be with my wife. My wife promptly put that question to the GF and she said no, that the timing of my wife's recent arrival on the scene is unfortunate but not a cause for the marriage's long simmering problems. She, too, knows my wife is in no hurry or going anywhere, so there's no added urgency.
I may be the only one who is impatient for a time in the not too distant future when the two of them, my wife and her GF, can be free to pursue happiness together. Right now they're dealing almost exclusively with her unhappiness, frustration and exhaustion with him and his anger, confusion and feelings of impending abandonment.
Everyone just needs to get through this in as few broken pieces as possible.
Thank you for listening and not judging too harshly.