Non Physical V - it's driving me crazy
A bit of background for my first post. My wife and I have been together for 15 years, last week was the anniversary of our first kiss! About 5 years ago we opened up our relationship through swinging at first. I soon realized that I was getting more from the emotional side of things rather than just the physical and we agreed to head more into Poly than just swinging. My wife is happy with just the physical side so it's mainly been me that's been developing relationships with people. There have been a few bumps along the way but we've got over them all and are in a happy and stable place right now.
7 months ago I met a rather wonderful woman and we connected straight away. We went on a couple of dates, but she wasn't too comfortable with dating a married man, even with permission, so we agreed to just be friends. But the friendship has become very deep and close. We email or text each other 10-20 times a day and meet up on average 4-5 times a week for lunch or a drink or dinner. We've been away for the weekend 3 times already (but always with separate beds) and I sleep on her couch about once a fortnight. It's almost always her that suggests we meet up and my wife is cool with the way I'm splitting my time.
This is far more intense and close than any friendship I've ever known. We are open with our feelings and the word love is used quite often. She has admitted to me that I am pretty much her ideal partner, apart from the married bit, and that sometimes she does think of me as her partner or even her husband. But most of the time the best label she can come up with is that I'm her 'gay best friend' albeit one who's straight and married! She's become good friends with my wife and has met our children a few times. She's basically become part of the family and I'm happy just being friends.
So where's the problem? Well I sometimes feel as if we are actually dating but that there's an artificial limit placed on us. I'm normally quite tactile, but she reacts badly to anything other than the occasional hug. I've offered to cook for her dozens of times and she has said no as it would somehow feel like we were crossing a line. I find that artificialness of it a little frustrating. I'd really like to just let things develop naturally and see where we end up.
She has said many times that she doesn't understand Poly and that she feels that she could never share a man with another woman. But she is basically doing that right now. I have pointed out that our friendship wouldn't be allowed in a non poly marriage and that she is having her cake and eating it almost.
I think I understand her stance. She's 39 and single and would really like to settle down and have kids. She knows that kids outside of our marriage is against the rules for me and my wife. So I think she's holding back on our relationship as she's worried that if we cross that line she won't be able to go back and that would be the end of having children. She goes on dozens of first dates and I don't get jealous at all. But she rarely gets a second date and I worry if it's because shes comparing them to me somehow.
I've offered to cool our friendship in case I was getting in the way of her finding true love and she literally begged me not to.
So what should I do? Cool things even though she doesn't want that? Or carry on as we are and see what happens? The unfortunate truth is that she only has a handful of fertile years left and soon not being able to give her children will no longer be an issue. So if I were being cynical I could just bide my time, but that would make me feel cruel and deceitful.
She means the world to me in the same way my wife does. At the moment it clearly makes her happy to spend time with me and I really want to make her happy. But I would rather make her happy in the long term even if that upset her right now.
Has anybody got any perspective to share?