GalaGirl: You are right in many ways. I think “you have a lot to digest” is an understatement. I also think I went overboard with things on the exact same night my Mom emailed me to tell me that the relationship she and I had (a very close friendship) is over due to some differences of opinion.
I'm sorry it was one of those "when it rains, it pours" kind of nights. I'm sorry things with Mom are rough right now. That is ONE "serious relationship work thing." Since you flooded when trying read/talk to wife on polyamory things, perhaps not schedule two "serious relationship work things" on the same night. Very draining. Take the time to TLC. It might feel like time is slipping away like a sand timer -- but really, you have all the time you need to spend on this.
You are working on it and moving it forward, which is commendable. But you don't have to be Superman -- coping with mom on one hand and then coping with a major marriage change on the other. You can PACE yourself here. This isn't about breakneck speed!
I'm glad you have a friend you can talk to even if she's busy with 4 kids. Try to schedule time with her to air out.
I am glad you are trying to use support here on the forum for you and wife respects that. She hopefully can find another one of the poly online outlets for her "internet support thing" for the "gather my thoughts together" time and then you can cross-share the info when it's "show and tell" time.
Do consider getting professional support as well though. A counselor who is NOT your friend, NOT internet strangers. More "safe" outlets for you. Then you have the friend as the amateur person who is close to you in RL for the perspective. Then you have the amateur listening strangers for that perspective. Then you have the professional but not attached person in the counselor for that perspective, and perhaps give you other new tools.
Maybe you also want a doctor check up -- to have someone on the team looking out for your body
bucket issues -- eating, sleeping, stress, etc during this challenging time in the heart and mind. Meds are not the magic pill to solve everything,
but if you are experiencing HUGE levels of stress -- there's nothing wrong with getting checked out and if you need it, a prescription to help you sleep!
I don't know how you go about tending your soul/spirit -- but remember to look out for that too.
Gather your support together, gather yourself together. Take your time. BREATHE. Make the safe, quiet space you need so you can examine and discern and then come to a decision on what shape it is you want next for your romance:
1) monoamorous you + polyamorous wife in a monogamous CLOSED marriage
2) monoamorous you + polyamorous wife in an OPEN marriage that makes space for her dating indefinitely
3) monoamorous you + polyamorous wife in an OPEN marriage that makes space for her dating and then closing down again to a polyfi configuration of some sort
4) monoamorous you + polyamorous her as friends and co-parents, but not as marrieds any more.
5) Something else I cannot think of at this point.
You will get there. BREATHE. BREATHE.
Take care of you. In all your buckets -- mind, body, heart, soul. BREATHE. BREATHE.
Take it one thing at a time. BREATHE. BREATHE.