I just sat and read through this entire thread. Wow. I am so sorry to read about this turn of events. It looked hopeful for a while there.
A lot has already been said, so I'll try not to go over the same things and overwhelm you.
You've got one thing dead right - you *do* deserve someone who is madly in love with you. It is possible to maintain a beautiful friendship with someone you have previously been 'in' love with.... it is absolutely possible to have that kind of arrangement in poly. The world is really your oyster now. So many monogamous people are stuck in passionless marriages and decide to plough for the children. You have an opportunity here. You can be free to find someone who feels that passion for you, with or without her. I'd seriously consider that opportunity.
It sounds to me, in very basic form, that she was originally attracted to someone else, or other people, and essentially hoped you would ok it. That point didn't come. Perhaps she resents you for that. It's an easy trap to fall into. You can take even the most sweet, sensitive, wonderful person and be surprised at how child-like they can become when the Id takes over. I am not calling your wife childish. But I am feeling that her behaviour is exhibiting signs of 'kid in candy store'. I love my girlfriend dearly, but when she wants something, boy, does she want it. Her patience runs short, she snaps, she can be cold. It's basically an adult tantrum.
We all have an inner child. We all want to indulge. On a serious level, we all want to be fulfilled and enjoy experiences in life. It's likely that your wife has been breeding resentment, coupled with frustration, disappointment and a loss of hope. Poly is damn hard. I've been poly for two years and only now do I feel like I'm seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. In poly, you can see the utter worst and utter best of your partner - it's quite astonishing.
I do have one glimmer of hope for you, in the way of an anecdote. I hope it feels relevant and that it helps somewhat.
My GF and her husband were married for around 10 or 11 years, when she essentially gave him an ultimatum of poly or divorce. They had been through a rough time, due to the birth of their daughter, job loss, moving home, losing a lot of money and other issues. He has always been very dependent on her, quite clingy really, and obsessive over issues. She felt stifled and needed freedom. He was very mono-wired. He basically agreed to poly for fear of losing her otherwise.
I met her 6 months after this event and their marriage was extremely rocky for the first year of our relationship. Incidentally, not because of me. I actually encouraged her to stay and work through it. She was going through a stage of "I want I want I want". She was actually being quite rude to her husband, after years of resentment had built up inside her. During this time, she constantly went back and forth, threatening him with divorce, then saying that she wanted to work it out. She was very conflicted.
He was very unhappy with being poly, but stayed because he felt he couldn't be without her. Only very recently has he started to appreciate what poly can do for him. Since his mindset started to shift, their relationship has started to become close again. She no longer talks about divorce and now says wholeheartedly what she wants to be with him.
Changes can take time and you do not sound like the kind of person who takes the idea of marriage lightly. It is awful to live in a state of limbo when you are the one aching for more from your partner.
This is going to sound horribly cliched, but do you ever wonder if there has been too much talking? I know that my girlfriend and I can sometimes fall into the trap of talking about our relationship more than living it. When we realise that is happening, we make an effort to go and do something fun together. Sometimes we need reminding of why we are in a relationship; rather than constant reminders of the difficulties we are facing. At a crossroad, we are much more likely to want to walk down the sunny fork than the gloomy one.
If your wife is closing down, pushing that idea might close her down further. I'm thinking that you only have two options left - throw yourself into saving your marriage, once and for all; even if it means doing things that are terrifying for you. Or, throw yourself into saving yourself; whether or not the marriage survives it. Option one means starting to take active steps towards a new, polyamorous marriage and giving yourself a timeframe to re-evaluate, such as a year. Option two means telling her that you deserve someone who is madly in love with you and considering the possibility of leaving, or living together but dating others. Either way, do you know what I would do? I'd avoid the hangovers and put the bottle down, stand up straight, put my bravest face on and present the best possible version of myself. Not only would it show your wife that you are strong; but, more importantly, it would make *you* feel more empowered.
You've got to pick yourself up. Pick yourself up. Pick yourself up. Take control of your life. You're completely in charge of it. Start calling a few shots of your own. You don't want to be in a relationship with someone who isn't sure they want to be with you. Say that. Let her feel it. She says this stuff because she can. She's said it before and you've stayed. Don't make empty threats - but tell the truth. You're not happy. You want to, at the very least, salvage a friendship, or the future potential of a happy marriage. Sticking around, waiting on her, doing nothing, is not going to achieve that. I have confidence from your posts that you have the strength inside you - you just need to channel it.
Me: (29f) open poly
life partner GF (39f)
newly dating Descartes (27f)
Hubby (36m, GF's husband)
Garcon (26m, GF's submissive)
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha