Anyhow, the purpose of all that, besides to vent, is to ask: have any of you struggled with these kinds of concerns, and if so, how did you deal with them?
Sure. Welcome to hinge land. Remember to BREATHE. You will be ok.
It's easy to get sucked into the people pleaser/diplomat role as a hinge. Neglect your own needs for rest because hey! You are the "greedy" one wanting to be with 2 people right? You SHOULD be clocking double time, right?
Nope. If you are in a V shape polyship? ALL of you entered into it of your own free will.
That you are the Shared Sweetie position makes no difference. Everyone puts in 33.33% of the work here to make this polyship fly true. That's how I dealt with it when I was there. I also had to develop my personal standard
-- but that took a while. It was part of the learning process to be able to articulate and state my expectations, wants, needs, and limits. Perhaps you guys could take the time to develop your own standard for how to be in right relationship with each other on this journey.
It can be hard to digest wanting things and giving it your all, if your polyship partners are not pulling their weight. Because your 100%? Is only 33.33% of the fuel the larger polyship needs. You cannot give more than your 100%. It is not humanly possible. That is a limit of reality. Learning to accept that as a hinge person helps.
You have various layers there to balance.
1) Your desire to be accepted by your family.
All you can do there is tell them or not tell them. That part is YOUR behavior you can control. Their reaction/behavior is on them to execute as they will.
Since you did NOT tell Y's family and they perceive E's affection at the family gathering, the only other slot that can file him in is "fresh guy, maybe cheater person." You paint them into that corner because neither you or Y told them it was otherwise and there is another model at play here.
2) Your desire to make peace with your upbringing.
That is in your control -- reconciling the beliefs of childhood with the beliefs of adulthood. There's 6 maturities. Physical and chronological you get "free" by just hitting another birthday. Emotional maturity, social maturity, intellectual maturity, philosophical maturity people have to work on themselves. Not freebies. You sound like you are working on your philosophical maturity perhaps?
So spend the soul searching time to reconcile. Part of life journey is "crossroads" times in life where you must examine your beliefs in side your baggage and see what still fits or what has been outgrown. Everyone has to hold their own bag. We all
have baggage. You could choose to travel light and efficient and periodically see what still serves you and what no longer serves you well in the baggage you carry around -- your expectations, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, etc.
3) Being a 3 people partner person.
Dealing with E -- and seeing where he could be growing in his social maturity. And seeing how his behavior pings you. Dealing with DH and seeing how his struggle pings you as he works on his emotional maturity? Philosophical maturity? (Cannot tell from here which it is. Maybe you all have a combo bucket thing going on? )
Whatever the buckets, it is like you sitting on a waterbed with them. One person flinging themselves on there sends the rest bobbling about. That's polymath
-- do you understand the tiers of your polymath configuration? All those "mini rships" inside the bigger polyship that require tending. Some of those tiers you are in. Some you are not in. All require a degree of tending for the polyship as a whole to fly true though.
When I was last a hinge person there were very little resources -- and a large part of it is DIY. Just remember to BREATHE, choose self respecting behavior and good ethics and you will be mostly ok. Don't be so hard on you. Take it one thing at time.