Serious problems in primary
This is my first post in this forum and I am seeking help / advice / thoughts regarding my primary relationship. I will try to be as brief as possible.
My gf (J) and I are dating for more than 2 years and living together about 1.5 years. She is poly, and introduced me to poly from the beginning. I've been mono and decided to open-up and then changed my mind about it (more on this later). In my adventure of learning poly, I read, made my research and we discussed and we lived. Overall, this is the love of my life and I do not think it is poly ideas that fail us but us failing them.
We went through a traumatic secondary break-up on her part with massive effect on us more than a year ago. We lost the connection in sexuality and still lived in the same house. We worked through it, and get involved with the local poly community. Our belief in poly was reinforced even further.
In addition to the trauma-bonding due to the loss of secondary relationship, we also connected in our ideas for life and struggle for more. This strength gave us a huge faith on the connection. After various sad events on her personal life about almost a year ago, another disconnection started. She started to seek solutions outside after failed attempts via dates, or focusing on herself.
Long story short, she started to spend a lot of time with another man and it took a lot of time for them to start dating. I have to say that she has been very cautious about who she brings into the relationship, and I value her work there. There are a lot of positive things about the process including metamour connection, hinge work for V.
We both did a lot of work to help her secondary (W) feel safe, welcomed. W also did his homework as he was new to this. Everything seems like a book description poly except what happens home. I progressively was spending more time alone at home, our shared activities are pretty much gone, long-time expectations on things I care about are out of the window, and our sexuality was again on the downside.
I am constantly managing jealousy around the fear of replacement because they share a hobby, he gives a huge support for her profession. Add NRE to the plate (w/o nurturing the existing relationship). And about 3-4 months ago, the sex was gone. While she expresses a general loss in her sexuality for the last 3-5 years, W and J are sexually connected. She says this disconnection is temporary but W and J are connecting more and more as we become less and less. It feels like the gray shade in serial-monogamy during partner change.
They got involved about 4 months ago, and I decided to also embrace poly as life style and practice it for the joy it brings. In my pursuit for other romance, I found a lot of misunderstandings in online dating and (combined with the previous paragraph) it became a place to escape to another woman for damaged self-esteem due to rejection in my primary. As soon as I realized this, I quit all my profiles and informed my partner about it. (I do not want to open-up w/o working on my primary. It will only hurt people.)
I am reading about all these challenges and stories in poly, doing a lot work on it on my side and try to focus on what I can. I think she is doing what she can (and when she can). My anxieties lead to her avoidance and creates a dangerous loop until I ca n distract myself with work etc. She says it is just a waiting thing for her to re-connect to herself through outside activities/people and then come back. However, she progressively becomes less tolerant of my feelings and I feel like I am suffocating her in our free time.
I feel so sad and hurt about the fact that things going bad in her life affect us all the time. My needs are definitely not met. How do you work on it? Any ideas or suggestions?