How honest do we have to be?
Thanks y'all for being such thoughtful people. I need help answering a question.
I'm in a non-hierarchical poly relationship. My partner has another partner who has never done polyamory before and is only begrudgingly trying it. He tells me she doesn't want to know anything about his other relationships because she "trusts him." They live in the same town, I and his other lover live out of town.
My partner and I are in love with each other. We talk just about every day and see each other whenever our schedules allow--sometimes every month, sometimes less frequently. This doesn't look like it's about to change. His in-town lover isn't part of his social world (he's even told me that she's "peripheral" to his life) but they have sleepovers most nights a week. Sometimes I want more of his time, but mostly I'm okay with this arrangement.
Here's the dilemma: My partner is something of an under-sharer. I tell him everything I'm thinking and feeling, who I'm dating or hooking up with or even just crushing on. He shares a lot with me, but rarely talks about his other relationships. I've been slowly figuring out that his in-town relationship is more important to him than he's led me to believe. I only just learned--because I pressed the point--that he and his in-town partner love each other, and freely use that word together. I was surprised, and hurt that he hadn't told me that earlier--it's something I had asked to know about if it came up in his other romances.
Before I learned this I had asked him to let his in-town lover know that he and I have a deep emotional attachment--it felt dishonest and sketchy to me for her not to know. I'm guessing her coming from monogamy and "trusting" him means she trusts him to not be in love with anyone else, but maybe I'm wrong. Mostly I believe she deserves to know enough to make a fully informed decision about being involved with this person. Now I that know they have a deeper relationship than I guessed, it seems even more important.
He's afraid to tell her this because he says she already feels less important than his other lovers. I understand he wants to protect her, and I have an interest in their relationship being strong and good and I'm not trying to ask him to hurt her unnecessarily. I'm not trying to cause drama, I'm trying to prevent larger drama in the future. But maybe I'm overreacting, as it's not likely that me and my partner being in love is likely to affect their relationship more than it already has, and maybe I should respect her stated preference to know nothing?
So, should he tell her that he loves me (or at least that we have an emotional attachment)? Is he being untrustworthy by holding that back? Or am I being overly controlling?
Any advice welcome. Thanks for readingl!