Hey y'all--you are so great, thanks. It's really reassuring to hear all your perspectives.
It's been clear to me for a long time that this fellow isn't partner material, and I'm definitely looking for new love of that type. Some of what's going on right now is that my domestic partner J (we are in love but non-sexual--and yes, I've told D this)--the one who brings me orange juice and homemade soup and cuddles up in bed to read to me when I'm sick--has just left town for about four months (to the woods, with no phone or internet or fixed address), and when he moves back I'll be across the country for six months...so D is my most consistent love right now, as we talk everyday and are collaborating on a book.
Because D is the most caring lover and smartest collaborator I've ever had, because he helps me experience unprecedented depths in both my thought and my sexuality, I'm trying to make this work. But I do understand I deserve better than this. He understands I deserve better than this. He knows how shitty he is at communicating and he knows he's made a huge mess of past relationships. This doesn't let him off the hook, but I do think he's trying to grow. He's made great strides since I met him, some totally unexpected.
So, we'll be figuring out in the next few weeks if we can salvage enough trust for us to stay lovers--but even if we do, I know it's time for me to redirect more of my energy to finding a healthier dynamic with someone else. It's been really important to hear that validated by y'all--in your variously blunt and eloquent voices. It's also so nice hearing success stories. For a while I was having so many bad poly experiences I thought I might be monogamous; now I understand that it isn't poly that's unhealthy for me, but the ways I've put up with other people's models for it rather than insisting on what I need. It's so inspiring to think about being able to be in a longterm three-way primary (is that what they call it?) someday--that's what I've always wanted. I love hearing how people make it work. Thanks.