Thank you so much for this - all of you. You have all given me so much useful food for thought.
I've done a lot of thinking about this and something strikes me now.
I have always been fiercely independent - especially financially. Being in a situation where I'm effectively living off someone else has put me in a submissive mindset, I think. It's like I feel that to express my gratitude for the financial lifeline, I can't rock the boat and have to pretend that I feel something that he wants. Money creates such a strange power dynamic, hmm?
I've been thinking about how I would act and feel if I had the financial control. If I was looking after GF and hubby in my house. I know that I wouldn't feel as obligated to fake feelings I don't have. I definitely know I wouldn't push his boundaries or ask the kind of questions he asks me.
On the other hand, if I had been with her for 10+ years and my projected marital dream had changed from monogamy to having *him* move in with *us*... How would I feel if he didn't seem to like me all that much as a person? It would be pretty crap, to be sure.
I guess I'm a little trapped regardless, because I know that if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be able to even have a relationship with her. I couldn't afford to go there and she couldn't move to my country and take their daughter away from him.
I'm thinking that regardless of being self-employed, if I can struggle and get another job on top of this, maybe this would keep me from being indebted to him on the financial front and lessen the risk that if I rocked the boat, it would all be over.
From an emotional-debt standpoint.... I guess when I think about it, he has a choice and always has had a choice. He could choose to leave. He could choose to say 'no' to our V and my GF could make her choice on that. Perhaps the right balance is to be grateful and respectful towards him for accepting me, without feeling that I have to jump through manufactured 'love' hoops because he has? I've accepted him too - I've done a lot for him emotionally too.
I can also do what GG said and make a little extra, unprompted time for him. Maybe this will give him enough reassurance without the need for repetitive verbal assurances that do not feel right to me. They are of course a package deal and I've tried so hard to get to know him, be a confidant, be a friendly, caring metamour... I guess this isn't quite enough for him.*
I like the brother/sister idea a lot. I can't say that I do feel a family love for him yet... But he is more like a family member than a best friend or platonic husband to me. Brother also might help keep him from trying to push the sexual or romantic love angles.
So I guess perhaps the following plans of action?-
- be clear when he pushes a physical boundary
- make a bit more time for him, be compassionate and caring
- work on my own financial situation
- try to stop the jumping through hoops cycle / power dynamic
- assert my own right to feel what I feel, tactfully
He is a person who says "I love you" and leaves you with the sense that he said he so that he can hear it returned. He does it with GF often. He also says this to me often. I need to find a tactful way of diverting this and I'll have to think about how.
me: female, 29
GF: my primary girlfriend, 39
3 year, open poly V, long distance
Last edited by sparklepop; 02-23-2013 at 05:24 PM.