He said he didn't tell me at first because I was stressed out back then and he didn't want to make it worse or cause me to dump him out of anger. Do you think it might have been a (failed) attempt at protecting me and our relationship? Just wondering.
So your relationship is a delicate flower that will fall over with the first wind? Why be in such a flimsy foundation relationship then?
Or he thinks YOU are a delicate flower who can't take Life as it comes?
I suspect it is more him
-- he didn't want to have to deal with it. From fear, from shirky, from whatever. For me a "soft lie" is still
a lie. It's just not being honest no matter how you slice it.
Now how can you polyship in a healthy way with someone you cannot trust?
Is that how you want to live your life in polyshipping? In a flimsy foundation with an untrustworthy partner? That's not choosing to Open at a time where you are as strong, and in as healthy a way as you could be Opening.
I'm not trying to be mean or the voice of doom here. Just try to keep it real over there. Could sort yourselves out. Could not proceed any further until these things are addressed to satisfactory conclusion before adding even more people to the mix.
You can polyship with whatever number all of you feel is best for your situation but could do it at a pace all of you
can handle. Everyone has a polysaturation point.
How about he "protects" the relationship trust from taking dings in future by him choosing not to lie? And you could receive information in a way that creates safe pace for it to be shared. No shooting the messenger. Work on better trust, healthier conflict resolution. Communication.
Or if he is not worth it and you get too little return on your investment here -- walk away.
Only you know what it is over there. I hope your talk reaches a conclusion for you one way or the other.