Sparklepop - Good Glory, you just read me like a book!
Gala - Thank you as well for those insights.
Here's the fallout:
After hours and hours of discussion, it turns out I was WAAAY crazy on Friday night and TOTALLY out of line. This is after I returned home after too many drinks. Prior to that, I agree it was an unrealistic expectation that after not seeing each other for a month, that they weren't going to be lost in one another.
Anyway, I caused a great deal of emotional harm to the both of them. This behavior BTW is completely out of character for me. I NEVER drink when I'm upset. And I won't be doing that again either.
So we all sat down on Sunday, after their lunch date, and discussed. L was ready to bolt after Friday night, but stuck it out. J was hurt terribly and didn't understand what I wanted from her. L said some things that really hit home with me, that his relationship with my wife is one of the few positive touch-points in his life. He is in a stressful place right now and his time alone with her allows him to forget those things. I mean, it was some heavy shit. Also, he values my marriage more than his relationship with J and was considering breaking it off because (in his eyes) he is the one "causing" the problem.
I explained that, no, that is not a reasonable conclusion. He is not responsible for the success of my marriage relationship. He is not responsible for J and I being OK or not. I told him that, furthermore, it is not fair to me or to J to threaten their relationship over something that is going on between J and I.
Since Sunday, J and I have spent a ton of time sorting through this, deciding where we go.
1. We are using Sparklepop's stress system to communicate our respective comfort levels (I say respective because I'm talking to a potential interest and now J needs to express these things to me). BTW, I am NOT doing that because I want to replace clinging onto her with clinging onto someone else. It does, however, give me some perspective on her point of view and it is easier to empathize with the feelings she has towards L.
2. We came to the conclusion (before reading the Sparkelpop's reply) that I have some deep abandonment fear issues, and that I cling to J because of that. I have been really diving deep into those and have begun using some techniques to address them. I feel stronger than ever now actually. It feels good, like when I first tackled my jealousy and beat it with a stick. Feels really good.
3. J is going on a weekend trip with L in a few weeks. I'm nervous as hell, but feel like it will be good thing in the long run. I will face my issues within myself and not rely on her or anyone else to fix them for me. We have discussed my biggest concern, that she is and will continue getting more "lost" in him and that I have a concern about her returning her focus to us when she gets back. She agreed that that is valid and we discussed ways to deal with it.
Our plan is to see how the trip goes, then in August we are passing through his town and they will go out on a date then. At that point, we can asses where we want this to go in terms of dating arrangements. What we want to avoid is the scenario wherein we are all together and she gets wrapped up in him and I'm the third wheel. If their NRE is a little less and my issues are improving, then we may get together (no sex) for the weekend at our place, giving them ample alone time. We'll see where we are after August in any case.
Overall, we are much stronger and I am feeling considerably better now that we have pinpointed the core of my problem. I'm getting pretty good at working through these, but until you know the root, the damn weed keeps growing back.
Thanks again guys!