Originally Posted by Eternaldarkness
It's true that you shouldn't have to 'pacify' him. But not only do you not have to, you don't want and aren't willing to do it anyway out of love. That's three strikes right there. In relationships, we should sometimes do things we don't want to to make a partner happy. That, too, is part of a healthy relationship (i know others will disagree).
He feels superfluous in your life because he is. The connection, the foundation upon which your relationship existed is crumbling and he's scrambling to fix it before the whole thing comes down because he loves you. The other guy is everything he is, and better (you said your BF did a lot of the same things he does; that hurts).
It seems like your personal limits are quite a bit more conservative than his actual desires too. Counseling is good, as always, but I suspect (though certainly do not hope) that you may be well-served to be prepared for a change in the relationship dynamic. As many people have already suggested, maybe you just want a roommate to do stuff for you. If so, and he's cool with that, go for it. But get a divorce lawyer just in case.
Actually, I HAVE been pacifying him, since the beginning of the year. Every day. I have been listening to him, cuddling him, talking with him at great length about his experiences, his feelings, and what he thinks he needs. I have held him while he cried, listened and loved him. If I didnt love him, and didnt want to make it work, I would have walked away LONG AGO... The only thing was that the level of physical contact was too much for me, it was making me uncomfortable, and we needed to change that dynamic so I was not feeling "used".
He is not superfluous, in any way! He has been a rock for me in many ways, I am a midwife today because of him, because of his support, his love, and his belief in me. I am completely grateful, and love him so very much for the sacrifices he has made in his life so that I can do this work. It is not easy for us, and he has been wonderful throughout all of that.
As far as my BF being "better", well, sure, there are things that he does better, and understands better. He is not insecure in the same way, but he has his own. He has a thicker skin, can handle more emotional content, and he already knows he can share me. He has been doing it since we were 13 years old. But, TB understands me spiritually (I am Wiccan, hubby is Wiccan friendly. BF knows about it, but still is learning about it. BF is not as "spiritual" as TB is, and doesnt really "get me" on that level..)
I do not want a roommate situation. I do want a husband and a marriage and all that entails. I want a sexual relationship that feels healthy to me, as well as meeting his needs. I am well aware that there may be a change in our relationship dynamic. I am prepared for either choice, and I am strong enough to walk either path. But, yes, HE needs to decide whether he can live with a poly partner. He has had 18 years to figure it out, and it's time for him to face the truth of who I am, and who he is as well.
I hope that clarifies some of those points.