I am sorry you are struggling.
While the primary-secondary type of open relationship model
comes with certain limitations, what you seem to be struggling with are the problems of "being out" and the problems of "new relationship."
Going by your post alone, it seems to be your thinking behavior and not your poly partners behavior that connects "secondary" to "less than."
You also seem to be struggling with being willing to feel vulnerable and go out on a limb to ask your partners to meet your needs. You call yourself "selfish" for even having those needs. You crave connection, then shame yourself for craving it. Then you feel guilty for even feeling what you feel -- like you ought to "just be happy" with whatever you get here even though you have unmet needs.
You don't seem to write using need
words. So I am guessing that your could be the needs for
- to know you are an important poly partner (what stops this?) and be known as an important poly partner (by who? how?)
- to see yourself as an important poly partner (what stops this?) and be seen as an important poly partner (by who? how?)
I could be guessing wrong.
Here's what you write as your bottom line:
I know that being open and honest is the key to anything poly. My question is: Should I talk with my partner about things that can't really be changed? Is it okay to tell her my insecurities, even though they are irrational? Or, should I just suck it up, and keep telling myself that I need to get over being in second place?
Several places in there you make evaluations that put you in "less than" category.
- You seem to assume "things can't really be changed." I don't know what "thing" that is. I am guessing "secondary" stuff. Have you asked if "starting as primary-secondary and working toward co-primary over time" is an option here?
- You prejudge your worries and insecurities as "irrational." When in a new relationship, the need to stabilize and secure it is normal. You seem to envy that their relationship is NOT new and they don't have to be doing/feeling this.
- You tell yourself you need to get over being in second place. Who is putting you there and valuing you "less than" at this time? So far going by what you write only? Just you.
That whole thing could be reframed without
evaluations. Could change "should" to could." Could NOT combine sentences but take it one thing at a time. It then could become:
I know that being open and honest is the key to anything poly.
- Could I talk with my partner about things that bother me? (Is this me being open/honest?)
- Could I ask to find out if ____(whatever the things are)_____ can be changed or not over time? (Is this me being open/honest?)
- Could I talk with my partner about my worries/insecurities? (Is this me being open/honest?)
- Could I ask for reassurance or support in handling these emotions? (Is this me being open/honest?)
- Could I withold information about my emotional state from my partner? (Is this me being open/honest?)
- Could I tell my partner I want try to cope with my emotions alone? (Is this me being open/honest?)
Which options support "being open and honest with my partner?" And which options support my long term health and well being?
I don't want to be with someone just because I'm lonely, though. I want to make sure it's for the right reasons. I really want an emotional and spiritual connection, you know?
If you want to build connection here? I'd suggest asking your poly partners for support. Start connecting. Could ask if they are willing to help you. You have already been doing the last one -- coping with your emotions alone. It does not seem to serve you well, because you continue to suffer. Could change that, and see if your suffering lessens.
I'd also suggest you let go of putting yourself as "second = less than" kind of role in your head thinks. It colors your whole outlook in a way that does not seem to serve you well.
If these are NOT the people you want to build connection with and are just having them as "keep me from being alone filler" people? Could break up with them and seek the authentic relationships you seem to want. Could ask yourself to BE authentic and not get you tied up in "filler" relationships.