Originally Posted by FarAwayLover
1) Is B right - that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?
I prefer not to get caught up in the whole "poly or not" debate. It detracts from the ultimate goal of figuring out what to do next and how to make things better for all.
Instead, I try to focus on the needs and feelings of everyone involved. Right now, the "loudest" unmet need is A's need for honesty and trust. For that need to be met, she would have liked to have been told earlier, as soon as "anything" was known that could possibly affect her marriage. It's too late for that now, but fixing that problem is between herself and JP. You did what you could by urging him to tell her before things progressed further.
2) Should I just forget the whole thing?
For now, it sounds like it's out of your hands. JP and A need to rebuild the lost trust before anything could conceivably move forwards.
In the meantime, if journaling in the form of writing unsent letters to JP helps you cope with your end of the situation, then by all means. There's no harm in that.
As for looking towards the future, I recommend being hopeful but not attached. That means, you don't have to totally give up on the idea, but at the same time, be prepared to accept that a relationship between JP and yourself might never happen.
3) all the definitions of poly talk about everyone being out in the open with it. I feel like we didn't start that way because we had no idea where it was heading. We were a couple of old friends catching up.
There's no use beating yourself up for not being a fortune teller. Once you saw where it was going, you promptly told your own spouse. JP is accountable for his own actions. A is responsible for her own responses to those actions. You don't have to hold yourself accountable for things that are outside your control, specifically the actions and responses of others.
An overview from my perspective?
A has a history of being cheated on, and she perceives this as a retelling of that story. In your shoes, I wouldn't get my hopes up that this is going to turn into anything with JP. But, you have learned a valuable insight into your personality: you are capable of falling in love with other people without falling out of love with your husband. You've learned that your husband is able to accept that. So that, in itself, makes this whole ordeal "worth it" because it allowed you to learn more about yourself and your marriage. Yay!
You dated JP in high school, and then you broke up. You got over him once, went thirty-something years without having him in your life, and you won't die if he's not in your life again. You say the break-up was traumatic for him, but I notice you didn't say it was traumatic for you. You'll get through this.
I believe that people come in and out of our lives in order for us to learn or experience something, and grow from it. When that lesson is learned, those people leave. While we mourn their loss, we can also celebrate the lessons they left us.