Sorry I was late arriving here but I wanted to say welcome and throw my hat in.
"Is B right -- that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?"
In my experience, polyamory is most often defined as romantic involvement between more than two adults, with the knowledge and consent of all adults who are involved.
The above definition doesn't talk about juggling physical time together or sex. Its definition only entails:
- more than two adults in the romantic equation;
- knowledge and consent of all adults involved in the equation.
As long as you have those two factors, you have polyamory. So the problem here isn't the lack of sex or physical time together, it's the lack of consent on A's part. Alas, that pushes the arrangement back one step behind the "poly line." Although, it could become poly if A comes around and consents.
"Should I just forget the whole thing? B suggested that I write the e-mails that I would send to JP, just not send them for now. Most of them have been either catching up on 38 years or what has been going on that day. Think of them as kind of a journal, and maybe one of these days or months or years A will calm down and we'll be in communication again."
Sounds like you should hold on to those emails for now, and kind of just let go and forget about JP, unless and until he contacts you. Which doesn't seem likely given A's reaction, but this is something for A and JP to work out, and then it's up to JP to let you know what's happening if he can.
I suppose you could send him (and A) a short email just promising to respect their wishes as a couple, that you'll assume they need more time without hearing from you unless/until they contact you first, and that you hope they'll be able to contact you soon with an update.
After that, I'd honor radio silence with JP until he or A contacts you. And in the meantime, ponder whether you'd want to pursue any other poly partners (such as through OKCupid or PolyMatchMaker). Are you happy enough with just you and B together?
"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 the piece of me that's kicking myself for having even brought up the reading material and/or giving JP the idea that he needed to talk to his wife, and there's the other part of me that insists that it was the right things to do, and that it would have just hurt more if it had blown up even later."
No I think you did the right thing. As soon as you knew that you and JP were becoming an "item," A needed to hear about it. Actually there's something to be said for playing it safe and sharing with your spouse even mere friendship that seems to be blossoming with someone outside the marriage. That way the "monogamous spouse" isn't blindsided by a whole poly story all at once. Now you guys probably didn't think to do that, but as soon as you realized A needed to be told, JP told her and that's what counts.
Those are my thoughts for now. Two main TL/DR points:
- Honor JP's request for radio silence;
- Don't count on JP to return into your life.
Really you should just think about what polyamory itself means to you, now that you've had this experience. Spend some time reading from our various threads and boards, and see what you think. Post any thoughts, questions, or concerns you have along the way.
I hope you and JP will get another shot but alas I fear it's not likely. Just take as consolation the many online friends you'll be able to make here on this site. Who knows what the future may bring?
Glad to have you onboard.