Wow. I should've posted on this forum months ago. The depth of the responses are challenging, encouraging, infuriating... but all ultimately supportive. Thank you.
What amazes me is the level of honesty here. That's a big thing my church lacked... They may give you an honest answer, but it's contingent on you changing your life to conform to a model that doesn't work for many.
Magdlyn, you're right. People aren't property. I know this cognitively. But getting my emotions and responses to fall in line... that is taking work. It's harder than I thought it would be.
WhatHappened, you are right. I was being an asshole. I can't continue to blame the church and society and my community for this... I chose this. And now I am seeing the full scope of it and am trying to learn... move forward. Be healthy. And honest.
Bookbug, I am actively working to understand my needs. I in fact have known them for awhile, but repressed them because I felt guilty about potentially ruining Mark's relationship, hurting my wife, and potentially losing Beth. But now I know I am listening... and striving for honesty.
Beth and I had a big talk yesterday. Her best friend (and maid of honor who knows everything and loves all three of us) had just scolded Beth for not telling Mark about the affair. Beth came to me trying to figure out a way if she could tell Mark. I told her that I won't press the matter. That it's her decision.
I told her though, that I may need to take a break, or even go find another partner as I don't want to mess with her and Mark anymore. She didn't like those options (she's fine with me having a second partner, but I don't think she wants me to have an emotional anchor with someone else) and finally admitted that she was afraid of losing me, and potentially losing the whole Vee.
I told her that I want to try to make this work, try to to do poly in an honest way. But didn't know how to as long as I know there is deceit involved. I was very calm and said, "I want all of us to have our needs met. You need to be willing to let me go if that is the most healthy way to proceed."
Beth asked me to at least sit with Mark and talk about all this (not the affair) and see if we can negotiate an arrangement that works. (no we haven't done this ever. Beth has slowly asked Mark for more time with me, sleepover privileges, trips etc... all which he agreed to. But Beth didn't want to lay out the whole equal partner idea to quickly. All this makes me feel worse becuse Mark is such a standup guy)
After some back and forth and hard emotions, I agreed to not make a decision until I sat with Mark and her. But I asked Beth to reach out and talk to someone. She and I will be meeting with my therapist, I asked her to post her own version of the story on a poly forum and seek advice, and have a drink with some of my friends.
We'll see what happens.
And then last night all three of us hung out. I apologized to Mark, opening the door for us to begin healing. We then made dinner, played a game, watched a movie. I fell asleep on Beth's shoulder while she held Mark's hand. It was lovely and I do hope we can make it work.