I would be grateful for any advice. This is long. Sorry.
My husband and I have been married for 20 years, swinging for many of them. We opened our marriage about two years ago at his request, because we were leaning more toward friendship and involvement with another couple and yet found that attraction and connection was difficult to achieve. We met another couple with whom we were good friends but he and she connected, whereas he and I did not... So he wanted permission to date her solo. It was a very tough thing for me to make the transition, but I have and I must say I have grown a ton as a human being as a result. Things still come up sometimes, and our relationship is changed fundamentally, but its been good. Our kids are off to college so this crazy adventure is kind of timely.
About a year ago I met a man that I fell for. Hard. NRE like I had never experienced before, just madly, head over heels in love with him. The first two months we were dating, it was a two way street without a doubt. He texted me all the time, we had incredible sex often, he said great things about me, so demonstrative and passionate, we connected in every way. Awesome. He is a single dad with sole custody, and I love his kids. About three months into our relationship a few things happened in his life that hit his self esteem. I noticed a big change in him, he really turned inward. I resolved to be patient, stand by him, love him, because he assures me his feelings have not changed... he was just feeling low about himself.
Fast forward. We moved in together as a V triad. Things are pretty awesome on the homefront. The guys get along, we have a schedule, the kids are super happy and doing great, he is a stay at home dad (we are totally fine with that- he is a fantastic dad and the kids have really benefited from this), and its just peaceful. In many ways I feel like our family structure and the simple happiness in our lives are just awesome. I am a fantastic mom and I find a lot of joy in sharing my life with his kiddos. So, where is the rub? He and I have sex FAR less often. Id say we are down to 1 time a week or less. He is not demonstrative much at all anymore. I have a pretty high sex drive and am very affectionate; touching and intimacy don't have to lead to sex. He has turned me down or been totally passive when I snuggle him often enough that I am hesitant to initiate these days. He rather quiet and withdrawn. He says it is difficult to get used to being affectionate with my partner around, but wait a minute, he isn't very affectionate when my partner ISN'T around. He says he and his kids are super happy, it is just hard for him to adjust to being supported by us, and that he appreciates our support so much and just needs time. He has always had to work to support himself, and not having a job is a big adjustment to him.
I believe he loves me, I sure do love him. I know we are all happy in so many ways and it makes me feel guilt that I think of ending it because I am basically signing up to be a parent for another 20+ years with a man who is no longer my lover... and that is not really what I want. To raise kids with a man who is as in love with me as I am with him?? SURE. To cut the sweet connection between myself and a darling man down to 1/3 of what it was in order to do this? I am not sure. I have talked to him about his apparent withdrawal and he just maintains that he feels not quite depressed but down, and that we need time to settle in to what is very new to all of us.
I also want to mention that when I met him he left his phone laying around unlocked all the time. I never took a look, but I noticed that he did not guard it. To me it meant, nothing to hide. Guess what? Yeah, you guessed it... he is super guarded about his phone now. Who knows what that could mean? A need for privacy just because of all the new and shared things? Scheming to get back together with his X who is the mom of his kids? Financial or other troubles that he prefers I not know? Something else? I tend to see that sort of behavior change as meaning something... am I wrong?
My husband was concerned about supporting him merely because he thought that it would impact our new partners self esteem, and cause harm to the relationship. Could it be as simple as this?? Do I need to give it time and patience? Or am I being used and should I believe what I see; that he just really isn't all that into me anymore? Is all of this just the fact that his NRE has worn off and he just needs to be able to focus on his kids for a while and the fact that we are supporting him makes that convenient? I have been telling myself to be patient, be patient because I just love him so, so much. We have so many reasons to be happy together as a little family. But... where did my lover go? :'(
I know none of you are mind readers (darn!) but if you have some insight to share I would be very open to hearing it. Thanks!