What I want is to actually feel like an equal.
What behavior is required of
for you to "feel equal" here? Are you able to articulate it into behavior done/not done by who?
If I have to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation, I would rather have my metamour happy to see her husband happy instead of complain that they don't have what we have.
This is not in your control. How your meta or your partner choose to behave or feel is up to them. To me feelings ensue after behavior. Since you cannot control their behavior you cannot control their resulting emotion after their behaviors.
If I'm going to be somewhat of a co-parent and adult figure to the kids to the best of my ability, I want to feel more integrated into the family.
I note you keep using the word "feel" to describe things that are NOT emotion words. "Integrate" is not an emotion word. It's an action word. Could change your thinking pattern to action
oriented. That sentence could be reframed as
"If I'm going to be somewhat of a co-parent and adult figure to the kids? In order to be able to perform to the best of my ability I will need to BE more integrated into the family. That would happen by me doing A, him doing B, her doing C and the TRIO doing D."
That might help you figure out how to solve your problems more effectively.
And I also want some more independence in my relationship with D, because I do need that. I also have all the expected selfish worries about time/scheduling/attention when my one-and-only is married with a toddler and an infant. There isn't really a way to work on that part except me knowing that he's such a badass dad, and I'm pretty good with kids, that it'll probably work out in the end even though it keeps me up at night now.
When one is a parent one does put kids first. But even so, a calendar is a calendar, and all the adults in this family could deal with their calendar management better if there's time management problems in one of the adult couplings. If the problem is about time management, it needs time management
Trying to fix (external time management conflict with him) by yourself by (internally thinking "he's a badass dad") isn't an external time management solution. You seem to be swapping out apples and oranges and not dealing with him direct. If he blames the wife, you have double problem. Time management, and him passing the buck.
So basically... I'm choosing to continue to participate because I can't imagine my life without him at this point.
The way you phrase that does not compute to me. Nobody can divine the future or know the unknown before it happens.
Could reframe that so it is in the present day:
"I am choosing to continue to participate at this time. Because the pros still outweigh the cons for me when I assess it."
If you are still doing the pros/cons list, could finish thinking that out first.
Sometimes I wish things were different, but also remind myself that I fell in love with him as a whole person, including what an amazing partner and father he is.
Are you trying to talk yourself into/out of things when you write like that? Baffling.
Falling in love is a lovely experience, but you are talking about the past
"falling in love" stage. Already did that stage. It is not the present.
Instead of looking backward could reframe that to today.
"Sustaining love is where we now are at at the present stage. Are we each able to sustain love in the present day? Do we each have the skills to do that? Do we each put in the time and effort required?
Don't leap to future or look backwards when there's conflict -- be present in the TODAY.
I just don't want to always feel like I'm always begging/hoping for more time and that I'm taking away from what he already has, which is how she makes me feel sometimes.
Could not shift this on to you meta. I'm not saying she's awesomeness.
Could not shift this on to your partner. I'm not saying he's evil.
But if YOU choose to participate here in this polyship in this way going with your needs unmet and not talking about it to your people? That is your behavior. And if you feel yucky as a result? That's your feelings ensuing after your behavior.
Any relationship comes with a price of admission. If this particular one has a price tag of
- Dealing with a meta you don't esp like?
- Dealing with the fact your partner has kids and a kid on the way?
- Dealing with expected to be a coparent to these children?
- Dealing with putting off your own pregnancy?
That's the price of admission. YOU decide if you can afford to pay it or not and be healthy in your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healths. You are responsible for you.
If you find you need more time in order to keep the (you + him) layer healthy, it is what that layer needs. You address it with HIM. Relationships need time/space to happen IN. You either are getting enough time from him or not getting enough from him to do that (you + him) layer TLC. She is not in charge of him or his calendar. He is in charge of him and his calendar. If what time he has available to offer you is not meeting your needs? He is not meeting the needs of the shared (you + him) relationship.
If you are monoamorous but poly-friendly, that means you only want to love one person at a time but are ok being in a poly structure. If choosing to participate here loving only him means you have zero interest in dating other people, it is YOU keeping you from dating other people who might be better able to meet your needs by choosing to continue to participate in a polyship that doesn't meet your needs because you are not willing to detach.
I mean all this kindly. I'm not judging or trying to come down hard on you when you are struggling.
But that's the bottom line as I see it and how I would try to solve it if it were me. If the (you + him) tier is not getting enough TLC, it's not getting enough TLC.
You could talk to him about it.
- Could address it now before new baby arrives and see if changes can be put into place so your needs can be better met
- Could let time pass doing nothing and see if things get better over time on their own. (But resolve on a time limit so it does not turn into the perpetual snooze tag button)
- Could accept this is what you get here and all you will ever get here. No changes will happen. Limit reached.
Weigh the pros/cons here honestly with yourself and if it's still on the plus side, awesome. If it's not, or just barely into the plus? Then you could consider change. You deserve to "thrive" and be happy in your relationships and not merely "survive" in them.