Thank you for sharing this because it gives me insight to what my (our) GF might feel when I'm insecure. Or really, more along the lines of what she felt early on after moving in when I was crazy from medication and all of my insecurities were magnified by like 1000.
Sweetie said something that caught my eye: "The unfortunate part is because they have a longstanding relationship, we think they are supposed to have it all worked out. It rarely works that way. Everyone is unique. Our feelings are not the same, the way we react is not the same."
This made me think of one thing that definitely I did not expect, and it's something my husband doesn't really see/feel. I obviously knew things would change by adding a third, but I don't necessarily know that I expected those changes to be so... crystallized. For example, when we first met in person, he told me he wasn't crazy about her kissing style. He loved to kiss her, but preferred how I kissed. What was interesting about this is that SHE told us we kissed "the same." Well, I guess after 10 years together, that's not so shocking... but what has evolved since is that he and I have observed, independently of each other, that we both kiss each other differently now.
That realization was significant for me. It showed me just what sort of very real, and sometimes tangible impact blending a third will have on our existing relationship. It sort of threw me for a loop, and scared me a little - at least at first. I thought, if something like that could change so dramatically, and so quickly, what else might change?
I share this only because when these thoughts were in my head, and I felt shaky as a result of that, I definitely withdrew a little. I was also acutely aware that she would not leave with either of us - this was a promise she made us, and he would never leave our marriage. He does not break promises, and marriage is the ultimate promise to him. So, when I was struggling, I kept thinking of all she'd given up and all she had to lose if I couldn't handle the whole triad thing after all. I was the one who wanted this... and if I took the two of them away from each other, it would've killed me, because I love them both, and I know they love each other. If I couldn't get my head in order and get a grip, and I cost them one another, and she lost everything as a result, that would've been devastating. Beyond that, I worried that my husband might stay in the marriage and never forgive me... I don't think he'd do that on purpose. Quite the contrary, I believe he'd try to forgive me... but I'm not sure he ever could, especially since I started all of this, and I wanted it. Not that he doesn't, too... but he didn't initiate it, he wasn't the one to dream it into something bigger than a virtual fling. I was.
All I am saying is that, hopefully, she is aware of your position even if she can't feel what you are feeling. I have definitely been very aware of my gf's position as our third... and still, reading your personal perspective is definitely enlightening and helpful. And now I must be a sap and go tell her I love her.