I've been reading your thread for a while because so much of what you've written resonated with the feelings I was experiencing. But so much has changed for me since I started this thread! The woman my husband (who has since joined the boards and is going by Nexus) was seeing when I wrote this broke up with him to date her roommate and shortly thereafter he started dating someone new, A. Nexus and I talked a lot about what did and didn't feel comfortable, what issues this was raising for me, and what we wanted from each other and our relationship. The relationship between A and Nexus moved a little slower pace so I didn't feel quite so lost. I also started seeing a therapist to work on some of the anxiety and insecurity I was feeling.
Finally about 6 weeks ago I decided to put myself out there and go on a date of my own and all those insecurities just went *poof* and disappeared. Seeing things from the other side of the table made me realize that my fears were mostly unfounded. My attraction and feelings towards the new guy I'm seeing how didn't in any way lessen the feelings I have for Nexus. I'm really loving the sense of freedom I have now to pursue other relationships. It's also seemed to take some of the pressure off my relationship with my husband to be *everything* for me so it can just be the best possible version of itself without me trying to mold it in a particular direction, if that makes any sense at all. Me dating another man has raised some insecurities in Nexus, but I feel confident that we can both work through them too.
Freetime, I wish you the best in your relationship. It seems like you've made a lot of progress and I really respect your honesty and courage in dealing with this. I can't remember if you said you were mono or if you might be interested in dating outside your marriage too. If it's the latter, I'd recommend putting yourself out there and giving it a try, even if you feel like you don't have it all figured out yet. My impulse is to make myself "perfect" before I get close to others, but when the issues I'm dealing with are about relationships, that strategy is counterproductive. If dating isn't for you, keep doing what you are doing. I agree that opening up a relationship is incredibly difficult, but ultimately worth it. The communication between Nexus and me has improved so much, my confidence has improved, and all the old hurts and insecurities that were brought to the surface are actually being worked through and not just covered up.
I have been writing less here because things have been going so well (that and I've been very busy), but I'll try harder to keep posting.