Hey, Julia, if it works for you, that's great.
Getting back to your original post, I am sorry to hear that your newer love broke it off. Breakups suck, but I think especially when the person breaking up is doing it to please someone else. Then you're left with the feeling of "if only..." and wondering how it could have worked. This was my biggest concern when I started a relationship with Burnsy, a married poly guy. I wanted to make sure that any decisions about us were based on us and not his relationship with his wife. I wound up ending it because I realized he wasn't really into having a gf as wholeheartedly as his wife was into having bf's. Still, I was saddened about letting that go.
I have to say, though, without criticizing, that having primary/secondary designations surely play a part in these kinds of breakups. Technically, I would have always been seen by Burnsy as a secondary, although I'm a solo person and do not view my relationships in that way. I look at all my relationship as equally sacred and important to me. I thought it didn't matter how a partner designated me in their lives, but now I know it does matter. So I avoid the married guys now, unless they have a more egalitarian approach, because I don't ever want to be considered secondary. No matter how much I wanted our relationship judged and managed by us on our terms, since Burnsy's wife was his primary, I could always at any time be sacrificed (or "dropped like a hot potato") in deference to their marriage. I always feel that, when someone I'm with is kind of holding back from investing their heart fully into what we've got, I am being dissed and treated as inconsequential. That's just what comes up for me.
Perhaps your relationship that just ended could have been fought for, if you had not been seen by him as less of a priority to him than his wife. Just a guess. I know that couples who have been together a long time and then open up their marriage want to do everything they can to preserve their partnership, but I don't think it's necessary to make others less of a priority in order to do that. I believe one can nurture a married partnership while still seeing others as equally important. But I embraced poly after my marriage ended, so I don't know, but it's a hope I have that people can do it that way. I'm just rambling now, and I hope you don't think I'm criticizing your choice to have primary/secondary designations in your life. I know lots of peeps here do, and it must work for them, but I'm not sure I could ever reconcile myself with being a secondary.
In any event, sorry to hear about the loss of your relationship. I guess he was someone in addition to the three secondaries you mentioned? Was he local or long-distance? Well, my remedy for break-ups is sometimes getting drunk, but other times it's a nice warm bubble-bath and some ice cream. I highly recommend! (the bubbles and ice cream, not getting drunk)
Last edited by nycindie; 08-24-2011 at 02:49 AM.