My primary partner and I had been togetehr and monogamous for 7 years. One day she started chatting up and exbf form 15 years back, went and saw him, kissed but nothing else, and talked on a daily basis. I never gave ultimatums and proposed trying polyamory as a solution to our situation. After a few days I couldnt handle the jealousy even though he was on the road 1000s of miles away the attention and smiles she got from it made me insanely jealous. I began to understand and overcome my jealousy. I started to date a young lady at the time my primary was first going to see and spend the night with her bf. Things have been up and down and up and down. I have intense feelings for my gf and love my primary but my primary will swing from being OK with everything and excited about it to the point of inviting her over or on trips then swing to feeling she just needs to leave. Keep in mind we have three children at home. She is dealing heavily with insecurity due to the fact that she is older than me and my gf is “19, cute, perfect boobs, more like you, etc” I have reassured that I am not going anywhere and I try my absolute hardest to be sensitive to my primaries needs and feelings. I have broken it off with my gf 2 or 3 times to see if we can just be monogamous again. And to this day we have remained sexually mongamous, but not emotionally. Kisses and groping sure, but actual intercourse no. The last time I broke it of with the gf my primary saw I was sad and felt better about herself and said I should do what makes me happy, she wants me to be happy. I said that if I go back to her again I can’t ever put my gf through the ups and downs of breaking up then not just because my primary is depressed about it again. I am so torn as I have struggled through a few more ups and downs since then and stayed true to my agreement that I wasn’t going to break up with my gf because my primary was having issues again. And a day later my primary is OK again and it is all good. This can happen twice a week sometimes. What am I doing wrong. I love my primary and want to keep my family together but I do love my gf and don’t want to end it with her. Now my primary is today to the point again where she thinks she can’t be polyamorous. By not choosing am I really choosing? So frustrated, and stuck!
You can’t make your partner feel secure. Drop that. You can always be trustworthy, attentive and loving. How she reacts to that is up to her. If you’re not being trustworthy, attentive and loving, try that first. But if you’re being loving and trustworthy, the ball is in your partner’s court.
You could encourage your partner to read How to Become a Secure Person by Franklin Veaux. It’s a really good essay and gives a lot of excellent, real-time exercises to work on being secure. It’s not a bunch of fluffy nonsense about how you have to love yourself, but actually a pretty good manual for being real about oneself and relationships.
I think that you’re wise to put your foot down about the back and forth thing. I’ve never approved of the whole thing where one gets approval for relationships one week, then get it taken away back and forth. Your partner is a real person with real feelings, yes. So if your girlfriend. That can’t be any fun for her.
Now, the reality is, there are men who will chase the new and shiny and ignore parental responsibilities. I’m not saying you are doing this, as I don’t know you, so couldn’t know. What I am saying is that there are a lot of female-headed households struggling really badly because Weekend Dad has decided that trying to turn back the clock is a good idea. If your relationship is making it hard for your wife to meet her needs because she’s meeting the kids all the time, you might want to think about that. Being a stay at home wife with kids might seem like there’s a lot of leisure. The problem is, even if you’re not exactly Martha Stewart, you’re always on call. If you’re both working full time, is there an equal opportunity to pursue non-child-related interests?
On a note far more personal than I usually express: Anyone who would dump me for “19 and perfect boobs” has done be a big ole favor, as the last thing I want to do is waste another second on his ass. I’m pretty much middle aged and not from an especially long-lived family, so the last thing I want to do is waste the precious seconds of my life on someone who doesn’t appreciate me as I am. I’m way too valuable to waste my time on people who don’t appreciate me.