Hey, I guess I'm a bit older than other users here, but I'd really like some opinions/thoughts about the issue I have. It's kind of a long story but I try to summarize it somehow shortly.
So, I'm in a relationship with a person for 3 years (right now rather long-distance relationship, we see each other roughly once a month or two for a week or so.) In the beginning it was not exclusive and we didn't really define it as a relationship. After some time it became a committed relationship, still not exclusive but only my boyfriend had other partners then.
But at some point I didn't feel good with how it was anymore, also because of some bad experiences (outside of the relationship) and depressive episodes I had/have and with his polyamory, feeling kind of jealous or rather not understanding why he needed several partners and thinking I wasn't enough (hello low self-esteem!).
So at some point I figured the relationship as it was, was causing me more pain than good feelings so I was ready to end it, but then surprisingly for me he said it was more important to him to be with me than having other partners. (Of course before we tried to talk about it and finding other ways we could make it work, but nothing really worked). So then we stayed together and it was working well for a time.
Then another issue came up (or at least stronger than before) that we have really different sexual needs. We both like to cuddle a lot, but he also gets horny and would like to have sex very often, whereas I don't have the desire for sex often. (About that I also feel insecure/unhappy often, that I would like that I want sex more often, but it's just not like that and I guess I can't change it. And I know that it's perfectly fine however I am and how my sexuality is, but still. Also I feel trapped between criticizing the conventional ideas/myths of men always having more sex desire than women (while feeling it is true in our relationship) and that sex always needs to lead to an orgasm (which I disagree with, but still feel somehow disappointed when we have sex/masturbate together and only he gets an orgasm, and even though I didn't really feel the desire for having one myself, I don't know it's hard to explain.. and then also the sex-positive scene that says sex is the greatest thing and sex shouldn't stop when only the man had an orgasm because also women always want one and so on.) I just feel really confused with all these things and moral judgements and I just don't know where I stand in between all of this)
But back to our relationship in which he didn't get his need for sexuality met as he would like to. This situation obviously also wasn't ideal, so then he asked if we could try it again that he could have other partners with whom he could have sex more often to have his needs met but we would still be the main relationship. I agreed to it that we can try it out as I was feeling better most of the time and of course it's important to me that both of us can satisfy our needs as good as possible.
Then some time later at some event there were the two of us and also his other partner and in the beginning it was fine for me but at some point I saw them just sitting next to each other somewhere and I started to feel really terrible, almost nauseous from it and the whole relationship thing and thinking that it could never work out and also from other people I know I never heard that poly relationships really work without one always suffering from it. And I don't want to stop him from having other relationships as it is important for him, but I also don't want to suffer from it so much.
Now I feel a bit better about it already and more hopeful that it can work out somehow, but I really don't know how and I don't want to end the relationship either.
I think our communication about the whole thing is quite good as we can honestly say how we feel, but also it's not always possible to communicate feelings away.
I've read the troubleshooting and navigating poly relationships from this page already and it was helpful, but still didn't give me satisfying answers.
So I'm just a bit lost right now how to deal with everything, if there are other ways how to satisfy both our (sexual) needs in a different way, how to deal with my own sexual insecurities and so on. Does someone have some thoughts about it?
Sorry for the long post and maybe not explaining stuff clearly enough..