My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

A common and understandable desire, can it work?
TEC
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My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by TEC »

Hello - I am a 36 yr old male and my LO is a 39 year old female. My LO and I have known each other for 3 years. We are neighbors......we are both married and have young kids. About 8 months ago, we finally acknowledged to each other that we were both crushing and things have escalated from there. Not in the physical sense (we've kissed a couple times), but so much more so in the emotional sense. So.....we are both each other's LO right now and we're both miserable in the sense that we fee like it almost feels impossible that we could be together as we fear the pain/heartache that would cause our children/families/etc. But that said, we talk regularly, see each other almost daily, and the feelings are intense. In our conversations......it's almost like we both are exhausted by these limerence feelings but we can't stop them from happening. We can't just go No Contact, because our family lives are so intertwined. There are currently 5 married couples that are all neighbors and we literally do everything together with all of our kids, etc. I can't get away from this woman if I tried. My LO is great friends with my wife and I am great friends with my LO's husband, but as you can imagine.....both of us harbor a lot guilt inside these relationships because our feelings for each other's spouse are so strong. It's literally exhausting......I know my LO has flaws, just as anyone does.....but as limerence suggests, I literally can't see any of them right now. She is incredible to me, and unfortunately - it causes me to magnify the flaws in my own spouse. I feel so trapped in this situation right now. We have so many activities planned (even so much as a family boating vacation next summer) with my LO's family that it just seems like I'll never escape these feelings unless something catastrophic happens. I truly feel like if I had a magic wand and could just erase these crush feelings, I would.....but as we all know it's not that easy. I'm not thinking rationally right now. I would deeply like to just be friends with my LO......but I am having a hard time seeing how this could ever be possible. I mean.....it's almost impossible for me to envision a future in which we're continuing to do life together with this family and I won't see my LO as some sort of love interest. She's told me that she feels the same way......we are crazy about each other, but we have some bit of rationale left in us to realize that this would be so damaging for us to be together that we shouldn't probably move forward. That said, we're both fully in the throws of this feeling and are almost overwhelmed by it. We both feel the feelings of lovesickness, shortness of breath, deep longing to see each other, and strongly seek each other's reciprocation on nearly any type of interaction that we have. It's like a textbook situation of limerence I feel like......it's just so complicated because we're talking about two married couples that are close friends and live 3 houses from one another and me and my LO are both mutually crushing on each other. How's that for complicated? I find some comfort in knowing that I don't feel like I was out seeking out another love interest in the traditional sense.......it didnt' happen at work, it didn't happen while going out on the town, it didn't have online through some dating website......it happens seemingly innocently right under my nose while developing a relationship with neighbors while our kids are playing together in the yard. It's crazy how it has developed and while I do harbor guilt, anyone who knows what this feeling is like will understand that the feelings of limerence can mask feelings of guilt pretty easily.
I just don't know how to move forward given our situation and how to lessen these feelings. I also would like to know if anyone has any advice on what they have done or might suggest doing to help my situation. I don't want a divorce, but I do currently very passionately want my LO. She has told me as recently as 5 days ago that she basically feels the same way. We're stuck in these feelings and can't seem to find peace.....this is exhausting. Thanks for reading!

Limfriend1
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by Limfriend1 »

Welcome to the forum TEC

Wow. That is complicated. You are obviously aware its a crush, have you looked into the 'why' it happens?

I'm not sure how others view it, I see kissing as being very physical and crossing many boundaries (I would feel as though I had crossed boundaries).

Limerence is not something that tends to 'go away' on its own. It takes a lot of work. So if you cant go no contact, then maybe look at the whys of it all and focus on your own past.

Or quite simply, you are meant to be together. It does happen.

I'm glad I live no where near my LO. And I'm super glad LO wasnt limerent for me. Yikes! Double trouble...

TEC
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by TEC »

Thanks for the reply Limerentfriend. I guess I haven't really looked into the 'whys' that much.....but honestly, I didn't have any knowledge of limerence 24 hours ago either. Since I stumbled upon this concept, I've spent a lot of time in the last day literally being blown away at how closely it all describes almost exactly what I'm going through and what I'm feeling.
So....in my short time to think about it, I'll give some more background. As I mentioned, I've developed a really good friendship with my LO's husband. We have done many things together without our wives over the past few years. No doubt, I feel very discontent with the betrayal feelings I'm harboring with my feelings toward his wife.....but as we all know, this limerence thing makes you pursue things that aren't necessarily logical. So anyway.....LO's husband is a good friend to me, but a deeply troubled man in a lot of ways it seems. He speaks very poorly of his wife in front of her and when she's not around, shows her no affection, provides almost no help at home with the kids (he works and my LO stays home), and jokes outwardly in group situations about how they hate each other. He is sort of the funny man/clown of our circle of friends and I think most just take him as joking....but the more I've gotten to know him, it seems rooted in some seriousness. Furthermore, my LO has confided her despair about him to me many times and I've also come to know that part of why she so highly desires me is because of what she perceives of me as being a loving husband who does just the opposite of her husband (e.g., I speak positively of my spouse, I take an active role in childcare, housework, etc.). She's so much as said "I am so happy when you're around and you're truly seem like everything I've ever wanted in my life". That said, she's said she feels like she almost needs to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of her kids (by staying with him).....and she acutally worries what would become of him if she left him. She feels stuck (he's the breadwinner) and he's actually managed to make her feel like he's the victim in the relationship despite what seems to be a man with many of his own demons (depression, alcoholism, etc.). So.....to get to my point, I've almost a strong desire to rescue her from her situation. I never really acknowledged that part of it until I began seeing some others talk about it on other threads. I don't think that's all of it, but certainly part. She does have exquisite beauty (limerent glasses on I'm sure) and she makes me feel so incredibly important (to the extent she can when we're in the presence of our spouses) that I'm just in a very deep situation of limerence right now. I haven't been choosing my wife.....we are going through the motions for months.....and I can't see anything but an incredible longing to be with my LO. Tonight.....I actually feel mad about these feelings. Mad that I can't seem to get a grip and have control over my feelings & this situation. Even though my LO has told me she feels the same as I do, it wears off almost instantly and I constantly feel the desire for contact to be re-assured that her feelings haven't changed. It's so doggone exhausting that although the reciprocation is euphoric, the coming down is eating me up. It's only a matter of time before my spouse confronts me and demands some sort of explanation as to why I'm so distracted these days......and I haven't come to terms with how I could ever tell her that I'm crazy about one of her good friends.

Limfriend1
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by Limfriend1 »

As someone on here has said before 'if you spot it, you got it'.

I have a feeling you'll get to the bottom of this in no time. I believe LO's are the starting point of our own healing process, but they are not the end prize.

Your situation is different given the relationships built within a close knit community (neighbours).

The more energy you give LO, the less SO gets. Do you think this is fair? Perhaps this is a great time to work on strengthening your relationship with SO. Do more together. Start a new hobbie that you can do without the children. Spend more quality family time where others are not involved (no LO or other families). Its all a matter of what you value more, so tap into your belief system.

Just some suggestions. Take what resonates and leave what doesn't sit well with you.

Whatever happens between LO and her husband is none of your business. Unless he is getting physically abusive, then I'd step in. What he does or doesnt say about his wife is his issue. Perhaps suggest therapy to him if he talks this way again. And perhaps suggest the same to LO. If you rush in to rescue, hmmm... what's a bet you'll have the husband to deal with. Leave them to their marriage, and focus on your own.

We all know what happens when people poke their nose into others business, it typically backfires. Also, alarm bells are ringing. Could she be using you as an escape goat?

Charlie
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by Charlie »

Hi,
I'll also welcome you to the forum. Limerence is always complicated and challenging, but mutual limerence would be particularly difficult, so I really feel for you.

You asked for advice. I was limerent several years ago for a coworker and gradually escaped from it. Over time, I accumulated a list of many of the different actions I took along the way. I'm happy to share that with you. It's too long to post here and I don't want to hijack your thread anyway, so I'll send it to you. Anyone else reading this is welcome to it, too.

My battle with limerence came down to a very slow process of cutting the roots out from under the limerence tree. It required commitment and persistence, but not perfect execution so anyone who desires to escape could do it. I found a number of motivations to stay committed and be persistent. Like you, I didn't want to hurt my wife, children, and family and friends. I didn't want to wreck my life for what I knew would eventually fade for any number of reasons that I won't list here. But, the key thing that motivated me on a daily basis was the realization that limerence was a huge lie, a mirage, that was taking me on a path to insanity and emotional hell. Although it started with attraction and infatuation, the path of limerence is not one to love, but to something else, something very unhealthy. In that way, it was a lot like addiction to a drug where the highs were less and less satisfying and quickly led to deeper lows, but the desire grew and grew.

For me the pain was bad enough to motivate me, but each person has to reach that decision point on their own. You can make that decision for yourself (I had to make it over and over again--ie, the persistence I mentioned), but you can't make it for others, no matter how badly you want to do. That will be a challenge in your mutual limerence. Your LO may not recognize the dire consequences of continuing in limerence and may not be willing to begin the process of overcoming it, at least not on the schedule you choose. However each of you approaches it, the likelihood of hurt feelings as you pull away from each other is great. That's not a reason to do nothing, but just something to be aware of.

Keep us posted. Limerence is an awful emotional struggle and one you should do everything possible to escape--in my opinion anyway.

Limfriend1
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by Limfriend1 »

I agree with everything Charlie said. Also my last post might have come across as a bit harsh (?). You mentioned being the rescuer which made me wonder what role LO was playing when she was telling you about her problems. Hence the escape goat question. Do you think LO wants you to save her so she doesn't have to look at her own issues?

academia123
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by academia123 »

Hi Tec,

I just want to contribute one question to ponder.

You mention strong desire to rescue her. Why? What's in it for you? I'm not here to judge you. I was in neck-deep similar situation. But I was the female. I was the one who thought my LO was my knight in shining armour.

Rescue her. You might think because LO deserves it. She benefits from it. She needs love. She needs everything she deserves. Those might be valid. But think about it in a different way. What's the benefit for you? What do you gain? How will you feel after you rescue her?

Limerence is said to be about you. It's hardly have anything to do with LO. It's about a void, an unmet need. If I guess correctly, you want to be LO's knight in shining armour. You want to do it right. You want to matter. All this is honorable. But here's the rub, your SO needs this too. She needs a prince in shining armour too. I understood you have done it. You help with the children and housework. You are actually her knight in shining armour. Maybe your SO need something differently than your LO. But the needs are still there. I guarantee it. Look for them. Fullfill them. Take her to a date, surprise her, do something nice and gentle. Hold her hand in the parking lot.

Good luck.

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David
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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by David »

Limerentfriend wrote:
I'm not sure how others view it, I see kissing as being very physical and crossing many boundaries (I would feel as though I had crossed boundaries).
For most traditional monogamous relationships I would agree this is a major boundary violation unless there was a prior mutual agreement that amorous kissing another was acceptable. Polyamory does seem to work for some couples but they seem few and far between.

Limerence tests us all and wakes us up from our slumber, however your story is going to present you with the mother of all challenges - proximity, mutual disclosed feelings and a line already been crossed that is not far from a full blown physical and emotional affair. Having sat across from many couples where one has ventured into this territory all i can suggest is avoid this at ALL costs. The devastation to all involved is invariably massive and not to be underestimated. You also have a commitment to your children over and above satisfying your own impulses.

If it were me, (I am not) i would get into therapy and MC immediately, disclose to my wife with the support of the MC. Id go NC with the LO and id consider moving to another town. Limerence can be that destructive and there is nothing more important than your FOC in my book and its not worth destroying it all for a perceived magical other.

Anyhow, you will get a lot of support here Tec and welcome.
Do you want help with limerence from the founder of this site?
I'm a qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, medical practitioner and leadership coach.
To book a session see http://loverelations.co.uk/on-line-support-for-limerence-from-dr-david-perl/

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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by Pete »

tec - I sympathize with your situation. I was in a similar one myself: I was limerent for a married friend of my SO and me. Part of what initially encouraged my limerence was what I saw as my LO's crappy relationship with her husband. They were such an awful match. He took her so totally for granted, and didn't recognize how wonderful she was, I thought. Your situation is different in that your LO openly reciprocates your feelings and you live close to her. My LO lives in a nearby town and never reciprocated although I think she knew I had a crush on her, enjoyed flirting and at times encouraged me. My limerence lasted more than 10 years. I'm not 100% non-limerent, but I'd say at this point it's 90% contained.

There's a ton of good advice on this blog and forum -- take some time to check it out. A therapist can undoubtedly be very helpful, and limiting contact is going to be necessary if you are to escape. But there are two things I learned that might be especially helpful to you.

First, you have to decide where you are going with your relationship with your LO. I'm not coming from this as a moral scold, but as you know an affair with your LO is likely to cause you, your SO, your LO, her SO, your respective families and other people a great deal of pain. When my limerence was at its height, I read a lot about the impact an affair can have on families and spouses. People whose SOs "wander" frequently report that it is very painful, and when the affair partner is a friend of theirs it's worse. The biggest damage is to the ability to trust; people question who they can trust if not their spouse or their good friend. The damage to the ability to trust can be hard to recover from. Children rarely are spared the fallout. Relationships begun under these fraught circumstances rarely last very long, from what I understand. In the end, whatever flaws you brought to the new relationship are still present and still a challenge. The fantasy seems great -- the likely reality is probably much less so. And given your circumstances -- that you're neighbors and part of a circle of friends, etc. -- if an affair begins it is likely only a matter of time until it's discovered. And even if it's not -- how long would you want to or be able to live with such a secret?

If an affair is something you want to avoid, you need to confront the fact that you are taking steps towards something that will produce results you want to avoid. That's what ultimately started me down the path away from limerence. I realized that as much as I wanted to fuck my LO, I really did not want to risk an affair that might destroy my family and hers. I had a choice -- I could either continue on the path I was taking -- towards an affair (had LO been willing) -- or I could start to distance myself and stop walking towards a reality I really didn't want to live in. It was painful to drop the fantasy. I think it was ultimately less painful than the other way. But no matter what course you choose, I'd advise you to think very carefully about where the path you are on is leading you, and whether you really want to go there. If you don't, the only way is to choose a different path, not to walk more slowly or close your eyes while walking. And a different path means starting to distance yourself from your LO.

The second thing I learned is that my SO was not all that bad, and LO wasn't a fantasy person. Yes, from 20 years of being together I was very aware of my SO's faults. But my limerence -- and the stress of being a family-raising, mortgage-paying unit -- had warped things so I couldn't see my SO's positive attributes any more. As I started to distance myself from my LO, I also made an effort to give my SO credit for the things about her that were good. It turns out there were plenty. Over time, I re-discovered things that made her a better match for me than my LO would have been. It took time and attention to rediscover these things. It also took re-awakening the kindness in my heart for my SO. She has faults -- but she was not the awful person I started making her out to be in the deepest throes of my limerence. She is a good person, and did not deserve to be pushed away or put down (which I was doing in my mind). In many ways, I was lucky to have her. By the same token, my LO is a wonderful person, but she's not a goddess. She has faults I ignored because of limerence. There were also ways in which she was very compatible with her husband that I just ignored. I made the effort to not ignore her faults or the ways in which she actually complemented her SO's behavior and to actually concentrate on these things - not as a means of putting her down but instead to get some perspective, to humanize her, and to put her on the same scale of existence as ordinary mortals, including my SO.

Over time -- a lot of it! -- these efforts, along with limited contact -- have helped me break free of limerence. Today, I still think about my LO, but not to the detriment of my SO, and not first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I still like seeing her occasionally, but I'm not constantly trying to set up the next meeting, and I can go a couple of months without seeing her and not freak out. I'm much better. But it started with getting realistic about where I was heading and about what I would be losing if I lost my SO.

I hope this does not come off as judge-y -- I'm not trying to be -- but I am trying to be realistic about potential fallout. Good luck!

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Re: My LO and I are each other's LO - both married and stuck in limerence!

Post by David »

Pete wrote:
I hope this does not come off as judge-y -- I'm not trying to be -- but I am trying to be realistic about potential fallout. Good luck!
Pete - this does Not come over as judgey to me - just a wake up call to the perils of affairs.
Do you want help with limerence from the founder of this site?
I'm a qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, medical practitioner and leadership coach.
To book a session see http://loverelations.co.uk/on-line-support-for-limerence-from-dr-david-perl/

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