Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

A common and understandable desire, can it work?
michaelstarvin
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Age: 33

Re: Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by michaelstarvin »

I don't know if that's possible. maybe and maybe not. if we believe that our LO's are not really what we think of them, then yes, I couldn't just be friends with my LO, it would have to be more than that..................... just cant.

snow99
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:36 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by snow99 »

I don't think I understand this question. If I did not feel I had a friendship that I wanted to keep I would not be so involved with that other person. Or, are we saying that an 'affair and maybe more partner' are not mutual LO's (Friends surely) ? Or, are you only talking about after 'giving them up' ?

Calvin
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:54 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by Calvin »

This has been an interesting thread to read through from the start.

My thoughts on the exam question is that it probably boils down to a rather unsatisfactory "it depends". I think it's highly context specific. And I also think it's worth distinguishing between "can we" and "should we".....

From my own experience I would say the conditions under which a genuine, nurturing and healthy friendship are possible are where:

- LO is aware of your feelings - the dishonesty otherwise creates a toxic dynamic or undertone
- LO cares enough about you in return to have the energy to "deal" with your LE - either if s/he reciprocates and also has feelings that go beyond friendship, so you both commit to working through them together, or not reciprocated and yet is still up for it.
- if you have one, an understanding / trusting / forgiving SO....

However, even if the above conditions are met, I am not at all sure it is wise to enter into (or remain in) a friendship. I think it's masochistic and hard work, involving lots of emotional labour and heavy lifting. I've found myself constantly questioning my motives for my actions with current LO - 'do I REALLY care about her, or am I just using her for narcissistic supply?' - and I obsess over each of her interactions with me. There is a part of me that compares being friends with her, when we were formerly lovers, with now being on methadone whereas previously it was pure heroin. (I've not taken either in real life and just using as an attempted metaphor!) It feels like being friends is addressing the symptoms - my continuing need for supply, affirmation and affection - rather than the demand - the root causes of why I crave these things.

For me, the challenges of my friendship with my current LO is balanced out by being very fortunate that she is supportive and understanding and is, I think, helping me on that demand side. The other day she commented that she didn't think I loved 'her', it was that I loved the IDEA of 'her'. It was a little nugget of insight that moved me on a notch in realising how much of this is about me not her, etc.

So, yes you can sometimes be friends, but in my experience it's hard work.

colourful
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by colourful »

I'm slightly confused by this assumption that the object of limerence must always be a narcissist.

Surely sometimes you just get obsessed with someone, and it's nothing to do with who they are - but everything to do with who YOU are?

Having said that, it is actually possible that my LO is a narcissist - I don't honestly know him well enough to be sure.

colourful
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by colourful »

PS That thing about being in love with the IDEA of the LO... hell yeah.

I'm very very aware that, although my LO is in many ways a very special and unusual and nice person... he's not really all that. He has a lot of flaws. He is in many ways inferior to my SO. And he is unlikely to have all the wonderful traits I think he has: They are just the traits I WANT him to have. I have an idea of who I would like to fall in love with, and I do my best to squeeze his image in my head to fit that mould.

I have always been in love with love. I always used to love falling in love. I have often thought that, although I love my SO dearly, the one thing I have lost by being in a long term relationship, is the joy of falling in love.

But I don't get that joy from my LO, and I know I never can and I never will. Falling in love is only a real joy when it is reciprocated and unfettered. When you can lose yourself in one another, spend all your time together, ring each other whenever you want. The only way I could have that with LO would be if I left my partner, broke his and my children's hearts, and if LO felt the same way about me! None of those conditions exist, and if they did, the pain caused to people I love would prevent me from enjoying it anyway.

colourful
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by colourful »

Equine assisted therapy sounds like it must have something to do with horses! I presume I'm wrong about that?

Thanks Lima, loads of interesting stuff there. I will investigate SLAA (what does it stand for? I'm in the UK), but I'm wary of doing anything which would involve lying to my SO abhout where I'm going, and I'm not yet ready to admit the extent of my LE to him.

I've ordered a couple of books, I'm hoping they'll contain some useful stuff.

I have to say, I'm so glad I've found this place. I'm finding it really useful just being able to write some of this stuff down and know that it'll be read by a sympathetic / understanding audience.

colourful
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by colourful »

Lima_Rance wrote:
colourful wrote: I have always been in love with love. I always used to love falling in love. I have often thought that, although I love my SO dearly, the one thing I have lost by being in a long term relationship, is the joy of falling in love.
I have the same problem. Welcome to love addiction.
But the last time I fell in love was 14 years ago. Before that was when I met my SO (21 years ago). I long ago let go of the idea of falling in love, because I recognised that the permanence and stability I had with my SO was far more valuable than any transient feelings of intense love.

So it doesn't feel right to call myself a love addict?

Also I do not think of myself as being in love with my LO. I am obsessed with him. I'm not in love.

colourful
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by colourful »

I've looked up SLAA, and although there are several meetings near me and I would love the opportunity to talk to people who understand, they seem to be very focused around God.

I appreciate that other people find religion helpful, and I know many people for whom it is a really important thing in their lives. But I'm afraid I simply don't believe in God, so I would find that very uncomfortable. My atheism is not a bitter atheism - as I said, I have no problem with the belief of others. But for me personally, it makes no scientific sense, and I couldn't seriously make any kind of commitment to devote myself to a higher power. It would just be distracting and confusing.

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Nax
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Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by Nax »

I've been limerent for 7 years but last year all the anxiety surrounding our friendship faded away. I don't feel the same need to talk to him. We still talk almost every day but I don't obsess when he doesn't call. I never thought that time would come but after a year of not needing to see him, it feels like we're friends. The chemistry is still there but there's no urge to act on it. So there is hope, but it takes time and patience.
Incidentally he yesterday referred to himself as having narcissistic temperament. It's not something I've ever mentioned to him so it seems he's learned something about himself too.

Lost and confused
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Australia

Re: Sticky - Can we ever be friends with our LO's?

Post by Lost and confused »

Hey Nax

Do you have any idea what happened that might have changed the dynamic with your LE?

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