Information: Please take a moment and visit your profile to choose a flag.

Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Find support here if your partner is in limerence, having an affair or love addicted.
Post Reply
DrowningInTears
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:39 am

Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by DrowningInTears » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 am

For anonymities sake I'm going to be a little vague. I'm sorry in advance, if that complicates things. But here goes...

My SO and I have been together for well over a decade and married for just a fraction of that. Recently, I've learned that they've developed an infatuation for a co-worker and that it's been going on for several months now. This isn't the first time we've been through something like this. In fact, we're practically JUST recovering from an almost identical experience. The difference this time around, is that we've become aware of limerence and know that my SO is, in fact, limerent and that this person is their newest LO.

I first want to point out that I'm very empathetic with my SO. I struggle with emotional/mental illness so I understand that this behavior isn't intentional or malicious. I try my best not to make them feel guilty, and try to be as supportive as I possibly can. That's where my struggles come in.

The first: I don't know how to deal with this emotionally. Though this isn't my first time being in this type of situation and I know that this infatuation (and possibly the others as well) is rooted in delusion, it doesn't make the pain any less piercing. I'm heartbroken. And I know that's to be expected. I just don't know how to get through the heartbreak. How to deal with the hurt, the jealousy, the fear. Though I know I shouldn't, I wonder about all the ways this person is different, better, more desirable, more appealing than me. I wonder if their smarter, more attractive, funnier. I obsess over how often and in how many ways my SO has sought out even the slightest bit of attention from them, and how long the high lasted from it. When we watch tv and something romantic happens, or we hear a love song and I'm thinking of my SO, I wonder if they're thinking of their LO. I torture myself wondering if they envision being in a relationship with this person... being with them sexually. It's like the more I learn about limerence, the more I drive myself to tears relating it to my SO's behavior.

This isn't productive.. not for me or my SO. I want to be strong enough to deal with this, to support my SO through this. But as long as I'm struggling with these thoughts and the respective pain, I don't think I can. It's so hard to love someone who often thinks they're in love with someone else. My SO and I have talked about this. We both know what they're feeling for this person isn't real. But the hurt from it is. And I don't know what to do with it.

The other struggle is that I'm hopelessly devoted to my SO. Though I now know I was their LO when we first met I, myself, was not limerent. It takes awhile for me to form attachments and once I do (they're few and far in between), I'm loyal to no end. I want to stand with them through this so long as they'll have me. And that's the issue.. my SO doesn't know if they want me to stick around. They feel guilty about the pain this situation is causing, they feel as though I can do/deserve better. They often tell me how they know that I give them every reason to feel for me what they feel for these other people, they just don't know how. For that reason, part of them tells them they should let me go, urge me to move on. They feel like they deserve to be alone. Sometimes I think this is the limerence talking, sometimes I think this is what they really want. I don't know what to do. A few times I made the decision to leave, but before either of us could pack a bag to go my SO would become extremely vulnerable and emotional. They would breakdown. And I knew couldn't. I knew they needed me. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing by sticking around, is what I guess I'm trying to say. I love them and I want to be there for them. But a person can only hear someone urge them to leave or declare they should be alone so many times before it starts to stick.

I don't know what to do.. please help me. Even if it's just perspective.. I'll take what I can get.

CrushedSO
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:54 pm
Gender:
Isle of Man

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by CrushedSO » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:13 am

DrowningInTears wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 am
For anonymities sake I'm going to be a little vague. I'm sorry in advance, if that complicates things. But here goes...

My SO and I have been together for well over a decade and married for just a fraction of that. Recently, I've learned that they've developed an infatuation for a co-worker and that it's been going on for several months now. This isn't the first time we've been through something like this. In fact, we're practically JUST recovering from an almost identical experience. The difference this time around, is that we've become aware of limerence and know that my SO is, in fact, limerent and that this person is their newest LO.

I first want to point out that I'm very empathetic with my SO. I struggle with emotional/mental illness so I understand that this behavior isn't intentional or malicious. I try my best not to make them feel guilty, and try to be as supportive as I possibly can. That's where my struggles come in.

The first: I don't know how to deal with this emotionally. Though this isn't my first time being in this type of situation and I know that this infatuation (and possibly the others as well) is rooted in delusion, it doesn't make the pain any less piercing. I'm heartbroken. And I know that's to be expected. I just don't know how to get through the heartbreak. How to deal with the hurt, the jealousy, the fear. Though I know I shouldn't, I wonder about all the ways this person is different, better, more desirable, more appealing than me. I wonder if their smarter, more attractive, funnier. I obsess over how often and in how many ways my SO has sought out even the slightest bit of attention from them, and how long the high lasted from it. When we watch tv and something romantic happens, or we hear a love song and I'm thinking of my SO, I wonder if they're thinking of their LO. I torture myself wondering if they envision being in a relationship with this person... being with them sexually. It's like the more I learn about limerence, the more I drive myself to tears relating it to my SO's behavior.

This isn't productive.. not for me or my SO. I want to be strong enough to deal with this, to support my SO through this. But as long as I'm struggling with these thoughts and the respective pain, I don't think I can. It's so hard to love someone who often thinks they're in love with someone else. My SO and I have talked about this. We both know what they're feeling for this person isn't real. But the hurt from it is. And I don't know what to do with it.

The other struggle is that I'm hopelessly devoted to my SO. Though I now know I was their LO when we first met I, myself, was not limerent. It takes awhile for me to form attachments and once I do (they're few and far in between), I'm loyal to no end. I want to stand with them through this so long as they'll have me. And that's the issue.. my SO doesn't know if they want me to stick around. They feel guilty about the pain this situation is causing, they feel as though I can do/deserve better. They often tell me how they know that I give them every reason to feel for me what they feel for these other people, they just don't know how. For that reason, part of them tells them they should let me go, urge me to move on. They feel like they deserve to be alone. Sometimes I think this is the limerence talking, sometimes I think this is what they really want. I don't know what to do. A few times I made the decision to leave, but before either of us could pack a bag to go my SO would become extremely vulnerable and emotional. They would breakdown. And I knew couldn't. I knew they needed me. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing by sticking around, is what I guess I'm trying to say. I love them and I want to be there for them. But a person can only hear someone urge them to leave or declare they should be alone so many times before it starts to stick.

I don't know what to do.. please help me. Even if it's just perspective.. I'll take what I can get.
Hi Drowning, I empathize and understand your pain. You are in a very difficult situation. On the bright side your SO hasn’t acted on his/her impulses and is being honest with you.

The fact they feel that you deserve better shows how little self-worth they have. I think this drives them to seek external validation. To fix your relationship, both you and your SO will have to do some self work and healing, or heavy lifting as they call it. Remember your SO’s limerence has nothing to do with you, it’s all about them. Unfortunately this doesn’t do anything to assuage your pain, but it is true nonetheless.

This probably doesn’t sound too helpful, but your relationship can be rebuilt! It will take dedication from both of you and a lot of self work. A lot. It seems insurmountable at times but try to take one day at a time. Does your SO want to change or do they want to continue on the path they’re on?

This forum is a great resource, both of you should read as much on here as you can!

DrowningInTears
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:39 am

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by DrowningInTears » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:44 am

CrushedSO wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:13 am
Hi Drowning, I empathize and understand your pain. You are in a very difficult situation. On the bright side your SO hasn’t acted on his/her impulses and is being honest with you.

The fact they feel that you deserve better shows how little self-worth they have. I think this drives them to seek external validation. To fix your relationship, both you and your SO will have to do some self work and healing, or heavy lifting as they call it. Remember your SO’s limerence has nothing to do with you, it’s all about them. Unfortunately this doesn’t do anything to assuage your pain, but it is true nonetheless.

This probably doesn’t sound too helpful, but your relationship can be rebuilt! It will take dedication from both of you and a lot of self work. A lot. It seems insurmountable at times but try to take one day at a time. Does your SO want to change or do they want to continue on the path they’re on?

This forum is a great resource, both of you should read as much on here as you can!
Thank you so much for you response CrushedSO. You're absolutely right. Though I tell myself I'm not, I still have hope out for a quick cure all when there is none. It's definitely going to take a lot of reflection and "heavy lifting" to get through this which will inevitably result in some pain and suffering, for both of us. I think I just need to accept that and, as you said, try to keep in mind that their limerence is about them and not me. I'm very good at taking things personal though lol. I'm working on it and it does seem like they're working on things too. I do find comfort and hope in the fact that they're being more open and honest with me this time around, and at the very least attempting to nip this LE in the bud before it crosses any red lines.

Some days my SO says they're willing to try and work on things, themselves as well as our marriage, and then there are days when the difficulty of it all is overwhelming to them and they have the urge to just give up, give in and run away. It really just depends on the day. That's what makes it a little perplexing for me. The times when they don't know if they want to be here, or feel like they shouldn't (which is often these days), I can't tell how much of that is the limerence and how much of it is their true feelings. Though I love them, I would never try to tie them down to me or this relationship if I felt this wasn't what they really wanted. Unfortunately, it would seem neither of us knows the answer to that.

In any regard, this forum has definitely given me a lot of insight and is helping me to understand their situation better. I just wish there was a bit more advice for those of us on the other end of the experience aside from the "take care of yourself" remedy. But I could also just be looking in all the wrong places. I've also referred my SO to the forum so hopefully they're putting it to good use as well.

Thanks again for your time and advice!

User avatar
David
Site Admin
Posts: 3130
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:22 pm
Location: London UK
Gender:
Age: 59
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by David » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:33 am

Welcome DIT

We do have a section here for those whose partners are impacted - as you posted in that section i presume you have found it!

There are no easy answers and no quick fixes. It comes down to if you and your SO are willing to take a deep hard look within at yourselves? Even if you are (and maybe you are given you are here) and SO is not yet ready to let go of the fantasy, you can still do your own work. This will change the equilibrium in your relationship and that will cause a change. In what way is impossible to say, and in that, you will have more choices in how you react.

If you can find a good marriage counsellor that understands limerence / infatuations that may help you as a couple understand the dysfunctional dynamic you likely have co-created in your marriage.

Hope that helps

David
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Relationship Coaching help see www.loverelations.co.uk
For Individual Coaching and Mentoring see www.drdavidperl.com

marko
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:20 pm
United States of America

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by marko » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:50 pm

As I think of your situation, unless you get professional help it will remain as it is. You seem to have done what you can. Until the SO gets to the root it will go on. In an odd way, your commitment could even seem repulsive to the SO. If the escape is guilt riddled, it can cause even more desire to escape. Since it's self, it's hard for the escapee to realize why they run. I viewed my so as yuck. I think it was easier to paint both of us as yuck, and the LO as perfect. Not everyone is the same here, but my so could have become perfect and I would have hated it. I was on a course that made sense, but only to me. In a nutshell, I have anxiety and fear of intimacy which feeds each other well. I unplugged so many years ago and see no way out. We are getting some help, but even excluding my wife's awful stuff, I'm not fit for a relationship. Not one that's deeper than a puddle anyway. It helps me shed the LO as well, 2 years in and I check out. I didn't know, and now feel horrible about that as well. I doubt any of this helps you other than my wife can't fix me and I seem to be who I am. Will she stay or go is where I float and fully understand how frustrating that would be for someone to read.

TheMoon
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:03 pm
Gender:
Great Britain

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by TheMoon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:00 pm

Hi DIT,
Your post really tugged at my heartstrings. I don't have any advice for you, I'm sorry to say, but what I do want to say to you is that you obviously feel very deeply for your SO, and I get a sense that your SO also feels much for you, although that is obviously complicated by their limerence. Nonetheless, even feeling all the crazy, stupid, irrational and destructive feelings that so many of us here know only too well, it sounds like they acknowledge the situation and look to be exploring the world of solutions. So I really want to make sure that you, and your SO, know that it can be worked out, and from the little I know about you, it seems to me that it is very much worth trying. :ymhug:

mamasita
Posts: 957
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:27 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by mamasita » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:27 pm

marko wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:50 pm
Until the SO gets to the root it will go on. In an odd way, your commitment could even seem repulsive to the SO. If the escape is guilt riddled, it can cause even more desire to escape. Since it's self, it's hard for the escapee to realize why they run.
I would like to add to this, as someone who has been limerent and whose husband, like you, is hopelessly devoted. Initially, his devotion WAS stifling to me. The whole marriage was stifling. It often feels (for me) that my whole family is leeching off of me for all of their needs, all of the time. Limerence is a happy escape. The more he tried to convince me of how dedicated he was, the worse I felt about thinking about this other man all of the time and I also felt awful for not feeling the same toward my husband. Your wife needs help. Many therapists are unfamiliar with limerence, but if she can find someone who deals with addictions or OCD, then that therapist can help with limerence. I really hope your wife can get help. We have another husband and wife team on this board, maybe she'd be willing to join? This board has helped me get my feelings out and put me back on the right track to recovery.

MrSpock
Posts: 850
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 48
Argentina

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by MrSpock » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:02 pm

DrowningInTears wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 am
Though I know I shouldn't, I wonder about all the ways this person is different, better, more desirable, more appealing than me. I wonder if their smarter, more attractive, funnier. I obsess over how often and in how many ways my SO has sought out even the slightest bit of attention from them, and how long the high lasted from it. When we watch tv and something romantic happens, or we hear a love song and I'm thinking of my SO, I wonder if they're thinking of their LO. I torture myself wondering if they envision being in a relationship with this person... being with them sexually. It's like the more I learn about limerence, the more I drive myself to tears relating it to my SO's behavior.
Although you probably know this already from reading here, the most important thing to notice is that limerence is actually quite impersonal. That is, while some particular person just happens to be put in the role of a soul mate (or wound mate as it really is), the attachment is not at all really to that particular person but to that role. As is all a projection, the other person is not really seen, just as you don't really see a mirror itself but the image it projects.

But then if that's the case, there is no point in comparing yourself to the LO. LO can be a painting for all we limerents know. In this way, limerence is fundamentally difference from a normal affair. Your SO did not find another person to fill a hole, they found the hole that now they desperately need to fill... and that person is just the trigger.

Try not to get yourself distracted by that role... kind of like an actor's partner knows is just acting.

crushed1234
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:45 am
Gender:
Canada

Re: Hopelessly devoted to a Limerent

Post by crushed1234 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:19 am

Thank you for sharing your story! I think this is a great perspective for LS to see how their LEs effects their SOs. You really are a innocent bystander.

I think it’s fantastic that your are supportive of your SO. But further to marco’s comment, maybe you need to add some firmness to your support? When I disclosed to my SO he gave me a hard ultimatum that I was to never see or talk (including text) LO again. I knew it was what was needed. At times it wasn’t easy but I know what was on the line and that provide much needed perspective. Would I have enforced the NC had there not been that ultimatum? I can’t say, but it most likely would have been hell of a lot harder to stay away. I’m not saying that you need to go to the extreme that my SO did, and it’s most likely the polar opposite to what would come natural to you based on how you describe your situation. Perhaps there’s a middle ground by you supporting your SO and enforce some boundaries at the same time. As it stands right now he knows you’ll stand by him regardless, so what’s the rush to move on from LO? Or, so what if he gets limerent again down the road? He knows you’ll support him like you always have. The cycle keeps repeating itself unless you break it.

David makes a really good point, both of you likely have some inner work to do. I really hope that you are both on this path together. But even if his not, if you do your work, you might one day get to a point where you can enforce some hard set boundaries to protect yourself if you’re unable to do so currently.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests