Major life change, alcoholism and limerence

Find support here if your partner is in limerence, having an affair or love addicted.
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Major life change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by Forestcat1 »

Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has been affected by any of these issues?

My SO (DH) was very unhappy in a tough job but gave it everything for about 20 years. Last year he was unexpectedly made redundant in a very unpleasant and damaging way. His self esteem (already low) plummeted and he already had heavy drinking/alcoholism issues due to work problems so these got much worse and he almost had a breakdown. I was away alot during this time looking after my seriously ill mother so not on hand to support in the same way and needed support myself. Cue Facebook! My SO's 'first proper girlfriend', who was in an abusive relationship with her husband, contacted my SO asking how he was and saying how she remembered the good times they had.
He started corresponding with her and she offered him friendship while I wasn't there and was what I can only describe as selfish and manipulative. Eventually they met up and my SO became extremely limerent as her husband was treating her badly and my SO kept rushing to support her, it all exaggerated the limerence with the forbidden aspect. Within 3 months of seeing each other (about one day a week, mostly in hotel rooms) they have now decided they want to move in with each other and my SO eventually wants a divorce. After 15 years of marriage (during which we got through many ups and downs, mainly due to his mental and physical health issues), this is very tough for me because things were improving for us and this has thrown everything out of the window. It feels as though someone undeserving is reaping all the rewards of my hard graft and sacrifices (some very big) for our relationship.

We both feel we have a strong bond (he says that worries him) and he seems to be very keen on developing a strong 'friendship' with me, spending enjoyable time with me and helping me, strangely like our marriage should be! He doesn't want to let me go from his life. But he is heavily influenced by his LO, he has a strong sexual relationship with her and cannot see any flaws in her, although I can see she has been very manipulative and selfish (she said her ideal was to stay in her own home but get 'what she wants' from my SO - he said he's happy with that, is that limerence?!). The LO has many mental health issues, including very serious anxiety issues. My SO enjoys helping her (improves his self esteem helping someone worse off) and seems to think that he can cure his alcoholism through helping her to cure her anxiety issues. While all this is going on, he has no sense of guilt whatsoever for what he's done to me and doesn't seem to care how hurt I am. His LO wants to maintain a strong relationship with her SO and her children and my SO and the LO almost seem to want the best of all worlds. My SO says he enjoys being the person he is (ie. age 19) with this LO and it takes him back to a time and place (where he grew up) where he is happy.

Has anyone else experienced any of these issues? I wonder if addiction to alcohol can also make someone more prone to limerence? My SO seems to be giving up the alcohol, which is great, but I read that the hormones produced in limerence can be the same, so is he just swapping one addiction for another? Anyone experienced the pull of first love and returning to a time and place when they were happier, particularly after a horrible life event? Does anyone come out of that strength of limerence?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)
Last edited by Forestcat1 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by MrSpock »

First aid advice: DON'T PANIC.

Sometimes, there comes a point in which the only thing that can save us is a huge crisis, and in such a crisis, everything gets demolished down so we can start over.

Considering the sequence of events that you described, your DH is doing just that. In my perhaps lunatically optimistic opinion, all of this is going to be for the best.

Remember that old saying that "If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be."

Right now, you DH and his LO might think they found each other, but it seems to me is only a matter of time before he (or they) realized they where just projecting.

If I were in your shoes, I'd play along, even hoping that his time with "that LO" really gets him back on his fit. And I said "that LO" instead of "her" on purpose, because he doesn't really have a relationship with that other woman, but with a fictional character she just happens to be interpreting at the moment.

When and if that happens, he'll come back.

Hope that helps

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Re: Major life change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by JupiterTaco »

Addiction to anything that furthers delusions is bad for limerence, IMO so yes, alcoholism can certainly make things worse. I also bottomed out in my limerence so to speak, after losing a very significant person in my life, I would say reading here that it's quite common. Alas I can somewhat understand your SO's desire to return to a younger time. I've been there in a way too, but what I found out in my case was first of all, unlike your SO's LO who seems okay with fueling this in some form, everybody in my past had moved on and I had to move on also, albeit without the tools they had to do so. Now I realize that going back to any time which I might've thought of as a better time not only would've helped my future one bit but I had rose-colored glasses on about how great my past was. It wasn't better than my adulthood; it was just less complicated. I didn't think about the future (and past) at 12 or 15 or even 18 the way I can now.
When we fall in love, we're just falling in love with ourselves, we're spiraling-Spiraling-Keane

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by CrushedSO »

To add to what Mr. Spock has said, this is the perfect time to work on you. This must be a terrible time for you and could also be your dark night of the soul.

You have no control over what your husband is up to. You do have control over what you can do. If I were in your shoes I would look at doing some self work. Everyone can benefit from it.

It will help you in many ways, especially this terrible time in your life.

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by David »


I feel for anyone in your situation, it sucks.

One thing I am struck by is that it sounds your SO needed you with losing his job and going through a tough period and yet you chose time with your FOO over your FOC. This might sound callous given your mother's illness and yet I sit with too many couples where one half chooses their FOO over and above their FOC. If you needed support yourself was there not a way to receive that without leaving home?
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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by Forestcat1 »

Thanks very much for the replies, really helpful, I'm stabbing in the dark a bit!

David - thanks for your comment, totally agree it was terrible timing and I wasn't happy about it. My DH had just left work at exactly the time my mother became seriously ill and there was no=one else to look after her. It was the type of illness where hospital would have made it worse and I couldn't get care help over the summer so had no option but to literally be away from home (not even able to visit as it was too far) for nearly 7 weeks. I tried to get my DH to come and stay with me but he was very depressed and was hiding away at home. It was very tricky because I've sacrificed a lot for my DH's problems and then I couldn't get help from him when I needed it. All in all very bad timing and you are right, my DH was probably very affected by that.

At the moment DH is very confusing, he seems to want to be around me and have my attention and at the same time keeps going on about living with the LO and getting a divorce eventually. He went on about it so much I had to tell him I'd got the point and he didn't need to go on. It's almost like he's justifying himself. He'll do something like kiss me goodbye and later say that's the way to behave because his LO's SO gives her a peck on the cheek , I don't need to have it explained! He's also very defensive if I ask him what he gets from his LO, he says love and then gets defensive. I said I was only asking him as a friend, there was no need to protect himself and he got cross and stormed off. If he was really into her would he be behaving like that? It's like he really wants to make something work. He's also quite angry towards me and anything I say he ignores but if his LO gives exactly the same advice, it's taken from her - is that typical of limerence?

Can I ask anyone who's been through this sort of thing - this situation has happened SO quickly, does that mean the limerence is likely to end more quickly? Would it speed up the ending of the limerence if I encourage my DH to live with his SO as much as possible? The limerence is kept going in a big way because the LO's SO treats her badly and one minute she's leaving her home, the next she's not. It's very hard to wait around when your SO is treating you like something he's discarded, makes me feel very insecure too.

Thanks again, really appreciate the help.

PS I noticed my DH trying to buy a motorbike helmet on Amazon - really returning to his youth lol :-j

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by Forestcat1 »

The terrible choice was - my mother would have died without my care, my DH was in a bad way emotionally but not critical at the time and as I said our relationship has been one-sided (me looking after him) because of his mental health issues. My DH likes my mother alot so it was easier in that way. So I looked after my mother who was more critical at the time. Luck wasn't on my side!!

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by mamasita »

My advice may not be the most popular but I think you are better off.
It sounds like you have sacrificed a lot only to be discarded when you couldn't be there to take care of everything, including your husband's OWN mental health. He needs this explosion and will likely one day see that YOU were the glue holding him together. And this is how he is treating you. An expectation to suddenly be "cool" with everything and fall in line with his plan is not only cruel, but unreasonable.
I hope you rise out of the ashes stronger and start to care for YOU. Something tells me you haven't had the opportunity to do so for quite awhile.

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by NVTS »

Welcome Forest!
Sorry to hear about your situation, you will find a lot of useful stuff here so “Don’t run Forest” stay and post;-).(Couldn’t resist that one).
My limerence started long before any chemical use or abuse. I think that it soothed the pain and depression and of course I went overboard with it. My T says that those of us w/ chemical abuse issues are trying to medicate some deep seated trauma. Although I still enjoy drinking I certainly don’t enjoy getting wasted and dealing with hangovers. So I developed a healthier, respectful relationship with it and SFSG. This method isn’t for everyone and just like limerence unless I am willing to do the “heavy lifting” nothing will help and I will be in a downward spiral.
When all else fails;

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Re: Major live change, alcoholism and limerence

Post by Forestcat1 »

Thanks mamasita and Windy 1 (and for the joke!),
You are right that I have been looking after everyone else rather than myself for a long time. It seems to come as second nature to me and in some ways I enjoy being strong, but there are limits! i do need to work on myself now and am trying to do that - don't know what anyone else thinks but I feel I should turn things on their head and get my DH to help ME as much as possible and let his LO object take the strain!
Windy 1 is right about the alcohol hiding deep-seated trauma, this is the case with my DH and why I've been taken up with possibly too much loyalty for him but now is my chance to get change. He's working on himself in a very tough way for me, but at least he's working on himself, and maybe he will emerge better for it and be a better person to me. Meanwhile best if I look after myself and get him to look after me where possible. Yes? ;)

Thanks everyone - would be very interested to hear from anyone who felt angry with their SO during limerence and if the signs I'm getting from my SO suggest he's confused between his LO and me. Cos they sure are confusing!

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