Love or Limerence

Find support here if your partner is in limerence, having an affair or love addicted.
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LostWife
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:39 am
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Ireland

Love or Limerence

Post by LostWife »

Hi everyone,

A brief overview: in May, my husband (36, teacher) began an affair with his coworker (24). I had my suspicions throughout the summer but he was telling me he was just unhappy with me and the classic "love you not in love with you" - but that he wanted to work on things.

In mid-September, I found their messages - he said she was just attention, she meant nothing, he'd cut it off. Beginning of October (on his birthday), I found them at a restaurant and he said he was moving out that night. His plans fell through and he didn't actually move out until the end of November. We both went home for Christmas and haven't seen each other in almost a month (since our wedding anniversary).

In October, he said she was the real love of his life, the age difference didn't bother him, everything about her was wonderful, he'd never want me again. He then spent until he moved out saying he didn't know how he felt and wanted us to have a future but didn't want to stop seeing her. He's still sending me mixed messages though something has changed - since he got back from home on Saturday, he has barely spoken to me and is with her constantly (when they're together, he doesn't go on his phone - I think partly so she doesn't worry he's talking to me).

Anyway - in late October, I accidentally realized I had access to his emails and found in his Google drive letters he had written to her. A lot of what he writes is stuff he used to say to me - but heightened. He feels sexually overwhelmed with her. Everything is an amazing adventure. He said he feels aggressive when it comes to her and her time - something he says isn't like himself but maybe he has depths he wasn't aware of. He wants to do lockdown with her, he wants to do everything with her. He claims he's never felt such bliss before (he has said the same thing to me). I know for a fact in the last month they've had two ridiculous fights after which she has blocked him - but his response to that has been a fairly pathetic puppy dog chase to get back in her favour.

Edited to add: he also has become less focused on his work. He gave notice at his job to leave last month but never found anything new so stayed (I'm sure them working together is a factor). He tutors on the side and just lost one of his favourite students because he's become flakey and the parents had to let him go. For someone spending so much money, you'd think he'd want the extra income...

It hurts to read what he writes to her because it certainly feels like it's real love - he's always been very charming - but he just seems a bit obsessed. On top of that, he's spending money on her like crazy. We have separate finances so I'm not concerned about that but he buys her flowers and has presents delivered to her house (she lives with her parents and he claims they wouldn't approve of the age difference so they have no future - not sure I believe that but she's had an affair before with an older married man and she apparently said they wouldn't approve and he was only 30). They only spend time together in hotels - she's been to his new place but one of the fights was she found a blonde hair in his room and accused him of having girls over. So this week they've gone to two hotels. Until last night I don't think they'd ever actually spent a whole night together - she always went home (not sure if that's an affair thing or if her parents want her home).

I really feel like this sounds like limerence. He was lying to his family about us for months as well and he idolizes his family. I can't see where the childhood issues may come from - as far as I know his parents have a great marriage - though his sister ruined her marriage by cheating. I'm at the point that I don't necessarily want him back but I also don't want him to live happily ever after with a 24 yr old serial cheater. She claims to love him back and certainly her emotions are all over the place but I think she's less invested than he is - after all she's getting all the attention and the gifts and probably needs to do very little in return.

Does this sound like limerence or love? Does it sound like this has a real future to it or will their age difference catch up to them? Thanks for any advice or input.

Spadge100
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:02 pm
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Great Britain

Re: Love or Limerence

Post by Spadge100 »

Hi Lostwife

Really sorry to hear about your situation.

It certainly sounds like a case of limerence or at least at the moment extreme infatuation and lost in the fog of the affair.

The only thing I can suggest is to make him aware of limerence, affair fog and realise that he is caught up in that and to make any decisions under that illusion is a recipe for disaster.

Being unable to concentrate on anything else and having her on such a pedestal is bound to come crashing down unfortunately.

All I can suggest at this stage is to inform him of the brain chemicals that go on when in an affair. It may help for you to give him space which it sounds like you are doing. Chasing him and giving ultimatums may have the opposite effect. He may have to process it himself and deny it all at this stage though. The uniqueness and specialness of it is all a fantasy unfortunately.

Good luck and wishing you well. Whilst hard focus on you at this stage. It may just shake him out of the crazy reverie.

LostWife
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:39 am
Gender:
Ireland

Re: Love or Limerence

Post by LostWife »

Thanks Spadge - reading his letters is surreal because, on one hand, he said a lot of the same to me. On the other, he sounds more in love with her than he ever was with me - which is heartbreaking.

I definitely chased at the beginning because he indicated he still wanted me. He still indicates that he wants me but it's obviously lies. He lies so much. Is he lying to her, too?

He said he was unhappy for a "long time" but can't tell me when. As of April I was his "perfect partner." Well then how did he so quickly replace me with someone he appears to love more than anyone else?

He made a big deal of wanting to see me every week and now he barely speaks to me as he won't use his phone when he's with her.

I don't understand how the man I love so much and who loved me so much could just discard me like this.

Spadge100
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:02 pm
Gender:
Great Britain

Re: Love or Limerence

Post by Spadge100 »

Hi Lostwife

Your story resonates a lot with me. I was in your husbands position twice. Once with my current wife (we have been together 17 years) and more recently with an emotional affair I had that lasted four months last year and was incredibly intense.

When the affair came to an end (we both never quite realised what we were in, but after we read we were in an emotional affair we cut contact).

In the first few months of no contact my brain rewrote history to some degree, believing my wife didn’t love me and I had met my soul mate but couldn’t be with her. I disclosed this to my wife which actually led to a full blown psychotic episode requiring hospitalisation.

This was six months ago, and only through no contact and reconnecting with my wife I now realise that both of these statements were untrue but it is taking time and patience, and now ultimately a lot of guilt and shame that I am working through.

What I can tell you is I’m sure your husband is in the same state; rewriting history (almost unwittingly) and believing this new woman is “perfect”. Only with time is it likely that he will come to that realisation. I’m sure all affairs seem amazing at first without the normal day to day routines.

Ideally he would cut all contact and come to this realisation but it may need time apart for this realisation to kick in. I wish I could warn everyone of the horrendous and warped state the mind takes in affair, which is basically a relationship built on lies and deceit.

How would he feel if the tables were turned? By focussing on you he will hopefully realise what a mistake he has made. Where he is conflicted is a good sign and I hope he makes the right decision. It is wholly unfair on you but when in that fog it’s virtually impossible to see what the right path is.

Lola
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Re: Love or Limerence

Post by Lola »

Big hugs. Been there for sure as the left behind spouse. It's good that you know you could take it or leave it with him. That kind of detachment will serve you in making decisions from your logic, and not just emotions (it took me a good while to get to that point).

It's hard to say what will last. Thought the affair my xH was having was doomed, since they were both married, he hated kids and she had three, they lived in different states, etc. But they are still together as far as I know (and now I am glad about that because I absolutely wouldn't want him back).

Having the finances separate is really good. It really does sound like limerence/early midlife crisis (mine was mid-30s too, and also diagnosed bipolar). I doubt he will listen to you if you try to explain brain chemistry - he's making all choices from feelings, not thinking, so anything you say will be judged in that same way, as though you are "the enemy" trying to stop their big love). Whatever it is, keep yourself protected, know that you didn't cause it and you can't cure it, but that arming yourself with knowledge as you are will be key in your own personal healing from having this happen to you, no matter how it resolves.

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ireneadler
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Re: Love or Limerence

Post by ireneadler »

LostWife,
Big hugs! That is a lot of hurt you have endured. It sounds like you might have limerence for your husband. Others would have kicked him to the curb. He sounds like an ass.
You are chasing love with this man, but it is unrequited. You do not have a good chance for a healthy relationship with him. Do you have a counselor helping you through all this?

My husband had LOs/EAs. I stuck around stupidly. Now I have my own LO, but it took stress off my marriage of expecting hubs to be my true love. Now we live pretty much as friends. I no longer obsess over my husband. I do obsess over LO though. I have been in counseling for years and hope I can get over my infatuations one day.
40 something, married with kids
LO is a married with kids co-worker

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