Have no idea what to think or how to react now-Upside Down world

Find support here if your partner is in limerence, having an affair or love addicted.
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Have no idea what to think or how to react now-Upside Down world

Post by Merf »

We have been married 24 years. My SO became limerent for a coworker during pandemic lockdown in April/May. I guess initially LO listened to my SO and all of his worries, fears and problems. He and I were not getting along the best as I was somewhat depressed after a death in my family and lots of crisis in the months preceding with little emotional support from my SO to deal with all of it and being locked away at home didn't help. In May he vilified me, rewrote history and eventually told me he wasn't in love with me and left in early June 2020. I reached out in various non-threatening ways to no avail. I began seeing a counselor and working on myself. Out of the blue after about a month SO came to me and said "we have to talk." He was aggressive in the way he said it after being silent all June and part of July, so my threat detection was high. I put him off for a few weeks to prepare myself for confrontation. In that time, I started piecing together what was going on and with whom. On the day we finally talked, I felt prepared for what ever was going to come. I had worked on myself and was good with where I was in dealing with the outcome. I had always wanted for him to come home and love him but didn't think this was a reality with the way he was acting. The conversation was a good one although he started with, "I think we should proceed with the divorce process." He talked almost entirely about himself an his needs and how he was hurting for several hours. I listened and didn't judge. We started seeing each other casually around the house and I think he saw a change in me. He admitted he had feelings for the coworker (never admitted that is why he left me) at one time but that she had shut it down because of their work situation and didn't reciprocate. 2 weeks after that initial talk and after several more, he came to me asking to come home. We talked about parameters and needs. We agreed to work on us and the marriage. He told me he loved me, that I was beautiful and his home. One of my requests was for us to see a counselor. We went once to the one I had been seeing and he said he thought he needed to see a guy on his own. He never followed through.

Fast forward and he was moody from time to time from August to December but seemed to be honestly working on us as I was too. All the while, he is still has to work with her, they are 2 of 3 people on a team. Mostly he complained about her but never leads on that anything else was amiss and lead me to believe when he asked to come home that it was a fleeting feeling for her that did not come to pass.

Come December, I start to get weird vibes and all sorts of red flags and threat detection gets my adrenaline pumping. I have a dream that he leaves me and tell him about it. I find out that he has given LO a Christmas present for her daughter that he told me he was giving to his parents. I even wrapped it for him. Then, I get the ultimate feeling that he is lying to me and has been about some things he told me when he asked to come home and reconcile. He says he's going for a bike ride and the timeframe just didn't work out. So, he leaves for said bike ride and I head out 20 minutes later and hang out on the next street over from LO's house just to prove to myself I was being paranoid and nothing was going on. Sure enough, here he comes riding his bike down the street after parking his car at a park about 1/2 mile from LO's house and riding his bike the rest of the way. I confront him and he is shocked. He says it is unrequited, infatuation on his part and he is an idiot and this is a rabbit hole he is going down. He promises he will tell me everything. Yet, he shoos me away and proceeds on to give her yet another Christmas present. The next day is Christmas and I am reeling. I put on a brave face and make it bearable for the family, including our college age sons, who have no idea what is going on. The day after Christmas, I tell him it is time to talk. He starts with, "If it makes you feel better, she told me I needed to get my life together and to leave because she was busy that day with her daughter." How ironic, she won't have him so he can't leave me the day after Christmas.

Now, fast forward as we continue to have conversations and I explain to him what limerence is as well as send him information on it. Things aren't really the same as before catching him. The wall is back up and he tells me he has strong feelings (read between the lines, love) for her. As far as I can tell and from what I see, she does not reciprocate. I think she is trying to make a bad situation better by being professionally friendly but he can't seem to shake it. He gets upset and is moody when I guess she ignores him at work or she isn't reciprocating anything. I have listened and not judged. I have asked questions but have given my red lines. He told me, It just isn't in me to be mean to her in order to go no contact. (I would never ask him to be mean to any human being).We are stuck in this situation until the end of May. I just don't know how long I can go knowing he is seeing her everyday, love sick teenager 53 YO man and can't go NC so we can ultimately move forward. He seems to try but gets out of bed in the middle of the night and is moody. He seems to snap back here and there but it is killing me. We constantly talk about him and his needs and problems. He doesn't ask me much about mine or how I am feeling about all of it. I continue to see my counselor and work on me despite what is going on around me. He says he wants us to work and he wants me to hang in there, but shows little contrition. He told me they went out 4 times over the summer and then she realized he had feelings for her and in his words, "shut it down." He said they never had any physical contact.

I guess my whole reason for the long back story is to see where I really am in all this?? He comes and goes in the things he says about how our marriage was and is now. He told me he sometimes resents that the positive changes I have made are now and not before LO. I told him he can't stay in both worlds very long because I just didn't know if I could make it for 5 months. He doesn't bring any of it up and If I try to, he will talk some but would be perfectly happy to pretend all is the same before I caught him at it. Help... :(

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Re: Have no idea what to think or how to react now-Upside Down world

Post by Lola »

Big hugs! Does sound like limerence, but perhaps with a little midlife crisis mixed in (might be something else you can google to see that clearly, you are not alone!). I was a stander for my midlife crisis xH for years, and I understand the confusion about how their feelings seem to turn off and on. Is there any way he'd seek a medical checkup? Sometimes addressing low testosterone can help (not always - but I know from other support groups that it hormone treatment has been effective for some people). It's good that she's not reciprocating if ultimately you want to save your marriage, but the bizarre behavior certainly doesn't make it easy.

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