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After recently learning what limerence is, I decided to come here and share my experience, and get some things off my chest to (hopefully) eyes of people who know what I'm feeling first-hand.
For as long as I can remember experiencing romantic attraction, I also remember having periods of infatuation with one person or another. Sometimes it would be a crush on a boy in school that I never spoke to, or sometimes it was the frontman of my favorite band. I would obsess and pine over this person and constantly daydream about this idealized "honeymoon phase" version of them, and what my life would be like with them (even mundane things, like I'd be watching a movie and find myself wondering what they'd be saying about it if we were watching it together). I desperately wanted to impress them and win their affection, even if it was not in any way realistic, or even if I was already in a relationship.
I'm now 30 and married. I started a new job a few months ago and I'm beginning to have these very familiar feelings for someone I work with. He's very charming, and we work well together and get along really well, we have a similar sense of humor and a few shared interests. I came to this job from a job I loathed. This place in general is just a much better fit for me, but he really brightens my day and I actually look forward to going to work. I care more about and devote more time to my appearance. I get work emails on my phone now (something I'd NEVER volunteer for at my last job) and I get excited when I see him pop up in my notifications. We sometimes email and text silly things and inside jokes to each other (usually work-related, but sometimes not), which makes me think that he may like me too (which is exciting, but also drives me nuts because part of me thinks that I'm just reading into everything too much), but again, I'm married and he's also married with a family. I really like this job and I genuinely like him as a person, but these feelings are beginning to become distracting and disruptive, both in and out of work.
I have a therapist, but I've been too embarrassed and ashamed to discuss this with her, because I've also recently spoken with her about problems in my marriage. I worry about getting judged for indulging in these escapist feelings and fantasies, rather than confronting the issues in my real-life relationship. I thought that maybe, if I just kind of dumped my feelings out here first, I'd get some perspective from someone who's gone through or is going through what I'm feeling, and I won't feel so ashamed and alone and can start really talking about it and working on getting past it. Thanks for reading.
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it's my understanding that job acquaintances like that are #1 source of infidelity now.
if you leave things on autopilot, it'll snowball into a PA, and some people will get hurt (you, him, both families, etc).
so, you have to make a conscious decision now, either you pursue this and want to give up your family, or not. if you're not ready to leave your family, it's better to stop it now, before it will became unmanageable. feel free to ask people around here how unmanageable these thing can get.
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You are where I was 6 months ago, please read some of my angst ridden posts, the fact I’m now on antidepressants for the first time in my life, just to get through the days. I have hurt my wife and children, destroyed the relationship I had in my mind and destroyed the person I was. It might seem like I’m being hyperbolic but I promise you I’m not, I just want to save you and anyone else that cares to listen from the pain this will cause you.
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Perhaps find a therapist you can trust and one that you feel wont judge nor shame you. And one that understands trauma, addiction and has worked through their own parental rescue fantasies. Dont be afraid to ask probing questions of your therapist before engaging with them.venusaquarius wrote: ↑Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:59 am
I have a therapist, but I've been too embarrassed and ashamed to discuss this with her, because I've also recently spoken with her about problems in my marriage. I worry about getting judged for indulging in these escapist feelings and fantasies, rather than confronting the issues in my real-life relationship.
For Relationship Coaching/Therapy see www.loverelations.co.uk
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Thank you for the reply. I'm sorry to hear how this has caused so much pain for you.Mezzer wrote: ↑Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:55 amHey, sorry to hear your situation is causing you stress, take it from someone right in the middle of it being unmanageable, be honest with yourself about when you started to get problems in your marriage, I suspect it was about the same time as you started interacting with the guy at work in a less than a strictly professional manner.
The problems in my relationship have been going on for a few years now, even before we got married. Although we've had some serious talks now and again, we're both anxious people who avoid and have difficulty with conflict, so very little has been truly resolved. I've thought about mc, but the idea also terrifies me.
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I can relate to your situation. I am a serial limerent who's been married for over 20 years, but that hasn't stopped me from the fantasies and frustrations you're going through. After years of 'LE sobriety' I have recently found myself in another LE situation, this time with a co-worker. This one was a little different in that I was feeling comfortable with a friendship with a woman (something that's always been difficult for me) so I wa not my usual shy self in talking to her and getting to know her. Then I started getting this pressure and lightness in my chest. I had no idea what it was. But after a few weeks I thought I got a subtle hint of reciprocation from her and that caught my mind up with my body and suddenly I was flushed with Limerent feelings all over again.
It was frustrating because I knew from experience the heartaches and roller coaster ride that were to come. So my first instinct was to go NC as much as I could, but our work situations require us to be in periodic contact, and she is not shy about finding reasons to be in contact. I have been very business like and matter of fact in my communications with her, and I feel we're falling into a pattern of maintaining our business relationship (she is married too), while cutting out the personal conversation. It seems to be working well so far. I have learned enough about limerence to fight off the neediness for reciprocation and realize the reality is we will never be together, but the intrusive thoughts and fantasies of future conversations are still there, and I get super anxious if I go to long without some form of communication with her, however brief and non-personal. So I will see how it goes, but it hasn't worked well for me in the past as I have disclosed and had the situation turn to NC almost every time. Hoping this time I'm stocked with enough knowledge to fight the limerence beast and keep my friendship/business relationship with LO. She really is a nice person and I like her alot, and I have a good job that I want to keep.
As far as your choice for NC vs. contact, alot of people here will automatically tell you NC is the only way, but it really comes down to the individual dynamics of the individual situation. Perhaps toning down the personal conversations and sticking to business might hep you. Your LO, if he wants to maintain your friendship, might follow suit as I believe has happened in my situation. In any case you will decide what is comfortable for you eventually. You've certainly made the right choice in coming to this site and arming yourself with knowledge to at least know what you're up against and recognize the fantasies and feelings that threaten to derail our lives. That might help you figure out how to go about fighting it. Just be prepared for the long haul, these things don't just magically disappear. Time and patience will lead you on the road to recovery. Good luck in your struggle.
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And I think I understand what you are going through... In 2001 I had just taken a new job and a manager of another department and I started talking and flirting, it gave me the motivation to leave my marriage (which had not been going well for, well, forever). After ending my marriage, said manager and I did end up entangled in a PA though it was extremely short-lived and led to massive problems in the workplace. Do not advise.... lol
As for contact, and the LC/NC spectrum... I do believe 'contact' lives on a spectrum... as the previous poster said, many will say NC all the way is the one and only way to go. I've done NC and it was miserable.... I'm currently doing LC and it's sometimes miserable too. Many times I will take mental/emotional health breaks from contacting him for a few days. It's going mostly better and better. We don't HAVE to be in contact for work or for anything really, and I think I'd find it impossible to go total NC if we were in each other's real life every day. Especially working together. In any case maybe you can try different ways, have some days be NC, some days maybe you need to speak with him, etc. Let us know how it goes?
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