Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

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Alex1979
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Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Alex1979 »

Hello everyone.

So here I am. Never used a forum like that before. But having spent some time on reading the contents, this is definitely the right place.

I'm a 38 years old married male with three kids. And I'm a university professor... Yes, you probably know what I'm about to say next. Two and a half years ago I met my LO, a pretty and smart 23-year-old student. She wasn't actually my student. She just wanted to consult some issues. I went an extra mile in my advice and support for her little project, without having any particular advantage in mind. Funny as it may sound, I tried to follow the rules of ethics as much as I could.

And then she wanted to meet me briefly during my office hours. I was hardly available those days and I offered her a meeting and a nice dinner. She agreed. This was so good. Hundreds of texts, calls and e-mails. It has never developed into a sexual relationship. But it was erotic and passionate. And these walks, dinners, holding hands, kissing and touching was something extremely pleasant, rewarding and stimulating.

It lasted for over a year. Then she graduated and we had a very emotional "break-up" as she told me she could no longer keep it the way it was. She respected me having family and I was making it clear from the very beginning that the last thing I imagine is to leave my kids. I did have maritial issues but they were not huge. Now I know that I was looking for fresh air and a sense of being appreciated by a woman. I got what I wanted. And then it was taken from me.

So I suffered. A lot. She didn't respond my texts and I developed very strong limerence, being very angry as well. In December 2016 I contacted her saying that I want us to be friends even if she moved to another town. She didn't reject this offer. But later she was extremely unaccessible and very busy with her new life, work, friends, places, etc.

My limerence got worse. Early 2017 I developed depression I tried some SSRI medicines. The side-effects were devastating - tiredness, hoplessness, hipersomnia and sexual disfunction. Therapeutic effect was not worth it and I put it away. Tried some psychoterapeutic sessions. This could have some effect but I dropped it either.

In June 2017 gave her a ride to her town in June which was probably a huge mistake. It reinforced the limerence and I was texting her like crazy. She just responed that I must have misinterpreted her consent to go on a ride with her. And that she cannot show my any warm feelings as she respects my family (whom she never met).

There was NC over the summer and it was just in recent weeks that I contacted her again, suggesting a start-over and coming to terms with what is (or not ) between us. She was evasive and just few days ago texted me that she has started to see someone and she didn't want to meet me for dinner. But "we are OK".

So this is it, more or less. Nothing spectacular. It's not that I am new to this exercise of fighting limerence. I was trying to cope with that for some time now. And I usually failed. I know NC matters most. It is now my strong desire to keep NC as long as I can. But there is this part of me which is so attached to my LO that it literally hurts. I would probably drop everything and go see her if she wanted so. At the same time - ironically - I consider myself a reasonable man. I would never leave my family. I love my kids and would do anyting to make sure they have happy childhood.

I keep myself busy. I got plenty of duties. I travel abroad a lot. I drink probably more than I should and it's kind of dangerous. But it's not the drinking problem I'm struggling with. It's this deeply wounded man's pride. It's the hate and love combined. It's the extreme disappointment And great sadness that it didn't work the way I planned. I wanted to be friends with her so much in a way where we keep the boundaries but at the same time we have this pleasant tension in the air. Wishful thinking, I know.

I'm struggling with so many mixed emotions. I'm taking a medicine that is supposed to prevent mood disorders and keep me stable. It more or less works. But I have so much frustration in me. I cannot be a friend to her any more and it's killing me inside. I hate the was she behaved. That I didn't I deserved better or at least I believe so. I didn't become her lover (hurts like hell). And I feel so shi**y now.

So, what's next? NC of course. Some Xanax from time to time. And the hope I'll recover with time. But this is actually the worst time of my life. I so much hate this obsessive thinking. I realize there was no single day over the last 1,5 years that I didn't wake up thinking of my LO. And it scares me that it will take many years more... Not sure if and how I can handle that... I am desperate to get better. But I also feel I'm loosing this game.

One of the best senteces I read on this blog was "a campfire isn't as exciting as fireworks but it keeps us warm and safe". Of course. Family matters a lot. But I feel such a looser know. I should have controlled it better. I should have been more vigilant or even ruthless. And now I got what I deserve. I'm deeply disappointed both at me and my LO (I know, not her fault). Extremely unpleasant feeling. Don't now if and how I recover.

Thanks for reading this. I wish you guys all the best and keep my fingers crossed for you overcoming limerence if you have one. I don't think "we deserved this". It's just a condition we developed, most likely by being a little reckless and wanting a change.

Good luck. Any feedback is more than welcome. Thank you for this forum. Best wishes.
Last edited by Alex1979 on Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Idiotic
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Idiotic »

I think you already know part of the answer. You cant see her AT ALL for a while now. Since its meeting her that gives fuel to your condition. Rest I suppose the people who are married will be able to answer you better. But welcome, and take it easy (if you can ;) ) .
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Cookie
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Cookie »

Alex1979 wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:37 pm I would never leave my family. I love my kids and would do anything to make sure they have happy childhood.
Hi Alex,

The thing is...if we keep on with our limerent ways, it may not be up to US to decide whether to leave. Your wife might forgive, but she also might not. And the trust will be blown apart at that point. I love my kids too (three, older) and they have been the primary reason I didn't go off the rails with my last LO delusion. If we are distracted as parents, they will suffer. Whether we see it right away or not.

I'm sorry you have had a rough go of it. When it crosses the line into something physical, it is a bit harder to shake. At least that was my experience. You describe limerence in terms of kind of just being a wanderlust or wanting a change, but now is a good time to get to the bottom of any core issues that are making you feel this way.

It's painful...but please try NC. I've kept my LO as a friend on FB, but I do not follow him, respond to his posts, activate his chat or talk to him on there. Wanted to say also that it takes two to tango in most of these situations. Your LO seemed to like your attention and affection when she needed it, but it was only a fix until she got her new life going. Sorry for the brutal realities, but we are often "supply" to them.
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David
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by David »

Welcome Alex. You've come to a good place where others will support you through this obsession.

You'll find a lot of information here and strategies to overcome and grow from limerence.

Its the mother of all distractions. What better way to distract oursleves as opposed to dealing with our existential angst.

Safe travels on your own journey.
For more focussed support, why not join our membership support community? See www.limerence.net on how to join today.
Alex1979
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Alex1979 »

Thank you for your comments and reassurance. This is helpful.

I would just add that it's frustrating that this is so overburdening. I think it is a serious condition. And the frustration comes from the fact that I am a "fixer". I fix things, I manage situations. And so far I thought I was really good at it. Well, it was an illusion. I finally bumped into an iceberg and crashed.

Anyway, I hope to recover.

The weakness I see is that she might contact me sooner or later. And much as I am determined not to contact her first, I have absolutely no idea how I respond. Not responding would be rude. So the best case scenario is that I keep NC and she doesn't contact first... But this is not gonna happen... She will drop a line or text me one day. What am I to do then?
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by David »

Alex1979 wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:31 am
The weakness I see is that she might contact me sooner or later. And much as I am determined not to contact her first, I have absolutely no idea how I respond. Not responding would be rude. So the best case scenario is that I keep NC and she doesn't contact first... But this is not gonna happen... She will drop a line or text me one day. What am I to do then?
Tell her you are working on your own relationship and wish her to respect your desire for NC. Then block all forms of communication.

Going NC is not a time for nicey nicey rescuing and fixing. Its tough love. Its hard and yet it works. And she will likely fish to hook you back in because thats what narcs do - look for easy supply and you are that. And they are adept at knowing when you are feeling low and likely to take the bait. and remember she mirrors your own level of narcissism so you are not innocent in the dance that goes on between LO and LE.

And I suggest you explore how you are out of integrity as a professor having an affair with a student. As someone that also works in positions where there is an imbalance of power, i get a strong reaction when this is abused.
For more focussed support, why not join our membership support community? See www.limerence.net on how to join today.
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Cookie »

Alex1979 wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:31 am The weakness I see is that she might contact me sooner or later. And much as I am determined not to contact her first, I have absolutely no idea how I respond. Not responding would be rude. So the best case scenario is that I keep NC and she doesn't contact first... But this is not gonna happen... She will drop a line or text me one day. What am I to do then?
I think it was Radey (a forum member) who used the term "mad dog barking" to tell your mind this is not okay. So when you hear the call to reach out to her, or if she tries to reach out to you, visualize a mad/rabid dog on a chain barking up and down to get your attention. And what happens if you try to pet the dog? It will probably bite you...if not the first time, then the next. This tool has been very helpful.
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Alex1979
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Alex1979 »

David wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:54 am and remember she mirrors your own level of narcissism so you are not innocent in the dance that goes on between LO and LE.

And I suggest you explore how you are out of integrity as a professor having an affair with a student. As someone that also works in positions where there is an imbalance of power, i get a strong reaction when this is abused.
Thank you, David. You're right on these points. I am definitely not innocent and I am aware of it. It's hard to say if the fault splits into exactly two halves or not - I honestly don't know and it probably does not matter so much. But I am ready to accept that I'm somehow more guilty here. I am older and more experienced so it's me who should be more mature. I'm not saying that those in their 20ies are all kiddos who are pure as snow. But there are times I'm thinking: man, what do you want from this girl? She graduated and started a new life and you're not even a small part of it (much as I'd like to). But is it her fault? Not really.

She might be somewhat guilty for mixed signals she has been sending. But it's not a crime. I loved those signals, no matter how stupid it sounds now.

You're also right about the professor-student relations and ethics. I don't think I breached any formal rules here. It's also taken very seriously where I teach. She even enrolled for a PhD programme but not under my supervision. And she recently quit it after first year which made me furious. I sent her a nasty e-mail about quitting without letting me know. And apologized after a couple of days.... I know I shouldn't have written this e-mail in the first place.
Cookie wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:08 pm So when you hear the call to reach out to her, or if she tries to reach out to you, visualize a mad/rabid dog on a chain barking up and down to get your attention.
Thank you, Cookie. I like this tool. I will use it. It will be an enormous challenge not to call her to wish Merry Christmas or happy New Year. Even greater challenge comes with not picking up the phone if she calls me around Christmas. Or maybe she won't, I don't know.

Technically you can block you LO's phone no. and you won't get any calls or texts. But this is still too radical for me... So far I erased her number from the list of contacts and cutted off in social media.
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by marko »

Welcome, this is a good place. I'm sure I would be in an institution if not for here. That early madness earned me a bipolar diagnosis. The feel good followed by massive guilt and depression was a daily rollercoaster. As mine a coworker friend, we never were physical, so I empathize on how hard this is for you. True feelings, polluted and distorted by LE is torture, then made worse by the escape LO is part of the torture chamber.

As you, father of three, LO young and all that is attractive, runs to it. Self--loosing ones youth, grieving losses and bad marriage escapes to LE. Hate to stop, hate to carry on, seems that simple but defies that in many ways. Pure madness at times.

May you find what you are looking for here.
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Re: Overwhelmed with limerence while married with 3 kids...

Post by Cookie »

Alex1979 wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:18 pm
Cookie wrote: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:08 pm So when you hear the call to reach out to her, or if she tries to reach out to you, visualize a mad/rabid dog on a chain barking up and down to get your attention.
Thank you, Cookie. I like this tool. I will use it. It will be an enormous challenge not to call her to wish Merry Christmas or happy New Year. Even greater challenge comes with not picking up the phone if she calls me around Christmas. Or maybe she won't, I don't know.
Sigh, do whatever it takes to retrain the brain, Alex. I used mad dog all morning (after waking up anxious and in tears and "missing him" as he globetrots).

I thought about your LO's words: "I'm seeing someone else, but we're OK." Let's translate what that really means: "I have a boyfriend now but I'd still like to keep you on the line for attention when I need it."

No, Alex. You are better than this. We are better than this. Let's spend the holiday season focusing on our wonderful families where there is really some LOVE. Of all the regrets around this, I hate that I was distracted for several years of my kids' holidays.

@};-
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