Another Spouse of Limerent

topic posted Sat, February 4, 2012 - 12:07 PM by  Unsubscribed
My husband and I have been very happily married, except for his limerence. It began 6 years ago, before I knew about limerence, with a much younger and very attractive married female relative of mine. I knew something was "off" from the day they met. We were living at a distance from them, and their only contact was email and chat. I didn't know about limerence then, but I knew something had to be done when her chat status messages were sending him into spirals of anxiety and despair, because he was sure she was sending him "secret" messages in them. He already has an anxiety disorder, so he didn't need that. I advised him to have no further contact with her, because it was affecting him so badly, and he did indeed cut contact for a year, and his anxiety issues improved dramatically. He changed his chat nickname to include her name in it back when he cut contact and needed a new chat name so she couldn't chat with him.

Not knowing about limerence, I consented to allow him to contact her again after a year. Nothing seemed to be wrong, except that he would hide his chat window from me when I entered his office if he was chatting with her. He explained this on her desire for absolute privacy, which is actually true, but I now see wasn't the whole reason.

2 months ago we moved to the town where she lives. Before moving here I asked him to not get overly involved with her again, and he agreed. We have lived here 2 months now, and she has become the center of his universe. He says they are "just friends" and "nothing is going on." I lowered my usual ethical standards to see why he got so drunk he passed out 2 days running after a chat with her regarding a fight they had, and downloaded a chat transcript. Lucky I did; he usually deletes all the chat transcripts with her, but had passed out before doing so. I know this not from looking for chat transcripts, but from the limited number (4 days) of transcripts existing, when I know he chats with her for hours every day. I have not fully read the transcript - it's long- but all the hearts, kisses, hugs, and expressions of love, including telling her the exact same thing he tells me, that she is the precious thing in the world to him, sort of caught my eye.

The fight seems to have been about him touching her in a sexual manner. I can't blame him for that; their body language screams that they are a couple when they are together and she actively encourages him in subtle ways - full contact hugs, including genital contact, and all he did was open his arms to be hugged. SHE is the one who makes sure there's no air between them. The sexual tension is so thick you can cut it.

Perhaps worst of all is the way he treats me. I was a much-treasured, much-loved, and even spoiled wife. He never told me no, but sometimes told me "later." Now, I can do nothing right. Today, he came unglued and yelled at me because I close the kitchen cabinet doors wrong. It *makes a sound.* He twists anything I say into something negative about himself or his LO. He considers going someplace I want to go a waste of gasoline, wear on the car, and his time. Driving 30 miles each way to buy a hat for him is not a waste of gas, wear on the car, or his time, though. Time with his LO is the most important thing, and he will do anything to arrange that.

When I go into his office it's like stepping into her home. It is totally different from the decor he always chose for himself in the past, and absolutely the same as her place - he even bought the exact curtains as in her place, per her advice. He went on the diet she recommended, no sugar or carbs, after neither I nor our doctor was ever able to convince him to even limit carbs. So he lost 50 pounds, and is looking good, and needs all new clothes. The man who has spent the entire 15 years of our marriage dressing by grabbing the first pair of jeans, first polo shirt, and first flannel shirt in his closet now wants to wear slacks and sport shirts. All selected by her, because he won't go clothes shopping without her for "advice, because she has such good taste." She has terrible taste. She thinks brown shoes go with grey slacks, and that a moc toe shoe looks right with dress pants. He dresses in the colors she prefers, even though they are all wrong for his skin tone and look terrible on him. But her opinions rule; he will not even consider anything not selected by her.

She moved out of her home with her husband into her own apartment within a month of our moving here, but not until making sure my husband knew she needed a place to live. She expected him to offer her a place in our new home. My husband bought her a washer and dryer - very nice ones, a front-loading HE washer - so she wouldn't be inconvenienced by having to wash clothes at the laundromat or her husband's house. He never consulted me on this expenditure of almost $1500, and he doesn't usually spend over $50 without consulting me - I am not allowed to spend any without first consulting him. He bought her a $200 winter coat, too, of her choosing, because she had none. She too has lost some weight, and she gave all the too-large ones to Goodwill. He "didn't want her to be cold." This by a man normally so cheap he won't let me buy birthday presents for my grandchildren. She claims innocence, because she never ASKED him to buy these things, he offered.

He gives her "piano lessons" at her new place. These "lessons" last 5 hours, "because they talk, and time flies." The whole bit where she understands him better than anybody, and they can talk about anything, and they are the closest of friends all applies.

I have had some luck discussing this situation with my husband. I approached it as him feeling something he couldn't help feeling, and that he did not choose to feel this way. He semi-acknowledges the obsession, and the fantasies, in that he doesn't deny them. He absolutely refuses to admit that this is anything other than a "close friendship" or that he has done anything wrong except for hurting my feelings and putting somebody before me in our marriage. He says he wants us to start over, and a divorce is not something he wants. So the good news is that at some level he knows that he loves me and is married to the right person. But the "starting over" seems to consist of me not complaining about his relationship with her, and him *not* agreeing to not respond if she contacts him. He has agreed to not contact her, though. In a nutshell, I don't trust him to go no contact.

I cannot forgive him until he actually shows some remorse for his ACTIONS. He insists he has never done anything wrong, or inappropriate. His chat transcript proves this is a lie. He understands how hurt I am, and he regrets that. He does NOT regret this relationship with his LO. If he thinks he did nothing wrong, what reason do I have to think he will not continue to pursue this relationship? He'll just be more secretive about it. He sees how badly this is damaging our marriage, but doesn't want to go no contact with her if there is any hope of continuing their relationship. The good news is that she has cut contact for the past week or so except for that one chat. That's why he's so reasonable now, as opposing to the screaming accusations of me imagining things that he has made in the past when I broached the subject.

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  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sat, February 4, 2012 - 5:57 AM

    Thank you for posting this. This is exactly what those of us on here need to hear, and regularly. It is easy to forget, in the middle of our pain, that while we are victims of the psychological/chemical catalysts of our limerent responses, we are very often aggressors in the real world, and can very easily turn into emotional bullies. That said, each of us is different, and as wrapped up as we each can be in our own limerent objects, we each recognize our boundaries differently, and respond differently to the knowledge that we are hurting other people. Your husband, for as real as his pain is, is being a bully towards you. He is abusing you, and no amount of excusing that abuse as "unwanted impulses" can change that. If you want to save your marriage, you first need to get away from this woman. While he is being abusive towards you, so is she. She may be lonely, misunderstood, etc. She also knows, on some level, that she is causing you a great deal of pain, and both of them are choosing to do nothing. You deserve better than this from both your husband and your family, and their behavior is not a reflection on your worth. You sound like an incredible, patient, near-saint of a person, who has put up with more than enough. It is on your husband's shoulders to change now, and he needs an ultimatum. Let him know that you will help him if he puts in the work, but you will not condone abuse anymore. I'm saying this from the point of view of someone who constantly has to wrestle with the ethics of my impulses, which tell me that one hug would be okay, that breaking up a relationship would be okay, that the strength of our emotions would justify lying to other people, and that the hurt party (in this case, my LO's girlfriend) would get over it. A lot of people on here call that voice the "evil agent." This is what your husband is dealing with. That is no excuse. Lots of us wrestle with it, it's painful, it's frustrating, but it's also not just our own lives at stake if we give in. If your husband is too selfish to even try and see that, he doesn't deserve you. I wish you all the best.
  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sat, February 4, 2012 - 12:20 PM
    Wow. You are amazing. Your husband is caught in the "fog". You mention his LO is married; have you discussed this with her husband? That is a highly recommended action on infidelity repair websites. They also highly recommend Shirley Glass's book "Not Just Friends". I recommend it too, and I am the limerent spouse in my marriage. Men do say exactly the same things to different women. I think they cannot help it. Years ago a male friend got mad at me and tried to provoke me into a fight by pushing *his wife's buttons*. I had witnessed them fighting, so I knew whose buttons he was pushing. Those sure were not my buttons. He was confused about who he was fighting with! I would say your husband may be confused about who he is making love to.
  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sat, February 4, 2012 - 8:07 PM
    Oh... dear.

    cathyy, I agree with the previous poster... this is something we limerents need to hear from time to time. I did see a little bit of my own behavior in your husband's. Thank you for the smack in the face.


    There is a major difference. I, and most of the limerents on here, can only dream of having this much contact with and attention from our LO's. It seems there's been a mutual disclosure, and reciprocation (by this I do NOT mean sexual reciprocation-- I mean that it looks like your husband's attentions and feelings have at least in some way been returned.) But, in the words of another poster, it seems that this has "blown right past limerence and into emotional affair." The fact that he's had chats he feels he needs to hide (and with good reason, it seems!) says that this is not just a case of limerence.

    I have semi-disclosed to my husband (he just knows that my LO hurts me terribly and that I feel that I've given him a lot of effort without much in return). BUT when I talk to him about it, it's to let him know how I'm feeling, to find comfort in my spouse, to share a burden. I would not dream of purchasing $1500 gifts for my LO.

    I'm so very sorry you're going through this. I agree that placing another roadblock between the two might just fan the flames. Would your husband consider marriage counseling?

    I hope you feel at least a little better getting that out to a group of people who understand the strong emotions at play here. Best wishes to you as you work through it. You are a very strong lady.
  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sat, February 4, 2012 - 11:28 PM
    Cathyy - welcome to Tribe - its nice to get the spouse of a limerent here as most who frequent this forum are current or ex limerents.

    You sound like a saint to be putting up with your husband's behaviour - either that or the thought of giving your husband an ultimatum with its potential consequences is just too painful to contemplate.

    Much has been written on other forums of how to respond in such a situation as yours - the best I have found is at - they have a whole section on "coping with infidelity". Many threads start where your husband is at, an emotional affair, and before long things have spiralled into a full blown physical affair and all its complexities. There is also much information on how to shock the limerent person out of their "fog" - some sounds drastic but your marriage is under a real threat here and if you dont take drastic action, I cant see how this will end happily.

    Good luck and you are welcome to keep posting here where many of us will give you what support we can.
    • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

      Sun, February 5, 2012 - 1:21 AM
      I too agree with what's been said here--it sounds like your husband's vision is clouded by limerent fog, you've put up with more than enough, and drastic action is probably needed here. Your husband is in denial about the consequences he is generating; he does not see what he is doing. A serious talk and ultimatum might be exactly what you need to do.

      As some of the members have already said, we can recognize ourselves in your story. We understand what it feels like when we are so deluded that we start hurting other people and ourselves without realizing it. Your husband's feelings may be unwanted and very powerful, and he may believe with all of his heart that it's under control and okay, but despite his good intentions he is not seeing reality. It can be hard to tell someone this because they believe they are doing the right thing. He may even rationalize, maybe unconsciously, that it's okay because you/your relationship with him seems affected only in small ways and it has gone on so long without a major problem. Clearly this is not the case, and there are painful consequences whether he wants to see them or not.

      As a limerent, sometimes you need a smack upside the head in order to clear your vision a little. Limerence is quite good at conveniently sweeping stuff under the rug and rationalizing all sorts of "small" things--but when confronted with a huge problem, it usually can't do this. If you feel that your marriage is in real danger and you are very unhappy, and you make this clear in actions and words, you may actually start to get through to your husband. Smack him upside the head a little and let him know you're serious. His antagonistic attitude towards you, his spending that quantity of money on her, his hours-long chats online and in person combined with what you've seen in those written chats, the secrecy--that's not acceptable. You deserve better than that. I think you would be doing him a favor by ending his fantasy for him.
  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sun, February 5, 2012 - 5:09 AM
    I wouldn't call this limerence I'd call it what it is, an affair. Maybe it's an emotional affair, maybe it's a physical affair, but one thing is certain, it's reciprocated and mutual. I'd say your spouse is just playing the limerence card while he carry's out (at the very least) an emotional relationship with another woman.
    • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

      Sun, February 5, 2012 - 1:18 PM
      I don't want to be rude, but this is not limerence, as said by Tony, this is an affair.

      Anyway, after this post, I am seriously considering to include in my fantasies with my LO piano lessons, though I do not know how to play piano.
      Gazebo - I like Chopin

      • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

        Sun, February 5, 2012 - 2:51 PM
        I'm not sure any of us can diagnose him as limerent or not. We don't have enough perspective on what's going on in his mind. Even if it's reciprocated, it could be classified as limerence if it's something that's obsessive, intrusive, destructive, and fueled by roadblocks, which may all be the case.
        Regardless, he's acting like an asshole. Neither limerence nor love excuse disrespect for other people's feelings, and physical faithfulness doesn't justify an emotional affair. It sounds like he needs to make some choices if he wants to preserve what he has with you.
        • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

          Sun, February 5, 2012 - 6:14 PM
          Well said, Anna. It may well be limerence which became an affair-- so everybody's right. But you are absolutely correct: The main point here is that, as you said, "neither limerence nor love excuse disrespect for other people's feelings."
        • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

          Mon, February 6, 2012 - 8:55 AM
          "I'm not sure any of us can diagnose him as limerent or not."

          Oh, I am sure, I (Jango) cannot diagnose anything from here. But when I saw a car crash, I can recognize it, no matter who was driving the car at the time of the accident. Even if the driver was a LS or not.

          "Neither limerence nor love excuse disrespect for other people's feelings, and physical faithfulness doesn't justify an emotional affair."

          Anyway, I love to give my silly opinion here. IMHO, it is very difficult for a LS playing games like this. This kind of behavior acts like poison in many of us, and the picture that I can imagine here is a beatiful stranger in the heaven, with a taste for adventures.

          Madonna - Beautiful Stranger

      • Unsu...

        Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

        Mon, February 6, 2012 - 2:36 AM
        Just for the record, he really is a trained classical pianist, and really was giving her piano lessons for a small part of the hours he spent at her apartment. On the keyboard he gave her.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Sun, February 5, 2012 - 8:05 PM
    Time for an update. After 6 or 7 days of no contact with his LO, it is as if somebody flipped a switch in his brain. I told him I had the chat transcript. He said it was meaningless because he was drunk. I called bullshit. Not 15 minutes later he came up to me and said "you win." I said "I what?" and he said "You win. In my f**ked up thinking I really believed I was not doing anything wrong, that I should be able to have that relationship without you objecting. I was wrong."

    He has agreed to no contact whatsoever, ever again. He seems to understand how risky it is.

    I seem to be getting my old sweet, considerate, never bullying husband back.

    I actually have discussed this situation with her husband. He apparently resides on a river in Egypt (denial) because he attributed " my marriage problems" to my own issues, and saw no problem with our spouses "friendship." I emailed him telling him exactly how his wife behaved with my husband, per my personal observation, and got told I was over the line with my accusations and to not blame my marriage issues on his wife. Dude, I am not the one whose spouse moved out, you are. Think about it.

    I think it began as limerence but rapidly escalated to an emotional affair, because she was using him to fill the emotional needs she has never allowed her husband to fill. She specifically rejected the idea of a less- intimate relationship, preferring no friendship at all if she could not have the emotional affair. I think she is some kind of emotional predator.

    But so far we have a happy ending. We are not totally in the clear, but getting there. His biggest issues with me? I neglect to close the bathroom door, and i bite my nails. Seriously, that is all he had. When I said happily married, I meant it.
    • PB
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      Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

      Mon, February 6, 2012 - 4:30 AM
      The all or nothing is so true. It's torture to only have a little bit when you want the whole thing. To me it felt like I was lying or pretending - which I was. However, I had very strict guidelines like I always paid for my meals when we ate out. If I did buy him something it was always inexpensive - a card is about it. I did give him a few things that I already had that he made comments about. I must admit they were cheap but all were given with a LOT of thought and emotion. More than anyone would ever know.

      I don't see anything predatory about their relationship. They sound like a typical limerent couple, complimenting each other. He likes to feel needed and she is needy. As you've probably gleaned from this forum, this limerence stuff can last years. Hopefully your hubby can snap out of it. I couldn't.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

        Mon, February 6, 2012 - 9:44 AM
        In the 7 years of her marriage she has had a series of affairs, both physical and emotional. I do not believe she went any length of time without "getting her emotional needs met" outside her marriage. She does not seem to be limerent, but a serial LO who dumps her limerent adorers when they are no longer of use to her. And my husband was totally of use to her, permanently, because he inherited a somewhat large sum of money and she has a desperate need for financial security.
        • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

          Mon, February 6, 2012 - 10:14 AM
          Cathyy, how do you know so much about this woman's relationships with others? Is it possible that these relationships are not affairs in the context of her marriage, meaning that in her marriage these other relationships are permitted?
          • Unsu...

            Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

            Mon, February 6, 2012 - 10:26 AM
            She has referred to them a little bit in my presence, but rather spilled her guts to my husband. And they are kept secret from her husband. And she IS my niece, so I also got some info from my late sister while she was alive.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

              Tue, February 7, 2012 - 8:15 PM
              Some really good talks with my limerent spouse. He can see that his life pattern of "crushes" is not how other people experience crushes. He knows that no contact will help his feelings fade, as has always happened before. He is totally on board with no contact. I find it interesting that he had no episodes of limerence the first 9 years we were together. This episode seems to have been triggered by his LO trying to "help" him through a period of high anxiety. She did not think he should take his medication for the anxiety, but control it himself. So his brain chemistry was screwed up, setting him up for this, because he was not taking adequate meds.

              We are working our way back to normal. He is being careful to take enough meds.

              For you single limerents, do not lose hope of having a real normal love and marriage. My husband said that one of the reasons he married me was that he was not "in love with" me, meaning I have never been his LO. I can live with his limerence as long as he yearns from a distance rather than getting into another emotional affair. He has never before had a LO reciprocate, being so shy, so he was blind-sided by the "evil, selfish bitch" ( his words) who has used his limerence for her own purposes.
              • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                Wed, February 8, 2012 - 12:41 AM
                Cathyy wrote:

                >>My husband said that one of the reasons he married me was that he was not "in love with" me, meaning I have never been his LO. I can live with his limerence as long as he yearns from a distance rather than getting into another emotional affair. He has never before had a LO reciprocate, being so shy, so he was blind-sided by the "evil, selfish bitch" ( his words) who has used his limerence for her own purposes.<<

                I was not limerent for or otherwise obsessed with my husband and that was a factor in my deciding to marry him. The relationship was so healthy. Your husband sounds wise in this respect. I don't like your husband's current blameshifting and demonizing of his LO, though.

                I am beginning to suspect my LO may be like your husband: someone who yearns from a distance. It is better than getting into an affair, and yet to me it is heartbreaking. Your husband and my LO must be very frustrated and isolated emotionally. My LO seems to have very few friends and no female friends at all. Wouldn't it be better to learn how to be with someone who activates these feelings, without going overboard? To learn how to have intimate friends without violating boundaries of the marriage? To learn how to have personal boundaries that are flexible and permit a rich and satisfying emotional life, rather than rigid walls that confine as much as or more than they protect?
                • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                  Wed, February 8, 2012 - 11:44 PM
                  "I was not limerent for or otherwise obsessed with my husband and that was a factor in my deciding to marry him. The relationship was so healthy. "
                  My experience EXACTLY, Una.
              • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                Wed, February 8, 2012 - 3:28 AM

                I'm glad to hear he is making the effort to work things out. While anger and demonizing the other person are parts of the NC process, eventually he will have to realize that they were both grown adults, and that he is as culpable as his LO when this happens. She sounds like she has her own emotional issues to deal with, and if it were her or your husband on this forum, it would probably be possible to find a way to empathize with their situations. That said, make sure you give yourself some space through his recovery. You have had to be the steady one, and have dealt with more than enough already. This is your recovery as a couple, of course, but mostly it is his recovery for you. His saying he married you because he wasn't limerent over you sets off a small alarm in my head. Not that not being his LO was a bad thing, or that he didn't make a good decision in doing it, but that he gave you that as a reason. It sounds like he should probably see a therapist to work some of these older issues out so that you're not left shouldering all the emotional stuff. I sincerely wish you both all the best, and I doubt the beginnings to getting through this are ever smooth. Really, though, take care of yourself.
  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

    Wed, February 8, 2012 - 9:11 AM
    Hi Cathyy,

    I have been the "other man" in 2 relationships that lead to 2 divorces. Although I was part of the reason these women divorced their husbands, the marriages were broken going into the affairs. I'm not justifying my behavior; I think affairs are mostly bad for everyone involved. I'll also add we knew risks to the marriages an affair would might cause. We talked about the risks and decided to have the affairs regardless.

    What role did limerence play? In one relationship, we where mutually limerent. In the other, I was her LS.

    Limerence might be an excuse for a "one night stand". Limerence is not an excuse for a long term affair.

    IMO an affair is a symptom that something is wrong with the marriage. It's not just limerence.

    • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

      Wed, February 8, 2012 - 9:59 AM
      >>IMO an affair is a symptom that something is wrong with the marriage. It's not just limerence.<<

      I think that is a really important distinction that often gets overlooked. Limerence is often labeled a symptom of a troubled marriage. It may be more accurate to say an *affair* is a symptom of a troubled marriage, whether or not limerence is a factor. Limerence and affair are not one and the same. Limerence does not necessarily equal emotional affair, even when there is both disclosure and reciprocation. It all depends on the quality of the personal boundaries of the people involved.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

        Wed, February 8, 2012 - 12:00 PM
        Exactly, Una. My limerent spouse did not initiate the sharing of extremely personal information. He did not initiate sexual touching. He did not initiate the demand for secrecy regarding their conversations, either from me or her husband. He did not try to exclude me as she did. She initiated it all, and, blinded by his limerence, my husband honestly believed it was only a "close friendship" because they never had sex. She is the one who ignored all the usual boundaries, who insisted that their relationship cross those boundaries.

        I told her I was not comfortable with their relationship, and she began to ignore me totally. I told her how much their "friendship" was exacerbating his anxiety disorder, and asked her to back off. Instead she started taking days off work to spend more time with him. She has in the past actively tried to break up our marriage, telling him and me both that I did not deserve him. This pre-limerent effort failed totally.

        I want to stress that our marriage was not troubled. He began treating me quite badly due to his limerence, unconsciously, and knowing this has horrified him. He sees now that he was treating me that way, and wants it to never happen again. And neither he nor I are demonizing her. "Evil, selfish bitch" was his pre-limerent opinion of her, as well as his rational opinion of her now.
        • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

          Wed, February 8, 2012 - 12:23 PM
          This woman does sound like Trouble. However, your husband's personal boundaries are his own, so responsibility for respecting them lies with him. He allowed his boundaries to be crossed, moreover he allowed them to be violated, over and over again. In that sense, he violated his own boundaries. Who do you hold more responsible for hurting you, your husband or this woman?
        • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

          Wed, February 8, 2012 - 12:43 PM

          I really don't want to challenge your faith in your husband. You know him, we do not. As someone who has been in this for awhile, though, and who has hurt a significant other in the process, a big part of "getting better," so to speak, has been taking responsibility for myself. It's good that your husband is horrified at his treatment of you. He should be, and it is a step in the right direction. He needs to be able to resist this in the future, though.

          My most recent LO had an amazing, kind, patient girlfriend. My limerence with him was reciprocated, and once I realized that I was hurting their relationship, I stepped out of the way and cut off contact, thinking that I had been exceptional, and that no other woman would ever turn his head and threaten his relationship. Almost immediately, another girl stepped up to take my place and did break up their relationship. His relationship with this other woman ended soon after that. He tried to get back with his girlfriend, and she understandably refused him.

          I'm not saying your husband's heart is not in the right place. He can absolutely get through this. It am just trying to point out that it will be a lot of work. His recovery is still in an early stage, and there might be setbacks. There will always be another woman ready to step in, and he needs to be prepared- in himself and for you- to resist that. She may very well be a horrible person who is selfish and whose own desires overrode all moral boundaries. But there are others out there who will do the same thing, and your husband needs to be better than that, and the only way he will be able to do that is by taking ownership of his weakness.

          I really do want everything to be okay, and am not trying to discourage you. It may be a long haul. I hope it is not.
          • Unsu...

            Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

            Wed, February 8, 2012 - 1:15 PM
            Yes! He is not yet accepting responsibility for his relationship, still thinking it was only a very close friendship. That is why I think I must make an appointment with a marriage counselor. He needs that outside expert to tell him that this WAS an affair before he will accept that it was more than friendship. If he does not think he crossed any boundaries after marriage counseling then I may have to think about whether I can remain married to him.
            • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

              Wed, February 8, 2012 - 5:20 AM
              Respectfully, there is something going on with your marriage, even if the issues are just from your husband's perspective. It takes two people to play the game. Although from what you say, the woman does sound like trouble; your husband does share some of the blame for the situation also.

              Have you thought about seeking some marriage counselling? This might be a way to voice your concerns.
            • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

              Wed, February 8, 2012 - 11:48 PM
              cathyy, it does sound like the help of a good (neutral) marriage counselor will help untangle all this. Best wishes.
              • Unsu...

                Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                Thu, February 9, 2012 - 12:11 AM
                Well, I just got around to a calm reading of the chat transcript. It is very clear that they both knew this was an affair. I am godawful tempted to send a copy to her husband, because they are on the verge of getting back together. (because my husband is no longer available?) I will resist the urge. I did text her that I have it, so hopefully that will give her pause. If nothing else, it will get me a pretty property settlement - divorce here is no fault, but the property settlement takes fault into consideration.
                • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                  Thu, February 9, 2012 - 8:58 AM
                  Experts on repairing marriages after infidelity, including many couples who have been through it, recommend exposing the affair. They especially recommend exposing it to the spouses.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                    Thu, February 9, 2012 - 7:41 AM
                    Her husband has been given enough information to figure it out, but he obviously does not want to. I texted her saying I had the chat transcipt. No threats, no menace, just "I have the chat transcript from x day." Thia apparently bothered her a LOT, as the next thing you know her husband is messaging my husband to get me to stop bothering and upsetting her about a chat transcript. I am now persona non grata to not only her (as I always have been) but to her husband. It annoys me that my husband seems more interested in protecting her marriage than he was in protecting his own. But he is right that destroying her marriage is not the moral high ground. Why am I the only one who has to be ethical? Who is protecting me?
                    • Unsu...

                      Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                      Sat, February 18, 2012 - 7:58 AM
                      Well, time for a progress report. My husband broke the NC a few days ago and kept it secret. However, the contact was a "this is over, period" email. He did sign it off with "i love you unreservedly" which to me makes it a pretty ambiguous message overall. He still can not accept that what he was doing was an affair. He does accept that he did do many wrong things, but he says he doesn't know why he allowd the boundaries to be crossed, or how he rationalized (and still rationalizes) that telling someone other than you spouse that you love them is okay. He still cannot tell me how he told himself that making a woman who had already told both him and me that she hated me into his bestest friend was not cruel to me and a deliberate risk to our marriage. His first reaction in any discussion is still anger, lashing out, threats of divorce, and walking out. To me, this means that his emotional attachment to his LO is still very strong. The recent contact has not helped. I checked his email because he was acting like he did while in daily contact, and told him so.

                      But overall we are doing really well. We are talking more, sharing more. He is genuinely trying to build a stronger marriage with me. His anxiety is better now, too. He no longer needs to take triple his prescribed dosage( with permission from his doc!) to just partially control it. There is hope here, as we are both determined to create an even happier marriage than we had before.
                      • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                        Sat, February 18, 2012 - 9:46 AM
                        Sorry your husband broke NC. That always hurts. And that he concealed it. That is far more hurtful. Are you going to confront him about it?

                        This person is a family member, so he did have a legitimate reason to maintain a relationship with her even though she says she hates you, up to a point. I hate some of my relations too. Does that mean I expect my husband to treat them as if they do not exist? No.

                        >>he rationalized (and still rationalizes) that telling someone other than you spouse that you love them is okay<<

                        On this point I agree with your husband, and so does my husband. I am not saying you are wrong and your husband right, only that this is a question of agreements in your marriage. Did you and your husband ever discuss in detail what behaviors with people outside the marriage you each consider to be okay and not okay?

                        I still tell my old boyfriend I love him. My relationship with my old boyfriend might count as an emotional affair by the rules of many other people's marriages, but in my marriage it is okay. Similarly, in my marriage it is okay that I disclosed my feelings to my LO. Certain actions I might have taken based on those feelings would not have been okay.
                        • Unsu...

                          Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                          Sat, February 18, 2012 - 10:44 AM
                          Yes, I told my husband I knew about the email contact. His defense was that it was an ending things email, and that he felt no need to let me know he sent it. I explained that the secrecy of the email was the greatest offense. And secret it indeed was; I only found it due to a quirk of his email client of which he was unaware. Had he known the quirk he would have deleted that surviving copy of the email as well as the main copy.

                          Una, we are older people, in our mid to late 50s. We have a very traditional closed marriage, so this friendship was absolutely not allowed. But the calm discussion about it (after I refused to get angry in response to his anger, lashing out, and threats) was very helpful. He is seeing the need to protect our marriage and relationship as primary. He is seeing how his relationship with her negatively affected how he treated me from the very start, and how it escalated, unconscious of it as he may have been at the time.

                          He does not have a need to maintain any relationship with this woman at all. If she wants to have family she can look to her father's side because *she knew what she was doing* and simply did not think I mattered. I quote her in the chat: "Cathy has reason to be suspicious."
                          • Unsu...

                            Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                            Sat, February 18, 2012 - 11:21 AM
                            Had he been teling her he loved her in the same way he loves his sister's daughters I would not be upset. That is not the kind of love he was feeling and expressing. He doesn't cop a feel when he hugs those nieces; the very idea would appall him. He was doing so to her, and she was encouraging it. He was loving her as a lover. On her part, she was deliberately displacing me in my husband's life, heart, and mind. I am not ignoring the active participation of my husband. But she is a master at manipulating men, and she pushed all the right buttons to make herself seem needy and helpless and misunderstood to my husband. He fell into her clutches because he was trying to help her - you are supposed to help family, right?
                            • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                              Sat, February 18, 2012 - 4:09 PM
                              cathyy, I was in my mid 50's when my affairs started, but the women are in their 40's. The affair is a very powerful drug; it's very exciting. But if the affair doesn't stop, I think it would destroy most marriages. IMO the only way to stop the addiction is to go NC. Total complete NC. We didn't end the affairs. One marriage is over. The other is ending. I know it's been suggested, but you should try counseling if you want to save your marriage.
                              • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                Sat, February 18, 2012 - 4:39 PM
                                "He fell into her clutches because he was trying to help her - you are supposed to help family, right? "

                                Although neither woman was a family member, but both women were in unhappy marriages. I helped them for several years. In the end, I helped them right out of their marriages. We all are responsible for our behavior regarding our affairs. There are no excuses, we choose the affairs.

                                Unless the other woman physically attacked your husband, he is responsible for his behavior. The woman might have tempted him, but he choose the affair. For whatever reason, he decided to have the affair.
                                • Unsu...

                                  Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                  Sat, February 18, 2012 - 5:16 PM
                                  Yes, he chose to have the "friendship" over my strenuous and repeated objections. But in his man-mind it was not an affair because they did not have sex. In his man-mind they were doing nothing at all wrong. It is only after much talking and explanation that he has come to understand that he replaced me as his primary partner, in all ways except sexual. He really had convinced himself that I was not being harmed in any way by his relationship. Fortunately he sees now that I was being terribly harmed, and says that the thought of ever hurting me so again is a strong deterrent.

                                  He is totally responsible for his behavior. He allowed this to happen. He says he wasn't thinking it through, just going on what made him feel happy. I doubt it will ever happen again. His choice between me and her was instantly and unambiguously me, and now he knows that this kind of "friendship" leads directly to the pain of giving up that friendship or me if he were ever foolish enough to allow it again. He has been making all kinds of efforts to help me feel more secure and safe. He has been setting aside time to spend with me. Most importantly, he is opening up to me again and sharing what is in his heart.
                                  • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                    Sun, February 19, 2012 - 6:46 AM
                                    >>in his man-mind it was not an affair because they did not have sex<<

                                    Yes, that is the typical "fog" thinking, rationalization, of the wayward spouse in an emotional affair.
                                    • Unsu...

                                      Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                      Thu, February 23, 2012 - 4:31 PM
                                      Is it too soon for another update?

                                      Husband and I are doing really well. Better than I either expected or hoped. We are going out and doing fun things together. We are spending more time talking. We are doing all the sweet little things for each other that show caring - a cup of coffee in bed to whomever wakes later, hugs whenever we pass near each other in our daily activity, long snuggles and shared confidences in bed before we sleep.

                                      I don't expect him to never think of his LO. I do expect him to maintain NC. He has finally connected his uncontrollable anxiety to his relationship with his LO now that it has happened twice, and resolved twice when he went NC. He has no desire to ever go back to that state of anxiety. I am optimistic. Already he has mentioned being happier than he has been in a long time. He has mentioned how flattered he is over how very hard I fought for him, and how when I lost I simply redoubled my efforts and fought harder. He knows beyond doubt how much I value him and our marriage, and he is trying to let me know that he feels the same way.
                                      • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                        Thu, February 23, 2012 - 4:51 PM
                                        I can really relate to your husband's anxiety. NC is the way to go, at least for now. How high does his SUDS value go?

                                        • Unsu...

                                          Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                          Thu, February 23, 2012 - 5:58 PM
                                          Wow, that SUDS scale looks useful. I would say he runs about a 2 to a 4, unless he is late with his meds in which case he hits 7 fast. Before going NC he was living from 7 to 9 even medicated.
                                          • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                            Thu, February 23, 2012 - 6:11 PM
                                            >>Before going NC he was living from 7 to 9 even medicated.<<

                                            That was me for a long time. By the time anyone suggested anti-anxiety medications for me, the worst was long past. Oh well. Tracking SUDS is most useful in a short term activity log. It really helps with identifying specific triggers.
                                      • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                        Thu, February 23, 2012 - 11:16 PM
                                        Great news Cathyy - your perspective is so valuable here. When my wife said she would have beaten up my LO if she had reciprocated I felt for the first time in a long period that my SO really cared about me and our relationship. Up till then she had been too proud to admit her feelings for me.
                                        • Unsu...

                                          Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                          Fri, February 24, 2012 - 7:28 AM
                                          Thank you, Chris. I see real value in this group for limerents; how wonderful it must be to get sympathy and support from somebody who really does understand! And the majority of the posters here seem anxious to remain balanced in their advice, as well. I don't see anybody advising another to simply "go with the flow" unless it is two single people involved. I admire that ethical stance.

                                          But sometimes the point of view of the spouse is needed. The digital slap in the face to clear the fog.
                                      • Anxiety

                                        Sat, February 25, 2012 - 3:16 PM

                                        Recognition of an underlying anxiety seems to be a somewhat common theme with recovered limerents. My own experience was that the anxiety had been there all along and I was repressing it. Limerence didn't cause it, just brought it to the surface. I couldn't even begin dealing with it while I was avoiding the conscious knowledge that it existed - a state I managed to maintain for over three decades.

                                        This issue may not be so simple.
                                        • Re: Anxiety

                                          Sat, February 25, 2012 - 11:54 PM
                                          Same goes for me. Now I'm reconnecting to my body I've become aware of a frequent low grade feeling of butterflies in my tummy and explains so many of my behaviours. Limerence just amplified that feeling to a point I could not contain things. That's what I love about this forum, I'm constantly learning. My feelings are so crude though, anxiety and excitement feel the same to me.
                                        • Re: Anxiety

                                          Sun, February 26, 2012 - 10:19 AM
                                          Yup. When the feeling is intense we do tend to have trouble telling the difference between pleasure and pain. And for me limerence was mostly anxiety.
                                      • Unsu...

                                        Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                        Tue, March 6, 2012 - 6:37 PM
                                        More updates. Things are going well. My husband has been talking about his relationship with LO and maintaining NC. He is doing the mental exercises he uses to dispel thoughts and fantasies of LO when they pop into his head. Most encouraging, he is seeing how LO (who is not just a normal LO, but is a sociopath judging from everything I have been able to find online) was using him emotionally and financially. After I had pointed out (in January) that she was using him financially an opportunity arose for him to test the theory. He consciously did so, and she failed the test, manipulating him for financial gain. This is one of the reasons he has been recovering so well - he was beginning to see her as she really was even before the feces hit the ventilation device.

                                        There is convincing evidence that she believed she had him wholly in her control, and was ready to trigger him leaving me. She was mistaken about her level of control and whether she could manipulate him into leaving me. He now sees that she has genuinely been trying to break up our marriage for 6 years now - because she freely told him she wanted to do so 6 years ago, and has continued to tell him so. Why tell a man who has never mentioned any trouble at home, and insists he has no interest whatsoever in getting a divorce, that she would be willing to "let" him put his money in a bank account in her name to hide it from me in a divorce? My husband may have been in a limerent fog, but that offer rang alarm bells for him through the fog. Much is becoming clear to both of us, and the picture isn't pretty. My husband is ashamed of having been so easily manipulated, but, seriously, the woman is truly excellent at it. Her deflection skills are incredible - but they never worked on me, and she knew it.
                                        • Unsu...

                                          Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                          Wed, March 7, 2012 - 4:03 AM
                                          You are crediting her with supernatural powers.
                                          She may be a nasty piece of work, but your husband is a sentient human being who made choices and lied and deceived you. By focussing on her, you are letting him off the hook, turning him into a victim when he isn't one. He was probably lying to her too, you know, they do. I doubt if what he is telling you of their interactions is very reliable.
                                          • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                            Wed, March 7, 2012 - 5:20 AM
                                            classic rug sweeping and trickle truthing.
                                            • Unsu...

                                              Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                              Thu, March 8, 2012 - 10:06 AM
                                              classic rug sweeping and trickle truthing

                                              Oh, yes, he is all in favor of the rug-sweeping. He sees anything other than rug-sweeping as me deliberately trying to make him feel bad because I want him to feel bad. And he still doesn't regret having the EA, as "he had fun" with her. His regrets are limited to how it hurt me and our marriage. He does take responsibility for his choices, but is still stuck in "I didn't think I was doing anything wrong at the time" so there is no feeling of having made wrong choices, either. At least not that he'll admit to me. More goes on internally than he admits. He just wants to avoid the pain of facing his selfish choices to "have fun", over my strenuous objections, with a woman he knew beforehand hated me. He still has no explanation for that, and that is both the explanation I need the most and am least likely to ever get.
                                              • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                                Thu, March 8, 2012 - 10:29 AM
                                                Cathyy that must hurt. I know where your SO is coming from, it took me a year before i was able to feel remorse and start seeing things from my wife's perspective. .

                                                My issue was my SO hates confrontation so was not able to ask me more details, i had to force the issue with her to get my limerence more into the open.

                                                Perhaps he could read the book quoted on the other thread on radical honesty. I have noted a few relationships take on a new level of intimacy where ive done this in the past few weeks.
                                          • Unsu...

                                            Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                            Wed, March 7, 2012 - 7:55 AM
                                            Oh, she is more than a nasty piece of work, but there is nothing supernatural about it. She is skilled at her "game" (as she calls it) of manipulating men, and has been since she was about 12. My husband was able to dismiss her character flaws, of which he was already aware, due to primarily his limerence and secondarily her deflection. He convinced himself that she wouldn't treat HIM that way because they were such good friends. When he saw her actively manipulating another man for gain (an Apple employee, to get a free replacement iPod when hers was damaged in a way not covered by AppleCare) and that man's complete unawareness of what was going on, he got the sinking feeling that, yes, she was able to do that to him at will, too, and had been doing it to him.

                                            Oh, yes, he bears his share of the burden of fault. I know it and he knows it. The talking about the relationship is good, because he is no longer resorting to anger, lashing out, withdrawal, and threats of divorce. We will get to the lying and deceiving part when he is ready to accept full responsibility for those actions, too. He is still processing that this was more than a friendship, and that the relationship itself was inappropriate.

                                            More good news is his anxiety level. He's able to go wholly without anxiety meds for several days at a time.
                                            • Unsu...

                                              Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                              Wed, March 7, 2012 - 9:26 AM
                                              "By focussing on her, you are letting him off the hook, turning him into a victim when he isn't one. He was probably lying to her too, you know, they do. I doubt if what he is telling you of their interactions is very reliable."

                                              this point of view may be worth exploring. it's just this sort of shit we don't want to really deal with. she's a deflection.
                                              she could be anybody or any body with any kind of character trait. sometimes its the limerence itself which refuses to discriminate.
                                              it's only a coicidence this particular LO is skilled at her game. limerence is looking for an object. you might have found yourself
                                              just as repulsed by a shy and awkward LO that put your husband under the limerent spell.
                                              • Unsu...

                                                Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                                Wed, March 7, 2012 - 9:37 AM
                                                by the way cathyy " She has terrible taste. She thinks brown shoes go with grey slacks, and that a moc toe shoe looks right with dress pants."

                                                if that doesn't wake someone from a limerent fog, what will?
                                                • Unsu...

                                                  Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                                  Thu, March 8, 2012 - 9:54 AM
                                                  if that doesn't wake someone from a limerent fog, what will?

                                                  You'd think? He did deliberately not buy a pair of desperately needed shoes that trip. I am annoyed that LO chose a pair of grey slacks and olive brown slacks as his wardrobe basics. Hello, could we please have 2 pairs of slacks with which we can at least wear the same shoes, if not shirts? But this is what I am stuck with as his wardrobe foundation. Worse, he won't wear anything but a solid shirt, hates prints, so no way to get one that looks good with both.
                                            • Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                              Wed, March 7, 2012 - 9:56 AM
                                              "and has been since she was 12..."

                                              Is there maybe something else your husband was connecting to here? One of the big things I've noticed in looking back at my former LO's is that I don't connect to their ability to manipulate me, per se, but to the weakness I perceive to be underlying that. The particular of the LO's life are, as Lisa mentioned, don't radically affect one's process of learning to see them more realistically. That she started so young seems to indicate she probably had a rather unhealthy childhood. Is this something your husband identifies with, and is that something he needs to address?
                                              • Unsu...

                                                Re: Another Spouse of Limerent

                                                Fri, March 9, 2012 - 8:02 AM
                                                have only seen my LO in a suit and tie.

                                                whereas i have never seen my SO in suit and tie (except for the day we got married!)
                                                everyone who knew him had the funniest smile on their face that day. it would be the only day they ever saw him dressed that way.
                                                SO is a jeans and t-shirt man. total hippy when I met him and has never acquired a taste for clothes.
                                                his idea of fashion is finding a pair of jeans without a hole in them and a shirt without any sort of logo
                                                he detests advertising anyone's brand. and yes, i admire this.

                                                LO. total prep. very cute button down type. and yes, i admire this too.
                                                hmmmm???? what dose this say about me? am I looking for the
                                                opposite of my SO? i think i found him.

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