Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

A place to help from being limerent again and how to cope with limerence in future relationships.
User avatar
LisaTranscending
Posts: 898
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:48 pm

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by LisaTranscending »

Acrobatica wrote: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:52 pm And what I am trying to figure out is - did LE cause this, and I should just wait longer, to see if my body chemistry, or feelings, or whatever, re-align to more caring feelings to H. Were childhood feelings so brought out that I have put H in the position of parent and am terrified of him? Or did LE unearth feelings that I was unable to feel/process before?
I think LE is the symptom of an internal struggle that comes to the surface in such an undeniable way to ultimately make us face ourselves, what we are doing wrong in our emotional life, and since there's nowhere to hide, face it we must.

being married to another flawed human being will always be a challenge. remember, limerence is that fantasy that we aren't going to really be married to some flawed human being, or at least if they are flawed, their flaws will be manageable (even adorable) since our feelings are so overwhelmingly positive in LO's presence.

not like our old tired relationships with our spouse. that's just nagging and routine and a relationship that isn't fulfilling and giving us real happiness that we demand from that relationship (if not 100 percent of the time at least 80). and since we aren't getting it, just like Mr. Spock, we go looking for our own private Uhura. (or dream of being alone even...I'm living that dream). I really liked your honesty there, Mr. Spock.

I don't think not having feelings at all because we are deadened completely to a relationship is an answer either. I think if we can find another human being who pleases us maybe even 50% of the time, we have a pretty decent partner.

I like the stories of frustration and fights, and how at the end of that turmoil, the people involved looked for ways to improve their reactions and even their communications with their spouses.

I watch the people in this forum growing and expanding themselves in so many ways.

the other day I blew up at my kid. big time. I lost it big time. totally frustrated and angry at her from me having to work late and a very intense week at work, and getting zero help around the house from her.

she's not my spouse. she's not my parents. she's not some screen of projection of disappointment from FOO abuses that I confound my feelings onto either. but obviously I have an expectation around her to have minimum feelings for me to not completely take advantage of me and not see me as a person who is doing their very best (80 to 90 percent of the time I think) to get her what she needs. she falls short sometimes. she is a human being. I got angry. I'm a human being. so I too, fall short sometimes.

what can we expect from ourselves and from others?

we put a lot of expectation on our spouses. they hurt us in ways perhaps parents or children can't, because the expectation is so very high.
my ex-spouse was also very off the mark last weekend with me. it's not like I can fight with him (since I think fighting is a form of intimacy) and that doesn't exist any longer with my ex. last weekend he picked these wild mushrooms and made a wonderful meal. but he was almost weepy during the meal talking about some difficult stuff from his childhood. and then out of nowhere, he made a terrible comment about how not being married to me is so liberating and wonderful. it was a cheap shot out of left field and I didn't see it coming. I ignored it. and then just as he getting his coat to leave he said something else very hurtful. when he was getting weepy and we were talking I gently teased him that he's turning into his mother. (his mom would tell stories and cry at the dinner table sometimes). and then when he was leaving he said, "Well, I'm turning into my mother I guess." and I said, "I think I'm turning into my dad." and then he (again out of left field) says, "Well your dad is an asshole, at least my mom was nice."

bam! wham!

okay. this guy is pretty angry still. I just shut down. I don't fight with him anymore. then he tried to back pedal. "Oh, your dad isn't that bad." or some shit.

but I went to my room and I won't lie, I cried. It was hurtful. a few days later he came by to help me out with kid since I'm super busy at work again. then the next day he came by to make dinner again. (always on his own accord I never invite him). and I didn't hold a grudge. I didn't call him out on it or make any drama at all. it's not because of how Celestial Body says that I don't care or I'm all tapped out, it's just that I don't want to muck up my own energy with all that talk and all that intimacy. why? because he's not ready. he is still angry.

so what can I do? I don't hold a grudge. he acts out. I don't like it. but, he's a human being holding a grudge. I'm a human being probably holding my own grudges too.

that's probably what we all are if we are honest with one another. yes we can blame our parents. yes we can blame the full moon. but somewhere we have to come face to face with our nature. we have dark sides, we have light sides.

whose responsibility is it to tap into our lighter selves? is it anyone's but our own?
Last edited by LisaTranscending on Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Acrobatica
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:02 pm
France

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by Acrobatica »

Thank you all for your stories.

I have been in crisis all week and, per usual, I can't fully figure out why. I am getting pretty tired of this feeling of crying all the time, several times a day, sometimes uncontrollably in public, but usually not, and not being able to tell why. I want to reach the end of these crying spells. Or at least know why I am crying.

(1) I find the notion of reaching the end of our attractive life, as Celestial Body and Maddie brought up, interesting. (Or as Julia-Louise Dreyfuss put it - our last fuckable day.) I am 46. My hobby/second life is very physical performance. I have never been in better shape. I never thought of myself as a particularly attractive person, but I do more and more now, mostly because of feedback I get. So I wonder how much of everything is about putting some sense of identity there, but knowing it is fleeting.

(2) I had a fight with H on Monday. We are in MC. I asked that the topic of discussion of what a bad mother I am, and how H feels hurt by my rehearsals and other commitments, be off limits outside of the MC where the counselor can referee. This weekend I did my regular thing of rehearsing from 1 in the afternoon til evening on Saturday and Sunday. I know this is a lot, but it is several different groups of people, and I love it. And, if I were home, it wouldn't matter. One son works. The other is usually with friends. And most of the time H has his own commitments, rehearsals, performances - (which never ever register as time away from the family for him). I told H we could go out for breakfast on Sunday or Monday. H walked around in a total huff around me all Sunday and refused to go out for breakfast.

On Monday, he agreed to go out for breakfast, but was still huffy/silent treatment. He said he didn't think MC was working because so much was off limits and it wasn't working fast enough for him. I said I felt like it was going fine, but that I was in a very bad emotional space, and I needed time to figure things out, so I didn't think it was going too slow at all. I knew I was going to my sisters after breakfast for a small vacation my sister and I had planned months ago, so I said, say whatever you want, forget about limits, talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you want to tell me what a terrible mother I am being and how much I am hurting you, go for it. So he did. He got angry for me being gone all weekend. For me putting my rehearsals above him and the family. And told me that he just wanted for me to tell him that I love him and want to spend time with him. I told him that I couldn't say that to him right now - and I told him the same thing that I have been saying for months now - that I don't feel comfortable around him, that I don't enjoy spending time with him because the only thing he wants to talk about is what a bad mother I am, how much I am hurting him, how angry he is that I am spending time with friends or at rehearsals, and how angry and hurt he is that I don't want to hear him talk about his work. And why would I enjoy being around someone whose only focus is to make me feel terrible about myself. I told him I am committed to MC and I want to make things work, but I want to make the marriage, and him, something that I want and enjoy and not just give in to his demands to make him feel better about himself. And I told him that I had already significantly cut back on my commitments and am home every weeknight, except teaching at 8:30 on Wednesdays - which I have been doing for 8 years, (and which he still never remembers that I do) and one off events, so I was sick of him telling me that I wasn't home, because apparently even when I had made an enormous effort to be home, I am still getting flack, and I refused to cut back on the weekend times. And the reason that he had not noticed that I have been home on weeknights for a long time (since this summer) is because he rarely is.

This all happened in a diner. During the conversation, once he hushed me, as if I was talking to loud and drawing attention. I was not talking any more loudly than him (and not loud at all), and I felt it was another technique to put me down as volatile and crazy, and him as sane and thoughtful. Which really set me back. I eventually stopped the discussion and said I needed to go to my sisters. We went home. I packed my stuff as quickly as I could because I really felt afraid of him and just wanted to leave as soon as I could. I didn't change or take a shower. My room is in the attic. As I came down with my bag, H stood at the bottom of the stairs and blocked my exit. I said I need to go. He said I need to know we are OK. I said we are not OK, but I am trying to get there. I felt coerced into giving him a hug to leave my room. I am about the most huggiest person you could ever meet. I give hugs freely and happily to just about anyone. This one felt forced and yucky, and I understood, for maybe the first time, why some people don't like hugs.

(3) So I feel like H is putting me in an impossible position - give up my friends, give up rehearsals, give up my artistic ambitions, to spend more time with the family. So basically, don't do the things I love to spend time in a place where I am miserable. Or give up my family for my friends. And this feels like such a false, forced choice. I don't think I am any grand artist whose art is some gift to the world that must be honored, like Lady Gaga, or something. It is just something I like to do and it gives me pleasure. I don't think the friends that I have made in the past few years are the most treasured true friends that will always be with me come what may - I think they are just people who I like to hang around with that have similar passions to me. So giving up my family - comfort and closeness with my children, an intact family unit - for art, fun, and friends - seems so frivolous and like a crazy bad decision. And H constantly being angry at me for spending time at rehearsals or with friends, while telling me that he is fully supportive of me as an artist, and is fully supportive of me having friends, makes me question my sanity. And frankly, the art that I do is transgressive on some level - I do crazy physical stunts with other people, often very physically fit men, and often other women, and even more often both. So I get why he would be jealous, on some level, but I have made sure to introduce him to all of my friends. I made sure that he drove LO home a few times so they knew each other. But now, he never asks about rehearsals, or what I do, and I am starting to feel secretive. H has no idea that I went to a lame halloween party, got second place in an acro-yoga scavenger hunt, have been working out with my new trapeze partner, have been regularly going to game night to play board games, have a foursome of duo trap couples that I am training during the day so we have someone else in the room (I don't like to train duo work alone, because there is the possibility of duo injury, and no one left to call EMS) and am going to see a band tomorrow evening with the whole acro group so we can ostentatiously own the dance floor. These are not secrets. These are also not dirty things. H pointedly does not want to know.

(4) But here is another thing. I think, well I have invited H to these things - and I have in the past. I tried to get him to go to Acro on Sundays for a while. I asked him to collaborate with me to write the script for the showcases we put on annually. I invited him to many duo-trap rehearsals for safety reasons, but eventually just started working with LO alone, because he was so uninterested. But now, I don't. And frankly I don't want him there. Even though I am often the sole one out on game night - while everyone else in the room is coupled up snuggling - I don't want H there. I'd rather be alone than cuddle with him. And I would be embarrassed that he would take over the conversation and drone on about something ridiculous. I don't want him coming to the dance party. H used to be a decent dancer, and do silly dance moves, but now I think he would sit in the corner and judge, and unless I shone myself on him all night, he would get huffy and I would have to spend the evening dealing with that.
Acrobatica
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:02 pm
France

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by Acrobatica »

So ultimately it is all a forced choice that he won't even acknowledge that he is forcing me to make.

And while LE was toxic, it gave me back one thing that I hadn't felt in a very long time. I felt like a person again. Just a person. My own person. Not H's appendage. Not the crazy one who needs to depend on others for her view of the world. And I can't go back to that. This is not H's fault. It was the basis of our relationship from the get go. I am the one who has changed, and it makes sense that he would be hurt by this change.

And perhaps the choice isn't as H presents it, between fun, friends, and frivolity - and family. But between being myself, whatever that means, and being his appendage, whatever that means. I will not pretend that everything is OK just to make him feel better. Even though that goes against what I have done my entire life.
User avatar
LisaTranscending
Posts: 898
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:48 pm

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by LisaTranscending »

Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:22 am I am the one who has changed, and it makes sense that he would be hurt by this change.

"Do not go gentle into that good night!"

this poem reminds me so much of the changes that limerence brings. for many the most intense version of LE comes up as we approach middle age, and is very tied into the aging process and coming to terms with the final fleeting days of our youth.

like this poem an inescapable bout of LE urges us to rage against the inertia of not living fully. and the death can be the death of youthfulness or even the death of a marriage that has outlived its purpose. (not to say it can't get redefined, but something has to "change" for the marriage to be meaningful again)

we shouldn't live in some kind of zombie like existence, even though limerence itself is a very somnambulistic state of existence, the end of an LE is a rude awakening. for many it will tumble the cart of the lies they have been living. we can pick up the pieces of a marriage, and we can put it back together if that putting together isn't just a shortcut to the transcendence one aspires to. I think that depends on how earnest the need for change ultimately is for each individual and how dedicated one becomes in that serious need for change.

but you are at the tumble cart stage.
User avatar
David
Site Admin
Posts: 3489
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:22 pm
Location: London UK
Gender:
Age: 61
Great Britain

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by David »

LisaTranscending wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:45 am
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:22 am I am the one who has changed, and it makes sense that he would be hurt by this change.
"Do not go gentle into that good night!"

this poem reminds me so much of the changes that limerence brings. for many the most intense version of LE comes up as we approach middle age, and is very tied into the aging process and coming to terms with the final fleeting days of our youth.

like this poem an inescapable bout of LE urges us to rage against the inertia of not living fully. and the death can be the death of youthfulness or even the death of a marriage that has outlived its purpose. (not to say it can't get redefined, but something has to "change" for the marriage to be meaningful again)
As ever, beautifully said LT. Such profound words written about the experience of limerence in mid life. The first few years of life post LE were so turbulent for me - a complete loss of my footings, my untethered soul seeking solace. It took me years to build healthier and stronger foundations. And the work still continues.
For more focussed support, why not join our membership support community? See www.limerence.net on how to join today.
MrSpock
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 50
Argentina

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by MrSpock »

CelestialBody wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:48 am Is it about you, Spock?
More than a year down this road, I can confidently say YES, it is about me.

But that's good thing because I can only control and change myself. If my LE were caused, as opposed to just triggered or influenced, by whatever DW does or doesn't do, I would be doomed. But I'm not. I have a long road still ahead, as I'm so evidently finding about with a second LE overlapping the first, but I'll get there on my own.
CelestialBody wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:48 am I would never treat my husband in that manner, blaming him for something my son did. That's ridiculous.
Exactly. It's ridiculous. But there precisely lies the key to understanding her. How on earth can someone do something so patently fucked up?? I struggled with this question for a long time until I finally started decoding her own physique, and it gradually became clear. Just as we limerents here understand, forgive and support each other because we can see how we are just built up, from the cradle, in a totally dysfunctional manner and our otherwise ridiculous behavior can be traced back to that cradle, I was able to do the exact same thing for her. The details don't matter, but now, when she blames me so ridiculously, I can almost see the whirlpool of emotions and thoughts that emerge from her core of unresolved issues, violently clashing on the alleys of her mind, and eventually leaking out explosively through the only openings that are left. Is the very definition of irrational. But then when rational people do irrational things, what they are really doing is not what shows up on the surface.

CelestialBody wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:48 am Are you really happy or deluding yourself?
It is a fact that I am sort of delusion-ally optimistic. Give me a glass with an inch of water, and I'll tell is full, it just has too much extra air :)

But I transitioned through all sort of stages in my life, starting with my parents, my sister, and now my wife, with all three cases being full of conflict. At this point I honestly believe I'm starting to get the grip of the game of life and how to be happy while keeping intimate relationships with real, fucked up like all of us, people and not just fantasies.
CelestialBody wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:48 am With me, it's hard because we get along so well. There's no jealousy or contempt, arguments, resentment or hurt feelings. Why? Because I just don't care, I think. I gave up long ago. Maybe that's where you're at too. Let that sink in.
That's literally my sister and I. We just don't fight (anymore) because there is no intimacy left. But this is not the case with DW since, fortuntely, our intimacy (barley) survived those 10 years of struggle.

CelestialBody wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:48 am I think I've mentioned here before that I have a bad relationship with my 72 y.o. narcisisstic, negative, selfish mother, who likely is the root of all my issues and bad life decisions (like marrying someone I wasn't attracted to physically just because he felt "safe"). In a moment of weakness, I rung her up and told her everything. This is what she said (direct quote): "People should just fuck each other and keep their mouths shut."
My own mom would not do that, but she would blame me, my sister, God, the universe and maybe even you for every bit of her misery, which for some 15 years now turned into a really really serious autoimmune disease that has her laying in bed all day with an endless physical pain.

And speaking about the universe, is it just a coincidence that I was raised by such a character whose defining trait is to blame everyone all the time, then I married someone doing just the same (but on a scale 100 times smaller)? of course is not.
MrSpock
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 50
Argentina

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by MrSpock »

Hi Acro,

I'm sorry to hear you are having such a tough time with H.
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am so I said, say whatever you want, forget about limits, talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you want to tell me what a terrible mother I am being and how much I am hurting you, go for it. So he did. He got angry for me being gone all weekend. For me putting my rehearsals above him and the family. And told me that he just wanted for me to tell him that I love him and want to spend time with him.
If there is one thing I learned from being blamed, hated and angered by doing this or not doing that, is that sometimes, the real anger comes from a different place, but people can't tell so they just project it onto something on the surface that has nothing to do with the real problem.

And I sense that this is exactly the case with you H from what I'm reading here.

He is feeling abandoned, left out and unloved. So he acts out, and complains that you have time for yourself. He could have complained that you like the wrong type of music, that your shoes are too old, or some other nonsense. But, that doesn't matter because is not that what he is angry about. Or more precisely, that is not what he is sad about. Anger is just the reaction to pain, it always manifest itself in the wrong way, but one is supposed to see past the anger and look for the pain that is causing it.
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am I told him that I couldn't say that to him right now - and I told him the same thing that I have been saying for months now - that I don't feel comfortable around him, that I don't enjoy spending time with him because the only thing he wants to talk about is what a bad mother I am, how much I am hurting him, how angry he is that I am spending time with friends or at rehearsals, and how angry and hurt he is that I don't want to hear him talk about his work. And why would I enjoy being around someone whose only focus is to make me feel terrible about myself.
I understand, and it really is reasonable that you can't be around him while he is acting out his pain like that.
But...

Here another bit of my story with DW.

Our troubles deepened severely when we miscarried a 3 months pregnancy. As always, she blamed me. How on earth was I supposed to be responsible for such a thing doesn't really matter (and no, I didn't do anything... is what I didn't do to prevent it the thing she held onto). What does matter is that she basically just hated me. Like really. And she acted it out all the time. Everything I did was wrong and a reason for her to complain, to tell me how much I was hurting her. "sleeping with the enemy" lasted for about 3 years.

Now,

Even though she always had a bad temper, she never ever treated me like that before (in the 4 or 5 years prior to that). She was clinically depressed, suicidal, had to take pills (and I had to keep them out of her reach), so, her world was so upside down and off that it wasn't really difficult to put two and two together and realize that the way she was treating me day and night was directly related to the unresolved, killing pain of having lost a baby (technically a pregnancy, but to us it was baby, with a sex, a name, etc...)

At some point I begun to see past the way she was treating me, and started to focus on her pain instead. Eventually we pulled through, and even though it is still a tremendously painful memory, she is now free from it.

I can't tell you where your husband's pain comes from, but I can positively tell you that he is acting it out and needs your help.
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am (3) So I feel like H is putting me in an impossible position - give up my friends, give up rehearsals, give up my artistic ambitions, to spend more time with the family. So basically, don't do the things I love to spend time in a place where I am miserable. Or give up my family for my friends. And this feels like such a false, forced choice.
I have been almost exactly there too, so I can tell you that he is not really asking you to choose between those two parts of yourself. That's just the face of the anger and resentment.

I sometimes have to travel to the States from Argentina for work, for about a week or so, and it used to be a nightmare because DW would feel left alone and abandoned. It might have seemed like I had to choose between my job (which has always been the one where the only money comes from, so not really choice) and my family. But in time I learned that it was never about that, and that there really wasn't a problem with me living. It was about how she felt when I did, and once we learned to work that out, it wasn't a problem anymore.

I'm pretty sure is exactly the same here. He doesn't really want you to give up on any of that, he just doesn't know how to get (back) a piece of you that seems, to him, totally lost.
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am So I get why he would be jealous, on some level, but I have made sure to introduce him to all of my friends. I made sure that he drove LO home a few times so they knew each other. But now, he never asks about rehearsals, or what I do, and I am starting to feel secretive. ........... These are not secrets. These are also not dirty things. H pointedly does not want to know.
But... you had have a serious, profound crush and limerence experience with the LO who you made sure he could drive home. So is not really that there are no secrets, or hidden dirty things. Is that you concealed all that so he wouldn't know.

Well, the problem is people can always pick things up even without direct evidence. And even subconsciously.

So, in reality, despite what he could consciously tell, he totally has every bit of reason to feel not just jealous but left romantically and emotionally out. If he picked on that, as I believe he did, then it would absolutely explain why and how he feels. And naturally, just presenting him with your LO to make it look that you are just friends won't really work.
Acrobatica wrote: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:49 am (4) But here is another thing. I think, well I have invited H to these things - and I have in the past. I tried to get him to go to Acro on Sundays for a while. I asked him to collaborate with me to write the script for the showcases we put on annually. I invited him to many duo-trap rehearsals for safety reasons, but eventually just started working with LO alone, because he was so uninterested.
Having said all of the above, please know that I'm NOT telling you that you are responsible for the causes of his pain. I wouldn't know which one of you is the egg and which one the chicken.
But I can tell you that you are both entangled in a snow ball that's been falling down for far too long, and the only way out is for one of you to take a leg out and stop it.
Acrobatica
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:02 pm
France

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by Acrobatica »

Mr. Spock:

Thank you so much for this post. I read it last night after coming back from dancing with friends. At the party, I had a realization that - I don't like parties. I don't really like loud music. And I LOVE dancing, BUT only if I am performing and my job is to make others feel welcome and free. If I am not working an event, I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like a fraud.

So reading your post, in that frame of mind, was a profound experience for me. I very much appreciate the time and thought that you took.
MrSpock
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 50
Argentina

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by MrSpock »

You are welcome Acro!

I'm glad yo help.

Here's a song that always makes me cry (and I can't sing because of that), but is perfect for cases like this.

Acrobatica
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:02 pm
France

Re: Limerence and marriage - cause and effect

Post by Acrobatica »

So I just disclosed to H. I told him that I had been hiding that I had a crush on LO, because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. But I felt like hiding it now was poisoning all of our interactions, and I needed to be truthful with him, so that he understood that his feelings of jealousy and disconnection were real.

I feel like we are on the verge of divorce, and we will either move forward or end.

He is very upset right now and told me that he thinks it was the same as having an affair. Even though I told him, and he already knew, it was unreciprocated, unrerequited, and had caused me nothing but pain, but a realization of a lot of family issues and myself.

I feel like I just threw a bomb.
Post Reply