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Polyamoruous Love Sickness: Can This Be Primal?

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  • #16
    Well, this is from a woman's viewpoint. And mine...is maybe skewed.

    My husband had an affair with a slut that was purely sexual and while he hurt me, the fact was he was using her for his sexual pleasure and had no feelings of "love" for her. I was angry, sad, all sorts of enraged. But when he told me, in no uncertain terms, that there was no sense of love it gave me hope that things could work out. It has.... to a degree. But my bond with him is tenuous and if something better comes along....

    Had he said "I love her very much" I'd have been out of there. Maybe not with animosity or anger, but I would have been gone. If you can suppress things without treating with her with resentment, more power to ya.

    I don't think we can expect to not fall out of love with partners or in love with more than one. But it's a complex situation. Best of luck.

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    • #17
      Wikipedia "limerence"
      ad astra per aspera

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      • #18
        Here's the mental anquish of acting on it. I know you said you have no intention, and I believe you. But maybe if you imagine what happens after caving, the whole thing might go away.

        24 years married. Are you willing to give up half your assets, and part of your paycheck (maybe for the rest of your wife's life) to indulge these feelings? Because even in the least favorable states for the dumped spouse, 20+ years married, especially if she stopped working to be a SAHMom, that's most likely what it will cost you.

        If you're 44 and you've been married 24 years, you got married young. Don't beat yourself up for the feelings you're having, but honestly, the shit storm that would be unleashed is rarely worth it.

        Right now you are focussing on wanting this other woman. Focus on the future just a bit. Everything will be destroyed - your marriage, her marriage, her friendship with your wife, and any other social things that both couples do. And your finances.

        Anyway, good luck to you. My advice: keep it in your pants and think about something else.
        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

        B*tch-lite

        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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        • #19
          Going to a counselor so you can talk to someone about it in a safe environment is an option that didn't occur to me, but it sounds like it might be a very good idea.
          Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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          • #20
            You got some great advise. Like JoanieL above especially. Everytime you have the feelings think of the damage instead. You'll get over it just like the guy in the thread about getting dumped will. Both will take time but you will.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
              Had he said "I love her very much" I'd have been out of there. Maybe not with animosity or anger, but I would have been gone. If you can suppress things without treating with her with resentment, more power to ya.
              Crap. I love her very much.

              Originally posted by TheFastCat View Post
              Wikipedia "limerence"
              I wouldn't want to dismiss the idea that I'm experiencing limerence as a replacement for excitement that has gone from my marriage and/or as an adjunct for the longer-term affectionate bonding I have with my wife. But my concern is that, with OW, I'm progressing from "limerence" to "loving affection".

              I hate that breaking things off completely seems like the most viable solution. Avoidance seems so cowardly and it would just suck.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                Well, this is from a woman's viewpoint. And mine...is maybe skewed.

                My husband had an affair with a slut that was purely sexual and while he hurt me, the fact was he was using her for his sexual pleasure and had no feelings of "love" for her. I was angry, sad, all sorts of enraged. But when he told me, in no uncertain terms, that there was no sense of love it gave me hope that things could work out. It has.... to a degree. But my bond with him is tenuous and if something better comes along....

                Had he said "I love her very much" I'd have been out of there. Maybe not with animosity or anger, but I would have been gone. If you can suppress things without treating with her with resentment, more power to ya.

                I don't think we can expect to not fall out of love with partners or in love with more than one. But it's a complex situation. Best of luck.
                This exemplifies a fundamental sex difference: women's jealousy is elicited more by emotional infidelity, relative to men's, which is fired up by physical infidelity.

                OP, it's a tough situation. Men can love more than one woman at the same time, and I don't think women here really understand that, because for women, they can only truly love one person the way you describe your feelings for both women. It would be extremely painful for your wife to find out how you felt about her.

                Don't leap on my back for making generalisations, ladies.

                All I can say here is that these feelings usually go away. It may take years, but they (usually...) go away, as hard as you would find that to believe now, so deep in thrall you are to the chemical cocktail of love.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                  Here's the mental anquish of acting on it. I know you said you have no intention, and I believe you. But maybe if you imagine what happens after caving, the whole thing might go away...My advice: keep it in your pants and think about something else.
                  Originally posted by snoops View Post
                  You got some great advise. Like JoanieL above especially. Everytime you have the feelings think of the damage instead. You'll get over it just like the guy in the thread about getting dumped will. Both will take time but you will.
                  Interesting. I shouldn't have any problem imagining the damage. A bit more background:

                  There was always a strong emotional bond between us but we started to really develop into good friends after her husband cheated on her and left. My wife and I spent a lot of time helping her because she was suddenly a single mom. Of course she used some of her new-found freedom to sleep with every man she could; carefully avoiding me through it all. But then husband came back. They're trying, but it's tenuous between them and their children are noticeably and permanently shaken up.

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                  • #24
                    A few times things have gotten weird with male friends. When they do, I get the heck out of there. As exciting as it could feel even to keep it all completely in an imaginary place in my head and never cross any outward lines, I don't need that kind of drama in my life and don't want to do that to another person, even if that other person never knows, even if it never leaves my own head and they never know. So I just don't go there.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sabre View Post
                      This exemplifies a fundamental sex difference: women's jealousy is elicited more by emotional infidelity, relative to men's, which is fired up by physical infidelity.

                      OP, it's a tough situation. Men can love more than one woman at the same time, and I don't think women here really understand that, because for women, they can only truly love one person the way you describe your feelings for both women. It would be extremely painful for your wife to find out how you felt about her.

                      Don't leap on my back for making generalisations, ladies.

                      All I can say here is that these feelings usually go away. It may take years, but they (usually...) go away, as hard as you would find that to believe now, so deep in thrall you are to the chemical cocktail of love.
                      Well, if you know you are making really stupid generalizations... don't?

                      You are talking about individual personality differences not sex differences.
                      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by LordPistacchio View Post
                        I hope I've made it clear, and if not I'll say it again, I have no intention of acting on this.

                        But namelesswonder, I think you understand the implied issue and it's why I'm putting this in front of complete strangers. I can't tell my wife because she would, indeed, be crushed. Although she knows their's a "special bond", She's someone who's certain of only a few things: the sun comes up in the East, we're all gonna die and her husband is always loyal. Other Woman knows and feels similarly, but is equally at a loss - aaannnd equally married (although her husband's a clueless douche and no one involved really cares what he thinks. ever.)

                        I fully understand that no one can really help me. I just want the mental anguish to go away without having to resort to isolating myself from Other Woman, who is an old and dear friend.
                        By confiding in the OW, you HAVE acted on this. You've chosen to take this to a certain point. Regardless of the action you choose from here on in, your wife is going to be pissed -- and feel betrayed by both you and her friend -- for being the last to know. Or maybe she already knows, and has chosen to ignore it because if she confronts you she'll have to face the truth. Maybe she thinks if she confronts you she'll be forced to make you choose, and you won't choose her. AND she loses her best friend. Nice.

                        You say you have no intention of acting on this, but what if your wife acted? What if your betrayal made her withdraw? What if she kicked your ass out? What if she forced you to choose? Would you go running to the OW? Would living with a hurt, distrustful, bitter wife be bearable? Would you find the OW more attractive? Are you keeping the OW within arms reach as a backup?
                        Sandra
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                        • #27
                          Love shmove.

                          Eh, the more I learn, the more I feel like Americans have this weird idea about love. Our ancestors understood that what we call "love" is multi-faceted. They even had lots of different words to describe it/them and depending on the situation the type of love and its expression could differ.

                          Look up Platonic love. Not what we call "platonic" love, but what Plato called platonic love. The Four Loves by CS Lewis also talks about the different kinds of love. I'm sure there's lots more good books on this subject, but I can't think of them right now.

                          Deal is, you have a personal relationship with more than one person in your life. Congratulations! I'm guessing if the OW was a guy you wouldn't be in this pickle, you would be happily reveling in a "bromance" and openly driving your wife crazy with it. As it is, yeah, maybe you should think about being open with your wife. I hear you saying "I'm really good friends with this friend of ours, and I really care about her happiness, but I'm confused because she's a she and not a he, but I don't feel like having sex with her." Depends on how good your relationship with your wife is. I can totally handle my husband catching up with women he knew growing up, but then I know that he didn't have a romantic relationship with them. But like even in a bromance, you need to be certain of where your priorities are. If your wife is your #1 priority then you have to make sure she knows that.

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                          • #28
                            Edited to suggest therapy too

                            Originally posted by LordPistacchio View Post
                            Crap. I love her very much.

                            I wouldn't want to dismiss the idea that I'm experiencing limerence as a replacement for excitement that has gone from my marriage and/or as an adjunct for the longer-term affectionate bonding I have with my wife. But my concern is that, with OW, I'm progressing from "limerence" to "loving affection".

                            I hate that breaking things off completely seems like the most viable solution. Avoidance seems so cowardly and it would just suck.
                            OP, I don't know if this is helpful to you. I've never been in the situation you've been in specifically. I have been in love with someone who didn't love me anymore though. It is a very inconvenient love to have and yours sounds pretty inconvenient too, though differently so. One of the best methods of dealing with these inconvenient feelings is something I learned during that bad breakup--"no contact". I would suggest this, because the more you see that person's face and talk to them, the more you think about them and those feelings keep continuing.

                            I don't know if you've said whether you have spoken to the OW or not, but maybe you should tell her that you have some inconvenient feelings for her and that you want to stop them, so you're going to take action and not see her for a while. Leave contact with her and her kids to your wife for a little while. It doesn't mean you'll abandon her forever, because it sounds like she's a good friend. But if you want these inconvenient feelings to die, there are ways to deal with them, at least ways that have worked for me and others. I also like other people's suggestions to see a therapist so you can speak with someone who isn't judging you (you're judging yourself here pretty strongly) and can see the situation with different eyes.

                            Now if you don't want those feelings to die, then I would suggest the honesty route with your wife.

                            Also, this thread makes me not want to get married! Scary stuff.
                            Last edited by zoltankemeny; 10-09-2012, 02:33 PM.
                            "There is a cruelty in life which we must accept with stoicism as the inevitable." -Mizora

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                            • #29
                              I third, fourth the suggestion of therapy. I sympathise and empathise, having gone through something very similar myself (after ten years of faithful marriage) and watched my best friend's marriage implode for the exact same reason (she acted on her desire).

                              Polyamorous relationships are possible, but I suspect that they have to be negotiated from the beginning rather than after decades of monogamy. I would suggest that you look at your marriage with fresh eyes (therapy will help) and identify the gaps that this new love has found to grow in.

                              Good luck and I understand how much pain accompanies these feelings of love. It certainly isn't easy.
                              I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                              • #30
                                Whatever you are thinking your wife is feeling.

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