Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
When Will This Horror Show End?(159 Posts)
Have NC'd for this, regular user, always very open with DH and occasionally show him threads on here. However, it would destroy him to read what I'm about to write.
I've read a lot on here about limerence, and infatuation, and a lot has been a little helpful. But I'm posting as much to just get this down because there is nobody in RL I can talk to and I think I am going slowly insane.
I'm a self-employed freelancer, but work loosely with other companies. A few months ago I started working with a new company, and have subsequently developed something that feels more than an intense crush on my main contact person. Obviously, I'm married, with a small child. Before I met him, I would have described myself as very, very happily married, secure, no money worries, both DH and I successful in our fields. Not smug marrieds (or at least I hope not) but frequently referred to amongst our circle as the happiest marriage around. I've had a challenging year professionally, but not what I would consider a tough year. I am wracking my brains to think of what circumstances might have given birth to this insanity, because you usually read - unhappy marriage, money woes, health issues, bla bla bla. I can claim none of these.
Sure, in nearly a decade of marriage, I've admired the odd attractive man and had the odd daydream for a minute or two (usually around ovulation!) but nothing that I would even term a crush.
However, this man has completely taken up residence in my head, my body, whatever and I cannot stop thinking about him. It's painful the way I feel when I stand next to him. Thankfully, I don't have to see him more than once a month. I am totally professional, and keep all correspondence to an absolute minimum and only ever work related. We don't socialise as such. However, he befriended me on FB, but not my DH (who is my business partner) which I found odd, and occasionally posts/messages me non work things. I never keep the conversation going more than is necessary. I am in a quandary over whether to delete him from our social media connections, but I think that would look very weird given that we have minimal interaction as it is.
He is divorced, and single. That's about all I know. I have restrained myself and don't look at his FB page at all. But any correspondence from him, no matter how brief or dry, literally makes me want to collapse with joy. I feel completely ridiculous just writing this.
I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I have lost a stone in a month. I cannot think. I feel absolutely awful. I have not asked for this. But the way he looks at me makes me want to pass out. I don't think I've ever wanted another human being the way I want this man. It's not even as though he is the most gorgeous man on the planet (although he is handsome I suppose). I've even thought about divorcing my DH and starting over, even before telling this man how I feel. I feel like I'm cheating on my DH and I've never said a word outside of my head until now.
I just want to rewind 6 months and go back to how happy I was before. Some days I just want to run away but I adore my child so much I could never do anything stupid. The worst thing is that I know my DH is wonderful and a total catch and yet now I don't even know if i love him. It is literally killing me. Last night, this man came to an event I organised, but I never got a chance to see him because I was so insanely busy working and the disappointment I felt today has been overwhelming.
Sorry this is so long. I just need a hand to hold, someone who has been through this to tell me it will pass. I'm trying to do all the things I've read about in order to get over limerence. I keep reminding myself that I am a capable, sorted, forty something successful wife and mother and try to shut down thoughts of him, but they come unbidden into my head and will not leave.
If you have been through this, how long did it last? If you managed to get through it and not wreck your life, how did you do it?
But the big question in the back of my head at all times is: What if this man is meant to be in my life? Because it is so overwhelming.
Thank you so much if you read this. I just needed to get this out before my brain exploded.
Hey I've just come across your post and although I can't really give you any advice, I want to say I'm going through similar to what you are. I too am married...everyone thinks we are blissfully happy, but I don't think I am. We have a d's who would be heartbroken if we were to split, I could never do that to him. This man, who I have worked with for years has the same effect on me that you were describing. .I cannot get him out my head. If he stands next to me I am literally aching for him to touch me! I know he feels the same as we have spoke about it, but I'm married and he is in a relationship too. Over the years neither of us have been single at the same time so nothing has ever happened between us. But the longing hasn't gone away..In fact it's getting crazy now!
I too wonder "what if?" It's mad isn't it?! I'm also a forty something woman and although I love my job it's getting so hard seeing him in work every day. .I've lost weight too! It's like being a bloody teenager again, and it made me laugh when you said how happy you felt if he makes any contact with you! I can totally relate to that.
So, all I can say is...go with your heart, maybe he is meant to be in your life, or maybe it's just complete infatuation, you say you are happily married so keep that in your head and try and distance this man from your mind. I'm a great believer in what will be will be..but you don't know him really, so don't risk your (happy) marriage for something you would most probably regret
It will pass if you don't feed it . I'm not saying it's easy but it's possible.
If you decide that you do want to purse a relationship with this man, please have the honestly to split up with your husband first , and don't cheat on him.
Oh poor you.
You're spot on with limerence: this is it, and this is how powerful it can be.
And this is going to be tough, but I'll tell you what you need to tell yourself : it doesn't mean anything, it only feels as if it does. And it really feels as if it does.
But all you've described here are feelings and thoughts. There is absolutely nothing to back it up.
Rather than block it out (nearly impossible) I'm going to suggest you find a very private outlet to let your feelings out periodically. A locked diary for example.
I'd recommend keeping your distance as much as you can as well. Do not DO anything, repeat, do not DO anything about your feelings! Just have them, and continue with your life, and keep way from trouble. One day this obsessive feeling will be over. Your lovely life will still be intact.
You need to cut yourself off from seeing this man. If it means losing the contract, so be it. It is not worth ruining your own and your child's life for an infatuation.
Thank you for replying. It feels a little bit better being able to tell someone about it at last, even if it is anonymously.
How much longer will this last though? Another 6 months? Another year? I don't think I can take much more of this utter, utter misery. It's making me ill. I have been an insomniac for the last 3 months and it's really affecting my work and domestic life.
I read somewhere that one way of diffusing a crush like this is to tell my DH about it, perhaps in a jokey way, so that it's out in the open. But I just can't imagine my DH being anything other than horrified, even if I said something innocuous like 'so-and-so's quite cute I think'. (Which I have debated.) It's weird to be going through what I think is the most painful, intense emotion I have ever experienced and not be able to confide in my partner.
I could never have an affair - it's just not in my nature, I'm too emotional. Just the intense anguish I'm in over what I feel is 'mental cheating' is killing me - and I'm a terrible, terrible liar. I couldn't do it to my kid either.
Here's the thing. I have a pretty infallible gut instinct. I would put money on this man feeling something too. But because he's a gent, and also because he is doing business with my DH and I, he would never ever suggest anything inappropriate.
I am very close to going to see a solicitor. I can't take another year of this, and certainly not another 10. There is a large part of me that wants to tell this man how I feel (without coming across as crazy), knowing one way or another whether it's reciprocated. And if it is, I feel so strongly, I would divorce my DH. Another part of me thinks I should end my marriage anyway because I can't live like this, whether the other man is aware of my feelings or not. Surely it's something deep seated in me that makes me feel this way. I'm in a fortunate position financially that I would be fine on my own. And maybe I need to be on my own.
Jesus, if someone told me I'd be thinking this way 6 months ago I would have never believed them.
I think you should talk honestly about this to your husband before you see a solicitor.
It's a fantasy at the moment, the feelings you've got are not going to stay that intense. It may be that being honest brings you closer to your husband, or ends your marriage.
Don't see a solicitor. I think it will pass. Seriously. Been there - but didn't do that. Was also work related. When I look back now I wonder what I was thinking in so far as he was just a regular bloke, not my soul mate by any means, although I understand WHY it happened, if that makes sense. I had been through a period of several unsupportive managers, for example. Is he supportive of you in a way you realise now you have been missing? Maybe it's harder to work alongside your DH than you think - could it be that this relationship has given you an identity that you are craving? Would you like more of a separation between the two of you? It always has sounded really intense to me working, having a fmily, AND a business with a partner.
OVienna what happened exactly, and how long did it take to pass?
The thing is, other man(God that sounds seedy especially as nothing has happened) effectively works for me (it's a complicated business without outing myself), but my company is in a loose sort of partnership with the company he works for. Working with DH was never a problem before, and still isn't if we take away this man's effect on me.
You have said something that has made me think though. It's not so much that he's more supportive - it's that I find him much, much more interesting than my DH. DH is hugely ambitious - which I found very attractive at first - but over the course of our marriage, he has become a lot less interesting because all he thinks about is business and money. It's not that I'm some naive hippy - I'm pretty savvy myself - but I suppose a large part of the attraction to this man is cerebral and creative.
It's not as if my DH and I don't have a good sex life; and I always think that that can be worked on anyway. It's another thing to explain to him that I find another man a 100 times more interesting than him. Where can he go with that? And how do we fix that in relate?
But please, please, tell me how it passed for you. This is the hope I cling on to, before I metaphorically burn my house down.
Mine passed - it waseverything you describe, he felt the same too. Intoxicated, an addiction. I was also married with children. Lost tonnes of weight. End result? I ended my marriage - not to go to him, ( and don't for a second believe you can leave yourH and slide smoothly into the arms of your obsession - part of this mindset is living in cloud cuckoo land) in the end he wanteda flirtation but he would havebeen horrified if he thought i'd left my marriage for him. No. I left because i knew my feelings for DH had died, they were spluttering in a fatal way before all this but i was in denial about it.
Roll forward 4 years, do I think of him? Occasionally. Was he all i thought? No. Just an ok bloke in the middle of a relationship crisis of his own, enjoying the thrill of attraction to me, but that waswhere it ended. I think i was his ego boost. I don't regret leaving my marriage, but i would hate to go thriugh that limerance experience again. Soooooo detached from reality, so intense and extreme, it's almost a psychotic episode!
I don't have experience of this...but I don't think you should throw away your marriage for something that sounds like an infatuation that has no basis. Even if the feelings were reciprocated by this man, it doesn't mean that he'd be any good for you in the long run, or that finding him more interesting wouldn't wear off eventually (same as how you're describing the initial attraction you felt to your DH & his ambition). I think every relationship settles into a comfort zone with highs and lows, where hopefully there is still a spark, but basically becomes a lot about commitment throughout all the stages of a relationship. It would become the same with this other guy. So these initial intense feelings you're having for this other person don't actually mean much (although it feels like it does right now!).
I think you'd be crazy to end what you described as a happy marriage/family over a sudden obsession over a man you barely know (and I'm not suggesting you get to know him better either!). I think the best thing you could do is to cut contact with this person completely, whatever the cost, and maybe take up individual counselling to try and figure out why this came over you and how to overcome it. And if at any point, you come to the realization that your marriage isn't what you thought, or not something that you want to work on (or even that there is something in you that you just can't get past to continue the relationship you're in) - then that's ok, but at least you would have come to this realization properly without it being clouded by a fantasy. Or maybe you will find that you can resolve it and have a happier and stronger marriage for it.
Mom2k has it - and it's what i did; even down to the counselling - i ended my marriage because of my feelings towards my husband after a long time of other difficulties; I didn't end it over some notion of me and this other guy somehow being together. I knew that wasn't a reality and never even tried. I was with my husband from the age of 22; this happened when i was 37, over 4 years ago. It was intense, obsessional, a sexual awakening to have that volcanic burning desire again. I look back and actually it was frightening as i was only just, just in control of myself.
You have titled your post a horror show, and you could be looking at the remains of your marriage lying inert on the floor in a year or two's time by 'watering the grass' elsewhere.
You are bored and want excitement so you have developed a rather ordinary crush, for it is nothing more, and let it live in your head. You can do as you please of course, and I hope it will be to grow up emotionally, for the sake of you and yours. But if you decide to indulge yourself over this, at least do your blameless DH the courtesy of keeping him up to speed.
I've had this too - went completely bat-shit crazy for quite a while. I've never told anyone, this is the first time I've acknowledged it in any way. It led me to cutting myself to let the pain out.
But there was always at the back of my mind that little voice (a bit like when you're really drunk but there's still a part of your brain that knows what's going on) that told me to hang on and not rock the boat at home in the hope that it would pass.
And it did. Without the oxygen of acknowledgement or action it gradually shrivelled up and died, leaving me filled with relief and a certain amount of shame.
We can't control how we feel but we can control how we react to those feelings, even though sometimes it may feel intolerable. Don't do anything to jeopardise your family until you've cut contact with this man as much as possible (including FB) and given this thing time to subside. It won't do it all at once, it can come in waves.
If you can clench your teeth, dig in your nails and be brave the pain will pass.
You know how being in love is described as being like mental illness? I think you should treat this as a mental health issue. It sounds like part of you is being swept along with the exciting madness and the other part of is on the outside looking on with horror.
There is a large part of me that wants to tell this man how I feel (without coming across as crazy),
I can't see any other outcome to be honest
This will pass! It will, it will.
Limerence is powerful and awful, but it has a shelf-life (of under 2 years).
The reason you feel so overwhelmingly drawn to him is that he echoes some unaddressed issue you have. Sub-consciously, you sense this, and it feels like love (but it isn't: it's neediness; the need to relive an emotional wound, usually). A relationship with him would be supremely unbalancing and unhealthy, as it really would be all about something that's wonky inside you, and the correspondingly wonky thing inside him. You can tell this attraction is unhealthy, that's why you're writing here. You're powerfully drawn, but it feels sickening somehow, right? Nothing good will come of you acting on this attraction. Don't go there.
The cure is no contact. You cannot brood over something if you have nothing to feed your obsession.
I know you'll say "yes, but!" with all sorts of work-related reasons why you can't cut him out completely, and oh wouldn't it be rude to drop him from Facebook. Brush away those "yes, buts!". You can't overcome this if you still hang on to him. If you're serious, you will find ways to never have to interact with this man again.
Have someone else supervise him.
Remove him from your FB contacts. If he even notices you've done this, it's because he's similarly obsessing, so it would just be further justification.
You describe this, correctly, as a crush, and admitted that the reality is that you hardly know this man. It would be ridiculous to destroy your marriage and mess up your child's life for something like this.
If you work with DH, can't you get him to take over the contract with this man's company?
SO my situation was quite a bit different in so far as while we had contact every day, sometimes for extended periods, it wasn't in person...! We worked together but remotely...shared a lot of gossip and jokes. He initiated it all; is much senior to me although we do the same sort of job. We have met a few times in person... But overall it was more like an 'online thing', if that makes sense, although v intense at times... I feel silly even writing it all down...I knew deep down what it was about - the attention - he was so very accessible, in a way my husband isn't always and as I said before, I had non existent support at work. Also, we are from the same country of origin and talking to him part of me experienced a bit of a 'what if' I had stayed in my home country and married a guy there... I believe it started for HIM at a period of time when he and his wife had decided to park IVF for good. I know he doesn't always feel supported/recognised for his efforts too. I think we were both feeling a bit shitty overall.
It was a 'safe' outlet because we were thousands of miles away from each other. We still chat from time to time about work but it is properly just a 'mates' thing and not something that happens every day or even every week.
It just petered out TBH. There was lots we DIDN'T have in common...
I also recognised even then that if were willing to engage with me in this way, he probably is doing it with others too or has done... YOur guy may be giving off 'vibes' for sure, but that might be his style generally. I doubt you're the only one who's noticed it.... this is something I would reflect hard on...
I would also add, whilst he did tell me I am attractive, smart, funny - again, all the things you want to hear when you need a self-esteem boost!!!! - and flirt a bit, things never got properly creepy/sexual. It was intense, but just the right side of friends...but no less intense..hard to explain.
What would you REALLY DO if he suddenly showed an interest? WOuld it be a huge wake up call???
The thing is OP, you have said that you don't see this man very often, and that you keep personal contact to an absolute minimum. Your actual relationship with him is almost non existent-everything you describe is being driven by you filling in the gaps-it is not reality. This includes the unflattering comparisons with your DH. I can only echo the advice of others-this "crush" (although I think that word is too innocuous in such situations) will go away-please don't do anything hasty based on a fairytale you have written in your head.
Everything you describe is how my stbxh describes the intense feelings he experienced for a co-worker before embarking on an affair with her.
I threw him out when I discovered it and not a week passes that he doesn't cry and beg me to take him back. He lives with her now, and couldn't be more miserable.
He tells me he used to fantasise about leaving me to be with her, but the minute the affair was exposed he realised what really mattered.
He describes it as something he will regret for the rest of his life, as will I, as will our children.
Patbutcherearrings26 my heart goes out to you I am in the exact same situation . Lost weight can't concentrate etc - again no physical affair but some connection going on. This infatuation of mine going on for a year. I also have other stresses strains with our children however I wasn't sure I am 100% happy with hubby - think I married him for wrong reasons. But what is killing me is what it ll do to him and kids if split - my kids dote on my husband. Everyone think he is wonderful so I will be the cow if we split. Deep down I think if we split it will be cos of us and not this work bloke. Think you have to ask yourself if u split with your husband and thus work bloke wasn't interested would u regret splitting??? I am going to relate tomo in the hope I can see things clearly.
Good luck I know it s a horrible place to be x
I don't think you should tell DH. It would be very awkward if you all work together and might make the situation worse.
We are often attracted to someone who has qualities we would like to have ourselves so maybe working on your own cerebral and creative needs would stop you projecting them on to this man.
Best of luck.
Doesn't your husband notice your weight loss, sleeplessness, being "absent",
Don't you think he will say one day, are you having an affair ? even an emotional one ?
if it gets to this point, you may not be able to pull back from the brink of your marriage that even you don't know is over.
I felt this.
I decided that I couldn't do it to my partner. I still question the decision, but it is one I made. Morally I felt I had to sacrifice my own
questionable happiness. yes the OM might have been the "one", but equally, & very probably not
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.