What can spouses do?

When your spouse or partner becomes limerent for someone else, it stinks.

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It’s Understatement Sunday

Quite reasonably, many people experiencing this relationship-testing stress wonder desperately what they can do to help. Some cope by going into “fix it” mode to focus their energy on a solution rather than on confronting their feelings. While this tactic can be pretty useful in life generally, when the problem actually is “feelings”, it may not be so fruitful.

People respond differently. Some get consumed by righteous anger, some become depressed, some plead, some bargain, some rage. But everyone who goes through this has to confront a fundamental truth: it shreds your self-esteem. Because intact self-esteem is very useful for coping with the fallout of limerence, one of the goals of this site is to help spouses who have been impacted by limerence understand what is going on. The key message is this: limerence is going on in your spouse’s head, and is not an indication of how wonderful LO is, or how undesirable you have suddenly become. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, it’s about their emotional issues, not a judgment on the quality of the marriage.

I’ve posted before on some ideas about this issue, but in this post I want to think out loud about some of the practical steps that could help spouses snap the limerent out of the worst excesses of the limerence episode. I can’t pretend that these are field-tested ideas, but they may be productive.

As a caveat, at the start, I’m assuming here that your spouse has generally good character, has not already embarked on an affair, and that your marriage was working well (from your perspective) before this happened. If not, then unfortunately your problems are a bit deeper than just your spouse’s limerence. It’s probably time to find a therapist, or a lawyer.

With that depressing aside out of the way, what can be done to help manage the situation?

1) Understand how limerence is affecting them now

The first step is to figure out where your spouse’s mind is at. Are they in the thick of limerent euphoria? If so, they will be hard to reach. LO is triggering a big old dopamine rush and their subconscious mind is driving them to try and maintain this for as long as possible. LO is idolised, you are not. None of this is your fault – they’ve got themselves in a brain loop because they were careless and selfish and self-indulgent (and possibly seduced). But even if your spouse is in the “deep zone” they may nevertheless be feeling highly conflicted, because they love you but are infatuated with them, and that is hard to process unless they have a very well developed sense of self-awareness. Unfortunately, that conflict can manifest in getting angry and short-tempered with you, and – even worse – seeking solace from their new wonderful friend. This is the phase of limerence in which your best bet is to focus on yourself, and decide how much patience you have to tolerate besotted foolishness. If your spouse is in this zone, get some distance if you can. You need support, possibly personal counselling, and hopefully an understanding friend.

If, in contrast, your spouse has recognised that they are in trouble, that they have lost control of the situation and are anxious about what to do, then they are probably either coming out of limerence, or not yet fully immersed. It is likely that they will be easier to reach. If they have confided in you about their feelings for LO, and (this is an important bit, so I’m putting it in all caps) SHOWN CONTRITION then you have something to work with. Best of all is if they have said that they want the limerence to stop. They may not act as if they want it to stop – they may even seem evasive or hypocritical or react angrily to constructive suggestions (that just happen to involve them spending less time with LO) – but they have enough lucidity to recognise the harm it is causing them. At this point, guiding them to an understanding of limerence and how to overcome it can be effective.

2) Develop ninja-level communication skills

It is really hard to speak calmly and honestly when your partner is mooning over someone else. Conflict negotiation is a high level skill, and like most skills, practicing it is the only way of establishing a trained habit that happens almost automatically when in a high intensity situation. Communicating with a limerent spouse in a way that does not provoke either of you into a spiral of denial, anger and blame, is a serious challenge. One advantage that I had in my last limerent episode was an established habit of honest communication with my wife. Frankly, she had trained me. She counselled people at one point in her life, and had learned the skills of reflective listening, clear assertiveness (without aggression), and how to spot and sidestep common roadblocks. She encouraged me to read the same books she had used, and taught me some of the methods. We used them in our marriage, successfully (and even got to the point of laughing at each other when we were “doing that assertiveness thing”). That helped a lot. There were still tears, and anger and frustration, but the default habit was honest communication and that was very helpful.

Now, it may not seem to be terribly helpful to say “you needed to have trained yourself in a skill some time ago” as a solution to a problem that exists now. But remember the proverb: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Taking the time to learn and practice good communication and conflict resolution skills is a massive help in resolving, well, this conflict. A happy bonus is that it’s a really useful skill in almost every other aspect of life too. So you’ll be a more effective and purposeful person for the effort.

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Achievement unlocked!

3) Stealth education

A bit sneaky this, but the idea is to plant idea seeds and hope they germinate. Most people aren’t aware of the concept of limerence. Most limerents just think, “Yep, this is what love is like. Got it.” The idea that actually there is a tipping point beyond which good feels lead to a self-reinforcing obsession that derails your life, is unfamiliar. Similarly, the idea that many people do not feel like that, do not experience romantic love like that, and that it doesn’t represent some sort of cosmic connection, is a revelation. While you can’t browbeat someone into accepting something they don’t want to believe, it could be useful to nudge your limerent spouse along that particular road to Damascus. A bit of consciousness raising about limerence may be useful. Case studies about limerents making fools of themselves and destroying their lives may also be useful.

Unfortunately, most people are only really receptive to uncomfortable new ideas if they think they have discovered them themselves. So, you’ll have to be sneaky.

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Oh, that? It’s just something I found in the library that looked interesting…

4) Think carefully about your boundaries 

The heart of the problem that impacted spouses face is that they can’t actually solve this unilaterally. Really the best that can be done is to communicate clearly and honestly, and hope that your spouse sees sense. You could try an ultimatum, but that may drive them further away or precipitate an escalation of the limerence by adding a barrier. You could try pleading, but your spouse may already have devalued you to the point that this is taken as further evidence of your shortcomings. Plus, it’s another blow to your self-esteem to plead with the person that should be your equal partner. There are not a lot of ways to win in the spouse versus LO competition, so by far the most rational and successful strategy is to not play that game. You should play the “who am I and what do I want?” game instead.

The key to this is to really think about and establish your boundaries. Limerence is going on in your spouse’s head, and that’s the only place it’s going to be resolved. All you can decide is how much space and time you are willing to give them in the hope that they will take that opportunity to address their emotional problems. Is insisting on No Contact a red line for you? Or is a “no contact during family time” rule sufficient as a first step? This is not meant as a compromise or negotiation, or a lesson in how much humiliation you are willing to tolerate. The idea is to genuinely ask yourself what you think are reasonable limits within which your spouse can sort themselves out. Then, you communicate those limits clearly (see step 2), and also the consequences should they cross those lines. A significant danger comes from the understandable anger over their thoughtless behaviour – if you insist on strict rules but your spouse fails to meet them, what then? Backsliding on an impractical ultimatum is far more damaging to your self-esteem and to the mutual respect between you, than not setting it in the first place.

You know, it’s hard. The loss of control is maddening. One way to recover that is to focus on the thing you can control: your response. Ultimately, the only sane way of getting through a spouse’s limerence that I can think of is to focus on your own goals, your own boundaries, and navigate through this in a way that maintains your self-respect and your personal integrity, whatever the final outcome. Being clear on your boundaries, and enforcing them soberly but determinedly, is the probably the best way of achieving that.

Good luck.

52 thoughts on “What can spouses do?

  1. 2), and also the consequences should they cross those lines.

    See them through too. Don’t bluff or lie to yourself. It’s completely valid to tell your mooncalf SO that you don’t know exactly what you will do to protect yourself, but you regard self-preservation as a priority.

    I would protect my finances immediately. Pursue LO on your own dime, not mine (and the kids, house, etc.).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bingo! A thousand times.
      Nail ON the head.
      I had to make it clear to my LH that he would honor his financial promises to our older kids and myself or he’d find himself in an expensive legal dilemma!
      He can’t afford that.
      Always follow through and make it clear that they cannot disrespect you (especially if you are the mother of their children).
      “Mooncalf”…amusing!
      I prefer the term Limerant Alien (since it seems like they’ve been body snatched or obviously duplicated). Thanks for that bit of humor.

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    • I agree, and this goes both ways. The limerent spouse can be quite startlingly disrespectful, which leaves a scar, but also: once you lose respect for your partner (as they abase themselves like a lovestruck teenager), it’s hard to rebuild the relationship.

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      • This really IS the hardest part of watching your spouse go through Limerance. Especially if you have older kids who are aware of the behavior and understand what Limerance is. I refuse to be a doormat. But I still feel, at times, like he’s treating me like one. I want to rebuild our relationship. I’m just not sure I can ever respect him again?? How to work on that?

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  2. Thanks for this helpful article. I’m using a lot of the suggestions offered. I know my spouse has been Withholding & burying a lot of grief from a string of losses over the last 5 yrs. He lost all of his family except his sister. He is 50 and still in what some would call a “Midlife Crisis”. He’s overspending, risk taking, drinking a lot, overeating, etc. Now he’s admitted to an affair since March. Even told me about the LO. It’s her 3rd affair in only 10 yrs of Marriage to her hubby. She has a young daughter. We have over 25 years together & 2 amazing kids (18 and 21) who are aware of the situation. They are learning about Limerance, too.

    Trying to talk ANY sense to a Limerant in Phase 2 is pretty pointless. He let the LO move into our Family Condo there. So much for Sacred Spaces? Even in Phase 1, the Halo effect was too strong to get through. It overshadowed all his common sense. During a Family Session/Intervention, he treated our young adult kids like they were 5 year old’s having a tantrum! Counseling helped corral his Horsemen for a few months. He quit going. The Horsemen are back. Marriage Helper has good info about Limerance on their site, because it’s the primary Affair Type they see. I am NOT religious but don’t feel like they push it. I’m hoping to save our marriage and seeking all the resources/support I can. Private Therapy, Marriage Counseling (when he’ll go), etc. Your site is awesome, too! My son has been reading a lot, so thanks again!

    I am currently struggling with THIS conundrum: Is my spouse “a good person doing a bad/out-of-character thing”? Or is he “a bad person doing a bad thing”? It is really hard to tell right now, with some of the truly mean/cruel & disrespectful stuff the Limerant lobs at you. Even when he said “it’s not a competition. I’m in love with both of you”, I still feel compared to the LO constantly. He’s rewriting our history, has vilified me to co-workers (even his boss!) and I think his sister, too. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to handle this “backlash” other than to continue working on myself (which I am doing)? Thanks!

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    • Hi Ruby,

      I’m going to be honest: you’ve lost respect for him, he’s treated you abysmally, and he’s blatantly having an affair with a serial cheater. It’s hard to see a road back from there.

      I’ve talked before about the philosophical distinction between someone who behaves badly even though they are good deep down, and someone who behaves badly because they are bad. My view is that the impact on everyone they hurt is the same, so it’s not worth trying to figure out which is “true”. He may have an epiphany somewhere down the line, once the limerence subsides. It can happen, but your marriage will never go back to how it was. And it’s probably healthier and better for you to protect yourself (emotionally and financially) regardless.

      In terms of backlash – the best way to handle it is to focus on yourself and your children. You can’t control the lies he’s spreading, and you can’t control the response of other people to hearing them. It sucks. Badly, But if you are able to care for yourself, make purposeful decisions about about how you want your future life to be, and behave in a way that maintains your self respect, you stand a much better chance of coming through it all with resilience and self-esteem intact. That makes a huge difference.

      Wishing you the very best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that thoughtful reply. I am well aware that the Marriage I knew and trusted in died the moment he told me about the LO. He’s been…almost too honest about all of it. I also know the man before the Limerance had a very firmly rooted set of beliefs about monogamy and relationships, that he is casting aside right now (so he’s obviously creating a personal narratives casting me as a villain to calm the guilt/shame/etc? or telling himself he’s “duogamous”. Yes, he created a word for it. LMAO). I’m not expecting to get my old marriage back. EVER. I’m hoping he will eventually come out of the Limerance and realize that we have to start over. We have a really, long, and romantically entwined history that he’s been trying to rewrite to little avail. Really, we’d have to start from square one. He would have to show genuine remorse. In one of our last sessions, when the Counselor was explaining that he “may feel like the center of the universe with these women orbiting around him, understand that the orbit WILL decay”. His response, “actually it feels like all the guns are pointed at me”. LOL. So there have been moments of lucidity? Fewer this last month.
        He actually does realize that I could walk away at any given moment. I think it scares him. I’ve set some gentle boundaries (or STOPs) so he knows there are consequences. Whether he gets that concept of “consequences” right now is truly questionable! When we do talk by phone or face-to-face I see a little boy. An adolescent, at best. So I have been focusing entirely on me, my children, my closest friends, mine & kids’ well-being, quietly moving what I can to safe places. Even moved documents he would need access to for court from our personal safe to safer places (not that he’s ever here long enough to gain access to them). The fact that he works overseas and is taking a lot of time/space “to think” while ignoring our kids, tells me he is just spending more and more time w/the LO. They have a big geographical disadvantage! She lives just as far away, doesn’t work as much as he does so they often only see each other a few days here and there. Not even every month. He admitted there might be a forced resolution bc she may have to resign from her job for her daughter. He is honest about that stuff, even when I’ve said I don’t need to know. I was very clear in 3 different sessions that I don’t want a “forced resolution”. I am NOT leftovers!!
        Bottom line? Whenever I decide my “stand” is over, it’s over. Whether he likes it or not. And has that truly sunk in? Well, we’ll see won’t we? I appreciate your input greatly!

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      • Ruby Red, much of what you have shared is a scenario of how things could have played out for me as the limerant. Thank you for sharing.

        “In one of our last sessions, when the Counselor was explaining that he “may feel like the center of the universe with these women orbiting around him, understand that the orbit WILL decay”. His response, “actually it feels like all the guns are pointed at me”. ”

        I remember during the height of my emotional affair and “wonderful-feeling” limerence thinking “this is going to end badly.” I enjoyed the rush of not knowing how everything was going to turn out, while also internally minimizing the potential consequences. I felt the highest of highs while knowing I would fall someday in some unknown way.

        “The fact that he works overseas and is taking a lot of time/space “to think” while ignoring our kids, tells me he is just spending more and more time w/the LO. They have a big geographical disadvantage! She lives just as far away, doesn’t work as much as he does so they often only see each other a few days here and there. Not even every month.”

        I remember sometimes feeling even closer to my LO when we were the furthest apart geographically. “Hey world, nothing can keep us apart!” Also, while the time your SO spends with his LO is quite concerning, in my opinion, the mental time he spends with her is just as problematic. At the time, I thought I could keep two people inside my head without harming the other. In reality, when my LO was in my head (which was almost all the time), my SO was secondary. Today, one month into No Contact, my LO is still in my head but much differently (though still very persistent…ugh). The context of my LO is much more “historical” vs. “future”, and my SO/family/work have become primary.

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    • He loses marital perks. There are consequences for treating people badly and cheating on them too. He doesn’t want to lose his reliable Appliance Spouse when he can string you along and have a shiny new appliance too!

      I really hope you have gone to your physician and asked to be screened for STI’s. He’s lied about a lot of things, he’s actively abusing you and your family, so there is absolutely no reason to believe him when he says he used protection.

      He’s risked your health. He’s stolen marital money (spending it on a serial adulterer). You’re “Pick-Me Dancing” and really, it’s beneath your dignity. If he picks you, what do you have? Someone who lies, cheats, steals and twists the knife too (“I love you both”?! How can he LOVE someone who he says has cheated on her husband 3x and is willing to tear her daughter’s life apart for…the Family Condo?)

      I guarantee you that he loves the triangulation. She wants him! You want him! He’s delightfully happy being wanted.

      If he was serious about the marriage, he wouldn’t have quit therapy. Nor would he provide you with an encore of the dreadful behavior that led to the therapy.

      There is another site you might find useful. After all, what you are both teaching your children is that cheating doesn’t have consequences. It’s okay to **** on your partner and justify it with how happy it makes you. What kind of person rips out another’s heart, stomps on it, pees on it and then has the unmitigated gall to say, “I love you both!”

      I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this particular mess. I would recommend a good divorce lawyer and a forensic accountant. But I’m a practical person.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your reply as well, Lee!
        See some of my comments to Dr. L above. I most definitely demanded that he and LO get STD tests bc he admitted to not using protection (“she has an IUD”). Bully for her! I have chronic autoimmune issues among other things and asked him how he was able to even consider putting my long-term health and well-being at risk? “I wasn’t thinking”. Great. And yes, I made sure I had a full panel as well. All negative. There’s a caveat. We all have to get re-tested in December regardless of whether he’s still in Limerance and w/LO or not. Because some STD’s don’t always show up as positive w/in the first 6 months. Doctor’s Orders. He agreed. I’ll hold his ass to that!

        I know the marriage I had is dead. I know he has no respect for me, our kids or even himself right now. He’s been self-sabotaging left and right without even realizing it. And a lot of that was long before the LO came into the picture!
        The part of me that wants to *divorce his ass right now* knows I cannot. He got us into quite a financial pickle (even before the LO appeared 7 months ago) and there would be no way to divide assets without a ginormous headache, that he knows he cannot afford! Some weird part of him will still say things like “I love you” or “I miss you” on a pretty regular basis, even though I made it crystal clear the first few weeks after I discovered the LO that I didn’t want those platitudes and sweet talk if he truly did not mean it. Some times he says it a lot! Some times not at all.
        I’ve alsp made it very clear that I will be treated with respect, period. If for no other reason than I am the mother of his children. He is being fairly respectful to my face. It’s the “behind my back stuff” that gets back to me I have to wade through. Every person he’s tried to pull that crap with has called him on his BS. So I’ve got that going for me!
        If I hire a divorce attorney and accountant right now, it will trigger him into Battle Mode. At least under the current arrangement, I have my home, my financial support and all the benefits I am entitled to through his employer. I do need very good medical insurance. It’s just a fact. He has outright said he doesn’t want a divorce, then flipped it to maybe, then back again. I just let his freak flag fly. And go on about my life. He is starting to realize I don’t need him.
        And maybe I don’t even want him. But I’ve been careful to watch our finances, etc. for any signs he is going to pull some rabbit outta the hat. Problem for him? The LO is married, too. No chance for her to get free for over 10 years. Unless that has changed? But less than 4 weeks ago, it had not. We can talk as friends. We were good friends long before we were ever together or married. That’s all he gets right now.
        Having known him for over 37 years, I know for a fact this is the 1st time he’s ever been in Limerance. I admitted to him over the years to feeling the tingles of it myself. We don’t actually use the term “Limerance” because the one time the Marriage Counselor used it he balked. I was always able to shut my limerant feelings down before any kind of Halo effect kicked in. He knows that. I might actually be more susceptible to it than he is? But my practical side has always kept me on a less self-destructive path.
        Thanks for your advice. I can be overly practical sometimes, too. I also can be a big ole romantic. But she’s locked in a box right in my brain for now. Lol. I know we’d have to start completely over after Limerance ends, to have any kind of relationship moving forward. I’ll know if he’s salvageable soon enough. I’ll know when I’m done sooner. Or at least when it is financially feasible to walk away. He can live with the heavy spousal support, child support for our son who is still in school and daughter in college, along with all the regrets later! He most certainly will, since our kids have made it very clear that they will have no relationship with him if he stays with the LO much longer. Score one point for honesty? It’s made him stop and think!

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  3. “Is my spouse “a good person doing a bad/out-of-character thing”? Or is he “a bad person doing a bad thing”? It is really hard to tell right now, with some of the truly mean/cruel & disrespectful stuff the Limerant lobs at you.”

    This is really immaterial. Stick to facts. It isn’t facts that will kill you, it’s the presumption and speculation.

    Fact 1: He moved his paramour into your house.
    Fact 2: He quit going to counseling.
    Fact 3: He said, he “…loves you both.”

    At this point, understanding why isn’t going to help. If he doesn’t want to make things work between you, he won’t. You can talk until the cows come home and it;s unlikely to make any difference. You figure out how you got there after you’re out.

    I’m not a big fan of ultimatums but they have their uses. However, if you give one, be prepared to follow through. You can’t bluff your way through this one. If the situation is unacceptable to you then you tell him either she goes or you do. He’s already vilified you, so you don’t have anything to lose there. However, if you do decide to drop that dime, you should have already talked to a lawyer and secured your assets.

    It can sometimes take the metaphorical “burning bush” to cause an epiphany but sometimes being served divorce papers can have the same effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that! See my replies above as to why I can’t file at this time. He truly effed up our finances and drained some resources for a home remodel at our primary residence that he is now having to face. As in, the bank may not give him the loan to consolidate all the debt he created! My credit and my assets are secured in an account he doesn’t even know about. Some are in my kids’ names only.
      The one ultimatum I’ve set so far has been, as far as I know, respected. I don’t use that term anymore. Not even “a boundary”. He responds better if I use what I learned through MH. I just don’t tell him that! They call it setting a STOP (or a Safeguard To Offer Protection) and that really got his damn attention! I am not a “side piece” or “leftovers” or “the appliance wife”. He knows when he’s heaping too much on my plate. I am kind but brutally honest about it. His ability to reason or see consequences is totally missing right now.

      I will not be taken advantage of. IF he has that epiphany before I decide to kick him to the curb? Then we’ll see. (see above) He has agreed to go to a MH workshop with me. If anything, to become better co-parents and so we can communicate better. I was honest and told him, I don’t ever want to communicate the way we were before, ever again. He withheld too much. I couldn’t fill in the blanks. He agreed he didn’t want that either. Most reasonable thing he’s said in a week! I’ve owned my possible contributions to this Crisis Point. It takes two to tango. He refuses to own his. Therein lies the problem. I am not certain I have the patience to wait for it much longer! And he does know that, was told that more than a dozen times in various therapeutic settings. Are his ears working? Good question! Thanks again.

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      • I remember the exact moment LO #2 went beyond redemption and I kicked her to the curb. I’ll take that conversation to the grave.

        We were sitting in my car outside her parents’ house. We’d broken up as a couple 10 months prior. She was telling me all the things she missed about when we were together. I asked her if all that was available to her, why would she fly 1000 miles to screw a guy who was cheating on her.

        Her reply, “It’s one of those things that feels good in the night but leaves you cold in the morning.” She like U2’s “The Joshua Tree.”

        I then said, “Let me understand this. I’m a decent guy and there are some things you really like about me but you want to look around some more and if you don’t find anything you like better you might move back here and settle for me?” Mind you, I’d ask her to marry me and her response was to say “No” and move across the country. Luckily, since we weren’t married and had no co-mingled assets, that part was easy.

        She replied, “There’s some truth to that.”

        I got so angry that I had to get out of the car to keep from back handing her. I knew I’d never trust her again. 25 years later, I got a Facebook friend request from her. Whether it was an accident or not doesn’t matter, I declined it.

        It’s your life. Between being happy and unhappy, happy is way better. Whatever transpires, I hope it leads to happiness.

        Not taking ownership of one’s role in things is one of the biggest red flags there is. Until that happens, what transpires will likely be an exercise in futility.

        One thing to keep in mind. If you can find it. look up “Breaking the Deadlock of Marital Collusion” by Dr. Marion Solomon. She’s great! She has several works that relate to your situation, One of the most profound things she said was that when many couples enter counseling, they’re not seeking true change. Rather, they’re looking to become comfortable in their current pathology. If he really to the MH session with you, keep that in mind. Your goal and his goal may not be the same.

        Sorry for the long post.

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  4. No aplogies……thank you! I am enjoying these dialogues.
    I will check out that book asap. I’m also reading “The Art of Falling in Love”, Snarch’s “Passionate Marriage” (he got us each a copy the week he confessed about the LO) and Eileen Fischer’s “Anatomy of Love” (she built a lot of her work off of Tenov’s). I think I’ll delve into “Love and Limerance” soon, too. I’m doing this research and work FOR ME. Not for him/us. If it benefits us down the road? Great. I’m doing this work to improve my relationships w/my friends, my children, family, and if it comes to it…for a future relationship and/or re-marriage. I would not want to go through THIS again.

    Thank you for sharing some of your personal experiences with me, too. Do you consider yourself a “Chronic Limerant”? I ask because theories differ as to whether it is always a part of ‘Falling in Love’ or if Limerance is something else, more of an addiction-like or obsessive thing, maybe even an attachment difficulty that some of us are just more prone to than others? We all know Movies/TV, etc portray this *Perfect Ideal of Romantic Love* that really is so inaccurate for real, viable, long-term relationships.

    I know that I’ve experienced Limerance at least 1-2 times in the distant past (and now recognize it for being exactly that). But is was never anything that could have become a healthy attached relationship. And in my case, the Halo Effect either wasn’t strong enough, wore off really quickly or maybe my INFJ nature just intuited that it felt wrong?? My marriage, otoh, was based on a big foundation of friendship, mutual respect, honesty and a deeply spiritual, romantic, and highly sexual connection. I have known my H for so long, since we were 13 yrs old (spent over a decade as just friends), that I can honestly say I have never seen him act this way over a girl (except maybe when we got back together). He dated a couple of my roommates back in college. We did not marry really young. Started our family when we were about 30. We didn’t rush into it. It built up. We both admitted to not being able to handle the emotions/feelings in college when we finally did cross the line into being lovers. So we were on/off for about 4 years. I think I was a bit Limerant about him back then. Then I just walked away from all of it. We took a long break and lived very separate lives with no contact. Then re-connection and there was an intense, immediate bonding. So this total shift in his personality is appearing bizarre to all that know him!

    I have maintained a level of compassion towards him, throughout all of this, that shocks/does not shock him. He has said he knows I’ve always been this person. And “it is a large part of why I fell in love with you”. One counselor stated that she thinks the LO is tied to Midlife Fear, White Knight Syndrome (fixing her unhappy marriage), Toxic Shame, and chronic Grief that “just broke him” about 5 years ago. Prior to that time, he had never acted so (I hate to use such an Ableist term) fu$%ing crazy! He was totally sheltered from death until then. The last 5 years have been a non-stop stream of losses, scary diagnoses, family & friends passing away, and one very traumatic loss of a buddy right in front of him in January. The LO appeared shortly after that incident. The counselor(s) see a pattern that lead him to “break” if you will. One suggested PTSD is part of it. Cognitive Dissonance is strong right now. But every so often he has a moment of sanity. In fact, earlier today he asked me how to set up a Skype session with our counselor. We have several we use (since he works overseas we’ve sought help in both places). He has mentioned wanting to go back to solo therapy, too. Will he follow through?? Only the shadow knows!

    We have BOTH agreed in many conversations over the last 4 months (since D-Day) that anything going forward would not be the “old us”. Too many withheld feelings on his part, too many attempts to fix/intuit/control on my part, etc. I am in a MH course for myself right now and I do have to face where I may have gone wrong over these last 5 years or even before that. But up until 2013, we had no problems that weren’t fixable with a good tune-up in counseling. He’s admitted to that much, too.

    Owning my sh*t and him owning his are two different things.
    He’ll own the hurt he’s caused. He’ll own the pain he’s caused. He won’t/can/t own the part where his withholding behavior was at least 50% of the reason we got to this crisis point (that came directly from our marriage counselor, his fave of the few we’ve used).

    Sorry for my long posts…! As I said, I’m enjoying the insight and the dialogue!

    Like

    • Consider adding “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” to your reading list. Plus http://www.mustbethistalltoride.com and the (13 part) letter to Shitty Husbands. Matt may be part of the Wreckonciliation Industrial Complex, but he nailed many things with that piece of writing. Yes – wives can be shitty too but he was a shitty husband and he wrote it with husbands in mind.

      “We can talk as friends. We were good friends long before we were ever together or married. That’s all he gets right now.”

      Ok – do you keep friends around who behave like this? Towards you? That is a marital perk. If he wants the pleasure of your company and your very valuable insights, he drops the side dish. His friends are all telling him he’s an idiot (I hope) and they are dumping him, or he’s dumping them because they don’t understand that his Happiness ™ is far more important than his responsibilities.

      “He’ll own the hurt he’s caused. He’ll own the pain he’s caused. He won’t/can/t own the part where his withholding behavior was at least 50% of the reason we got to this crisis point (that came directly from our marriage counselor, his fave of the few we’ve used). ”

      Did you cheat? No? Then he’s 100% responsible for the adultery. Not you. He chose to do that and he can justify it in any way he likes. But he’s a thief. He stole your trust in him, he stole time and resources to woo and bed the side dish and he’s trying to make you an accomplice or worse – the person who ordered him to do it, or else. His behavior is 100% why you got to this crisis point (adultery). If he was that unhappy, he could have used his grown up vocabulary and suggested therapy or at least a separation where the finances and health insurance would have been addressed before he went out and got himself some strange.

      Sloppy or sketchy behavior in private can and often will bleed over into sloppy or sketchy behavior in public and on the job. If you can find another way to get health insurance or keep it in case he gets fired, I would do so.

      Be careful with the important paperwork. I would make copies of everything and move it to a nice safe, offsite. Or at least two sets of paperwork with one set stashed in a safety deposit box and another set with a trusted friend. He is legally entitled to it and if he figures out what you’re doing he’s going to take off with it. Any joint money you can move to a new bank (not a different branch) in your name alone – do so. Run a credit check on yourself and on him. It could be far worse than you realize. Ditto for retirement accounts. People have been known to forge signatures.

      Also, consult an attorney anyway. You need to know exactly what you would be entitled to in the event of a separation or a divorce – legally. I wouldn’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth. Once the rage sets in that he can’t get everything he wants, for free – he’ll tell you all kinds of nonsense.

      Set up parenting software. Really, there is nothing to discuss on a telephone that can’t be discussed via email (where you will have evidence if needed). If he won’t commit to it in writing, then he’s stringing you along. As for the kids, you’re going above and beyond by using parenting software given their ages. If he wants to know what is going on in their lives, then I guess he’ll need to show up for it.

      Honestly – he can go indulge his spoilt little boy or sullen entitled adolescent somewhere else.

      Best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you are doing and the endless analysis of him, you, your life together. What is he DOING?

      It doesn’t really matter what pathology is driving him, what matters is his behavior. He can analyze why he was shooting himself in the foot and your feet too after he puts down the damn gun.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Do you consider yourself a “Chronic Limerant”?”

      At this point in my life, I don’t think so. Was I? Apparently, since I had a Limerent Experience 25 years after the last one. It’s going to be a long post.

      I was a “fixer.” As DrL says in “The best cure for limerence” “I have only ever become limerent for “damsels in distress”. Specifically, women who are bold and confident on the outside, but hiding an emotional wound within.” He and I had similar taste in women.

      My first adult relationship out of college was with LO #2. She activated my fixer tendencies. She was attractive, intelligent, totally charming, funny and had self-esteem an ant could step over. My history of the relationship went to 12 pages. I could spot an unhappy woman a mile away and I could deal with one in my sleep.

      It didn’t work out for us. The next woman I was seriously attracted to was a clone of LO #2, right down to a claimed abortion, but she had her sights on another guy and the limerence was extinguished before it got started.

      Within a month of LO #2’s admission, I met my wife. In the time between the admission and meeting my wife, I had decided to go after my ex. I had a real good idea of where the chinks in her armor were and, at that point, had no qualms about exploiting them. Meeting my wife gave me the incentive to cut my ex out of my life. 35 years ago, I thought I’d be at this point of my life with my ex. I got what I wanted from life but I got it from a different woman.

      Fast forward 25 years. There were problems in our marriage, serious problems. I had consulted a divorce attorney. My wife had a problem she was either unwilling or incapable of dealing with and a county crisis intervention counselor told me that if she didn’t get her act together, I should take the kids and leave. He’d sign the affidavit recommending I get sole custody. Faced with that and a charge for $600 attorney fee from one of the best divorce sharks in the area, she got her act together. We’re still working on it but it’s way better and the future looks really good,

      While all the crap was going on, I started revisiting a lot of my decisions in life including LO #2. That started a journey of self-enlightenment. During this time, I met a woman, LO #4, online on site that interested me. She ran it. She liked what I had to say and we developed an online acquaintance. She was 2500 miles away and we were both in relationships. Over time, our conversations spilled over into other areas and I got the glimmer from her. About 5 years in, she told me her relationship collapsed after she found him cheating on her and he allegedly assaulted her. She was looking for a shoulder to cry on and my inner 5 yr old made the mistake of giving her one. I went deep into an emotional affair with her. When she told me she was leaving him, I was in our EAP counselor’s office within 2 weeks. See, she wasn’t the first woman who’d told me something like that before, she was the third. I knew where that could end up and it wasn’t good.

      It took 9 months to achieve No Contact. I returned to the EAP counselor and figured out what had attracted me to her and what it represented. Once I had that figured out, unhappy women don’t generate the glimmer anymore. It took decades but I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really nothing I can do for them and it’s narcy of me for trying. I really don’t think I’m vulnerable anymore. I didn’t discover “Limerence” until after I’d done all the work. Limerence explained a lot about my behavior but it didn’t justify any of it.

      It’s possible that there could be a limerent threat out there that I am vulnerable to but considering my age, if I haven’t encountered one by now, I’m probably not going to.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “I ask because theories differ as to whether it is always a part of ‘Falling in Love’ or if Limerance is something else, more of an addiction-like or obsessive thing, maybe even an attachment difficulty that some of us are just more prone to than others?”

      For me, this episode was all of the above: “falling in love”, eventually a serious addiction, and having attachment issues.

      “One counselor stated that she thinks the LO is tied to Midlife Fear, White Knight Syndrome (fixing her unhappy marriage), Toxic Shame, and chronic Grief”

      Mine was related to midlife fear and white knight syndrome. Looking back, I was in a PTSD phase, but it is difficult to say how that contributed to my limerence. Part of me also felt “entitled” to pursue the LO, as I had never felt that way with anyone before. It was the only time in my life where the emotional side of me completely dominated the logical/rational side. I know that I cannot allow myself to go through this again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve given even more great advice. I have already consulted with a paralegal in family law who is a friend. I can’t find the book by Marion Solomon that you referred to. “Breaking the Deadlock of Marital Collusion”… Could it actually be” Love and War in Intimate Relationships”? Or “Narcissism and Intimacy: Love and Marriage in an age of Confusion”? Thanks.

    I know I’ve been over-analyzing. Starting to let that go (this is all still pretty recent stuff, only found out in late June) But I’m currently enjoying my time alone and with my kids and my very supportive friends. Not oddly, folks are starting to notice his bat-shit crazy behavior. Even his Chief Pilot. Yeah, aviation industry. He turned in to the biggest walking cliche possible! I don’t think he could get fired (LO prob could). But he could def get himself grounded indefinitely. On top of all this, our family doc determined he’s been Clinically Hypothyroid on/off for the last 5 yrs and has a severe Vit D deficiency. I am a thyroid patient myself. I can attest to the cray crap I did while experiencing an endocrine crash. That does NOT excuse his behavior. At All. Not in the least. Let the LO continue to feed him stuff that will just make it worse? He’s the one who will suffer for it!

    This part from earlier: “It’s your life. Between being happy and unhappy, happy is way better. Whatever transpires, I hope it leads to happiness.” BINGO, mate.
    THIS is exactly my plan! With or without him! He’s starting to realize it and it is freaking him out. LMAO.

    Like

    • “Breaking the Deadlock of Marital Collusion.” is a chapter in “Short Term Therapy for Long Term Change.” It was available on her website as a downloadable article at one time but it may have been removed. Her work is directed at clinicians but you can still pick up some real nuggets from her.

      My father was severely hypoglycemic and my son is a Type I diabetic. It’s like the Snicker’s commercial. “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry,” only much worse. My son’s HS counselor was married to a Type I and from some of the things she’s said, I think his mood swings were a major factor in their divorce.

      It can explain a lot but it doesn’t excuse it and if they refuse to manage it, they should accept the consequences.

      One of the most valuable lessons my father taught me was there was nobody I couldn’t live without. He said there may be people I’d miss terribly if they were no longer in my life but I could live without them.

      Once they know that you know you can live without them, it scares the living s–t out them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another thought about consequences:
        It’s possible that compounded grief, endocrine problems, or other illnesses can lead to impaired judgement or even personality changes – at least in the short-term. But, unless there is lasting neurological damage, the way that people respond once they have stabilised is a big clue as to whether this is voluntary or involuntary behaviour. If they come out of the mood swing and regret their behaviour, take steps to prevent it happening again, and show contrition then yes, maybe the messed up physiology was to blame.

        But if they are instead on a self-destructive spiral they’ll dismiss the risks, repeat the behaviour and make excuses. The only way for people in this latter category to actually “recover” is to grasp the extent of the damage that they have caused – and for that they have to suffer the consequences. So, looked at in an admittedly-idiosyncratic way, imposing consequences is an essential step if these people are ever going to sort themselves out.

        Kind of like letting children hurt themselves so they learn not to play with fire.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure if you’ve read this post Ruby, but the podcast I link to is particularly pertinent to your situation.

      The therapist was a limerent who betrayed his wife (and all his previous life values) while in the grip of limerence, but then came to realise the enormity of what he had done when the limerence subsided.

      He and his wife reconciled – but crucially, only after he made clear through his actions that he understood the magnitude of his failure, and regained her trust through a slow and genuine process of contrition and respect for her limits and conditions.

      It is possible to hold on to some hope, but it seems like you are absolutely in the right place mentally: “I’m forging ahead with a new life, regardless. If you want to try and undo the damage you’ve caused it’s on you to step up”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed it is up to him! He’s not thinking clearly right now but his young adult children have told him one consequence. He is getting a big one from the bank he tried to rush a refi through this week. And the attempt to vilify me to his boss is probably going to land back on him.
        I’m just living my life, doing my things, we talk as friends and coparents (kinda) when he calls which is actually still very often. He IMs daily. I’m using the Smart Contact approach. I don’t always reply if I don’t need to.
        Some days he still acts like it’s all normal. It’s not. He knows it’s not. And bottom line, it would have to do very much as you described for me to even find my respect for him again.
        He’s that far down the rabbit hole. Speaking as an addict who’s been in Recovery for 28 years, I see the similarities. Very clearly.
        One day he will wake up and realize he blew up his life and destroyed his relationships with his kids.
        That will be sad to see.
        His loss. Thanks for all your insight!

        Like

      • Btw, that was the very first post of yours I read about 2 months ago. Remember I’m only about 4 months from full confirmation there’s an LO. And while I’m not a religious person, I’m learning a lot from Joe Beam and the things they teach at MH. If anything, it’s improved my ability to converse with the Limerant Spouse.

        I have to keep everything shorter than 3 sentences. One sentence is preferable. He can’t retain any info beyond that! If you look at MBTI (Meyers Briggs) types and the way a shadow self can take over during times of duress (especially when you are squashing your own basic moral belief system in the process) the “kids” in the backseat, especially the 10 year old self, take over driving the proverbial car.

        Limerance turns adults into sloppy kids with no regard for consequences. It’s bizarre to watch! I feel like I need to pen a screenplay! Lol

        Like

      • That’s a very useful podcast. While I was in the grip of all-consuming limerent emotions, I held on to rational thinking through this blog and articles on MH. Eventually I asked my husband to listen with me to that podcast, which helped us to get on the same page. Understanding the fact that limerence will always fade really gave me hope and strength to get out of that addiction. It’s absolutely true that I viewed my husband negatively not because he changed, but I became different. Like an addict I simply wanted my one drug – LO. I feel blessed that I couldn’t live with the cognitive dissonance. It looked to me like the start of a painful journey, and I asked myself is that how I want to live? In pain and in confusion? I did imagine things (basically nonsense) like perhaps I could love two people at the same time. Later I realised these were attempts of my brain to reconcile my split person. I wish Ruby all the best through this and maybe the poscast would help the husband to realise the bigger picture – not just the lives of those around him, but his own life. If he realises this simply isn’t good for him, maybe there is hope…?

        Like

      • Thanks for sharing that, Mrs A.
        Unfortunately, he already seems to be in the Crystalization phase (phase 2) or very close to it. The MH site cautions the spouse against sending anything he hasn’t asked for because I’m currently (possibly) the enemy (along with LO’s spouse/child) that is keeping them apart. I know he’s asked for patience and time to think. He’s heard the word Limerance once in a Counseling session. I’ve been cautioned against using the term around him again, too.

        Until he’s ready to explore the possibility that this isn’t “real love” anything I give him could steel him against getting help down the road. Our kids, since they are 18 & 21 can try an intervention style thing. But that’s about it. He has to snap out of it, or realize what it is. Or realize it’s a fools errand to try and love two people and not have any negative consequences. They are already showing up. He screwed up financially, big time. But he’s still trying to blame it on others. Our kids have told him if he chooses the LO, he is out of their lives except for financial support promised. He laughed at them like they were little kids, not young adults with feelings. Because he hasn’t spent enough time with them the last few years to even get know them as adults! That was even before the LO when he was just having a big ole midlife crisis.

        He has said he’ll consider going to the MH workshop with me. If only to make us better co-parents and because I said I didn’t ever want our communication to go back to what it was. He liked hearing that. All I can do is plant tiny seeds. I have been. That’s the only hope I can hang on to at this point.
        I’m the meantime, I’ll doing everything I can to protect myself and our children from anymore financial harm.
        I’d appreciate any positive thoughts, prayers or whatever you can share for my family!
        Thanks again. 💜

        Like

      • Sending positive thoughts and prayer to you and your family, Ruby. Also just thinking along the lines of reconciliation – perhaps your older son can intervene by sharing the podcast as if it just came from the radio (without looking like it comes from you)? I must say I was grateful to my husband for being patient with me and put up with my nonsense for 2 years. That shows his generous heart and his love. I became limerent for someone very unsuitable (not only because I am married), after my mother was diagnosed with terminal illness. I was in a very vulnerable state – the potential of losing my only close family. It sounds like your husband’s series of losses (and grief not properly dealt with) combined with some innate vulnerability made him highly susceptible to escapism. I’m not trying to make justifications, but we can be weak and do the wrong thing sometimes, even when our actions hurt those we love the most. Isn’t limerence escapism in a way? Too much reality sometimes is too hard. LO represents fantasy which seems to be a better, safer place for a while, until consequences strike and one still needs to deal with reality. I know my situation was different, but I must say without the patience of my husband I would probably have made some more serious mistakes. No amount of external information could be enough to steer me back. If he gave me an ultimatum of any kind, he probably would have pushed me further towards LO. There must be light at the end of the tunnel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ps. Yes, this is definitely fueled by escapism and all the losses and the ones that keep coming. He gets randomly drug tested so he can’t go beyond alcohol and the occasional natural psychedelic. It’s painfully obvious that he’s been running away, diving into projects he hasn’t finished, over-spending, over-eating, binge eating, etc. And eating disorders run heavy in his maternal family!
        He is an orphan now. Only his sister left. She is not pleased with him either. But says she’ll pray for him. I’ve been careful not to give ultimatums (might’ve accidentally given one in the form of “a boundary” before I knew about the LO). Our Counselor did say it was not negative, to him, that I was only voicing my needs at the time. It actually seemed to slow it down for a couple of months?
        Now I’ve learned to ask for STOPs, safeguards, and only when absolutely necessary. No hostile, accusatory or pushy language. Whether he is respecting the one and only I’ve asked for so far? Only the shadow and the video surveillance system at our Family Condo on Guam knows! That’s where he works. I usually spend several months there with him, every few months.
        Right now he’s asked for space and time to think. Hmm. Could be? Could be code.
        I’m not obsessing over it.

        I was also cautioned that having our son or daughter share Dr Beam’s vids or podcasts could backfire. Could steel him against any help from that site or any other. So looking for a creative way to plant seeds.
        Subtle seeds.
        I think the most recent one may have gotten through?
        Thanks again for your honesty and well wishes. It has already been a long 4 months since I learned she existed. It’s been about 8-9 since they started up. But they didn’t see each other for several months during that time because of her married family life!
        So, I really hope it’s not 2 years!!
        But I’d hope I can maintain my compassion no matter what happens next. He doesn’t realize that the choice isn’t just his. Maybe a part of him does?
        I’m covering my bases legally and financially, quietly. Just to protect my children even if they are young adults!
        Thanks again. It’s truly appreciated. 💜

        Like

      • More crucially, I’d like to add that my husband’s patience involved a kind of conflict management that really worked over time. He never conveyed the fact that he would leave me, but made me feel it would be my choice. He wanted to know what kind of things we talked about, and listened with confidence and without showing jealousy, but also subtly suggesting LO was not good enough for me based on what I told him. For me, LO was just different enough from husband to fill emotional gaps. But husband consistently showed he was better than LO. And I could see his effort in trying to fulfill what I told him was lacking in our communication.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is part of what I’ve been doing. The MH site really emphasizes showing you are independent, being a safe space, and compassionate, but not a doormat. However they emphasize not using the term Limerance unless they ask. I am, when we do actually see each other (not much lately, he’s been using all his days off to go play plus he’s a pilot and works overseas), or when we do speak/message I stick to Smart Contact, giving him lots of space to share, complain, etc. He hasn’t been talking about LO as much lately, but I also know there might be a Forced Resolution, as he put it. She may have to change bases or resign. To care for her young daughter.
        I’ll emphasize I’m not being a doormat. And I haven’t spoken of divorce or separation since the last time he brought it up as a hypothetical. But he realizes I could do it, or as he put it “all the guns are pointed at me”. I truly have been kind, compassionate, sympathetic since the very day he confessed what I already knew! I’m doing my best to work out my anger and hurt so I can maintain that, esp since we’ve been friends longer than anything. We’ve known each other for 37 years!
        Only time will tell. Not a recent Financial setback and a hand smacking from his boss for losing two important security items seems to be opening his brain to consequences a bit finally? Thank you for your honesty, thoughts and prayers! 💜

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  6. “He’s that far down the rabbit hole. Speaking as an addict who’s been in Recovery for 28 years, I see the similarities. Very clearly.”

    Then I hope you’ve been able to protect your family from financial shenanigans. I know you got good advice from a paralegal but there may be something that was overlooked (not criticizing either you or your paralegal – simply noting). He’s an adult with a credit card, a chip on his shoulder and a lot of entitlement.

    People are masters at justifying their decisions. To me, most of them sound like they are believers in Manifest Destiny and gloss over the astoundingly bad effects it had on many people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! I’m taking everything I can and moving it to accounts he can’t touch. I’m about to consult with an attorney. It turns out it would be more to my benefit to file on Guam where the judges will take adultery/infidelity/emotional harm into consideration when dividing assets. Because we co-own the Family Condo there, I am a resident there and in WA. Both are no-fault “states”, but Guam would be better. I may have to fly out (as under the radar as I can since he can track my standby flights) and start the process there?
      If that’s indeed where we are at.
      For now, he just got a big Whack on the Nose from the lender he chose to refinance all this remodel/expansion stuff we didn’t need bc the house isn’t finished, the appraiser noted it and the bank won’t move ahead with the refi unless all the work, including safety issues, is completed within 30 days. He can’t afford that. He’s been spending all his extra $$ on playtime with his buddies and the LO.
      Let’s see if this wakes him up?
      Or will he just defer blame again?
      Thanks for all your advice.
      It’s been really helpful!

      Like

      • WA?! LOs #2 & #4 are in WA. LO #2 is a native and LO #4 relocated there when she left her BF.

        Please tell me you’re not in Kitsap. If “The X-Files” had a vortex, it would be Kitsap.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ruby – May I suggest you not volunteer information about anything unless he asks a specific question. He’s probably accustomed to you handling a great many rhings, filling him in, etc. He may view it as “filler” and therefore not worth hearing.

    Brevity is the soul of wit.

    I suspect his boss was very succinct regarding his screw-ups. That got his attention.

    The bank will be too. I invite you to let him deal with that too. After all, he wanted the work done and waved away your objections. He needs to fix messes of his making.

    Glad you’ve moved the money to a new bank. One where you get the statements electronically and he can’t “accidentally” shift the funds. He hasn’t borrowed from his 401k without your knowledge & signature I hope. He’s cheated, so you may benefit from visiting Chump Lady too. See if she will run one of his letters through the UBT.

    I hope you and the kids are doing well despite his behavior. I can imagine how hurt & angry they are with him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am going exactly that route. I don’t volunteer unless he asks. Not about Limerance, not about places to seek help, and most definitely not about fixing all his rapidly accumulating screw ups! His mess to fix! He’s been dumping every other responsibility on me. No thank you to this one!

      I’m not even rubbing his nose in them, even if a big part of the old me wants to say “Told ya so!” and do a little dance. Lol. But I’m a better version of myself, and I’ve always been better than that. I’d like to think?

      If you see my replies to Mrs A, you’ll note the communication style I’ve been using w/him. Short but sweet. It’s ironic, during a time when I was coming to terms with my own body and how it betrayed me (and learning to live with chronic, invisible illnesses), he said I could often be too negative. It was a lot, including a cancer diagnosis (which I beat, thankyewverymuch). Of course I probably had some negatives but I learned so much about letting go control and living to be happy. Now my kids and I wonder who was really the negative one…? Because they see it too. Every text, IM, call… All he does is kvetch, whine and moan about things he’s chosen to do! Bizarre!
      Life really is biting him in the ass right now. He made his bed. Here is reward. And I have NO intention of trying to fix it for him. Even when he tries to dump it in my lap. I’ll definitely listen, I’ll be a supportive ear. I’ve told him I am here for him if he needs to talk. Right now, that’s it! I won’t rescue him from the consequences of his actions. I will take care it doesn’t all land on me.

      He did borrow from the 401k, almost 3 years ago. And it’s paid off in Aug of next year. It came to light when they ran the credit checks for that Refi that did not go through. I questioned it via the bank, but he roplied. However, he screwed that up, too. He meant to say “remember we did it to buy the condo?” when he actually said we’re did it for this house (which was bought and remodeled just 7 yrs ago)! Couldn’t be for the down payment on this house!

      The fact that he pushed for this most recent expansion, even after I begged him to stop once he’d spent the first $180k. I truly did say “just stop with the carport/deck, please” and he refused. That is a bigger testament to how many ways he’s sought escapes since Death finally showed up to teach him the lessons the rest of us already learned a long time ago.
      I probably could have handled the whole thing better, I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled about how long it was going to take and living in the mess. I traveled a lot just to escape it. He barely agreed to just doing half of the extension and it still cost more than he expected. I’ll bottle up that I told ya so forever.

      Now he will most likely have to sell off all of the big “toys”, including 3 boats (one that I love dearly) and at least 1-2 of his 4 motorcycles! I own my one motorbike outright, paid her off early. She’s in my name only. I have moved what I can out of joint accounts and continue to. It’s not a lot yet, just a few grand-ish, but I have things I can sell and add to it. I plan to keep that up. And I picked up part time contracted work he doesn’t know about. Yet. Only if it affects taxes next April.

      If I mentioned it to him, even accidentally, in passing, he’s forgotten already, because that was weeks and weeks ago. I’m pretty sure he can’t remember where he was two hours ago!
      He’d have to really dig hard to find this account, too! I’d also sign it over to my son and/or daughter temporarily, if necessary. To protect it from him. No way he can transfer out or into it either! I’m a clever girl. 😉

      I wonder… do all Limerant Spouses act this…dumb? Sorry, not trying to be cruel but Ihave not ever witnessed him, a highly intelligent man, fumble over Life so many ways and times in a day, a week or a month until this started! Are they also this negative all the time? All he does is complain, whine, about everything! Even about some of his closest friends or things he thinks he’s doing for fun. It’s… quite bizarre!

      Thanks for that reply! We are doing as well as well can be, it’s affecting my daughter’s ability to trust men, but she’s sought counseling. We all have. Most days are shinier now, even with this shite show. 😉

      Like

      • Lol. I love the Olympic Peninsula but I’m not the hugest fan of the Kitsap area. I’ve spent time there and have found lovely places to hike, but no. I’m east of that area and solidly in the Emerald City in Western WA! I’ve been here 14 years, not entirely by my choice. Wanted to move back to Guam full-time 8 yrs ago.
        Somehow “we” decided this was better for the kids (free, decent public schools) and that was that. If I had my druthers, we’d rent or Airbnb this place out and I’d be living back on the island. Maybe keep a small place up on Whidbey? I’m past the point of needing a dozen doctors to manage my health issues and most people have no clue I was ever that ill from looking at me. I hope to keep it this way! Even through this stress, which can exacerbate autimmune issues.

        I love your description. Yes, there are several parts of WA i would definitely refer to as vortices of one kind or another! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      • “I may have to fly out (as under the radar as I can since he can track my standby flights) and start the process there?
        If that’s indeed where we are at.”

        Do you have family there? Or a dear, dear friend who needs you – if asked why you went? I do hope it’s not necessary.

        “He did borrow from the 401k, almost 3 years ago.”

        Okay, how in the world did he do that without your signature? My husband can’t borrow against his 401k without his spouse’s signature. Ditto for me with mine.

        “Now he will most likely have to sell off all of the big “toys”, including 3 boats (one that I love dearly) and at least 1-2 of his 4 motorcycles!”

        Good luck recovering the money spent on them. No, really. Every penny he recovers is less stress for you but I doubt he’s going to break even.

        “And I picked up part time contracted work he doesn’t know about. Yet. Only if it affects taxes next April.”

        Withhold at the higher single rate for your own peace of mind. If you look at the tax tables versus the amount withheld there are going to be a LOT of unhappy people next year. The IRS was arm-twisted by Congress on that one. I have one co-worker who was excited to see more money net, until I pointed out that if she ran the numbers, she was going to owe.

        “I’d also sign it over to my son and/or daughter temporarily, if necessary.”

        Not to cast doubt on your kids, who are awesome!, but it’s better not to make them owners of an account if you can avoid it. That would definitely be picked up by a brain dead lawyer and would hurt you IF you find yourself in court.

        “I wonder… do all Limerant Spouses act this…dumb?”

        I’ve noted that too.

        “Are they also this negative all the time?”

        Mine has been for decades. Not so much when we were dating (but a little – I chalked it up to some upheaval with his family at the time) but it has ramped up considerably through the years. Now I wonder if he would even know who he was if he was happy. It’s been tiresome though. He always finds a way to **** in someone’s punch bowl. Kid earns an honor – can’t be celebrated because _______________. Tiresome.

        “We are doing as well as well can be, it’s affecting my daughter’s ability to trust men, but she’s sought counseling. We all have.”

        On the one hand, I’m sorry that she needs to do so. On the other hand, she is going to encounter varying shades of crazy when she dates and she will be better equipped to broom the worst of them to the curb straightaway. I think everyone would benefit from taking an Abnormal Psychology class. At least read the recommended texts!

        “Most days are shinier now, even with this shite show.”

        Hurray! Keep a sense of humor in your back pocket. Pull it out, along with a handkerchief, as needed. If yours is anything like mine, there will be some dark days where you find yourself struggling. Just because you KNOW it’s garbage, sometimes it still guts you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Lee!
        So am I guessing correctly that your spouse was the Limerant?
        Yes, I do have a small armful of valid reasons for being on Guam at any given time. I do have a close friend there who has seizures and fibro and I’ve helped her over the years, esp when her Significant Other is off-island for work. I also have an internship to finish are the local NPR affiliate there, I’ve been offered my own radio show. Voluntary, but there’s fun and potential in it. So that’s covered.

        The tax stuff, please educate me.
        “Withhold at the higher single rate for your own peace of mind. If you look at the tax tables versus the amount withheld there are going to be a LOT of unhappy people next year.” Can I do that if we are still filing jointly this next spring? I don’t want any IRS troubles, his father got sucked into a Pyramid scam years ago. Big expensive mess for a tax Dodge that didn’t work! Oddly, my H has gotten sucked into a scheme himself, just a multilevel marketing thing for crappy anti-aging products. He’s got a draw and a bin full of the shite. Goddess only knows how much that cost? Lol

        How did he dip into the 401k? Well according to the loan folks we’ve been working with, my name isn’t on the account so they wouldn’t send me some info I requested without his permission. But it sounds even odder, because I am entitled to half of it, no matter what, yes?
        I do know that during that time we were buying the Family Condo so he wouldn’t have to spend so much on a crashpad. In order to facilitate a fast closing, we had a Power of Attorney notarized that I signed making him my proxy for a specific number of days. It’s possible that he misspoke or I misheard when he mentioned getting the 401k loan to cover the Condo down payment.

        As for the “toys”?
        One is a $375k catamaran he talked me into, we put it into Charter Service through our local yacht club. It did ok the first 2 yes. This year it did not get moved up North to Anacortes (prob bc he dropped the ball on communicating with the staff) so it’s lost money. It’s in LLC we co-own, or that is to say, we are the “board of directors”.
        Selling it could take time.
        Also have a 24 ft Wooden Thunderbird, a collectible vessel (and the one thing we truly bought together these last few years bc we both fell in love with her). We had a buyer with cash in hand. But my H hadn’t checked on her or even asked me check on her in so long…. The potential buyer walked right into him cleaning up a freshwater flood (freshwater seal busted on holding tank). The entire boat was filled with mold and mildew (it was summer in Seattle!) and the guy walked away. I’ve cleaned her up, he did some work too. Not enough. She’s not saleable right now.

        He considered renaming her in honor of a family friend that passed, and donating her to the CWB. They didn’t want/need her. Who knows if he’ll ever recover what we paid for her?

        The motorcycles won’t be quite as hard.
        No way in hell am I letting him anywhere near mine!

        Yeah, my daughter actually is in a 2 year+ relationship. They are working through some of this. She comes to me for advice on how not to make something seem Confrontational. Apparently he has a lot of triggers from his parents’ very messy divorce when he was a young kid. I give her the exact advice a therapist has or would give me. Most often u tell her that couples are never too young to do a little counseling together! Esp if they plan to live together next year! And I send her back to her own counselor. I’m not her shrink, I’m her Mom!

        Thanks! Both my kids are awesome. We’ve got clear boundaries about discussing this stuff. They know because they already suspected. And because I’ve promised them since they were old enough to understand I’m a recovering Addict, that I will never lie to them. If I’d been wandering around the house all weepy the first few weeks and lied? Couldn’t have lived with that. I did not tell them to “win them to my side” as their Dad put it. I was calm, factual, answered what they asked and have not disparaged their Dad even once. I have said I love the man, I hate the behavior. Then taught them about Limerance. They’ve been researching it when they have time.

        They feel the same as I do. He would have to show a lot of remorse, offer major acts of contrition, and basically beg all three of us to take him back. Not sure how much longer I can “stand” in this Limbo? We’ll see. My kids are kinda ready for it to just be over. That’s how pissed they are at him. And they have every right. But they formed their own opinions based on facts alone.

        They have what may very well be the last chance to try and crack through the Limerance. We have a Family Session in about a month. I haven’t told him yet. Won’t, until I know he’s on a plane heading this way. He promised he did not want to miss our son’s 18th b-day. So they are planning an intervention of sorts in the same vein that Marriage Helper recommends, minus all the church stuff. We aren’t religious. We are spiritual.

        Thanks for any Tax Tips!
        Much appreciated!

        Like

      • I will note that he used that proxy to get a HELOC from our credit union after he ran through a ton of money he got from his stepmom (she thought it was a loan, he thought he was asking for an early gift from the trust his Dad set up. It almost ended their relationship, may finally have?).
        I know about the 2nd HELOC. I did go in and sign for that.
        Your can bet I was effing mad to know he got the first one without consulting me!
        So this Refi was supposed to bail him out of all these big monthly payments. To the line of credit, the mortgage, and let’s just say he took a ton of equity out of this house.

        I have proof of all the money I put into it. I had a legal settlement then, long story (kids having relations in a moving vehicle and I ended up needing 2 surgeries over 4 years for the pain, etc). It still counts as MY income. I have every check stub and most of the receipts to prove I financed the first remodel when we bought it. I’ll fight for that money if I have to.

        Any other tax advice you are willing to share is greatly appreciated!!!
        Thanks again. 💜

        Like

      • Giving up on LO #2 was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I only had 5 years invested in her, no marriage, no kids.

        The therapist asked if I still loved LO #2. I told her maybe, because how do you unlove someone you genuinely loved? But, that didn’t mean we belonged together.

        The therapist asked if I regretted cutting LO #2 loose. I told her, “No, because leaving was the right thing to do and you don’t regret doing the right thing.”

        I told her what I regretted was that having to cut her loose was the right thing. As much as I wanted to think we had a future, she convinced me we didn’t and, at that point, she had to go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your honesty. I truly wish, at times (as futile as it may be) that my H was as in touch with his emotional self as you are. He knows therapy is a wonderful tool, it helped us greatly 10 years ago as he learned to accept some of my health changes) but over the last 5 years he has found every excuse not to go, squandered a great resource (a therapist we’ve both used that he really likes) or talking his way out of Grief & Trauma Counseling after less than 2 months and that was just weekly sessions mostly.
        He knows therapy saved me from repeating a horrible Generational Narrative with our children. He knows it saved our daughter from a slow suicidal death to an Eating Disorder (he appears to have the binge problem, too).

        Something will have to break in him, I think, for him to finally go back? And yet he did ask me how best to set up a vid session with the therapist here (the one he really likes because she kicks him in the ass). Will he set it up? Good question.

        If he was that self aware, we obviously wouldn’t be exactly here. He might be asking to see more from MH’s site?

        But if’s and buts and if wishes were fishes and all that! So it’s the long way round?
        Thanks again. I appreciate all your shares and insights. 💜

        Like

  8. Hi RR – a novella follows!

    “So am I guessing correctly that your spouse was the Limerant?”

    Yes, ‘fraid so. I will give him credit, he told me about it before it got well underway. He felt uncomfortable with how he felt and acted around her. I wish he had acted upon his discomfort on his own without dragging me into it, because it stirred up a lot of issues I thought I had laid to rest decades ago. Oh well. Life is full of surprises.

    ““Withhold at the higher single rate for your own peace of mind. If you look at the tax tables versus the amount withheld there are going to be a LOT of unhappy people next year.” Can I do that if we are still filing jointly this next spring?”

    Oh, absolutely! If someone is withholding for you, change it to “F” (married but withhold at the higher single rate). If you’re handling quarterlies, you have my sympathies and do the same thing and stroke a bigger check. Information I suspect you know follows: the more money you can put away in your own 401k, IRA, etc., the better. If you do it pre-tax, it lowers the taxable income of the household.

    If you file MFJ – make certain that you have copies of the tax returns. I’d want a minimum of 7 years. More, if you have them. Do you make a habit of going over them line-by-line before you sign? If not, dig them up and do so. You may make some disquieting discoveries. I truly hope not though.

    “How did he dip into the 401k? Well according to the loan folks we’ve been working with, my name isn’t on the account so they wouldn’t send me some info I requested without his permission. But it sounds even odder, because I am entitled to half of it, no matter what, yes?”

    Yeah, that sounds sketchy to me but his company may handle it differently. I’d check it out very thoroughly though. It doesn’t smell right.

    “Typically, the amount in a 401K plan that is accumulated during a marriage (and its appreciation, if any) is considered martial property. In Equitable Distribution states, this means that the amount in the account (along with all other assets and liabilities) should be divided according to what is “fair and equitable.” In Community Property states, 401K funds accumulated during the marriage are divided in accordance with that state’s laws (usually 50-50).

    However, a potential issue is that funds might be withdrawn by the account holder before or during the divorce (your spouse cannot take money out of your 401K and vice versa). If you are concerned that your spouse may try to take a loan or withdraw funds from his/her 401K, you can contact the plan’s sponsor and see if they will flag the account to prevent any loans or withdrawals without first notifying you. They might be able to do so, if the plan allows it.

    While some plan sponsors or employers do not require spousal consent for an employee to take a loan or make a withdrawal from his or her 401K, many do. Also, not every 401K plan sponsor allows loans or withdrawals and those that do may impose certain restrictions. In addition, there are numerous Federal restrictions. For example, you can only borrow up to 50% of your vested account balance up to a maximum of $50,000. ”

    (Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-a-landers/can-i-take-money-out-of-m_b_835303.html Yes, I don’t regard HuffPost as much of a source but the author is a member of CFDA and I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt [https://institutedfa.com])

    “In order to facilitate a fast closing, we had a Power of Attorney notarized that I signed making him my proxy for a specific number of days. It’s possible that he misspoke or I misheard when he mentioned getting the 401k loan to cover the Condo down payment.”

    Uh…I’m going to indulge my cynical side here. He spoke very quickly, didn’t give you a complete picture and had long been planning on using his ‘crashpad’ for tumbling sexual partners.

    I’m glad you have YOUR favorite indulgence in your name alone.

    “Yeah, my daughter actually is in a 2 year+ relationship. They are working through some of this. She comes to me for advice on how not to make something seem Confrontational. Apparently he has a lot of triggers from his parents’ very messy divorce when he was a young kid.”

    That is a Red Flag factory. I know the books are dated, but please ask her to read the following:

    “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft It’s written with women as victims but really, it applies to men in dangerous relationships (with women or men) too.
    “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker
    “Don’t Shoot the Dog” by Karen Pryor

    Also suggest she read up on the Karpman Drama Triangle (don’t get on that merry-go-round ride from hell!).

    He has to learn to deal with his triggers and she shouldn’t be dancing on eggshells. Ever. It’s a terrible habit to start with anyone. (In fact, http://www.heartless-bitches.com has a wonderful archive. Start with http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/special.shtml How I miss the forum!) It will save her a world of heartache to broom someone to the curb now and figure out what she will and won’t permit – but we all know that, don’t we? At any rate, those are handy books and sites for everyone. Seriously.

    ” And because I’ve promised them since they were old enough to understand I’m a recovering Addict, that I will never lie to them.”

    I always had a similar modus operandi but for different reasons. I never once told them that a vaccination wouldn’t hurt, but I would poke their arms (or butts) with my fingernail and tell them it would sting and they could yell or cry if they liked. Then get a lemonade or something afterward.

    “We have a Family Session in about a month. I haven’t told him yet. Won’t, until I know he’s on a plane heading this way.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he closed his mouth at the session. Particularly if it’s sprung on him while driving there. But informing him the day he arrives that there is an appointment for the family is a good idea.

    “He promised he did not want to miss our son’s 18th b-day. So they are planning an intervention of sorts in the same vein that Marriage Helper recommends, minus all the church stuff. We aren’t religious. We are spiritual.”

    Hmm. It usually works better to have that as two separate events. The celebration one day, the Serious Discussion a day or two later. If it all goes up in smoke, you don’t want your son’s 18th birthday itself to be marred. There is already a chance your husband will conflate the events anyway, but it’s best to minimize that chance with the passage of a night anyway. I wish you well on that. Interventions are extremely tricky to pull off. He’s already defensive, so it’s unlikely he’ll be listening to what is said. It’s far more likely he’ll be formulating responses (excuses, justifications) instead. “Just” or “but” = not taking responsibility. You know this, of course – but it’s different when you’re the person on the other side of the table. Truly it is.

    I still recommend going to ChumpLady’s site too. I have this suspicion that he’s much further gone than you realize and it’s best to be prepared and pleasantly surprised (that he isn’t) than not.

    It may not sound like it, but I’m rooting for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing all that great info.
      Honestly, I wish he’d had the balls to come to me before the Limerance truly set in. I’ve always told him that no matter where we are in the ebb and flow of marriage, that if it was truly important, tell me “I need you to listen”. He admits he was a coward and also admitted that it probably would’ve stopped it.

      Because we have that LLC for the last 3 years, we have a CPA who’s been filing our taxes. The 4 years before that, we did together using TAX ACT. I’m pretty sure those copies are available somewhere. If they are on his laptop, from e-filing then I’m not sure how to gain copies?

      “Uh…I’m going to indulge my cynical side here. He spoke very quickly, didn’t give you a complete picture and had long been planning on using his ‘crashpad’ for tumbling sexual partners.”

      I’m trying not to be too cynical, but it crossed my mind. And we’ve discussed it recently during the very first days after D-Day when he was very honest and vulnerable still, vacillating, and not the Limerance Alien Robot I’m dealing with now.

      The Condo purchase was a joint decision. We knew it would cost less per month than renting in the same complex, we could get away from a mold problem that affecting everyone’s health, and it could be rented out as a source of income someday (he won’t be based there forever). So it was a fresh start of sorts for all 4 of us. It was the 2nd thing he got excited about after his father and all the rest started dying. We were already using the bookkeeper and the CPA by then, I believe. I was going through some brain fog, a side effects of a drug treatment to cure HepC, and some of it is coming back to me more and more. I helped unpack that entire house, set up the kitchen, pantry, liquor cab, bathroom, bedrooms, etc. He had just moved in the week my son and i went for a 3 week stay. Daughter was working and came later. She joked that it looked a bit like a crashpad, so he had me help him buy curtains and pillows and decorations. He did some himself. But most was my doing. He also had a roommate during that entire time. A very Christan guy who would not have tolerated shenanigans or respected any bro code. He only left last December. The LO was, as I said in another reply, introduced as a prospective roommate that would be a good fit for our family bc she is almost never there. I never met her bc he never had the guts to trust that I wouldn’t have held a double standard since I had male roommates, even when he and I dated in college. But that said, I retain my suspicious, cynical side at moments. I’ll cover my ass.
      Not sure if I can pay a forensic accountant & a lawyer right now. And my only income besides what he sends monthly to me and our kids, is contracted work where I get paid directly and deal with taxes either quarterly or at the end of the year.

      I’m being honest when I say that the man would never have done anything like this before 2013. The series of deaths that included both parents, favorite grandmother, favorite Aunt, two of his oldest mentor friends, a close friend that worked on our house (he was a master carpenter) and the long list of co-workers who have died suddenly or will die in the next 1-2 years is startlingly long. That includes the close work buddy who died in a freak motorcycle accident right in front of him, and 2 other buddies, last January. They were in Mexico, riding, there was a fault in the steering column head bearing. He died within 30 seconds? And they were stuck on the side of the road with his body for over 8 hrs while every Mexican agency including local state and federal interrogated them.
      All the death changed him.

      The rest of your info is awesome. I’ll pass it to my daughter. I’ll check out the ChumpLady site. Thank you for all that great advice and for anything else you want to share!
      💜

      Like

      • “Honestly, I wish he’d had the balls to come to me before the Limerance truly set in. I’ve always told him that no matter where we are in the ebb and flow of marriage, that if it was truly important, tell me “I need you to listen”. He admits he was a coward and also admitted that it probably would’ve stopped it.”

        Horrible hopping hindsight. Sorry Ruby Red, that stinks!

        “Because we have that LLC for the last 3 years, we have a CPA who’s been filing our taxes. The 4 years before that, we did together using TAX ACT. I’m pretty sure those copies are available somewhere. If they are on his laptop, from e-filing then I’m not sure how to gain copies?”

        Your CPA probably has copies. If not, you are the spouse, so you can request them directly from the IRS.

        “And my only income besides what he sends monthly to me and our kids, is contracted work where I get paid directly and deal with taxes either quarterly or at the end of the year.”

        Well, what he sends is already marital money so you only need to account for your portion. Does he share his pay stubs too? So much paperwork, so little fun to be had sifting through it.

        “I’m being honest when I say that the man would never have done anything like this before 2013.”

        I get it – I do. But in my view bad situations reveal who people are rather than make them different. Particularly over the age of 25. He had lots of resources available to him. I really hope he pulls himself back together but more resilient. He may be strong, but it sounds as though he’s a bit of a fair weather sailor emotionally. I don’t know. I lost people while I was growing up – family, friends, SO’s – to expected and unexpected deaths. Everyone is a bit different. I take a dim view of adultery. If adultery is so great, why isn’t she also telling people to thank Bernie Madoff for robbing them blind? What about acquaintance rape? I mean, if you trust someone and they do you harm that’s a good thing if you follow her logic.

        I digress. I do hope you are one of the lucky ones and he isn’t yanking your chain.

        “I was going through some brain fog, a side effects of a drug treatment to cure HepC, and some of it is coming back to me more and more.”

        Oh my, that’s a rough row to hoe. I’m sorry you had to endure the treatments but I’m glad you’re on the mend. (Snotty aside – let me guess, you didn’t use your suffering as an opportunity or excuse to cheat! That’s what I mean about fair weather sailor emotionally.)

        I have my fingers crossed for your daughter too. Youth is on their side to address their individual issues. No matter the outcome of their relationship, it will be good for both of them to address their own issues.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for all the extra info. I don’t see his paystubs because the airline does it all electronically now, but I can look them up on the employee website and I have.

    I would go to the CPA but he knows H better and I wouldn’t want him to tell him I’m digging through our finances.

    We talked today about house things and the financial mess he got us in. I reiterated my need for respect, if only as the mother of his children. He said “of course!”. Then after we hung up, msg’d 3 new chores to deal with boat stuff and didn’t even say please or thank you! So I sent the following:

    “What I meant earlier by “appliance wife” is that I’m a person, not a tool or a utensil. I say this with love in my heart. I’d appreciate a little gratitude & respect. Thank you for reading my words. ♥”
    I know I’m not supposed to Push, but it had to be said and that way nicer than I might’ve said it in the past.

    I got what you mean about revealing the true person. He was totally sheltered from death until 2013. Totally. What I see isn’t always a bad person. I see a broken boy who has no clue what’s happening to him. I wish I could explain Limerance more to him!
    But it’s not recommended at this point. He went from Phase 1 to Phase 2 in under 4 months. I’m hoping that Phase 3 comes soon. That’s really the only hope we have.

    I might just have to serve him and see if that jolts him awake. But I’m holding firm that we go to that workshop together. Period. He doesn’t know that yet, but it’s the only way I’ll expedite a divorce. With the financial mess he’s created, a divorce could bankrupt him!

    He’d have to buy out my share of the Condo, and the house, which isn’t sellable bc it isn’t finished. I would indeed get half of his 401k, pension, and social security, etc. Plus spousal support, plus Financial support bc he promised our kids they would not graduate college with any debt (a privelege I never had!). I think he knows he can’t afford it right now.
    I was very casual about the 401k info, trying to “remember why we took out that 36 month loan? It couldn’t be for this house since we bought it 8 years ago!” He said, oh yeah it was either for the boat or the condo, maybe both? He’s that discombobulated. He did say either I signed the loan agreement or he used the proxy bc he cannot withdraw from it without my signature, too. I didn’t ask that. He just volunteered it.

    He lost his employee badge that has a TSA SIDA badge attached. Big safety no no. Esp since he left it in Colombia where anyone could use it to gain access to an airport and do horrible things with it. He didn’t tell me this, but it cost him almost $200 to replace it.

    He is truly lost in a deep brainfog and the Hypothyroidism is just making him weird or moody or mean at times. I recognize it because I experienced the same thing when my Thyroid went kaboom. I lost it to Cancer. That was 15 years ago. He is not taking care of himself. Has his 2nd bad cold/flu in a month. The stress is getting to him.
    The kids say a pic from his trip and said he looks 10 years older and 30lbs heavier. I agree.

    I, otoh, have been working the PIES thing that Marriage Helper suggests. I’m fit, feel hot and sexy and it sucks that I’m not getting laid! We were intimate as recently as the end of August. Even though once he said “I feel like I’m cheating on her”. Ugh.
    However, he’s also battling ED and I’m the only one he’s successfully worked through it with. So booyah for me!

    I’m not sure I could even touch him that way right now. I’ll be honest that over the summer I was just getting my needs met without stepping outside our vows. I am still upholding them. I want to be able to say I did, no matter what happened.
    I tried non-monagamy in my 20s. It didn’t work well. Not my thing. It isn’t his either. Until D-Day he adamant that my adopted brother (who is openly polyamorous) and a few of his friends that are were all “disgusting, decrepits making excuses to cheat, etc”. He bashed on them constantly!
    He is living so far from his base moral code at this point that I think he may crack.
    He is starting to act like he has multiple personalities. I know it’s common with Limerance. This is the first time he’s ever experienced it. Obviously, we had issues we needed to address (and I’ve been working on them on my own, FOR ME). He isn’t. Yet.

    You said your spouse was the Limerant, yes? Are you still together? We’re you able to reconcile or are you in that process now? I’d be interested to know. I know it’s often harder than the Limerance itself.

    Thanks, Lee! 💜

    Like

    • “bc he promised our kids they would not graduate college with any debt (a privelege I never had!).”

      Don’t hold your breath if it comes to a divorce. If he refuses, legally he’s off the hook.

      Yeah, it’s hard to deal with health issues. Messes with your head. Losing his TSA badge – ouch.

      Double-ouch to relations with you is like cheating on her. Stupid AND hurtful.

      We’re still together. Had some tense moments but overall coming along. It really helps that his LO is gone. He did his best to avoid her physically and when in the same room to not look at her or speak with her. When speaking had to happen, he focused on work topics. It made him realize how much energy he had been putting in to chatting her up and how stupid he looked to observers. Which also minimized the tingle. No one likes looking foolish to others.

      Crossing my fingers!

      Like

  10. RubyRed – if you’re still lurking, this one sums it up nicely.

    https://www.chumplady.com/2018/10/reject-the-plan-b-offer/

    Highlights (? but go read it anyway):

    “People are commodities. You hold on to them, trade, or sell them off like stock. Hmmm, this one is performing well today, but according to my kibble index, the stock may drop, so let’s pick up a couple shares of Stacey.”

    ““If things don’t work out with her, perhaps you and I could work things out” is also illustrative of the cheater’s self view. They really do think they are AWESOME. Don’t you want to get in on this? Of course you want them! Of course you’re pining! Of course you’ll wait!”

    Like

    • Thanks for the link. I’m definitely not pining! And I’m not even sure I have the patience to wait out the Limerance.
      That said, the Financials still look bleak for him, for a long while.
      I’m just going to keep tucking away for me and my kids, working (and he doesn’t even need to know that unless tax time rolls around and I have to).
      If he realizes how much he’s effed up his life, risked his job (and his life for his stiffish wants), sees the reality of his relationships with his children that he’s burned to the ground, then… I’ll think about it. If he goes to that Marriage Helper workshop with me!
      Thanks so much, Lee.
      You and your H figured it out.
      Maybe we will? I’m not holding my breath. I don’t even like the person he is right now (total alien from another dimension). He’d have to wake the eff up. Btw, I really liked the Shitty Husband post, too!
      🙂

      Like

    • LO #4 was living in her BF’s place. When he told her he wanted to move his new paramour in, he asked her to get an apartment close so that they could still see each other.

      She declined.

      He and the new woman were married within a year. LO #4 was with him for 7 years. One of the more interesting coincidences in the LE was that I was with LO #2 for 5 years and I was married within a year of meeting my wife. LO #2 was engaged less than a year after I got married. Her marriage lasted about 3 years. The last time I did a Facebook drive-by on LO #2, it looked like she was wearing an engagement ring.

      It may have taken 30 years but it looks like she found something she liked better than me.

      Like

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