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Was it love?

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Brokengirl01 posted 12/4/2013 18:49 PM

I have tried to analyze my actions over and over again and I have come up with several reasons as to why I did what I did. I need/needed external validation. I felt neglected in my marriage, Im a conflict avoider who hates confrontation and talking out problems. But sometimes I ask myself, why isn't it possible that I simply fell in love with OM? Isn't it possible?

caspers1wish posted 12/4/2013 19:04 PM

It was probably "lust" and not love. It could be possible in a way I guess, but it begs the question, how did you give yourself permission, a married woman, to fall in love with someone else? You gave yourself the green light to fall in love with someone while married, who does that? Someone who needs to figure out why they would do that, and do that to someone they most likely claimed to 'love' at some point, right?

20WrongsVs1 posted 12/4/2013 19:08 PM

My dear Brokengirl. So many people come to SI deluded into believing they (or their spouse) "fell in love" that there's an acronym for it. ILYBINILWY. I love you, but I'm not in love with you. Many a WS says this to their BS on DDay, only to regret it later...if they shake off the fog and R.

You fell in love with your BH, right? Well, what happened? Life, that's what. It's easy to think you're in luuurve with AP when you don't have to watch him pluck his nose hairs. In infidelity fantasy-land you see only the bright, shiny bits of the AP, not the common, faded ones.

If you fell in love with AP (OM generally means "the man my wife was fucking", then why aren't you with him? If your BH is second-string, do yourselves both a favor and leave your BH and live the life of your dreams with AP. Love conquers all, right?

nevergiveup10 posted 12/4/2013 19:18 PM

Anything's possible. I still struggle with some of the same character traits you spoke of. What I have discovered is that you cannot truly love someone until you love yourself. I know my constant need for external validation led me to where I am. My IC enlightened me to an old Hebrew expression: You don't fill your cup from others, you fill your cup from within, and what spills over you give to others. That one statement has stuck with me and showed me I was looking at everything backwards. I think there is a lot more to it than just falling for someone else.

Brandon808 posted 12/4/2013 19:42 PM

How do you define love? Broken, I looked at your first post and the way OM treated you sounds about as far removed from love as I can think. It sounds like someone who uses people. It also sounds like someone who was never part of your daily life. Not in a meaningful way. So ask yourself did you truly love him or simply want/crave things from him? Want more time, more attention? You said you need/needed external validation. Someone who treats you as OM does seems like they would be keeping that validation just out of reach. Just a thought but sometimes people mistake longing for someone with missing someone and figure if they "miss them" that much then they must love them, right?

Just something to consider.

Darkness Falls posted 12/4/2013 19:46 PM

Sure it's possible. It's also possible for me to give the middle finger to every customer who pisses me off. Doesn't make it right. And probably ensures I'll no longer have a job.

I dated my AP prior to marrying XH. I loved him very much. But once I had an affair with him, years later, it was no longer anything resembling love. I was hurting people deeply and behaving immorally. Where does REAL love fit into that?

The "brokenness" that's referred to in people who cheat isn't about the feelings for the OP. It's about the whole mindset necessary to decide that adultery is a viable option. It's about the mindset needed to develop and act on those feelings for someone other than your spouse.

So, to echo a previous poster, THAT is the much more important task at hand---not to analyze whether you could have loved the OP, but rather WHY and HOW that's even a question.

No12turn2 posted 12/5/2013 14:43 PM

I think it's more important to figure out why you didn't love yourself enough to prevent this. My WW felt neglected as well but she never talked to me about it or left me years before the A like she wanted to.

astudentoflife posted 12/7/2013 18:03 PM

But sometimes I ask myself, why isn't it possible that I simply fell in love with OM? Isn't it possible?

Sure it is possible. However I would point to the fact that you must have fallen in love with your husband at some point too. The more possible answer is that you fell in what you call love with the OM, and that you need to really look at your definition of love.

How does one fall out of love with one and then fall into love with another? The simple answer to that is the definition of love. I believe your definition is what someone "makes" you feel. In the daily grind of life you missed that feeling special and the OM gave it to you, because he didn't have to see you in the mornings feeling like griping. Didn't see you when you were sick and had snot running out of your nose. Didn't hear your bitching about work. All of these things can be attributed to me as well, this is not a hit at you.

The fact is that you had a fantasy love affair with this man and not the daily failings of all of us at one point or the other.

I believe you are feeling in love with love. The kind of love we see in the movies where at the end you think about what happens when a day turns into a dozen years. When the newness wears off.

Love is a choice. It is not the chemical reaction we all have when we meet someone with whom we are in lust. Those chemicals wear off and we are left with life.

My parents never taught me about love or the meaning of love. I had to find out in my own way and have failed miserably until it became apparent that I knew nothing about love. This after two failed marriages, working on my third.

Mrs Panda posted 12/7/2013 19:16 PM

Love. Mutual respect, honesty, shared experience. Trust and intimacy.

Does that sound like what you had with OM?

Like you, I had a certain way of placing the OM up on a pedestal. Because somehow I was worth more if this guy who kept me at arm's length (and knew I was married) would only love me.

Looking back, OM represented all the dissatisfaction I had with dating (or not) growing up.

No, I don't think this was real love. It was a one-sided fantasy to fill a hole in us.

RuinedEverything posted 12/7/2013 20:27 PM

I have to say, I don't buy for a second what majority of people on here say. I have been told over and over that there's is "no way" I was in love with my AP. These people don't know you. They don't know how you felt or how you feel. No one can tell me that I wasn't in love with OM. I know how I felt and I cannot be told otherwise. It's been nearly 5 years since I broke it off with OM and I see things a lot more clearly than I did. It is possible that you loved him. It is also possible that you weren't. It's quite possible that the other comments are right and that you were in "lust". I believe it is possible to be in love with 2 people at once. I have been there. Only YOU know how you felt or how you feel. Only you can answer that question for yourself. You need to look inside yourself and answer that question.

astudentoflife posted 12/8/2013 16:06 PM

I will speak for myself. I believe love is an action that in romantic terms is between TWO people. Not three people. By virtue of my definition of love, I cannot love two people at the same time, because I would not be able give more than one person what they need in order to feel loved by me.

I love my daughter and my son, however that is not the kind of love I am talking about here. In that respect, yes I can love more than one person. My wife would not feel loved by me if I had an affair partner in an active relationship. I could feel many things about my wife in that situation, but love would not be one of them if I were honest. When you love someone, you put their needs first and your own second, IMHO or else it is something other than love.

I have a question for Ruinedeverything. When you were in love with both people, did the know of each other? Were they happy and considered themselves to be loved by you? If you went behind your spouses/boyfriends back, how do you feel that was loving him? I really am interested in your definition of love. My understanding of love has changed a great deal since my betrayal and abuse of my wife. I believe most on here feel the same way I do about love. No demand that you accept that, thus the reason I am asking with sincerity about your ability to love two people.

gotmylifeback posted 12/8/2013 17:04 PM

I'm gonna tap into my nerd side and quote from The Matrix. The Oracle said, "No one can tell you that you're in love. You just know it."

I have had several loves in my life. But they didn't overlap. I remember after going through a bad breakup and meeting someone new. There were instant sparks but I couldn't move forward because I still had a love for the previous person. I told her that I could not give her my full heart at that time. Love means giving your heart to one person at a time.

And on that note, I think there is a certain amount of choice when it comes to love. I loved exWW. Despite her A, my first choice was still to be with her.But when there was no remorse I could not continue in the relationship. I still loved her but that love needed to be reciprocated.

There are many women that I find attractive; even very sexually alluring. But I don't love them. I can't love just anybody. I have to get to know them. And I can't just pick and choose who I love. It just happens. I have loved people who did not share the same level of feelings. I might fall in love with one twin and not the other. Love is more than physical attraction. It is more than just having things in common or being able to open up to that person.

I absolutely love my SO. There are many reasons I could list. But love means she is the first person I think of in the morning and the last person I think of at night. I know her good points and all of her bad ones. When she is hurting it affects me. Her affirmation and compliments mean more that those from anyone else. Another key point is that I do not have to hide our relationship. Everyone knows we are a couple. I am happy and proud to be seen with her and to call her my SO.

Could I love someone else right now? Not while I am with my SO. It is my choice to guard my eyes and heart. It belongs to only one person right now. She knows me better than anyone else. We see each other each day all day. In good and bad times. Morning breath, during barf episodes when sick, and also in special intimate moments.

I could see how someone could "love" two people at the same time. But it can be easy to love someone when they are at their best. What happens after 3 months, 6 months? Have you seen that person at their worst? Has that person seen YOU at your worst? Love is more than a feeling. feelings come and go and can fluctuate throughout the day. My SO pisses the crap out of me sometimes. But at the end of the day I still choose her.

bionicgal posted 12/8/2013 17:29 PM

If falling in love = infatuation, then sure.
The thing is, that infatuation is ephemeral . . . not lasting. It is a cocktail of hormones and pounding hearts, and isn't the stuff that marriages/long lasting healthy relationships are made of. Sometimes infatuation can be the beginning of a great relationship, but by definition, an affair cannot be the beginning of a great relationship.

So, perhaps a better question would be, if you "fell in love" with OM, is that in any way meaningful? I think Hollywood has ruined us on the idea of love, because we all think it is the juiced up feeling of chemistry we get at the beginning of a relationship. Well, I have felt that, and it is great fun, but it is nothing like the love I feel 20+ years later, in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, and struggling to set things right after infidelity. I love my H like a grizzly bear, ferociously, protectively, and thoroughly, despite his mistakes. There is no comparison to the cotton candy, hormonal fireworks of falling in love. It was grand, but I'll take this love any day.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 5:30 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]

astudentoflife posted 12/8/2013 17:50 PM

Thanks you two. :) You put my thoughts about love better than I could have, to be honest.

Brokengirl01 posted 12/9/2013 17:43 PM

Thank you so much for all the responses! You are all so right! No, OM was not in my daily life, nor was I in his! We did not know details of each other's lives, nor did we have real intimacy! Looking back, I see that for him, it was all about the sex and for me, it was all about feeling special and feeling good, since I was not feeling good or special in my marriage. Mrs. Panda, your comment really resonated with me, in that this was very one-sided and that I was needing him to fill a void in me, it was not love!

Now, on to figuring out, why it is that I have this void and learn how to fill it up myself . Thank you Nevergivenup for sharing that Hebrew expression, it struck a chord with me too!

Jrazz posted 12/9/2013 18:09 PM

I don't have much to add here as everyone is offering such amazing advice. Just felt very proud of everyone. Brokengirl01, it was a brave question to ask knowing what the responses might be, and an impressively receptive response.

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