So even if he was "in love" it's not the same. That said if you 'can't get over it'. There is nothing wrong with that at all. You know what you can put up with. No-one else. good luck
My fWH describes it as "intoxication", infatuation, but not love. He thought it could be love but it wasn't, that's why he started distancing himself from MCOW.
I hope your fWH comes back with more descriptions of that altered state they experience, but it's all self-delusion, the effects of ego-stroking and the mind-altering effects of pure selfishness.
We are in R.
I think what others are saying is true. WHat he calls 'love' is often that chemical reaction that happens to AP's...it's called limerance. Look it up. Take note that it is an actual chemical reaction taking place in his body and not based at all in reality of real life.
Also, one thing my IC has helped me start to work on is the notion that in any situation, we all interpret the situation based on our own 'LENS". In other words, how we view what happens in a situation and how we feel about it are all based on our own past experiences. This means that we will all have a different view. She's trying to get me to see that not everything is black and white, not everything is right and wrong especially when feelings are involved.
I bring this up not to say that your WH's A was ok or to justify it. I am saying that he may 'feel' at the moment that is was love because of his 'LENS". He might think at this moment that what he was feeling at that time was some kind of love for the OW. I think this is what most refer to around here as 'the fog'. I do think eventually many WS come to see that it was not really love eventually. It still hurts to hear just the same.
I don't know if any of my rambling is helping or not. I guess what I am saying is that your WH may be telling you right now that it was some kind of love, but his view on this may not always be the same given some time. You are still pretty fresh into this and your WH's A has some other elements to it that compound it too.
His A may very well be a dealbreaker for you. That is ok. I would just give it some time. I hope he is in IC with a new counselor who can help him sort through his feelings so that he can come to see that his feelings for OW were not based in reality.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
What is love? I am not a big fan nor a believer. I say that not to be flippant but instead to make a point. I fall in love often when I walk down the street and see a women I would like to take for a ride so to speak. I also love my W. The difference is choice and commitment.
That said, sounds like you are interested in love or at least you want to have a conversation about it with your H. What I would recommend is discussing in detail, after reading some about it, what love actually is to you and then in turn, what love is to your H. Make sure you are talking about the same thing. Words are the wind. Define it for both of you first and then you can talk about if he was or was not. After that make your call.
Anyway, that and the lying were the hardest parts for me to get over. I could understand how he let himself drift into the relationship, but it was soooo painful to know that he had allowed himself to develop these feelings, to in fact nurture the relationship into love.
Now, he is genuinely over her, and he genuinely loves me. It took a long time and her leaving for a new job. For me, that's important. But I won't ever forget how he felt about her, and so far I can't forgive him for it. I accept it, but don't forgive it. Maybe someday...
All this to say, you may be able to get through it and keep your marriage, but it will take a long time. And maybe you will not -- that's ok, naivewife. It takes a lot of strength and honesty about yourself to acknowledge that and to act on it.
Hugs to you. It's so very hard, whichever way you go.
[This message edited by StrongerOne at 8:00 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
On the other hand, his affair with his employee was not love either. An exciting, tempting, sexual attraction maybe, but love? He treated her like a whore and she accepted that.
He didn't love anyone, not even himself.
WHat he calls 'love' is often that chemical reaction that happens to AP's...it's called limerance. Look it up. Take note that it is an actual chemical reaction taking place in his body and not based at all in reality of real life.
The difference is choice and commitment.
I also often hear the view that love is a committment and choice. I respect anyone's own definition of what love is, but that is not my definition.
For example, I love my grandchildren. It is a very warm fuzzy FEELING, not a committment and a choice even though my love for them does drive me to forms of committment and doing loving things for them. Though my love for my H is different, and a more romantic kind of love, I still also feel that my love for him is a FEELING I have, not the choices those feelings cause me to make (committment and doing nice things for him, etc.)
Part of my perspective is probably based on the fact that my relationship with my H seemed to start with love at first site, especially for him. Okay, so it was infatuation. We were both infatuated with each other at first, and got engaged within a month of knowing each other. It was not 100% chemistry. It was also based on knowing some things we had in common, and our shared values, likes and other things, including physical attraction. In one month's time, it also turns out there were things about each other that we were yet to learn (surprise surprise) and our marriage definitely went through some ups and downs. But you know what? We still have that romantic passion between us that some would think impossible after 18 years.
If I felt that my H was infatuated with the OW in the same way he was with me after we met, that would be a deal breaker, whether anybody termed that infatuation, limerance, love, or something else. It would actually be WORSE for me to think that my H was that highly infatuated with somebody because I treasure my memories of our early relationship and would not trade them for anything.
So I guess my point is that if he really believes he loved her, or was even completely and madly infatuated with her, and has any good memories of that at all, Naivewife, I am with you, and it would be a dealbreaker.
[This message edited by Bobbi_sue at 8:24 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
We are only a couple of months out, but now he admits feeling foolish for thinking that, understands the brain chemistry involved, etc. We had a weekend away togther last weekend, and he said, "I can't believe I risked sacrificing this for something so small."
So, it is possible for the WH to have felt infatuation, etc. and then be able to contextualize it later. I am not sure overly-romantic ideas about love serve anyone very well in the long run. in the end, for me, love is a verb.
I edit, therefore I am.
Personally, I would have been more disgusted if he did not think he loved her.
Then again, we didn't have any problems, we didn't fight, etc... It was just fun with another person.
Our first and only fight was also our last. We broke up because of it, and that was it. You know what? I loved a lot of things about that boy- I loved how I felt wanted, and I loved having someone to go to things with, and I loved being in a relationship. But HIM? He wasn't even worth saying "I'm sorry" to after our first fight. Being right was more important. When it came down to it, we didn't care enough about each other to work things out, try hard at communicating, deal with big time stresses and find ways to compromise.
That is comparable to what he "had" with the OW, IMO. It was a "relationship" in which all they did was have fun. There was no struggle, no fighting, no real life. If he had "loved" her...they would have fought for each other. He would have left you for her, and he would be working things out with her- not trying to work on things with you. He would have worked hard for her, and tried to change for her. He didn't. Why? Because he had fun with her, but he didn't love her.
At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
She dropped him and chose her BH over him and he acted out. His fog lasted a long time. His fog is still present, but it's burning off. Each month, I can see his intellect taking over, can see the wheels in his brain processing what he thought he felt and realizing it wasn't really love.
In contrast to her, I'm here. I know the WORST about him, and I still love him. My love has been patient and kind (to quote scripture). And enduring. We're actually getting back, slowly, to that giddiness of la-la land that we felt in the very beginning (and for many years afterward, to be honest). But it's deeper and more mature.
What I'm trying to show, naivewife, is that your WH may not be the best judge of how he felt for the OW. With time, with some reconciliation, you'll both be able to see that he wasn't really "in love" with her like he might possibly have thought he was.
If, 6 months or a year down the road, you still feel the same way, then I understand why you "can't do this." Everyone has that boundary. It's legit.
But if you ask him now, he will say that he didn't understand what real love was. He was infatuated with the shiny surface stuff - like having that new car smell. He didn't have to deal with everyday life with either one of them.
Once he left and got his own place, he started realizing that he had taken everything I did for him/kids for granted. He had taken my love for him for granted. Yes, I had become "controlling" because he had checked out and somebody had to run the house. He finally understood that my behavior was in response to his wayward behavior.
After living apart for 10 months, he now appreciates all of the little things that come along with a real relationship. He truly loves me...and understands that what he thought was love for them could not possibly have been real.
It took me some time to wrap my head around it all. It hurt more than I can say to find out he said those words to both of them. But, for the most part, I have been able to see past his waywardness and see reality. I knew last summer it wasn't real with #4. (I didn't know about #3 at that time.) It was all fantasy bullshit. IMO, Real love grows after the shiny surface wears off and you have to work together/put up with each other's faults and quirks to make the day to day stuff work.
If it were me, knowing what I know now, I would take some more time before deciding one way or another. By your registration date, you're still fairly new in this process. It took us 6 months to be able to have a civil conversation about any of it.
Bottom line though, we each have to decide for ourselves what our line in the sand is. If this is your absolute line, then you already know what to do.
((lots of hugs))
Defining "love" is the issue, IMO. Love is a choice. I truly believe this. But most of us believe it is magical/emotional.
Thus the BS experiences an anguished fear that because he or she claims to be, "in love" with the affair partner, it must mean that the marriage is over and the cheating lovers are meant to be together. Not true.
I have even heard "soulmates" - because they now feel the intense passion of a fantasy relationship.
But of course they think they are, "in love."
That's what an affair is. It's what the addiction is. It's an emotional response (without rationality, commitment or long term thinking) that causes us to do things that are not in our best interests and that hurt other people and destroy what we have worked hard to build in our lives - things like homes and families.
The idea that love should be the deciding factor is any of this is completely erroneous.
As is the idea that love is some magical chemistry between two people. It's neither of those things.
Romantic love really is nothing more than a mathematical equation. Spend enough time with someone meeting intimate needs of conversation, affection, admiration, and play time - and you will fall "in love" with that person.
Are you in IC? Is your WH?
I understand why you feel this way but realize that your definition of love may very well be very different than your WH's. That might be a good starting point.
Be strong and know that you matter.
I feel you naivewife I feel like this is un-get-over-able too.
I don't know why, but my gut says he really did love her during the A and really was torn between two women, which always brings me to why do I need to get over this? I will always see it this way. Even years down the road when he says I never loved her, I still have those texts seared in my memory. You just cannot unsee stuff like that.
I think he thought he was "in love" kinda like you're in love in high school with your first crush. It's new, exciting and fresh. But that's where it ends.
I feel angry but not homocidal; this may be progress.
You are still pretty fresh into this and your WH's A has some other elements to it that compound it too.
It's true, there are some serious "other elements" involved in his A that give me extra things to process. One of which is WH's role as a victim of abuse by an authority figure/medical professional. It's very hard to find the balance of how to view this whole ordeal. Did he betray me and our love/marriage or was he abused and taken advantage of by his doctor while in an extremely vulnerable state? Studies done about his type of situation have come to the conclusion that "consent" is not truly possible when it is a psych doctor/patient relationship, and therefore always a crime. So how much do I hold him accountable for this? For now, very much so, but at the same time, perhaps I'm plowing through it all a little faster than if it had occurred with a co-worker and he was not in the state he was in.
[This message edited by naivewife at 3:09 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
She confessed to having stalked him for a year prior to the first time she propositioned him. That resulted in a make out session. After which her BH told me there was a seismic change in her personality and he suspected she was cheating again.
When I read the article it was pretty clear MCOW's behavior did fall in to line with it.
Now that she is in stage 4, it would appear that she is using alcohol and food to console herself. Sometimes I wish she was suicidal (frequently seen in obsessive love) but then I think I'd rather she have a long and lonely life.
Obsessive love is considered a mental illness. So MCOW basically admitted to being mentally ill.
It also seems that MCOW had emotional problems and historically acted out sexually. More mental illness.
When I was reading up on narcissistic people one article said "successful narcissists are frequently targeted by stalkers and erotomaniacs - usually mentally ill people who develop a fixation of a sexual and emotional nature on the narcissist. When inevitably rebuffed, they become vindictive and even violent."
Definitely the case with my WH and his MCOW. So definitely not love. But frankly, that doesn't make me feel much better.
For me what is hard to get passed is he was nicer to her than to me, spent more time with her than with me and made her his number 1 priority. I have never been higher than a very, very distant third in his life.
[This message edited by Jospehine85 at 4:18 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]