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User Topic: Does 'love' change?
Gomphus
Member
Member # 29779
Default  Posted: 7:53 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

I'm in a really good relationship post divorce. I know it's great b/c I went through several 'not going to work' relationships in my post divorce exploring. I find myself in a conundrum, however. The love I feel now is much more 'business' relationship. I like, respect, admire, and am inspired by this person. We have both seen each others baggage and accept it. We have a few outstanding issues that may or may not end up dividing us but mostly it seems to me like a relationship that has all the boxes checked for potential.

But the 'love' is much different than what I called love in my marriage. I honestly believed that if two people had the 'right' kind of 'special' love that all their problems would be taken care of. I thought marriages worked b/c people had the right 'love' and failed b/c they didn't. I thought my marriage was immune to problems.

So, I know that vision of love was wrong but now I'm wondering, was it TOTALLY wrong, MOSTLY WRONG, or what? Currently, I'm looking at love as much more of a boxes checked, business relationship where two people decide they love each other and build/maintain a relationship. I'm not sure if I'm totally on board with that and if the 'magic' should totally be canned. I'm sure some of this is me protecting myself, but I'm oblivious.

For the record, I'm not good at deciding 'what I want' or 'what love is'. I get paralyzed by the options and choices - but maybe this business thing is part of 'what I want' and I just haven't realized it. Or the opposite, lol.

Thoughts on 'magic' in love and a business type approach?


me - 41 BH
D'ed
Surviving

Posts: 425 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: VA
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

I think in a good relationship, there is both. I think there is attraction, caring feelings towards each other, mutual respect, a mutual life outlook on what you want for the future, and most importantly the mutual feeling that you are both committed first and foremost to the relationship above your own selves and are willing to work on it and value the relationship.

Amazing electricity in a relationship is nice but it doesn't last. ALL relationships settle down after a period of time. That is when it is important to have the mutual respect and life-goals.

In some cultures, marriage IS a business relationship. In those relationships, if the partners have integrity, treat each other well, and respect each other, many times over time their love will grow towards each other, so even if it wasn't strong in the beginning, it builds as they continue to treat each other well and value each other.

How long have you been with this one, and do you think there are stronger feelings in there than just "like?"

I'm sure some of this is me protecting myself, but I'm oblivious.
This is what I am wondering. Maybe, since this one DOES have so much potential, you are refusing to allow the deeper feelings because it is scary.


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15112 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
Gomphus
Member
Member # 29779
Default  Posted: 9:02 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

Thanks for your response.

We have been dating 8 months. In my moments of clarity I think all the pieces are there and all we have to do is move forward and stay mindful. I worry sometimes b/c, even though she is divorced, she hasn't had kids and that will be an issue - I don't want any and she might. Plus she's a few years younger than me. So part of my issue is worrying that she will regret staying with me and should be seeking out what SHE wants.

But for me, I hope/think you're right. I am somehow afraid and protecting myself. Funny thing is, I am completely unaware of it if it's true. People (IC) ask me if I'm feeling vulnerable, etc. and I honestly have no idea. I can't find those feelings inside me although I'm sure they're there just based on the infidelity, blameshifting, etc. that I experienced.


me - 41 BH
D'ed
Surviving

Posts: 425 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: VA
Pass
Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

My love with The Princess was of the instant magical variety, so please accept that I may be a little jaded: The magic is horseshit.

(Nope, doesn't sound jaded to me.)

Next time, I'll be looking for a quiet love. One that slowly happens over time. I don't want to worry about her deciding the magic has faded, and doing the shit The Princess has done.

And if there's one thing I've learned: Talk shit out.

You're worried she may want kids? Ask her. The best way to find out the answer to a question is to ask it. Don't just guess about what she's thinking.

You're worried about the age difference? Ask about that too.

Relationships take work, and that has nothing to do with magic.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after married 17 years, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1698 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

I honestly believed that if two people had the 'right' kind of 'special' love that all their problems would be taken care of. I thought marriages worked b/c people had the right 'love' and failed b/c they didn't. I thought my marriage was immune to problems.
I'm sure some of this is me protecting myself, but I'm oblivious.
Funny thing is, I am completely unaware of it if it's true.
I don't think you are unaware of it, you are the one that mentioned it.

I think you are aware that you are keeping your feelings locked inside.

So part of my issue is worrying that she will regret staying with me and should be seeking out what SHE wants.
That is a scary thought, to think you may get emotionally vested in this relationship and then somewhere down the road, she may decide it isn't right for her. Maybe that is part of why you are keeping your feelings locked up.

This is where trust comes in. We have to make the decision whether to trust or not. Trusting someone makes us terribly vulnerable, but without trust, we can't really have anything real.

Do you trust yourself to make a good decision on a partner? That alone can keep you from opening up.

Are you able to trust her, that what she is telling you is the truth? She may change her mind down the road, but so may you. That is always a possibility in any relationship. Nothing is 100% secure.

Do you trust yourself to be able to handle it if this one blows up? If you do invest emotionally here, and it doesn't work out, are you going to be okay?


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15112 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
Gomphus
Member
Member # 29779
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, December 14th (Saturday)

pass - that made me laugh out loud - thanks. And I think that's right. Relationships are work. Period. And I'm not great at doing that work. That was my part of my divorce. I want to do better and looks like I have an opportunity with SO.

Naive, I just noticed your dday is my birthday. Kinda funny - depending on your perspective, the days have different meaning:)

I think I can admit I keep my feelings locked up. By nature and moreso due to infidelity.

I am not scared of being hurt - but that could be b/c I'm in such denial about opening up.

It feels dishonest - and I certainly don't want to be that.

But honesty can hurt. How do you tell someone "I need some space today", or "I wanna do sex like X, Y, or Z" when there is the potential for conflict/dealbreakers. That's hard. And, by nature, I overthink things so I'm worried what I say or talk about will be superfluous and even potentially sabotaging.

Whoa.


me - 41 BH
D'ed
Surviving

Posts: 425 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: VA
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 5:13 PM, December 14th (Saturday)

How do you tell someone "I need some space today", or "I wanna do sex like X, Y, or Z" when there is the potential for conflict/dealbreakers
You just do. If you have an intimate connection with the other person, you need to be able to talk about things that are important to you. If you really need space once in a while and don't ask for it, you will end up with resentment. If you would like to try something different with sex, you should be able to talk to her about that.

If you don't find a way to have these hard talks, you will not have the intimacy necessary for a strong bond. And you are cheating yourself and your partner out of the potential for deep, loving, heartfelt intimacy.

So, try things like...."honey, I LOVE spending time with you. I want to spend as much time with you as possible, but every once in a while I need a little time of my own to remind me of who I am and pursue interests that help make me the person you fell for." or "When I am with you, I like to give you 100% of my attention. Sometimes, though, I need to do a few things on my own, and I feel guilty that I have to concentrate on those things and can't give you the attention I feel you deserve. It makes me feel conflicted. Would you mind if next Sunday I take a few hours to blah blah blah....."

ETA:

But honesty can hurt.
I meant to comment on this. Honesty can hurt, but as we know here, dishonesty is so much more painful in the long run.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 5:20 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15112 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:11 PM, December 14th (Saturday)

So….wait.

But honesty can hurt. How do you tell someone "I need some space today", or "I wanna do sex like X, Y, or Z" when there is the potential for conflict/dealbreakers. That's hard. And, by nature, I overthink things so I'm worried what I say or talk about will be superfluous and even potentially sabotaging.

You aren't being yourself because you are afraid to hurt her? You are avoiding "difficult" conversations because….? You don't want to hurt her because she is a nice person?

Currently, I'm looking at love as much more of a boxes checked, business relationship where two people decide they love each other and build/maintain a relationship.

If this ^^^ is "real love", then it sounds kinda…sterile. I also think it starts with some magic, then the business part fills in as the relationship matures. I want that "spark" to be there with a solid base of respect and honesty…and work.

Weren't all the boxes checked in your first marriage? Didn't you both agree to love each other "forever and ever, Amen!"? I know when I met my exH, he had every major box ticked I was looking for. The break down happened in the lack of honest communication.

I think the deal with first marriages, or the ones that many of us were in…the difficult conversations never happened. If my ex had come to me and been himself and not afraid to hurt me, I wouldn't be a single Mom with a gay ex H. I would have had the opportunity to meet someone who was willing to communicate honestly with me, I could have had the opportunity to be in the life I wanted…and thought I was in.

Also for me, during R, when I actually knew everything…was some of the best months of our relationship. We were honest with each other. Brutally so, sometimes. The sex was off the charts. I felt connected to him. Then, the honesty from him stopped again...due to his own issues. Instead of coming to me with honesty and saying my pain was too much for him to handle, he needed to explore his sexuality, he wanted X,Y,Z in bed…he cheated again since that temporary fix was easier for him. Then I was done.

Yes. You may hurt her by having the difficult conversations…but would you rather do that and be authentic, or end up in a relationship where you avoid the tough stuff until something explodes?

How do you know that she won't be perfectly accepting of you needing space or sex a certain way? Being vulnerable means you telling her (kindly and in a open communication setting) what your needs/desires are and see what she says.

[This message edited by cmego at 10:05 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4038 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Virginia
Gomphus
Member
Member # 29779
Default  Posted: 7:32 AM, December 15th (Sunday)

thanks, guys. I agree. Looking forward to getting better at this.


me - 41 BH
D'ed
Surviving

Posts: 425 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: VA
Topic Posts: 9