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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: The End Of My Fantasy World  (Read 433 times)
RomanticFool
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 1076


« on: June 23, 2018, 11:19:25 AM »

I have had a well documented (on here) affair with a married woman who I suspect has uBPD traits. I now maintain a cordial friendship with her following a mutually emotionally wounding break up. I miss the closeness and I miss the excitement of how the r/s once was. What I don’t miss is the pain of her apparent indifference to my emotional life.

I was told on here that we are attracted to our emotional equals. I am less sure that my ex is my emotional equal now. I have changed somewhat. While I was in the midst of a vortex of limerance, my emotional life became unstable and co-dependent. Keeping distance from a woman whom I idolised but who is very bad for my self esteem and emotional sobriety has begun to heal me.

What now? I am like the alcoholic who has stopped drinking but must now find a new way of living. I must find a way to exist without living in a damaging fantasy world (with the hope still alive) of being with a woman who does not have my well being at heart.

My r/s with my wife is the same as it has always been and there appears to be no chance of us becoming physically or emotionally closer than we are now (separate rooms, separate lives, which for the most part suits us both).

I am not sure I want that mad driven passion and obsession of limerance but I do wish I could feel ‘alive’ within the relationship or meet somebody that makes me feel on top of the world again. Except I know that it is a lie. That is a Hollywood style r/s which really has very little to do with reality and real love. If I divorce my wife and meet somebody else, I’m fairly certain I’d end up feeling the same again.

The dysfunction resides in me. It is addictive in nature and adolescent in terms of what love really is. Love is about living with another person and feeling that companionship once the intoxication has died down. Love is about negotiating around separate interests and mutual interests. Love is about giving as opposed to wanting a woman to ‘save me.’ Love is about peace and harmony (poets might disagree) it is not about constant emotional turbulence and anxiety. My own traits lead me to seek emotionally charged, sexually charged women who are obsessive and volatile. I have a chance to change that narrative. The question is, should it still be with my wife?
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Mustbeabetterway
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 08:41:51 PM »

Hi RomanticFool,

Sounds like you have been through a really rough time emotionally.  Making healthy decisions that positively affect your self esteem are good. 

The only way that I have found to create positive change in my life is to look inside, and decide what kind of life I want and don’t want.  Then set about aligning your actions with these values.  It sounds as if you are working in that direction.

Keep on being true to yourself.  Only you can decide what you truly want and need to live your best life.


Mustbeabetterway
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Sunfl0wer
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: He moved out mid March
Posts: 2583



« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 09:05:55 PM »

Excerpt
Love is about living with another person and feeling that companionship once the intoxication has died down. Love is about negotiating around separate interests and mutual interests. Love is about giving as opposed to wanting a woman to ‘save me.’ Love is about peace and harmony (poets might disagree) it is not about constant emotional turbulence and anxiety. My own traits lead me to seek emotionally charged, sexually charged women who are obsessive and volatile. I have a chance to change that narrative. The question is, should it still be with my wife?

When thinking of love... .
Seems maybe to me, something may be missing, idk tho... .
Exploring “self love” maybe is worth some attention.
What are your thoughts on Self love?
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How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.~Anais Nin
pearlsw
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"Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible"


« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 09:57:21 PM »

Hey RF,

Your wife has taken time away from you, right, if I'm not mistaken?

Have you ever considered taking time away from her? A separate vacation perhaps? Just any time away where you might be able to get your head more clear about it is that would make you most happy?

I notice you vacillate a lot between saying that being with her is enough, and then it isn't. You seem to me, to hold onto her as a bit of security blanket, and out of duty a bit, but not out of love. Look, yes, there is Hollywood, but you can be with her or not. Yes, it is risky. You may break up and find nothing on the other side, or you may break up and something better will happen. If she is just enough to make you content... .Well, you get that. If you would rather have a little more excitement and can do it in a healthy way, there is that option.  But you have options in life man, never forget that.

Right now, point blank, what would make you happiest in life? What do you really want?

Are you working with a therapist to see if you could prepare yourself for a healthy relationship? It strikes me here that you are afraid of yourself more than anything, that you can't have or start a healthy relationship.

with compassion, pearl.
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Walk on a rainbow trail, walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail. - Navajo Song
Insom
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 03:05:24 PM »

Hi, RF!

Excerpt
Love is about living with another person and feeling that companionship once the intoxication has died down. Love is about negotiating around separate interests and mutual interests. Love is about giving as opposed to wanting a woman to ‘save me.’ Love is about peace and harmony (poets might disagree) it is not about constant emotional turbulence and anxiety. My own traits lead me to seek emotionally charged, sexually charged women who are obsessive and volatile.

It sounds like you view love dichotomously.  Love is either emotionally charged, obsessive and volatile, or it's giving, peaceful, harmonious and companionable.  Can you imagine another type of love experience that is more balanced?

Excerpt
I have a chance to change that narrative. The question is, should it still be with my wife?

Indeed!  What's going on with you and your wife of late?  I hear that on the outside not much has changed.  Has anything changed re: how you feel?
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Wicker Man
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Attempting to reconcile after my affair.
Posts: 507


« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 11:37:16 AM »

@RomanticFool,

@Pearlsw cut to the quick of it -"What would make you happiest in life? What do you really want?"

I would put forward the supposition you are not in a position to truly know what you want at this point.  Having recently ended an affair which you had mentioned was, in some ways bad for your self esteem.  Being in the midst of a comfortable but neglected marriage, and the rest of the baggage that comes with being middle aged in our society is going to cloud your perception.

You have a lot to sort out.  If I may, I would suggest you see a therapist.  A therapist can help you to gain some understanding into why you had an affair.  Why you may have been attracted to someone suffering from a personality disorder.  How you marriage fell into malaise.  How you feel about your career, physical health and the transition through and ultimately beyond middle age. 

Having more or less walked a mile in your shoes (dysfunctional marriage, affair, back to marriage) I am afraid I have some understanding of the confusion and depression, or perhaps better put malaise you are experiencing.  My wife and I are reconciling, which is to say I disclosed my affair to her -however personally I still have to reconcile the affair and the grief of leaving my affair partner. 

Your marriage is comfortable, but unrewarding emotionally and physically.  --I described mine as 'a comfortable deadly slumber'.  I had been so busy working (hiding in work from a dysfunctional marriage for 25 years) I didn't discover my level of repression and  unhappiness until it had produced fertile ground for an affair. 

My affair wasn't premeditated, preconceived, or something I thought I would ever allow.  It began as an emotional affair and we feel deeply into limerence and I thought it was evolving into love -I filed for divorce and proposed to my affair partner.

I never stopped loving my wife, but didn't feel 'in love'.  Leaving felt like the only option for continuing my journey through life.  My fiancé, I believe, suffers from borderline personality disorder.  Being six months out of the affair, and having had no contact with her I have had time to try to process why I was so attracted to her -interestingly she seems to have been an embodiment and an extension of my work. 

She represented to me the life of an artist -it was her sensitivity which drew me to her.  Bordering on psychosis gives her a world view which is magical, as an artist she was my muse.  We had talked about having a child which was also incredibly attractive.  In my affair I had constructed an elaborate fantasy which would have very likely withered in the light of day.  The fantasy was lovely and it is very hard to let it go emotionally, intellectually I am certain it would have ended badly.  I was going to leave a comfortable and safe life and move into a much harder, but 'interesting' life -A midlife crisis brought to the level of parody.

RomanticFool if I may I am going to play devil's advocate, as I feel I am a contentious and annoying person by nature it suits me Smiling (click to insert in post)
I would like to put forth this supposition -you may not have any idea how much your marriage means to you.  It seems to be human nature to take for granted the blessings we have in our lives.  As humans we do not realize what we have until we have lost it.  We are not thankful, but we instead arrogantly demand luxury. 

Your marriage likely went grey for a thousand reasons and at such glacial pace I should guess neither you nor your wife saw it happening.  We, as human beings, crave comfort and comfort is the antithesis of passion.  What we crave one moment destroys what we crave the next... .  This seems to be the human condition. 

Being in a healthy marriage takes an enormous amount of work and no one teaches us how to do it.  This is where therapy comes in. 

I would offer you this as a possible solution.  If you were to begin therapy it may give you some personal insight.  At that point you will be better positioned to see your marriage in a more sober light.  If there is value to your marriage you and your wife may wish to try couple's counseling.  Your wife is very likely feeling the same malaise in the relationship as you.  It would be a dangerous assumption to presume she is any happier living parallel lives under the same roof, rather than having a more rewarding relationship.

On the other hand you may find it is best for you to seek the dissolution of your marriage.  However, you should make sure this is really the right path for you in the long term.

My wife was the one who initially suggested we attempt reconciliation.  She said we can never replace the 25 years of history we share.  The process of disclosing my affair has been painful beyond words.  We are now doing the heavy lifting to try to make our relationship grow from a numbing LLC into something more.  Diabolically difficult -but worth the effort.  Will my marriage be perfect?  Nope.  Will we ever experience the level of passion I experienced in my affair? Nope.  Will our marriage be able to evolve into more than what it was?  I hope so.  --This is not to say you should disclose your affair if you choose to work on your marriage. 

It is a very difficult decision and there are benefits and liabilities to be considered.  Truth will set you free, however it may not be the freedom you are looking for... .  Disclosure is not confession.  It is not about cleansing your soul and absolution  --it is about giving your wife the tools to continue in a healthy marriage.  If you choose this path definitely speak to a therapist and get guidance.  Be forewarned it is grizzly.

Excerpt
My r/s with my wife is the same as it has always been and there appears to be no chance of us becoming physically or emotionally closer than we are now (separate rooms, separate lives, which for the most part suits us both).

Of course nothing has changed in your marriage -you have likely not done anything to try to change a system which has decades of inertia.  If your marriage was anything like mine it had become a collection of bad habits. My marriage had been sexless for 20 years.  It is very difficult for me to feel trust as my wife and I try to bring intimacy back into our relationship -having been refused over decades has taken a toll on me. This is further compounded by my shattering my wife's trust in me through infidelity.  We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Further you still have your affair partner in your life as a friend, which is only going to make it harder to put your energy into altering your home life.  The fantasy of the affair has to be put to rest if you have any wish to better your marriage. 

In my experience this is difficult and takes quite a bit of time.  My affair partner is still wearing my mother's engagement ring -she cannot seem to let the fantasy go --we tore each other's hearts out.  I would never recommend an affair it is a nasty business.  I need to keep a weather eye on psyche --with a single text message I could slide back into the paradise circus.  The seduction, the compulsion, I liken it to a latent death wish.

Excerpt
I am not sure I want that mad driven passion and obsession of limerance but I do wish I could feel ‘alive’ within the relationship or meet somebody that makes me feel on top of the world again.
Limerence -You said it yourself.  You understand it is a drug like state, which is unsustainable.  Biologically it is important as the beginning obsession of a relationship, but it subsides and then the relationship either evolves into the next steps of love or ends.

Excerpt
If I divorce my wife and meet somebody else, I’m fairly certain I’d end up feeling the same again.
Yes.  You seem to have some understanding of the situation -Something needs to change.  If you keep chasing the unsustainable it will likely end badly for you.

Excerpt
The dysfunction resides in me... ... ..My own traits lead me to seek emotionally charged, sexually charged women who are obsessive and volatile. I have a chance to change that narrative. The question is, should it still be with my wife?
Dysfunction is a strong word.  We all have a limbic system.  We are wired to 'like' the cocaine like rush of new 'love' -but the rest of our brain allows us to know it is unsustainable. 

Your subject is a good one 'The End Of My Fantasy World'.  Understanding the difference between what is sustainable and what is not is important and vital to happiness in the long term.

'We don't find love by chasing after it; we simply open our hearts and find it within us'  --Charlotte Kasl

Happiness comes from within.  I say this easily and freely --it is the truth.  It is a truth I know and yet as I write to you I find myself in a state of moderate depression.  I  find myself sorting through the emotional wreckage this last year has wrought.

I do not envy your situation.  I hope you are able to find the right path as you continue your journey through life.


Wicker Man
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