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How do I stop loving another woman?

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  • How do I stop loving another woman?

    I was here quite a while ago then disappeared. I was pretty arrogant then. Not so much now. If you're sick of this story, I understand. I'm sick to death of it.

    I left my indifferent partner for a much younger woman with emotional problems. Our relationship was super intense. We had a little sex but sex was not the point. We just spent time together and held each other. M has physical and emotional pain and puts herself down constantly. All I wanted was to hear and affirm her. We connected instantly and more deeply than I've ever felt. I knew I couldn't help her or "save" her. She just needed love and I needed to give it to her.

    I'm manic depressive and have given myself a hard life (I'm on meds now, so it's better, kind of). Loving M made my pain worth something.

    My partner had a change of heart. She begged me to come back and demonstrated what seemed, and has proven to be, genuine love. I'd known M only a week or so and got scared, so I went back. It just about killed me.

    Then followed months of torturing and lying to myself, lying to my partner, jerking M around, and jerking my partner around. This past summer, I finally committed for real to rebuilding with my partner. I do the work: I pay attention. I look for ways to make her happy and show her love. I give affection and make sex enjoyable for her. Problem is, it's skinny love. My heart belongs to M.

    M told me all the way back in March she wouldn't try again. But she didn't say she doesn't love me, only that she thinks it won't work. I suspect she's stuck with the same thing I've got: love she can't do anything with.

    I don't look at pictures of her or read our texts, but I see her face and hear her voice all the time. I write out my feelings and try to let go of her, but I can't say goodbye.

    I read things about how to fall in love again with your wife. But you have to want to, and I don't. I want M and I can't even begin to see how that could change.

    This has never happened to me. I have strong feelings, but when it's over, I let go. It takes a while, but I get over it. Not this time.

    Is it right to keep trying and let my partner believe I love her more than I do? Am I sacrificing or just lying? Do I just live the rest of my life with this hole in my heart?

    Anyone who responds: thank you.
    ______________________

    Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.

  • This is a tough one. Because of the intensity and because the relationship was cut off abruptly, this time it will take a lot longer to let go. Did you ever have this intense of a relationship with your wife? I suspect not. The high from an intense relationship is unbelievable and with you being bipolar (formerly called manic depressive), if you have an intense relationship while at the top of a manic period, you possibly hit a high that you may never repeat. Unfortunately, getting back together with your partner fell in the low after the high which probably adds to the discontent. Even if you were to go back to M, it is likely that you wouldn't be fully satisfied with a relationship with her because leaving her damaged the relationship and she will always wonder if you are going to leave again. It is always amazing how being vulnerable can attract someone who is intent on fixing things. I try to fix things and am vulnerable to someone who is vulnerable in a similar way as M. Possibly a psychologist can get help you sort things out.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • Thank you for your insight jns. You make a very good point linking bipolar and timing. I signed up for a bipolar forum site. I may find people with some similar experiences there.

      I'm curious about your comment about fixing. I wonder about that desire in me. Is it bad? On the other hand, damaged people would have no chance at relationships if there were no one to risk with them.
      ______________________

      Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.

      Comment


      • Macon, jns hit this dead on the head in my opinion. I had the same thoughts upon reading your post. I have nothing to add to that, but wish you well in sorting this out.
        "Be what you're looking for."

        Comment


        • That sounds like a difficult problem. If I had the same issue, the problem for me would be that my wife is my best friend and the one I go to for advice. But in a case like that, telling her everything could cause hurt feelings and stir up jealousy. I’ve had it happen before. I thought I could tell her something and she got really jealous. It was very awkward.

          What I've found is that just being open and honest works anyway, though. If we’ve got a problem and I can’t just move past it, it needs to come out. We’re dealing with an unpleasant, awkward issue right now. I told her my feelings. I try to make sure to lead with commendation and let her know that I appreciate her and my desire is that we stay together forever. We’re working on it together. Just the act of telling her gave me some relief and made it easier to deal with. Making sure that we come together physically is important too. Gotta keep the bond strong and intimacy is really useful for that.

          God’s help is also key for us. We pray about every issue we face. I have doubts we would have lasted as long as we have without that spiritual aspect of our relationship being so solid. Both sets of our parents divorced when we were young. There was infidelity, fights, and dysfunction, so we didn’t grow up with the best examples of how to overcome problems and make a marriage work.
          "Those sowing seed with tears
          Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

          Comment


          • I also agree with jns, and I'll even say that I think this sort of thing happens to those of us that aren't bipolar. It happens because we have a short term relationship with someone we have a strong connection with, and it never moves beyond that "honeymoon" phase, when all is beautiful, exciting and we haven't gone into the stages of the relationship where we see them at their worst, when the realities of a lasting relationship are upon us. When that's all we ever knew with a person, those feelings, those experiences are all we have to go on, and our minds believe that's how it would have always been. Of course, we know that isn't the case, logically, but nevertheless, we relish in that sense of amazing connection. This experience is simply intensified by your bipolar disorder.

            So, the endorphins released into our body during these experiences produce a feeling that we don't typically have with that "worn-in", well-known lover.

            What I'd encourage you to do, is find ways to experience that euphoria with your wife. Create new experiences to cause those hormone chemicals to be released in your body, and create that feeling of bonding. I know it sounds silly, contrived and unromantic, but do something you both don't, and wouldn't, normally do together. Go zip-lining, or rock-climbing, or just go sit on a park bench and kiss each other like school kids again-whatever it is that sorta gets your motor running. Don't do anything illegal or dangerous, just go outside your comfort zone, and re-create a bond with your wife. Learn to see her in ways you've never really pictured her, and likely, in turn, she will begin to see things in a new way also.

            Is your wife also as committed to make this work, as you are? And does she know about M?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by macon View Post
              I'm curious about your comment about fixing. I wonder about that desire in me. Is it bad? On the other hand, damaged people would have no chance at relationships if there were no one to risk with them.
              Fixing things isn't necessarily bad but it does leave you vulnerable to manipulation by another person, whether consciously or unconsciously. One thing I did notice decades ago while living single in Hollywood was that people with imbalances tended to be attracted to others with imbalances, possibly because of knowing that the others could understand them more due to their own experiences. Sometimes the mutual aid was good but in other cases the people involved went farther from the norm.
              I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
              ...
              Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

              From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

              Comment


              • I second your post, jns.

                Comment


                • Did I understand correctly that you only had a short time with M?

                  I have several ideas to throw out for consideration, none are definite.

                  - Is the intensity of the relationship with M largely because it is new as opposed to one that has been tarnished with water under the bridge and all that?

                  - Are the feelings in these relationships, old or new, based on something unhealthy that could help you sort out what to do?

                  - If you truly can't love your wife anymore, it doesn't seem like you're doing either of you a favor by staying. That's not the end all be all, there are practical things to consider and whatnot, but if she does love you, she needs you to love her back, and you shouldn't have to sacrifice a truly positive life change.
                  Last edited by Pastel Yellow; 12-29-2019, 09:19 AM.

                  Comment

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