I attended SLAA meetings in my 20s because I knew that I had issues with Love Addiction. Then, when I got married, I thought that I had “figured it out”. Only, I haven’t. I have been with my husband for almost 10 years and every few years I unwittingly become limerantly infatuated with someone else, almost always an unavailable man. The tipping point was my most recent infatuation, which was with a priest (talk about unavailable!).
That’s when I realized that I still have an undeniable attraction to unavailable men and I still struggle with Love Addiction in a major way. My husband is wonderful, supportive, and loving. We have a safe, companionate kind of love. But he isn’t someone who I can have deep, intellectual conversations with, or even emotional or spiritual conversations with. I feel like we don’t connect in those areas. He listens to me and is very supportive and loving when I have an emotional struggle, but he doesn’t really reciprocate and share his feelings. He seems pretty happy go lucky, so maybe he’s just not that emotional of a guy. But it is hard to feel connected sometimes.
If a meet another guy who shares his feelings and emotions with me it is such a thrill, it feels like real intimacy. That said, I am trying to work on being more closed off emotionally to other men. I know that part of the problem is low self esteem, loneliness, and a mid-life crisis feeling that I haven’t lived up to my potential. Anyway, just trying to heal and figure all of this out.
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2019 7:59:25 GMT -8 by islajane
You sound a lot like me. I was married - a long time ago - to a very nice man who was ultimately not well suited to me. We didn’t have much in common, and I think that even without my addiction, it would have been a mistake.
But with the addiction....I kept having serious, hardcore crushes on unavailable men. I did end up having an affair with one.
The biggest irony in the whole story? I knew that what I was doing wasn’t normal. I made up my mind I was going to accept my marriage as it was and settle down and be a nice married lady with my husband. And that was the day my husband found out about the affair.
He wanted us to stay together, but I wanted to end the marriage - because I knew that I was never going to stop getting terrible crushes on other men, and I felt that he didn’t deserve that. I felt like I shouldn’t be ruining my husband’s life with my problem. (And I still to this day believe that we weren’t a good match to begin with.)
I had no idea I could be a love addict when I met and married my husband - but I was. I always figured (incorrectly) marriage would "fix" my addiction and my attraction to other men outside my marriage. Obviously, it did not.
It may be you and your husband are incompatible on the emotional and intellectual level. That's nothing to be ashamed about. Not one person can "complete" us, nor can one person be our "one and only" (and or "soul mate"). Just my observations.
Thrills, as you know, are not real intimacy. They're just that - thrills - think of it as a sugary or carbohydrate fix.
You’re right. I think I have been confusing emotional intensity with a stranger with true intimacy. My husband is the one who really knows me— we have been living together for 10 years. He knows me inside and out and that’s what real intimacy is. I guess I am just missing emotional intensity on some level, as well as intellectual stimulation. Has anyone read Mating in Captivity? The author talks about how love seeks closeness but desire needs distance. She says that it is important to cultivate some sense of distance and “otherness” in a marital relationship because that is what creates a sense of desire for your partner.
I think this could be part of my issue with unavailable men—there is so much distance, so when these men actually get close it’s more of a thrill and it creates an illusion of closeness. But really it is just intensity, which you are right—isn’t real intimacy.
Last Edit: Jun 26, 2019 12:24:45 GMT -8 by islajane
When I first began this journey, back in the Permian era (ha ha ha) I read a lot of books and on the Internet. I found a definition of intimacy which was helpful. As you know, there are several definitions for it.
Intimacy is when you share something with somebody without FEAR of being rejected or judged. Then, that person can share with YOU without you rejecting them or judging them.
That's how I equate intimacy.
Unavailable men are just that - unavailable. As are we sometimes. Unavailable = not able to be part of your life in ANY way. Give me real! Not fantasy!