What is going on in the head/heart of someone “madly in love” with another? Why do they do the things they do? Say the things they say? Make the decisions they make?

What if a person is married to one and falls “madly in love” with another? How does that happen? Is it the fault of the spouse they wish to leave? Is there hope to save the marriage? Will s/he divorce the one, marry the other, and live happily ever after?

That’s what the person believes will happen. However, it’s not what’s going to happen. The love they believe that no one can understand because no one could ever have felt this way before…is quite common. And, unfortunately for the person in it, it only SEEMS that it will last forever. It won’t. It always ends.

There’s a name for it. It’s called limerence. The word was coined by Dorothy Tennov, PhD, in the 1970s. At that time it received little acceptance by counselors. Even today, we find that many marriage counselors and therapists either do not know about it or know very little about it.

Current research on it has been done by Helen Fisher, PhD, and her colleagues. (Tennov has passed on.) Their findings are fascinating.

So are ours.

We have worked with myriads of married people who are in limerence with someone other than their spouses. We’ve heard the stories…we’ve witnessed the actions and decisions…and we’ve seen the consequences.

Not good consequences, though the person leaving his / her spouse for another with whom s/he is “madly in love” always fully anticipates that life with the lover will be amazing, fulfilling, and last a lifetime.

Nearly all end within 3 years…even the ones that believe it will last forever.

Please download your FREE podcast on iTunes by clicking here! 

Download on Google Play by clicking here!

 

 

 

 

Tagged on:         

11 thoughts on “[PODCAST] “Understanding Limerence: The Madly In Love Syndrome” Dr. Joe Show Podcast

  • April 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    Permalink

    I believe I have fallen into “limerance” with someone who is not my spouse. Can’t seem to get over him even with the other person out of my life. Is this something you can help with?

    Reply
    • April 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm
      Permalink

      I am so sorry you are going through this.

      We know how hard it is on you…

      Absolutely we can help with this.. This is my favorite article for “getting over limerence.” http://www.marriagehelper.com/how-to-get-over-limerence

      I would urge you to look into Marriage Coaching with us or even our Affair Toolkit.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  • April 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    Permalink

    My situation is a unique one in itself. I have been in love with my friend for over 10 years. I was married when I met him. Divorced 3 years after I met him. We never committed to a relationship, just a flirtationship in my book, with benefits. My husband and I remarried 3 years ago and I still find myself in love with my friend. I call him, the love of my life instead of my husband. I’ve tried a second time at this marriage with my husband. It seems that he does not know how to love me. We’ve done the counseling sessions and he tries to be good to God, but ignores me. No sex, no date nights and no time alone. I have to initiate date nights, family time, prayer family time etc. He just exists. He sits on the couch or floor and watches his recorded shows. I tell him every day how I feel and he just ignores me. I don’t think he wants to be married. He is just in it for the convenience of our kids. We have four, ages 19, 15, 13 and 8. Our daughter is the oldest and the others are boys. I am wits end. I love him, but he makes it hard to love him. We have issues in the bedroom and I have offered help and he has gone to the doctor for help. He gives up after a couple of times of taking the necessary meds. It’s like he doesn’t want to be married and yet he is always trying to reassure me he does love me. Maybe he does love me but not the way I need to be loved. I am lonely with him. He has no get up and go about him. He yells at the kids and spends no time with them. I am tired of trying and this is the second go around. I want to be with my friend. It’s no fairy tale with him. We know each others situation. He has one son, 20. My friend has never been married. It’s as though he is waiting to marry me. I’d love to be with him. Always have. I married my husband thinking we could make it work a second time. It was for a while and now nothing. My friend lost his mom 3 years ago and I thought I lost him. He has been in pain. So I remarried my husband and now I regret that move. I should have stayed divorced. I hope all of this makes sense. Help me understand my situation.

    Thank you
    Ava R

    Reply
    • April 21, 2017 at 3:28 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Ava, I am so sorry you are going through this..

      I would strongly encourage you to look into our Decision Point Course…

      Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    Permalink

    How do I win my husband back from,him mistress? They are ” madly in love ” and she is selling het house yo move closer to him. He is still talking to me but really he only wants to talk about sex. I have tried letting him contact me first.I have tried he texting him a simple Good morning no response. Its like he is stri,ging me along. How do I tell if its limeremce

    Reply
  • March 21, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    Permalink

    My husband’s affair was a rekindled first love emotional affair. Does this mean it’s not limerence?

    Reply
    • April 10, 2018 at 6:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hi, please call us at 615-472-1161 so we can tell you about our resources and how we can help!

      Reply
  • February 16, 2019 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, I’m 34 , single and just learned that Limerence is what has been crippling my chances of falling in love. I deal with depression, internal ocd , anxiety and addiction. How ever I have over come many of these. Obviously these issues done go away, but I’m desperate to have a relationship without being so controlled by my emotions and being “addicted to a person instead of having a healthy relationship. One of the things that bothers me the most is that I have worked so incredibly hard to have successful relationships. I talk to many people, my therapists, I journal. I’m extremely aware of my emotions while I’m dating. But I can’t seem to get enough control and I don’t know if I will ever be able to have a life with a happy relationship and it’s killin me. I’ve felt so lonely my entire life and I’m not much better off now. Thank you.

    Reply
  • May 10, 2019 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    I found out a few weeks ago that my husband is in a relationship with another woman and has been for some time. He says they kiss, are sexually attracted to one another and he is in love with her, but they are not sleeping together ‘because of his commitment’ to me. He says he cannot break off from her, but still wants to make love to me. I am managing still to be kind and loving towards him, hug him and tell him that we can sort this out despite the huge heartbreak I am experiencing but I have not wanted to be more physical than that because I don’t just want to be his reserve option. Am I now harming our marriage further by pushing him away physically or is it the right thing to set a boundary?

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    Hi , i need help, my husband is having an affair for past 2.5 years.
    He met this woman while me n him were not in a good place. We both had drifted apart and both were lonely . I had the kids and family , he had no one and felt completely alone. He met her in sept 2016,
    1st started talking as friends. Then slowly it got more and more. He left home saying he needs ‘space’ but he actually wanted to spend more time with her, he lived separate for 6 months. We communicated regularly. At that point i did not know about his affair, he came home after 6 months, but he seemed distance. Angry with me all the time. Working til late . Didnt want to have sex . He didnt even like me touching him. I was confused as to what is happening to him. He was changed. So i went through his phone n found out he is cheating. At that point he had been sleeping with her for a few months. He even went on a holiday with her which I discovered 2 yrs later.
    After the affair was discovered he left again. Saying he needs space n time to think things over. While giving me hope that he wants me an giving her hope that our marriage is over n he wil divorce me n marry her . So she kept waiting. Again in the 6 months he left he told her he has nothing to do with me anymore but that was not true. We were still meeting and spending time together . Slept together. He did this while lying to her. I knew about it but i didnt say anything as i wanted him to come back. She found out and had a go at him for cheating on her . Said to him to leave wife or im out . He convinced her to stay n he wnt do that again. ( he still carried on with me) this went on for another 8 months. He came home. Ended things with her . After 4 days he contacted her again, the whole affair started up again. Again he told me he wants to live alone n figure things out. He said to me do i want him here with me fully or as a zombie whose body wil be here but not his heart and soul. He convinced me that this is something he needs to do to get it out of his system. Again thinking this is the only way to save my marriage i let him go. He came back after 5 months . I begged him to come back n he did. But he didnt leave her . Then he stayed home for 2 months n left again. Past 2.5 years he rented a room but was living with her a few days a week too . But this last time he went he is actually now living with her . In her flat.
    This time he has no contact with me. He wnt even talk to me. He wnt come inside the house. He only sees the kids once a week. Picks them up
    From outside and drops them back off outside.
    He told me he wants to divorce me and marry her. Start a family with her . Then said he doesnt have money for divorce yet so he wnt file.
    He says he still has 1% love for me in his heart . But he wants her.
    He has cut ties with me, kids , his parents , siblings and friends for her . He has risked losing everything to be with her .
    I tried my best to stop him and make him
    See sense but he wouldnt listen at all n the more i tried to bring him back the further he went.
    He left on the 6th june 2019 , we had no contact for 4 weeks at all. He didnt call or come to see the kids. I didnt call him.
    After one month we saw each other and straight away hugged and kissed . We both missed each other alot .
    Yesterday he came to the kids sports day. I met him in school. While there we spoke a lot about us. He said he rather be alone than come back if i dnt leave him alone. Before he kept saying he wants to marry her and will marry her. Now he said even if he doesnt be with her he wil stay alone but not come
    Back.
    I asked if he is happy . He replied yes he is happy with her as she gives him no stress and i do.
    He wants to live a stress free life .
    I said to him i wnt give him anymore stress and i will move away from his life completely until he is ready to work on our marriage. I told him i am not giving up on us . I am
    Not giving up on him.
    We came home together after picking kids up. He kept checking his phone.
    We both agreed to not speak to each other n give space once again. We hugged n kissed and had sex. He then left n went back to her .
    I know he is not entirely happy with her . He is a family man . Who prefers staying at home and eating a homemade meal every day. But now he is all the time
    Out and getting takeaway as she cnt cook.
    I dnt know whether he is in limerence or not. From what ive read n heard on podcast . He is just now entering phase 3 of limerence as he isnt sure anymore if she is what he wants . He doesnt trust her . She doesnt trust him. Coz past 2.5 years he has lied a lot to her , me too but her more than me.

    What can i do from this point to save my marriage and to bring my husband home ?
    I know deep down he wants to be with me. He isn’t committed to her properly, if he was then he wouldnt be drawn towards me and spend intimate time with me when he knows she wil not be happy to hear it . At times i feel like calling her n telling her but i know if i do that he wil get even more angry with me and go more to her n away from me. So i didnt and i wnt . But this whole thing is killing me slowly. I am trying my best to stay positive and move on with my life and not think about him. But every time i see him i break down.
    He kisses me passionately. He touches me as if there is no tomorrow. Then how can I believe he doesnt want me and wants her . How can I believe he is happy there ? We have been together 21 years , married for 14 years.
    He also mentioned that 3 weeks ago he was thinking of picking one side ( her side). And divorce me but he didnt go ahead with it . He stopped . Last year He told me she is perfect. She is his soul mate she understands him like no one ever did. He says he cnt breathe when he doesnt hear from her for a few hours. He told me he loves her alot . He told me he loves me a little. But still he cheated on her twice with me in past 6 weeks . So what kind of love is this ? We r childhood sweethearts.
    We have never been with anyone else until 2.5 years ago when he started his affair.
    She is saying to him to divorce me n marry her as she wants commitment and stability .
    She wants to settle down with him and buy a house an start a family . 6 weeks ago he said the exact same thing but he has done nothing of the sort. I can see he is confused. He wants her but he isnt able to let me go either . He has done alot for me and i cnt give up on him over this one mistake he made. In 21 years he never cheated or even looked at someone else . This is his 1st affair . He is finding it hard to let her go. He has tried to end it but goes back to her , and everytime he went back the emotions and feelings were more stronger. I still didnt lose hope. I truly believe we can save our marriage .

    Please advise what to do ? I live in UK so i cnt attend the workshops. If i was there then i would have definitely come. I dnt want to make any mistakes if he is indeed in phase 3 . Plz help me i am a desperate wife who is clinging on to last thread of hope.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT]
[MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT]