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Just Infatuation or do I need meds?
January 24, 2001
2:44 pm
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Layla
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This is my first post, seems like a pretty safe place to talk about what's been bothering me and ask for help. I've been married for 12 years, and although my husband is terrific, sweet, and a great Dad, I just don't feel romantic toward him. I mostly feel depressed, and I get frustrated easily over little things. I walk around in a daze and wonder when I'm going to wake up and be happy again. To make matters worse, for the last year or so, I've been totally infatuated with someone at work. No matter what I do, I can't stop thinking about him. He has absolutely no interest in me, which may be a good thing. But I can't seem to get over him. It's affecting my work, my marriage, and I feel lost. My husband and I have been to a counselor, last month. She suggested we spend time alone on a regular basis. Mostly I just want to be alone, or with my kids. I have been taking St. John's Wort for the last couple months but I still feel the same. Do I need Paxil or something? Why can't I be happy with all the wonderful things I have instead of wishing for some other life that probably doesn't exist?

January 24, 2001
7:30 pm
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Molly
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Sounds like you are stuck in the ho- hums of life. What ever you do, stop looking and thinking about that guy at the office, that is dangerous stuff, like Pandora's box, you really don't want to go there. When was the last time you did something for you, that made you feel good, like exercise? That gets the chemicals shifting, and don't forget romance is in our heads. Perhaps some dancing with the spouse is in order, be romantic be exciting, be what it is that you are missing right now, but what ever you do, be with your husband, and work this through, read some of the threads of men, and women who have acted out on the fantasy guy or girl at the office, big messes, lots of heart ache, and I doubt if it is all that they dreamed it would be. Meds only do so much they won't make your husband look better, or the other guy ugly, that is the stuff that we must work through.

January 25, 2001
9:29 am
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Layla
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Hi Molly,

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I am definately stuck in the ho-hums of life. I have actually begun to send resumes out because I feel like I won't ever get over this person while we still work for the same company. But it may take a while for something to happen. The weird thing is, I would really miss my husband if he weren't around, he is my best friend, I just have no desire left. Of course there's this huge tension between us because of it. I actually have been exercising, and recently lost about 20 pounds. I feel great about it, but I think it makes my husband even more apprehensive because he thinks other men will notice me. I think you are right about the meds, it's not going to solve things. But, I also can't make myself feel something that's not there. I'm not at the point where I'm ready to leave, I couldn't even afford it anyway, and I want so much for my kids to have their mom and dad be together. But is it also fair to him? I'm sure I have hurt him, and continue to hurt him terribly.

January 25, 2001
12:23 pm
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gingerleigh
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If there were no children involved, I would suggest for you to take some time apart, and BE ALONE, figure out what really makes you happy. But since there are kids, it's harder to take that luxury. Keep going to the counselor, but try some one-on-one sessions with the counselor, and work on yourself. It sounds trite, but when you love yourself, it opens you up to loving other people. Neither your husband nor your coworker can make you complete... only you can do that.

Do you have any hobbies or loves, music, art, climbing, biking, running, jewelry making, basketweaving... When is the last time you produced something (outside of work and family) that you feel truly proud of?

January 25, 2001
3:13 pm
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Cici
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The hardest thing about complex issues like this is that there are probably multiple things that contributed to this state. A lot of times we want to pin our dissatisfaction on one thing: my husband, or my infatuation with my co-worker. The thing is that there has to be a source to the problem.

A counselor can help you find the source, but really the effort comes from you. Let me give you an example so you know what I'm talking about.

ever since I started dating my fiance, I had problems controlling my temper when he behaved a certain way. Basically, I would get irritated if I thought he was being too passive - its' ridiculous because he's great, he keeps his temper in check almost all of the time and never says thing purposely to hurt me.

I realized, after a lot of introspection, that this irritation wasn't an "irreconcileable difference" that should lead to us breaking up. It was actually latent anger at my FATHER because when my mother was abusive when I was little, he never intervened to stop the beatings or shouting.

I think a lot of times, when we reach a point where we are financially stable, we have the luxury to examine our lives and suddenly, things that we were able to push to the backs of our minds begin effecting our lives in less subtle and stronger ways.

The man having a mid-life crisis isn't reacting to his current situation, but years of dissatisfaction from leading an unfulfilled life. See - we can exist for 60 years and only truely live for about 3 years, you know?

This dissatisfaciton, seeking and infatuation is your psyche telling you that something remains unfullfilled or unresolved from your past.

January 25, 2001
4:50 pm
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Layla
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I sometimes think that if it weren't for the kids, I would be so content to be on my own. I don't really have any hobbies, other than cross-stitch which I haven't made time for since I had my youngest two years ago. I've done a couple of really wonderful pieces that hang at my parent's home. Other than that, I'm so tired at the end of the day, I barely have enough energy to do some exercising, and maybe read a bit. I feel like I myself am uninteresting to others. I have some major self-esteem issues, (had you not guessed?) but I haven't figured out how to make it any better. Is it possible to spend too much time trying to figure yourself out? Cici, thank you for sharing your situation. I've been thinking about my childhood as of late, and what I remember most is being alone. Not that my parents weren't there for me and terrific, but I just remember spending so much time alone, and now it seems that's what I enjoy the most.
By the way, I saw "him" today at a meeting...it's a bit strange, but I actually felt better about it since I posted yesterday. I think getting other people's perspectives is helping me realize how ridiculous this is.

January 25, 2001
4:59 pm
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Alena
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Layla, I agree that you are in the world famous "rut". But that doesn't minimize your confusion or how difficult it is to deal with it.

I believe you were sloshing along in a blah-blah job, life with hubby was pretty much routine, sex on Tuesdays, meat loaf on Thursdays, kids to their sports activities....and all of a sudden you notice how great this guy looks and sounds and wow, wouldn't my life be alot more exciting with HIM.
Makes your life with husband even less desirable. I don't think it's that HE'S not desirable to you, it's your everyday life. This unattainable guy is the proverbial answer to everything.

Well, I'm here to tell ya, after 25 years of marriage, ALOT of guys have looked pretty darn good to me and the temptation to try them out was immense and when I was infatuated, I lost some interest in my husband.
But as you said, he's your best friend. This other guy is not the answer. Changing your blah blah life is the answer, at least it's the first one you should try to work with. Nothing drastic.

Try to re-kindle your feelings for him. What do you guys like to do together? Do it. Make time for each other. Don't expect the raging, sweating, panting sex each time. Expectations can be disappointing.
If you love him, work with him and talk to him on how to make both of you happy. You say he's a good dad and husband, and a good man..don't throw 12 years away because of this diminished desire. It can come back. Life without him could be alot worse than life with him.

And just a side note, how is your physical self? Had a gynecological check up lately? You really could have a physiological libido problem? Possible?

When you look at that guy at work, consider him that huge slice of chocolate cake you can't have. Nice to look at, but not worth the price you'll pay later.

January 25, 2001
8:43 pm
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Molly
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On top of all the other great advice, when was the last time you had a physical? And how many girl friends do you have, not to push you into a girl click that bashes their husbands, but girl stuff, movies, dinner, shopping, bet you don't have a best friend, other than the ole man>>>>>>>>>>> it truly can make a difference. I miss mine.

January 26, 2001
10:21 am
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Layla
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Wow, you both are really making some sense. Alena, you only missed one thing, the sex in on Sundays instead of Tuesdays (ha ha). I do have my routine physicals, although I've never brought up the decreased libido issue. So there's definately some physical reasons I can check out.
Molly, you are right too, I really only have one girlfriend that I feel very close to, my best friend since eighth grade. I'm a classic introvert, so being very "sociable" takes a lot of work for me, but then I'm envious of people who find it easy. Occasionally I go out with the gals from work, and I have a ton of fun. But other than that, if I feel like my life is so dull, then I should be the one to jazz it up. Work is completely boring too, which doesn't help keep my mind off that yummy piece of chocolate cake! But this has definately given me some perspective, and I don't expect I'll be packing my bags anytime soon. Hopefully I'll be packing up my desk at work and finding something I can really get excited about.

January 26, 2001
11:21 am
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msg
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It happens at different times,perhaps to all people.The sensible thing is to keep ur emotions under control. Time will take care of the rest. For heaven's sake don't even think of chucking the fairly good life u have to an imaginary one. Remember the proverb: Abird in hand is worth two in the bush. Wish you, your husband and kids all the best.

January 26, 2001
12:17 pm
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Alena
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Layla, I think I detected some enthusiasm in your post? Excellent!

Glad to see you're going to explore some positive options!

I understand completely the part about finding it tough to be extremely social. I have one or two really good girlfriends, 2 good guy friends from a former employment (no, husband is not too threatened) and a best friend sister, and that's it for me too. Never been a bar/party chick.

Take that tough first step and I think you'll be okay. You sound as though you have a great head on your shoulders, just kind of fell off the "track" momentarily. Maybe not even "fell", just kind of "leaned"...

Lots of good wishes and good vibes coming your way.

January 26, 2001
4:41 pm
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Layla
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Thanks to all of you, this has been incredibly helpful. Just being able to express my feelings and be "heard" and not judged has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I sent out another couple of resumes today...for positions that I thought were beyond my capabilities. But then I thought, I can do anything I set my mind to, and something challenging is probably just what I need. Well, just wanted to say thank you, I feel like I have some new friends.

January 26, 2001
7:53 pm
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Molly
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You go girl

January 26, 2001
8:46 pm
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counslr336
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Layla, look back at the last sentence very carefully in the thread that you wrote. Look back at the wonderful things that you say you have. Replay and replay this thoughts. IS this some thing that you want to throw away because of things that are in your mind that can not become real? I believe that your your irrational thoughts about things that you wish the way your life should be is part of your depressive feelings.Again, tell your self, "I have all the wonderful things I need", and start getting back to the reality that what we wish life SHOULD be will never happen. Good luck

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