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Borderline Love Addict?

I'm pretty sure I'm a love addict, but my experiences don't seem to be as extreme.  I obsess, but it doesn't seem to be as strong an obsession as some of you.  Then there's limerence.  Limerence seems to involve a fantasy around the other person that keeps you from seeing who that person really is.  I don't know.  My fantasy is that I get to know who the person really is.  I want to know and be known.  It's just that I get so strongly attached to a person so very quickly and I lose any power I have in the relationship.  I feel so desperate to keep the relationship, that I'll do anything for them.  Anything to keep them from being angry.  Anything to keep from losing them.  And, of course, it never works.

I don't know how long I've been a love addict.  I remember feeling similar things when I had my first relationships.  My first one was totally devastating when it ended -- way back when I graduated from college.  I didn't recover for several years.  But then, aren't a lot of people like that?

But I have certainly been one for the last three years.  It started with an ad in Craigslist.  No, it started with me slowly disconnecting from my wife.  At first I missed the sex, but it was really the connection I missed.   That sense of being absolutely adored and wanted.  That sense of being held in high esteem.  It wasn't there, and I found, after several years, that I couldn't stand it any more.  Another sign of this for me was the diminishing amount of sex we had.  I realized that I never felt loved unless the sex was fantastic and it happened all the time.  So I started jerkign off to p0rn.  Several times a day.  It worried me because I expected to have diminishing libido when I was in my late forties.

I feel/felt pretty sh* tty about my body.  I felt like my co*ck was a disgusting thing to women.  I couldn't imagine anyone liking to give me a blow j*b.  Oh f* ck!  This bringing back some serious feelings because right now -- well, not only did my girlfriend just dump me, but my wife ... I feel too guilty to be with her any more, and we haven't made love in more than a week.  I feel lost and empty and dead.

Well, to continue my story, I eventually did meet someone on Craigslist -- a nice woman on the phone, but completely non-sexy and non-attractive in person, and yet I still .... well, you know.  Did it.  All of it.  You want more details, you can read my blog (wundayatta.blogspot.com).  It's all there, in excruciating, skin-crawling detail.  There will be more, eventually.  Every one of them.  

I freaked out at that, and went to a doctor to be tested for STDs and got a therapist and a couples counselor.  It didn't work, and when my wife had a hysterectomy, we quit.

I got lonelier and lonelier and more and more tired of not getting laid, and finally, I found a website where people could get to know each other through questions and answers, not dating.  I responded to someone who asked a question about never getting sex from her husband and wondering if she should go outside the marriage.  I responded non-judgmentally and she wrote me back privately and that lead to my first internet affair.  I learned all about writing erotic messages (I knew, intellectually, what women wanted, and since there was no woman physically present, I could give her everything), doing phone sex and then video sex.  

I grew tired of the woman, and met someone else who respected my intellect and who I had a great time with.  We had some phone sex, but then it turned out that I was attending a conference where she lived.  She offered to pick me up at the airport, and I felt some anxiety about that (would she kidnap me and shackle me in her basement as some kind of love slave), but she turned out to be very nice, if large, and there were three days of wild sex, including my favorite -- bj.  She said she wanted to "practice" and I was more than happy to let her practice on me.  What a power trip!  She was the only one I met in person, not for lack of trying, though.

The next one was mostly intellectual, but it was arcing towards the love and sex, when she suddenly disappeared.  I was devastated.  Yet, somehow, managed to find number 4 within a week.  For what it's worth, the first two are still friends -- one of them my best friend, as we shall see soon.

This next one was a killer.  She was the most popular woman on the website.  Very well respected.  And she liked me?  And it turned out she had a very interesting sexual history and she was in an open marriage.  Her husband didn't  care what she did, as long as it wasn't love.  But love was what I wanted, and love was what I got.  Amazing phone sex, too.  I'd seek opportunities everywhere to talk to her.  She was often available as she was undergoing cancer treatment.  I would call her as she sat in the chemo room, with the ice cold drugs flowing into her arm, and we would imagine an encounter together.  I was such a good samaritan, wasn't I?  Helping keep her mind off her pain.

The fantasies grew more and more elaborate, and we spoke of our love often.  The sex was incredible.  We sent pictures.  She was astonishingly hot.  Or had been, anyway.  I couldn't believe a woman like that could like me.  Once, she told me that she had 23 orgsams in a row, masturbatnig to my picture and my stories. I was ready to ditch my family in order to take care of her.  

It fell apart when we had a "date" on a Saturday night and she never showed.  I got totally freaked out, and this, I think, was my first full-fledged addiction withdrawal.  It went really badly after that, in large part because I had no sense whatsoever and didn't trust that she really loved me, and probably a hundred other things that  you are all familiar with.

My wife, being no dummy, noticed that I was acting more and more erratic.  Then, because my lover was open with her husband, I felt I should be ope with my wife, and I told her everything.  I was a good .... am a good storyteller, so I told it in a way that she could hear it and take it in without kicking me out instantly.

I'm sure the story was totally freaky, though, whether I'm a good storyteller or not.  She got very worried, and sent me to a psychiatrist, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  So we all thought all my problems stemmed from that.  This was all back in 2007 and 2008.  We got a couples counselor and I got a therapist and a shrink and a bipolar group.  Slowly, it seemed, things were getting better.  In fact, they were better than they had ever been, when it all started again.

On one of the Q&A sites, someone responded to some of my flirty, arousing stories.  She was turned on, she told me, by what I wrote.  I knew, right then, that I could have her.  Except I had to prove the knowledge I had.  And I did.  However I realized that this was one of my triggers.  I was probably manic.  I went to the shrink, and had my meds adjusted, but I didn't stop the affair.

It was fabulous.  She was a firecracker, too.  I could talk her to an oragsm, and she'd scream my name in my ear.  She claimed to have 14 oragsms one day.  I sent her pictures of my c*ock and me masturbatign, and she said just seeing them made her drool.  She'd watch the video over and over.I loved being a p0rn actor.  I loved her.  I wanted to leave my family for her.

We had an opportunity to get together in real life.  She wrote to me about being excited about getting together, and then, less than twenty-four hours later, she wrote me a short email saying that I was unhealthy for her and it was over.

I crashed.  A depression I had trouble dealing with.  Over the course of the last two months, I think my girlfriend and I broke up about four times.  I knew it was bad for me, but I couldn't stay away.  This time, it's been five days, and because she started it, it's still going on.  She has more willpower than I do.

I realized I was a love addict a couple of weeks ago, when my wife was reading me from a book about it, as we drove to our date.  We had a night away from the kids.  I fit every damn characteristic of a love addict that was described in the book.  Except, I do know my partners, and I do care about them.  It's not just about the fantasy.  Although, the fantasy is incredibly powerful,  and it makes me very depressed that I have never had it in real life.  I keep thinking, 'just once.'  Four days of nothing but sex and love and I'll be ok.  I'll know what  it is like.  I'll be able to die, happily, in the arms of this woman.

The thing that bothers me is this stuff about love addicts being unable to experience true intimacy.  I feel, come on, I've been married for twenty years almost.  There are many women out there who love me.  Rally love me.  They all say they want me to be happy.  You don't get that without being a special person.

Do you?

wundayatta wundayatta 56-60, M 5 Responses Feb 6, 2010

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In order to combat a love adiction you must not focus too much on the sex with no intimacy. It is important you get into see a specialist for this type of addiction. Learing to not fear intimacy is the issue. You are afraid of deep intimacy and yet you crave it and need it to feel loved. This is the issue toward your addiction. Plust sex brings biochemicals that promote dopamine a love hormone much like cocaine.. So please find someone to help.

You need to speak directly to your counsellor(s) about the feelings you get from these encounters as well as the entitlement you feel. A personality test will do it's justice, if you are narcissistic, chances are you'll have trouble believing it, but getting the right treatment will be extremely beneficial to your life.<br />
dx- Borderline PD, Bipolar I, GAD, ADHD

Call it what ever makes you feel better! The way I see it..you don't love your wife and your just a selfish human being. There is so much more important things in this life than sex and pride. I mean, for crying out loud you are pridefully bragging about your affairs and the amount of ******** your "friends" have had to the thought of you? Maybe one day karma will come back around to you and all of your special "friends" that are attached and your wife will see the real you and kick your *** out :) What the hell has this world come too?

Narcissistic/borderline mix, zero bipolar.<br />
The love follows admiration for you - thus narcissistic.<br />
You identify with the praise/reinforcement in a child like way.<br />
Then she leaves and off goes the good you and no one remains to prop you up.<br />
It's hard man, you need to accept your feelings of emptiness and listen to what they tell you.<br />
Once you realize how hurt you are you'll seek real help.<br />
You'll get their buddy...

Omg! I soo related to alot of what your experiences were!im in a marriage thats pretty dea i terms of intimacy..but because the husband enjoys sex..thats frequent... I feel like it's more lust than love...I too truly hate what I see when i look n the mirror...Im small 5'1" and 100 lbs...but feel scrawny and out fo shape..Im working on getting my self esteem back...without him..we are married like i said ..but i puruse my interests ALONE and do everything with the kids...Good luck..you CAN get better!