Tagged Love and Limerence by Dorothy Tennov

“Marriage is Not a Love Affair”: The Shadow Side of Committing

This was the worst moment:

After telling the kids we are going on a date night, Jamey and I sit in our car staring out at the Olentangy River glistening in the dark.  I am trying to hand him a very long letter; he doesn’t want to take it.

He reads part of the first page and crumples the papers in his hand, “I can’t read this.  You are making the worst mistake of you life.”

The letter tells him I want a divorce.

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This was another bad moment:

A week before, I sit in another parking lot, this time by myself. I am in the middle of panic attack.  My head might explode, so I hold it between my knees and try to remember my meditative practice.  My hands are shaking.  I felt like I might be going crazy.  I feel like I might die.  How am I going to do this, and why?  How did it come to this?

I need to get out.  I need to breath.  I just want it all to be over.

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This was the antecedent to these other two very bad moments:

I am sitting in my therapist’s office and I am telling her: “I feel very clear about this.  Things are not changing.  My feelings are not changing.  I have to make a change.”

“Sounds like you know what you need to do.  Our next appointment is in two weeks.  Why don’t you tell him before we meet next?  You are ready.”

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Marriage is one of the most profound and deeply complicated commitments one can make.  I believe firmly that regardless of who you are, it is impossible to know and comprehend the truth of it until many years into the experience.

Before I go to into what I mean by this, what I think I have learned after a decade of marriage, I think its important to tell part of our story, my husband’s and mine.

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