He Says He Loves Me | I Say He Doesn’t Know Me

I haven’t written much about Bennett over the course of the 6 weeks we’ve known one another.

(I know it’s exactly 6 weeks because he reminds me, every week)

I have my reasons for that. He’s married and he lives as home. I don’t want to discuss the cons of this relationship. It’s also not Bobby all over again. It’s something different and I well know how I should be guarding myself. I am to some extent.

I’m owning where I am at the moment.

For better or worse I realize how safe I feel with Bennett. It’s not the sex, sex is ok when it happens but he has significant mechanical issues that should make me run for the hills. Actually, there’s a host of issues he’s just revealed that I am unsure I can (or want to) cope with. With Bennett its a different kind of endorphin. His limerence is so strong it pulls me into its orbit.  I want to give him happiness. Seeing him come alive with me is a pretty heady feeling. If I could articulate exactly what draws me to Bennett, maybe I would be in a better place. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to do in this post.

He admitted last week he was hopelessly in love with me. I knew. I’ve known for weeks that it was something like love at first sight. He didn’t want to admit it because he knows it’s crazy. He is trying his best to hang on to some perceived semblance of normal behavior in his attraction for me.  Spending an overnight together last week pushed the envelope for him. All that time together got him to a point of having to admit his feelings.

Bennett has demonstrated intense jealousy on more than one occasion. I have handled this with care and have been honest in replying to his questions. But he avoids the right questions and skirts the issues. When he does this he is reminding himself that “he has no right to be jealous in his situation.”  I don’t correct him and only tell him that I will be honest so be careful what he asks for.  He saw a text on my phone with some emoji hearts from a man, he was so upset he couldn’t perform that night.

What can you possibly say back to someone who professes such deep and hopeless love?   I had to explain as gently as possible that I wasn’t there with him, nor would I allow myself to have those feelings. I won’t do it again. I can’t.

But yet, here it is 6 weeks on.

The scariest part for me is that Bennett is very, eerily similar to my x.   Not bad traits, just ones like which music he likes or which radio celebrity.  They are both kind of pop culture fanatics (F.Dot leanora – I could leave you two alone for days!).  He is such a good man, proud of how he provides for his family and the type of man he is to other people.  He’s respectable and highly admired. He’s an amazing family man.  He’s also a world-class exec for a major media company, yet has no pretense what-so-ever.   In my opinion, he is happy with simple things, worried about money, doesn’t dream big and can just keep plugging forward doing what needs to be done.

We all know that’s not for me.

Or so I’ve said.

I have come to embrace my spoiled and pretentious side.  My naughty side.  All these things are part of what makes me, me.

So why do I let this continue when I know it ends in inevitable heartbreak for him?  Why would I do something that hurt me to someone else and allow Bennett to experience that pain? Why do I allow myself a slow attachment to what he is giving me?

Simple answers don’t abound.

There are characteristics about Bennett that draw me in and keep me tethered….

Bennett learns.

He pays attention to me and course corrects.

He listens.

He thinks about it before he addresses something.

He is so drawn to me that I influence him.

He wants to please me.

He wants to be the world to me.

Bennett wants to figure it out and be the man I so desire.  As he has said to me “come hell or high water, I will be those things for you.”

I believe that he sees a little of my crazy adventure and wants some for himself, wants to join me on the wild ride. I think he’s never had doors opened like this before, both emotionally and sexually.  He is so enamored with my free spirit side that it’s like addiction for him.

He calls his life before me “pedestrian” and tells me his eyes and heart have opened up since meeting me.   He tells me I have brought him back to life and he is feeling and experiencing things he hasn’t felt in more years than he can recall.

The thing is, the opposite to my free spirit is not something Bennett is going to like. At least, I can assume so. He thinks he sees a strong-minded woman raising three teens and doing a good job and neglects to see how much I don’t really enjoy motherhood at the moment.  That I am desperate to get back to work and stop with the mundane part of parenting. Somehow, he sees others from divorced families as an issue but refuses to put me into the same bucket (this comment has irked me – “he’s a child of divorce” – that’s not the be-all-end-all of poor parenting).  Bennett stays in his poor situation because he chooses to be a better father instead of a selfish individual. He takes one for his team. I didn’t do it that way, I took the selfish route. So what he likes so much about me is what he can’t be himself. He likes (loves) me so much that he can’t see me.

I’m sure he can’t see me because he believes that the biggest roadblock to a relationship with me is his marriage.

He can’t see out of that hole.

But I do. I am free and capable of thinking beyond that. Thinking about the “what ifs” with Bennett.

The curiosity for me is that each time I think he’s not for me, he does something sort of extraordinary for me.  He finds a way in. I don’t like that I admire him so much. It makes him hard not to like.

But even when I thought he could never embrace the side of me that is downright spoiled and pretentious, he does.

When I think he can’t accept my naughtiness, he shows a sincere interest (I see a little fear there too 😬)

When I think he won’t, he does.

I can’t stay here with Bennett – regardless of if there can be legs in a relationship or not – he has such a road ahead of him.  I don’t want to be a part of it. I know this.

I have told him this but we don’t get far with the discussion.  He gets so heartbroken that I eventually just let it go.

And while I know that all humans are complicated, he might be too complex for me. There might be too much baggage for me to carry with him.  I don’t think I can. I think I’m too selfish to help someone as much as I think he needs help.

The problem there is that he believes my sheer being, my presence, my attention gives him all he needs.  That can’t be true but he’s got himself convinced that’s all he needs from me.

The way he wants to love me is scary…yet something I have always desired.  Is my fascination with his love what holds me here? His ability to think I’m so perfect for him that he is unable to see anything differently?

So now I have to find my own courage to let go of something that has drawn me in close and held me tight. Given me safety, attention, admiration, respect and love.  I have to do what’s right.

I know I do.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

35 thoughts on “He Says He Loves Me | I Say He Doesn’t Know Me”

  1. Is it so bad to enjoy the spotlight of a man’s blinding infatuation? I too would be torn. All that positive affirmation, putting you on a pedestal, admiring what he thinks he knows of you is intoxicating and addicting. I don’t blame you at all.

    But one day the hot blaze of infauation dies down and the fire is more contained. That’s when the real work in a relationship begins. You know that because you had a long marriage. You know that he has some preconceived values/judgements that won’t like some parts of you that have yet to be discovered.

    Now the question for you is when do you stop this? Notice it’s a “when” and not an “if”. Only you know the answer, but you both met for a reason. When you discover the lesson of Bennett (and I think this post reveals it), then you’ll have a clearer head on what to do.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah Maggie, thank you for always seeing the other side of the coin. There is a large part of me basking in his adoration. I have never experienced anything quite like this. But deep down I know it’s not right. The “if” needs to come sooner and not later before my brain or heart engage differently through time.

      I think 2 weeks apart is the best possible thing for me

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I mentioned before about the intoxicating effect of someone being in love with you and all they are willing to do to please you (you, generally speaking – not you, “M”). I’ve been there and there is a serious pull in the force toward it/them. But at some point, for me, this would begin to overwhelm/suffocate me, and I’d run like hell. I don’t like to be held back, held down. Never did, never will. I suspect this could easily happen to you if you continue on with him – as you already said, he is feeling possessive (for lack of a better term) even though he “has no right to.” A younger, less experienced woman would have fallen into that hole with him before she even realized her freedom was gone. (Not that he would take your freedom, but that it has the potential to quash the free spirit in you, were you not so aware.)

    In any case, I agree that his having lived so long imprisoned by himself and his marriage (excuse the extreme terminology) – by what he perceives as mediocrity – that YOU are to him the very essence of what [he didn’t know] he’s been missing. He’s intoxicated by you. And, as you said, he may not be seeing who YOU really are – all of you – or, he’s willing to overlook characteristics he wouldn’t otherwise be attracted to because all he can see is the shiny object. And that, for some, could turn out poorly in the end. Has anyone ever lost themselves completely in a bright, new shiny object after heartbreak or the demise of the”foundation” they once stood securely on? I have. Which is why the so-called experts never hold much hope for rebound relationships. Anyway, I ramble. I have no doubt you know what to do, but I will promote the idea to cut him loose. He’s gonna get hurt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dead on. I am the shiny new toy. He’s fascinated beyond credible thought and he can’t stop himself.

      For me, I think I am here because I have never felt the other side of limerence. To feel the pull into his orbit is intoxicating to me, albeit wrong, I get it.

      I don’t think you are extreme above I think it’s spot on accurate.

      He’s gonna get hurt and I’m going to get bored.


  3. You knowing what you need to do, and you actually doing it, don’t often align for a long time. I agree with the comments above and will add – purely selfishly for you, since the impact on him doesn’t hold water for you – what will happen if you stay with him until the point he realizes it’s limerance and not love? How will it make you feel to see that disintegrate? Would it not be better to leave on the high note so all you take from the time with him is the positive stuff?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Never thought of that.

      Been through that disintegration once and happy never to experience it again. I suppose the trick is understand when that is going to happen.

      I do know and I’m not doing what I should. Most possibly making a bigger mess for both of us.


      1. You can’t predict when it’s going to happen but it will certainly happen. Being proactive before you destroy him (although may be too late for that) and before you see his feelings change would be a supremely good idea.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. He will resent you if he were to actually divorce his wife to have you and as you said he isn’t seeing you, he is seeing his infatuation. Sometimes it’s good to be selfish. He isn’t for you, I think it’s time he knows that. You gotta let him go. It’s way too complex for you to deal with. You are on a different plane of life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do think he knows he’s not the one for me and I have certainly told him I’m not the one for him even under the right circumstances.

      He’s not divorcing any time soon. They will separate for a long time before he has the courage for that. He’s much to worried about hurting those around him

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been in Bennett’s shoes with feelings so strong for someone that I did all that he is doing with you, for you, to you… Instead of getting too deep into this, just remember, the longer you let him do all of this, the more and more and more he will love you. Limerence or not, it is devastating to have your heart crushed and very difficult to recover.

    I like the pic…


  6. Hmmm….am I the only person seeing the red flags of obsessional behaviour in this guy? I’m getting a touch of the ASV ‘he who must not be named’ vibe with the jealousy schtick here….this coupled with his lack of actual empathy….is a worry. It’s the idea of you he ‘loves’ perhaps? Or perhaps he’s looking for a scapegoat to precipitate the break down of his marriage? Something is fishy about this dude…..

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The thing is there are plenty of options. My X has a psychological block about using the meds. I am a firm believer that if sex is important to you or your spouse you figure it out. He had no drive or desires that simply made it worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember going away on a trip when I was 6 months into a relationship with a REALLY nice, great, sweet person. What was there not to like? I was on the fence. On one of the last days, I went gift shopping, and fretted far more about what gifts to get friends (and even a friend I had an admitted crush on) than on my sweetie. I had known going into the trip that I was ambivalent about the relationship, but catching that made me see that I really wasn’t growing in how I cared for them. When I got home, I was able to break it off with them… not just be the Nice Girl and keep it going because it was The Right Thing To Do. I dunno. Maybe you’ll have a moment like that

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not even sure I am ambivalent. My feelings for him are unique in that I have never felt like this before. I feel more friendship/protection than I do anything else. That can’t be healthy or normal.


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