This is a question that I received from a potential client recently, with details changed:
“I have been suffering from retroactive jealousy and perhaps limerence and my partner left me. I’ve tried all kinds of therapy – CBT and a few others but I can’t seem to move forward. I have suffered from it in all my relationships”
This person also goes on to explain that they were in no contact with the people they were limerent with (unclear), that there was a verbal/physical altercation with said people and also was not clear what they went to therapy for and for how long.
Through the chat, it was also clear that:
- They are not aware of what they wanted to solve, what is their intention etc
- A lack of self-awareness in general, not being able to articulate exactly what was going on
- Seeking quick-fix solutions to what they thought was jealousy and limerence
- Possible attitude/behavioural issues with the altercations
- No desire to move on from their limerent/jealousy situation
Let’s unpack these a little, as these are very common things that come up when I speak to people who are going through limerence.
Are you still limerent for someone? Find out in the quiz below
Therapy is not quick fix
I personally find therapy to be a little of a hit and miss. It works well for some people because they are responsive to the treatment, or the dynamic with their therapist is a good one, or many other factors.
But one of the biggest ways it doesn’t work is when the person goes into the sessions hoping for a quick fix. That a couple of sessions later, everything is all back to normal.
Therapy doesn’t work that way unfortunately. You still gotta want to do the work and make the behavioural changes to lead to your desired outcome.
A therapist can motivate you, give you the tools to get you where you want to be, but there’s still an ample amount of homework that you need to be doing. Therapy is not a band-aid or an overnight solution that will turn your life around.
Therapy may not work in limerence or retroactive jealousy cases for these reasons
There also needs to be a conversation around the reasons why therapy may not be beneficial or seem to be working for you:
- Limerence and RJ are still very new areas to therapy and they may not be very equipped to handle these cases. Limerence and RJ are emotional in nature with ties to how the brain functions, childhood trauma etc. It is actually made up of several different factors – social, environmental, neuroscientific etc and all these has to be dealt with sufficiently especially in the serious cases
- This is the reason why cognitive approaches don’t work. CBT or anything similar may not treat the emotional nature of limerence and RJ accurately
- There may be shame and guilt and other mixed emotions that the individual who is experiencing limerence and RJ for the longest time can have difficulty expressing in therapy. Sometimes it’s difficult to verbalise that to a stranger, if rapport has not been built
- The individual/client does not want to be treated on some level. There is such a thing as being treatment-resistant, something the therapy field has been increasingly starting to recognise over the past couple of years
- Sometimes limerence or RJ may just be what is going on on the outside, and is actually a hint of something else that is present – depression, unhealed childhood trauma, OCD, addiction, anxiety. Sometimes these things are the key underlying factors that need to be treated before you can deal with the limerence and RJ issues
Feeling down and looking for some strategies to cure your limerence? Grab my book now!
You gotta be determined to cure from limerence
I’ve said this time and again. But if you say you’d like to cure from limerence, you gotta be determined to, and really want it for yourself. You got to want to let go of it. I talk about the 5 reasons why people remain limerent in this post, do take a look.
It’s one thing to say you want to, but on the other hand, still repeat the same things over and over again or allow yourself to fantasise about your limerent object (LO) anytime you wish. There needs to be a point you reach where you are like, I want to stop living like this.
That is your turning point.
Only then will you start to make inroads towards recovery and a better relationship with yourself and with someone else.
Limerence is a very emotions-based issue/situation. Once you start acknowledging the range of emotions that you experience with limerence – the emotional highs and lows,, you are more likely to be able to deal with them more effectively and heal from them.
Learning to Connect Better with Yourself in order to Heal completely
Ultimately, as with anything in life really, one of the biggest cures is to learn how to connect better with yourself. When you are connected with who you are, your essence, your values and are able to trust and accept yourself wholeheartedly, you will deal better with the ups and downs in life.
And you will also find yourself less attached to people, situations and outcomes. Limerence is ultimately an attachment to a feeling or a person because you want a desired outcome (love, affection, away from loneliness etc).
But when you have a healthy connection with YOU, you are able to seek out healthier ways of love, partnership and so on. You are able to provide the love that you are looking for within yourself.
I’m huge on work on your Self, so if that tickles your fancy and is something you’d want to explore to heal your limerence, get in touch with me on my Instagram profile (DM me).
If not I leave you with an introductory guide/workbook on how to love yourself better: