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First love contact after 20 years and I’m married.

Community Member

My first love was at the end of my teens. It was amazing and I’ve never experienced the same feelings since - even with my husband of 16 years. I think we fell out of love after 3 years and he dumped me. I was an absolute mess.

Recently he contacted me and we’ve texted a few times.

Now, I’m an emotional mess again! I will find any excuse to msg him and I am desperate for his attention - overthinking every response he makes. I am crying out of the blue and feeling miserable, no appetite and no enthusiasm for anything.

I love my husband but have always felt something missing.

Have been on antidepressants for years now and don’t really want to up dosage again. Advice?

4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Waltette Mitty~

Welcome to the Support Forum. It must have been a hard thing to set out what has been happening to a bunch of unknown people. I guess you must realise this is an understanding place, where people do not judge, and have faced difficult situations too

I remember my teenage years and first love, something that has remained with me, though over the years I've come to realise that was by a young inexperienced person with another who was the same . The things you look for, in fact need, change over time

He ended that relationship, and it hurt, but he did end it. perhaps the magic had gone

For 16 years you have been married to someone else and you have felt there is something missing. Sadly at the same time your mental health has become a problem, wiht depression, or at least taking ADs.

Now that magic figure from your past of around 20 years ago has reappeared and forgetting how he dumped you, you are reliving that happy time and wanting it more than anything again.

I can't talk of the emotions you are feeling, only offer logic - a dry thing I'm afraid.

First you may be in a vulnerable state, depression plus an ordinary relationship may make you want to seek a change, sensible or otherwise.

Secondly a first love is an overpowering experience, however it is just that, a first experience and to try to recapture that is not very likely. Add to that you are no doubt still suffering grief from that first loss.

He threw you away for reasons, which may reoccur, and he is most probably contacting you becuse his life is not full, which may be because had had not been able to form a stable relationship. In fact you do not even know what he wants - a brief friendship with benefits or a lifelong commitment?

May I suggest you have a long talk with your doctor about this, setting out his reappearance, your reaction to it, dependence on it and grief at being thrown away, together with an ongoing less than enthusiastic feeling for your marriage. That initial being discarded may have had a much deeper effect than you might have thought.

I do not know how well you get on with your husband, or how understanding a person he is. In 16 years often one comes to have an enduring set of feelings for the other. If possible your doctor may refer you to individual counseling and maybe family counseling too.

It may be that your marriage has something missing your husband can supply if he understands it is not there.

Please come back and say what you think.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Waltette Mitty

I can understand the challenge you face. This is definitely a great challenge, without a doubt, one that holds the power to redefine you.

About 5 years ago my ex fiance connected with me on Facebook. It was a friendly connection that eventually ended up with him telling me how much he still loved me and missed me. By the way, it was a bit of a destructive relationship we had, with alcohol and depression being a factor for the both of us at the time. I should say that I've been with my husband for more than 20 years. You can easily imagine the feelings that sprang to mind with my ex, especially given that he was an incredibly exciting guy and he stirred my heart in amazing soulful ways. My husband is more of a homebody and offers a basic sense of love. So, here you have incredibly exciting and heart stirring vs. homebody and basic. I did make it clear to my ex that I was married with kids and I was grateful for the relationship we had at the time as it shaped me in amazing ways. I was careful not to lead him on even though, in all honesty, I would loved to have met up with again. I know, for a fact, that doing so would have been incredibly electric and packed with exciting chemistry.

I suppose this situation is what helped me better define my marriage. For me, the marriage is a contract of honesty, loyalty and commitment. I also decided that marriage involves both partners evolving, individually and together. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I said to my husband 'I'm changing the terms and conditions of this relationship. I can no longer tolerate the lack of excitement in our relationship, it's depressing. I will give you the choice; either it becomes more exciting and we grow together in amazing ways or the marriage contract is over'. My discontent was no surprise to my husband, as we've been cycling through discontent for years. WM, this was a massive life changing somewhat fearful call for me to make but I made it because I've come to love myself too much to see myself falling back into a depression again. I will not do depression again if I can help it. It's torturous and potentially soul destroying. I told my husband that I will challenge him to excitement and if he refuses to respond, even on the odd occasion, I'm done.

My question to you is 'Is this situation challenging you to redefine your marriage?' Is it about time you changed the terms and conditions of your marriage, to be more fulfilling ones, as opposed to basic?



It certainly does feel like re-living that grief again. My husband is very understanding but I do t think he truly comprehends the feelings of hopelessness I get. He will often say he’s simple and doesn’t get it and I’m an intelligent woman so I should know what to do. After crying so much last night, I asked him today if he thought I had PTSD because of the chronic stress of my childhood and this breakup and he was very quick to say no, you don’t have trauma.

I will definitely see my doctor and/or visit a psych this week to try understand my response better.

Min the meantime, I have not messaged ex while watching footy, etc and am trying to keep myself busy.

Thank you - I spoke on the phone to my sister today and she pretty much suggested the same thing re. my marriage and communicating this to my husband via a counsellor.

I do love my husband and I have read a lot about longing for the experiences of first love and not the person themselves. I guess it’s just consuming me at the moment and I’m so reluctant to ‘let go’ because it meant so much for so long and maybe deep down I thought we’d somehow end up back together.