Limerence and Love: Key Signs the Affair is Ending

If you are in a difficult situation where you feel like your partner is cheating on you, chances are you will have noticed some changes in their behavior lately. This change in behavior is often called limerence. But how do you know when limerence is ending?

As a general rule, signs that limerence is ending include the limerent spouse spending less time with the limerent object, spending more time with their spouse, expressing regret over the affair, and a return to normal routines and priorities.

Limerence can last as little as 3 months, up to 36 months. But the average limerence experience timeframe is 18 months.

So, if your spouse is in feelings of limerence with someone else, you may be trying to decide whether it’s better to wait or dump them.

Divorce should be a last resort; no one wants to just hand over the divorce papers and completely destroy the family unit. Sometimes it is a good idea to hang in there and let your partner get over the person and return to you.

So, what are some key signs that a limerent affair is ending?

Other key signs a limerent affair is ending include your partner no longer having big changes in their mood, being angry or appearing disappointed, and your partner becoming more present when they are with you and starting to pick up again on their priorities.

Let’s have a closer look at signs of limerence coming to an end, as well as what limerence is in the first place and how long limerence lasts.

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What is limerence?

Limerence is a period of strong emotional intensity, where someone is completely infatuated with someone and constantly thinks about them non-stop. However, it often creates an obsessive, unhealthy instability.

And it is most often associated with someone having an affair.

Limerence is a term coined by the American psychologist Dorothy Tennov, and limerence is not the same as normal romantic love.

Limerence is quite normal at the beginning of a romantic relationship, even real relationships, but it often wears off.

A long-term relationship will have a solid foundation to build upon. However, in the case of limerence, once the intense feelings subside, there often isn’t much left.

Limerence is where you wake up in the morning and immediately think intrusive thoughts about someone, and they are also the last thing you think about before you go to sleep in the evening.

Limerence is where you like everything about someone, from the way they laugh, smile, talk, and even the sound of them breathing!

A limerent person is totally distracted by the person they think about, and their mind is full of intrusive, uncontrollable thoughts about the person.

It is not to be confused with a real relationship, which is long-term admiration, where you remain level-headed and know exactly why you like that person.

Actually, a person in limerence does not really want to know everything about the person they like. 

They just want to think about the things they like about the person, having obsessive thoughts, and ignore all the bad, hence why most limerent relationships don’t last.

This is known as the halo effect – where you see one thing about a person, and you make a judgment about them without accounting for all their other characteristics.

Another sign of limerence is when a person deprioritizes other aspects of their life for the person. For example, if your wife goes out in the evening when the kids are hungry – she’s probably in the early stages of a limerent affair.

People in limerent relationships often try to seek validation from the person they are in a relationship with.

So, if your wife does things like work out, post on social media, and wear make-up when these are things she typically does not do, then chances are she is in a limerent relationship. Let’s have a look at how long limerence lasts and some signs that it is coming to an end.

How long does limerence last?

Limerence lasts between three months and three years on average. However, it is possible for limerence to last up to decades.

The amount of time limerence lasts basically depends on how quickly you learn about your partner’s flaws.

This is why in affairs where partners spend a lot of time with each other in a short period of a few months, the limerent infatuation ends quite quickly, as does the relationship.

I remember when I had the experience of being in an affair a few years back (that I’m not proud of).

It only lasted a couple of months. But because I was in limerence, I ignored all the obvious red flags and aspects of her personality that weren’t necessarily compatible with me and my priorities.

True love could have started that way, and then it just builds and builds. Instead, I began to realize everything I was sacrificing for her; my wife, my kids, and my career. And ultimately, I decided to end the limerence affair and make the right choice to try and save my marriage.

The infatuation stage (the first stage of limerence) for us didn’t really last that long.

On the other hand, some limerent affairs last for many years, usually because two people in the affair don’t see each other very much, and they don’t communicate with each other much either.

Therefore, they don’t see each other’s true colors quickly, and the limerence lasts a long time. Let’s now have a look at what signs indicate a limerent affair is coming to an end.

What are signs limerence is ending?

When someone is in the stages of limerence, there are a handful of red flags to look out for. These include your partner taking lots of phone calls, showing intense emotion, slacking on their priorities, and going above and beyond to impress someone.

Let’s have a look at some of the things a person does when they are coming to the end of the stages of limerence.

1. Less volatility in their emotions

When in limerence, your partner is going to have days where they are over the moon and in a great mood.

This is probably because they have been chatting away with the person they are in an affair with.

If you notice that your wife has started to calm down a little after a few months of unwarranted excitement, the chances are that her limerent affair has ended.

You will notice that your spouse no longer has her mood swings, where they are happy one minute, and then when you say or do something seemingly innocent, that makes them super angry.

Your spouse is more likely to be neutral in her emotions when the limerence is ending, and that’s a good sign for you.

2. Sadness

Limerence is an amazing feeling, and it is almost like a drug.

You feel the butterflies in your stomach, and during the time you are with the person you are in a relationship with, nothing in the world seems to matter.

When that source of peace and tranquillity is finally taken away from you, or you realize that person is not what you thought they were, you are overburdened with a sense of sadness and disappointment.

If you notice your spouse is sad or discontent with something, then chances are they are going to be quieter than usual. If you notice your spouse is less chatty than usual or is not being argumentative and is just plain quiet, the chances are her limerent affair has come to an end.

Sadness is just one of the withdrawal symptoms of leaving a limerent relationship.

3. Anger

As I have already said, when someone is in a state of limerence, they only pay attention to the things that they want to believe about that person.

And they don’t think about that person’s shortcomings.

Eventually, that person’s shortcomings are exposed – because it is inevitable when you are spending time with someone, and at that point, you become frustrated. This is because you thought you found the perfect human being, but you were wrong.

If your spouse seems to be angry with something, and you have no idea what it is, then chances are the limerent affair has come to an end.

It is important to note, however, that if your spouse is angry for a few days, chances are that it is not the end of the limerent affair. Especially if we’re talking about a wife, sometimes women just have short periods of explosive emotions.

However, if the anger lasts more than a few days, it is a major sign that limerence has come to an end, and your spouse is disappointed with how things turned out.

4. They put in less effort

Remember earlier we said that when a person is in the stages of limerence, they will do everything they can to impress their partner.

Well, a strong indicator that limerence has come to an end is that your spouse stops going above and beyond. They stop working out, dressing well, and (for women) wearing make-up and stuff like that.

After all, if those had been new(ish) behaviors then they were doing them for their affair partner. And if things are waning with them, your spouse is just not going to put in the same level of effort.

5. A return to normal habits

When in limerence, your spouse will try to do anything to impress the person they are cheating with, and this may mean they stop doing things they normally do just to make time for that person.

For example, they stop going out with friends or playing with the kids because they are too busy making time for the person they are cheating with.

If you notice that your spouse begins going back to a normal routine before you noticed the original changes in behavior at the start of the affair, it is a sign that the limerence is coming to an end or has ended, as they are less concerned with spending time with the affair partner.

6. Disappointment

When you are in limerence, you are having the time of your life, and the feelings of being so excited and happy are filling your life.

When limerence ends, and all these feelings disappear, the emotional state of the person in limerence can come crashing down. If you find that your spouse is being ungrateful and is not easily satisfied, it is a sign that the limerence has ended.

This is because when they were with that person, they were entertaining them, keeping them interested, and making them happy.

The bad thing is that the pleasure your spouse was feeling during that affair has raised the bar with regard to their expectations. They want to find the same feelings of pleasure and excitement that they felt with their affair partner, but they are not getting it now that the affair has ended.

Again, disappointment is only an indicator of the end of a limerent affair if it lasts for a few weeks. If it only lasts a few days, it could just be your spouse is in a bad mood.

7. Your partner is more present

When in limerence, your partner will always be thinking about the person they are cheating on you with. They will also go out of their way to please the affair partner and seek their attention by adopting new positive habits and giving up their normal habits.

If you notice that your partner starts to acknowledge your presence more, such as by talking to you more, cooking for you and the kids, or spending more time with you, chances are their limerent affair has ended.

8. They start prioritizing again

If your spouse starts prioritizing again by looking after the kids or household like they used to and is once again focusing on the things that were important to them before the affair, such as their career and family, chances are the limerent affair has ended.

Wife in Limerence? Wait or Leave?


Limerence and love are two different things, and if your partner is having an affair, chances are they are in a limerent relationship and are not actually in love with that person.

Limerence usually fades after about 3 months, however, it can last up to three years, or even longer, depending on how much contact the couple has with one another.

Some signs of limerence include:

  • Your partner making an unusual effort to impress someone
  • Your partner not focusing on their priorities
  • Your partner not being present and paying attention

People in limerent relationships are constantly thinking about the person they are with and are always trying to find ways to impress them and seek their attention.

If you notice your partner returning to normal a little – they start picking up their normal habits and re-setting their priorities, chances are the limerent affair they were in has ended.

But even if their affair is done, that doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage will survive.

I hate to say it, but if your wife has already cheated on you, your relationship with her will never be the same again. Check out this recent article on my site where I talk about the top 35 signs your marriage has become irreparably damaged.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Image by Jules Grandgagnage from Pixabay and Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

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