Many people injured by their spouse’s affair and wondering how to get over an affair say they feel like they’re losing their mind.

In a sense, you are—but it’s not permanent. What you’ve really lost is temporary control of your own thoughts. You’ve been dealt an emotional and psychological blow: you found out that the person you love and trust has committed adultery—and it has hit you like a punch to the gut. Your mind is overrun with negative thoughts, leaving you feeling exhausted, miserable and unhappy.

You’ve been broadsided by the revelation of the affair, and you need time to process this completely unexpected turn in your relationship. In this blog, I’ll share with you how to get over an affair using some methods for getting your thoughts back under your control, and putting an end to those negative thoughts.

An Inner Affair-Themed Horror Flick Running 24/7

As the victim of your spouse’s affair, you may feel as if you’re going crazy. No doubt, your mind reels, trying to solve questions such as why your spouse did it, who the paramour is and what their appeal was, when the events transpired and how you didn’t somehow know. Learning how to get over an affair can become all-encompassing and all-engrossing.

Now, you doubt everything, your compass is swirling madly in an attempt to find what’s real once again. Your mind is filled with negative thoughts constantly, which could include:

  • I lack sex appeal, maybe that’s why he/she strayed.
  • I spent too much time building my career, so this happened as a result.
  • My kids always came first, and I let the marriage suffer.
  • The other person is probably great company, and I have nothing to talk about that would keep anyone’s interest.

It’s ugly, and it’s persistent. It’s no wonder affair victims describe it as losing their mind. Anyone who has control of their mind wouldn’t want these types of thoughts plaguing them day and night. Suddenly, your life is viewed through the lens of infidelity. It’s unfair, but it’s the reality of where you are today.

However, it does not have to be your permanent reality.

Break the Negative Thought Pattern

The more you ponder the affair, wondering about the details, the more these thoughts take over. The questions can become obsessive, consuming your mind until the only thing you have room for are affair-related thoughts.

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It’s an inner struggle that quickly grows to epic proportions. It can leave you feeling powerless and unable to cope, further eroding your already damaged self-esteem.

These negative thoughts become a habit, a pattern that—like any pattern—can be broken. Let’s look at ways to help you break this negative thought pattern.

Step 1: Remind yourself that Your Mind is Your Territory

A lot of victims feel as if these negative thoughts are happening to them. This is why they feel powerless to stop them: it’s as if an outside force is compelling this mind-horror to occur non-stop.

Take back ownership: this is your mind, and you can and will control what occurs there. State it out loud, write it down, over and over—whatever it takes until you begin to believe, once again, that your mind is your territory and therefore within your control.

Step 2: Take a Look at What Shows are Playing

You know there are consistent patterns in what you’re thinking. Obviously, your thoughts have a central theme, based on the affair, and they’re negative.

But what specifically do these thoughts consist of? Which ones are playing over and over? I encourage you to get a journal and write down the results of this self-analysis. When you write these negative thought patterns down and see them there in black and white—they begin to lose some of their power, and therefore their hold, over you.

Step 3: Banish Negative Thought Patterns

 

After you’ve defined these negative thought patterns, brainstorm a range of ways to get rid of them.

Your solutions will be as individual as you are. You may notice that some of your patterns occur at specific times of day, or when you’re in the midst of a specific task. By identifying the facts surrounding a negative thought’s occurrence, you can find a way to change the meaning attached with that occurrence.

For example, if you commute to work and normally listen to talk radio, but find your mind wandering to thoughts of the affair, change the scenery. Turn on music instead and sing loudly to it, or use the drive time to plan out your day in detail. Use any means to distract yourself (safely) from thoughts about the affair, and give that commuting time a different flavor that you won’t associate with those negative thought patterns.

You may feel out of control when it comes to what’s going on in your mind, but you can reclaim your territory. Will it happen overnight? I won’t tell you that. What I will tell you is that what has become a bad habit can be changed. And, there is power in declaring yourself capable and then devising steps to eliminate negative thought patterns. It will help you feel in control, and the power of those negative thoughts will slowly begin to fade and recede in the distance.

My best wishes for you as you break the pattern of negative thoughts.

How would you describe the thoughts that have come to you after the affair?

What affect have these negative thoughts had on your quality of life?

Do you find there are specific triggers that set off these thoughts?

What steps have you taken to repossess your own mind?

Please share your thoughts and experiences regarding negative thought patterns by leaving a comment below.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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