Anyone who is the victim of an affair knows that’s no small hurdle. At times, it can feel insurmountable.
In this blog, you’ll learn a negative thought/image control plan with 3 recommendations for overcoming infidelity and moving forward with your life. Keep reading…
Damaging Duo: Negative Thoughts & Images
When you found out your spouse was cheating, did it feel like someone opened a door to the darkest region of your mind, unleashing one horror after another… all while simultaneously punching you in the gut?
Overcoming infidelity isn’t something that can be calendared to be “done” by a certain date/time. There are aftershocks that come out of nowhere. The emotional toll of an affair revelation has not been scientifically measured. This would probably prove impossible to even attempt, since the emotional aftermath tends to be experienced in a series of waves.
It’s easier to measure an earthquake and the post-seismic shakes – but the idea is similar. You have one major event – a shaking of your foundation that measures a certain point on your individual, emotional Richter scale. That first event – the affair revelation – is the hardest, most shocking impact and has caught you off-guard.
How to Survive an Affair has sold over 20,000 copies and we have hudreds of written testimonials that have told us that Dr. Gunzburg’s program was the single reason they survived.
- Regain your self-esteem after the affair…
- Replace the anger, depression and sadness…
- Forgive your spouse and get a heart-felt apology…
- Rebuild the trust from the ground up…
- Open the lines of communication…
- Eliminate the negative thoughts…
- End the affairs for good…
- Make the relationship better than ever…
Next are the aftershocks. For the affair victim, it’s an emotionally-devastating cocktail of negative thoughts, negative images and recurring negative memories about the affair details – either real or imagined. And there’s no predicting when or where they’ll strike.
And that’s why they’re so emotionally devastating: the victim feels no sense of control. Being able to manage our own emotions helps give us a sense of security, a foundation from which to conduct our days.
When that’s stripped away, the victim can feel further victimized by an internal assault of haunting images and negative thoughts about themselves, their marriage and their spouse.
Next, we’ll look at how to regain control and find a means of managing the damaging duo of negative thoughts and images.
The Image/Thought Control Plan
What if, as the victim of the recurring shock waves made up of negative thoughts and images, you could take control of them? What would that mean for your quality of life?
I want to provide a couple of steps you can begin to implement immediately so you can feel a sense of control over your own mind:
Step 1: Cope with Emotions
In order to clear your mind, you need to actively cope with your emotions. This means… do not avoid the inevitable. Those images and thoughts will continue to spring up until you acknowledge them.
At first, even when you do acknowledge those negative thoughts and images, they’ll continue to return. This is when you’ll feel the urge to ignore them – it’s only natural: same negative thought/image, different day, right? But the more you let those emotions flow, the more power leaches out of them.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to be assaulted by them: read the next step for how to manage their flow.
Step 2: Schedule Specific Thoughts
One of the biggest reasons negative thoughts/images hold so much power over the victim is because they’re allowed to tramp into the victim’s mind any time of the day or night.
These negative thoughts and images are unwanted guests: you didn’t ask them to come for a visit, and you really want them to go. But unfortunately, at least for a little while, you need to tolerate them until they leave – similar to really bad in-laws showing up and overstaying their welcome.
There’s nothing that says you have to accept unwanted guests on anything other than your own terms. As we looked at in step 1, avoiding these particular guests only brings out their persistence: they will keep hammering on your door until you let them in.
So schedule the time and the place that you will accept their visit. You may want to develop a short-term ritual for entertaining these unwanted guests: sit in a chair each day at a certain time, or maybe while driving or exercising. Set a timer and let the thoughts come.
When the time that you designated is up, picture yourself pushing them out of a door into a dark void and shutting a big, heavy door.
Step 3: Increase Your Internal Positivity Balance
In previous blogs, we’ve looked at increasing the number of positive interactions in your relationship with your spouse, thinking of it as boosting the positive column like you would with a bank balance.
Why not boost your internal positive balance?
To do so, you’ll need to actively seek out positive experiences: anything that distracts you from the negative thoughts and images threatening to hone in on your mental territory. Maybe you could sign up for a class, or get out and exercise with a friend, or take the dog to a dog park each evening. Whatever it is, make sure it makes you feel good.
My best to you as you overcome post-affair negative thoughts and images.
How have negative thoughts/images impacted your life post-affair?
Can you describe what it feels like to be assaulted mentally by the emotionally-wrought content of these thoughts and images?
How have you coped?
Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,