They’re insidious, all-consuming and nasty. What are they? The storm of negative thoughts that has moved into your head and taken control since your spouse cheated. And if you don’t get a handle on them, you may begin to think you’re going crazy.
Not only do you feel angry and betrayed, but you also feel you’ve lost control of your most private sanctuary: your own mind.
You deserve to have back that inner sanctuary. In today’s blog, we’ll look at the connection between negative emotions and negative thoughts. And, I’ll give you two steps for calming the negative thought storm that is destroying your peace and sense of sanity. Read on.
The Post-Affair Negative Thought/Negative Emotion Storm
It’s like having a demon that has taken up residence, not on one of your shoulders, with an angel to balance it on the other side, but right there in the middle of your head. And, it’s constantly whispering things to you, such as:
- He/she did it before, he/she will do it again…
- I’m lacking in some fundamental way, I’m just not good enough…
- I must be the world’s biggest idiot not to know…
- They must have thought they were so clever, fooling me…
- Nothing will ever feel normal again…
As the victim of your spouse’s affair, you already feel angry and betrayed. It’s as if your spouse put the proverbial knife in your back and gave it a twist.
But to have your own mind taken over post-affair with a constant storm of negative thoughts can feel as if you’re being driven to the very brink. You feel bad – probably worse than you’ve ever felt before in your life. And it’s from this emotional upheaval, caused by your spouse’s affair, that the negative thought storm is born. You continue to feel emotionally destroyed, which in turn makes it seem impossible to stop the negative thoughts from recurring day after day.
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- Regain your self-esteem after the affair…
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- Eliminate the negative thoughts…
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The constant, obsessive thoughts can begin to take on the feeling of truth and reality. You could potentially begin to believe this negative thought chatter going on in your mind – and that’s why it’s critical for you to get a handle on it.
Thoughts are not the same thing as facts: they’re tied up with your emotions. Think about where you are right now emotionally: you’re torn up inside from the revelation of your spouse’s affair, at possibly the lowest point in your life.
When you feel bad, it’s hard to think clearly, let alone positively. But when the negative thought storm is allowed to go on unchallenged, it feeds into your closely-connected emotions, so you continue to feel bad.
Something has to give. Here are two steps to help you cleanse your mind of this negative rubbish and own your inner sanctuary once again.
Step 1: Write out your negative thoughts
While there will be similarities, no two people’s negative thought storms blow in quite the same way. Your negative thoughts will be unique to you and your situation with your cheating spouse.
You feel awful inside, your emotions in turmoil. But what is behind those emotions? What is it that demon of negative thoughts is in there whispering? Maybe it’s one-liners, but more often than not, it may be whole scenarios playing in your head.
What are the common themes? When you think about the affair, look closely at what thoughts are occurring during that time. Then, write them down. Do this for a full week to get a good picture of what’s going on in your mind.
Step 2: Challenge your recurring negative thoughts
Remember: you feel bad emotionally, so what you think can take on characteristics of being the truth.
Take a look at your record of negative thoughts, and put them to the test, one by one. Start with what you consider to be your most challenging negative thought – the one that crops up constantly for you.
To really give this exercise power, write down your response to this question: “Is there an argument against this thought?” Now, brainstorm the various arguments that will defeat this negative thought.
Your true challenge will be in taking an objective look at the thought and analyzing it. After all, it’s a thought that is recurring and has taken on power in your mind. To defeat it, try to step back from it, as if you are looking at it not as “I” or “me” but as “him/her.” This is just a trick to help you get the proper amount of perspective you need.
My very best to you as you heal the post-affair trauma of negative thoughts and emotions.
How real have your negative thoughts become to you?
If you’re able to share, what is your most challenging recurring thought?
Do you feel as if gaining control of your thoughts will help your emotional state?
Please share what you’ve been going through during this time of post-affair pain.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,