- Gender and Relationships
Coping with affair: Obsessed over details.
Coping with the Affair
In the early stages of discovery it is completely natural to obsess over every little detail of your partners affair. Your partner has had plenty of time to prepare for the fall out, but this is all new to you. They have all the answers, you have none. One of the biggest factors contributing to the success of a marriage after an affair is the guilty party's willingness to talk about it. They need to be remorseful and willing to answer all your questions, even the painful ones. But what if you partner is not willing to share the details? Well, in this case you are left to fend for yourself, left to script your own version of events. Neither scenario is pleasant and each one will undoubtedly cause you to obsess and analyze everything. This can drive you mad, but how do you stop? If you are serious about freeing your mind from the hell it's in, then you can try some of these suggestions, some may seem silly but they do work.
1. Imagine the biggest, brightest flashing STOP sign you can. Every time a mental image surfaces say STOP!, assuming you are alone, otherwise people will begin to question your sanity; which by the way is probably on the brink anyhow. Having said this, it's still not recommended to yell "stop" in public places. If you are in a place where you can't say the words aloud try saying it in your head... repeat as necessary!
2. Some women put a rubber band around their wrists and give it a snap each time they begin to obsess about the affair. Snap a rubber band against your wrist a few hundred times a day and you'll quickly break the habit of obsessing.
3. Get busy. Dive back into a hobby or find something you enjoy that takes your mind off the affair. Not only is this great in helping you to stop obsessing but it also makes your cheating spouse feel a little uneasy about how well you are doing. It makes them wonder if forgiveness is going to come their way or if you are starting a new life without them.
4. Allow yourself a certain amount of time each day strictly for obsessing. Use that time to ponder all the thoughts you are having but when the time you have allotted is over, you have to stop. Start with a reasonable amount of time and gradually decrease it each day.
5. Talk to someone, a friend, a family member or a therapist. If you are not comfortable discussing your feelings at this point then start a journal to yourself. You can even write a letter to your husband, or one to the other woman (but don't send that one). Write whatever it is you would like to say to her, then tear it up or burn it.
6. Remember yourself for the beautiful, loving, amazing woman that you are. Tell "her" she is valuable and it wasn't her fault. You need to be reminded about all the good qualities you possess until you realize that this wasn't about you. You are a prize and your husband is damn lucky to have you as his wife and he is even more lucky if you can find a way in your heart to forgive him. Practice positive affirmations every day, your heart and soul have taken a beating and they need TLC at this time.
7. Use humor. I know, I know! Nothing about this is even remotely funny so how is it possible to find humor in a situation like this?. I found using humor was a great way to lighten the burden. For example, we lived in a very small town and lots of people knew about my husbands affair. Every time I went to the grocery store or any place in public, I would get the sympathetic head tilt followed by an inquiring "howww are youuuu?." Many times I felt like it was a test from these people to see if I knew what they have known for months. I could easily tell who really cared and who was looking for "dirt". I lost 30lbs in the first couple of months after discovery and there were a few incidents of gossip bags stating "Wow, you've lost a lot of weight, everything OK?". Now I knew darn well that they were fishing for information so I would simply answer; "Oh, you know, been on the infidelity diet!." My candidness was usually enough to make them retreat and it saved me from some long drawn out story which may have caused me to become emotional in a public place.
8. Another great tip is to pamper yourself. A day at the hair salon, a massage, a manicure or pedicure. Do things that make you feel cared for and pretty. No doubt you have been neglecting yourself lately. This will do wonders in restoring some self esteem and helping you to remember that you are your first priority. If you don't take care of you no one else will right now.
9. It's bad enough that you are driving yourself mad obsessing about the affair and worrying about all the unknowns of the future of your marriage. Empower yourself, talk to a lawyer or do some research on your rights and what divorce could possibly mean for you. Learn valuable tools that will help protect you in any such event. It doesn't mean you are divorcing but it gives you a little more confidence that you are well prepared if your marriage does fall apart.
10. Last but not least, hug your children. It gives you a feeling of comfort and closeness and them a sense of security. They are not immune to what's going on, no matter what their age is they are aware that something is wrong with Mommy. They have probably sensed that you are sad and preoccupied. Hugging them and cuddling them reminds you that no matter what else is going on, or how bad you are feeling, that you are indeed blessed.