Images in your head of him cheating is often the thing that stands between your being able to move on and eventually being happy and your being stuck and remaining unhappy and in pain. And, most of the time, you really don't want to see these images of him and the other woman. You want to move on, but they keep right on popping back in your head and upsetting you. And you wonder how on earth you will ever be able to move forward since you can't seem to stop them and don't seem to have any control over them.
In the following article, I will discuss some ways to begin to gain some control over these thoughts and images so that you can get them out of your head once and for all.
Understand That These Images Are Absolutely Normal, But They Likely Aren't Accurate: I sometimes have women contact me and say things like "what is wrong with me? Why am I having these thoughts? Why am I punishing myself in this way?" The truth is, there is nothing wrong with you and there's not anything that you're doing wrong. This is so common and normal. And, it's often the direct result of your trying to fill in the holes and gaps of what you don't understand.
No matter how forthcoming and honest your husband is after the affair, there's no way for you to actually "be there" in your own mind. You wonder if he is really telling the truth. You want to know exactly how this all happened and why. And, on your worst days, you wonder if he enjoyed himself more than he enjoys himself with you. And, because you can't possibly have all of these answers, your brain will embellish. You feel the need to actually see for yourself and this is your mind's way of giving you what you want.
The problem with this, of course, is that those images that pop up in your head are likely not accurate. Often, we will see our husband's interact in ways that might not have actually happened. And honestly, these images in our minds are almost always those that are going to be the most hurtful to us. They are the ones where our husbands are looking at her in the same way that they used to look at us. They are the ones where she's doing the things that we may not have done.
In short, these are the things that we most fear all in beautiful technicolor and surround sound in our minds. When this used to happen to me, I used to think "well, grab some popcorn because we're about to see that same old devastating movie running a loop over and over again for about the millionth time."
Taking Your Power Back: Not Allowing The Images To Get The Better Of You: The thing is, whether these images are accurate or not, this doesn't mean that they hurt any less. And, until you get control over them, they are going to continue to torment you. The best place to start is to reprogram yourself so that your reaction to them changes. Because often this will become a devastating cycle.
The image comes and you will think "here we go again," while you tense up, become upset, and the images become more and more controlling. You feel helpless and beaten and this only reinforces the cycle and gives the images more control. To stop this, you will want to associate the images with something else – something more positive.
When this kept happening to me, I finally decided to reward myself or to do something nice for myself every time this happened so that I would not come to dread this so much and live in fear. I would stop myself or go for a walk, contact a friend, or begin reading a book that I enjoyed. Basically, I was doing something positive to put a break in this cycle to begin creating a new one. Once the images started to have less power of me, I began to dread them less and they eventually went away. And, I came to realize that continuing on with this cycle was just giving this woman one more way to hurt me, which is what I definitely did not want.
Creating The Life That Is Going To Make You Happy Is The Best Way To Get The Images Of Your Him And The Other Woman Out Of Your Head: I know that it may be hard to think about this right now, but one day in the future after you've worked through this, I suspect that you might see things in a different light. Time has a way of lessening the pain, especially if you are able to create a new reality that is better than the way things were.
The happier, more fulfilled and more at peace you become, the less you think about the past and dwell there. Knowing that you are going to be OK and that you can be happy again is honestly the best way to ensure that you're leaving these images (which are based on fear and doubt,) in the past.
Because once these things are gone, the images no longer have a place in your life or any control over you. And, if and when they do come back, you're able to much more easily brush them off and carry on. Because at that point, you realize that they were really just a mirage from an earlier time and a much worse place that is not your reality today.
Confronting these images is probably only one of the issues you are dealing with. I know that working through this is difficult, but it can truly be worth it. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I know longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/