Healing after an affair that your spouse had is not an easy thing to do. It starts with healing yourself first and commonly a major step in that process is ridding yourself of the negative images that course through your imagination of the two of them together. Let’s look to day at how you can be rid of those images once and for all.
When you have negative thoughts about your spouse and his or her paramour, these thoughts are often accompanied by mental images. This is very much like reading a book that has illustrations. The two go hand in hand.
Based on this logic, the unfortunate outcome is that each time you have a negative thought about your spouse’s infidelity, an image comes to mind … for example:
Thought: Your spouse’s paramour is more attractive or sexier than you
Image: You picture a ruggedly handsome man or shapely, pretty woman
Thought: Your spouse enjoys their company more than they do yours
Image: You see them together staring into each other’s eyes, happy and smiling as they hold hands
Thought: Your spouse and paramour having sex
Image: There is virtually no limit to the images that this thought can conjure up
Typically in a marriage, most mental images are ones of positive and happy moments spent with one’s spouse. Your wedding day, a special vacation or trips taken together, time spent with the kids, etc. After an affair, these thoughts often run into conflict with the negative ones and this can become exhausting. If you are still reading this post, than I suspect you can relate. So how can you make it stop?
First, understand that having these negative images while you begin healing from an affair is normal. You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to go through it. It is when you find yourself having trouble getting back to the positive and “normal” thoughts that you need to seek some guidance.
Here are three steps that will help you purge yourself of those images that have been haunting you as you begin healing from an affair:
1. Separate Affair Fact from Fiction
Just because your mind is picturing an image does not make it real. You may know this on one level, and yet, because the images can be so vivid, you can start to believe that what you see playing in your mind is a reflection of reality.
Unless you have actual images or visual evidence, the images you are picturing are simply your own interpretation of the facts and are more than likely an embellishment of what has actually happened.
2. Challenge the Negative Images
Once a negative image pops into your mind, ask yourself this: “Is this image a fact or am I creating this image using my own imagination?” Each time an image makes an appearance, get in the habit of hitting the “pause” button, so to speak, and challenge whether this image that is bothering you is one that you have actually seen, or are you just tormenting yourself with an embellished perception of what you “think” may have occurred.
3. Take Control of Your “Programming”
Many affair victims feel they have no control over these negative images cropping up. The post-affair images pop into their mind constantly, no matter where they are or what they’re doing: working, shopping, cooking, driving, sleeping.
But you can indeed take control of your own “programming”. “Ok, what does that mean?”, you may be thinking. Start by actually scheduling a time when you will focus on these images. Tell yourself, “OK, at 8 pm I am going to sit down and just let the reels roll.”
Remind yourself that you are the one allowing these images to occur at this scheduled time. That you are the programmer or producer of the show, if you will. That you can hit pause or rewind as many times as you like. You can even have fun with it and hit fast forward to make the sounds of your images imitate chipmunks. You can stretch the images so that they look fat. You can image it raining on them.
The point of this step is simple…to show you and your subconscious that you really are in control of what thoughts and images course through your mind. Negative thoughts and images tend to develop into bad habits and by practicing these steps, you will begin to develop good habits again and positive mental images will replace the negative.