Help Dealing With Infidelity: What to do When You Can’t Stop Thinking About It

help dealing with infidelityOnce you’ve been the victim of infidelity the thoughts can sometimes become so overwhelming that you find it hard to stop thinking about it.

It doesn’t seem to matter what you’re doing, working, playing, just living your life takes on a whole new meaning when the intrusive thoughts of the infidelity niggle at your mind every second of the day.

When thoughts circle in your mind over and over again it can be very unhealthy. After all, there really is nothing you can do to change what has happened.

Continuously thinking about it isn’t going to help and in fact is just going to make you more obsessed. It’s really easy to become obsessed. You find yourself thinking about all kinds of things that you don’t want to think of like:

  • What did their partner look like?
  • Are they better looking than me?
  • Where did they do it?
  • What types of things did they do?
  • What did they talk about?

The details go through your mind in a flash at any given moment. You could be at the grocery store, taking the kids to school, watching a TV show, trying to sleep – the thoughts have no boundaries and can intrude at any given moment to send your mind and heart in a swirl of emotions that you can’t even name.

Everything is off balance and you feel, often, as if you’re drowning. It is important to develop skills to stop these thoughts from taking over your life so that you can move on happily. There are many ways that you can work on yourself in order to stop thinking about the affair.

Related:  When a Spouse Cheats What to Tell the Kids

But, you have to be ready to make a change in your way of thinking, and take control over yourself for it to work. Here are some things that you can do right now to stop thinking about the affair so much.

   Set a Time Limit

Time limits work for both positive and negative things. You can set a time limit for almost anything from house work, to controlling your thoughts and it can work.

Give yourself a certain amount of time to let your mind think of all the horrible things mentioned above, but set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and pick a good time of day where you can then do something else right after that is positive.

   Get Counseling

If you just can’t seem to stop the thoughts you may need to seek professional counseling and perhaps a short term prescription for medication to help you deal with your situation. There is nothing wrong with getting short term help to overcome this issue.

Many people balk at the idea of getting help dealing with infidelity related issues, but if your obsessive thoughts are intruding on your ability to live your life, you must get some help.

   Exercise Daily

Getting some sort of exercise, especially exercise that requires focus such as Yoga, Swimming and Running can really help you center your mind on positive thoughts, or no thoughts at all other than your breath going in and out of your body and how that feels.

The ability to hyper focus on things like how the air smells, or how the water feels on your body will help you avoid these intrusive thoughts for a period of time.

Related:  Can You Really Forgive Your Spouse After They Cheat on You? 7 Reasons Why Forgiving Makes Your Life Better

   Get Outside Yourself

Is there a cause you care deeply about? If so, devote your spare time to volunteering for that cause. Hands on work doing things for others will make your own problems pale in comparison and you will be able to put things into a better perspective and avoid intrusive thought patterns that interfere in your life.

Whether you help humans or animals won’t matter, it’ll make you feel good about yourself and give you something else to focus on.

   Eat Healthy

It’s tempting to wallow in your sorrow and fill your body with the main drug of choice for most which is food, but you’d be doing yourself a favor if you skipped the buckets of chicken and cartons of ice cream and swapped them out with something healthier.

For example, if you really need to eat your feelings, eat a lot of fruit – nothing is wrong with eating an entire watermelon. You’ll get the emotional eating out, and avoid the problems associated with processed foods.

   Try the Rubber Band Trick

Some people have had success stopping behaviors they don’t want to do by wearing a rubber band on their wrist and snapping it every time they do or consider the offending behavior. While it does hurt, it has worked for a lot of people who want to quick smoking or eating when they’re not hungry. It can work for intrusive thoughts too.

   Be Rational

The truth is, no amount of thinking about the affair, and no amount of information you get will change the fact that it happened. The best thing you can do for yourself is to try to divert your thoughts when they come up at the wrong moments.

Related:  Why You Need a Plan for Recovering From Infidelity

Of course, you need to talk about it sometimes, but you cannot allow the thoughts about the infidelity to take over your life. Whether you want to believe it or not, the affair actually has very little to do with you, and is about the character of the cheater.

Thinking about the affair is part of dealing with infidelity. It’s a natural reaction to have when someone has literally ripped the rug out from under you in such a big way. It cuts to the core in ways that you never thought possible.

The one person you thought you could trust with your life has done something horrible that makes you question everything and you naturally want to know why, who, what, how and when. But, once you get those answers, it’s time to move past it and move on so that you can truly deal with infidelity in a healthy way that allows you to make a new life for yourself.

34 thoughts on “Help Dealing With Infidelity: What to do When You Can’t Stop Thinking About It

  1. I am in this stage. My husband has engaged in three separate “blocks” of chatting that I know of. The last one he went on a “date”. These behaviors have occurred for several months at a time. The “date” occurred 3 years ago. I recently found his history of looking up body rubs through backpage adds. I am trying to piece together whether or not he was on sales trips during those searches. Long story short I am trying to see if I can stay in this marriage. He is remorseful and takes full blame but he could be just saying these things because he thinks it will make me feel better.

    • Hi, my name is Joni. I’ve been recently searching to seek help for my depression due to my husbands affair that I just found out about in May. It seems no one in my life has dealt with this kind of thing and even worse, it’s usually unspoken like a secret with my family. My husband and I were married Nov. 2014, his affair started in March 2015. If you are also searching for some type of support, please let me know and feel free to contact me!

      • Hi Joni, I know how you feel. My life was turned upside down also within 6 mos of marriage when my wife had an affair. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I hid everything from family and friends. Tried to rebuild the marriage. Had kids. Now many years later I am in regret and find myself not over it at all. I love my children but fear I either made a huge mistake trying to rebuild or didn’t get the help I truly needed. I know it sounds negative compared to so many things you hear about but I honestly think people should move on with their lives after betrayal. I have tried to rebuild but find myself still dealing with it unsuccessfully so many years later and full of regret for a life wasted except for having two awesome kids I love to death. Move on. It’s not you, it’s a flaw in their character and from my experience, the wound never truly heals.

        All the best. Don

        • Don , I am in the same boat. Something triggered me and from 20 years ago it came back like it was yesterday and all I can think is how I wasted 20 years

  2. Hi Joni, I just found out about my husbands affair. I’ve been obsessing on the Internet for help and support anything I can find really. Like you no one I know has ever gone threw something like this so its hard to talk to people I am close to. I’ve been married 27 years and my husband has been cheating the last 4, I’m devastated.

  3. Hey, I would just like to say that I’m a husband whose wife cheated on. And there is not much out there about a cheating wife and how to deal with the pain and suffering. I can’t image ever hurting someone the way she has hurt me, she thinks she knows how I feel but she doesn’t. And I have had my share of heartaches in my life, 10 years ago on the day before my 30th birthday my mother, sister, and brother was shot and murdered by my sister’s husband…. but that pain doesn’t compare to the pain of finding out my wife of 16 years had been cheating on me and that happen on my birthday!

  4. Joni and Laura I have also recently found out about my husbands affair. I have been searching and searching the Internet for some kind of support. Or for someone who seems to have any idea of what i am going through

  5. After being engaged for 6 months and pregant with our daughter, my fiance cheated. He was charged with rape and assault. I was devastated and ashamed. He did not rape her not did they even have sex. This was her second charge of falsification. Regardless he admitted to cheating. I tried everything to forgive him and move on. I became obsessed. He wasn’t ever around anymore and things were not the same. I moved out 6 months ago and he’s seeing someone else. Still hurts everyday. Reading this article was just enough encouragement to continue with the day.

  6. I just found out that my husband of 12 years cheated on me with my maid. when I felt some emotional ties and obsessiveness between them, I sent her packing. after she left, my husband could not stop contacting her on phone, insisting that nothing serious was between them. just few months ago, a member of our church who met this same maid on Facebook via my husband’s Facebook page got married to her. some few weeks ago, I got the most devastating confession in my entire life. both my husband and the maid confessed of having an affair in my house under my roof. my husband is a full time pastor in a church while I work for s long time daily to help our family of three children. I am finding it very difficult to recover from the betrayal. my husband has been pleading with me that since I have forgiven them, that I should bring the girl closer to me as before. but I can never trust the girl again, though I am giving my husband another chance in order to save my marriage. my not giving the girl another chance made my husband & her own husband to feel I am yet to forgive her. I sent a warning text message to her the other day she called my husband on phone as his beloved member to know how he was doing. I’m I overreacting? can I ever feel safe seeing my husband relate even in a healthy way as a result of their betrayal?

  7. I just found out my husband while at the bar got drunk and cheated on me. All I keep thinking is the shame I have for not being good enough for him. If I was enough he would have stopped himself and came home.

  8. Julie,
    Forgiveness and trust are not the same things. Forgiveness is given and received freely; trust is earned. Trust happens when someone follows through with what they said they would do. God forgives our sin but He does not trust that we will never sin again.

    It is possible to forgive, but it would be foolish to trust them again. Time is the main factor in trust.

  9. I found out that my husband had an affair for 2 years throughout our 5 years of marriage. He accidentally used my credit card to pay for the hotel and I found out through my credit card statement. During the time of the time of the infidelity, I was pregnant with our first child. I never felt so hurt in my life. I don’t have anyone to talk to regarding his affair. He begged me not to leave him, so I decided to forgive him, however, I am constantly reminded of the infidelity I feel like I can’t move on in the marriage. I think I have lost trust ans respect for him.

    • Saun,

      I’ve been dealing with a similar situation as well. I found out in January of 2018 that my husband had cheated on me and that he filed for divorce. I was 4 months pregnant with our second child. Our first child being just over a year old. Within a couple months he wanted to come home and right what he had wronged. The weekend he came home it was disclosed that he had been having a 7 month affair with someone that I knew. It’s been really really hard. We are going to counseling but the pain is still so new. He disclosure of the affair was 2 months ago and our daughter is 3 weeks old today. It’s been the most hellish time of my life. My husband and I started dating when I was 17…15 years ago. But have been married for 4 years. (We didn’t want to get married young). So we have been in love for nearly half my life. And for this to happen was completely unthinkable. He pursued me to marry him for 8 years before I was ready. I can’t stop thinking about it. I know all the details I’ve asked about…which is probably more than I should care to know. Everything keeps me awake at night and makes it hard to connect with him. It’s so much harder when you’re pregnant. And a lot more despicable.

  10. Hi I need help
    I with my girlfriend for 14 years now and just found out that recently she been having another relationship with someone she have been admired for a long time. They are relationship has been going on for the past 3 years till now. I have confronted her and she say that she want out but not mentioning about the affair at all. She keeps saying that the problem is her and no one else. I found out about them when she started to stay over and then she even have a credit card given by her another partner. As for now she still out with that person and all I do is to be patience and hope that she can change her mind. We are still staying together till now but without me asking about where or who she will be with if she’s out. Pls help me what can I do???!! Should I let go or stay on hoping that she will change

  11. I found out 3 months ago my husband if 34 years had been having an affair for 4 years and he had 1 prior to that that I had no idea of until the OW called and told me. I’m beyond heartbroken. That night he said he loved her and didn’t know what he wanted. By the next morning he said he wanted to fix our marriage, that he had never stopped loving me and had wanted to end it but didn’t know how without losing everything. I don’t seem able to believe that I will ever be able to live without this pain. We’re in counseling and it’s gotten to the point where even the therapist is asking “What does he need to do to help you let go and move forward.” I don’t know. I feel the first 34 years were all a lie and my life will always revolve around the affair, life before the affair and life after the affair, which will always be hurtful. I love him. He says he always loved me and still does. How do I believe him and start healing?

    • Ive been married 23 years and in feb found out about his i have the same feelings and thoughts you have written. Im in therapy. Hes in therapy and us as a couple are in therapy. I too like our 23 years was a lie. For a man to continually say he loves me and is in love with me wouldnt want to still try and hurt me as he still does. Just feeling like im loosing me and all that i know.

      Sending virtual hugs

  12. I was married for 15 years when I found my husband on the internet with girls at work. He was the only guy I had ever been with. 5 years later it still haunts me every day. It has destroyed my health and self esteem. I will live with this till I die.

  13. I have been married for 35 years and 17 years ago , i found out my husband was cheating on me and our 3 boys . It was aweful. He literally loaded up our motor home pulling out jeep. And left , i tried to talk to him i begged him. He just left after about 2 months of hell. He came back 3 days later and couldn’t do it. I was bummed because I stated feeling better. So instead of divorcing him I took him back. The hitch moved away and every thing was fine. Our 3 boys got married we have 4 beautiful grandbabies. And I got diagnosed with a very rare lung disease. Am on oxygen and lucky to be alive. Blessed to be alive. Well to make a very long story short. I found out she moved back about 9 months ago. Yes they talk on cell phone. Which I figured out. I begged him not to talk to her. And I didn’t see her number on the phone bill. Well get this on December 1st i saw a light flashing in his tool bag, i looked and it was a prepaid phone. I grabbed it and hid it for a week. Before I had the nerve to look at it. I thought he could have found it on the job of something. But NO they have been talking for about 2 months. They still say there just friends. I called her out and him. Out . I told him to tell the boys after Christmas. But no I want divorce. I can’t take it any longer. I am sick and getting sicker. I have to do it all. God help me , trust is the most expensive thing on earth, now it’s gone. I told the boys he has lost their respect. But he keeps working and acting like it’s nothing. I cannot do this anymore. Please help me god…

    • I am so very sorry for what you are going through. I will pray for you & your boys. I found out 2 years ago that my husband was involved with a woman he worked with. At first it was just texting & of course I believed him when he said he ended it. I later found out that it continued on for about a year. We are separated & he wants to come back home but I don’t know if I will ever trust him again. I don’t understand how someone can love you & betray you!!!

  14. Thinking you had the perfect marriage for 18 years and realizing that you didn’t is the most heart breaking thing a person can face my husband was my best friend we did everything together then financial problems attacked our marriage and working hard to keep it all I lost him to a women at his job who said all the right things and made him feel like a man again the hardest thing is knowing that he allowed it to happen. We were the couple that everyone thought including myself were the couple to look up to and strive to be like he was the perfect dad and husband and within an instant everything changed. He is the only man I ever have been with. I was on the verge of filing for divorce but didn’t I am still working on my insecurities and don’t believe I will ever be the same I feel like a piece of me has truly been broken forever

    • I’ve been married for 18 years as well and going through the same exact situation. I’ve forgiven my husband but what I cannot get over is how hurt and betrayed I still feel. How does one get over that? Do I need counseling?

    • My husband & I have been together for almost 35 years. 2 years ago I found out that he was texting a woman he worked with. I believed him when he said he ended it. I later found out that it continued on for about a year. I don’t understand how someone can love you & betray you!!! I also don’t understand how another woman can betray her husband with another woman’s husband. I completely understand being broken. I know I wil never be the same. His affair has broken our entire family. Her husband is clueless & refuses to believe his wife was unfaithful. All I can say is ” Kharma is a birch”. What comes around goes around!!!!

  15. My husband and I have been married going on two years he has kids with two different women. He has had an affair several times since we been married with one of the baby Moms. He says it was only twice and it will never happen again. Problem is he has not gone to court with her and she has not ever allowed me to be around her daughter now this makes it harder for me to trust him and easy for her to control the situation I feel like a fool and not sure I should try to keep and work on my marriage

  16. Crystal,

    Girl, move on…This guy is just setting you up to be his constant. His baby mama will continue to sleep with him and you will end up heart broken and feeling ashamed of staying and putting up with it. Either set some clear boundaries and stick to them or get out…

  17. I hope you are doing better you need to deeply forgive and move on its hard and it takes years but with your love and understanding you can have a happy New merriage

  18. Well.
    The day after my 41st my little boy found husband’s affair phone in his dad’s gym bag. I read every message, every dig at me, every one of his “I can’t wait to see you darling” comments (I go mental if he calls me darling now). The affair started December 2014 and was still going on during my 40th birthday in June 2015. Whereupon it ended because (according to HIM) he told her he loved his wife. I don’t believe that. I didn’t find out until a year after it apparently ended. He got in from work ten minutes after I had read those texts. I cried uncontrollably (unbelievably he said “all I want to do is hold you” and I told him to f**k right off and told him to get out. He refused. Said he wanted to “stay and fight for his marriage” whatever that was supposed to mean. The deed had been done. Suddenly it made sense why he’d left his job and started his own business (she was a colleague). Suddenly his comments of “don’t leave marks” during sex made sense as she would find out he was still sleeping with ME. Nearly two years after my discovery I feel dirty and grossed out. He buys constant guilt gifts but refuses to discuss it (he’s uncomfortable he says) so my thoughts and feelings are still festering. I haven’t forgiven him because HE WON’T DISCUSS IT. I will never forget. The evening I found out he asked what he could do. I said, seeing as you did it, I think that I should get to have an affair, and he said I was spiteful. I made him sleep on the sofa and stayed up all night sobbing. At one point he came up to try and comfort me. Appalled, I scrambled back and flinched, refusing to let him touch me. All of this happening with our three children in the house. And two weeks later, when I let him back to bed, what did he expect? Yep. Sex. And when I point blank refused he continued pestering. One thing I recommend – as soon as you find out go for STD tests. I did that the day after I found out, at our family doctors and it was so humiliating. I was very close with my 4 sisters. They haven’t spoken to me since my discovery because I chose to stay. It won’t go away. And in January this year, I awoke one morning to find him watching porn IN THE BED RIGHT NEXT TO ME. As you’ve all realised, I’m spitting venom. But I can’t talk to him because he clams up. He asked how he could help, I’ve told him how and he won’t do it. And he’s changed in the bedroom. It’s like he’s reliving his sex with her through me (plus, of course, he’s started doing different, bizarre things he wants to try from his porn viewing). The biggest issue? Falling in love is easy. But I can’t fall OUT of love, so I’m in limbo (the first circle of hell for Dante fans). Every day I struggle. I’m type 2 bipolar as well, making it harder (one of his many excuses was my illness). I feel old, hideous, unattractive and sad. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I’m open to answers. My first love has been my biggest support, he has restored a lot of my confidence, phones me and adores me. And no, I’m not having a physical affair with him, he lives overseas with his cheating wife (oh the irony). He’s the only person who makes me feel good about myself and that in itself is messed up. My husband and I have been together 21 years. We’d been together 18 years when he fell head over heels for her (when I asked what she looked like? “Oh, a lot like you, but taller (I’m 4’11” to his 6’3″) and longer hair” and smiled. As if it were a compliment!!! Yes, I have ranted, but it shows just how angry a person can be even though the discovery was nearly 2 years ago. Will this EVER pass? I wish you all love and luck and sincerely hope that you are all coping better than I am!!

  19. Why is this acceptable- I’ve been married for 30 years. I recently found out he’s been cheating on and off our entire marriage. I honestly had no idea until about a year ago. Talk about abuse of trust, now we are still married but honest to Pete I don’t like him at all. I feel and he said – not sure if he’s being honest- but I did everything yet he still cheated. I want to move on but I’m staying for financial reasons. I want to be petty and cheat as well, why not!

  20. To Don, Suzie…I’ve been married 40 yrs this year. We have 2 children, 1 grandson. My husband had an affair with a co-worker 33 years ago. (He’d been transferred to a new job and started immediately, I stayed at the old house for a couple months to sell house, give my job 60 days notice, before joining him. He’d been living in a motel up until then. Quickly bought a house. I was pregnant with our first child.)
    It was very obvious to me he had something going on. She called nights, weekends. Sometimes he “had” to go back into work, he often got home after midnight. When I confronted him he denied it. I called him a liar , moved him into guest room. Life got busy with child. A year later, transferred 1000 miles away, we moved again and affair was over. Never mentioned again.
    33 years later I still remember it though husband doesn’t even remember her name (I asked him about her the other day).
    Despite time and distance (and his obvious lack of continued feelings for the woman), my feelings for my husband and our marriage never returned to the way they were before the affair.

  21. Sorry, hit enter too soon.
    Looking back (20/20 hindsight), I wonder if it would have been better to have left the marriage 33 years ago. Maybe found a new relationship that would have had the same trust, intimacy etc that my marriage had before the affair. (My sex life never recovered. It takes a level of vulnerability and trust in your partner to be completely comfortable and sexually uninhibited and that is usually lost after an affair).

  22. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. I found out 2 years ago that he and my cousin had been sexting each other. He’s in prison now (unrelated). He didn’t even delete their texts!! Yes that’s how I found out. It hurt/s like hell STILL!!!

  23. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. I found out 2 years ago that he and my cousin had been sexting each other. He’s in prison now (unrelated). He didn’t even delete their texts!! Yes that’s how I found out. It hurt/s like hell STILL!!!
    He got 4.5 years and has already done 2 of the 4.5. He calls everyday (2 x) i go visit him when I can. Am I stupid for wanting to fix this?

  24. My husband had an emotional affair with a woman he was engaged to 40 yrs ago
    I came home and he said I think still in love with her
    She with him
    The relationship ended he let it fizzle out instead of saying sorry I made a mistake it’s over he didn’t do that and it bothers me she is a somebody he broke the engagement over the phone
    She kept seeing him back then I met him 6 years later
    They continued to talk for 4 months he said he made a mistake and is sorry but I’m hurt and don’t know how to handle this
    Help!!!

  25. I am another one, after 21 yrs of marriage. He did it and he lied, many times confronted him and he lied many times until I was able to confirm what he did. I know who is she, and she knows who I am. Now he said is a mistake. Is no mistake on this. He choose to to this. I screamed I cried, but I am done. i told him I deserve respect, my family deserv respect and If he leave to make sure that is for ever because I will not accept him back. I told him if he decides to stay he have to finish that relationship immediately and cut any ties with her and the circle of friends they had. He break my trust and I don’t know if I will be able to get that back ever. I break my heart and I don’t know if I can heal from this, but hell yeah I will fight for what I built for 21 years. I am willing to work on this but he will have to work harder than me, because is just one me in this world. I am hurt, I am devastated but not giving up on my family.

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