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Stopping the thoughts

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Marriedman2013 posted 2/2/2014 07:39 AM

Tough subject and i dont see it talked about much here, but how do you stop the thoughts of XAP. I have tried many things, even visualizing a stop sign, whenever my thoughts stray to her. I try to actively focus on my sons, my wife, my job, but inevitably, she enters into my thoughts. My therapist keeps reminding me about reality based thinking and staying present in the moment....focusing on what my family means to me, and what my wife and i have built together.

It would be easier if I hated her but I don't. Before the affair started we were two good people that were good friends and then made an incredibly selfish and bad choice. All of the guilt, shame that i have inside and all the hurt and destruction that I have caused, still hasn't stopped thoughts of her from creeping back in.

So I guess my question is what tools/techniques have others used when they find their thoughts going back to the affair or XAP.

Kap12 posted 2/2/2014 08:11 AM

If my mind starts wondering to AP I often think of what being with him has done to me and my family. Lately I have been focusing on making me and my marriage better. Focus on the future and don't dwell on the past.

Mrs Panda posted 2/2/2014 09:49 AM

Does your BW know about your A?

I was going to suggest that when those thoughts creep in, picture your wife when she was at her lowest and most devastated. But if you have not confessed then it is not a tool you can use.

Realize that every time you think fondly of the OP it is like twisting a dagger in the BS.

I snapped an elastic band on my wrist HARD and that helped a lot. A trick I learned on here.

SandAway posted 2/2/2014 11:53 AM

every time you think fondly of the OP it is like twisting a dagger in the BS.

x 1000

JustDesserts posted 2/2/2014 20:05 PM

I bumped Maia's thread for you. Have a look - I hope it helps.

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/2/2014 20:30 PM

It's actually discussed a lot, because many of us struggled with it.

My therapist says it's not so much about the person, as the feelings associated with the affair. When you catch yourself thinking about AP, try to take a second and see if you're stressed or sad, or whatever. Thinking about her may be a temporary balm to what's ailing you at the moment.

Has your therapist talked about the affect of trying to stop a thought? When you interrupt a thought, it can get stuck in the amygdala (I think) instead of passing through and being stored in memory. So when your AP intrudes, let the thought of her pass through. Then redirect to something else.

Over time, if you're consistent, she'll fade.

Oh, and another thing. Stop defending AP. Good person and friend? My ass. She's a damaged, pathetic shithead who thought it was ok to fuck another woman's husband. Maybe she's seek redemption, who knows, but that's not your problem. FTB.

3xloser posted 2/2/2014 21:01 PM

^ Last paragraph.

Marriedman2013 posted 2/3/2014 05:01 AM

Thanks just desserts, i will copy that into my daily readings.

Trying33 posted 2/3/2014 10:38 AM

All the obvious things helped; distraction, positive thinking etc but I had to go through the withdrawal, I really don't think there's any shortcuts. If it's any consolation, the thoughts really do fade until one day it reaches evening and you realise you haven't thought about AP at all, all day.

smez posted 2/3/2014 13:03 PM

There was a good post on indifference. I like bits of it because it was the path I need to go on. To be indifferent. Not to hate, not to love but to be indiferrent. I do think that time helps. I have found that redirection of thoughts works as well. When I catch myself thinking about him, I redirect to other things.

20WrongsVs1, I like everything about your post EXCEPT for the last paragraph which I felt was unnecessary. You are name calling a woman you don't know anything about.

HUFI-PUFI posted 2/3/2014 13:52 PM

Marriedman2013 - my question is what tools/techniques have others used when they find their thoughts going back to the affair or XAP.

I've bumped up the thread that smez mentioned.

Depending on the amount of entanglement that you had with the AP, achieving indifference can be something that takes TIME to resolve. While indulging in the affair fantasy is equal to emotional contact, fleeting thoughts of the AP are to be expected as your sub-conscious mind brings up memories due to triggers. Give it time for the indifference to set in and take root.


[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 1:52 PM, February 3rd (Monday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/3/2014 21:50 PM

Hi smez, I hate to slightly t/j, but I'm going to respond here instead of PM'ing you.

You''re new, so I totally get why you bristled at my "namecalling." See, I''m a *recovering* pathetic shithead who was totally cool with fucking other women''s husbands. So, I gotta disagree with you and say, I know all I need to know about OP''s AP. It ain''t "namecalling" if it''s true.

My point was, as long as OP sees the AP as "a friend" and "a good person," he''s more likely to have fond thoughts of her. Reframing her as a flawed, damaged soul whose presence in his life was nothing but toxic...may help him evict her from his mind.

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 9:50 PM, February 3rd, 2014 (Monday)]

smez posted 2/4/2014 01:21 AM


Me being new doesn't excuse your name calling. Read what he actually wrote..."BEFORE the affair", we were both good people...

I'm inclined to believe him. I don't think he or the A started out horrible people bent on hurting people. I believe he was good friends with her and now he screwed up his marriage and a friendship. That I understand.

I read your profile and let me go out on a limb here because I see the same type of people name call on threads ALL the time. It bothers YOU that he had a friendship with the A before it happened. It bothers YOU that he still thinks fondly of her...why?

My theory is that the ones doing most of the name calling are the ones that had ONS and A where they really didn't know the people that they were sleeping with. It drives them crazy to hear other people talk about their A in any other manner than disrespectful and rude.

Why because then you have to admit that you debased yourself for very little "currency"...a phrase that I have heard on other threads. It doesn't take an friendship or an "I love you" to get you to disrespect your wedding vows and spread your legs. It makes you feel dirty and cheap when you hear about other people's A that were friends or professed love to each other. It can't possibly be real because you didn't have that and it hurts to read how other people felt it did.

It is entirely possible to address his issue in a neutral kind of way.

They both made mistakes. They both are flawed people. They both ruined a friendship and he ruined his marriage. He needs help with coping methods to move on, which were provided to him in a nice, empathy way. See, no name calling.

I have no issue with HIM calling the AP names but I take issue with random people bashing other women based on their own basis. There is entirely to much of people calling other women "whores" and what not.

SlowUptake posted 2/4/2014 01:30 AM

Have to agree with 20WrongsVs1.

She's a damaged, pathetic shithead who thought it was ok to fuck another woman's husband.

Accurate description of a typical OW.

@Smez, I think it might be worth you looking into why you don't like we waywards being described simply as what we are. We are not good people who made an unfortunate mistake.
We are as 20WrongsVs1 so eloquently stated "damaged, pathetic shitheads" who willingly chose to cheat on our spouses. Our actions have determined what kind of person we are.
With a lot of work we can change our actions and hopefully redeem ourselves and be better people.

HUFI-PUFI posted 2/4/2014 07:25 AM

20WrongsVs1 - She's a damaged, pathetic shithead who thought it was ok to fuck another woman's husband.

Sorry for the T/J...

Damaged ... absolutely, as we all agree that at some level, all WS's have some internal damage that allowed us to enter into an affair when we knew that this behavior was immoral and wrong.

Pathetic ... perhaps, because quite a few of us have shown a remarkably long history of this bad behavior of cheating, lying and deception. Saying that we have a pathetic history of pathetic behaviors may be quite accurate at times.

Shithead ...this is probably where it went off the rails. This descriptor, IMHO, is indicative of the words used when anger, vindictiveness and hurt are the predominant feelings. To me, the use of this word is like throwing the word stupid or retarded into the conversation. Name calling.

Using the guidelines of fair fighting, it's better to focus your anger on behavior, not personality. "I'm pissed off at the horrible thing you did!" is much less likely to cause a negative reaction than "You're a horrible person!" Even in our protected forum, we should be striving to be fair and accurate in our words so this sort of thing doesn't occur.

- End of T/J -

[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 7:26 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/4/2014 12:50 PM

Sorry this turned into a namecalling debate. Not at all my intention, as I already clarified.

It makes you feel dirty and cheap when you hear about other people's A that were friends or professed love to each other.

Not only are you baselessly slinging mud, but your assessment is way off. This isn't about me, though, and the only person's assessment I care about is BH's.

The OP's question was, what tools/techniques do we use. I answered. YMMV.

smez posted 2/4/2014 13:04 PM

So you don't like it when a perfect stranger makes accusations after knowing nothing about your situation. Touche...I see I hit a nerve.

And for what it's worth, I liked your post minus the last paragraph.

Deeply Scared posted 2/4/2014 13:06 PM


Because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you hit a nerve.

Let it go.

Marriedman2013 posted 2/4/2014 22:17 PM

I think the choice that I made was selfish and shitty and my behavior during the affair was shitty(lying, etc) but in no way at my core do I believe I am a shitty person. Nor will I believe that my XAP is a shitty person at her core. Damaged, confused, lost....all yes, as i am too.

I understand what others have to do to heal from their situation, but that is not the route that is benefical for me

SlowUptake posted 2/5/2014 02:00 AM

That's OK Marriedman2013.
I'm sure Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, General Petraeus, Ashton Kutcher, Kristen Stewart, Jesse James and other infamous cheaters don't think they are a shitty person either, despite evidence to the contrary.


but that is not the route that is benefical for me

Shouldn't you be concerned about what's more beneficial to your BS at this point in time, since I assume she is still unaware that she has been cheated on?
Here's a final suggestion for you, confess, I guarantee that will drive thoughts of your AP from your mind.
Notice how I didn't put an X in front of AP. The reason is that if you still think fondly of your AP the affair is not over. The embers are still there just waiting for a moment of stress or weakness to re-ignite the flame.

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 4:51 AM, February 5th (Wednesday)]

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