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Can't get images out of my head... Advice on how to stop?

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lilmonkey posted 2/4/2014 23:21 PM

Hi all,

I am in a successful R with an extremely remorseful WBF who has done everything in his power to fix this relationship. We get in the occasional argument/upset fight where I just cry and ask him why he did this and he just holds me and says he's sorry, it was biggest mistake of his life, etc.

I find that I barely think about it during the day, however all of a sudden I am starting to get all these images of them two together. It just flooded out of no where: them kissing in some random bed, her giving him head (I think of this one the most explicitly) and even though I have forgiven him, thinking of these images makes me EXTREMELY mad and upset, like "WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME" among other things. But I honestly can't keep getting mad at him about this, because one day I tell him "I forgive you" and other days when I'm alone I just think of these images, I can't get them out of my head, and I think to myself what the FUCK was he thinking (pardon my language!). The blowjob one is getting me the worst, especially since I give him oral sex a lot and sometimes it rattles me to the core but I haven't told him yet for a fear of dimming our sex life, which has been great so far and I don't want to ruin by making it depressing.

He's also started using a different method when I'm upset with him. Whenever I used to cry about the incident to him, he would just hold me and say he's sorry, I'm the only one he loves, he made such a big mistake and he has done everything in his power to fix it. Now, he says stuff like "I can't change what I've done in the past, but I'm willing to fight for our future". I think he's getting confused/unsure of what else he can say when I'm upset or ask him "WHY?" mostly because he is a completely different person than he was last year so it is true, he can't change what he did in the past and no amount of me crying will change it.

But I still can't get these images out of my head, so I feel like I have to constantly bring it up. What do I do? Do any of you have advice on how to get them out of your head?!

LA44 posted 2/5/2014 07:54 AM

((lilmonkey)), I am sorry. I know it is a painful thing to experience time and again.

My H had a 2 year PA and just the other night we started getting intimate and I had this vision of him with her. It was so sudden and real. I pulled away. He asked what was wrong and I told him. He just held me to and told me how it was just me and him, how sorry he was.

I do believe you need to let him know that you experience these images. This is a very real repercussion of his actions. I let my H know when the image occurs when we are intimate. If I have a thought during the day, I don't call him up to tell him.

I also read that writing a trauma out on a piece of paper and then physically destroying it helps the brain rest. The brain recognizes it as dealing with the issue and altho it won't automatically stop, your brain has felt some relief.

After that, I recommend saying STOP! or PISS OFF! Or whatever helps and then go to the present. The now. Ask yourself, "Is this real NOW?" The answer is, NO! But first, I really believe you have to talk to your BF and address the mental hold this is having on you.


painpaingoaway posted 2/5/2014 08:13 AM

I have a cure that has worked for many people here on SI that I have shared it with. However, it is rather foul, and might be upsetting to some people, so I do not post it publicly. If you want me to share it with you, just PM me, but be aware, it may not be your cup of tea.

bionicgal posted 2/5/2014 08:38 AM

You are so early on, lilmonkey -- be patient with yourself. My H and I have probably been intimate 150 times since dday, and I still get those feelings and images. Not every time, and not with the same intensity as I once did, but ironically, last night was bad for me as well. Mine are less visual than "I guess he told her that too,", or "I guess he felt that way with her as well," or "He enjoyed seeing her do X as well." Ugh. It sucks.

You do need to share with him though. I understand not wanting to be the "downer" all the time, but it is your reality right now, and if you process and move through it, it won't always be that way.


SorrowBhindSmile posted 2/5/2014 09:22 AM

honestly, i am 13 months out and i still struggle with sex. it is very very difficult to stop the mind movies. Be kind to yourself. this is a huge trauma. there is no right or wrong, and there is no time table.

in the very beginning when i found out about the A, the first thing i did was to find out all the things they didn't do together. for example, they never took a bath together, they never had shower sex, they never gave each other massages. So when we were intimate, we would start with those things...things that were all mine...things he never gave the OW. I could keep in my head "she never got this from my WH". it helped to keep the mind movies at bay.

I have talked to my MC about this. it is still something i work on, but some suggestions she gave me were as follows...

if you feel bad, stop. don't force it. Its OK to stop. be honest and talk about what you are feeling.

Only do what you are able to do. If there is a particular act that triggers you, just dont do it. do what you can, and build from there.

when the mind movies come, replace it with your own mind movie. She told me to think about my fantasies, my desires. Create my own mind movie...and when we were in the act, if something crept up on me, switch it out and play that movie instead.

hugs to you

BrokenButTrying posted 2/5/2014 10:21 AM

FWW here, hope you don't mind me commenting.

Our MC (who is also a psycho-sexual therapist) suggested to my BH, who was suffering with almost constant mind movies, that he wear an elastic band around his wrist. Whenever the images started he was to snap the band forcefully against his skin and give a command in his head like 'STOP' or 'GO AWAY'.

My BH was sceptical, he said it wouldn't work but he would try. Two weeks later and the mind movies are gone. He still wears the band just in case but he says he doesn't use it anymore.

Might be worth a try for you too?

sisoon posted 2/5/2014 11:02 AM

I've asked my W about images - that is, I've asked if her experience matches the images. Usually they didn't, and I think that helped make them go away. (Guess it still does - I still get the images now and then and remind myself W says the images are just my imagination.)

lilmonkey posted 2/6/2014 00:43 AM

Thank you all so much for the advice, I've been trying it out over the past day or so and I really think it's helping. This is why I love SI.

I have yet to tell my WBF though. Today we were physically intimate and I told him I wasn't giving him oral sex today without reason. He didn't ask, but I think he just thought I was tired or lazy, not because I was thinking about the mind movies (he usually asks me if he thinks I'm upset about it).

I struggle to tell him when we are physically intimate for a fear of putting a damper on our sex life, but it only pops up in my head when we are intimate. Do I just tell him when we are in a non-intimate setting?

UKlady posted 2/6/2014 03:37 AM

lilmonkey it really sucks (no pun intended - oh and excuse possible inappropriate humour ).

Let me share something I've shared before on here which was advice from my IC:

My IC suggested picturing the mind movie that I have playing in black and white and poor quality - she said to project it onto a blank wall, large size. Then she asked if I could picture a good movie of me and WH - which I can ('twas quite explicit! ) and for this to play bottom left of the big movie in small size but colour and in HD. Next I had to stretch that small, glorious movie right over the top of the poor quality black and white one and focus on that!

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do all this - it seemed lengthy in some ways but then I was almost setting up the screen and projector first!! - but ultimately what I was able to do was actually use the word 'swish' - which in my mind changed itself to 'switch' somehow and I found I was able to completely change what I was thinking!

I do agree about telling your other half about this and yes, it can be difficult when you're about to become intimate. I'd persevere though as he needs to know the reasons and that it isn't just you being lazy or tired (even though why shouldn't you!! tbh!).

SisterMilkshake posted 2/6/2014 07:33 AM

Everyone has excellent suggestions! I have found what may work for one person doesn't work for another. We are all so different.

This is what I found worked for me. I flipped the situation. I make mind movies for OW. I at first imagined OW in a corner of our room watching us having fantastic sex. OW would be crying and very, very upset. OW would just shrivel up and disappear. And we would continue making a wonderful, fantastic, fabulous mind movie!

OW claimed FWH was the "Love of My Life". I kind of hope that is true. I imagine OW crying at night in its bed imagining FWH and I having fantastic sex. If we have mind movies, why wouldn't the discarded AP's? That gives me great satisfaction and motivation to continue to make the best mind movies evah!

bionicgal posted 2/6/2014 08:19 AM

This is why we love you, SM.

And I agree -- it sometimes help me to say to myself that this is my/our moment, and I don't want it interrupted. I may try the rubber band thing, though. Do they make sexy rubber bands? Hey, maybe I have found a niche market!

RemainingWed posted 2/7/2014 23:36 PM

I hate to be a huge downer (or potential thread jacker) - but am I alone in just feeling pure resentment that *I* have to go and learn new cognitive behaviors because *he* went and effed up my peace of mind? My libido sucked before he went and had his A, now I feel like sex will just never be fun or desirable again.
Any advice for the resentful or resistant?

lilmonkey posted 2/8/2014 14:06 PM

This is all so helpful! and I laughed out loud at your post, SisterMilkshake! I already know what OW's face is like when she's upset, since she sees me almost every day with WBF and her face shrivels up and looks away because she knows she lost him as a friend and lost the respect of her friends.

To RemainingWed - I think we all feel like that after infidelity - why are WE the ones who have to fix everything, rebuild our emotional sanity, just because our SO was unfaithful and completely ruined us? It doesn't even have to be sexual when learning new cognitive behaviours, it could be mental too. It's something we all struggle with, the burning question, why do WE have to put in all this effort if THEY fucked up?

Well, I've come to realize that effort needs to be put in from BOTH ends if it is to ever work. If I was to put in no effort, and just assume that my SO will shine my shoes and lick them afterwards, he would feel unappreciated and like our R is going no where.

Similarly, if he was doing all he could possibly do but I was still playing mind-movies, constantly using it against him, looking down upon him for what happened... then I know in my head I will never be able to move past the infidelity.

That is why, RemainingWed, we change our behaviours. Because we want to work it out just as much as the remorseful SO does. Just like an affair takes two to tango (or three... or four.. you get my point), it also takes two to rebuild a relationship from the ground up. Hope that helps :)

((edited for grammar/spelling))

[This message edited by lilmonkey at 2:08 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

alleyk posted 2/8/2014 15:21 PM

SisterMilkshake that was the BEST suggestion I've heard!!! Thank you!

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