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Trouble with mental NC

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bookjunkie posted 3/7/2014 11:43 AM

I have trouble with mental NC...not always but it seems to come in cycles. I will go weeks of not thinking much about xAP and what his life is like now. And then I hit a down time and thoughts of him and his life are in the front of my mind. Sometimes during these periods I will search info for him on FB. Well the last couple of days I have done this and I think I'm finally realizing that I'm just hurting myself. Because I want xAP to suffer (because I feel that I am) and I don't like to see that his life is seemingly going well, it just gets me all bent out of shape. And then I kick myself for looking.

So, please tell me what you have done to help break that mental contact....tricks, realizations, etc.

LosferWords posted 3/7/2014 11:53 AM

Try to visualize a stop sign in your head, and every time you start to think of the AP, think of that stop sign.

Also, try to think of better things that you could be spending that mental energy on. What are your hobbies and interests? Think of those. Think of your loved ones, instead.

It is your mind, and you are in control of it.

Just a couple of suggestions that have worked for me. Best of luck to you.

Jovie posted 3/7/2014 12:08 PM

Try to think of how your BS would feel or react knowing that you are looking him up.

I also hope my xAP is suffering, but I think since I have no idea how he is doing, it helps curb my thoughts at that. Looking at his FB is just going to give you more ammo to think about.

familyfirst posted 3/7/2014 12:55 PM

I have the same problem. I've read a lot of info on this site and a couple tricks that seem to work for me are:
1) If you are remembering a time you were together and how great it was, picture your BS (and kids?) watching you without you knowing it. That has really helped destroy a lot of my 'happy' memeories

2) Picture AP saying and doing the same things he did with you - to his wife or a new partner. How it's just one of his moves. This will make you like him less

3) and the BEST advice I've read, is when you can't get AP out of your head, look around the room and list the colors/items you see. Blue chair, white wall, brown shoes, etc. So dumb, but this will help keep you in the PRESENT. It doesn't take long to get bored with that and then you find something much better to think about!

[This message edited by familyfirst at 10:08 AM, April 30th (Wednesday)]

badchoice posted 3/7/2014 13:01 PM

My IC tells me that when I start to obsess about things, to look underneath at what I am feeling at the time and try to identify those feelings.

IC says that the cycle is a way to avoid feeling what really is going on inside. its a way to mask or avoid feelings.

So next time you want to do that, explore what you are feeling, and allow yourself to feel that instead.

20WrongsVs1 posted 3/7/2014 13:20 PM

You're asking what worked? For me it was the realization that AP, the person, was a non-entity. AP coulda been any damaged jerk-off looking to boost his ego and get laid. It took me quite awhile to get there, so the other answer to "what worked" is the passage of time.

Because I want xAP to suffer (because I feel that I am)

Really? FTG. You have no control over his life, and shouldn't be wasting any headspace on him.

I looked through a few of your posts and couldn't determine...is AP married?

At the risk of t/j'ing I'm gonna strongly question one of familyfirst's recommendations.

If you want him to suffer, think about how he will now have to always compare any partner to you, and how they will always fall short and he will live his life unsatisfied even if it looks good on the outside.

Pardon? Am I to understand that you're consoling yourself with thoughts of your poor AP being stuck with his inferior wife instead of you? If so, that is one of the most fucked-up perspectives I've ever read on SI. I'm open to the possibility that I'm misinterpreting you, though, so please disabuse me if I got that wrong.

bookjunkie posted 3/7/2014 13:43 PM

Thanks for the replies. I still have alot of work to do on myself.

One of my problems is I don't have any hobbies...I mean really. My H has told me since our first year of marriage that I needed to get a hobby....but I think I'm just lazy about it. For something to be a hobby, you have to work at it and I just never take the time to invest in anything that interests me. Except reading obviously. But I see it as an escape/coping problem for me now.

My IC tells me that when I start to obsess about things, to look underneath at what I am feeling at the time and try to identify those feelings.

I really need to work on this right here. ^^


3) If you want him to suffer, think about how he will now have to always compare any partner to you, and how they will always fall short and he will live his life unsatisfied even if it looks good on the outside.

Sorry, but I don't find this helpful at all....he is a serial cheater and I don't delude myself that I'm all that either.

20Wrongs - not only was he married, he was my H's best friend since childhood. I don't know if that makes it harder for me to let go or not...

bookjunkie posted 3/7/2014 13:51 PM

Also, a friend of mine that knows about the A told me this morning that I need to forgive the xAP. I told her I didn't know if I could do that. She told me that I need to forgive to let go. She suggested that I need to acknowledge that he hurt me and that he hurts me more now than during the actual A. But that to accept it and forgive will allow me to quit worrying about him and his life and whether or not he is having a bad or good time. Just an exercise to allow myself to allow him to let go of me.

And don't get me wrong, I know I chose to cheat with him. I don't see myself as a victim in this.

pastthelies posted 3/7/2014 13:56 PM

Hi bookjunkie. I know better as you do but every once in a while something makes me look and I did look on Facebook a few weeks ago and saw my xAP's dad had a stroke (we had a 5 year LTA - 1 year NC). Hard not to recognize that or say something. Some good advice I received on here was: You don't know what you don't know. If I wouldn't have looked I wouldn't have known, felt bad and stressed myself out.

I do wish my xAP misery. I found that time helps, at the beginning it was all I could think about. As time goes by I do less and less. I try to stay busy. If I get thoughts I try to start doing something - come on here, clean, get out with my girls, go to the store, start a new project at work. My hardest times were on my drive to and from work an hour to an hour and a half each way. I listen to the radio loud or I call a friend.

I don't know if this helped but busy has worked for me. Good luck, it may just take a little time.

authenticnow posted 3/7/2014 15:51 PM

Once I truly committed to complete transparency and honesty I knew that whatever I did I'd have to tell my H, or answer truthfully any questions he might ask.

So, if the thought of looking him up on FB crosses your mind, think- How would BS feel about this? or Is this something I want to have to tell my BH? It will stop you, and each time you don't do it gets you closer to mental NC.

Do nothing that would hurt your BH, or compromise your integrity or your R. That becomes your new pattern/habit.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 3/7/2014 16:25 PM

Because I want xAP to suffer (because I feel that I am) and I don't like to see that his life is seemingly going well, it just gets me all bent out of shape. And then I kick myself for looking.

What are you expecting to find? Do you really think that he is going to write that he had an affair with his best bud's wife and now that the cat is out of the bag things really suck? Do you think he is going to post in there that his wife really stuck it to him because he isn't being remorseful enough? That he had to sleep on the couch again because he is such an asshole? Let's be realistic. What do you have on your FB page? I imagine some nicey pics of your friends and family. I suppose you post things that are pretty vague or inconspicuous regarding your personal situation, right? I don't imagine you are broadcasting the pain you are in for all the world to see.

So searching for "suffering" is never going to happen. So is that really why you are looking? Or is it because you still miss him or are holding onto fond memories? You need to figure out what your true motivation for looking is. Then you can stop the behavior.

Have you told your BH that you have been creeping on your xAP's FB page? That's probably information he would want to know. If you haven't, it's most likely because you know it would hurt him. Could possibly be a deal breaker. And those are the things you need to think about before acting.

[This message edited by WalkinOnEggshelz at 4:25 PM, March 7th (Friday)]

familyfirst posted 3/10/2014 09:15 AM

Man, sometimes you all can be so mean! She asked:

So, please tell me what you have done to help break that mental contact....tricks, realizations, etc

Why not just tell her and reserve the judgement/punishment at her for asking? FWIW my IC says the WS must grieve the loss of the AP before they can truly move on. Grief has many stages and one of those is anger. It's ok for her to be mad and want some suffering, that phase won't last forever.

Deeply Scared posted 3/10/2014 09:31 AM

familyfirst...

No one is being mean. Because there are different opinions being made doesn't mean they are wrong.

If our counselor would have told me I must grieve the loss of the OP, I would have told her to get into a different field because infidelity isn't her specialty.

I don't think it's realistic to think anyone can turn their feelings on or off like a light switch, but to actually grieve the loss of the person that helped cause such pain? No way. Grieving the loss of how that person made me feel is much different than grieving the loss of him. Imho.

Apple3point14 posted 3/10/2014 09:56 AM

Checking his Facebook page, googling him and the like is not just "mental NC". It is actively seeking him out. What pops into your brain you may not be able to help. Going to computer,logging on and looking at his page is a series of conscious steps. It is actually the same Road you were on when cheating, just not at the same mile marker.Thoughts will fade if you don't feed them. You also mention you want him to suffer. Understandable, but it might do you better to worry about making your BH's like easier in this storm you brought. Stop feeding the beast!!
It might help to make this a little less about you right now. I'm not trying to be mean. Think about it

[This message edited by Apple3point14 at 10:08 AM, March 10th (Monday)]

floridaredman posted 3/10/2014 17:00 PM

bookjunkie,
Think of it this way....

Every time you give him room in your head, your handing him the power he had over you during the affair all over again.

The very thing you called yourself weak and easy about, you do it all over again by seeking him out and letting him occupy your mind to the point of visual contact.

Your ashamed...that's understandable
You thought you were stronger than you were to fall for his crap

You thought you could play along and not get sucked in

You know now you couldn't at that time.
NOW you really know where you stood and where you stand now.
Don't let shame and ego destroy the wisdom you obtained

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