I think we all would. I'm not sure it works like that. IMO you, for yourself need to figure out what label and box you put her in. What is the story of the two of you? Write that story once and for all and move on. We all will have our own versions and they should be consistent with our values. I'm good with mine.
We like to be able to say to ourselves, "This is the story of my life", and be reasonably confident that it's the truth (or at least our truth). I think at some point the AP just needs to be another character that has passed in and out of your life and affected it, with the same importance as the other people that have done that.
I used to thing about OM all the time. I was always looking for him in the crowd. I was always on edge just waiting for him to show up. I would think about what I would do if he did.
But my WW never talked much about details no matter how much I asked. Hers was a LTA. She would conveniently forget. And would say how could she remember all the places her and OM went over the many years there were together? So everywhere we went I wondered if she had been there with OM. I has so much uncertainty and I questioned everything. It was on my mind ALL the time.
Then we moved.
We are in a completely different city. 2000 miles from where the LTA happened. OM is 2000 miles away.
Now I dont think about places we go together because I know they never went there. I feel more comfortable now. The only time I really strongly trigger now is when she travels out there by herself to visit our grand kids.
I still think about her LTA. I think about it every day. Many times a day. Its there always spinning away in the back of my mind. Its easier to let go of though.
I know its not possible for everyone to move to a new city. But doing that really helped me.
I pulled the covers back this morning and said, "enough of this shit!"
I was doing so well....but the call threw me and you cannot imagine how ticked I am with myself for letting thoughts take over.
But I think we get to a point of exhausting ourselves. We know we can do better then think about this person. Today I will just tell myself, "Do better. Do better. Do better." as I am coughing up a lung and blowing my nose!
Hugs to you.
Sure, we have a nice evening planned. But still...
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...
I work in behavioral health. I see people who actually REALLY ARE MENTALLY unstable. I mean really. The worst of the worst. So its really sad for those who have a more self control in the matter and choose not to use it.
I take care in knowing that I know better and thus do better and that will ALWAYS BE BETTER.
I too struggle with how much mental space OW takes up------we are 2 3/4 years out & I still think of her every day with hatred.
I know that one reason I have not been able to move on quicker is because she still works in the same building with WH. Every morning when he leaves for work I wonder if he will run into her today. I want to trust him, but if I don't know what he is doing during his lunch hour, or if he is a little late coming home, I get suspicious.
I have often thought how much different it would be if she was far away, out of our daily lives.
The only idea that seems to help a little is :
"NC means NC, by both WS and BS. " Thinking about her is, in a way, a sort of contact.
I do have to admit, tho, that she has become less & less important.
I felt tremendous pressure to take WH back to keep the family together for the kids, & so I am sure I transferred some of my anger from him to her, since I was trying to R with him.
More and more, as time passes, I see that she is not important. What is important is what is going on/has gone on between WH & I.
But, she creeps in on occasion. Yesterday being one because it was her bday. I stalked her for about 4 seconds before I was like, "wtf? she is so irrelevant to me now." If I am going to dick off at work, I'd rather shop for shoes or pin ideas for my fantasy cabin.
Bionic, I have no doubt you will get there. But in all things recovery, you have to....drumroll....give yourself some slack and some time. I think there is a reason to think about her and watch for her now. Your wounds are still fresh. I have no doubt though that it will continue to lessen and in a year or so you will become invisible to you.