One of the most challenging things I had to face after the realization that my husband was having an affair was the ongoing, and unrelenting mental images of him with his lovers. During the course of our marriage my husband had two different physical affairs within a two year period. Both were with women considerably younger than me and women who were notably more attractive than I believed I was. In this age that we live in it’s almost impossible for a woman not to know what the other woman looks like. A quick online search typically pulls up countless sites filled with images and detailed information including age, livelihood and even friendships. So there I was confronted with the images of what my husband’s lovers looked like. Those images haunted my thoughts day and night for months.
It’s very difficult not to allow your thoughts to wander to what it looked like when your husband was lost in the throes of passion with his lover. You imagine what they each were doing to the other, as well as what he may have said to her. You base all of those imaginative thoughts on your own experiences with him. It’s natural for any woman to do that. It can happen at any time of the day. I actually found it to be more of a problem when my husband and I engaged in intimacy. There were times when I had to stop what was happening because I was so overwhelmed by the mental images of him engaging in the same things with his lovers.
Stopping these thoughts is crucial to reclaiming your marriage and your own self confidence. I realize that it’s not as easy as saying to yourself that you won’t think about them together again. Of course you will. It’s part of the healing process but you do need to learn how to control the amount of time you spend obsessing over it.
How to Get Past the Mental Images of His Affair
Here are the steps I took when I wanted to rid myself of the mental images of my husband’s affairs:
I deleted all photos I had saved of his lovers. As I mentioned, the internet makes it very easy to find images of just about anybody your heart desires. If you’re like me, you’ve saved images of your husband’s lover. Delete those now as well as any bookmarks you may have saved to sites that contained information or images. This makes it easier to forget exactly what she looks like.
Start seeing the beauty in yourself. I know firsthand how easy it is to fall into the emotional trap of comparing yourself to the woman your husband cheated with. You have to do everything within your power to avoid doing that. You and her are not the same person. She’s bound to have qualities you don’t possess just as you’re bound to have qualities she doesn’t have. Don’t beat yourself up by comparing her looks to yours. You’re very different women.
Set a new thought pattern. The easiest way to stop thinking about your husband with his lover is to automatically think of something more positive when those negative thoughts flood you. What I did was I placed an elastic band on my wrist and each time I thought of my husband and his mistress, I’d pull on the elastic. That sudden sting changed my thought pattern. I focused on my kids at that moment and how grateful I was for them. This worked for me with some effort. Pick something very positive within your own life to focus on when you start thinking about your husband’s affair.
It takes time to heal after an affair. You can’t expect to forget the details overnight but you can make a conscious choice not to focus on them. Remember, that you are still just as desirable and attractive as you were before your husband made the decision to cheat. His choices are not an indicator of how desirable a woman you are.
There are effective ways to get over the pain of the affair and get on the path towards healing your marriage. Learn what they are here.