I actually hear this phrase quite often. There’s no question that dealing with the aftermath of a husband’s affair can be both painful and all-consuming, but sometimes, we allow it to sort of taking over our lives. And, occasionally, this goes on for such a length of time that it becomes unhealthy because it contributes to your dwelling on things so much that we don’t move forward and we don’t participate in the things that are available to us that might give us some joy, may just lighten our load, and may just help us heal.
I often hear phrases like “I’m trying very hard to move on, but I find myself thinking about this all the time. I think about his affair from the second I wake up in the morning to the time when I can barely fall asleep at night;” or “I can’t stop hounding and questioning him. I can’t leave it alone. I want to know each and every detail about the affair. I’m obsessed with knowing where they went and what they did. I ask my husband all sort of ridiculous questions from what kind of perfume she wore to what he was thinking when he did this.”
These things are completely understandable and it doesn’t mean that you’re losing it or that you can’t change course. It just means that you want information because he hid it from you for so long. And, it often means that you are trying to protect yourself from being blindsided again. You want to know how all of this went down so that you’ll never let it happen to you again.
Why You Might Be Obsessing About His Affair: As I said, this is often a direct reaction to being kept in the dark and deceived. Information has been kept from you, so it’s often an understandable inclination to almost want to collect information now. You often want to know absolutely EVERYTHING because you feel that this will give you some of your power back. But, you often do not realize that this obsession over collecting information is a never-ending cycle. Because the more you find out, the more you want to know. And as you get more information, you have more questions.
So this almost becomes a never-ending cycle which makes you feel worse rather than better. You begin to get angry with yourself and wonder what is the matter with you. You see other people able to move on and you wonder why you can’t be more like them. And sometimes, you decide that you’re going to do better and you aren’t going to obsess over it today only to find that these thoughts have plagued you even before breakfast.
I understand these challenges, but stopping this cycle starts with realizing that it’s really a road to nowhere. It makes you feel worse rather than better. Yes, you absolutely do need to know why and how this happened to you. You need to know the vulnerabilities and the warning signs. But, there is a fine line between these things and the small details that are going to drive you crazy and only feed into the cycle.
How To Stop The Obsession About His Affair And The Other Woman: Probably the thing that most people fixate on when they obsess over a husband’s affair is the other woman. Because you often think that this person and her qualities and attributes holds the key to understanding why a normally decent man could make such a huge mistake and have such a profound lack of good judgment. So, you want to know just what power she had over him and why.
But, this is sometimes an answer that you just aren’t going to get, at least to your complete satisfaction. Men often can’t articulate this and quite honestly, it often isn’t at all about her. It’s about him and how he was looking for improvements in his life and the way in which he felt about himself in the wrong and inappropriate places.
So often, I hear women say things like “the woman my husband cheated with is not even that pretty. She’s overweight and she’s not his type. What gives with this?” As I said, it’s often about how her presence makes him feel about himself rather than anything to do with her. And this is why knowing about her perfume or her habits or her personality is really not going to give you that insight and that closure that you are looking for.
How To Handle Constantly Obsessing Over A Husband’s Affair: The first thing is to recognize what is happening as it occurs. If you can at least give pause and think “Here we go again. The endless loop is starting,” you can begin to reprogram yourself to do something else at this point rather than going down that road again. The most healthy thing to do is to motivate yourself to do something good for you when these thoughts begin. Rather than going down that dead-end street, go work out, go out with friends, go shopping, or do whatever it takes to bring about positive emotions and experiences rather than negative ones.
I often tell people that the best thing that you can do is to focus on yourself, not them. Do what builds you up rather than what tears you down. You don’t owe this woman anything, but you are responsible to and for yourself. Don’t allow for her to hurt you any more than she already has. Move forward rather than backward. If you can do this slowly but surely, eventually when those thoughts come, you will no longer dread them, because you will know that they are the stimulus for you taking care of yourself. This will make them lose their power.
Finally, if these obsessions keep returning, ask yourself if there’s some issue that is still not being addressed. Do you still worry that your husband is not being honest or has not given you truthful and complete information? If this is the case, tell him that this is keeping you stuck and ask him to help you. Sometimes, this will help significantly. Other times, it’s not the lack of information or his indifference that is the problem. It’s that you are stuck in a loop of thinking that must be interrupted and rerouted to really stop once and for all.