Disclaimer: This is not my post. It's a repost of a post called "Steps to Stop Obsessing & Heal" from a member named W3IRZ who, last I heard, is happily reconciled. At the time she wrote it, she was about 2 years out and estimated herself to be probably 95% healed and fully reconciled with her fWH. The post is something I came across when I was very new here, far too new to be ready to apply these steps myself. That said, it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time and I flagged the post as something to refer to and come back to when it was (hopefully) applicable (and I did). I came across the post again recently and felt that it was worth sharing with our current community. I know it wont be applicable to everyone here (and I have no doubt some people will have quibbles with it) but I hope someone else finds it as helpful as I did.
This advice that I am going to say doesn't apply to the people in the first year after DDAY or there abouts. This applies to the people whose spouse has recommitted to them. Their spouse is trying to do right. They might fail sometimes (not cheating) because they are human, but overall they are becoming exactly the spouse you want. They may even have some trickle truth, but they are shedding their deceitful layers and are truly trying to serve you. You MUST feel safe in order to follow these steps, so don't attempt this too soon. But if you feel that you mostly have the details you need and that you feel mostly that your partner is now truthful and committed, then you can do these.
First remember YOU are in control of your healing. YOU - not the WS. The WS can certainly help things out by listening non-defensively and always being transparent. That is a must. But ultimately it takes you deciding to heal.
1) I remind myself of my current truth right now. I remind myself that this happened to me and isn't happening to me now. So I put it in perspective anytime it comes up. I remind myself that my current life is safe. Simply I don't dwell on the past, but acknowledge it as something that is shame, but that happened. People go through shit every single day and still persevere. My shit seems worse than their shit because I am going through it. There are people out there going through worse shit and they move on with their lives without it controlling them. Become a survivor. It is a choice and it is possible. So when you have a trigger - don't spend loads of time on it. Acknowledge it as valid. Admit that it did happen, but isn't currently happening and then refocus on the present or the future. In the beginning, plan what you will divert your thoughts to instead of obsessing. For example, something your kids are doing that is really awesome or something you are really thankful for -- like your parents being alive still or working on a class to further yourself. The idea is to limit the time you are obsessing by replacing it with positive thoughts of something else. It takes a lot of practice.
2) Draw a line in the sand. I know that there will always be some detail I can draw up that I haven't learned. There will always be some little thing that I forgot to ask during discovery and I can ask it now and then it will feel like trickle truth, right? But why? Why are you really doing that? I mean you might for a while, but it doesn't mean your spouse has deceived you. It might mean you hadn't asked that question before or in that detail. So at some point, you have to ask yourself why you are asking questions. What purpose do they serve. I'll be honest with you, my husband sometimes says why are we talking about this and it snaps me back to my reality. The details are fascinating in a sick, Jerry Springer kind of way. It's easy to get caught up asking details. At this point, my husband has told me enough details. I KNOW he isn't harboring secrets anymore and I know that he isn't reminiscing about the A. In fact it makes him sick. So when he says "why are we talking about this" I am good with dropping it. The OW doesn't deserve anymore time. With that said, my husband would entertain conversations if I asked him to. He just sees that I am starting down a path that isn't going to help me heal. It only sends me to a place that I don't need to go any longer. I am not rug sweeping. We've covered everything and it just doesn't need anymore attention. Or at least not rabbit hole attention. So if you have a question that you really want to know (again this is beyond your discovery stage. this is after you know most details), then ask the question, but don't dwell on it. Ask it like you are asking the grocer what product they recommend. It is an inquiry, not a "lets drudge this up and ruminate on it for a long period of time" thing. Get the information that you need and then remind yourself that it is in the past. Truthfully now I realize that when I ask questions is the ONLY time my husband even thinks about her. I mean he is remorseful and all, but he gives HER no attention in his mind. Why do I want to make him think of her anymore? I have discovered that mostly I don't need anymore details as long as I stay focused on my wonderful present and future. So I ask my question. He answers. I ponder it for a few minutes and then I say o.k. lets talk about something else. I simply move on. The details just aren't as important as our current life is now.
3) Get off the fence. I mean it. Some people fence sit as a way to punish their spouse. Some just can't decide. But ultimately fence sitting makes YOUR life miserable. Fence sit in the beginning while you are accessing for sure, but there comes a time to make a decision. Otherwise your healing is delayed. Fence sitting makes you have to go over the details again and again because you need to justify the fence sitting or you are still trying to decide so if you just go over the details one more time maybe you will find some magic answer. Could this happen again? Sure it can but no amount of fence sitting will prevent it. You want to prevent it? Go all in. You have a better shot of it all working then. Of course your spouse needs to be all in too. Take a risk and decide to go all in or all out.
4) Change your mindset. I am not a grudge holder. I never have been. I feel that it is wasted energy. It is energy I could spend doing great things instead of thinking of wrong someone did me. I'm not telling you to forgive, but instead remind yourself that no amount of resentment will change what happened. That is out of your control and accept that you can only control your reaction to it. Remind yourself that you are too good to spend anymore energy holding that grudge. Let it go. When you start feeling resentful, remind yourself that you are doing everything you can to be the best spouse possible and that no matter if you hold onto resentment or not, you can not control your spouse. Try to have a list of good qualities your spouse has. There have to be some or why would you want to reconcile. Then refocus on their good qualities. Is your spouse a good parent or thoughtful in certain ways. Hey my husband does all of our laundry. That right there is pretty damn amazing. What is it that your spouse does that you can focus on to make you refocus on their good parts rather than their bad parts?
5) In addition to changing your mindset about holding a grudge, also start deciding to be a survivor instead of a victim. I find that when I get most upset is when I am thinking "I can't believe this happened to me". Well of course this shouldn't happen to anyone. It shouldn't.
I don't wish this on the worst person in the world. No one deserves this. But staying stuck in the "why me" place causes you to stay in victim mode. When I started with the attitude of "this shouldn't have happened to me, but it did. Now I need to persevere" I began to really make huge strides. I no longer wanted to ruminate on details because that was the victim who wanted to ruminate, the survivor wanted to stand up, dust myself off, adjust my crown and walk with my head tall. The survivor emerged and wasn't going to let something that she had no control of hold her back from the wonderful life she was missing out on because she was upset about "how could this happen to me". Next time you are completely crying and upset and on the verge of the rabbit hole, ask yourself "am I thinking why me?" I bet anything you are caught up in that moment in those thoughts. While I actually think it is o.k to shed those tears and acknowledge those feelings as valid, I think healing begins when you give those feelings a time limit. So once you've cried and let it out, then say to yourself "time is up, time to adjust my crown and be wonderful again".
We were victims. That is absolutely true. I am no longer a victim, but someone who can hold my head high and realize that I have overcome the hardest thing I have EVER been dealt. I have learned lessons that I might not have wanted to, but man do those lessons now help me to help other people in ways I never knew before. I have taken lemons and made lemonade. But that was a choice. Sure I could still wake up every morning and cry and go to bed every night and cry, but my life is so much more dynamic than that. I could dwell on the past and keep it alive. But that keeps me from what is going well in my current life. I have so much to be thankful for and to live for. I don't want to waste another minute. So I won't.
Basically to stop obsessing, I have had to change my mindset from the past to focusing on the present and the future and to do that, I practice refocusing in the ways above. I acknowledge my feelings as valid, but then I switch gears or change the channel. I do it for me because I deserve peace. Good luck