Change Your Thought Process – The Blame is Not Yours to Take

by Mary C.

change your thought process

Over time, if you change your thought process, the effect of triggers will fade.

I have been a true believer in the laws of attraction for several years. I believe that if you constantly think negative thoughts, negative occurrences will transpire in your life. Have you noticed that people who we think of as unlucky, are also constantly depressed, and almost expect the next bad thing to occur? On the other hand, positive thoughts make good experiences come your way. It’s the people that we think of as lucky who always stand tall and keep a smile on their face. Doesn’t it seem like they’re the ones that always get the ideal job or the perfect mate? Of course, there is more to it than that, but I know positive thinking has created a positive difference in my life.

Constantly reminding myself to keep my thoughts positive is a huge challenge. However, as a result, I came through my time of infidelity, abuse, and deceit and emerged to be an enlightened and confident person.

You assumed your marriage was wonderful. You loved one another and neither of you would ever be unfaithful. That’s what you supposed until you determined you were wrong. Your spouse is cheating and you are entirely blindsided. Another scenario is you have been suspicious that your spouse is cheating for quite some time. Then the day arrived that proved your suspicions were correct.

The pain and devastation is present either way. It is likely to be one of the most heartrending experiences you will encounter in your life. You might fear you will never be able to leave it behind you. It’s true that you have a demanding road to travel; nevertheless, you can do this. Changing your thought process could possibly make it easier.             

Getting Over the Initial Shock

Most likely, one of the first decisions you’ll undertake is to determine if the marriage is salvageable. However, the most desirable time to make that decision is not immediately after you discover the infidelity. The pain, trauma, and shock are still too fresh; therefore, your conclusion will most likely be,” no way.” You need a little time to let the reality sink in. If you are like me, you will want to scream and throw things. Sure, it might enable you to feel better temporarily, but your stuff gets broken, and the infidelity remains.

It’s probably advantageous to get away from the whole thing until you calm down a bit from the shock and anger. Tell your spouse you need some time. This might be a good time for each of you to begin individual counseling.

It’s Not Your Fault

It seems that the majority of us want to torture ourselves with the specifics of the infidelity. Maybe we suspect that knowing everything will enable us to understand the reason it happened. You want to know how they met, how the relationship transpired, and who pursued whom. If it was a sexual affair, you want to know if the sex was better with the other person. When your thoughts begin to move in that direction, you are letting those insecurities creep in. You are beginning to wonder if it could be your fault. Stop Right There!!

If this begins happening, you have to alter your thought process. This is the time to think about yourself and no one else. At this time, you come first. You are not the one guilty of cheating. At this point, the other person is insignificant and how they met or whether the sex was better is immaterial. You are the one your spouse committed to love, honor, and cherish. Obviously, I am passionate on this topic. Please do not take the blame. It’s Not Yours To Take!!

Making a Decision

After the initial shock has worn off, you face the decision of whether to attempt repairing the relationship or not. If you do, does your spouse desire the same? It’s imperative that you both have an absolute 100% commitment in order for it to work. I believe you’ll be wasting your time if you try to move ahead without that commitment from your spouse.

Your decision determines how you will proceed in taking care of yourself. If you decide to work it out, then your spouse has a great deal of work to do. They will have to work vehemently to regain your trust. Complete accountability will be necessary. Begin to focus on how you loved each other at one time and how you will someday love and trust one another again. On the other hand, if ending the relationship is your decision, toughen up and devise a plan on how you will change your life for the better. Start telling yourself you are about to go on an exciting new adventure.   

Either way, it will be challenging to get over the pain. Things in your everyday life are going to happen to trigger your memory of the infidelity. You might run into the other person, hear a song that reminds you of the deception, or see a movie in which someone is unfaithful. Then the memory and anguish will come flooding back.

Change Your Thought Process

I know we can’t just ignore everything and hope it goes away, but we shouldn’t dwell on it. Don’t allow yourself to return to the pain should you encounter one of these triggers. If you cross paths with the other person, hold your head up high and put a smile on your face. Doing that makes you feel better. Don’t you dare let them see you sweat. When you are driving, a song is bound to come on the radio that reminds you of the deception. Instead of listening to the song and becoming depressed, make your hand reach over and change the channel. Find a song you like and sing along with it. Before you go to the movies, be sure the one you’re going to see isn’t a romance. It might be best to stick with comedy or war movies for a while. Surround yourself with anything positive. Over time, if you change your thought process, you will no longer notice the triggers anymore.

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. You deserve it, right? Maybe, but it’s the worst thing you can do. Your common sense should tell you that your spouse’s deception is not your fault. So toss that notion out the window. Allow yourself only positive feelings from now on. You can then get on with your life whether with your spouse or alone. You deserve the best and as long as the suffering is still haunting you, it will be impossible to rebuild a happy life for yourself. You deserve nothing less, but you are the one that has to do what it takes to make that happiness transpire.

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14 Responses to Change Your Thought Process – The Blame is Not Yours to Take

  1. Recovering November 29, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    I guess in my sad way, I think if I get past all of this, am I going to be blindsided again? Will he think he can do it again because I can move past it? Am I being naive and allowing the bad behavior if I let it go? Am I living in a fantasy if I chose to stay and hope he has learned his lesson? I KNOW that it wasn’t MY fault that he cheated, but it was ME that he momentarily thought about leaving for the whore! It was ME that he took his issues out on and treated like dirt while he was enthralled with a disgusting person who lied and cheated on her own spouse! I dearly love my husband for everything EXCEPT this period in our lives (I actually contemplated leaving HIM because he was such a jerk to me during the cheating even though I didn’t know why then). So now I get scared when he is being a jerk again!! Am I allowing his bad behavior if I move past it? I did say before that I would leave if he ever cheated, and I didnt, so why would saying the same thing now mean anything different to him because I STAYED!! It wasn’t my fault, yet I pay the price! I don’t want to be a victim anymore! I don’t want what he did to control MY life, yet if I go about my life like it doesn’t, where does that leave me? It HURTS, it HAPPENED, and I am changed. Can love really get us past this one? Sometimes I think so, others, like today, I really wonder!! I thought we were special… I thought we were IT! I was WRONG, wasn’t I?

    • exercisegrace November 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      You are not to blame. I have played judge and jury. It’s not a good place to be. We are all adults and we make our choices. Cheating always comes from a place of brokenness within the cheater. None of us are perfect, and so neither are our marriages. But nothing justifies cheating. Nothing.
      Just the way our digital age makes cheating so easy, it also makes it easy to get help. That’s why we are all HERE, right? You can get counseling online, over the phone, via email, there are blogs, and ebooks and endless sources of support. There is so much more available than an affair. But is is a choice some people make. a choice that, if we are honest, we are ALL capable of making. I could have used the same “excuses” he used for his affair, and had one myself. I certainly had the opportunity. I didn’t take it, and I ran not walked away from that.
      I’m not saying I am there yet. But I do know that it is scary to start to let go and try to start living “normal life” again. It feels like giving the cheating spouse a free pass, it feels like it lessens the “wrongness” of what was done, it feels too vulnerable, and much like free-falling.
      Will he cheat again? If he is remorseful, seeking forgiveness, and actively working towards healing….probably not. But that is not in our control. What is in our control, is what WE do. What we would do if this happened again. What boundaries WE set so it won’t. I will never trust as blindly as I used to. I’m not entirely sure that’s a bad thing. He has a higher level of accountability and so do I. That’s not a bad thing either. I would spot the signs much quicker this time and I bet you would too.
      We have been together for thirty years. I thought we were special too, and that after all this time we were somehow “immune” to cheating. That we had weathered many storms together, but cheating would never be one of them. I thought we were blessed to not be tempted in this way.
      Marriage is special and it is sacred and it can be recovered. I tell myself that every day. I crawl towards that every day.

  2. KelBelly November 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    I don’t blame myself for his affair nor am I worried about it happening again. I spent 7 years afraid of everything. where my health was going, about my children, why my H was so unhappy. My whole life was falling apart around me and no matter how hard I tried to pick up the pieces and put them together, it just became worse.

    When I found out about his EA, I wanted to blame myself. I thought what have I done so horrible in my marriage that I made my H turn to another woman but then I started piecing everything together and I realized that I may have done things in my marriage to cause some problems but nothing that would turn my H to another woman. That was all on him.

    I realized that I had given up everything in my life that brought me joy. I didn’t work out, I didn’t spend time with my friend, I didn’t ride my horses. I basically became a living shell. Everything became about holding everyone else together except for me. I knew that had to change in order for me to work through everything because I reached my breaking point then and just wanted to run away.

    It has not been easy finding that point of balance. I take time for myself and the things i enjoy as well as work on my relationship with my H. I think in order to be there for him and find forgiveness, it is important for me to take time to heal as well and what helps is that I cannot change what happened, I cannot keep him from leaving or having an affair again. I can only do the best I can and pray that it is enough for him, I just wont waste anymore time fearing what I don’t know

    • exercisegrace November 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Very, very, very well said. You are a couple steps ahead of me, lol. After finding out about the affair, I ran the gamut. You name an emotion, I had it. Times ten. If I am perfectly honest, I still struggle somewhat with the “what did I do wrong” demon. But underneath it, I know that he made a bad choice that came from a brokenness in HIM that I could not fix. I can’t take responsibility for his choices and his actions. If he had been able to be more open and honest with both himself and me, we might have avoided the trauma of an affair. I would have been open to counseling at any point. Certainly if he had come to me before his affair went from an EA to a nearly year long PA. Individual counseling for us both, and marriage counseling have gone a long way to understanding this mess, as well as something this horrific can BE understood.
      I can’t say that I have totally let go of worrying that this could happen again, although the counseling is going a long way towards that. What I CAN say is that if someone wants to cheat, they will. It’s been said to death, but in this digital age of throw away phones and instant email addresses, it’s all too easy to hide. My husband and his AP worked out of our HOUSE and they hid it. I suspected, but trusted and believed the lies too much.

  3. Sara K November 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Just my 2 cents: You can accept responsibility for being a contributing factor if you want some acceptance in that. But, what he does, his reactions to his issues within are HIS choices and only his. He shut you out when he chose to open up to another woman. He closed that door and did not allow you the opportunity to participate in the healing of your marriage. You can be angry, you can be hurt and then you can accept it and move forward towards the healing if and when he lets you back in. This post is a good reminder that we can take blame in marriage for the cracks in our foundation and all marriages have them. but we cannot take blame when he chooses to try to ‘fix it’ with a substitution for the real thing.

    • rachel December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am #

      Sara K,

      I like what you wrote. I agree 100%.
      Thank you!

  4. Sara K November 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    this part got cut off in the beginning : a contributing factor to the yuk in the marriage.

  5. rachel November 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I know it’s not my fault but he has said many times that it is my fault. I didn’t make him happy.??
    I would love to say to him I wished he had left after our youngest was born since he was so unhappy. That way my kids would have a loving stepfather that wouldn’t be a run-away father like him.
    I cannot comprehend how a father does not see his children everyday? My oldest is in college and i dont see him but we are in touch even to say how was your day at 8:00 pm. Maybe I am overprotective like the H’s sister told me when she came to my house to talk to him about his affair but ended up blasting me about my faults. I clean up too fast from a party was one, I change my mind, I’m overprotetive of my kids. This was all to justify his affair. At first she was mad at him then it changed to making it all my fault. I let her know how I felt a few days later when she asked how I was.
    I know it wasnt my fault because I didn’t have an ex waiting in the wind for me. I wasnt in constant contact with an ex like he was for 25 years of our marriage. I feel so betrayed!

  6. Disappointed November 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    I spent an hour last night hearing about how it was all my fault. How I did not deserve to be betrayed but that he will never regret it because for once he felt accepted and not judged and not required to meet expectations. I talked about the EA being the cause of normous pain for me and he countered angrily about all the pain I caused him over 20 years. He says he no longer thinks of her. He says he doesnt care about anything or anyone. He says I deserve better and so does he. I agree… And he has the power to make that happen by putting his big boy pants on… Odds are slim though…

    • Dave December 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      My wife has often made it about me, both to me and in front of our counselor. She made comments that she accepts responsibility for “crossing the line”, but then she comes back with “but if you had done x, y, or z”, had been different or better, or some variation of that.

      Sometimes she blames nobody in general, saying that things just happened and that we were distant from each other (she felt distant from me) and that it was easy to be connected to him because he was a friend and he was listening to her. Well duh. He wanted to get into her pants and take my place in her heart. Of course he’d listen to anything she had to say and he’d agree with all of it. He knew what he wanted and how to get it. She was just naive enough to fool herself into think she deserved it – the attention, adoration, the sex, the “love”…all of it.

      I’ve had a hard time with that, and on one occasion when she came back with, “But I wasn’t feeling a connection with you”, I was mean and replied, “well, it was hard to have a connection with me because he was in your head and you were in his bed.” I know that was mean and it led to a huge fight, but in the end, I think she finally accepted the point that she couldn’t feel connected to me while she was connected to him.

      I think she finally understands that regardless of what was going on, she could have talked with me rather than running out and having an affair with him. She’s acting very bitter about it now though. It is almost like she can’t cope with or accept her own actions.

      • Exercise grace December 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

        Personally, I don’t think speaking the truth, even an uncomfortable truth, is mean. My husband ramped an EA up to a PA, and when it all came out, he said he felt distanced from me and the kids. I told him that is what happens when you choose to step outside of your marriage and your family, when you choose to invest your time, energy and emotions into another woman. Luckily he is out of the fog now, and can see that. It seems like it takes varying amounts of time for wayward spouses to take ownership of what they did and who was hurt in the process.

        • Dave December 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

          I agree that truth isn’t mean, but that day, my delivery was. That was when I was still very angry and very hurt.

  7. chiffchaff December 4, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    My H certainly made it all about me in the early months, it was my failings, my lack of conenction with him, my lack of interest in sex, my not wanting to do anything new. Over time he gradually realised that it was him justifying his actions and relieving his guilt by blaming me.
    However, although things are better by a million miles, he will occasionally trot out that the thing that stops him doing it again will be ‘us’ and how ‘we are’ – which is nonsense. the only thing that will stop him doing it again is him.

    • exercisegrace December 4, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      OMG chiffchaff. So glad you posted that. My husband says that too. That it will NEVER happen again because 1. he’s learned his lesson 2. We are getting counseling and so are/going to be much stronger going forward. 3. He places a higher value on our marriage and family after realizing what he nearly threw away for so very little. 4. That despite my imaginings, he really wasn’t happy in the affair. It was turmoil and chaos and a total violation of everything he believes in.

      When I read that back after typing it out, it sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Like you, I believe that HE is the only thing that will stop him. It rachets my anxiety when he says the main reason he will never do it again is because WE are so much better, we are approaching things differently, we are communicating better.

      where is the “bar”? Where is the tipping point? How “good” do “we” have to be? Is that measured by the day?j Month? Year? I thought “we” were pretty good right up until his affair. Heck, even he had told her in the past how lucky he was to have a good marriage and family. Challenge accepted? She began to doggedly pursue him and he caved. Like you I believe that only HE can prevent it. And I say that because for me cheating is never an option. Not for anyone. It solves nothing, and tears everyone apart.

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