Positive self talk after betrayal can be incredibly beneficial in helping an individual heal emotionally and reframe negative thoughts.
Photo by: Iryna Imago
By Linda & Doug
After experiencing infidelity in your relationship, it can be hard to manage negative thoughts and feelings that arise. You will probably find yourself struggling with self-blame, anger, hurt, and other intense emotions and thoughts.
It may feel difficult to break through these mental barriers so you can start healing and lead a more positive life. But don’t despair! By using positive self-talk to reframe negative thoughts about yourself and the situation, you can find ways to heal and move forward with hope for a brighter future.
What is Positive Self Talk?
Positive self-talk is what the supportive voice in our minds does. Instead of hearing your inner voice put you down and criticize you mercilessly, positive self-talk allows you to empower yourself.
In other words, positive self-talk is like having an inner cheerleader. It makes us feel encouraged, valued, and supported. When we use positive self-talk, we feel more ready to deal with stressful events in constructive ways.
Evidence has shown that supportive self-talk can promote success in a variety of ways. In one study, children trained to give themselves positive self-talks performed better in a subsequent math assessment (Thomaes et al., 2020). Furthermore, another study conducted with adult athletes has found that positive self-talk increased performance, reduced anxiety, and enhanced the subjects’ self-confidence (Hatzigeorgiadis, 2009).
So How Do We Develop Positive Self Talk after Betrayal?
As you might have guessed, positive affirmations can help you develop a supportive inner voice. Positive affirmations are supportive statements about ourselves that we repeat with the aim of shifting our mindsets towards positivity.
Repetition is key to the success of affirmations; the more we restate positive statements about ourselves, the more likely our minds start thinking them automatically (Paulhus, 1993). Here are some affirmations that may help you get started.
- I appreciate my qualities, talents, and abilities.
- I don’t have to be good at everything to feel good.
- My life is full of potential.
- I define what happiness means for me.
- I am comfortable in my own skin.
- I am capable of learning from my mistakes.
- I am in charge of my life and my decisions.
- I am worthy of respect, kindness, and love.
- I am proud of my progress.
- I deserve peace and joy.
- I have the power to change.
- I am kind and compassionate towards myself and the people in my life.
Exercise: Personalized Affirmations
The positive affirmations listed above are general statements. Yet, you may benefit from creating your own set of affirmations that reflect your qualities and goals. You can do this by writing personalized positive affirmations using the instructions below.
- Use the present tense. Your affirmations should be about you at this moment. So, start your sentences with “I am…” or “I can…”
- Add a personal touch. Incorporating your goals or wishes can strengthen your affirmations and make them more personal.
- Be precise. Try to be specific in your phrasing so that your affirmations fit your goals or situation. Avoid vague statements like “I am okay.”
- Keep it short. You are more likely to remember and repeat concise statements.
Take home: Repeating your positive affirmations regularly can help you change your narrative over time and develop a positive inner voice. Moreover, feel free to revise your list of personalized affirmations whenever you need to incorporate new goals or address current circumstances. (Here are some more powerful affirmations: 32 Affirmations for Affair Recovery)
Here’s a video podcast where the host, Josie Ong, gives us several Affirmations After Being Cheated On. (After some preliminary talk, the affirmation part starts at about the 2-minute mark.)
Way back when, people needed record players to listen to the music of their choice (Remember 45s?). Yet, record players didn’t always create an optimal listening experience. For instance, if a record was damaged, it would repeat the same short audio sequence over and over. If you think about it, that repetition is not dissimilar to rumination, replaying the same negative thoughts in your mind repeatedly. In other words, when you ruminate (overthink), your mind turns into a record player stuck like a broken record.
There are many reasons why we ruminate.
If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably upset about a stressful marital situation or have experienced a traumatic event. Hence, you may replay these events in your mind. You may also keep repeating any negative thought patterns evoked by these events.
For instance, a person may ruminate about being cheated on and keep repeating that they are unattractive or unworthy. Another reason we may ruminate is perfectionism, such as when we have high standards and fail to meet our expectations. Yet, we may also ruminate about something in the future, such as an upcoming anniversary or the therapist appointment next week.
Whatever the reason, repeating the same negative thoughts like a broken record can diminish our self-esteem. It can even lead to anxiety and depression (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyubomirsky, 2000).
Author, psychologist and online educator, Dr. Jordan Peterson, explains in this 2-minute video how to stop ruminating.
Why Am I Overthinking After Being Cheated On?
The Choosing Therapy website says that after experiencing infidelity in a relationship, it is common for the partner who was cheated on to overthink, as they may constantly be concerned it may happen again, experience self-esteem problems as a result, and may have difficulties with trust issues. You may worry when your partner goes out, pays too much attention to their phone, or changes specific routines.
Those who deal with OCD, anxiety and other mood disorders may experience overthinking more frequently and more intensely after infidelity.
Some reasons people struggle with overthinking after infidelity include:
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- History of abusive relationships
- Prior infidelity in relationships
So how can we stop playing the same negative thoughts like a broken record?
We can start by silencing our inner critics. After all, there is a negative voice in our heads doing all that talking. When you catch yourself ruminating, you might want to stop that voice immediately and give your mind’s platform to a more cheerful voice.
You can summon your positive voice by repeating your affirmations or by simply letting them oppose the negative statement of your inner critic. (Check out the graphic below for 15 ways to stop overthinking after being cheated on.)
Source: Choosing Therapy
Positive Self Talk after Betrayal – In Summary
It is not easy to accept when someone has betrayed you and the hurt can be overwhelming. We can often find ourselves in a deep spiral of negative thoughts. But it is possible to take control of those unwanted thoughts, emotions and feelings. As we discussed in today’s blog post, using positive self talk, or affirmations, can help to work through the pain and gain peace of mind.
Practicing positive self talk after betrayal provides us an opportunity to stop and remind ourselves that things are not our fault; instead it allows us to focus on what lies ahead by boosting our self-confidence and reducing stress & anxiety and helping to eliminate overthinking. They can remind us to take the time we need to take care for ourselves and provide a comforting reminder that healing through understanding, growth, and resilience are possible. Developing healthy self talk allows us to gain more insight into our emotions while on the road towards empowerment.
Sometimes though, we need help finding the right words that will resonate with us and gently guide our minds towards feeling secure again. To help get you started, click the link below for some powerful affirmations.
No matter how tough things get, always remember that you have the strength to keep going! Taking a compassionate approach towards yourself and others can help make difficult times more manageable while promoting a positive atmosphere. Your inner resilience will support your journey.