Day of Discovery: How to “Hold” Your Feelings
Ouch! No, it’s more than an ouch, isn’t it? How about a huge punch in the stomach? How about ripping your heart out? How about a menagerie of crazy unending thoughts that defy sleep or anything else you propose for that matter?
Infidelity stabs you over and over, at least initially.
Allow me to present one way, just one way, to begin to get a “hold” of your feelings during infidelity.
Notice I didn’t say “get rid” of your awful feelings. Often, the more we insist upon them “going away” the more they seem to persist. After all, your infidelity feelings have concerns and fears that MUST be addressed. But, you want to address them on YOUR timetable and in in way that will honor you.
The key word is: control. You want to control yourself upon discovering infidelity, your thinking and your feelings as you move through this agonizing process. At the same time you do not want to “control” to the extent that you deny, avoid or minimize what it is that you must look at and address in your situation.
I often suggest this technique.
1. Get a kitchen timer or stop watch of some kind, notebook and pencil.
2. When the feelings/thoughts are most intense, find a place where you can be alone (lock the bathroom door, if need be). Set the timer/watch for 2 minutes.
3. Write down everything that you are thinking/feeling about your partner’s infidelity uncensored. Let it come. Let it flow. Don’t worry about what you write. You can shred/burn it immediately after writing. Just notice the thoughts that rumble through your mind. Write them down. Notice the feelings and specifically where they are located in your body. Write them down.
4. When the timer goes off, say to yourself, “OK, it’s time to put you (feelings/thoughts) aside for the time being. I have other responsibilities. I will come back to you later.” This process develops and calls attention to a “part of you” that can stand back and monitor ( or control in a healthy manner the process of going through your feelings about your partner’s infidelity. You also treat your feelings and thoughts with respect and acknowledge their legitimacy.
5. When the thoughts and feelings begin to emerge again, maybe minutes or 2, 4 hours later, follow the same process.
Give it a try.
This is often helpful for those who like to write, or express themselves best through the written word. And, it seems to be most helpful for those who tend to be reflective in nature.
If this doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. It may not fit your style of how you cope with intense feelings/thoughts. Other techniques are available for you.
Over time, as you address your feelings, their intensity will fade and they will express themselves less frequently. Your infidelity feelings do want to know that they will not be ignored and that you, in some fashion, will attend to “them.”