Pretty powerful for me!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Pretty powerful for me!!!
Fri, 05-12-2006 - 12:53pm

I have been feeling alittle better lately but what I wanted to add was I read a GREAT article from the betrayedspouse101 that lovemydog posted. Very good indeed it was regarding obsession. Here it is but it REALLY helped me with another perspective of why I do what I do.
I have always hated seeing myself as a victim or martyr and I hate others seeing me that way to. So maybe that's why it's been so helpful.

Some Thoughts on Obsession and the Payoff We Get, Or Not

Obsession -- no not the perfume, although the Calvin Klein scent of the same name is cloying, sweet, overpowering -- much like the thing itself.

Dr. Phil really changed my life when he identified the fact that we all get payoffs from whatever we choose to do. I chose to obsess, when my husband left and -- oh lets face it -- for a looooooong time afterward. More than a year. Much more. Still do it sometimes -- like a drug I can't quite get entirely free of but am usually able to abstain from.

Here were my payoffs:

When I obsess, i am always Right. i.e., infidelity is damaging and cruel. I obsess on it and I'm right. Righteous, even. Self righteous even. Ew.

When I obsess, I can not look at what i am doing with my life and the fact that I am not moving forward. I can just think about how mean others were to me, how sick, how cruel...(see #1- LOL) and ignore the fact that I am a woman in my forties and therefore accountible for my own life, and that no one owes me a damn thing.

When I obsess, I can overeat because I am out of my body.

When I obsess, I can use my brain for preposterous re-analyzation of events I have already analyzed at least 100 times. I dont have to use my brain for anything else. It's very busy obsessing, you see. No time for fresh thought.

When I obsess, I can isolate. To really obsess properly, one needs to be alone. It's a full time job. No one else can obsess with me -- because I am so good at it, they will just fall short and maybe even question me as to why I am still obsessing. Can't have that!

When I obsess, I can indulge my self loathing. You know, that little voice that says I am not good enough? That voice is in charge of obsession. It can multitask, unlike me. I can only do one thing at once when I am obsessing: obsess.

When I obsess, I can become at Expert at whatever concept I am obsessing on. Want statistics? I got em. Want a long hypothetical preachy discussion? I got that too. Want a friend who can be in the moment? Sorry. No can do. I must obsess.

when I obsess, I can blame it on my Ex. I am obsessing because he MADE me. And Lord knows I like to blame him for just about everything except the good things in my life - those are all mine, of course. When I obsess I can still cling to the past and still blame my Ex.

Ok, i guess i'm done confessing.

The worst thing about obsession for me is, that it makes me feel out of control and mean and sad. And now that the initial wave of my D-Day has LONG since passed, I no longer can ignore it when I start to obsess. I give myself ten minutes and then I do something else. Soon ten becomes twenty and a day and a week and soon I realize I am smelling the air again, living life again.

Obsession: it has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with me and my self-image and my choice to love myself or not. And unlike love, you won't miss it when it's gone.

OK, now i've confessed. I obsessed so as to not feel the feelings. So as to not move forward into a future I was afraid of. I did it, everyone has done it. I am giving up being Right or an Expert. I just want to be. >>>>>>>

those of you who are closer to dday I don't expect you to feel this way but I certainly expect more from myself after a year out. so that's why I found this helpful. I want to stop picking on my husband for what he doesn't do and focus more on what he has and continues to do. hugs everyone, tea


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2005
Fri, 05-12-2006 - 2:32pm

Thank you! I needed this. I find myself obsessing all of a sudden and it takes over. Is it bc we're afraid to move forward bc that means that we have to let go of the pain and if we let go that means we're leaving ourselves vulnerable again and Lord knows we can't do that. So we're in this vicious cycle of hashing and rehashing, rewinding the tape and playing it over like it's new and we become (at least I do) paralyzed. And being self employed in sales, that is NOT good.

Pinkgirl gave some GREAT advice for getting thru difficult periods so one can still function and get thru this. I could use whatever I can to either stop obsessing, or not to even go there in the first place. Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2005
Fri, 05-12-2006 - 5:42pm

Tea, I read this the other night as well. It is nice to see that there are ways to STOP!!! I obsess and analyz myself to the point of feeling as if I am going to crawl out of my own skin..

My H keeps telling me I need to stop trying to figure out the meaning of EVERTHING and learn to enjoy the moments.

I waist so much time going over everything said or done to figure out why it is being said and how this will happen if it means this but if it means that then this will happen. If this happens I will do that and if that happens I will do this.. It NEVER STOPES..

So I am going to try and use some of the things that I read to help me STOP!! I love my H I want to be able to allow myself to enjoy our life together. Yes he can hurt me again but so could anyone else I might meet some day.. At some point even if my marriage does not work out I need to be able to stop Analyzing everthing and stop obsessing over things in the past that I CAN"T change..

Powerful stuff.. I am so glad it was posted....

HUGS Irene

Yahoo! Avatars

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
Fri, 05-12-2006 - 7:51pm

Hey Tea - Thanks for sharing this. Obsessive thinking does have a payoff, sadly we feel we need that payoff. When my therapist asked me what percent of my day I devoted to thinking about his affair, I admitted it was about 30%. I was proud of that and thought it was low considering I had been around 90% for quite some time. She said that was too much time for something that can't be changed and isn't going on anymore. She also told me that by going over it so much, I am in a way trying to change the outcome. Its crazy. I'm down to about 10% now and maybe someday it will be ZERO!

Oh another thing, I haven't initiated any Affair discussions with H in almost a month. But he initiates them and says how sorry he was, how he almost lost me and how thankful he is. The affair sits pretty firmly on both of our minds whether we talk about it or try to avoid it. WS don't forget about the affair as much as we think they do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2005
Fri, 05-12-2006 - 8:44pm

This is so encouraging! My MC told me the same thing too (a LONG time ago) but did I listen? No. She said to focus on myself and things over which I have control. I can't control my H's actions, thoughts, the affair, so focus on what I have control over. Otherwise it will eat me alive, which it has done. Hannah, what are your dates ... DDay, confession day, the beginning of healing? How long did it take to get you to 10%? I feel like I've been given a sentence to serve bc it just won't let up. Then my H makes comments as if I *want* to think about the affair. I told him to give me some answers as to how to get it out of my mind since he's so smart. Shopping helps, but I can only window shop bc my finances are the worst they've ever been. And what's even worst, I really don't give a hoot. Last year while I was scrambling to the post office to send IRS $35k on 4/15 with an extension, H was screwing OW. So I want a break. Let him be the one to hustle and make money. I was paying an outrageous cell phone bill for months just adding more minutes to his number while all he did was talk more. I even mentioned it to him, that he was going over his minutes each and every month. You'd think he would've gotten scared and stopped but he continued to talk even more exceeding 2000 minutes in one month! Now he's back to his usual 300-400 minute average. So yes, I have a LOT of resentment and I feel it's his turn to make the money. Just venting again.

Thanks for this wonderful thread!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 05-13-2006 - 7:37am
I almost always recommend this website to new posters because it is so well written, so chock full of great advice and things to ponder. Glad you found something there that spoke to you. Lily
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
Sat, 05-13-2006 - 12:51pm

I'm exactly 1 year into rebuilding and 1 year and 3 months from Dday#1. The first months in rebuilding were the hardest. Around 9 months I started to see myself improve. And then I seemed to get worse toward the year mark and then during what would have been the fencesitting period last year.

Most of my resentment stems from his fencesitting days, and its not just him I'm angry at. I let myself down and I feel ashamed. You have a lot of anger as well. I think that anger will die down and will still be there but not as strong. There is a time element to healing bc healing is a process not an event.

I'm glad window shopping helps you get your mind off of it. I like shopping too and I try to exercise daily, make plans with friends, and just generally get on with my life.

huge hugs,

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2005
Mon, 05-15-2006 - 11:12am

Great post about obsession Tea.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Tue, 05-16-2006 - 8:59am
My husband tells me the same thing that I overanalyze and I will agree with him. Hugs to you, Tea
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Tue, 05-16-2006 - 9:05am

10%!!!! Wow that's great Hannah! Your therapist would have a field day with me. I am probably at 40% of my day. Since I had been a funk with my dday and all I am just starting to feel somewhat better. I believe at some point during some really good months I have been at 20% or less. But wow I so pray I was at 10%. As for questions with dday my questions have increased again. I know I stopped for awhile but this last month my questions are being asked to quadruple check his answers. Questions he has already asked me before but yet I am looking for the self reflection deeper answer.

So glad to hear that your feeling better. Those funks suck don't they?. Wishing you the best, Tea

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Tue, 05-16-2006 - 7:33pm

I'm not so sure obsessing is a too horribly a bad thing. I would say I am a closet obsessor. I don't really tell anyone how much I think about a given situation but sometimes I like to go back over things and wonder about signs I missed, what I could have done differently and how I could handle things differently in the future.

Sure I obsess, but I find I make fewer and fewer of the same mistakes.

(this refers to general obsessing, not necessarily obsessing about an affair. Back in the day when I had that horrible experience that affair took years to get out of my head)