Good question and…Even though you might know that it’s what you “should” do–one of the most difficult things to actually do is to stay in the present moment and not let what happened in the past or what you fear could happen in the future seep in and ruin your “good” moments.
Here’s a question from a reader that sums up what many people feel as they are learning how to deal with jealousy and rebuild trust in their relationship.
***QUESTION FROM A READER:
“My husband makes friends with women more easily than he makes friends with men. He strayed once (I think an emotional affair rather than physical) and I am never 100% sure he will not do it again. Our relationship has been the best in the past 12 months that it has ever really been. What can I do to stay focused on the positive and not dwell on the rest?”
First of all, we don’t think any one of us can be 100% sure of most things, let alone what our partner will or will not do in the future. But of course if you’ve been cheated on–even your partner having an emotional affair rather than a physical one–your trust level can sink to the bottom of the scale.
Although we don’t know this to be true in your case…
We realize that when there’s been an affair and/or previous partners have cheated on you, trust can sink even further than if you haven’t experienced that kind of pain.
And, to top it off, your husband likes women–which is probably one reason you chose him.
When a man relates well to those of the opposite sex, women can spot it a mile away and it’s a very attractive trait. They want to be friends with him as much as or more than he may want to be friends with them.
If you’re in partnership with a man like this, it can be a wonderful blessing and it can also be really difficult to find a balance where both of you get your needs met.
So with all that being said, we recognize that it isn’t easy to stop thinking about the past and what happened, even if the present is really good right now.
How do you deal with the doubt and the nagging pain that comes up–when there’s no logical reason for it?
Here are a few ways…
1. Ask yourself questions and answer them in a journal daily.
Ask yourself these questions every day…
*What’s happening right now between the two of us?
*Am I feeling a connection with him?
*Am I feeling loved by him?
Write 3 examples everyday (or however many you can think of) that you can prove to yourself that you are loved by him.
Examples might be as simple as these…
“He touched me with love when we walked past each other in the hallway.”
“We laughed together about a funny thing that happened at work.”
2. When your doubts come up, re-read your journal to remind yourself of the reality of your present.
When you are trying to “re-program” your mind, especially after a major trust violation, it can be like the problem in the 2004 film “50 First Dates” with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler’s character Henry fell in love with Drew Barrymore’s character Lucy who had a severe short-term memory loss.
Each morning, Lucy would forget that she loved Henry and he would have to win her over again and again.
He used notes and a video to remind her each day what was real in the present moment.
You can do this too by re-reading what you’ve written about what’s positive and true in your life right now.
3. Find a way to get your own attention.
When the past comes up again in your mind and your logical mind says it’s not happening now but your “memory” says otherwise, find a phrase or an image that will get your attention.
It might be to inwardly shout something like this…
It might be to picture your friend’s stern face in your mind when your thoughts go to where you don’t want them to go.
Whatever way works for you, find a way to shift your attention.
Now we have to say that if you suspect something is really going on that doesn’t honor you and your relationship, you have to pay attention to it and deal with it.
But if you are feeling more connected and your relationship is going in the direction that you want it to go, move toward that love and not away from it.
If trust has been broken in your relationship and you want to rebuild it but you don’t know where to start, “Relationship Trust Turnaround” can help.