Intrusive Thoughts

We all deal with trauma differently.  Some people haven’t had to deal with major heartache until finding out about their spouse's infidelity.  Unfortunately, I had a traumatic experience early on in my life that shaped how I deal with trauma.  I can always find somebody who has had a harder life than I have, but to dismiss the traumatic experiences I have had over my lifetime is not helpful to me or my family. 

When my husband first disclosed his extramarital activities, I dealt with it in the way I always had, I stuffed it in.  I mentioned in an earlier blog that this backfired on me when we were at EMS weekend and my body physically started twitching and shaking.  I have learned over the past few months that trauma doesn’t just affect our emotions but it also affects our entire bodies, especially our brains. 

In the beginning, I dealt with intrusive thoughts daily, several times a day, in fact.  The first week I was not functional at all.  I am so glad I opened up and let other people in to help walk me through this, my trusted friends who had been through this several years ago.  One of my friends asked me if I was struggling with intrusive thoughts and, of course, I told her yes.  She told me something that Rick told her in the beginning that helped her tremendously. 

Whenever she had an intrusive thought about her husband engaging in his “activity,” she would start praying for God to let her see something different or give her His perspective on what she was seeing.  I remember the first time I tried this.  I had taken my daughter to a park and while I was sitting down watching her play, I had a very vivid thought of my husband engaging in his “activity.”  Thankfully, I have never caught him in the act so my thought came from something he had told me.

I stopped and prayed for God to show me His perspective on it all.  Almost instantaneously, in my thoughts, my husband was changed to a little boy.  It made me think of my own son doing something like that and it made me so sad for him.  What would cause somebody to do something like this?  My husband grew up in a very strict, hyper-religious, and abusive home.  Just like I have dealt with trauma in the manner I have, my husband ended up finding his release in his own way.

When I saw him as a little boy doing this, I also felt compassion for him, the way I imagine God feels about us when we are doing something that is destructive and not good for anybody.  I wanted to pick him up and hold him and tell him that he was loved.  Then, I remembered my husband, on the day of disclosure breaking down and crying for the first time in front of me.  He opened up and told me his narcissistic talk was just a façade.  In reality, he didn’t feel like he deserved anybody’s love.  He didn’t believe that anybody could love him, especially because of what He has done. 

Now, 9 months later, intrusive thoughts are few and far between.  I may have one a month but, when I do, it is easy for me to turn it off or turn him into a little boy doing it.  It helps to know that my husband is working hard to stay “sober” but either way, I won’t allow that activity to affect my emotions any longer.  In order for me to be the healthiest person I need to be I know that dwelling on those thoughts doesn’t really hurt anybody but myself.

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Intrusive thoughts

Hi, I was not as lucky. My SA was so crazy when he was acting out that he took videos of himself. Unfortunately, I saw those n it has been haunting me like crazy. I pray all the time for God to take away the images. Maybe I'll try your method next time. Seeing him as a kid. Someone wrote to me .. Sick people do sick things. I keep telling myself that he must be very sick because no sane person will do the things he did. Thanks for sharing....

So sorry

Happyness, I am so sorry that you saw the videos of your husband acting out. I can imagine it would be hard for those images to leave you. I do believe that having a game plan when those images pop into your head is very helpful. I am glad you have been praying to God to take them away. Now, when the thoughts come in my head, I shut them off but, yeah, for me seeing him as a little boy took away the disturbing, sick part of it and made me see it in a different light. It gets better over time.

Intrusive Thoughts

This is something I too deal with and one day I went to the Adoration Chapel at my church, and, before The Lord, I knelt, praying for my husband and myself, asking Him to help me with the thoughts and 'pictures' of my h and his ap together. When He spoke to me, He told me that at the time of these traumatic images and thoughts, I must speak the names of Jesus and Mother Mary. I have done this often now and honestly, it is actually like meditating on them to where, the thoughts or images instantly leave my mind. I know that if we can focus on Jesus when these hurtful things enter our minds and hearts, He will be faithful to cast them away. Keep praying and believing that God loves us all and He hears us.


Island girl, thank you so much for sharing. I too believe there is supernatural power in speaking Jesus' name and speaking truth when thoughts come to mind that are less than desirable. He absolutely will cast the hurtful things away in the way he knows will be most beneficial for us! Thank you for your hope-filled message!

All the wrong thoughts at all the wrong times

Any advice for someone who has intrusive thoughts EVERY single time they attempt intimacy with their unfaithful spouse? This is not a fresh wound.... It's been years.....

So sorry

Mrs. B, I am SO sorry for all of the hurt you are still having to deal with. This goes to prove it takes years for this wound to heal. If you have a Recovery Library Membership on this site there are a lot of Q&A videos from Rick on this subject.

If you do not have a library membership here is another link that might help:

Rick often recommends eyes open sex and the book <a href=" the Pleasure</a> by Penner and Penner. Also, he says it is important that when those triggers and intrusive thoughts come, that you stop then and there. He says that pushing through it will only cause more damage. I hope this helps in some way. Thank you for your willingness to share!

intrusive thoughts

I Had picked my IC because of his proficiency training in EMDR. This has helped immensely in my day to day functioning. I am 7 months out of DDAY. I still have triggers and need to deal with those but I continue to work with EMDR to lessen the intensity of the triggers. Tapping is another that some psychotherapists can work with and that has also helped for my traumas I suffered as a child. Physical and emotional abuse left me with lots of bad conflict habits that have not been helpful when conflict arose which led to resentments from my WS toward me.

peace, love and healing


Bor, yes! I am doing something very similar to EMDR with my therapist called brain spotting. He also has me doing tapping exercises and it is unbelievable how much trauma we hold in our bodies. I am there with you. I believe we can heal from's worth the effort. Peace, love and healing to you too!

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