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Betrayed Spouse 101

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 [McGraw] 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.


click HERE for more information on the wonderful novels of Suzanne Finnamore.