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Hi, the day of my 50 yo birthday, I realized that my partner has repetitively cheated on me with prostitutes, hard-porn, social media voyeurism. It impacted deeply the already crumbling image that I have of my physical image.

The TD is “It’s my fault,” the T: my body is too fat / I’m ugly / too old. My Emotions: I feel powerless/worthless /ashamed. & nauseous / frozen. The actions: I need to lose weight (if not, no one will treat me well), but instead, I numb myself with overeating leading to more anxiety, stress, shame and sadness—my question: how do we deal with this type of destructive behaviour. Thanks



It looks like you have two different models operating here—the first one is about your partner’s behaviours, and the second is about your coping mechanism (eating). The second one is only present because of the suffering you are creating around your partner’s behaviours.

Main model C: partner behaviours (or partner sexual activities, or you could also do a model on each individual events)

It’s my fault.
My body is too fat.
I’m ugly.
I’m too old.
I need to lose weight.
No one will treat me well if I don’t lose weight.

F: Powerless, worthless, ashamed

A’s: nauseous / Frozen / Paralyzed / numbing the emotional suffering/overeating

R: I create the reality that I and my body appearance cause my partner’s behaviours.

The second model running in parallel:

C: Overeating
T: I shouldn’t be eating / I have destructive behaviours / I shouldn’t be overeating / etc.
F: Anxiety / Stress / Shame/sadness
A’s: likely eating more / using more coping mechanisms / etc.
R: I use food to cope with the emotional suffering.

As long as you think about the C: Partner behaviours in the way you do, you will continue to create emotional suffering for yourself and need coping mechanisms (A’s the line of your models). In fact, it looks like you are blaming yourself and your body for your partner’s choices.

Let’s look at your partner’s model. Your partner created his action (choices) from his feelings and thoughts. His actions have nothing to do with you… it’s 100% his thoughts and emotions.

C: Sexual desire
TD: ????? ???? ???
F: Excitement
A: hire prostitutes, watch hard-porn, social media voyeurism
R: ???

So to your question “How do I change my behaviours?” (Otherwise said, how do I change the A-line of my models?) by changing what precedes your A’s – the feelings, therefore, your thoughts about the event.

You have to remember that the thoughts (TD) you have about your partner’s behaviours are simply the story you tell yourself about the events. That story keeps in your current emotional suffering situation that you need to cope with using numbing behaviours.

You are suffering because of your thoughts, NOT because of the event (actions of your partner).

Changing your thoughts about the event doesn’t mean what they did is ok. Changing your thoughts (maybe forgiveness) is about ending the suffering for you. Changing the story, you tell yourself about the event is an act of self-compassion. Changing your thoughts or forgiveness is not about devaluing the event; instead, it’s about neutralizing the event so you can claim your power over the event and decided how you want to think, feel and act about this event.

The next step would be for you to review your unintentional model about C: Husband behaviours…. and then create an intentional model.

If you want to start working on this and resubmit, we can help you.
Simply resubmit “Body image deeply injured by partner betrayal Part 2” so we will know to get back to the first submission.

I hope this helps you.