Toss Your Unfaithful Thoughts in the Garbage
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
I just read about an interesting study (Brinol, Gasco, Petty, and Horcajo) that will be published in the journal Psychological Science. Subjects in their study were directed to write down what they liked or didn't like about their bodies. By throwing out either list, people were less influenced by the thoughts on that list. And, by placing a list in their pocket, people were more influenced by that list. So, for instance, you might write "big nose" on a paper and throw it out. Then you might write "beautiful eyes" to encourage you think more about them.

When I read this, my mind was clearly preoccupied with the topic of relationships because it immediately occurred to me that this might help people who struggle with unwanted thoughts of infidelity. People could throw out notes about their unfaithful thoughts and keep a paper with faithful thoughts in their pocket. Obviously this is not enough to remain faithful if you are really struggling. However, it might be a helpful tool.

If you have ever had thoughts of being unfaithful, how have you handled them? Do you imagine that this exercise might help?

For this and many other great blogs from Dr. Becker-Phelps, please visit her Art of Relationships blog.

DmndLife1984 responded:
I had one woman in particular possibly interested in me, I couldn't say for certain, and she was married. She and I used to talk for hours over instant message, the discussions rather intimate, and she eventually asked me to travel with her to Asia, a winking emoticon included. She also mentioned she'd be traveling with her job at some point, and that she'd be in my area...

I was dealing with health problems at the time, too self-obsessed to notice what may've been her asking me to make a move after a long enough time of knowing one another. Would I have gone through with what seems like an affair in retrospect. Probably! The thought of an affair has been exciting to me since I was very young.

Then there's reality however. If I were to think about carrying on with a married woman, I'd also have to look at my male coworkers, as one example, asking myself hypothetically, "What if he was her husband?" I've tried this before, not with any woman in the picture though, and I've felt guilt, knowing that looking that person in the eye would be excruciating for me.

If I were to go through with something like that though, I'd rather be the object of an exciting affair than the guy who's been ditched for being boring.