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How to Control Negative Emotions Print E-mail



The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.



The brain is an amazing device. Your brain is creating the emotions you are experiencing. There is a saying "we are what we eat". That may not be literally true, but the idea behind it is clear to everyone: By controlling what we put into our mouth we can influence our health and physical condition. Now think for a moment of another saying: "We are what we think". This is literally true.

The thoughts which are occupying our mind the biggest part of the day are shaping our brain and the way our mind works. If our life is going well, we are very likely to think positive things. As a result of this we are happy, endorphins and other pleasure-related substances are being released in the brain and the neuronal networks related to these positive thoughts are being strengthened. A positive feedback cycle is created. If we are being exposed to negative events such as cheating or narcissism in a relationship, our brain reacts differently and as a result of this, a negative feedback cycle forms. If you wish to read more about how to learn to control the way the mind and the brain are working in certain situations, visit page Recovery After Cheating and Narcissism - Learn to Control Your Emotions.


The Positive Feedback Loop

Our life is going well   >>   We feel happy   >>   The neuronal networks related to positive thinking are being strengthened in our brain   >>   We are more energetic and get things done in our life, we are more pleasant to other people and due to this people around us tend to like us   >>   Consequently, our life keeps going well   >> We continue to feel happy   >>   (Loop continues)


Let us take a closer look at this loop. What is the key element that keeps the loop alive and strengthens it? If the key element is a happy life, that would mean we would have to be lucky in life so that things are going well for us, as a consequence of being lucky we are feeling happy and so the loop can be formed. But what if the key element is positive thinking? Let us assume for the moment that this is the case. How would that change things?

If the key element truly is positive thinking, it would change things tremendously. That would mean we truly are in control of our mind and hence our happiness and our life. This has a huge significance in a situation in which individual feels pain, anxiety and depression due to negative events in life such as cheating, insecurity, mistrust, lying, betrayal, narcissism or any kind of a problem in a relationship. You can influence the way your brain (and hence your mind) is working in this kind of a situation. You do not have to succumb to sadness and depression, you can shape the very structure of the neural networks in your brain by altering your behavior and your thinking. Let us now take a look at different kind of a cycle.


The Negative Feedback Loop

Imagine your life is going well. You have a wonderful spouse who you love and who you feel loves you back. You are living happily due to the effect of positive feedback loop such as the one described above. Now imagine what would happen if this loop is being interrupted at some point due to some negative event in your life, such as cheating or betrayal:


>> Your life is going well  >> Your spouse is cheating on you and you find out >>  ??


What will happen now? The loop will change from a positive feedback loop into a negative feedback loop:


>> Your spouse is cheating on you and you find out >>   You are no longer happy   >>   The neuronal networks related to positive thinking are no longer being strengthened in your brain, instead the networks related to negative thinking will be strengthened   >>   Your energy level goes down, you do not get as much done in your life (for example at work)   >>   Due to this, you feel your life is not going as well as it used to   >>   This makes you feel more depressed   >>   The neuronal networks related to negative thinking are being strengthened more   >>   (Negative feedback loop continues)


Breaking The Cycle

It is important to realize that you DO have the power to influence this negative feedback loop, just the same way as you have the power to influence the positive feedback loop. If you do not do anything, the loop keeps strengthening itself and as time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to break the negative cycle. It takes a long time for the brain to change, for better of worse. It takes several years for serious depression to develop. Depression develops as a consequence of this kind of a negative feedback loop, which is not interrupted at any point, but which can strengthen itself in peace until it becomes so strong that one no longer can break free without the help of medication or therapy. In accordance with this, it takes couple years for a person to fully recover from serious depression. The brain can heal itself after depression, but it takes a long time.

If you have experienced something traumatic in your life (for example cheating or narcissism in your relationship) you still have a chance to influence the negative feedback loop in such a way that it will not be strengthened too much. In order to do this you must strike to the "weak points" of the loop. For example, force yourself to do your work as well as you can. Even if you feel you cannot concentrate, try your best to get your work done.

Secondly, you can alter your thinking. Remember, "we are what we think". If you dwell on the memory of cheating or betrayal and only think about the matters related to cheating all day long 24/7, you can be sure that the neuronal networks related to the memory of cheating and negative thoughts will soon become very strong. When this happens, the thoughts of cheating keep entering your mind on daily basis, even if you do not want them to.

One important aspect in breaking the negative cycle is to take good care of one's body and mind. Physical exercise has been proven to release endorphins, brain's own "pleasure substances". Endorphins are relieving the stress and anxiety. If you are already fit, keep doing exercise even if you feel down, in a long run it will benefit you significantly. If you have gained weight and do not have much energy to do sports, you can start slowly for example by going for long walks. When your weight has gone down a bit you will have enough energy to start to do more exercise. Try this out and you will see how even a tiny amount of exercise serves as nature's own "drug" that takes away the sharpest edge of your mental pain. 


Strengthen the neuronal networks related to positive thinking

You can break the negative feedback cycle by forcing your brain to strengthen different networks than those related to the memory of cheating and betrayal. One strategy to achieve this is to start a new hobby. It can be anything. The more challenging the better, because if the hobby is challenging it is occupying more resources in your brain and you have less time to think about the negative things such as the matters related to cheating. When you are not actively thinking about cheating, the neuronal networks in your brain related to negative memories are not active as often as they would be if you are concentrating only on negative thoughts, and hence these networks will not be strengthened too much. If you do not want to start a new hobby then do something else, but make sure you do SOMETHING every day, instead of only sitting alone and thinking about cheating or betrayal.

It is fascinating to think that we can alter our own thought processes by using relatively simple methods and mental exercises. If you wish to read more about these issues and learn ways to influence the way your mind is working, visit page Recovery after Cheating and Narcissism If you are feeling depressed or anxious due to the problems in your relationship, visit this page to learn what you can do to help your brain and mind to recover: Training the Brain.

If you wish to read more about me and my background, please visit page Site Overview. From Site Overview you can read short description of the contents of this site. If you are interested in topics related to cheating, narcissism, mind and brain, please feel free to read my blog. If you are in relationship with a narcissistic mental abuser, you find useful information from this website that will help you to heal. You can go to other sections of this site by clicking Main Menu links (left bar).

- Maria

If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Comments (118)
  • Tinkershell  - What do I do...
    :?: just about four yrs ago I cheated on my husband and feel horrible. We had been together 11 yrs married for 5 at the time with four children. We were young when we met and I already had two children. He was a great person and a good provider but through out the yrs I felt a lack of emotion. We would do things go places but I didn't feel like he put me first, he had anxiety and never really wanted to go anywhere unless he took extra medication which in return made me resent him. Over the yrs he had been in jail for DUI 3 times and shoplifting twice. He would get so zombie like I hated him. I went to school to better myself in case I got enough nerve to leave him one day and met someone. When I met him we were just friends, I vented to him and he vented to me about his girlfriend of 7 yrs. she and my husband had so much in common so it was like we understood each other. One night at a Christmas party that mind you I had invited my husband to and he said no; my friend tried to kiss me. I told him no we can't do this and that it would not be right and he agreed. A few weeks went by and during that time when my husband would be mean or angry on his extra medication all I could think about was how I should have kissed my friend. I almost felt inside if I did that then it wouldn't matter what my husband did to me or said. One night coming home from school I called my husband and could tell he was "buzzed" as he called it. He told me to go to the store and I confronted him about the sound of his voice and asked him if he had drank. All hell broke out on the phone and he said some things to me that cut like a knife. In my heart that day I told myself I was done and couldn't stand to live like this any more. The problem was that I couldn't really leave I had four children all over the age of 6 now but still he was a good Dad to them just wasn't a good husband when "buzzed." Well I had to go on a weekend trip for school and although my friend was not a student he helped out because his mother was my teacher. Yep bad I know...:( that weekend I let my guard down and we slept together. It turned into an emotional affair for the next two months then his girlfriend came back and we both desired to end it. Honestly I was hurt but knew I was wrong for even doing it in the first place but he was my escape from reality. A yr went by and my husband had been better then worse lost his job moved to another state looking for work came back was arrested again. Same cycle and I hated it but forgave him and felt I needed to tell him about the affair if I wanted us to go forward. I told him bits and pieces and he was crushed. I fabricated something's to make it sound less "bad" I felt like a whore...he called me every name in the book and then some. As the yrs went by he would mention it like once a month and say mean hurtful things to me and ask for more detail. So a few months ago I told him everything NO fabricating and he said it would be better because he knew I was not telling him the truth. Anyway now I live with him reminding me almost everyday about how I let some 23 yr old kid stick his thing in me ect ect...and I am trying to be patent because I feel he deserves it...he has been drug and alcohol free for two years. But then just before I told him everything he had told me he has had a friend for 6 months from his gym. He said they have gone out to eat, yard-sales, Starbucks, her house, and that they are just friends and he is not like me when he said I DO he meant it. I am so confused I want it to work but I can't live like this anymore....there is so much more I could right a book...HELP ME!!!!
  • Anonymous
    The only way I could stop this vicious cycle of breaking up with my N was to change my cellphone number ... It was a decison made for my own sanity and his... we were too dysfunctional together as I refuse to listen to his narcassitic rages.. although every time I would be sucked back in and the cycle would begin all over again

    Hope one day I will be truly happy
    I have been in relation since 5/2007 and got married to hime 6/25/2011. I we are currently seperated due to domestic violence in the realtionship towards me and my 12yrs old son. I have moved out the home and been seperated from him for one month as of today 11/26/2012. I have not had any contact with him due to a DVPO order. I his currently facing misadmeanor charges for assault on me and my son. I do not care for to talk with him at this time, but I do miss him! After all he had done and said to me and my children why do I still miss him and care for him! My husband has called me every name you can think of accept a CHILD OF GOD! i AM A CHILD OF GOD. I would never have thought my husband would have turned out to be such a BEAST in dequised. He is a minister in our church and you would have NEVER would have thought he was a wolf dressed in sheep clothing. I have never cheated on my huband since we have been together from 2007 until now and don't plan on too. My question is.. Is there something wrong with my that I still want to be with him after ALL he has done to me and my children? Why do I still have feelings like I still want to be with him even though he has done this to me?
  • Lal  - Cheatingg
    After 3 years of strong relationship I got engaged 8 months before and 2 weeks before I checked my fiance's mail account. I found that she is sharing her sexual feelings with someone. I asked her about that and she told me She is not feeling good with our relationship. I am ready to accept those things. Now also she is continuing that relationship with that person. I am totally irritated about that relationship. She is not ready to behave as before. I need her love. I like to speak with her. But she is not ready. I really love her. I am expecting someone's help in this situation. Please understand my condition.
  • Jm Aubrey  - NPD
    This is so painful to learn. People with NPD do not know what a deep, loving and committed relationship is. They like to live in the initial butterfly state of love. If you confess your true feelings, they devalue and discard you, or project their own flaws onto you. I am not going to tell you to just go no contact, because that is a recipre for failure. Hold back from calling or sharing your emotions. Let her miss you. You have to come to the point where YOU feel indifferent towards them and that can take a long time.
  • Dawn  - @ JM Aubrey
    Yes, I call it the mirror effect I dont know if that's a real thing but every time he gets mad he "mirrors" faults onto me. Sometimes I am no longer Dawn but all the "whores" he dated or married in his life. I have been so supportive and caring and it's really draining me. I believe I am almost to the UN-caring stage of this relationship a person can only give so much and try so hard and be lied to and cheated on until there is nothing left. Sad
  • kat  - know how u feel
    This just happened to me with a guy I dated. He lied, cheated,manipulated and when I found out he was dating several other women he eontinually projected his own flaws onto me I.e I was the liar, the easy one, the unfaithful person and many derogatory terms that were in fact his view of women in general. He really tried to make me feel that I was a bad person and that his unacceptable behaviour was my fault. Realizing when projection and other methods are being used on you is half the battle and it makes them appear like an ineffective immature child and makes it easier to break free from this type of mental abuse.
  • Jett's  - Cheating Fiancé
    You may not want to hear this but DON''T marry her she will never reciprocate the love you have for her. I am living with a man who is seeing another woman and I can tell you it won't get better..Please do not make the mistake I did and commit yourself to someone who is unworthy...Your fiancé is a mass manipulated and will never acknowledge the pain and hurt she is causing you. If you can talk to a therapist also like the article states don't try and get even with her and don't dwell on her cheating this will only cause you pain. Slowly distance yourself from her find something you like to do and throw all your attention into that. It will take your mind off her cheating and you can start the healing process. Please believe me when I say she will never love you...cut you losses and move on.
  • Evarist  - Take heart my dear ones
    After we had given birth to four children in a spell of six years, i discovered she was producing like a rat.
    mine was to inject her as she swallowed my guthing! So i detasted our state of affairs seeing that she had no room to work and fenf for her kids as i invested for them.
    so i hooked up with another young girl who coincidentally listens to me and knows what she wants.
    i praise her good sense of bed and respect.
    i trasure her excellent innovation when it comes to business orientation.
    She has so far earned me a good bounty of savings in a bank.
    this she does despite our blissful evenings out spending splendidly.
    Now, i discretly declare myself single and engaged!!!!!
    Would you do the same as i am apparently doing?
  • Chris Knight  - Husband of the Year
    First let me say in the immortal words of Groucho Marx that he loved his cigar but he took it out of his mouth occasionally! Might I suggest that you should have done the same. You used her as a brood mare. Now that four pregnancies in six years plus the kids that go with them have left her with no time, energy, and I would bet emotion for your whiny mercenary cry
    baby ass except disdain you think it is fine to toss her and your kids aside. Here is what you do guaranteed to work. . . unzip you pants take your small penis in your hands go in to the bathroom and slam the toilet seat down on it until gone. This should keep you out of any future trouble. And if that does not work my next suggestions involves a gun and your head but never fear not like any danger of hitting anything important say like . . . a functioning brain or conscientious!
    P.S.Advice to both women. . . Run!Run!Run for your lives!(he will be fine his Mother will take him in again and so she should she is the one that is responsible for teaching him how to treat women)
  • T
    My boyfriend is a narcissist and he doesn't know it. I tried to tell him and he denies it and just acts like I'm crazy. I feel like he treats me like a doll or something like it like I'm not my own real person. He always has something to say bad about my looks even though I am attractive. Like I didn't do my makeup right or my hair isn't styled right. He only thinks abou himself and when I tell him these things he just acts like he doesn't care. When I cry he just stares at me. I love him we have been through so much he has cheated on me 3 times and once wih my co worker for three months behind my back. I don't know if I'm afraid to leave because I don't want to be alone or what it is but I would like some help dealing with this. It's tearing me up physco logically.
  • Kathy  - You are the most Important one at this point!
    I'm in the process of leaving my "N"....unfortunately I have to wait a few weeks before I can due to finances...He knows I'm leaving and acts completely indifferent to it...we've been together for 3 years...The old saying "Love is Blind" couldn't be a truer statement....I'm in a lot of pain right now because I do love him and it hurts so much to see that he has no problem discarding me like an old book!I really wish I could get out sooner...I want to be able to get through the next few weeks not feeling hurt....My advice to you is just to leave and take care of you...he doesn't care and never will...now I know why all the friends I met through him never like him!
  • sl  - plz help me
    i love someone and he also love me but i m very possessive now and my possessive feeling is harm of my work and his work also again and again i m thinking only him what can i do ?? plz help me ??
  • Ms x  - This is a beautiful article
    :This article is an eye opener.. never realised that i was in relationship with a narcissist, kept suffering and suffering and now m mentally empowered to kick away d ass from my life..
    Thanks a lot
  • Evarist MUHUMUZA  - The extincion of love
    The current generation risks love extinction because the admixture of opportunism, survival and blind promises punctuate courtship! The land is no longer virgin, fencing materials are punctuation marks for sharing resources including beds!!! Wait a little longer in twinkle of an eye, love gonna dissappear.
  • gaurav patra  - want to know how to keep up long relationship!!
    i love a girl who is from thailand!! and even she love me!! but she is leaving india next month and she is not coming back to india again...i want to be with her.
    so what should i do to keep up relationship..??
    i really love her but i don know she really serious with me or not?!! i asked her so many time
    are you serious with me !! she told that i really love you bit i cant say that what will happen in future!!
    i need help and its too urgent because she is leaving india next month!!! i want to know wt should i do!!pls
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