Triggers

The racing heartbeat. The lump in your stomach. The pain and sorrow and anguish.

If you have been affected by infidelity than you know what I’m talking about. The song on the radio. The scene in the movie. The color of the car. The hotel “they” were at. The anniversaries and infamous dates.

Soon after my marriage exploded the triggers began. They were relentless. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I lost 20 lbs in one month. Everything was a trigger. Email, Facebook, text messaging alerts. My life was a living hell. I couldn’t go 5 minutes without the pain and anguish. What was my wife doing now? Where was she? What should I do?

Slowly over the weeks and months and years of recovery things have gotten better. One day I only thought about the affair for 12 hours. One day it was only for 4 hours. One day I noticed I had went 24 hours without a trigger. One week I noticed it had been a week without a trigger. The triggers I did face were less debilitating. I was able to eat and function at work again.

One of the ongoing, major triggers in my life was a particular location my wife and her affair partner met. Daily I would have to drive by this location to take my children to school. Daily I would get triggered. One day recently I discovered that I had not even noticed the location as I drove by. What a relief that was.

Part of the Harboring Hope program I participated in at Affair Recovery taught me tools to help deal with the triggers. Practical, effective ways to stop letting the triggers control my life.

Three years later I still have occasional triggers. Usually random events or situation I didn’t expect. I know how to handle them better now. I have learned to let them go quickly. They no longer rule my life.

If you are facing infidelity you most likely will also have to deal with triggers. Please know that things do get better over time. You will not be faced with the debilitating pain forever.

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Thank you so much for this

Just to know that you have seen these pains fade away...brings hope to my world. I'm only 8 months out, but fear these flashbacks and triggers will never stop. It is impossible to continue to hold onto my marriage (I'm trying desperately) while having these triggers occur all throughout the day and fearing they will never end Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Still hurting

It's been 8 months and I still have triggers. I have to work with the people who hurt me,so I have them daily. It's getting better. I don't cry as much anymore.

Make a change

Im not saying it is possible, but I highly suggest you make a change and put yourself in a safer environment. You don't deserve to live in pain every day. Find a new sanctuary and a new job. I wish you the best

Triggers

Thank you, it does feel like this is never going to go away. Mr. Rick had given me tools to cope and HFH group are all on the same page. I found it very interesting for you a MAN to be so honest with your situation. Men are not usually so out there! I have to keep telling myself ' the infidelity was a lie' satan loves to creep in and plant a seed of doubt and the mind can go nuts. I try to stay in truth. It's over! Those AP's don't even give us a single thought , they have moved one to someone else.. Thank you Jesus! Time does not heal all wounds. Recovery , truth and honesty does! We have a better marriages and everyone's circumstances to deal with are different. My class thru affair recovery is coming to an end and our group had decided to continue with a different curriculum. God send. I can't do this by myself EVER. Thank you for your story.

your blog helps

it's encouraging to read the words of someone else who has gone through the same.  It feels like you're alone in the fight.  I feel like I've lost friends, I've lost my connection with family - and I'm in it alone.  I relate it to losing my mom at 18 - for the first few months, you have so much support, friends, family - checking in to see how you are - and then they vanish, and you're still scared, and you still need help, and support - but you're ALONE.  People forget and they move on with their lives -- you're no longer the gossip, the drama, but you still have to deal with the triggers as you mention.  Places, people - it can be a song on a radio, a line in a movie, -- I find the "what-ifs" are far worse -- I wonder if they went there, I wonder what they were doing a year ago at this time, when I didn't realize it was even going on.  I'm fighting myself to stop accusing my husband even to this day, I'm suspicious of everything - and it makes him angry, and frustrated.  I'm tired of the triggers.....tired tired tired.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Triggers

Relief is felt in knowing that I am not alone or crazy in this caos.  It seems so easy for hard to live sometimes with the triggers, movies, what ifs, and constant negative emotions.  11 months seems like a long time and much progress has been made; good to know that I will continue to get stronger and more stable with honesty and support from my spouse.

Surviving

For me it was the choice to move forward, to be happy, and not let her affair destroy me.  I faced the same triggers and as Erik stated, time and healing does happen.  I remember the day I realized that the affair, and the pain it caused, no longer controlled my life.  I am a year out and know I have a road still ahead of me, but it is a path I choose to walk and every step is a step forward.  Unfortunately our 30 year marriage did not survive the affair and I will mourn that loss, and carry its pain, for a long time.

My message is choice, allow the affair to be a wakeup call and choose to improve yourself and move forward.  It is not easy but the rewards are worth it.  I am happier than I have been in a long time and more in touch with my emotions.  It maybe cliche but one day at a time :-)

I can relate

I can totally relate to this story. It is wierd to me to find a man expressing exactly what i am feeling. We are 5 1/2 months into recovery. We have completed our EMS online course and now our group is continuting with Marriage for Life.  It is good to know that i will feel better and the triggers will lesson over time. sometimes i feel awlful bringing stuff up to my husband over and over again. But he is very understading and says whatever i need to help my healing process he is willing to do.

We feel very lucky to have found AR. I know we wouldn't be where we are today had we not found this program. The blogs really help because you realize you are not alone and time does help heal.

Thanks for your story.

 

Hopeless

You are lucky that your husband is understanding.  It has been 9 months since D day for me and we went to the EMS class in Nov last year.  We have also continued counseling which has helped us with communication and I can see both of us growing and becoming more spiritual.  But the triggers keep coming and they hurt so much, just as if it happened yesterday.  Two days ago we were at the beach in the bahamas and I was really strugeling.  He tried to be reassuring but I couldn't get past it quickly enough for him.  I cried and he did not comfort me.  It is so painful when he can't show me any compassion.  He got frustrated and walked away.  I stayed there crying which he now says he didn't know I was crying. 

How can someone show you no compassion when you need it the most?  How can someone hold a grudge against you when you can't get past the pain?  I'm here trying to find forgiveness and I'm sorry that the reminders make it uncomfortable for him but I need him to help me get through this don't I?  I suppose not.  I can choose to not depend on him and just focus on me right.  Trust in god, but why do I keep crying and keep thinking of them together???  We were away on a beautiful beach and she was still there in my head when I recalled he was planning a beach vacation with her just one year ago.  He had no issues reassuring her of his "love" to her when he was on vacation with me telling her he would miss her and couldn't wait for their trip.   

Feeling Hopeless Today

 

Dear Hopeless, It can be very

Dear Hopeless, It can be very frustrating when the comfort does not come from the one who has hurt you. Seek comfort from the Lord, many times for me that has been my only comfort. It is hard especially when it seems like the effort made for the other woman is more than the effort made for you. If possible identify what it is your are actually needing from your spouse and specifically ask for that need to be filled, try to think of concrete examples of how your spouse could accomplish those things if he asks for them. It will not cure the hopeless feeling, but at least it will feel like progress for you both. I still struggle daily personally feeling inadequate or inferior to the other woman, but I know in God's eyes I am fearfully and wonderfully made and a work in progress, so are you! I purchased and began reading a book when I found out, it is by Holly Gerth entitled "You're Already Amazing. Embracing who you are, Becoming all God created you to be". Although not related to affairs it has been a guidance for me to seeing the woman and wife God wants me to be, which has in turn increased my confidence, worth as a person, and in turn improving my marriage. May the Lord bless you to overflowing with peace and comfort.

Thank you

Thank you for the reply. I'll look for that book you recommended. It's so hard sometimes to believe the other woman is not better then me in his eyes. I hate that I feel I'm not good enough.

Thank you

It has been about three months since I found out. I am glad to hear the triggers lessen with time. They are getting easier, but I still cringe when I go by the building. Today I entered it with my husband and nearly had a panic attack. The woman is gone she moved away, but it doesn't help the intense pain that remains. This site has been an immense help and I share the stuff I get via email often with my husband as we cannot afford the classes. Hopefully soon I will be able to save the money for either an Ems weekend or at least the hope for healing for him and Harboring Hope for me. Thank you all you are the reason we are still trying to make things work. God has really used all of you and this ministry to give me hope and encouragement when all I wanted to do is stop hurting and give up. Thank you,.may God bless you all richly

Triggers

It is a tremendous help to read what other people are going thru and knowing I am not alone.  Its been almost 2 years now since finding out about  the affair and I still have triggers, however keeping a positive outlook and choosing to focus on how good things are now between my husband and myself make the triggers easier to deal with.  We still talk openly when things bother me.  Knowing other people make it through infidelity keeps me going. It does get better. Thank you

Triggers

This is the one area nothing prepares you for... Triggers.... They blind side me each day... When I least expect and at time consume me ... Wish I didn't have to deal with them. It seems like a cruel unfair reality after you find out your then known life as you knew it really isn't what you thought. I long for the day they don't happen and am learning through AR how to move one step in front of the other....through them. Thank you for the article

Triggers

Its been 5 months since D-day. I can't seam to get a handle on the the triggers of my wife being with this other man and later finding out she had another affair 5years ago. I daily find myself thinking non-stop of them being together on the secret weekends while I was home with our 4 kids. I am Godly man but I findmyself so weak from these triggers that it consumes my day, thoughts and time. The emotional roller coaster is horrible. My wife doesn't want to talk about anything anymore or go to any other counseling. She says I'm emotionally unstable and she can't handle the ups and downs. She just wants me to be stable and move forward. I feel so alone in this process. I read my bible, books, visit with my Pastor, friends, go to counseling but the pain doesn't stop. It all seams so hopeless. Reading the other comments does help me see that I'm not a misfit. Thank you!

Physical Pain

It's been a little over a month. It's a physical pain, a confusion.... A sense of 'impossible', 'immovable' Triggers..... They were relentless. - yes.. Yes they are. I couldn’t work. - I barely make it through a day. I couldn’t sleep. - I can't, and havent slept since my 'D Day' it's really taking a toll on me. I couldn’t eat. I lost 20 lbs in one month. - I'm at -25lbs. Everything was a trigger. Yes... my entire world has become a trigger. Email - check Facebook - yup. text messaging alerts - roger that. My life was a living hell. - Im living this statement right now. My only joy is getting home to see my 10yr old twin boys. For them I pull through my day. I couldn’t go 5 minutes without the pain and anguish. - ditto What was my wife doing now? Where was she? What should I do? - Yes yes and yes.. The same exact questions I have 24x7. To the author... And to the folks who commented ... My thanks. I'm so exhausted from lack of sleep, the stress & anxiousness... But right now I'm not afraid... I'm strangely calm after reading this. I think I'll be able to sleep tonight. Knowing that I'm not alone in these feelings, not crazy or weak for not being able to easily shake them off. That people survive, marriages survive (hope & pray), and days get easier. Yeah, I'm going to sleep tonight. Good night... ~e

It's been two and a half

It's been two and a half years since the reveal of my husband's affair.  I want to tell you all that it gets easier.  We are still together.  Some choose to stay together, others don't.  We have been to counseling nearly every week for two and a half years, and we are stronger than ever.  I still have triggers, but I can handle them.  That's not to say that some days they don't bring me to tears.  There's a part of me that will hurt forever.  But I can honestly say, that when I first found out, I never thought I would get past it, or that I would go a day without the thought of him with another woman consuming me.  Now it is rare that I think about it unless there is a trigger that comes up unexpectedly.  Which is actually how I found this page.  I had a trigger this evening.  But I'm handling it well.  Better than I would have two years ago.  And those of you that are still with your spouse/sig other that cheated...they need to understand that they created your emotional ourbursts, or your insecurities and if they truly want your relationship to work, they will deal with it.  You are not alone, and what you feel is totally normal. 

Help!

Im in a somewhat similar situation to all above. I found out about my wifes affair almost five years later with 2 of our children. It been over 10 years now and i still have triggers and it consumes me at times. The problem i think im having is that my wife NEVER wants to me about it. Ive spent the last 10 years wondering who, why, what, where, etc. i think id help if she were to just talk to me about and help me make sense of everything. My question is...is it my right to know details and to ask questions? Should she be willing to answer my questions? she ususally get upset when i try to bring it up and it usually turns into a big argument. the fact that shes not open and willing to talk about it intensifies my suspicions. It makes me feel as if theres more that shes keeping from me.

any suggestions or comment would be very much appreciated.