Will the Reminders (Triggers) Ever Stop? (Nagging Questions continued) One of the biggest struggles for Samantha was reminders, particularly during sexual intercourse of any kind. They were unrelenting initially, and seemed to take forever to dissipate. It was not uncommon at all for her to retire to the bathroom to cry and try and get herself together, in hopes of returning to the bedroom. I hated every single minute of it. She hated it even more. Then there were the triggers from TV shows, or comedians, or movies or… you name it. I had to become an expert in reviewing movies to make sure that there would be no hint of infidelity in them before we saw them. For I believe 9 months or so, we barely saw a movie if it wasn’t a Disney flick. Because my affair was highly emotionally and sexually charged, her reminders were gruesome. To say it was devastating would be a gross underestimation of how it affected her mentally, emotionally and sexually. Our sex life was ripped to shreds, and before the affair it already had its difficulties, so it felt like we were fighting a double barreled gun pointed at us every single day. Across the board most experts would tell you that depending on the personality of the betrayed spouse, the reminders will be pretty strong for at least a year, maybe more. For some, they begin to dissipate at about a year to 18 months, yet for others, they will last in upwards of 24 months. It’s vital that the betrayed spouse, either male or female, obtain expert help like the harboring hope course on the site (https://www.affairrecovery.com/product/harboring-hope). As Samantha did what she could to diffuse them, we gained momentum, in what seemed excruciatingly slow and tedious at first. To say I had to be patient with them cannot be underscored enough. They came at the very worst times, in the worst ways, and what seemed like a great day would shift in a millisecond. They say it takes 1/200th of a second for a person to flood, and flood Samantha did. Had she not had a couple trusted friends who had been through it before, and had she not had Rick, I’m positive I’d be divorced. As Samantha was able to get healthy, the reminders would come less and less, and she would need less and less time to regroup. She may only take a walk to get some water, or take a few minutes to think and pray. We’d often times take a few minutes to pray when she had reminders, but we were able to get through them as we remained dedicated to the process of not letting them win, over time. Honestly though, some nights they seemed to win and winning to us meant we didn’t go to bed hating each other. It’s been 9 years and things are pretty wonderful. They truly are. About a year ago, I had a text come across my phone that sent Samantha reeling. She read it wrong as someone was confessing their own struggles, but it was very similar to mine, and she thought it was my text. Needless to say it was a long couple hours as she had to go back to work. Yet, when she came home, we had about a 15 minute talk, she realized she was in a rush and jumped to an assumption, and we regrouped very quickly. We never needed to speak of it again and we regained momentum within the same hour. While it’s not easy, it is possible. It does in fact get easier, when you are able to get the right help and the right coping mechanisms in place. As you both remain dedicated to the process of not giving up, you can and you will win, together. Remember, winning looks different during different stages of recovery.