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Antiversary, and sustained triggering

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DWBH posted 4/23/2013 09:45 AM

I've been having a horrible time for the past week+, due to what I'll call DDay #2 antiversary. Last year, at this time, I went through arguably the toughest time of the whole A. It was a two week period of hell, in which my W fell back into the "addiction" of the A and OM. Lots of private messages between the two, scheming on what and how his W was going to be told about the A, finally concluding on May 4th with true NC finally being achieved.

On that day is when I was finally told about all the details of the A. The sex, the sneaking around, the depth of the lies and deception. It was far more extensive than what I knew/believed for 7+ months.

Besides the DDay #2 disclosure, I am really struggling with my W's behavior and actions during those two weeks before it. It's so vivid to me right now. We had, what I thought, been making good progress during the 7 months leading up to that. Addressing pre-A issues, my depression and withdrawn-ness... I had accepted she had fallen out of love with me, but at that point, she had rediscovered it, and was sure she wanted to be with me. But then, due to circumstances with OM's wife and a health issue, they were thrown together a few times as she was helping out with their kids, and fell down the rabbit hole all too easily again. It's just fucking baffling to me how, at that point, it could happen again. To say she was a mess is a massive understatement.

Anyway, I know this is all in the past, and we've been good progress in the past year. I have tools and whatnot from therapy and books I've read to try and help keep perspective, keep in the present. I just feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle. But...

My main support system is simply communication with my W. And that's a problem at the moment. She is PMS'ing for the past 3 days. We have had some very bad experiences over the past 18 months when it comes to her PMS, the A, and my feelings. Two times in particular, I thought it was over between us. Just fucking done. Her defensiveness (which she has been in control of normally, for a while now) can turn into aggression. She has said some nasty things, not too mention what I perceive as a complete lack of empathy.

So, on Sunday, when I started to talk to her about all of this, she told me it's Day 9, meaning 9 days before she's due. Yes, this shit lasts over a week, every 28 days. Some months it's better, some months not so much. Flip a coin, never know what you're gonna get. So, I shut down with her. Nothing but day-to-day stuff with the kids and whatnot. I don't know what else to do, except avoid conversation with her, because frankly, I know I cannot handle one more dose of her PMS-driven defensiveness when I'm feeling this low and fragile.

The air is thick between us right now, and I just feel very alone. The few people I talk with IRL about A stuff just don't really understand antiversaries, nor the time and work it takes to R. It sucks, but I think unless/until someone goes through it, they just can't really understand it. I know pre-A, I certainly wouldn't have been real empathetic with a friend who was 18 months out from catching his W and best friend together.

So, glad y'all are here to listen. I'm really hoping that after May 4th, I get back to where I was just a few weeks ago, emotionally. There are no more "1st" antiversaries after that; all clean-time going forward.

[This message edited by DWBH at 9:45 AM, April 23rd (Tuesday)]

karmahappens posted 4/23/2013 09:50 AM


I am sorry you are having a tough time.

Really though, why is her PMS more important than your pain and suffering, which SHE inflicted?

I call bullshit. My husband could have had his balls in a vice and if I was triggering he had better drop the ice and handle the shitstorm he created...

I don't think she is addressing your needs and I would be hurt by this...

DWBH posted 4/23/2013 09:54 AM

Really though, why is her PMS more important than your pain and suffering, which SHE inflicted?

I call bullshit.

I hear ya, and as a guy... I can't really explain it. Let's just say she does NOT have control over her emotions at times. We believe she has PMDD, and also is hitting the early stages of pre-menopause. She has done a lot of research on medications, supplements, vitamins, etc. to battle the effects. She has tried many, many things, with varying success. Currently, she's on a program involving magnesium supplements starting at Day 15, and then adding in Evening Primrose when her period starts.

karmahappens posted 4/23/2013 09:57 AM

I did not mean to be all. I just am so amazed at people sometimes. I couldn't imagine putting my needs ahead of my spouses when I was the one to cause the pain.

I am sorry (((hugs)))

5454real posted 4/23/2013 11:06 AM

Don't want to sound snarky, but given the duration and involvement of your fWW's affair, did the OM ever have to deal with this? Their contact was on a daily basis wasnt it?

How did she control it then?

DWBH posted 4/23/2013 11:13 AM

did the OM ever have to deal with this? Their contact was on a daily basis wasnt it?
How did she control it then?

We've talked about that too. I even spent some time cross-referencing her PA timeline (which spans about 6 weeks) with her monthly cycle & accompanying mood swings during that time. I can tell you down to the day when she's feeling frisky, when she's more likely to be cold, when she's more likely to snap irrationally, etc. Her response is simply that she wasn't herself, at all, during the A.

The EA lasted a good 6-7 months, and yes, for several of those, they had daily contact. They only offered the "fun" side to each other, didn't have to deal with anything confrontational, or negative, like, ever. So I doubt he ever saw her bitchiness; she probably redirected elsewhere during the A.

karmahappens posted 4/23/2013 11:44 AM

Sorry to chime in...again

So I doubt he ever saw her bitchiness; she probably redirected elsewhere during the A.

If she was able to redirect it with her AP IMO she is using it as an excuse now....she can't have it both ways, well, unless you let her

numb&dumb posted 4/23/2013 12:51 PM

Sorry, man.

We are all hear if you need to vent.

As far the medical causes go, she needs to see a MD that can help her through these times. The right IC would understand too.

Supplements, herbals, not potent enough. She needs pharma grade help.

Her response is simply that she wasn't herself, at all, during the A.

She could suppress/redirect it then. She could now too. She just does not choose to. Or to be clearer she does not wish to try.

Do you think she uses this as an excuse to justify her behavior during the A ? Or better yet to revert to unhealthy toxic attitudes or coping mechanisms ?

It sounds like a excuse to me. Why has SHE done to address this problem ? Other than take some vitamins?

This is one of those things were we say watch the actions to see if they match up to the words.

I am sorry man as you describe it does not sound like she wants to do much about this problem at all. She would rather have the excuse to defend her horrible choices every so often. She seems intent on winning some of the power struggles and found a convenient way to rationalize it to you.

Don't get me wrong , sometimes you have to give your WW a break from the discussions, but within reason.

Just because I have been there, when she whips out the, I am only like this with you because I can be myself with you, don't let that one go. It becomes a silver bullet to be used (falsely) over and over again.

((DWBH)) You will get better. Spend some more time working on you. Keep at it. Don't let another be too much of your healing, that way you don't owe them anything.

5454real posted 4/23/2013 16:38 PM

I remember TR's apology. It really seemed like she got it. Why this sudden(?) lack of empathy? My fWW had PMS in a similar fashion and it was a bear. Avoided her like the plague until I knew it was safe again. Fortunately, after her hysterectomy, those subsided.

What I have since come to realize(thanks SI) is that these were precursors to her susceptibility to an A. It is allowing feelings to control behavior. Feelings may influence behavior, but how we react to those feelings is what determines character. To accept that it is otherwise is to begin down the path of rationalization.

I understand the hormones will affect the way someone feels. I am not denying that. What I am saying is that it's how she deals with that, that matters. You are hurting, need help and she refuses or worse ignores because she is on day 9? Wow.

Let's just say she does NOT have control over her emotions at times

Step back and read that again, because I don't see that as very far from

Her response is simply that she wasn't herself, at all

Yes she was. There may have been influences on her, but ultimately the decision was all hers.

Like I said, I thought TR's post was fantastic. In fact, I think it was one of the first things I showed my fWW on this site.

What changed?

DWBH posted 4/23/2013 19:33 PM

I appreciate the feedback from everyone; lots of food for thought here.

She seems intent on winning some of the power struggles and found a convenient way to rationalize it to you.

Power struggles are indeed at play between us, and that is a recurring issue we're working on. Mostly by being cognizant of our conversations, and the motivations behind things said.

Spend some more time working on you. Keep at it. Don't let another be too much of your healing

There is a balance to be struck here, in my situation. Pre-A, I was basically 180'd from her. Totally withdrawn from everyone, in my own little world. I didn't rely on anyone for anything. Depression drove me there, and I cut everyone out. Now, part of my healing mantra is "Always turn toward each other, not away, when times are tough; that's what brings you closer together." And most of the time, this works. It really does. I understand the danger of becoming co-dependent, and I think that's what you're saying?

Why this sudden(?) lack of empathy?
What changed?

It's not sudden; it's always timed with this PMS when it happens. Things overall have been going fairly well for us, and she is normally emphatic. Is she "the model of remorse"? I've long ago let go of the fantasy there is such a thing. There are a few WS' on SI which I've gone out of my way to share quotes and posts from with my W. WalkinOnEggShelz, Oktobermest, Aubrie are a few of those. But I know TR will never be like them in how she demonstrates her remorse. I've accepted that.

To be more specific in regards to her reaction during this PMS time... what she does not handle is when I'm angry. Regardless of the time of the month, she does not handle my anger well, at all. This stems back to way before pre-A, and really speaks to some of my personality traits. I have learned a lot about myself over the past 18 months, and one of those things is how formidable and intimidating my anger is received by others. Not only that, but I can be really overbearing and vicious when I'm angry. Never physically, just attitude. So when my anger is directed at her, she responds with defensiveness (again, a power struggle, right?). She has worked on this since the A, and I have worked on expressing my feelings in a more constructive way.

Do I wish I could just cut loose on her at times, when I'm feeling like this? Fuck yeah, I do! But what I've learned is it not only makes me feel worse afterwards, but the response it triggers in her is quite undesirable, to say the least.

The issue with the PMS is that her defensiveness to the slightest bit of anger on my part is unchecked. Like I said, uncontrolled. I'm not defending her defensiveness response during this time; it sucks to have to tiptoe around that shit. But I'm not sure I agree with the statement she is doing this on purpose, or not trying to control herself. I do agree she needs to work on this more, either medically or psychologically. This PMDD stuff is really only become prevalent over the past year or so. Trust me when I say it's not "normal" PMS. Who knows, maybe this contributed in some way to her decision to have an A in the first place??

DWBH posted 4/24/2013 09:00 AM

Last night and this morning have been horrible for me. I am really struggling with this slump I'm in. Before I left for work, I started talking to TR about the PMS stuff again. How she's really been completely unavailable to me since Sunday morning. We've had this discussion several times now, and it didn't go any different this time.

She says she has no control. I point out the things many of you have said, which is she never had this issue with OM, and last June (when she joined SI initially--read her profile story) she managed to pull herself out of PMS-driven detachment.

Her response is that the A was an addiction. Like being fueled by coke all the time. Her behaviors, moods, actions were all altered then.

As for last June, when I told her I was done? It was a major jolt. I point out yes, obviously, but she was still able to reign it in. She says I just don't understand, don't believe her how this affects her. We've had nearly zero physical touch since Sunday; this morning, before we started talking, she gave me a hug, and said that is the first time in a few days she could do that. That's how she knows when the PMS stuff is fading. Gawd, I just don't get it.

It's so frustrating. I am so fixated on the shit that went down last year at this time, and not being able to talk this through with her really is hurtful. I told her all this. Again.

Round and round we go.

sisoon posted 4/24/2013 09:37 AM

I'm sorry you're in such pain. I think I get it - it my W had refused to answer questions at any time, for any reason, I'd have felt awful in the moment and hopeless for the future.

I usually like to reframe things positively. You accept your W's PMS as real, at least you can't fight it out now. So put it out of your mind - she's unavailable, and the reason doesn't matter.

Don't give up your need to talk, but tell yourself you'll be able to talk this out in a few days.

In other words, relax about the things that you can't control. You accept your W's PMS as an obstacle to talking - that's an OK decision. You accept your feelings - that's the only good decision. You have an overwhelming desire to talk - that's OK. You feel awful - congratulate yourself on your perception, because it's an awful sitch.

When your W is out of her PMS/PMDD, talk with her about managing the symptoms - she managed it with om, and she should treat you better. It may be that nothing will help, but it's worth looking for help anyway.

But relax - you've been traumatized you're reacting pretty normally, and you will get through this.

(signed) Pollyanna, using sisoon's typing finger

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:39 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

DWBH posted 4/24/2013 09:42 AM

Thanks, Sisoon... you are so right on all of this. When it started a few days ago, I tried to tell myself just that... OK, she's unavailable, and will not respond well if I try and talk to her about this stuff right now. I need to work on this for myself, because as you say, I have no control over her hormones.

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