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Trigger Makes Her Feel Guilty

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padstack posted 4/23/2013 22:13 PM

I was feeling pretty bad this evening, so I went outside so the kids wouldn't see me. She comes out later, sees that I am hurting, sits away from me to have a cigarette, picks up the dog shit, then comes to ask me if I'm okay.

I was then informed that comforting me when I trigger causes her to feel guilty. sniff sniff.

She also told me that she no longer wants to feel that way. So I guess that means she is done trying top comfort me when I trigger. Can't have her feeling bad about causing me pain.

Is this how a remorseful WS acts? What am I missing something here?

BaldwinBeauty59 posted 4/23/2013 22:26 PM

Is this how a remorseful WS acts? What am I missing something here?

No it is not how remorseful WS act and yes you are missing something. You are missing a remorseful spouse. Sorry but you are getting shafted. She needs to be women enough to share the pain that SHE gave you. When you are hurting she needs to be there comforting you, apologizing, and reassuring you. Remorse is all about you and your marriage. Doing what needs to be done to make it right and listening to you cry, moan, question her relentlessly, and rant and rave so you can get the poison out in order to heal. Regret is all about her and her guilty feelings and her avoiding what makes her feel bad. Regret doesn't last. Remorse does.

FR2012 posted 4/23/2013 22:48 PM

FWS here:

Honestly, no that isn't how a remorseful spouse acts. No matter what they should be there for the BS and comfort them at all times.

There are times when my husband triggers and yes, it hurts me to know that I am the one why he hurts so much. But I am there apologizing and comforting him.

Our d-day was just over a year ago and things still hurt and probably will for a long time. But I realize that I am the one that caused it so I am the one that can have the courtesy of comforting him and apologizing. That is the lease I could do.

Honestly, it really hurts to know that I am the one that has caused this to be a part of our lives but I have to deal with it because I caused it.

She should be there for you no matter what and no matter how long it takes for you to heal. Whether it be 3 months or 3 years. She should be there trying to help you with the problems that she caused in your lives.

Betrayed000 posted 4/24/2013 00:00 AM

I have the same experience with WH. He tells me he is "done feeling guilty" and that I either need to "trust him or get out". He throws ultimatums at me a lot- trying to manipulate me into not feeling. It is very difficult because I do not want to shove his face in his mistake (we are trying to R)... But, sometimes I want to shove his face in it... And I want him to take it...

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 4/24/2013 01:05 AM

I am in kind of a bad mood (non-affair related) so this will probably come off harsher than it should. I'll do my best to edit after the fact.

I hate that shit.

My wife did it too. It's the same pity party mentality that set in for my wife at around 4 or 5 months. When the crushing blow of how much she had screwed up our lives actually became a reality..she shut down and wanted it all to end. So she became "tired of talking about it"

I heard that crap. The "I am so tired of not doing enough or not doing the right thing" The problem was...she wasn't doing anything, much less, the "right thing." Instead, she swtiched to the "it's too hard" mentality.

In my situation, I couldn't handle any more of the wayward "poor me" mentality. When she shifted to this attitude..things went south and I filed. Now, in no way am I suggesting that this is a good solution...but by this time I was fed up with her making it about her pain, or how I could never forgive her. .....She decided that she wasn't going to put in the effort cause I was going to keep blaming her. Somehow...after the affair, and all the TT and broken NC, it was still my fault.
The screwed up thing is that all I wanted to do was stop blaming her and stop suffering...but she decided for me that I was incapable of this.

This attitude was not true reconciliation. Now, we are there..but it took time and a lot of effort on both our parts. It took my wife breaking out of the "poor me" mentality to get there.

My wife still clams up at times because she doesn't want to deal. We work through these times....but her simply putting up the "I'm done" wall is the quickest way to killing reconcilation.

[This message edited by wonderboy at 1:08 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

padstack posted 4/24/2013 10:12 AM

This has been an ongoing argument between fWW and I. I feel that her comforting efforts over the past month or so have been half ass. It feels like she really does not want to be there to help me and only doing it out of obligation.

Everytime I trigger, she asks me what I need. Thing is, I have told her so many damn times that I feel like a broken record. How many effing times do I have to tell her to just sit there with me and hold me, tell me you love me, tell me that you are sorry for hurting me and that you are grateful for the chance to R?

The last time I triggered, she asked me if it helped me to have her sit there and hold me. I told her yes. Last night, she tells me that it is obvious that her comforting me does not help me and we need to figure out what will help. It is driving me nuts.

She always seems to turn it to how she is working so hard on herself and I should appreciate it. I do, but it has come at the expense of her helping me. Which she told me in the beginning, she would do whatever it takes to help me through this. I guess doing whatever it takes only lasts 5 months, then it is up to me to heal. Getting really sick of this roller coaster.

Rakerblade posted 4/25/2013 18:47 PM

I have been dealing with the same thing... I trigger or just have a bad dream, etc... she starts gettig all emotional about how she thought we were doing better, and how she feels like such a failure as a wife and like such a shitty person... AAND I START FEELING BAD FOR HER... then I get pissed about her emotional state... I'm the one that was hurt, I was the one betrayed, but now I have to support her self-loathing and try and make her feel better??? WTF???
At times I just want to yell... YES! You should feel like S**t! YES! This is your fault! YES! You are a s**ty wife!

I am getting to the point that I don't even want to discuss the A or my feelings with her because I don't want to have to deal with her being all upset and feeling like I have to put on my strong husband hat and be the supportive one... Ugh.

IGaveItMyAll posted 4/25/2013 18:56 PM

My WW told me this too. That when I trigger it brings up her anxiety and makes her feel extremely guilty. Maybe this will help you maybe not.... The way I handled it was I told her that.. "I need to know you feel guilty and remorseful in order for me to heal. We are in this to heal together and I want you to learn to get past your guilt and deal with it in a healthy way. I will try anyway I can to help you heal also." I also explained what happens to me when I trigger, how a trigger works in my head so she could better understand it. Honestly, I know she hates when I trigger but she is always there to try and help me through it. Even when I don't bring it up she KNOWS.. "You just triggered" Then forces me to talk about it. I don't know if its this way for others but I tried to make my WW feel safe and that its ok to feel guilt. It is a consequence of her actions BUT I also made it very clear that we both need to heal in our own ways and that we are in this to heal together.

ungracie posted 4/25/2013 19:02 PM

I guess it depends on the mindset of your wife.

It is either...a reminder of what she did wrong..or an opportunity to right that wrong..for herself.

numb&dumb posted 4/26/2013 09:01 AM

So sorry man.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but what she is doing is just plain cruel. In these cases it would be better if she did nothing. Making a minimal effort just goes to show how much she is willing to support your healing. This goes back to words matching actions.

This is not a sustainable dynamic and is going to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Working on her issues is good, but it is not a silver bullet. Aside from other actions to prove the contrary, she is showing you that her pain, her healing and her minimization of guilt are all more important. Like call it what it is, selfishness.

You have options and most of them suck. Sometimes you have to show an unremorseful WW that you are serious.

It is time to detach and learn some self soothing techniques. You are giving her too much of a role in your healing.

I would state to her that her minimal attempts are making you feel worse, not better. You need to learn to deal with this on your own and detach. I would also point out once you have learned to be a self contained healing unit, you can't say you will want this M anymore.

Do you really want a M where she continues all the behaviors that led her to this choice in the first place. She is "fixing" her issues. It seems like a convenient excuse to me. Is she really working on her issues ? Has she shared any of her progress ? Better yet do her actions demonstrate real changes ? How long are willing to let her hurt you before you draw a line and say no more ?

If I were you I would start making plans for a life independent of her. Including being able to self soothe during triggers. It is possible and removes the need to involve people who cause more harm than good.

She needs to see just how serious this is. I don't think she gets any part of that today.

It is your life and you have to live it, but trust me on the individual healing part. BTDT. You have to be willing to lose your M to save it.

Derailedblazer posted 4/26/2013 10:04 AM


Sorry to hear this. As a fWS, I have been guilty of this type of behaviour towards my wife when she triggers. I admit that I have not done a good enough job of comforting her when she triggers and have at no stage felt like I have helped her through them. It's not through the lack of wanting; quite the contrary. Every time she triggers I immediately want to comfort her and offer my strength and support to help her through them but I find most of the time the very last thing she wants when she triggers (and I'm really only talking about the very bad ones) is me to touch her. This again I believe to be my fault as, over two years since the final DDay, I have come to realise just what a shoddy job I have done when it comes to helping her heal. She is not yet in a place where my touch is all that welcome during those times she is so deeply hurt and angry.

From my perspective my behaviour towards her triggers has been somewhat of an evolution that paralleled my own journey. Early on, before I understood just how deep her pain and sorrow went, before I had grasped the extent of the terrible things I had done, I outright tried to pretend her triggers didn't exist. I saw them as an inconvenience and even un-necessary! How appalling is that? But then I was in a denial/rug-sweeping stage where all I wanted to do was pretend I had done no wrong and avoid the affair issue entirely. As I started my own journey and began to understand the mechanisms that allowed me to make the choice to have an affair, along with to comprehend the trauma I had brought upon my wife, I began to see just how unavoidable triggers were. I knew why she had them and I started to feel remorse, shame and guilt. But instead of doing my utmost to help her through them I would simply tell her I was sorry (I meant it) and would be at a loss as to what to do next. Often my lack of going beyond a sorry made things worse for her and my old defensive/ignorant tendencies came back.

I try hard now to be as sympathetic and comforting as possible during triggers although I still do not feel as though I am handling them in the way she would like me to. I feel regret, along with a dozen other emotions, just the same as your fWS does, but I realised some time ago that doing nothing is the worst possible thing I can do during her triggers and that I have to completely put my feelings aside during those moments. I need to see just how much she is hurting and do whatever I can to not only help her through it, but to also show her just how sorry I truly am. For me, this is a work-in-progress - I feel truly remorseful, I've just never been good at showing it.

I very much hope she has a lightbulb moment soon and starts helping you through your triggers in the right way. Sadly, it does not seem like she feels true remorse yet, or at least, does not know how to show it.

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