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how do you trigger constructively?

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sri624 posted 7/21/2013 18:40 PM

This post is a follow to a post i made earlier...the discussion turned into trigger/arguing in a constructive manner. h is all in...okay great. But the last weeks have been pure hell. Something inside me gets me so mad i could scratch his eyes out when i am talking to him in a fight. I find myself, yelling, cussing him out...telling he can get the F know...telling his ass off.

I just get so angry for whar he did...see my sig/profile.

I am asking for do i talk to him constructively? He says that he shuts down when i start being mean and nasty. And most of the time he will take it...but lately, he will get defensive and it turns into world war 3 with me talking about lawyers and d'
He said he want to do what it takes to help me heal...he said there has to be a better way we talk to each other.

Actually what he said was that he was not going to take my verbal abuse!

Which led to the war escalating.

I have a lot of things to get off my chest...and i trigger often.

Does he deserve me raging at him? Am i being abusive?

How do you talk to your cheating spouse about "what happened?"

Please help me friends....

phoenixrivers posted 7/21/2013 19:22 PM

Hi sri624,

I wish I had an easy answer. Just last night I told my wgf she was a "worthless piece of s***" because she had slept with a "drug addict" without protection and had allowed me to make love without telling me about it. So she has left again and accused me of "character assassination".

Would a more measured response have been preferable? Sure, yeah, yes. Is it always possible? Don't think so. If you express your anger sincerely and do it once, then I would say that it's permissible. Do it more than once and try to shame them (like saying you're a worthless piece of shit multiple times and days), then an absolute "NO"!

I will be seeking some individual counseling to help with my anger. I will try to remember the tale of the boy who's father told him to drive a nail into a fence each time he felt angry. After a while he had a fence full of nails. His father then told him to pull one nail from the fence each time he was able to restrain his anger.

Soon the boy had a bag of nails. His father then told him, "Now look at the fence." It was full of holes.

So anger has it's place, but so does restraint and even restraint leaves holes in your psyche. Best to deal with your anger and resentment before your spirit is left in shambles.


Gr8Lady posted 7/21/2013 22:51 PM

Something that bothers me still is the triggering, and direct effect on how it makes me feel.

The triggering I experience WH interprets as my living in the past.
I had conversation with IC and described how the trigger will literally put me back in the event. Her words (IC) it is like PTSD. That makes sense to me. So much sense. We have to heal from those triggers. Now remember all triggers aren't bad. All of us recall a smell, or song that brings us happy fond memories. The smell of crayons, makes me remember beginning school. Oldies take me back to high school. I can tell you what I was wearing, and dancing with at the school dances. ( ok aging myself now. )
Anger comes from fear and insecurity, so it is natural to be angry when we trigger from betrayal we have endured.
Just seems the insecurities, hurt, have to be addressed by WS. The BS has to feel secure and safe. Otherwise triggers pull us right back to the betrayal.

Ladyogilvy posted 7/21/2013 23:38 PM

It's a tough one. I went from someone who always saw the best in people and who lived my life with the philosophy that life was short and then you die so you have to enjoy it when you can, to... now thinking there being rare exceptions to people being self centered assholes and everything being a trigger for all of the lies and secrets of my WH.

I yelled and screamed and cussed and threw things. Was my behavior abusive? Probably but in my defense it was a direct result of the abuse WH subjected me to. Do I wish I could have reacted better? For my sake and the sake of my children but not for the sake of my marriage or the long term ability to have a stable family. If I had not gone bat shit crazy... I mean, truly completely broken down into the raging psycho bitch that I became when WH was completely insensitive to my pain... He never would have gotten it.

Seriously, my losing my mind and telling the entire world how messed up WH was (in technicolor detail) was the only consequence he faced. It was either that or divorce him and move on with my life. In hind sight... I'm not sure it was worth my having to have had a complete breakdown to finally have WH start getting it a couple of years later. I hate that my children had to go through seeing their one functional parent go completely crazy.

On the other hand, if I had divorced WH, he would have continued on his downward spiral. He would have continued to drink himself into a gutter, we would have lost everything. Seriously, we were on the verge of losing our home as it was. WH was facing legal problems that could have gotten him disbarred. He could have lost his law practice. Instead, WH has been sober a year, our family is healing, we're planning an amazing trip to the UK.

That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger... Or as my son says, kills you the second time around.

You might want to warn him, the way to make me trigger on top of triggering, the way to really trigger my wrath... Tell me I can choose to react differently in the midst of a trigger. Tell me I am choosing to be upset and see just how much fire you can make a dragon spit.

If he is lucky, he will get to see you heal but as long as he's playing victim because of the damage he caused you and your marriage, he is prolonging everyone's pain. It's just more selfishness on top of the selfishness of having an A to begin with. You will heal, with or without him, quite possibly faster without him. He should be grateful you are willing to try to R with someone who triggers her so badly.

That's my perspective now anyway. I know how venomous it sounds. And, it is so out of character for who I was pre-A. I am the well educated, well traveled, adventurous, fun, super mom who everyone wanted to emulate... Or at least I was. I am getting back to my old self but I'm still highly reactive and struggle with the toll it takes on me physically and emotionally to work my way back to being who I want to be.

PTSD is perfectly normal. WH does not get to call it abuse. That is not how to heal the damage he caused.

[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 11:47 PM, July 21st (Sunday)]

sri624 posted 7/22/2013 00:18 AM

thanks for the is really helpful.

i am tired of yelling and screaming everyday. i was raging at him in the car yesterday, and i accidently called our house phone...the voicemail picked up and caught me and recorded our fight. i listend to it and i sounded crazy. i really did. and it accomplished nothing. i got a lot out...and i really let him have it...but even when he said all the right things to help me....that night, i still felt bad.

whether i rage at him or not. i am always ending up feeling bad, well...just about everything.

betrayed5years posted 7/22/2013 00:30 AM

May not work for you but one of the things I did was to make myself write down very specific questions that would come in my head in my rages...I made myself form mainly yes and no questions that was burning at my gut and soul. Left them for him to answer without me around..... it worked for me until I ran out of questions. The answers was not what I expected at times, but I got an answer without spitting flames at him.

One thing I did say to him was that I was so angry becaused I loved him so much. Had he rather me be passive and say "oh well" and never have any emotion?

It does get better......hang in there!

struggling16 posted 7/22/2013 08:00 AM

I am almost 31 months from Dday and don't trigger nearly as much as in the first year. I wrote down my questions, journaled my rage and expressed anger.

I read a tip on SI when I first joined that helped me a lot. After he had answered my questions over and over again and I had gotten the same answers I realized that I was triggering over the same pain repeatedly. This mantra helped me step away from the pain, acknowledge it and substitute this phrase:
"I know and it has hurt me very much but I have felt it and now I am letting it pass."

I repeat this over and over again until I'm breathing normally and can leave the pain behind. It usually helps me put the agony and anger aside.

catlover50 posted 7/22/2013 09:07 AM

Triggers aside, sri624, it is true that it is hard to have a productive conversation when you are raging. I would suggest you schedule a time to talk when you have plenty of time and are both calm. Then set up groundrules that the person who has the "floor" can talk uninterrupted until they say they are done. Truly listen to each other, don't just wait for your turn to talk. During these sessions there should be no belittling or shaming. I would write down questions in advance. And I would set a time limit in advance as well.

Good luck.

Rebreather posted 7/22/2013 09:23 AM

Why are you even "fighting"? What are these fights about? I may have never let a day go by in the first year without mentioning the affair, but I would say we rarely, if ever, fought about it.

You are responsible for your words and deeds, just as he is. If you cannot have a discussion about your pain without screaming insults, then I would seek counseling to find a way to learn to control yourself. That's not healthy, and it isn't going to work for long term recovery. Of course you are angry, but anger doesn't have to include volume or added pain.

He lit your house on fire. It can't get put out if you are pouring more gas on it.

Make some rules for yourself. 1. Take divorce off the table. Agree to never use it as a threat during a fight. That just isn't fair. 2. When the volume of the conversation is increasing, stop. Plan to try again after you cool off. 3. Use I statements. "It hurts when I think about what you did. I am sad today because I can't control the pain. I feel like my skin has been removed by a cheese grater." or whatever works for you. Say these things instead of "you are a dirty piece of shit. You suck ass you cheating dickbag. You are a vile, lying, worthless excuse of a human being."

AFrayedKnot posted 7/22/2013 09:33 AM

For me I turned off all filters. I talked about it constantly. I said whatever came to mind. I asked whatever came to mind. I never let it build up. For months it was 24 hours a day. If I had a dream Couldn't sleep, I would wake her up to talk. If I was working I would send a text or call to tell her exactly what I was thinking about and how it made me feel.

I never let it build up so it rarely came out as rage. Anger and resentment sure, but rarely rage.

At first she just sat and listened. Months later she start being more comforting. Months after that she started participating in the conversations. That is when they became constructive for both of us.

After a while I started running out of things to talk about. Things still pop into my mind and as soon as the do they get talked about.

sri624 posted 7/22/2013 10:01 AM

this is great advice this morning. i am going to use it. i do need to control myself. i do. as mad as i am....i have come to realize that i am not having a productive conversation when i am being nasty. i noticed that he shuts down...and i am not getting anywhere. he has asked when i get like this to cool down...and go in the other room...and i will follow him...i am sure you can picture it.

here is what i am going to...starting you guys suggested.

1. take divorce off the table
2. stop making threats
3.when i start to get loud..stop
4. write down my questions
5. have a time set for the discussion...not all day.
6. and i like what rebreather said..."It hurts when I think about what you did. I am sad today because I can't control the pain. I feel like my skin has been removed by a cheese grater."

i am going to try this. maybe this is what is stalling me from moving forward....

sisoon posted 7/22/2013 10:51 AM

Many years ago, a therapist taught me to treat anger as a signal that I want something to be different. Well, that's right - I want my W to have always been a great partner...and that's no longer possible. That can't be different.

The prescription was to use 'I' statements, and that's worked well for us. I just yell, 'I'm FURIOUS that you ....' That way of venting acknowledges that my anger is the problem that we're dealing with. All my W has to do is stick around and listen, although sometimes she says, 'I'm sorry I did that', and that helped me - but the key is being able to have my W listen to me vent without attacking her.

Our MC gave me a technique that's been very useful - sit down with pen/pencil and paper and write or print sentences that start 'I'm angry that ...' or 'I'm angry about ...' for 3-5 minutes.

When I just want to dump my anger, I write. When I want to have an audience, I use 'I' statements.

(BTW, it's been a long time since I vented to my W; I don't remember the last time - maybe last September. If you keep working to heal, the anger will dissipate.)

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:57 AM, July 22nd (Monday)]

sri624 posted 7/22/2013 11:14 AM

thanks for the reply. i hope it does dissipate over time.

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