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Do WS experience triggers too?

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tryin2havefaith posted 9/16/2013 13:36 PM

I am not sure what to think, so I am putting it out here to all the wiser SIers.Do WS experience triggers akin to ours? Or is this an effect of the guilt and shame he still carrying.

At 2 years out, and during an antiversary date, my FWH seems, by what I can see, to experiencing one. It is around a date of something that he is very ashamed of that happened during the A. Now granted it has been over 2 years. It seems to be really hitting him hard. He has had a drink each of the last few nights, and he is not a drinker. He has barely been sleeping the last few nights. All seem like effects of triggering.

This is and then he 'snapped' and lost his cool with our DD. While reprimanding, he ended up yelling. During that he said "I've made a mistake and I'm still being punished for it!!" at them. THAT ^^ just made me sick. Is that what he really thinks? I asked afterward and he did not even remember saying it. Said that he does not feel like I am punishing him, and does not know why he said it.

I have made myself available to talk. To be there for whatever he needs. But his triggering seems to be triggering me and I ended up having a nightmare last night. I haven't had one in a long time. So that concerned me a bit.


sisoon posted 9/16/2013 13:39 PM

My W says she triggers a lot, and I have no reason to doubt her. TV shows & movies cut deeply - even some commercials do.

Simple posted 9/16/2013 13:46 PM

Yes for sure.

I'm not saying the following is what happened to your relationship but from my own experience it could be these things:

1. The fWS sees what they've done clearly and sees how much pain is wrought. They get pissed at themselves for how stupid they were.

2. The FWS has never forgiven themselves and cannot move on. This is an issue with learning good healthy coping skills.

3. FWS has cheated again and is feeling guilty.

tryin2havefaith posted 9/16/2013 13:55 PM

1. The fWS sees what they've done clearly and sees how much pain is wrought. They get pissed at themselves for how stupid they were.

2. The FWS has never forgiven themselves and cannot move on. This is an issue with learning good healthy coping skills.

This^^ I do feel is right on target. He is having great difficulty forgiving himself and has said before how he cant believe how stupid he was.

3. FWS has cheated again and is feeling guilty.

I do not feel like this is the case. He has been up front and transparent. I have keylogger that he doesnt know about, and GPS on his phone. He is where he says he is.

2married2quit posted 9/16/2013 13:57 PM

INDEED! Worst part is that when I trigger, it triggers her. So you get a massive fall out. We had one last week and it was not good. Both feeling horrible and falling apart.

She triggers sometimes pretty bad. In fact, last month we hardly had any sex because she was triggering bad. How she copes with it is the secret to making things go forward.

RidingHealingRd posted 9/16/2013 14:05 PM

I have never sensed that my WH ever triggered. He has always been proficient at blocking things out and, due to years of excessive drinking, he appears to have overall memory issues.

I would watch to see if this behavior continues to ensure that it is not this:

3. FWS has cheated again and is feeling guilty.

Is this something that he just started doing or did you witness this at other times as well ie:1yr antiversary?

tryin2havefaith posted 9/16/2013 14:14 PM

He has ups and downs. Honestly, at the first antiversary of things, I was still triggering heavily.

I have seen him cycle at times, but just not to this level. I really do not think he has cheated again. Right before this cycle happened, he had nightmares of running into the OW. It was making him sick and he would wake up in a sweat. He has no desire to ever have any contact with OW. We discussed his previous nightmares and worked through them together. I think it is more the guilt and shame and overall WTF have I done coming down on him.

But its that statement that worries me most. Who is he feeling punished by? He said it in anger, obviously with his guard down at that point.

JustDesserts posted 9/16/2013 14:39 PM

WS here.

Yes. Two types.

1) Betrayed / Marriage / & Healthy Me triggers. Things I feel about my betrayed wife, our marriage, our family, friends, and myself, and what I did to all of the above.

2) Affair / xAP / Unhealthy Cheating Lying Me triggers. These crop up and don't really include my BW. They are between me & me, me & my IC, and me & the folks here on SI. My BW has been relieved of her duties regarding any of these triggers.


tryin2havefaith posted 9/16/2013 14:53 PM

I think it is type 1 by your description. It's something he can't forgive himself for. What it did to us, my health, etc.

JustDesserts posted 9/16/2013 14:59 PM

There's sort of a type 3 I guess, where a type 2 trigger is what starts off, but it leads to a type 1 trigger as I process past what I did/ deserve to what I love and am trying to rebuild and reconcile. I think this is a good path, as it takes me to what is real and what truly matters in my life: the girl I love and what we've built together.

2married2quit posted 9/16/2013 15:29 PM

I suppose the triggers for a wayward spouse is that all the pain and fallout they caused is attached to the affair and the affair partner. My FWW used to think of the A as "fun". Now she does NOT want to think about it or talk about it because it triggers her bad!

Clarrissa posted 9/16/2013 16:42 PM

I have triggers occasionally, usually if I happen to be near where OM lives (lived?).

I think of something as a trigger if it takes either partner back to the A. Maybe not Dday specifically but to the time of the A.

[This message edited by Clarrissa at 4:43 PM, September 16th (Monday)]

BeyondBreaking posted 9/16/2013 18:57 PM

My WH triggers a lot. He tends to get moody when what he did is brought up by the tv, or triggered in other ways, and says he wants to drop it right away, then is quiet for a while.

tryin2havefaith posted 9/16/2013 19:12 PM

Spoke with him tonight after he got home. I think I was right. It was about the day and his feelings about all he did to me and to US. His guilt over it all and the STD I received as a result. But he did speak with me so we could work together...a good sign.

tryin2havefaith posted 9/20/2013 21:30 PM

We had a productive MC session this week. He is dealing with the thoughts of not being the man he thought he that was incapable of doing these awful things. He is having difficulty with even beginning to forgive himself. There are times he still feels like I am going to bolt because of the pain he put me through.

He sees how I have to avoid certain things to avoid being triggered---and that he is the cause of that. Not me saying a word, but just seeing it in my eyes or when I am blindsided by a news article or someone's offhand comment. It's his conscience and guilt that is weighing on him at this juncture of our healing path.

tryin2havefaith posted 9/20/2013 21:30 PM

Sorry...double post.

Darn iPhone

[This message edited by tryin2havefaith at 9:32 PM, September 20th (Friday)]

Steppenwolf posted 9/20/2013 22:22 PM

Ws here-
Any time an affair is glamorized or joked about it's trigger city for me. First, I am disgusted and it makes me want to puke. Then, I get all sad and depressed... Full of guilt, shame and deep sorrow. How could I do this to such an amazing woman? I have mind movies of her crying on DDay and thereafter. I try to meditate them away.
Mad Men was tough for me to watch because it was everywhere.

catlover50 posted 9/21/2013 05:30 AM

I suspect when he said that he was still being punished he meant by himself. Deep inside he is still punishing himself.

I'm sure you do this, but I try to praise my H often for the amazing changes he has made and tell him what a great and good man he has become. He recently said he was a lying, cheating asshole and I calmly replied "not anymore".

Good luck.

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