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WS Triggers

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TimeToManUp posted 10/5/2013 10:28 AM

How can you, or SHOULD YOU, share your triggers with your BS? I started to have a little discussion with TCD about this last night, but then felt uncomfortable talking about it. She asked me why, and I said that I was afraid my triggers would now become triggers for her, and then rather than working through my own thoughts, I would have to comfort her instead and my own feelings would get addressed... Eventually.

She started off by saying "Since they don't correspond to any particular hurt for me, they would make me think of COW, but it wouldn't really be the same as a 'trigger.'" OK, I get that much, I felt a little better about sharing. But then she continued with this: "Thinking about the COW could lead me to thinking about other things that ARE triggers for me."

So if this follows her assessment, my relatively minor triggers would now be given the potential to do so much more damage. It's not like I trigger and shake and sob... I get a little bit of a stomach drop sometimes, or maybe a few momemts of raised heart rate and some shitty overall feelings as I think of what a scumbag I was. I get over it quickly, though.

I would like to share this with TCD, in a way to bring us closer together. I just feel like doing so will do more harm than good. My little bit of discomfort will be crushed under the wheels of TCD's pain train, and will never really be addressed. I'm not trying to be dismissive of her hurt, but I do have feelings, too, and she pretty much stated that yes, my triggers may very well become hers, if even indirectly. Any thoughts?

Joanh posted 10/5/2013 10:39 AM

Yes, this is a hard one. Hence the SI, Sometimes I post on here instead of talking to my BH, Now for me its probably not allways a good thing cause I am not expressing my feelings , part of problem Pre A. And yetlike you I donot want to make him trigger either. I think it maybe one of those things to journal and then ask if this is a good time I have a trigger or (a something) I'd like to talk about. Maybe even after its over it can be explored when both of you are calm?
Not sure just some thoughts. I can relate though.

Card posted 10/5/2013 14:12 PM

Disclaimer; I'm not dismissing your feelings when I say this...

In the beginning, BS's are triggered from morning to night. Triggered by many things beyond there own control. Heck, at times, mine was triggered by my mere presence. It takes years for many to get their triggers under the control they need to enjoy a day.

That being said, IMO, it's not the same thing for WS's. We typically have wayward thoughts and behaviors that just need detoxed.... Wouldn't that be great, a Detoxification center for our old thought patterns and feelings....

I was always open and honest with my wife in recovery. I also learned that I was able to share my feelings without doing the damage of regurgitating the images of my affair to my beloved wife. My goal was openness and honesty while incorporating care and protection of her and our marriage.
Was it a balancing act? At times, yes. But most of the time I just used some common sense and a tactful tongue, reminding myself that my past thoughts of my past affair are not my current identity today.
I also talked with other 'men' who had recovered from infidelity (agreed to with my wife ahead of time) and shared my struggles openly with them.

Be well!

StrongerOne posted 10/5/2013 19:42 PM

Hey. TTMU, hope TCD is doing better?? I have been thinking about the two of you.

About your question here: What do you think your motivation for sharing your triggers is? Are you aiming to be open and honest w TCD and talk to her about things she wants to talk about with you? Or are you aiming for TCD's help in getting through your triggers? Are you aiming to get TCD's comfort or sympathy?

It can be hard for the BS to have to share or carry the WS's pain, to be asked to help the WS work through the "break up" with the AP so to speak. So I think it would be good for you to figure out if you are telling TCD to help the marriage, or to help yourself.

TimeToManUp posted 10/5/2013 21:21 PM

I truly only wanted to tell her because I thought she would want to know. I can handle them on my own. Like I said, they aren't big triggers. I'm not in any way "breaking up with" thoughts of AP... That ship sailed, burned, sunk and is now lying at the bottom of a deep dark ocean. I was approaching it from the angle of having no secrets... Like my triggers were still a secret from TCD, y'know?

Things are getting better here. It's all still a work in progress. Ups and downs, still trying to find stable ground. Thanks for your concern!

harrypotter posted 10/6/2013 05:47 AM

I think you should tell her or talk about it with her. BS and I have had many talks about many things leading up to my affair . I never lied out my thoughts or fears or problems I pretty much just never brought them up. My excuse to myself was usually something like "it will only make her feel bad" or "its embarrassing" I also wouldnt tell her things because I thought she would see me as weak and broken. I thought that I was protecting her from pain and that I was doing the right thing. I know you dont want to cause more triggers for TCD, I get that and you probably feel like you are being a bit selfish for bringing up your problems so to speak, I usually do. But you have kinda already started the conversation. So maybe its as simple as asking if she wants to know or just telling her that if she does ever want to know that she can just ask and you will tell her.

1956 posted 10/8/2013 08:04 AM

curious as a bs what those triggers are for a ws.......I know my ws also has them but we have never discussed it with specifics..........

1DumbHusband posted 10/8/2013 11:55 AM

My BS said she wants to know when I trigger because she wants to see me agonize over my actions and see how much I trigger. She has often made the comparison that I don't get all broken up and emotional over it like she does. It still takes me a while to get through my own triggers sometimes. I of course feel stupid for bringing up my issues when the damage I've cause and the hurt my beautiful BS is experiencing is far greater. I've often wondered if my triggers would cause secondary triggers for my BS. Does anyone else tend to get triggers on the "good days" more so than the bad ones? I guess I trigger because I remember how "normal" felt and I remember what a horrible person I was to get us to this place.

tryingmybest2011 posted 10/8/2013 12:05 PM

What are the nature of your triggers? What kinds of things are you wanting to share with her? I think that makes a difference, as well as the type of discussion you have around them.

TCD won't want to help you with your pain if it's related to the OW with any fondness or pining. Of course not. But I don't think that's the case here. You say you get pangs of anxiety and shame. I would be very open to hearing about these feelings from my WH, because it would show me that he thinks about things, and just doesn't shove it up in a box on the shelf.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/8/2013 15:41 PM

For me, as the BS, I woul want him to talk about whatever is bothering him. It may make me trigger, it may lead to tears- but we have to get through this
Walking into R, I was fully aware that his A was because he was broken... Damaged and lost. That does not just go away because I found out and he feels bad.
It is important to me to know that he is struggling too- not because I want to see him suffer, but because he SHOULD be struggling- we are going through hell right now. It is hard on me- so very hard- but something caused him to break and if he is going to get better, he needs to process and be honest with himself.
The balancing act is important- but my new motto is "if we can't be honest, we need to move on"
And that includes being honest about his struggles as well.
I love the man I married. That is not the man that had the A. Knowing that he is rediscovering the man I love, means the world to me.

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