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Triggers from memories during the affair time

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conflicted27 posted 1/5/2014 03:29 AM

Does anyone else get triggered by things that make you remember the time that the affair was going on (before you found out about it)?

Tonight I was looking through old photos of my daughter on my phone and came across a photo of myself in a nice dress that I send via text to WH in early August. At the time I knew something was wrong but didn't know it was an affair. That memory brings back all the feelings of not being good enough, feeling unwanted/unloved... and it doesn't even have anything to do with the affair, it just happens to be from the same time period. Even photos of my daughter, who was only a few months old at the time, sometimes act as triggers. I hate that what should be happy memories are tainted by the affair. Will they ever go back to being happy memories or should I just resign myself to the idea that I'll always have a negative reaction to memories from that time?

Lola88 posted 1/5/2014 04:14 AM

I've thought about this so much since I found out about my WH 9 year affair just over 5 weeks ago. My memories of the 9 years are so tainted now - every time I think of something that happened during that time I now think of the lies he was telling me and what he was doing with that slut.

I feel like they have stolen my past as well as my future.

I can't imagine feeling any different but I hope you manage to. We are in a hell we had no choice in going to. (((Hugs)))

Justgreatnews posted 1/5/2014 07:56 AM

Yes, yes yes.

A friend of ours recently ran across some pictures of us, with our little daughter taken many years ago- and gave them to us. Even put them in some little frames. I looked at them, and could tell that they were taken around the time of the affair.

I later noticed that my wife had trashed them, frames and all. Kind of appreciated that.

slide095 posted 1/5/2014 08:20 AM

This might be one of my biggest problems in getting past the A - the memories that are now ruined.

It's the hardest thing to forget and the hardest to forgive, for me.

I wish I had any suggestions on how to see the past in a different light, but I haven't figured it out myself yet. :(

Good luck to us all

steadfast1973 posted 1/5/2014 08:25 AM

Honestly, it's the stuff pre dday that gets me. When I was SURE he'd never do this to me. I want to go back there.

Chefj9 posted 1/5/2014 10:31 AM

Yes. I totally get this. Gifts, memories, photos, holidays.... Everything I thought was a great or fond memory is tainted. Last night we were watching a series that I love, he has watched it with me for 2 seasons. As we were watching the reruns, he was asking me questions about the show. It hit me, the reason he didn't remember was because when we watched the show before on Sunday nights. It was the night before he would be flying out the next morning so of course he was texting OW making plans for his week with her.

Don't even get me started on the movies they went too and how bad the triggers are when I hear them.

I don't have advice, just wanted to confirm that you aren't alone. (((Hugs)))

hurtsobadinside posted 1/5/2014 10:41 AM

yes....yes ....yes
over the Christmas Holidays our daughter stayed with us for a week. and we watched home movies all the way back to 1987.

All i could think about during the films...WW, daughter , myself and my WW's parents watched for a few days...was ok what year was this taken..

and was that during the time my WW was fucking her former boss. ..i hope that someday all that will fade into the distant past.. but for now, it is all too fresh.

Everytime, we leave the country, I see the date stamps in my passport..and know within 1-2 weeks of several vacations, she went on what i was told was a business trip for work and was a
AP hookup vacation.

Yes...its all tainted...and your life was a lie...

me: 58
her WW- 57
7 yr LTA (PA & EA) with her former boss
one D-24 yrs old- former eating disorder now OCB
married 25 yrs
in "R" and its been roller-coaster
D-day 3-13-12
confronted 6 wks later (dropped 35# in those 6 wks and spent 2 days in the hospital with severe chest pains--thought I was having a heart attack)
I contacted AP's faithful wife outed their "A" (she knew nothing)and we both kept tabs on our waywards
True NO Contact- July 2012
Fog, denials, blame shifting, rub sweeping, TT selfish, stubborn...lots of mal-adapted coping skills, no name it and she did it but things are finally getting better very slowly
its a long road....and painful and she finally understands the true value and extent of the gift I gave her in both "R" and not telling anyone about her "A"

FightingBack posted 1/5/2014 10:56 AM

Of course. So much of my past was tainted by the affair that there is not much about it that is not painful to remember. The times alone with my children are still happy memories, but there are no memories of my marriage during that time that does not trigger me obviously.

Pre A memories are good, but they were so long ago that they are foggy now.

I feel like they have stolen my past as well as my future.

Yes, the past has been stolen, but not the future. Perhaps the future as we envisioned it, but that was false anyway. I will build my future with my eyes wide open now, and that will be real, whatever that will be.

we watched home movies all the way back to 1987

We have been doing this also. Just had them all converted to DVDs. We watched 6 hours worth, but I hesitate to watch any more because the A years are approaching.

It's the hardest thing to forget and the hardest to forgive, for me.

Harriet posted 1/5/2014 13:47 PM

Yes. There was never a time when he wasn't cheating. Every time I am reminded of something he did that was kind, I wonder if it was because he had just finished cheating on me. All the flowers, gifts, etc. He had said, "As long as I made you happy, what did it matter?" So now, every time I look back on our "happy" times, they are ruined. It's true: it was all a lie.

CATransplant posted 1/5/2014 15:07 PM

I must admit that my past floods back with attachments of the A. All of the conversations, activities, outings with FWH comes back in full force but with different feelings. I usually begin to put the background we shared with what I know of where or what he was doing or thinking at the time of the A. Some of the memories are ruined forever, and some are not understood. I can't say this a pleasant time but it now is our history. I guess now I know why I always hated history.

somanyyears posted 1/5/2014 15:12 PM and colour slides from our 'going steady days through our marriage and the birth of our 2 children, right up to 2009 when I finally got the truth..40 years tainted with the double betrayal and lifetime of lies and omissions.. I can't bring myself to even look at them again.

..what a sad testament to a life lived under a blanket of deceit.


gypsybird87 posted 1/5/2014 16:33 PM

Yes, this is definitely a struggle for me too. Lately I've been having a lot of "a-ha!" moments. I'll remember a time when he was cruel, or treated me badly, or simply not around. And at the time I was just hurt and confused. Now I look back and at all makes sense because of the A.

I can say that for the 8 years we were together, I was blissfully happy for the first 7. Happier than I've ever been in my life. I'm thankful for those wonderful memories, and I grieve that it all had to come to an end. But that was his doing, not mine. That's the point where I feel like the wonderful man I married died.

Hugs to you, hang in there.

brkn_heartd posted 1/5/2014 17:42 PM

Had that happen today. Was thinking about seeing some bald eagles in the nest (going to be passing them) wishing I had binoculars. Went immediately back in time when I was watching him with binoculars and remembering when he "met her" on day. I almost caught them that day.....the bottom fell out of the rest of my day. I am so nervous and just want to cry. It all started thinking about looking at some bald eagles today!

Makes me wonder if it will ever end!!! I haven't wanted to discuss it with him. I want to go hide in the shower water bill is going to be huge!

still2suspicious posted 1/5/2014 17:54 PM

Count me in!

We just went on a cruise, with DD. On about day 3 I remembered that we had used this cruise line in 08, when we decided to push thru the crap going on with DS and NW, and reconnect.

Well, since I didn't find out about bitchface until 09, I feel like a stupid, stupid fool. He had her for a least a year before that trip, and a year after.

I will never go on that cruise line again! (don't really like it anyways )

Did he remember too? I bet my last dollar not, since he shoved all the unpleasantness down when I found out.

Why do WE have the feelings, and memories, and they just go off la-te-da??? Makes me want to slap him along side the head!

womaninflux posted 1/5/2014 18:02 PM

Yes, this happens to me. It used to happen a lot more. But ever since my WH provided a timeline of the affair and it confirmed that I wasn't crazy, I haven't had those feelings as much. I still have them, but with much less frequency.

FeelingSoMuch posted 1/5/2014 22:23 PM

Yup. Our couch and some of the hotels in our neighbourhood are triggers for me. I figured I had to fight them if I wanted to leave the house and considered getting a new couch.

Anger helped a lot! Anger at letting the OM win by taking these things from me. I decided to push any A thoughts out of my mind at the sight of those things.

At first my success rate was zero. At 10 months out, I can nap on my couch without thinking about it. Christmas triggered the hell out of me, specially putting up the tree. I tried anger, but just became sad.

Toward the end of December I felt better about the tree. For me, what's working is actually facing the triggers and feeling everything that comes with them and reacting with anger/sadness. Not violent anger, just general anger if that makes sense.

Also, when I'm at home and my thought patterns start going in a destructive circle, I pet the cat. It helps break the cycle of negative thoughts.

Those are my best tips. I'd say I'm at least 50-60 per cent myself again after 10 months.

Stay strong and good luck.

cancuncrushed posted 1/6/2014 13:03 PM

Photos are sad. H coworkers are upsetting. They were and remain OW friends. (shes moved on) His office is strictly off limits. Major trigger still. And sadly, my son. He was in high school. He had a Troubled relationship with his dad, saw some of our fighting. Then went off to college. He is very watchful when he returns. its uncomfortable. Son and I are very close. Its uncomfortable to have all three together. For him, things are in the same place. And his relationship with his dad has improved, but still not too trusting of it...NOt how I invisioned home from school visits.

Two things currently happening: OW is getting married to another older man, coworkers are all buzzing and invited. another Coworker is leaving his family, to go work out of town, for 6 months.... Making the story short, its an exact repeat of H careeer. Huge marriage mistake.triggers have gotten less painful, but it does make you relive.
I have always heard 5 yrs out is when things feel better. I believe thats how long the memory is for details. When details fade, pain fades. JMHO

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 1:09 PM, January 6th (Monday)]

hikingwithkoda posted 1/6/2014 16:40 PM

WW's OM was our daughter's softball coach for several seasons. Team pics are all over my daughter's room.

The new season starts in a month.

LivinginLimbo posted 1/6/2014 20:01 PM

There's a picture of our daughter on her wedding day. FWH is kissing her on the cheek. Every time I look at it, I think that's the year he started cheating and that's the month when his 7 year LTA began. This used to be my favorite photo of that day. Now it just makes me incredibly sad.

ptsdrecon posted 1/7/2014 15:19 PM

Wow, this totally covers a conversation topic from yesterday.

The OM was our "friend" who lived across the street. Now every memory involving that period is tainted, even prior to the A. Being able to discuss it openly without getting confrontational is the only way I see to be able to recapture that period of our lives.

Tough go, but consider the progress to get to this point... perspective, right?

It's our old pal, TIME.

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