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Cleaning up Trigger Events

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wario posted 1/12/2014 11:55 AM

This thread is a continuation from my regualr daily posts. I thought a new thread might bring up some better visibility for this particular question I have concerning cleaning up Triggers.

My BS and I went to MC a few days ago and it was very heavy session. We tried to unpack the issue of Valentine's Day today. Valentine's Day is a loaded issue because almost 20 years ago, when I was a student in university, I cheated on my BS who was my girlfriend at the time. To make a long story short, after spending Valentine's Day with her in one city, I had to return to another city where I was working. On my return trip, in my loneliness I started making plans to date another girl I had met. I kept this fact from her throughout the years and revealed it to her in detail in my confession which was almost 5 years ago. So Valentine's Day is now sullied by my unfaithfulness, perhaps forever. One of the things my BS wants me to fix during this leave of absence is Valentine's Day, or to somehow clean it up.

My questions are, "How have you or your WS cleaned up a trigger event/date, such as this?"
"What are your experiences?" "What has helped?"
"As a BS does the trigger lessen and go away as you heal or do you just don't go there anymore?"

Thanks for your replies


PS Blobette posted a reply on my other thread where I originally brought this up. "Drastic times call for drastic measures"

Stillkicking posted 1/12/2014 12:33 PM

I may be off base here but here's my opinion, valentines day is a special day dedicated to the love of your life, so make it all about her, show her through actions and words that she is truly the only one. Plan an entire day around what she would like, take her to her favourite restaurant, take her for walk do the things that she loves to do, make HER feel like a queen and the only person in the world. Comfort her, write her a letter, only you know what will make her day. Show her this day really is all about her and how much you love her.

When it comes to triggering, be there for her, reassure and comfort her, talk her through it with compassion and understanding and just hold her, and be her support, cause that is what she needs.

Just my thoughts.

[This message edited by Stillkicking at 12:34 PM, January 12th (Sunday)]

heforgotme posted 1/12/2014 17:59 PM

I am sure you will get lots of good ideas about this, but one thing I wanted to caution you about is to be prepared for this day not to go well no matter how hard you try.

Expect (and plan for) the best of course, but be prepared for the worst. Bc if you go to a lot of effort, it's going to be very hard for you if she doesn't react the way you'd hoped. With this being a trigger event it will be pretty precarious. So, be braced to be understanding and patient if it turns into the trail of tears.

Hope this doesn't seem like I'm trying to be a wet blanket. I just know that we've "built up" certain days that didn't go as we'd hoped. Usually bc of me. But the way he reacted to me when it happened salvaged the day regardless.

Good luck. I will have my fingers crossed and will be anxious to hear how it goes.

myeverafter posted 1/12/2014 18:33 PM

(I hope it is ok if I post on here. There is no stop sign.)

What does your BS want to do for V-day? You may want to ask her.

My fwh had spent the day with MOW and our son on V-day last year snowmobiling. (I was friends with MOW and thought nothing of it. And I had to work that day.) They got home late and I ended up eating cheap Chinese with our other kids...

To be honest, I don't know what I would want to do if fwh asked me about the day.

wario posted 1/13/2014 20:48 PM

Thanks for the advice Stillkicking. Make it all about her. Plan for the best and don't be disappointed if it goes south. I talked to her about it and I think it might have triggered her. She responded that it may never be reclaimed, "That's why you don't do what you did." Things are pretty edgy now, but I'm trying to be communicate with her in a non-violent way, I don't want to add to the tense situation.

That brings me back to my last question, can it really be reclaimed. Have couples been able to really reclaimed Trigger Dates back.


RippedSoul posted 2/17/2014 16:56 PM

How successful was it, Wario? Hopefully, you found a glimmer of hope.

Gently, your BW needs to be willing to reclaim it herself in order for you to help. I'm very stubborn and I've been terribly wounded. There are some hurts I'm not willing to give up--not yet and perhaps not ever.

OW's name is the Spanish version of my French name. Her name will never be spoken in my home or in our conversations. She's Jezebel. Period. She'll never get her name back.

On the other hand, one of their trysts happened in Hawaii. If he were to offer a Hawaiian vacation soon, I'd have to decline. If he were to offer it in 5 years, I'd like to think we could, together, reframe that trigger. Would we avoid the route they walked? Or would we actually walk it and reclaim it? I don't know. But I'm willing to fight for that someday.

Holidays? Dunno. V-Day is artificial. It's man-made. Perhaps you two can reclaim it by designating a new day to celebrate love. Perhaps a day 6 months from your anniversary? Perhaps the day you two met? Or the day you got engaged? Make it yours.

Last year, I couldn't have my SAWH be a part of my birthday celebration since the Hawaii trip coincided with my b-day the year before. They were in bed together on MY special day. So I felt strongly that he'd taint my birthday by recognizing it the next year. Instead, I picked a day 3 months before. He put more thought into acknowledging that day than he had put into my birthday in years. And 3 months later, he actually bought me a gift on my true birthday, too. By then, I was less resistant to his participation. But it was still uncomfortable.

Good luck. Be open. Ask her opinion. Listen to her answer. Act accordingly.

[This message edited by RippedSoul at 4:58 PM, February 17th (Monday)]

Skan posted 2/17/2014 20:05 PM

The one date that I can think of that I cannot (nor FWH) reclaim is our anniversary. That date is dead to me. I will never willingly acknowledge it again and FWH is in agreement with me. I just grit my teeth when my relatives "congratulate" us.

What we have done is to designate another date to celebrate. One that has meaning for the two of us as what we consider to be the start of our new marriage. We chose the date that we had our first meeting with our MC. We now celebrate that as our new anniversary.

Perhaps the two of you can pick another day to celebrate? For example, May 1 is Global Love Day, a day to celebrate love and compassion for all. Just a thought!

LifeIsTooWeird posted 2/17/2014 20:53 PM

Just a thought, kind of cheesy, but next year, if you guys are in a good place maybe renew your vows. Though I'd caution against doing it on Valentines day. Maybe the day befor or the day after.

Kc121010 posted 2/19/2014 16:20 PM


YES! yes!! yess!!!
Don't give up. My biggest trigger was the day he met her. As the 1 year date drew near, I began to start triggering big time. I knew it was going to be very difficult for me, and I didn't want it to be. I took it upon myself (even though in reality I REALLY wish it would have been him to think of this) to make a reservation at a house in the woods by a beach, where we spent a very romantic weekend secluded in the forest with walks on the beach. It was fantastic. I wanted to make new memories of that horrible day that changed my life.

And you know what? We are coming up on year 2, and although I know it was sometime in May, I don't even remember the stupid exact date anymore!

My advice is to go out of your way to plan something special FOR her. Don't ask her. I don't know about her, but I hate asking for romantic gestures. Even if it turns out to be something she doesn't want to do, at least it shows her that you are making a special effort for her.

wario posted 2/20/2014 10:05 AM

Thanks for the replys RippedSoul, Skan, LifeIsTooWeird, Kc121010. I have been stepping back from posting each day, it created a pressure to post which my BS found my post to be fake/dishonest. I post for me now, regardless of whether she reads it or not.

Anyhow @RippedSoul, that's pretty harsh what you had to go through and still continue to go through. I wish you the best in finding a way to heal from it.

Valentine's Day didn't happen at all. Due to our toddler, we don't really have the evening to celebrate so I asked my Nanny to stay a little longer in case. I made lunch reservations at like the Number 2 Restaurant in town because its near the gallery. I planned to go to the art gallery with her after lunch, she being the art-lover, I figured she would enjoy it, and then order Thai delivery (the best in town) for the evening. My MC/IC had suggest I make the plans no matter what and try. I brought this to my MC session on Tuesday, told my BS of the plans and she clearly rejected it, said she did not want to celebrate V-day. I accepted, but left the reservation standing, I cancelled it an hour before lunch on Friday. We went through the day not talking about it and just getting through the day like normal. I know my BS was probably struggling throughout the day, so I just tried to be more attentive.

That's was V-day 2014. I hope we make it through to try it again next year.


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