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Will triggers become less intense if you leave WS?

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smittennomore posted 1/21/2014 14:52 PM

Background: We are about 13 months in. R has been going OK, WH has been trying. Some bumps in the road, but NC has been strictly maintained (I think), he is completely transparent and continues to work hard both in MC and IC.

My triggers are not getting better. In fact, in many ways, they have been more intense than ever before. Yesterday, WH and I had the day off from work for MLK day. We decided to take the kids to daycare anyways and steal a day for the two of us. It started out great - we went to lunch, laughed and talked about how much we enjoyed the weekend celebrating our son's 2nd birthday. We decided to walk around the mall for a bit after lunch and BOOM - there it was. The Red Cross had a blood drive going on at the mall. While the affair was in full swing, WH and MCOW were complete morons and thought they could determine the paternity of her baby by WH giving blood to determine his blood type, so he gave blood at the Red Cross. I still remember so clearly him coming home from work with the gauze on his arm that day just over two years ago. When I asked about it, he just casually mentioned that he gave blood at a work blood drive that day (which was a lie as well - he had to make an appointment at a local Red Cross office). At the time I thought it was so odd, he was really a selfish asshole at the time, and him doing ANYTHING remotely nice or charitable was ridiculous. However, just like everything else that seemed "off", I let it go.

Seeing that Red Cross blood drive sent me spiraling down the rabbit hole of terrible memories. Thoughts about how terribly he treated me while I was pregnant with our son, how he lavished attention and praise on her while she was pregnant at the same time (our children were born just three days apart). Memories of discovering the affair, realizing that those two idiots never REALLY determined the paternity of her child. Thoughts of having to schedule the DNA test on my own. Confronting OW in the parking lot when she took her son for the test, waiting the agonizing ten days for the results (NOT WH's baby BTW - thank God for that one!).

I don't know. This is just one example. It's been really bad lately. I've been working on it in IC, but it's not getting better, and as I mentioned, it feels like it is worse. WH is trying - he gives me space when I need it, but tells me that he is here to support me. Every time he apologizes for all of the pain he caused, all I really want to do is spit in his face and call him all kinds of inappropriate names(mature, huh?)

I am at the point where I'm starting to wonder if maybe the affair was a deal breaker after all.

I'm wondering if the triggers lessen if you leave your WS? Any thoughts or opinions from BS's who stayed or those who left are welcome.

Just feeling at my wits end with this. The emotional roller coaster is so exhausting and I feel like I'm on the edge of a complete and total breakdown. Slept on the couch last night, and still just can't even look at WH without feeling like vomiting.

Jennifer99 posted 1/21/2014 15:14 PM

I don't know.
But I really wish I did.
Hugs for you :(

7yrsflushed posted 1/21/2014 15:16 PM

Many people say year 2 is the worst. I found that to be true as well. I filed for D and STBXWW moved out. It's been 2.5 years since DDay and I can say for me triggers are mostly gone and life in general is normal now. I haven't triggered in months and I stress over normal things these days like work. I say that because I felt the exact same way you felt at around the 1 year mark but it gets better and you won't always feel like this.

I also did a ton of soul searching on my own. Even prior to my STBX moving out I was determined not to let her 3 yr LTA define me. I had an unremorseful WW so I ultimately had no choice but to focus on moving on. Once she was physically gone I had a rough few months being pissed at myself for wasting so much time on a lost cause but eventually I was able to let it all go. It does get better and for me it got better when I focused on myself.

I can only speak from the perspective of someone that did go the D route but there are other happily R'd people around here as well. Either way it does get better but it does take time and you do have to work through all of the emotions. You can't bottle them up or bypass them. The only way to the other side is through.

Sepcifically addressing triggers, for me they subsided with time as well. Some things still stick in the back of my brain but they don't hurt anymore. For instance, I no longer have the urge to do despicable things to every Econo Lodge motel I see but I actively choose to never give them any of my business. You don't really forget the tirggers they kind of lose there power over time. At least they did for me. Not sure if any of that helped but please know that what you are going through is normal and it does get better at some point. I wish you the best.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:31 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

nowiknow23 posted 1/21/2014 15:18 PM

((((smitten)))) I'm sorry, honey.

somanyyears posted 1/21/2014 15:26 PM

..well. sadly, ..there is really only one way to find out!! 13 months out, triggers will still be around.. i'm thinking blood clinics will always bring a reaction.. but over time, will naturally fade... some over a much longer time..

..I stayed.. we're 4+++ yrs out, and I still trigger. if i'd left 4 years ago, no doubt I'd have a whole new life happening by now and would be filling my thoughts with all the new elements of that new life. I would hope that all and any thoughts of my former wife's A would be far away by now and triggers would be few, but not ever totally eliminated.

..many of my triggers involve the bfOM, ..the double betrayal .. 'double your pleasure, double your fun" ??? twice as many chances to trigger.


totally fucking sucks.....


AndreaL posted 1/21/2014 15:31 PM

I can only speak from my experience, and my DDAY was very recent. I am currently separated, and while I still trigger, being separated has helped :( I no longer trigger all day long, but only at certain points in my day. It sucks I know, but being around my WS was making me worse.

Brandon808 posted 1/21/2014 15:36 PM

I'm wondering if the triggers lessen if you leave your WS?
They did for me.

Without a remorseful WS I simply do not see how healing is possible. I could be wrong but I simply cannot fathom how you stay in a M with an unremorseful WS and heal.

Decimated posted 1/21/2014 16:08 PM

They do but it takes time and distance.
I divorced WW about a year ago. Honestly, the triggers are still there everyday but they are not incapacitating like they were. The horrible memories start to fade with time. Even a year out it is still a roller coaster ride but the peaks and valleys are much flatter. I do still have bad days where I sit and ask myself "what the hell happened?" and "why me?". I also still feel anger for her and what she did to me and our children. I doubt that will ever go away completely in the foreseeable future.

[This message edited by Decimated at 4:10 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

Vulcanized posted 1/21/2014 16:27 PM

I left my unrepentant WH 4 years ago. I still have triggers, but I imagine they are much less than if I'd have stayed & rugswept like he wanted.

They have lessened over the years, but I imagine, for me, they won't totally dissipate.

I am at the point where I'm starting to wonder if maybe the affair was a deal breaker after all.

If it is, then it is. You are allowed to change your mind. You didn't torpedo your M, WH did. You are allowed to end it as a consequence of what WH did.


eta the following:

You have shown strength, courage and love by choosing to try to R for 2 years. That is more than many BS would do. You went well above and beyond trying to R your M. The failure of your M lies entirely on your WH's actions.

(((more hugs)))

[This message edited by Vulcanized at 4:32 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

Gomphus posted 1/21/2014 16:31 PM

Triggers may not be fewer in the short term, but in the long term, they will GO AWAY. If you leave. I'm not trying to talk you into leaving, but I did (false) R for a year before I left and truthfully, that year was fodder for a the majority of my hurting. It's like reconciliation, if it turns out to be false, is an additional burden on top of the infidelity. Hang in there and best of luck!!

smittennomore posted 1/21/2014 17:41 PM

Thank you for all of the thoughts and shared stories. I feel sad for all of us for having this burden placed upon us by the choices our WS's made.

As for my WH, I guess that part of my indecision stems from the fact that he IS remorseful. He is filled with shame and guilt. Our MC (as well as his IC) have stated that they have never experienced counseling someone who has worked so hard at R.

The details of the affair were just so painful... it involved him being emotionally abusive towards me, bringing her into our home, leaving me at the hospital with our six month old baby who was suffering a brain injury so that he could go and have sex with her, telling her he was in love with her, and on and on and on. I could type for six days straight on all of the ways that he disrespected and devastated our family.

I have been trying so hard for over a year to see him as the man I married - or maybe even a better man than he has ever been, but I am just struggling. The triggers are so intense. I have been on meds for over six months and am still just blown away by how intense, frequent, and painful the triggers are. The 2 year LTA just means that there is a trigger nearly everywhere.

It's so frustrating. If I could just experience my marriage for what it is today, things would be great. It's just knowing that the man I thought so highly of is capable of such terrible things... the fear of going through it again with him is overwhelming. The mind movies and knowledge of the details of what he has already done is enough to send me straight to crazy town.

Thank you again to you all. Any additional advice or thoughts are welcome.

steadfast1973 posted 1/21/2014 18:08 PM

My first WH and I split on dday. He left. He came back, left again. Several times. I still triggered. Intensely for about 2 years after the divorce was final (the divorce, itself took 1 year and 11 months... ) somethings, even 15 years later trigger me hard. I saw OW from that M a couple of years ago... And i still hate her with the heat of 1000 suns. She recognizes me, too. Her eyes got the size of saucers, and she left the store, real quick like...

The healing took the same amount if time, and the triggers were just as bad... Only... I didn't have a remorseful H to hold me after...

Dreamboat posted 1/21/2014 18:20 PM

I'm wondering if the triggers lessen if you leave your WS?

I can honestly say that the triggers change. I D an unremorsful WS, and I triggered for YEARS every time I had to have contact with him.

What I can tell you is that time and exposure to triggers lessen them. The last time I had to see X (a few weeks ago) I had 0 anxiety and 0 triggering. But then I am 8.5 years away from dday and have been D for over 7.

My advice is to allow yourself to trigger. And then afterwards, think about what you can do to get your power back and desensitize yourself to the trigger. For a long time I could not go into an ethnic grocery store. However X took all my spices when he left so I could not cook that type of food. It was depressing. I finally decided to take my power back and I went to the ethnic grocery store and spent about an hour than and replenished all of my spices. I was so happy and proud of myself. And now it is no big deal to go there.


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