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How do you handle old triggers in a new relationship?

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healingtree posted 2/8/2014 09:20 AM

I waited over a year and a half to start dating again. Several months ago I met someone that I connected with in a pretty amazing way; someone who shares a similar history as far as relationships are concerned. For the most part, things are going very well, and we are both happy.

I am also a mom, raising a young son alone.

Every once in a while, my bf goes out with his friends, and I, being a mom, stay home. That should be fine right
But it makes me highly anxious, and I realized last night that I was triggering.

BOTH of my XWHs cheated on me when they were "out with friends" at a bar, while I was at home with our children.

How do I deal with this trigger? The anxiety? He should not have to call me to check in if he is just hanging out with friends. He didn't put that pain on my heart.

He has been kind, honest, and loving. I want to leave my triggers, my ungrounded emotional responses from past hurt out of my relationship with him as much as possible. Any suggestions?

healingtree posted 2/8/2014 09:50 AM

For anyone reading this and going through similar solution was just be honest.

I apologized for my reaction (and I did react!)
I explained it was a trigger. (he knows what a trigger is)
I allowed him to reassure me that all was good (it is)

I didn't realize how challenging meeting someone new, and investing my heart in another relationship would be. So glad I visited SI after so long...just reading all your posts reminds me that I am not alone. Love you guys.

[This message edited by healingtree at 11:25 AM, February 8th (Saturday)]

bpositive posted 2/8/2014 11:34 AM

Healing Tree has it right. Honesty. Groundedness. Understanding what triggers you still have. In the right relationship and over time, they will diminish if not disappear.

caregiver9000 posted 2/8/2014 11:59 AM

This is a first for me: Seeing a poster answer their own post so beautifully that there is nothing left to say!

How about some (((hugs))) instead?

healingtree posted 2/8/2014 12:05 PM

lol I have years of practice processing. Hugs are good! Thank you!

hexed posted 2/9/2014 12:31 PM

new habits take practice. you're reactions are old habits....they die hard

gahurts posted 2/9/2014 13:14 PM

Ok, Not to stir the pot but this:

Every once in a while, my bf goes out with his friends, and I, being a mom, stay home.

is a potential problem in my mind. It doesn't change anything about your past but just because you are a mom does not mean that you should have to stay home. Maybe if you got out once in a while with some of your friends then it would help you not trigger and also realize that it really isn't that big of a deal.

Are the kids old enough to watch themselves for a couple hours? Can you hire a babysitter or have family help? Or maybe if they are all ready for it, let BF watch the kids for a while to help them bond a little and see how he does?

My history has taught me that when one party in a relationship has external activities and the other doesn't, it causes major problems. I firmly believe that both people in a relationship must have some activities that they are involved in that the other party is welcome to join every now and then. We all need an outlet as long as the other party is not excluded or prevented from joining in on occasion.

LearningToRun posted 2/9/2014 22:48 PM

I have the same triggers. Recognized that it was my own insecurity and it wasn't up to new guy to make me feel secure.

He also goes out with friends when I have my kids. And I really had to ask what would I rather have him do? Sit home? Put pressure on me when I need mom time?

It also gives hima chance to miss me.

I know it's hard not to paint all men with a cheaters brush. Miy new guy unknowingly didn't text on a Saturday which was a huge trigger with me. So I know how you feel.

I worked on being more secure. It's not a mistake to trust.

Dawnie posted 2/10/2014 14:25 PM

I am over 4 years out from my D Day and am remarried to a wonderful man who has never given me a reason to doubt him, ever. He knows my past and knows that I am "fragile" and easily trigger so he really tries to avoid anything that he thinks will upset me. When I do trigger I always try to calm my crazy brain down and try to think reasonable, and not to put myself back in 2009 when my XH was betraying me over and over. It is dam hard and I still struggle with it. As crazy as it sounds I talk to myself and allow my mind to settle, and usually within a short while I settle down and realize that I am being unreasonable. It also helps that I tell myself that even if he did betray me my life would go on. I am able to stand on my own 2 feet and he knows that....

Its all such a mind game and I hope 1 day I am able to relax... but I am an obsessive Scorpio so I think this is a life sentence LOL

healingtree posted 2/10/2014 21:55 PM

Thank you everyone!

@gahurts - I do get to go out too. I have been a mom long enough to know that I NEED time for me. We go out on dates once or twice a week, and he comes over to my house just to be there and spend time. If I want to hang out with my gal pals I make time. There are just times when my sitter is tied up, or it is last minute, or he gets invited somewhere, and I don't go.

So its not that I don't ever get to go out...just that feeling of being home with the kiddo while he is at a bar gives me that "stuck" feeling I used to have when my Xs were out galavanting all over town.

Those days are in the past. The feelings just kinda sneak up out of nowhere.

lemony.2008 posted 2/11/2014 00:27 AM

I think you handled it beautifully.

And he's one lucky guy!

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