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Should triggers be avoided or confronted and dealt with?

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NeedingAdvice posted 2/23/2014 05:58 AM

I was watching the movie Valentine's Day with my 13 year old daughter a few days ago and hadn't seen the movie before. A scene comes on where this elderly couple are discussing sex with a teenage girl. The husband proudly tells the teenager that he and his wife have only ever had each other as sexual partners and that has been enough for them for over 50 years. This look comes across the wife's face and I already know where this scene is going. My husband (FWH) walks in and he has apparently seen this movie or maybe just this scene and tells me that he thinks I should stop the movie. I don't stop it as I figure I already know what is going to happen. As expected, the scene plays out with the wife admitting to the husband that she had had an affair many years ago. The husband is devastated and tells her that now their whole marriage feels like a lie.

I really relate to this story as it has many similarities to my own. Admittedly I've only been with my husband for 25 years, but he is the only man I have ever been with and when he told me just over 4 months ago that he had had an ONS ten years ago, I felt like my own marriage had all been a lie. For the first three months, even though I was committed to R, I struggled to think about or talk about our marriage in normal conversation as I didn't know what is was any more - I didn't know how to describe or quantify it to myself let alone anyone else.

So as expected, I became quite sad that night and my husband was a little frustrated with me as he really felt that I shouldn't have watched the scene as he had known that it would upset me. As I explained to him, I figure that life from this point on will always be filled with triggers and often there won't be the opportunity to avoid them as they will come from nowhere.

All the same, it got me to wondering, should triggers where possible be avoided? Or is it better to accept that they are going to happen and deal with them as they come up?

tushnurse posted 2/23/2014 11:32 AM

I kinda took triggers head on when I really started healing. I know sometimes it's difficult but it seemed to help me know that of I dealt with each one as it came up the next time I was faced with the same thing it wouldn't be as upsetting.
I would also focus on the changes and the way things were now and most of the time it was positive and we were in a good place so I could let it go.

MammaMia posted 2/23/2014 11:41 AM

In the beginning I dealt with them and H listened to my frustration time after time and it suited him right. I do not trigger as much any more ans when I do, I keep quiet. No point in stirring the old pot any more. Things have been said over and over again. Time to let them rest now.

BAB61 posted 2/23/2014 14:01 PM

I'm facing D, and I think that triggers should be dealt with.

Life goes on, and dealing with these issues will help you heal and make you stronger!

Skan posted 2/23/2014 20:41 PM

You can't hide from them. You just can't. As hard as it is, you have to face them. Because triggers will come and if you let every one of them level you, you'll be in pain for a very long time in a lot of places. You don't want to feel like you have to hide in your home for the rest of your life.

The good new is, that every trigger that you can face down will probably give you the ability to face another one and another one. And if you're like me, the impact will lessen over time and exposure.

NeedingAdvice posted 2/25/2014 05:14 AM

Thanks guys. Appreciate the thoughts. Kind of supports what I was thinking.

Got around to watching the rest of the movie tonight and it was pretty unrealistic in how it all "resolved". Same day as the disclosure, wife tracks husband down and says that love isn't just about loving someone when it is easy, but loving someone with all their faults. (Not disagreeing with the sentiment, but...?) Husband instantly agrees, they kiss and dance the night away. Ahh, if only it was so easy!

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