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?