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5+ yrs out. Why is he still triggering?

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LostinNH posted 5/13/2014 16:11 PM

We've been through very tough challenges the last several months and come through stronger, together. But now he is "triggering" and I am having trouble understanding what's going on. How can I help?

Deeply Scared posted 5/13/2014 16:37 PM

Is the anniversary of your D-day approaching?

RegretfulHusband posted 5/13/2014 16:55 PM

The human mind is an enormously complex machine.

I ask the same question every time I trigger or every time a random thought pops into my head or a really weird dream occurs.

My IC said "You can control what you want to think about, but you can't control what you think about. You can't control HOW your mind processes information".

I believe in this wholeheartedly - and consider this: This world, especially in this day and age, is HARD-WIRED for everything sex. I didn't read whether his infidelity was E or P, but either way, imagine all the cues that occur in daily life that "remind" you of sex.

Even if you don't think of it, your subconscious has a way of connecting things - even if you don't like it.

A sight, a smell, a sound, anything can trigger memories, and as much as we would like, there is no way to remove certain memories and leave others. The memory of infidelity will ALWAYS be there.

IMO, triggering, although painful, can be beneficial. Even though it kills me to recall what I did, it also helps keep me in check. Lots of people say "I know I'll never cheat again" but they do. I say it, because no matter how hard I try, I will NEVER get the sight, sound, and feel of my wife crying over this out of my head. I will NEVER be able to look at a woman again without thinking of my wife - and, again, IMO, that's a good thing.

I know it's tough - and it's tough for your H too, but if you made it this far - you can make it through the triggers.

Sending you strength!!

craig2001 posted 5/13/2014 17:06 PM

I am guessing he has a very good memory. It could be a song, those are bad for me. Especially if it he heard a song that possibly he hadn't heard in 5 years.

Rebreather posted 5/13/2014 17:23 PM

Sometimes I trigger randomly, BOOM, right out of the blue. It's a trauma thing. Time helps, but will it ever totally go away? I don't think so.

Sal1995 posted 5/13/2014 17:29 PM

5+ years seems like a long time to be struggling. It is just outside what is often considered the maximum healing timeline, 5 years.

Has the affair been dealt with head-on, or did the two of you move past it quickly and sweep it under the rug? Also, have you gone to marriage counseling (MC) and has he had any individual counseling (IC)?

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 7:32 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]

deena04 posted 5/13/2014 18:24 PM

You can trigger for so many reasons and at so many times. Just because 5 years or more is gone doesn't mean it won't trigger him anymore. Be there and comfort and be ready to answer questions and do what you need to do to help. I hope it gets better.

still-living posted 5/13/2014 19:01 PM

My simplistic definition of a trigger is anytime a person runs into a strong feeling unexpectedly they haven't yet thought through/processed. It can be something old or new. Triggers late in my recovery were often about myself, something I did foolish, out of character, something that scared me, or something I found myself wrong about. I recommend keeping yourself available for talking.

redsox13 posted 5/13/2014 19:29 PM

I can't tell you why - but I am just short of 5 years out. I can tell you in the last 6 months I have been triggering increasingly.

I can't tell you why - I think because when we reconciled I never dealt with my feelings of betrayal and abandonment. I am now in a calmer place than I have been in a while, and I think because of that I am having to face what happened.

I wish you luck - I am going through the same thing.

dadof4 posted 5/13/2014 19:38 PM

I think the triggers are going to be with us forever. How we deal with them is the indicator of how healed we are. Is he really in pain or just distant? I recently got hit with some really bad triggers because I was thinking of my dad. My FWW's affair really ramped up when he was dying of cancer 5 years ago. I still have very strong emotions around that time. Anyway, I also think it is a measure of how deep his love for you goes.

LostinNH posted 5/14/2014 19:57 PM

Thank you for all the insight and responses. We did try marriage counseling and he is seeking individual counseling currently. I just want the pain to ease up for him and I realize what I did will forever be a part of our lives, sadly. I'm trying to be loving, supportive and understanding. But I have not been on his side of the equation so getting feedback and answers here is helpful and much appreciated.

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