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Can a BS be 'recovered' and still trigger?

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sisoon posted 5/17/2014 12:37 PM

Seeking support and answer to question:

If you consider yourself 'recovered' from infidelity, do you still trigger?

I've been seriously considering whether I'm recovered or not.

Last night we watched The Buddy Holly Story. The last time we listened to Buddy was on a trip East, Thanksgiving, 2010, when my W was in the middle of her A. It was a horrible trip.

(It had great moments, though - we spent 12 hours in our car with our perfectly behaved 1 year old GS, who really liked the music I played. Also, this was the first time he noticed overhead fans during pit stops - it was wonderful to see him get fascinated and communicate to whoever was carrying him that he wanted to get as close as he could to the fans.)

It wasn't until I went to bed last night that I realized I was triggering - I didn't sleep much.

Buddy Holly's Oh, Boy! described my hopes for months and months before and while we dated.

W lost my Buddy Holly CD on one of our trips. I remade it this AM and played it on my hi-fi. I will not give up listening to BH because of any damn trigger!

But I wonder - can you be recovered and still trigger?

Neithan posted 5/17/2014 13:05 PM

I am recovering. I doubt I'll ever have fully recovered. I know that certain things will always trigger a memory of the affair and its subsequent pain. I just hope it continues to lessen in frequency and intensity with more time.

LosferWords posted 5/17/2014 13:16 PM

I agree with what Neithan was saying.

Recovery for me has been very similar to the experiences I have had in recovering from the death of a loved one. The waves of anguish are still there, but they still happen, although much less intensely, and much less frequently. Every now and again a trigger is bound to happen.

Usually when this happens to me, I compare the trigger and my reaction to it to my memories of triggers and my reactions within the first few months or even the first year out of d-day. That mental exercise really helps me put things in perspective, and see how far I have actually come.

I will not give up listening to BH because of any damn trigger!

Amen, brother!

hopefull77 posted 5/17/2014 13:20 PM

I know I am better today then dday ...and clearly believe we are BOTH walking the recovery walk/dance
music is probably one of those things that can take me back to certain times in my life...
I can hear music that reminds me of my father and the dayhe died...strawberry fields forever...was playing on American bandstand as I sat numb thinking my dad is gone from me forever...I was 11...
there will always be reminders but I hope that I can change the word TRIGGER to REMINDER...
hey wasn't trigger Roy Rogers horse??

devasted30 posted 5/17/2014 13:37 PM

Not being that far along in my "recovery" I tend to think that eventually it will be something along the way an alcoholic feels. You get twinges and urges, but don't take that drink. I think it will always be that way. Certain things will hit me and hurt, but recovery time will, I hope, be faster and the pain not as intense. At least that is what I'm hoping.

AFrayedKnot posted 5/17/2014 14:22 PM


If it never crossed your mind again and never "triggered" feelings again, I would think there was something wrong you.

Aubrie posted 5/17/2014 14:27 PM

But I wonder - can you be recovered and still trigger?

We're not as far in healing as y'all so I cant comment personally.

However, about a year to a year and a half ago, I remember DS making a post about MH triggering. And errbody knows those two have done the work and healed amazingly. Even after all that time, he still had an icky day.

To me, I think it will be like any traumtaic experience. A death, a severe illness, a near fatal car accident. We heal from those things, but every now and then, those feelings surrounding it will surface. I think it's part of being a human.

Sorry you had a rough night.

BreatheAgain10 posted 5/17/2014 15:09 PM

I think so sisoon. I will go months and months and be totally fine and triggers can still creep up on you. We are forever changed but we can deal with them differently when we are more healed.
You fighting to keep listening to a favorite song of yours is proof that you're on the right track. Every little trigger that you overcome gets you closer and closer to that internal peace we BS's are all striving for. We may never be ok with what happened (the ugly A), but we can be ok with it being in our past...
As long as that Mother-effer stays there!

blakesteele posted 5/17/2014 15:09 PM


You experienced a traumatic event upon your DD. It is likely you will forever have that as a memory.

Your original M died upon the hands of your wife as she reached for and invited adultery into your M. So you have that grief too....the grief of something very special dying.

As time goes by the power of these feelings will lessen....but I believe there will always be a certain amount of "trigger" associated with things that were a part of your wife's A.

A long standing annual lake trip was tainted by my wife's A.....we no longer do those. Walks in the park and our family dog were tainted by my wife's A....we DO walk in the park and still love our dog. So we have the choice as to what is worth working through the pain and what is not.

My prayers are with you my friend. You and Mrs Sisoon have been a constant part of my SI prayer list from almost the beginning.

Keep the faith!


looking forward posted 5/17/2014 18:54 PM

Sadly, I don't think either my H or myself will ever be trigger-free, even if we consider ourselves recovered on most days.
But then, what do you consider "recovered?"
Is this quote from LosferWords "recovery?"

The waves of anguish are still there, but they still happen, although much less intensely, and much less frequently. Every now and again a trigger is bound to happen.
Usually when this happens to me, I compare the trigger and my reaction to it to my memories of triggers and my reactions within the first few months or even the first year out of d-day. That mental exercise really helps me put things in perspective, and see how far I have actually come.

Sadly, today is a bad day...

BtraydWife posted 5/17/2014 21:02 PM

I think the way triggers affect you will depend on how well R is going. Even with the best, most supportive and understanding WS I would expect a BS to still have the potential to experience a trigger any time for the rest of their life.

Putting limits on yourself as to when and how you can continue to still be hurt by triggers will only cause you more stress.

Experience them, get through them and be kind to yourself. Hopefully they will become less and less intense over time and less frequent too. Don't let the shock of realizing you are triggering also be a trigger.

And you can reclaim the things you want back too, like Buddy Holly music. Just be patient with yourself.

steadfast1973 posted 5/17/2014 21:14 PM

My D from my first M was 13 years ago. I still trigger over that dday... Just before dday2, I found a box of negatives, in some old old boxes. And scanned them... And there was OW. Wearing MY clothes, sitting on MY bed. I remembered that night... We were having fun, playing dress up after a trip to the thrift store. And I was taking pictures... Later, that night she told me, she loved him, and that we would never get married... That happened 19 years ago. I still triggered...

[This message edited by steadfast1973 at 9:16 PM, May 17th (Saturday)]

blakesteele posted 5/17/2014 21:23 PM worked with got me to understand that a person doesn't achieve R, rather they LEARN to R.

I took your wisdom and now believe a person never fully achieves R. It is a lifetime of learning, stumbling, and learning some more. Like a dance that never ends but the music changes......KWIM?

Perhaps you are expecting perfection?

Perfection not of your wife....but of yourself?

Perhaps I have contributed to you feeling this way. My praise of you is warranted, but I have seen how in my own life kind words can sometimes set you up to feel like you HAVE to be "that guy".

May be way off base here.....just been praying and thinking about you a lot today. This response was a result of that.

Peace my friend. You are special to me, but you don't have to be perfect for me.....don't have to be perfect at learning to R either.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:27 PM, May 17th (Saturday)]

kansas1968 posted 5/17/2014 21:35 PM

I am just not sure. In fact, I am not sure that I will ever completely be "recovered." I still trigger, but my husband and I are doing very well. I will probably "trigger" for the rest of my life. Maybe you and I are too old to completely recover!! Maybe it takes decades. Who knows.

kansas1968 posted 5/17/2014 21:36 PM

Incidentally, my DDay was also Dec 2010.

5454real posted 5/18/2014 00:37 AM

Late to the topic. Can I ask how you define trigger? My definition is a place or event that immediately sends the oh s#$@ vibe. Instantaneous hence *trigger*. Otherwise, I'm thinking melancholy. Usually brought about by a good day that I so wish could have been had without the past history. Ie, wouldn't this have been great if she didn't...

I don't know. The instant *oh crap* is fading. The melancholy seems to be increasing.

This all bites rocks.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/18/2014 04:19 AM

Technically, I'm five years out from my husband's affair. I'm only just beginning to process the feelings that went with it so I'm both five years and a week out, sucky place to be.

My biggest trigger for his A was the town he took her on dates. They went to the cinema, they went for dinner and they went bowling. In those five years I've had to go to that resturant, to that bowling alley and walk past that cinema.

I guess my answer to your question is that yes of course you still trigger but the intensity with which you trigger lessens. I don't think there will ever come a day those places don't make me think of the A, it used to hurt like hell but now not so much.

Like a scar. When you look at it you remember the day you got the wound but you don't really remember the pain you felt at the time. The further out I get, the more triggering is just like remembering the scar is there.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 4:21 AM, May 18th (Sunday)]

rachelc posted 5/18/2014 06:50 AM

I think so....

We're not recovered, although trying, and I had a doozy this weekend when we were at a wedding. A woman sitting next to us at the reception was telling us how she was in our town the day before and saw two people meet up at a restaurant that were married but it was obvious not to each other.
Being hubby met his OW at lunch in that town that's all I could think of.
But, it quickly passed, although I will mention it to him today. Two years ago I would have walked out.

So, maybe triggers get easier but we'll still have them. And I bet we would married or not. It's the hand we've been dealt, unfortunately.

[This message edited by rachelc at 6:50 AM, May 18th (Sunday)]

sisoon posted 5/18/2014 13:07 PM

I get it ... I'd like there to be some signal that says unequivocally I'm in one emotional state or another, but I guess that'll never happen.

Still, my level of pain is way down, when I trigger I know it's about the past (and my W won't betray me again), and the A is a painful memory rather than something that is alive today.

I've updated my profile to say 'Recovered'. I think doing so removes an excuse for feeling sorry for myself.

W still has work to do on herself, so I consider myself to still be in the process of R - I look forward to the next step: R'ed.

Thanks, all.

BTW, kansas1968, not only do we both have 12/10 D-Days; if I read you right, our anniversaries are less than 4 months apart (9/67 for us). (That far back, it's almost the same date....)

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:09 PM, May 18th (Sunday)]

Jrazz posted 5/19/2014 00:14 AM

But I wonder - can you be recovered and still trigger?

In a nutshell, yes.

You've given so much good advice to so many that I wish I had something deeper or more complex for an answer. I know that you know this process takes time, but I know that you crave not only being at the finish line, but knowing for certain that you are there. (Like the rest of us, right?)

I think that you are super duper close to "there", maybe you just need to reframe what that looks like a little bit and allow for the occasional trigger. You have sounded very much at peace these last few months. I think that "recovered" probably means feeling the trigger for a fleeting moment and re-centering right away, which you seem very able to do.

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