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User Topic: Are triggers a sign of unforgiveness?
♀ 43766
Member # 43766
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is there a correlation between triggers and ones ability to forgive?

I thought not but WBF and IC think so.

My understanding was that triggers are something that a BS has to go through and learn to get over, over time during reconciliation but does not reflect forgiveness or the the lack of it?

Are they as independent as I think?

Posts: 15 | Registered: Jun 2014
♂ 43139
Member # 43139
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Triggers have nothing to do with forgiveness.

I forgave my FWW and ten years after I still trigger on certain things.

And forgiveness does not mean that you move on and forget about it.

But forgiveness can help you heal and help you be whole again. The bible says you must forgive to be forgiven.

Forgiveness can take time.

Posts: 606 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: Texas
♀ 13333
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Triggers diminish in intensity over time. But they will be with you forever. You cannot *unknow* anything. So every time you pass the park where they met up, drive by the hotel they stayed in, see a word that brings back those memories, the A will come to mind.

With healing, the pain diminishes and dare I say most triggers are simply *blips* on the screen. But I do not think triggers & forgiveness are intertwined at all. Basically his IC is saying you should stuff your feelings if you have truly forgiven, and that is not healthy advice for anyone.

ETA - your dday was just a few months ago. I need to add that this diminishing of triggers takes YEARS. Forgiveness takes TIME with a lot of effort by the WS to deserve being forgiven. Is this IC experienced dealing with infidelity? It sure doesn't seem so. Might be time for a new one.

[This message edited by Lucky2HaveMe at 8:34 AM, August 7th (Thursday)]

Love isn't what you say, it's what you do.

Posts: 8480 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
♀ 33549
Member # 33549
Default  Posted: 8:35 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No correlation. Triggers are you processing/dealing with trauma/pain/painful memories or thoughts consciously or when painful memories "leap" from our subconscious to conscious (trigger). These memories "do not mean you have not forgiven. It simply means that you are human and remembering a painful experience." This is from the book by Gary Chapman 'Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Got Married'

Me-BS 54
M 34 yrs.
Dday 3-19-11, TT 10/2011, Full truth July 2013
Strength comes from within. You can't get it from someone or go somewhere to get it. It is already here, waiting to be used when you need it most. Believe in yourself.

Posts: 732 | Registered: Oct 2011
♀ 44148
Member # 44148
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I view our feelings as sort of a PTSD. We had an extremely traumatic experience and anything related to that experience sets off the PTSD. I think it has nothing to do with forgiveness.

Take my dad for instance...he was in the Vietnam war and suffers from PTSD. The 4th of July is a trigger for him. The movie Platoon was a trigger for him.

Me: 30ish Him: 30ish
Together 15 yrs, Married 10 yrs
His #1 EA D-day 10/20/09
His #2 PA/EA D-day 7/11/14
My EA D-day 10/21/09
Reconciling...slowly but surely.

Posts: 325 | Registered: Jul 2014
♀ 39803
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:40 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

More a biochemical event than an issue of forgiveness. Think about a car crash -- if you've ever had one, you are twitchy for a while going by the same scene, or when cars drive up to you in a certain way, or a certain speed. It has nothing to do with forgiving the driver!

But, I do think triggers decrease in intensity over time, and perhaps with forgiveness as well they are easier to deal with.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 8:40 AM, August 7th (Thursday)]

me - BS (45) - DDay - June 2013
A was 2+ months, EA/PA
In MC & Reconciling
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point to move forward." -- C.S. Lewis.

Posts: 3521 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
♀ 43766
Member # 43766
Default  Posted: 8:42 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you for the advice.

I thought as much and all the pressure on me to have forgotten and feeling condemned for not doing so has been building intensely for the last couple of days.

It has only been 2 months 3 weeks since the A and I did feel that that was a tall order. On the other hand, I told myself if they are true that triggers are linked to forgiveness, I may be a failure of sorts for not being able to forgive and forget.

I have forgiven and that I am sure of, else I wouldn't be pursuing reconciling. But the forgetting is what I am struggling with as a result of the triggers.

Thanks for confirming that I am sane, for not forgetting - especially seeing that it has taken years for some.

Posts: 15 | Registered: Jun 2014
♂ 15902
Member # 15902
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But the forgetting is what I am struggling with as a result of the triggers.

In my opinion you will never forget the affair; however, you can control how you react to the thoughts. The emotional suffering caused by painful thoughts and memories of the past usually diminish over time as the mind learns to adjust to the trauma.

Don't beat yourself up, or let others beat you up for having to deal with the painful aftermath caused by the betrayal of someone you believed would never hurt you. Reconciliation requires much patience. Give yourself the precious gift of time to heal.

Me: BH, Her: FWW - Long Term EA/PA
d-day: June 25, 2007
Married 33 years, Together 40 years - Reconciled

Posts: 6347 | Registered: Aug 2007
♀ 43580
Member # 43580
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

MB08...I am only a few months out myself. I will say that my IC has never said anything like yours has. I hate that your IC has made you doubt yourself like that. We have enough to handle without that kind of burden.

I'm not sure if I have truly forgiven my WH or not. We are working through things. I have had him read things from The Healing Library. I asked him to read the book How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair. Surprisingly to me, he did. My WH reading these has made a big difference. They explained the BS feelings and that what we are going through is very traumatic and cannot just be brushed aside. It has to be dealt with by both people to make the necessary changes.

I hope everyday the triggers will be less impactful...I think this will always be a work in progress. Some days good, some days not so good.

When I looked for an IC, I looked for one that specializes in PTSD. My SIL was cheated on in her first marriage and has given me very helpful information. I'm sure you have already thought about it, but you might look for a new IC.

Best of luck down this rough road!

Me:BW 52, Him:WH 57
DS 27, DD 25; Dday: 4/19/14
Married: 30 years
Reconcile: A work in progress...
Dday: 4/2014 TT for over a year.
You're not alone in how you've been, everybody loses we all got bruises

Posts: 37 | Registered: May 2014 | From: Land of Oz
♀ 21101
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 10:25 AM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No and to think so is just dumb.
Seriously. It is a visceral reaction, autonomic fight/flight, brainstem thing when a trigger occurs, and for it to resolve, and become a nontrigger you have to retrain your brain that this is no longer a threat, or you desensitize yourself over multiple times of exposure to said trigger.

Your Therapist Blows. Sorry, but that is unacceptable, and then to find out that you are very early in R, and they are expecting you to forgive????
True forgiveness for this shitstorm takes years if ever for most of us that have had successful R, and that is with a WS that does the work of R, and fixes the ugly broken bits within themselves.
DO NOT try to force forgiveness. Tell your spouse you are willing to move down the road of R with hopes of reaching forgiveness at some point, but if you rush it, you won't heal, and then it's just like a festering wound. The scab looks clean, but underneath, it's just getting more and more infected. You have to allow yourself time to heal, grieve, and get used to the fact that the old M is dead, and you are rebuilding a new one.

Him: FWS
Kids: 18 & 20
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

Posts: 13401 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
♀ 42581
Member # 42581
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, August 7th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Whose IC is saying that?

If it's yours then I strongly suggest you get a new therapist. That's outrageously out of line. Who the hell gave that person credentials? IC is suppose to help you, not fuck you up more. That pisses me off for you to no end. Beyond messed up. OMG!

Inhale, exhale. Ok after my fit.

If it's HIS IC saying that my first thought is that he is lying to you and probably his therapist too.

As pp stated, triggers come from trauma. A therapist that has your well being as a priority would not ask you to rugsweep a trauma. That's what makes the comments so abhorrent. Whoever made then isn't interested in helping you.

If it is your therapist, get a new one, don't even go back. This is not an over reaction.

I can't even believe someone had the gall to tell you that. Who says that? Somebody cruel, or stupid.

DD-March 2010

Posts: 5434 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
♀ 40547
Member # 40547
Default  Posted: 5:49 AM, August 8th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

this is a good topic. Yes, triggers don't have to do with forgiveness IMO too. I sure do have them, but less now...hate them as sometimes I "dwell" and then I have to cry and then...ahhh it is exhausting!

Affairs - hard on us both - but love will win.
Me: BS 57
Him: WS 64
Married 34 yrs.
dday TT from 12/2012-2/2013)...

Posts: 341 | Registered: Sep 2013
♀ 43533
Member # 43533
Default  Posted: 12:36 PM, August 8th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that triggers don't have to do with forgiveness. They are more from PTSD. My husbands triggers are getting better with time and we try to avoid things that trigger him. I think everyone figures our what works best for them.

Posts: 51 | Registered: May 2014
♀ 38384
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, August 8th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

MB, I am just going to repeat with the others said about how triggers have nothing to do with forgiveness (and at 3 months out AND dealing with a bf who is not doing the work, you simply cannot expect to be there - even if he was doing the work you would not be there yet). I would print this off and show it to your therapist. This person has clearly done very little work on infidelity. The best thing you can do is hand her the suggested reading material I gave you in my last post, direct her to SI and find someone more qualified.

I like bionic's example of the car crash. Mine is when an infant scream/cries = I immediately tense up and want to cry as my son did this for almost two years due to illness.

Its a visceral reaction. It eases over time and some triggers are known (like a song or a place)and some we just stumble upon (like an unexpected scene in a movie).

Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 3439 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
♀ 43513
Member # 43513
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, August 8th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


I haven't read the other posts but.....

WBF and IC think so.

If your IC thinks triggers are a sign of unforgiveness, you need to find another IC

Is there a correlation between triggers and ones ability to forgive?

No correlation whatsoever.

Triggers are most likely caused by temporary PTSD, which may later turn into entrenched PTSD, if a wayward is unremorseful or trickle truthing.

ďIf two people truly have feelings for one another then they donít have an affair. They get a divorce and they sort out their feelings. You are accountable for the people you hold hostage in a marriage when your mind and heart refuse to fully commit

Posts: 1516 | Registered: May 2014
♀ 44420
Member # 44420
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, August 8th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My IC used the car crash analogy in my first session with her (7 days after D-day)--she said that I was in shock, just like an accident victim, and I needed to treat myself as such. Even though I'm doing a lot better now, she used that analogy again this week. And it is really helpful. I think it only makes sense to apply it in this sense too.

She's also used some of the vocabulary of PTSD for describing what I'm going through, and has stressed that healing will mean a lot of over and over and over and over.

I would certainly look for a new counsellor--there certainly are some out there who will be more understanding of what you are going through!

Me: BS, now 42
Him: WS, now 49
DD: May 30, 2014 (2 month affair)

2 children

Naively optimistic username (chosen in frustration when everything else I could think of was taken or too close to my real name)--but 2 years on, R is truly going well

Posts: 784 | Registered: Aug 2014
Topic Posts: 16

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