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Do you still get triggered?

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PerfectStorm222 posted 4/22/2020 12:15 PM

For people that have R successfully, how long did it take for you to not be triggered? Or does it never end? I'm guessing (from stuff I've been reading) it happens less frequent? I'm only a little over 3 months from D-Day (I know for me it's still early on) but I feel like this is going to always be a problem for me and I just can't live like this. It's just hell. I'll have a few days where I'm OK and not thinking of the shitty things he did but then all of a sudden something will trigger me and all I want to do is leave and never return...kinda hard with the lockdown right now. So, I'm just stuck here.

It'll take a day or even days for me to not be stuck in these awful feelings. I don't want to hear him speak to me and cringe at him even touching me. He tries to hug and console me but it does nothing for me in those moments. I just want to be far away from him. Then when I get out of those awful feelings I go back to feeling like there might be hope for us, ugh. It's tough.

I do feel like I get triggered more often because it was my bestfriend that he had the A with. She was my friend most of my life. So, when something reminds me of her it sets me off again. Something will come up that I know her and I would laugh about or just little things. I miss having that with her and they both ruined it all for me.

I guess I'm just wondering, does it actually get better?

Throwaway999 posted 4/22/2020 13:01 PM

Hi Perfect storm...I am 5 months out from my last DDay. And I can honestly say that the 180 has helped me with the triggers. They still come everyday but I seem to be able to handle them better. I try to recognize it for what it is...I name it in my head....and try my best to let if flow through me. Knowing I will come out of it. Having said that...watching tv is really hard. There is glorified infidelity in every show nowadays.

Hang in there, I am sure there will be better days ahead. Keep got this.

emergent8 posted 4/22/2020 13:02 PM

First off, I'm so sorry you're here and that the two people in your life that you trusted the most to have your back, have treated you so cruelly and callously. Your best friend, would presumably have been the person you would have gone to with all of this and now she is the enemy. I cannot imagine.

At 3 months out you are still very much in the eye of the storm. Right now, it's hurt. At around 5-6 months out, I started to get really angry which somehow felt more powerful because I felt less vulnerable. At its heart though, anger was just hurt me lashing out. All of this is to say, it's going to suck for a while. Do you feel like you have the full truth yet? For me, I didn't start healing until I felt like I knew it all. Even when I knew it all, I kept waiting for another shoe to drop. It was only time, remorse and consistency that allowed me to begin to feel better.

It does get better though. I promise you that. At 3 years out I still have triggers. That said, they are much MUCH less frequent than they were before (sometimes months in between) and they do not effect me the same way they used to. Instead of knocking me out and making me feel like I couldn't get out of bed for a day (for example), it'll be just put me in a bad mood for an evening until I can shake the funk.

Keep posting. We're here for you.

RedGlass posted 4/22/2020 13:18 PM

It's six months out for me. I originally wanted a D but I'm in R (it's a long story).

Most days now, I'm fine.

Other days, not so much. I don't trigger often but when I do, it's rough. I feel the same way you do. I want to leave and never return. I'm restless and unhappy.

I, too, wonder if it will actually ever get better. Feeling good most days doesn't make up for the difficult ones, imo.

I'm like emergent8, I know it all now but I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's awful.

I practice mindful thinking and self loving thoughts to get through it. Sometimes it takes hours to break it.

It's a real roller coaster, no doubt about it.

BentandBroken posted 4/22/2020 13:35 PM

To add to the comments of RedGlass, Emergent and ThrowAway...

I am 5 months out. I wanted R but got D from a remorseless WH. I did NOT get the full story, and now there's no point. I know enough; my WH is still involved with OW. That's painful enough. I can't imagine how bad it must be knowing OW was your best friend.

I typically run across at least one trigger each day. Sometimes more. Most times, it no longer sends me to bed or spirals me into a fit of sobbing in the fetal position. More typically it manifests as inability to focus, procrastination over tasks I meant to accomplish that day, and sometimes it's just an eye roll and move on. 180 helped with this and I am full NC now.

And the TV - oh, gosh the TV! If you're a big TV watcher you may want to Google "shows I can watch that won't trigger me after infidelity"

Everyone's timeline is different, and you have heard from a few of us now. Wishing you peace as you make your way forward.

sisoon posted 4/22/2020 14:05 PM

9+ years out - yes, my experience is that the triggers get fewer, farther between, and less intense, but I still trigger sometimes.

I agree hat the double betrayal makes you vulnerable to more triggers than you'd get in a single betrayal. I'm sorry you have to go through this extra pain.

From very early on, I could tolerate TV and movies with cheating in them - but every so often media will cause a trigger, even now.

Some triggers put me in funks that last a week or 10 days or even longer. In a sense, d-day was a trigger that last 6-12 months.

I notice triggers now more than I ever did before d-day. I've just gone through a 10-14 day trigger. It came from our relationship, but not from the A - except it came from my W's co-dependent **** that caused/enabled the A - I didn't trigger because of the A, but A stuff came into it....

IMO, triggers are pain coming into one's awareness so it can be let go. Mostly, it happens pretty quickly, and I feel better after a trigger. That's true for the ones that last, too ... but maybe I feel better only because I feel so awful while I'm processing the damned thing.

There's no way of getting around this: being betrayed is traumatic, and traumas yield triggers.

Mene posted 4/22/2020 21:07 PM

I get triggered all the time. It never leaves you. You just do your best to cope. Infidelity is the worst thing you can do to your spouse.

Tred posted 4/22/2020 21:59 PM

Here's my perspective from over 8 years out and at this time still pretty damn happy in R. I liken triggers to the rings caused by throwing a rock into still pond. The closer they are to the trauma of the rock, the bigger the waves are. As they get further from the trauma, they slowly recede until they are barely a ripple at the shore. The thing with infidelity is sometimes it's a boulder and not a rock, and those first waves are enormous and crash against the shore for a while. The size of everyone's rock is different, as well as how long it takes to reach the shore.

I still trigger. It's very brief and I have the tools to cope now. My timeline for the waves to stop crashing was about 2 years. I'm a slow learner to some, fast for others. Does it actually get better? I'd say yes. I see this question in various forms, and implied in there is will it get better soon. That will depend on your unique timeline on how you survive infidelity. Trauma is trauma. It took me a couple of years with a PsyD that specialized in PTSD to get better. I probably could of shortened that timeline by not waiting 13 months after DDay to get help, but that was my path. Just don't get disheartened if you don't heal on the timeline you expect because of expectations that might be ambitious this close to D Day. Just remember that it takes on average 2-5 years to heal, survive from infidelity whether you R or D. Be kind to yourself, and learn self care.

[This message edited by Tred at 10:01 PM, April 22nd (Wednesday)]

Marie2792 posted 4/22/2020 22:06 PM

I am almost six years out and still have triggers. Itís strange what affects me. A song that my husband doesnít even like, but my kids do. Some brand of soda that I rarely see except in the supermarket occasionally. They donít happen often or as intensely, most times I can shrug them off.

Questioningall posted 4/22/2020 22:09 PM

Iím 6 years out and I still trigger. Itís a lot better than it was in the early days, but it still happens. I doubt they will go away entirely, but now theyíre more annoying than gut wrenching.

Skyking posted 4/22/2020 22:56 PM

40+ years out from the last DDay. It takes between 5-8 years to really feel normal. But even after that you can still occasionally trigger. About 4 years ago I hit a major Flashback and started triggering again. It lasted about a year. Even now I worry about triggers and try to avoid certain songs, or shows that might trigger me.

gmc94 posted 4/23/2020 00:53 AM

Iím a few months into year 3. Still trigger. I remember those early months and Iíd read the same responses you are getting on this thread, but primarily the dreaded 4-letter word that is the worst for a new BS: time. I was convinced that MY situation was so much worse that the advice I was given would never be true for me. I was completely wrong. Time and whatever works for your healing will lessen frequency and severity.

A good IC with trauma training can be invaluable. I did EMDR and it helped (tho prolly more for my WHís suicide attempt than the A). If I had to choose between an IC with solid experience/training in infidelity or with trauma, Iíd go with trauma- hands down.

Thereís a great book by Rick Hanson called resilient. I got it on audiobook from the library, which was great, not only bc I have trouble with reading focus since dday, but bc he has exercises that are easier if you only have to listen. It has nothing to do with infidelity - but mindfulness, finding gratitude, etc. it really helped me.

Itís super long, but The Body Keeps The Score by Basel Van der Kolk is like my bible for trauma. It really helped me to stop telling myself there was something wrong with how I was responding to the A... to recognize that the triggers and other ptsd symptoms were not bc I was bad or weak or crazy. It is an in depth look at ptsd, its research, brain wiring, etc

Have you listened to the Marnie Breecker podcasts (2-part interview on The Addicted Mind or her & Duane Osterlindís Helping Couples Heal)? Those may be helpful as well - they will certainly help validate that your feelings are normal trauma response.

Itís sucks to cycle thru the terrible triggers. And itís hard to learn that they will just happen sometimes and to learn to roll with it. They can come at the strangest things- sometimes it takes me a minute to realize thatís whatís going on- a place Iím confident you will ultimately arrive.

ETA: FWIW, Iíve not ďRd successfullyĒ. Not sure it matters, but full disclosure

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:54 AM, April 23rd, 2020 (Thursday)]

The1stWife posted 4/23/2020 04:44 AM

Not very much.

Just donít play jazz music 🎶 😂 lol

hopefull77 posted 4/23/2020 06:04 AM

7+ years out and like others have said they do lessen over time...some I can roll my eyes over and then the TV shows with infidelity become a "oh here we go roll out the Affair mat"
Music is another head shaker...
I push through ...
My H will apologize and hug me.
Like others have said TIME just takes time

I wish you peace 🙏

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/23/2020 08:57 AM


As awful as the situation is, that is such a beautiful way of looking at it. Thank you so much for sharing that.

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/23/2020 09:12 AM

Emergent8 and RedGlass,

I feel the same about waiting for another shoe to drop. He didn't come out with all the details at first. It took him a few weeks to get most of it out. He claims he was afraid to give them all to me at first. He came out and told me the majority of everything pretty early on. I wanted every detail he could remember. But even now he's telling me more details of things. It took our MC to explain to him how it's hard for me to heal if he doesn't get it ALL out at one time and then we keep revisiting situations as they play out in my head. I do realize there will be some things that are hard to remember because it was 8 or 9 years ago that it was happening. But there are some things you just don't forget. So, he has been telling me things as they come to him now. Which probably make getting triggered even more.

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/23/2020 09:17 AM


Thank you for the recommendations for things to read. It is hard to stay focused and read things. I've been bouncing around reading one thing then have a hard time staying focused on it. I start reading something else and sane thing. So I haven't fully read much. Just more so bits and pieces if things.

gmc94 posted 4/23/2020 13:21 PM

PerfectStorm- The inability to focus is actually a common problem... and I think many BS blame themselves for this kind of thing (and mind movies, and triggers, and [fill in the blank] ).

I could never "read" an audiobook before dday - I'd fall asleep and get bored. But after dday they became a Godsend to me. In year three it has improved a bit and I can find some focus sometimes, but it's not anything like it used to be (which is a big problem, as reading & reading comprehension are a giant part of my job). It's as if I suddenly became dyslexic or something.

If you are not already a member at your local library, I highly recommend becoming one. Mine has been closed for weeks, but I can still get plenty of materials online - including the audiobooks. Those podcasts are easily found as well. There is a thread in the general forum called something like "finally! a therapist who gets it" and I can bump it for you. There are the links to Breecker's 2-part interview on the Addicted Mind and once you have that, you can move on to the Helping Couples Heal (some of which are also linked later in that thread). I wish I'd listened to those right away, as it helped me a lot to know that what was going on was (a) normal and (b) not my "fault" and (perhaps most importantly) (c) something I could work on myself, separate and apart from my WH. It became a kind of an onramp to focusing on me and not the stupid sh$t my WH does.

Do you have a written timeline from your WH? Wonder if that would help if he did it in writing and then added to it as he remembers stuff, so that you can then absorb at your own pace (warning: it can become a source of pain shopping, so tread carefully and know your own limits on this front).


ETA: I bumped that other thread in general. You may have to scroll down a bit to find it - things in general can move down the list pretty fast :)

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:22 PM, April 23rd, 2020 (Thursday)]

78monte posted 4/23/2020 21:47 PM

I am 30 months out and still have alot of triggers. Last year was worse however. The triggers were always intense and took longer to fade away. I am glad to have found this site, it has helped me to realise there is nothing wrong with me . You cannot rush healing.

standinghere posted 4/24/2020 03:28 AM

If you work on yourself, the triggers become less potent over time, you manage them better when they come, and are able to have perspective on them.

For instance, my FWS apparently didnít use condoms, after insisting for months that she did initially. So, the condom display in the grocery store would be triggery, particularly because I would never know what she was thinking as we walked by a condom display, even today I have no clue if it even occurs to her when we walk by one, it was pretty bad for a couple of years.

Now, every time I see a conform display, or add, or condoms just get mentioned by someone, like our kids, that is the first thing I think of, but it doesnít trigger me. I donít feel the need to rehash. Yeah, I know she didnít, I know that practically no WS does, I know it doesnít mean anything special, I know that it is just ďnormal affair behaviorĒ, etc.

Edited to add the following:

It didnít help that around the time of D-day Lady Gagaís ďBad RomanceĒ was playing all the time, not just on the radio, but my kids were playing it as well.

ď I want your ugly, I want your diseaseĒ

[This message edited by standinghere at 3:37 AM, April 24th (Friday)]

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