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Do you still get triggered?

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cocoplus5nuts posted 4/24/2020 10:39 AM

5+ years out. I rarely get triggered. I'm not even sure I get triggered at all. I had an incident back in February, I think, when I saw my H's pre-A inconsiderate behavior rear it's head again. It had nothing to do with infidelity or another person. I got extremely angry and decided I was done with R. Was that an A trigger, or just me realizing that he will always be an asshole no matter how much of a fCH he becomes? 🤷‍♀️

Before that, I can't remember the last time I was triggered. I do get a feeling, not sure what it is, when I see photos from before. Are those triggers? I don't cry or rage or hide. I just feel...something.

gmc94 posted 4/24/2020 11:02 AM

Are those triggers? I don't cry or rage or hide. I just feel...something.
yeah, me too. For me I think it comes down to being mindful... eg, if I'm feeling angry or crummy and drill down, I often find a trigger in there somewhere.

For me, it's dates probably more than anything. So, just scrolling through the cable tv guide and seeing a film that was made in say 2008, can put me in a "mood" of sorts bc my thoughts go 1: WH was in the PA, then 2: and we watched that film together, then 3: WH watched that infidelity scene in the film and had zero reaction, despite being balls deep, then 4: he's an asshat. All w/in a blink of an eye. Then I'm grumpy. 18 months ago, it would have been a meltdown, so grumpy is better. And IMO, it's still a trigger in that something relatively innocuous (like the year a film was made) gets me grumpy and my brain has to think about and recognize what's going on to switch up my mood.

I had a trigger last night. WH drank an entire bottle of wine while I was in an impromptu face time with family. When I realize the wine we would have for dinner was gone, I asked if he drank the whole thing - in a calm tone & manner. He says "yes, I didn't recognize I drank it all". Immediately, lizard brain goes to: just like he says about everything A-related... i didn't recognize I was hurting you... I didn't recognize keeping this woman a secret was wrong before the sex started... I didn't recognize this, that or the other. Sorry asshat, you are smarter than that. You knew all of those things, just like you knew you were pouring your fourth glass of wine last night and that the bottle was now empty (but heaven forbid you set that final glass aside to avoid getting too drunk or - perish the thought - so your BW could have at least one glass of the wine). Instead, you CHOSE to be obtuse about it. You CHOSE to ignore it. You CHOSE to act as if what you were doing wasn't really happening or would have consequences.

Again,18 months ago that would have been WW3 here. Last night? I was frustrated, but consciously chose to keep my mouth shut (no point talking to a drunk anyhow), ate my dinner and went to bed. Today, it's just another example of his being unable to "recognize" what an emotional dumbass he is. Unable to 'recognize' that it's not the wine that triggers - it's the intolerance for taking responsibility for his actions. It's just another way of showing he's not a safe partner.

So - to the OP, this is what it looks like for me today. It does get better, but I don't know if/when it really goes away.

Accidentaldiva posted 4/24/2020 12:47 PM

It helps me to read this thread today. I am only 13 days out from DD and I am having kind of a shitty day today. I found out the whole truth of the situation in pretty short order rather than the 2 part or multi-part revelation that some B.S.'s have to go through. However, I am now filling in the details by asking him to tell me the truth about various details. I asked my H. if they ever slept they whole night together. He admitted that they did one time, then kissed and had morning sex, then went to breakfast together. You know what hurts the most? Yeah, the breakfast part.

Minnesota posted 4/24/2020 13:18 PM

I'm a little more than 4 years out. I don't get triggered hard core much. I'm not afraid of it. I notice sometimes she gets more headspace than I'd like to admit. - I guess that's often. But they don't feel intense very often, and when they do, it usually has to do with some insecurity on my part. Something feels "dangerous" again. I think the last time, it had to do with my kid.

I promise you that you that you can come out of this stronger and better. It takes time, and deliberateness, I think. But keep walking forward.

RedGlass posted 4/24/2020 13:23 PM

You know what hurts the most? Yeah, the breakfast part.

I truly understand this. I love going out for breakfast because to me it's just the laziest thing I can think of. Don't even get off my backside to make a slice of toast...dinner is different. All day to think about it and even to dress for it.

You'll find, I'm sure, as I did, that there are may things you'll feel she's 'taken' from you. It's hurtful.

I've found, for me, going out and claiming them back makes me feel a lot better. WH is not always comfortable with some of it but he knows better than to mention it.

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/25/2020 22:10 PM


Thank you for directing me to those podcasts. I listened to the 1st one. Pretty spot on!! I'm getting ready to finish listening to the second one.

Dates are a huge trigger for me too. I know they had their PA about 2011-2013 but the EA went on wayyyy longer than that. Pictures are awful for me. His AP was my best friend of over 25 years. We did everything together. So there are hardly any photos of us and our kids from vacations or events that don't have her or her kids in them. Everything is just ruined. All my happy memories are now awful triggers and it makes me cry seeing them. Facebook doesn't help showing old photos everyday ughh. The other day our high school photos popped up and a few mutual friends had shared the photos and of course she was in them. It made me so angry.

I totally understand the "I didn't recognize" or "I didn't realize" 🙄. Just shut up, you knew what you were doing. It really makes me angry. Now he has been saying. I just wasn't thinking. Yes, makes more sense. Selfish asshole, was only thinking of himself.

I have been struggling really bad this week. It was my daughters bday and I couldn't even enjoy it. My H and my friend got close while they were planning my baby shower while I was pregnant with my daughter. The thought of such a happy time of our lives brought them close to feel comfortable to have the A just tears me up. I really hope this isn't something that sticks with me for a long time and I struggle every year on her bday.

It is nice to hear from people that are farther out than me. Whatever the future brings for me I just want to look forward to a time that it doesn't hurt so much and so often. I honestly can not live like this. It's just too much. And it's making me go insane.

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/25/2020 22:20 PM


I'm sorry you're here going through this too. I completely understand about the breakfast part hurting so much. I guess the brighter side of my screwed up situation is that his AP (my bestfriend) is also married with kids. So they never had time to do anything together...besides meet up in a parking lot off the highway to have sex or get a blow job 🙄. He told me once he grabbed her a breakfast sandwich since he stopped to grab himself one and that pissed me off. I just told him how nice that he was so considerate 🤮.

They didn't need to meet up to do things because we all were already meeting up to do everything together ugh. Movies, dinners, vacations, things with the kids. Whatever it was, we were all together....all the time.

As Redglass said, at times you may feel like she has taken things from you... that's exactly how I feel. Our restaurant that we enjoyed together that she would always ask to come to with us "to try the food". Finally I made plans for us to go. Our vacations. I should have known when she started taking such a huge interest in ALWAYS doing what we were doing. At the time I thought it was her just wanting in on the fun but I know now, she just wanted to see him and see how we were together.

GTeamReboot posted 4/26/2020 08:55 AM

Hey PS! Iíve been thinking about you. Havenít been on SI for a few days, which have been good days. But was eager to check on a few people.

I remember early on being so overwhelmed by the triggers and the trauma that I wanted to ask these questions. ďPlease tell me it gets betterĒ kinds of questions. Lol. You are still so so early in this shitstorm. For me 5-6 months was hard. In fact the last couple weeks (the 6-month mark) have been really rough!! (And now Iím crying again). But things are moving in a hopeful direction. Creeping there. Creeeeeping. Time is the one huge factor we have no way to control or improve upon. The process of processing the new reality requires facing it, acknowledging itís true, and that means the initial wave of triggers kind of just have to be weathered. It sucks. My point is you arenít really even at the ďtriggerĒ stage yet - you are still in discovery and processing. Trigger is more when the truth is well known and starting to settle and then flares up often out of the blue. In a way, the worst triggers for you are yet to come.

Gmc94- Dates are a huge trigger for me. It feels unhealthy. Like if I do a google search and notice that a result page or article is dated during the A phase I simply scroll by. No matter how good the recipe looked. Recently I was doing something for work and following a written process. The example had a graph with time across the bottom and it was literally THE month of the As. I broke down. I couldnít continue. I asked a colleague to help claiming I just didnít understand it.

Something really random Iíve learned about that I think helps me with PTSD-like triggers, now that they arenít quite as intense and Iím really ready to cope with them better (you may not be there yet, understandably)... Tetris. Remember that video game? So do a internet search on Tetris and Trauma. Fascinating! There was a NPR article and the actual studies. I think the effect in the brain is very similar to EMDR. I even made a post here (go to my profile and recent posts). The self talk while I play is helpful, calming. I also play a slower similar game called Woody Origin.

You need to get IC if you arenít already. You may benefit from trauma focused IC. Your situation is particularly cruel. But the games are a good at home quick fix for me lately when my brain starts to see an image them go down a rabbit hole. I grab my phone and play.

And how has your H been doing in helping you cope? What is his reaction when you trigger and fall apart?

Walkingthewire posted 4/26/2020 12:41 PM

I am about 18 months from dday.
I still get triggered, more often than I like to admit.
I also get triggered by the other tramuas in my life. Last summer I saw the man who raped and molested me when I was 8-10, so yea. That triggered me for other reasons.

It takes time. I'm hoping they will become less and less. IDK.
But yea. Triggers don't always leave you.

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/27/2020 10:07 AM

it's just another example of his being unable to "recognize" what an emotional dumbass he is. Unable to 'recognize' that it's not the wine that triggers - it's the intolerance for taking responsibility for his actions. It's just another way of showing he's not a safe partner.

Ain't that the truth!

What does being triggered look like?

For me, it's rage or crying or withdrawing/isolating. I don't think of getting a little sad by a thought or annoyed by a behavior as a trigger. I am constantly annoyed with the stupid shit my H does. I mostly let it go because it's not important.

I was walking the other day and an A related thought popped in my head. Can't remember what it was now. I felt a little sad for about a half a block and then it was gone. Would y'all consider that a trigger?

DIFM posted 4/27/2020 10:32 AM

Oh hell, I am 30 years out and there are still triggers. But what individual BS's trigger on can be vastly different across the BS spectrum.

I trigger very little on specific cheating related activities. My triggers have more to with when my fWW reflects some personality trait or opinion or criticism of others that makes me shake my head and fume internally, and sometimes externally, at least for some brief time.

I think many "recovered" cheaters still have some level of idiot brokenenss, even if it has nothing directly do do with cheating or betrayal or dishonesty, that nonetheless makes a BS go, WTF! At least after 30 years, it does for this BS.

PerfectStorm222 posted 4/29/2020 10:46 AM


Thanks for checking back in on me. The past week or two have probably been the worst for me. Complete emotional roller coaster. I just keep telling myself I can't live like this. Constantly questioning every damn thing. Thinking back of everything from the last 11 years and thinking of all our interactions with her. Just sets me off. Last week was my daughters bday. Really screwed me up because they got so close while planning my babyshower for her. I really hope her bday doesn't have me in this emotional whirlwind every year. It's sad that her existence is what brought them together.

You're so right though. I need the full truth. He kept saying it killed him watching me in pain every time he would give me more info. Between our MC the past 2 weeks and with the help of people here a light bulb finally went off in his head and he understands why he needs to just get it all out instead of keep opening the wounds with me bullshit. So, he sat and wrote out a long email to me. Took until all night and he put everything he remembered in it. Was long and painful but it was what I needed. Then he remembered some more stuff again last night and told me that. I just feel like... what else is coming ughhhh!

Everything bothers me. No matter which way we end up going I just need to be able to function again. It's such a struggle. But now that I'm past my daughters bday, I'm feeling better again today. Which is a plus!

Thanks everyone for your comment. Gives me some hope that I wont be this screwed up forever!

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/29/2020 10:56 AM

PS, you are so, so early in this. I think 6took about 6 months for me to get my H to tell me all the major parts of his A. Then, it was months of me asking questions and get little details. I don't remember the little details hurting so much at that point.

Day by day, you will recover.

My triggers have more to with when my fWW reflects some personality trait or opinion or criticism of others that makes me shake my head and fume internally,

And you stay? I think this is where I'm at now. I considered us reconciled in December 2019, just over 4 years post dday2. In January or February 2020 some of my H's old behaviors reared up. I lost it. Decided he hadn't really changed and I was done. I emotionally checked out again. My IC said that people always have slip ups. It doesn't mean they haven't made progress.

How do you decide you're ok with it?

LadyG posted 4/29/2020 23:39 PM

Unfortunately my PTSD is here to stay...

Itís early days this time around and special dates are coming up... so triggers are numerous...

I can no longer visit my fatherís grave as my STBX menaced me even while visiting there...

The previous A left me quite on edge for some years... but I was younger, my children needed me more so I carried on like nothing had happened...

It has all come to the surface now however... if it was not for my PTSD all the awful things that he inflicted on me would be buried... I look at my PTSD as a positive now... if, I learn to own it and love it, then maybe it will leave me too... hereís hoping... Bless you 🙏🏼

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