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Reconciliation :
Cant shake the triggers or mind movies

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 Lightningstrike (original poster new member #78852) posted at 7:21 PM on Friday, May 28th, 2021

Most days its so hard for me to shake the mind movies. Before the affair we were a very strong unit. If anyone had ever asked me if I thought my husband would ever step out on me, I wouldn't hesitate to say no. So the betrayal felt like death. Ive definitely been hurt in the past from previous relationships, but I truly felt like what we had was so different. When I found out, it felt like my soul was being crushed. I experienced physical sickness. The stupid part was he didnt even really leave, he strung me a long, played mind games. He wont admit what he did was cheating. I dont understand how that is even logical in his mind because were married. He thinks because he moved out and he wasnt sleeping in my bed it was ok. I cant even think about being with anyone else even though I tried to. How can they say they love us, but hurt us so immensely at the same time? Its crazy to me.

Were trying to reconcile now. Its been a few months, and its been a very messy ride. Some days are better than others, but everyday the pain still is there. Sometimes when I look at him, I hear the things he said to me when we were separated. Those old conversations never go away, its like I have a memory bank full of all the crazy, hurtful things he did and said. I want to forget so badly. Ive been internalizing everything to try and avoid further conflict. Even though Ive been going to therapy every week, it just feels hollow. At night when Im sleeping Ive been experiencing these horrible nightmares. Its literally like ptsd where I wake up in a cold sweat. I didnt even think how bad this all affected me til he came back. I dont know if it was better for me to walk away or stay. Im definitely conflicted about that, cause seriously.. I have no idea how anyone can hurt us like this and pretend like it wouldnt cause some major damage. I love my husband, its the only thing that kept me planted. But is that enough?

The triggers and the mind movies are so painful. When it happens I either lash out or go within, both are equally unproductive. I hope time and space will eventually move me further away from the pain and eventually subside.

posts: 1   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Hawaii
id 8663544
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 28th, 2021

I love my husband, its the only thing that kept me planted. But is that enough?

Love isn't special in long term relationships. It's the bare minimum for them to continue existing. What about respect, trust, shared vision of the future...

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2644   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8663550
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 7:31 PM on Friday, May 28th, 2021

They do eventually subside, but I'm skeptical they ever entirely go away. I'm 4.5 years out and I would say only in the past six months or so have I noticed any real lessening of triggers, intrusive thoughts and mind movies.

And really, all sorts of things can set them off again. Just the other night I had a dream involving my WW's AP. And recently I've been dealing with ruminative fallout from a new series of revelations about what a low-quality man my WW's AP is.

So brace yourself. And consider what you're signing up for.

[This message edited by Thumos at 1:32 PM, May 28th (Friday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4598   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8663552
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:08 AM on Saturday, May 29th, 2021

There are several posters who have mentioned that their wh/ww said cruel things to them before, during and after cheating. If that is your story then how do you forget insults. Countries have gone to war over insults.

When I read some of the horror stories on here I wonder how the bs EVER gets past it all.

To me,whose husband cheated while traveling, I would have begun to separate emotionally from him even if I couldn’t physically if he had ever said cruel things to me. I had no financial ability to leave but knowing he cheated made me look at him differently. I remember when we had very young children and I would look at him and think how lucky I felt. That disappears after infidelity. Yet he grew up. Thankfully.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4243   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8663673
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 6:26 AM on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

Over the years the bad memories become less frequent and less painful. But they never fully subside.

I've heard some compare the pain of discovering an affair to a death of a loved one. But as the immediate pain and grief from mourning a loved one begins to fade with time you're usually left with fond memories of your loved one that can help salve that wound.

A betrayal leaves you questioning the validity of any fond memories you may have of your former relationship. So some wounds never fully heal. The pain and bitterness of betrayal linger. Accepting what happened and moving on can only do so much.

Sadly, I think you're going to find it hard to reconcile with someone who won't admit that they were cheating. If your husband doesn't have real remorse for what he did how can you ever trust him? "Until I decide to take a break" isn't in the marriage vows. He knows that. A WS always has an excuse that absolves them of responsibility.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 11:24 PM, June 1st (Tuesday)]

Me: 62, BS -- Her: 61, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 551   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8663848
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folio44 ( member #54534) posted at 11:52 AM on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

The pain and memories will lessen, but never go away totally, how could it?

This is part of what the rest of your life will be. It's part of you, even if you did not ask for it.

Good luck to you and I do hope for better days for you...

48 year marriage
DDay#1 me/June/confronthimNov 2015
DDay#2 July 21 2016
am in R with WH

posts: 389   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2016
id 8663862
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 12:59 PM on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

I’m 7 years out. Don’t get them anymore. If that helps you. I guess I would if I thought about it long enough. I feel more sorry for my wife. She suffers from the experience. Lots of shame . But that’s her issue to deal with not mine. I quit owning her problems. If you asked me a couple of years out that I would find some of it funny I would have said no fricken way. But I occasionally find some of the situations funny. Not hilarious mind you but just funny in a stupid way.If I ask her about her affair partner she gets a look of disgust on her face which makes me feel good.

It’s really a time thing. And accepting the new you and the new relationship. I had a terrible time redefining my view of marriage. I thought when we took our vows it was forever but every bodies definition of that is different. Which I learned the hard way. It’s time and talking. About the hard stuff. Lots of talking.

posts: 128   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8663865
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:55 PM on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

4 months out, most BSes feel pretty awful. When feeling awful, it's natural to hear internal messaging/self-talk that is very discouraging. I'd say most people generate attack-self messages when they are under stress.

As you heal, I think you'll replace the attack-self messages with nurture-self ones.

If your H does the work he needs to do and gives you the emotional support you want, my bet is that happy relationship memories will replace a lot of the awful ones.

My guess is that you'll always have the bad memories of your A - just as you'll always have bad memories of awful times in your life, and good memories of the good times.

I view triggers as pain coming to the surface to be released. IMO, the less one resists triggers, the faster one heals. ('Faster' does not mean 'fast'.)

My experience is that it was all A, all the time for the first year, mostly A, most of the time the 2nd, and so on. Triggers became less frequent and less intense as time went on. Now, 10+ years out, I don't remember my last trigger.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29988   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8663900
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