Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: YouGoGirl2000

Reconciliation :
Old Birthday Trigger

Topic is Sleeping.

 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 9:43 PM on Saturday, March 25th, 2023

How to deal with an old Birthday Trauma trigger? I wouldn't say my M to my SAWH is in R, but hope your hard-earned perspectives could help me with this.

[We are IHS for going on 21 years now with multiple D-Days (prostitutes), the last being in 2014 - on my birthday!
He had surprised me with a sweet card and gifts as always that morning; but that year, I felt it was a genuine gesture of love through all the adversity we had just survived after he lost his job and started a home-based business. I felt like "he is finally coming out of his shell. Maybe we might make it!" And I kissed him. Yet by 5 pm, I got a call from him in jail: he needed a ride home, as the sheriff had impounded his muscle car he drove to a hotel to meet a hooker who was undercover. It made the local nightly TV news in our rural community. Happy Birthday to me, right? Part of me thinks that was supposed to be The End of this M.

Yet, after getting to the brink of filing, I asked my lawyer to change the PSA to a strong Post-Nup with property transfers; no children nor other joint assets, so little difference between what we signed and the PSA the lawyer drew up for D. The main difference in my life after that date is he continued living in my house, always saying he wanted to "keep trying to work on the M." I did believe him and hated to terminate the M at such a vulnerable time in his and my life. But it has been 20 years of hearing him claim he wants to "try." I keep watching and waiting, yet my heart really isn't in waiting and watching, any longer. Life is too short - in 2 days I turn 72! I would like to re-frame this birthday, especially coming just months after my younger brother died.]

So I'd love to know how you honored the truth of your relationships while not allowing an old Birthday Trauma to sour your attitude towards your WS on your birthday, as they make what they consider a thoughtful gesture. My SAWH likes to shop for things I tell him I don't really need nor expect, but the gifts I do repeatedly ask for - and cannot get despite asking - wouldn't cost one dime! I always find that beyond ironic! I guess he thinks he has to buy something. But why not try things like:

* showing respect for the home environment I let him share with me, in a house I now own outright?
* thinking a second about what he hears, before smart-mouthing off with irrelevant or oppositional responses to ANYthing I ever say, about any subject?
* taking our relationship 100% for granted just because I didn't drop the hammer on the Marriage?

One gift he could really wow me with, but it would cost money, would be getting professional help with his language/cognitive deficits instead of talking in stub sentences and expecting me to read his mind for the rest of it! He is almost 65 years old, and this isn't new, but it isn't improving. Quite often he seems to just ping off 1 word and respond to his own thoughts on that word, rather than getting the meaning of any sentence I spoke. I know he heard the words with his ears, but my words do not get processed by his mind very well. Lately I find I' losing my patience having to compensate for this by having to steer him back to the message. Lots of extra work for one of us.

I read your stories and I think maybe it's just me; that deep down, I don't really want this to be my life, and events like a birthday really remind me of that? Very possible. But then I think "Not 100% true, because if I ever noticed him making concrete efforts on his admitted issues (beyond stopping his acting out, which I think he did), it would soften me up a lot. But to just suck it up and accept this existence is as good as it's going to get? That is the thorn in my side that brings up the old triggers. Nobody around here has a pair of tweezers to pull out that old thorn.

Thanks for reading this treatise.

posts: 1792   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8784108

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 10:22 PM on Saturday, March 25th, 2023

I’m really sorry that you’re dealing with this. It sounds miserable. I don’t know that I have much advice, but from an outside perspective based on this post, I feel like 20 years is long enough. If you’ve really been in in-house separation this long without meaningful change, doesn’t that kind of answer all the questions? If you own the home outright and he’s not making changes, it feels like it’s time to pull the plug. Life is short.

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 533   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8784119
Topic is Sleeping.
Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20231001 2002-2023® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy