Just read a great post from The Aftermath on how she is managing her triggers. I have had my share of battling. In the first six months after D-day, they were hiding behind every corner waiting to get me. At first I was completely and utterly unarmed. They won each and every battle. After six months the only ammo I had, was to systematically try to rid our life of any physical trigger in my way, a pretty hard and drastic route to take. His truck went, his wedding ring lost. Vacation home, avoided as much as possible, I have yet to sleep there. I thought that ridding myself of the material things that came in contact with the OW was the best and only route to take. The problem with my battle strategy was that the triggers are physical, they are geographical, they are situational. Just when you think you have one area defeated, the others show themselves and knock you back a few paces. I would very often be doing completely mundane things and then put myself in that exact same space and time in the past with the knowledge of what was happening. It was impossible, it was heartbreaking.
I used to view triggers like stealth ninjas waiting to pounce on me but I have come to understand the battle is with me and myself. The battleground in my head. As I have moved through the last almost two years since D-day, the triggers seem to have diminished some over time. I wish I could say that they are gone or that I have complete mastery over them, alas this is not the case, but yes, for those of you in the early stages, I promise they do start to fade. You never really know when one will strike, and it is all up to you how you choose to deal with them. I have learned the art of self talk, when something comes up, I tell myself to push it out …and I imagine myself slamming the door or pushing the memory out of my brain.
There are also times when my H’s touch is a trigger. I recoil and disappear into myself…often unnoticed. This one has been the absolute hardest one to overcome. Our physical relationship is poor, the worst it has been in our 15 years together but our communication has improved. We are more careful of each other, and slip ups get discussed rather than fester. I know it is only a matter of time before this too may cause a breakdown of our marriage and I am aware it needs to get solved. I feel when he treated me badly, cheated, lied, something inside my soul just simply broke, and I have not been able to fix it. Am I unwilling? Is it anger? Affection is present, sometimes more than others, and I realize I am afraid. Afraid to open myself up to him, afraid the minute I do…
My H is out-of-town. I have come to terms with his time away, although the first year was a trigger each and every day he was gone. I came home the other day, and noticed my H had left his trimmer out in the bathroom. For some darn reason, in the week prior my mind had been toying with the signs I missed (or ignored) one of which was my H grooming his (lets just say, “bathing suite area”), and how I had felt so foolish not understanding his sudden fastidious habits. The trimmer out didn’t really trigger or so I thought until I woke up at 5 am, crying in my sleep from a dream of his stuff in bags at the door, screaming about burning his belongings in our driveway. I was so distraught in fact that I called him at 5am, it was that upsetting. I was so angry in the hour that followed that he had put this kind of horror on my radar. I realize that even on a subliminal level, his cheating is still affecting me. Will this always be the case? Do spouses ever really “get over” the fall out of such a deep betrayal?
I am over the episode, I was over it in an hour in part because he took ownership, I knew he felt badly and I know he understands it is still with me, but it made me realize, being betrayed really becomes part of you, almost like a part of your DNA sadly, but it does not have to rule you. The trick is to find out how to release the damage, find the trust, allow yourself to let down your guard. If anyone in the ether reads this….advise and words are always welcome:)