If you can be successful in dealing with triggers after an affair by minimizing their effects, then the healing process can be kick started.

dealing with triggers after an affair

There is no doubt that getting over an affair is difficult.  Even after the apologies and the forgiveness that follows, it can be a tough thing to live through. 

In our situation, what causes the problems most of the time are the “triggers” that Linda sees, hears or thinks about that cause memories to coming flooding back and her to get emotional, depressed or generally feeling like crap.

This weekend started out pretty good, but rapidly went to hell. 

Linda and I had a Friday night without kids, so we went out for drinks and some dinner and a little bedroom time when we got home.  Everything was really nice.  We had a good time and really enjoyed being with each other.  Then Saturday morning she was reading an article about something that set her off, and an emotional discussion between us ensued.

During the discussion she said that she can be set off by many things.  For instance, when I tell her I love her or if I tell her she’s beautiful, these trigger memories and emotions because she thinks that is what I would tell Tanya all the time.

My sister’s name is also Tanya, so there is a constant trigger.  These few examples are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many things that can be triggers that bring back the trauma from the affair.

Click here to access the PTSD Information Guide.  It will educate you about what PTSD is, what it’s all about and what you can do about it.

Navigating Emotional Triggers and Healing from Affair Trauma

So things improved after our discussion until Saturday night when she got a phone call from her mother.  She called to tell Linda that her brother was separated from his wife of 25+ years because he met the woman of his dreams and is madly in love with her.  Talk about a trigger!

Naturally, another emotional discussion followed when we went to bed.  After which I sat in bed wondering how to help her get over these triggers, or at least get her to a point where the effects of the triggers are minimized.

Now I realize that one factor that can help with getting over an affair is simply time.  It takes time to heal to the point where the triggers start to lose their power.  But after doing a little research on this, I found that to a lesser extent, a person that has been a victim of an affair is suffering from emotional trauma very much similar to that which a soldier suffers after coming home from war.  This trauma is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Obviously, there are university courses as well as volumes of books written about emotional trauma and PTSD, and any treatment would be beyond the scope of this blog.  Severe cases of emotional trauma or PTSD require a skilled professional’s treatment to aid in recovery.  However, with less severe cases there are things you can try to help yourself.

Trauma Series Part One: PTSD and Affairs

Dealing with Triggers After an Affair

First of all, know that getting over an affair as well as recovering from the emotional and psychological trauma takes time. Give yourself time to heal and to mourn the losses you’ve experienced. Don’t try to force the healing process. Be patient with the pace of recovery. Finally, be prepared for difficult and volatile emotions. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without judgment or guilt.

Staying grounded: A trauma self-help exercise

It is very important to stay ‘grounded.’ If you are feeling disoriented, confused, or upset, you can do the following exercise:

1. Sit on a chair. Feel your feet on the ground. Press on your thighs. Feel your behind on the seat and your back against the chair.

2. Look around you and pick six objects that have red or blue. This should allow you to feel in the present, more grounded, and in your body. Notice how your breath gets deeper and calmer.

3. You may want to go outdoors and find a peaceful place to sit on the grass. As you do, feel how your body can be held and supported by the ground.

Trauma self-help strategies:

1. Don’t isolate. Following a trauma, you may want to withdraw from others. But isolation makes things worse. Connecting to others will help you heal, so make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid spending too much time alone.

2. Ask for support. It’s important to talk about your feelings and ask for the help you need. Turn to a trusted family member, friend, counselor, or clergyman. You may also want to join a support group for trauma survivors. Support groups are especially helpful if your personal support network is limited.

3. Establish a daily routine. In order to stay grounded after a trauma, it helps to have a structured schedule to follow. Try to stick to a daily routine, with regular times for waking, sleeping, eating, working, and exercise. Make sure to schedule time for relaxing and social activities, too.

4. Take care of your health. A healthy body increases your ability to cope with stress. Get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and eat a well-balanced diet. It’s also important to avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drug use can worsen your trauma symptoms and exacerbate feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.


Gina Ross and Peter Levine, Emotional First Aid

We know that healing takes time, but we think that if the effects of the “triggers after an affair” can somehow be minimized, then the healing process can be kick started.   

We don’t know if this has any real basis in psychological theory (though we suspect it does), but we know that in our case, our relationship is doing great and everything for the most part is peachy — until one of these triggers surfaces. Therefore, it would make sense to try to lessen their effects and eventually eliminate them all together.  I know…easier said than done.

Please let us know in the comment section your experiences with dealing with triggers after an affair.  Thanks!

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Regaining Control:
Dealing With Obsessive Thoughts, Triggers and Memories of the Affair

Arm yourself with a variety of techniques, practical strategies and  knowledge to help you to manage those intrusive thoughts, triggers and memories of your partner’s affair.


    58 replies to "Getting Over an Affair: Dealing with Triggers After an Affair"

    • surprised

      I have to say one of my triggers is unmet expectations. I came across all the texts & emails that my husband sent the other woman & I expect him to respond to me constantly in the same loving, just beginning dating sort of way. For example I’m on a trip to WA to see my niece get married & I want him to tell me on the phone that he misses me & can’t wait to see me (stuff he told the other woman) but I don’t ever hear that. It really makes me depressed. Yet I know that when you’ve known someone for 14 yrs & have been married for 7 of those that kind of beginning dating/falling in love talk doesn’t just start happening. I am trying to control my attitude about it & not start pouting or an argument about it because there’s nothing I can say to “force” him to tell me those things.

      • TwiceBetrayedJohn (TBJ)

        Well, that is my case too. It has been six months since D-day, and I do not see her take enough intiatiative to show romantic love or affection. She responds to my initiations, but for a change I am expecting her to do it this time around.
        In my opinion, other triggers like songs, TV, movies, events will become immaterial if I know we both are deeply in love with each other. I do not know if she will ever show that and I will recover. With 2 (1 emotional, and 1 full affair with her best friends husband), I am not sure where I am going to end up. I was the most optimistic person I knew, but now I am so different.
        – TBJ

        • twisebetrayedtoo

          I am in the your same shoes! My is worst! Three days after our 2nd daughter was born, that lady emailed me about their affair! Apparently, he broke it off w/ her and her revenge was to expose him to me and his family.
          I am having all these moments, triggers, emotions etc.. you name it I have it!
          It’s sooo hard.. Only time will heal and the higher up can help us thru this HE LL time of our life.
          Life is short, don’t waste your time thinking these nasty things.
          I tell myself that, but it’s hard to put it into action.

        • Jim

          I found out 7 months ago about my wife’s 4 year affair with her best friends husband, had a stroke from my blood pressure rising, I am still stunned and emotionally wasted, how do you move on from this! Been married 30 years we were friends and did couples stuff together, now it is a full blown shit show!

          • Shifting Impressions

            Jim….So heart breaking. There just are no easy answers are there. I hope you have someone you can talk to.

    • michael

      Talking about triggers-
      Yesterday after I made a few post and talking to a friend of ours about his problems, I was texting my wife.
      Not only did the things he is going through bring up memories, but I was strong in dealing with those. It was when she cut the communication off short of us talking through it.
      She had to go because she was BUSY. And it pushed me back to feeling like “she wasn’t too busy to talk to him for hours and text him every other minute while at work. Why can’t she take just a couple of min for me?”
      I know –
      She was in an affair bubble.
      She hadn’t talked to him for years.
      She was going through a resentment of me and had to talk to someone about it.
      And I know-
      To the best of my knowledge she isn’t talking to him anymore.
      We see each other everyday.
      We talk about other things all the time.
      And maybe what our friend is going through is making her feel bad about what she did.

      And after getting over myself I realized I would still be the one that gets to hold her when I get home. And I will feel better when I do.
      So triggers still get to me. But I don’t let them dictate my feelings.

    • Kate

      Lots of triggers this past week or so for me. Driving on the highway past the exit that would go to the OW’s house hits me hard every time. My mind always goes to “Here’s where he would be exiting to go see her…” I often wonder if he’s thinking this too as we drive by?

      Places are hard, since the OW was (supposedly) my “friend” as well, we spent a lot of time together at various locations around town, even took a camping vacation together. There are certain restaurants the three of us ate at, or bars we went out to together, that trigger me.

      Craziest of all is flowers. Not the kind you give as a bouquet, but plain ol’ petunias. Passing the garden dept at Home Depot this weekend got me freaked out with their whole display of petunias. The reason? The OW’s online name includes the word petunia. I muttered something about “Ugly, ugly flowers” as we walked by, don’t think the hubby heard me though.

    • Hurt

      What do you do when EVERYTHING is a trigger? This woman was a friend. We were friends with her and her husband. The double dates were really just them two on a date. Staring at each other, wishing to be alone together. Everything is a trigger and I can’t get it out of my mind. I feel like I’m going crazy. I feel like I can’t function, can’t focus, can’t do anything. Its constantly there, in my face, what they did to me. She was a friend. Why would she do this? Why would he do this?

      Come to find out, she had been planning on seducing him for atleast 6 months prior to the affair. They never slept together, but the kissing and hugging, and holding and constant I love yous haunts me. She had PLANNED this for months prior to making her move. But he bit at the bait. Why? I’m not like one of these women who think their marriage is perfect and this is coming out of left field. We weren’t BAD, but we weren’t AWFUL either. I don’t know why he bit the bait. But he tried to end it three times and she wouldn’t let him go. He kept going back, why??? And she didn’t back down until I found out about all of it. Her husband told me. It only lasted 3 months, no sex, but why did she want him so badly?

      But since we hung out a lot for double dates with her and her husband EVERYHTING is a trigger!! I can’t watch TV, can’t go shopping, can’t go to church!!!

      It’s been 13 weeks since I found out. I just want normalcy again. I want my life back.

      • sillygirl

        I feel your pain! My husband had an emotional affair with a woman HALF his age and she is “friends” will all of our middled aged friends. She is EVERYWHERE I go. And worse…she follows me around when we are in a public place together. She cuts into conversations I’m having with others. She staires at me all night…follows me when I go outside just to stand next to me and not say a word. She sent me a nasty email with all of my husband’s professions of love and then told me to never talk to her yet she keeps trying to get to me. I can’t shake her but it is getting better. The more my husband proves he is trustworthy the less I am driven crazy by all of this. He just, after 6 months, finally has seen all of her harassment and it feels good to be validated but it is all still a trigger. Just know that if you both want to work things out, and you both work on the trust, then that other woman won’t exist anymore. She doesn’t matter tothe future of your relationship. Ony the two of you matter. Easier said than done I know. I still have some mutual friends telling me that I “need help” because she gets to me sometimes. Bottom line….YOU were the one deceived. YOU have to be comfortable with the diretion of your marriage. There is no timeline. I wish you well and hope you can find the normalcy you seek soon….and me too 🙂

    • Renee

      Here’s the ultimate trigger…I received a phone call on our 26th wedding anniversary from a woman I’d never met who needed to relieve her own conscience about her relationship with my husband. She began to tell me what a wonderful person I was, I didn’t deserve this, blah, blah, blah! Now, how do I get past that. I actually dread our anniversary. It’s not any better today than it was 3 1/2 years ago.

    • kristine

      i have a lot of triggers too. songs, a particular logo, a particular word, her name, the airport and the worst one yet, a place i LOVED LOVED LOVED and wanted to visit and learn the language. My husband visited the OP there shortly after moving out even though I was hurting so badly. Ironically, driving past the street where my H’s apartment was isn’t a trigger. It was when he lived there but not one now. My husband has a friend who is a trigger too. It hurts me he still occasionally hangs out with him and mentions his name.

    • Broken

      Its coming up 12 months since I found out the my Husband was having an affair with my Brothers partner. They had only physically been together a few times but apparently were constantly texting. Our whole family has been shattered, I am trying to pick up the pieces- and I know my Husband loves me more than life itself. He is truly devastated by what he has done and will be in counselling for a long time. But how do I fogive/ forget and move on when everyday I have to deal my childrens hurt at not having the once close relationship with their cousins and I have seemingly lost my cherished brother. How do I get past her betrayal of me and family. I had confided in her about things that were happening @ a particularly low point in out marriage and she has seemingly used this against me and my Family. She actively sought my Husband out and fell for it. How do I move past all of this and keep my own family together and continue to rediscover out Love.

      • Mary

        This happened to me too!! My husband is still with her though. He left the day I found out (March 11) & hasnt even attempted to come back. He claims he’s so much happier with her. They bring all of their kids out in public for “family” time & have sleepovers at my husband’s apartment. It’s so gross. Their kids are COUSINS!! I’ve told him many times that I would forgive him & work on our marriage, but he does not want to. I think he’s finally realizing the seriousness of the consequences he’ll face (financially anyway), but doesn’t want to admit he’s been wrong about this all along. I don’t know if he’ll ever want to work it out, he told me I made him miserable & he was sick of “settling” for me. I filed for divorce right after I found out because I was so pissed & never thought it could work & didn’t know anything about affairs, but now I see we have a chance, but he still wants the divorce (he asked me for one before I found out, but we decided to live together & be “separated”, then we tried working on our marriage & that lasted about 2 weeks & then I found out). I’m so sad because I was also pregnant at the time & just have birth to our son 7 weeks ago & our son may never know us as a family. He may never even have a picture of the 5 of us together as a whole. This girl was my best friend & manipulated me claiming to help with our marriage. She was listening to me vent about him & using it all against me & then turning around & sleeping with him.

    • Scarred

      It has been hard reading all of these articles and comments of others. My husband got himself caught up in an EA, which he didn’t see coming, and he supposedly ended it 4 months ago. The biggest problem for me is that my trigger is that he works with her all the time. He is her boss and is training her to do the same thing and eventually he’ll move up. They consider each other close friends and nothing more. I hear all the time the conversations they have and try to separate myself from who he talking to but I can’t! With him, it started by this younger girl talking to him more than was needed and asking ridiculous questions like “Would you still be my friend if your wife didn’t want you to?” REALLY?? So does anyone have this experience to deal with…the girl is still in the picture and everything else has been acknowledge and supposedly been done away with, but they are still close? Just the other day she is talking to my H about the ring her boyfriend and her had looked at and said, “My ring is so pretty, almost as pretty as me.” Of course my H thought it was wrong of her to say it but he just blows it off. I think he gives too much credit to this girl. The one thing that I have found is God is my strength through this and thankfully my H is in the same place, but I think it is still tempting to have to be around her because they connect so well and have the past as they do…and of course it drives me crazy!!

      • Kim

        Back in Sept., a day before my birthday, I found out that my husband had been texting a woman he worked with. It progressed six months ago and he was able to hide it from me until I was prompted by my sister to check the cell phone records. He only worked with her 2-3 hours a day, but because of the texting and her being flirtatious and overly friendly, as he put it, they became closer. He says they didn’t sleep together, but they did minor touching things (any touching is bad enough). She is a twice divorced woman with five children that she doesn’t have custody of. Anyways, he has since left the job, but unfortunately she goes to that location several times a week and still has the opportunity to see and talk to him. My husband has done a complete turn around as far as our relationship is concerned and it has never been better than over the past 25 years. However, there is still this thought that they can see each other and communicate that bothers me. We need him to stay in this job. It’s not like I think about it everyday, but every once in a while it bites me in the butt to keep my guard up. After all the information came out, he told me that he pushed real hard to get this other job because he had ended what had been started and needed to put an end to it. Unfortunately until all the paperwork is signed, he still has to go back to the location, but it should just be one last time. I have told him straight up that if we are to continue to move forward there cannot be any communication between the two of them, no matter how slight. If I were you, I would probably force him to find another job or force the issue of someone else training this girl. It isn’t worth the heart ache that you will go through on a daily basis. If he truly loves you and wants to make your marriage work, he will do whatever it takes to prove it to you! Just my humble opinion.

      • Lisa

        He needs to leave his job. This happened to me and she got to him every day (didnt help that she was a “Victim Support” Counsellor!! There is no way your marraige will heal with her in the picture, I know from experience – even with a very sorry and loving husband. The addiction is too strong and they must not see or communicate with each other. My two cents, Good luck 🙂

    • Hurt

      It’s hard, so so so very hard. My husband still works with the girl too. They supposedly have absolutely no contact, no looking at each other, nothing. But how the hell do I know that? I’m not there. Everything is a trigger form me too. I can’t listen to music because they had songs that were theirs, I can’t watch the news because of the traffic report (I know where she lives and they always say her street is congested), I can’t even stand to kiss my husband sometimes because she kissed him. He says he’s focused on the family and me now but honestly how can I believe that? I thought he would never ever in a million years do this…but he did.

      This woman stalked him and planned to “make a move” on him as early as 6 months before it happened. She waited until he and I were having problems and of all things when I left for a weekend girls trip. She texted him. And he took the bait, didn’t say no. They kissed, held hands, had lunch dates, said they LOVED each other. And never ever in the years prior to us being friends with her and her husband had he ever said anything about her like “she’s pretty, she’s nice, etc” NOTHING. He’s never had any feelings for her at all. He told me prior to the affair he just never thought of her that way. Then what happened? Why can’t he tell me what happened? Why has he shut down? I’m very much willing to accept responsibility if he would just tell me.

      It’s been 7 months since I found out. Almost a year ago since the affair started. It was short, 3 1/2 months long. I can’t get over it. I’ve tried everything, reading books, reading websites, turning to God and the church, and now I’m in therapy and I don’t think it’s working. I’m stubborn that way.

      Scarred, My therapist has said to do things that empower you. Don’t worry about him because it’s HIS choice to cheat. HE has the choice. He has the CHOICE to fix the marriage. You can’t do it for him, You can’t make him do anything. You can only give him reasons to continue to choose you. YOU did nothing wrong, He did. And if he wants to continue to show you his remorse and want to be with you then daily in little things he needs to show you.

      Good luck….

      • Scarred

        Thanks for the encouragement. I do find myself wanting to control the situation by telling him exact things that he can or can’t do or say and all it does is make me see how I am not trusting God.

        My H never got to the point of kissing but talked about it with her. He also was torn many times when wanting to stop the conversations and feelings and then she wouldn’t follow through. He also 3 times fell back in the situation. We also had her and her boyfriend over a few times, invited them to church, and went out at times with them. I saw from the beginning how she felt she could say anything to him, even in front of me and how he would respond so different than normal.

        Anyway, I continually struggle with being a Christian and understanding “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I must apply this to my life, but I don’t know how this always looks to how I need to feel towards the girl. The bible tells us that “love believes all things…”, but does not say that it trusts all things. I am still building trust with my H, but I am realizing I need to believe him because I love him, not because he won’t hurt me. I have learned so much through this and I find that it shows how mean and evil my desires are in responding to this situation. Without Christ loving me while I was hating him, I would continue to be that same person and never truly experience the love that we were created for…I am only motivated by Christ’s love for me to show my love for the lowest of people…that included my H at times and the other woman. It’s so good to talk to others because I don’t have any to talk to about it. Thank you.

    • Angry wife

      I have been trying to get over my husbands affair… He has been trying everything to help me get over it. Quit his job, is always home, Always telling me how much he loves me, opened up his computer, phone and so on. He has been trying to gain back 100% of the trust. I sit and just bash him and the drop of a pin. Its been over a year.
      The other woman, emails me just to tell me things that happened during their 5 months together. I outed her via a website and even appearing of Fox5 news. I have deleted some of her emails but can’t help read some. I have changed my email address but still go back. She has even called me.
      Just trying to figure out how to get over it…..

      • Kim

        I would rather the beotch contact me than contact my husband. You will grow stronger, but you need to stand your ground and don’t let her know in any way when she gets the best of you. If you read the email, cry your heart out and try to put it behind you. It is hard, especially for me who is very open and blunt with my husband. He will tell me to put it behind us and remind me of how far we have come and tell him I have to talk about it or it will eat me alive! We have come to a place where, yes he gets frustrated, but we don’t have the fights and screaming matches we had early on. Be strong!

    • Michael

      These are some great tips to follow. In my case, my wife is having an EA (even as we speak). I discovered it after it was occurring for only about a month, when I discovered x-rated photographs on her phone that they had been sharing back and forth of each other.
      Unfortunately, a major trigger in this case is that his name is also Michael — but she refers to him as Mike. I have some coworkers and friends who call me Mike, and I have already found myself triggered by this and have begun asking them to stop calling me Mike and call me Michael. I also have a brother-in-law who we all refer to as Mike, since I am Michael. This will be a bit more difficult to deal with.
      At this point, D-day was only about 2 weeks ago, so everything is still very fresh and emotions are still very raw. I have confronted her, but she refuses to stop talking to him since he is “a friend”. I have tried getting her to stop all contact, but she simply indicates they talked and agreed the pics were wrong and they will not be doing that anymore. However, their text messages are still sexual, and I also just discovered she just purchased a second cell phone so that I can continue to check her cell phone without her being afraid of being caught. They do text a couple of nicey-nice messages on her regular cell phone so that I would not be suspicious, so of course when I discovered the 2nd cell phone, I was furious.
      Ok, so this is a bit more info than applies to this particular topic, but I felt a need to vent a bit — thanks for listening.

      • Deanna

        Leave her.
        Your so desperate at this point that she KNOWS she can walk on you…..and she.

    • Pissed Off Wife

      Yes, friends, triggers here as well. My husband had an EA with a woman. There were a couple kisses, a couple secret meetings, and egregious e-mail messages. They didn’t explicitly (as far as I understand it) discuss getting together or sex or being a couple. They, in fact, suppressed this. A little transgression, followed by a “we are just friends, this needs to be just friends,” followed by too chummy-toned e-mails about their shared interests. Lame. They were using this for their own purposes. She was in a relationship and depressed in life for various reasons and my husband blew delicious sunshine up her butt. He was in a similar situation. Unlike many other stories, our relationship was pretty solid (yes, we had issues that could be worked on but… no distance, etc.) and this felt like it was coming from left field. I think they both didn’t realize how easy it was to slide over to the dark side and then deny they had while enjoying the energy.

      Anyway, I ramble. I has been five months since D-day. I think I know the whole truth but here are my triggers:

      1. he lied to me during and after for some time before fessing up, so i am triggered by hearing him say that i know the truth. it is hard to believe and i wonder if i’m with a pathological liar sometimes.

      2. kissing him. i sometimes see an image of her or imagine them kissing (which only happen twice and pretty embarrassingly and awkwardly as opposed to deep intentional out of control kissing)

      3. e-mails from him that express his admiration or love. he has been very amazing in this healing time once he finally fessed up completely which took awhile. but i hink: the tone is similar and that she must have felt so great to read them, regardless of the fraudulent nature of writing in the affair bubble.

      4. etc.

      Anyway, it takes time. It has gotten better, but I tell you it would have been nearly impossible if my husband wasn’t willing to work with me. I tell him the triggers and that I need support. Some things that help:

      1. I’ve asked my husband to breathe with me. When I have a trigger or start my hamster wheel of questions or thoughts, I ask him to be strong and say: i understand that you are hurting. anyone would. i a so sorry that i did this. you are safe. it is over. thank you so much for staying with me and going through this pain to work it out. now we need to let it go. then, cheesy as it sounds, we do five minutes of breathing. i asked him to guide it initially and then silence. he’d say, the above and things like: “we are choosing to move forward. to let go of the burdens without forgetting the lessons. we choose to move forward” or “see the painful images and thoughts and see where they live. hold them away from you. imagine them as an object held away and feel them getting smaller. etc. (***Note, I needed to hear the story of hte affair over and over to know I knew the whole thing before I was ready to ‘let it go’ This took about 4 months to get to the letting it go and it couldn’t happen until I really felt like I knew the whole story, as painful as it was.)

      2. I try to see her as a full person. And a flawed one. Rather than demonize her, it helps me to see her as weak and wounded. She’s got a lot of issues and her life is pretty desperate. She is narcissistic and selfish. She presents herself as mysterious and glamourous and she is charming in public, but I know that she’s got serious serious issues and is not at all a happy person so there’s no reason to envy her. She is illusion. I don’t have to be jealous and when I do feel it, I remind myself of her flaws in a humane and not demonic way. I then remind myself of the things that make me pretty f-ing fantastic.

      3. When I want to Google information about her or look her up or see her photos on Google image, I say “NO,” and instead Google myself when leads to a whole bunch of awesome hits that reflect my professional accomplishments. I know, people, sad, but I was defeated here and need to build myself up a little.

      4. When I feel she is better or fear that they had something I don’t I magine the things that I need to develop in myself and begin making plans to develop those long term. Some of the things that I am most worried about with her attributes in relation to my husband’s attraction are those things I do not possess or really desire to have more of. I am saying, hey, I can do these things too and better and for myself. I can do things for myself.

      5. Making a marriage contract helped us. This was a recognition of what happened, what needed to change, a definition of proper behavior with opposite sex, etc. our committment, etc. Also, we each wrote a list of triggers and what helps us deal with them.

      6. Time.

      • Hissadwife

        your number 1 is what i need most but my husband will never give me that or acknowledge that i need to hear this .

    • Holding On

      Pissed Off Wife,

      Thanks for sharing! I love your #1 on your list of things, where you husband is there with you during a trigger and will say the things that you want him to.

      Just yesterday, I have had to be my husband’s voice during a trigger. I literally had to imagine him saying, “I am so sorry. I will never do this to you again. I am so sorry I caused you so much pain. You don’t deserve this. Please forgive me for causing so much hurt and pain. It was such a stupid, selfish choice. I’m so sorry I wasn’t thinking about you or our marriage.” etc. And it really helped. I think I am going to continue doing that, especially when he is not here to talk with.

      I know these are all things he would say, but he doesn’t always do or say the things I need or the quantity I need them. I’ve told him I need him to acknowledge the past, but then follow up with assurances and reassurances. And I need it frequently. But he doesn’t really understand how the mind flows for me or the pit I frequently fall into and seem to have all those horrible feelings of the first few weeks.

      I don’t think it’s sad to build yourself up and google yourself. We all need that! Thanks again for sharing the things that have helped you. I am also 5 months from D-Day. Swimming along!

    • Hurt

      Wow. I can’t tell you how helpful that was to read.

      I’m almost 10 months from D day. It happened a year ago this time and it’s hard.

      Thank you for all of that. Hearing what helps for others helps me try other options. I fell like I’m still a mess and that everything you listed is a mirror of what I’m going through…

      Again, thank you.

    • nancy rhoden

      To say we had a perfect marraige is an understatement. We adored each other. Always best friends and lovers. We had a terrible blow in 2003. At 48 yrs. old he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. He could no longer perform, sexually. We had each other and other ways to sexually show our love to each other. In 2006, while in a newly formed band, he started to act very flighty. This continued for over a year. He had a big argument with his best friend, in his office. He was accused of “hitting on the new girl”. He denied this to me, even brought the girl and her daughter to our home 3 times for guitar lessons. Nothing seemed suspicious to me. So, I let it go. One day I questioned him about an emotional affai, he never said a word, just sat there mute. The man I adore passed away on March 16th 2011. It hasn’t even been a year yet. When he died I felt half of my heart get torn from my chest. It has never come back. Recently the other half has been ripped into shreads. I have found out that he WAS involved with that girl for at least a year and a half. I never knew!!! I am in such a crisis that there are times I think I’d rather die than go on like this. So, I’m in councelling, have great friends to talk with and am searching, on line, for any type of self help information I can find. No one should ever have to go through this.

      • Dee

        Nancy I am so sorry for the Loss of your husband!
        Now to have to deal with the unanswered. I’m glad you are in counseling.
        There are not many words anyone can say to help ease the pain. Maybe on his end of it, he thought you would never find out and thus taking away some of the pain it would have caused.
        You are so right that no one should have to go through this. We are all here for you. 🙂

    • gert

      Its been almost 3.5 years since I found out that my husband was having an affair with a work colleague. It still hurts now and I am finding it difficult to trust him again. She no longer works in the small office but there is a chance they may bump into each other. Husband went out with work mates on Sat night and said he would be home at a time, but didn’t arrive home unitl 2 hours later and can’t understand why I get upset and feel that I’ve slipped back on the ‘path of recovery’. When I try to discuss it with him and get him to open up and talk about it, he just says he’s forgotton about it. I’m sorry but I can’t! And I don’t know how to go forward.

    • Amber

      Reading these comments is the worst trigger of all. It really drives the point home that this will be something I deal with for much longer than I think I can handle.
      We are only two months out but I swear, I cry more every single day. It never ends. When I think we’ve made progress and we have a chance to work things out, something happens. He’s military and gone quite often, when he leaves, I feel like my world is caving in again. He went to a strip club while gone and although some may see that as a minor infraction, it just compounded the pain I felt. I want to leave him but I’m worried that wont alleviate any of my pain, only add more. We have 4 children and shortly after he came home from overseas, in the midst of dealing with his betrayal, I got pregnant again. I am so scared of being more unattractive to him. I’m scared that what he and this woman shared will haunt me for the rest of my life. I’ve loved my husband for 10 years, I’ve been married to him for 6 and I am so worried it will never work. Everything triggers me. She wont leave him alone and her text messages send me into a depression that is deep enough, I don’t know how to pull myself out. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Counseling is a band-aid once a week, “trying” seems like a joke… I just want to feel normal again 🙁

    • Hurt

      I can completely relate Amber. I’m 18 months out from the day I found out. It doesnt get easier, it’s at your own pace. I completely agree with reading other’s responses on how they cope, etc, being a trigger in itself. I cried about an hour just now and did some irrational things…

      Anyway, I’m unsubscribing from all of the emails, all of the support sites, etc. It’s not helping anymore, it’s hurting because it’s making me question my recovery.

      I wish you luck in your marriage, for you family’s sake.

    • Magdalene

      Hi Amber and Hurt,
      i completely understand what both of you are going though. I was also in a similar situation, probably you might think that my H’s EA is not as bad as everyone’s. Maybe so but the pain is real and same.
      Although it is almost 1 year to D-Day, prayers have helped me through the horrible ordeal.
      I agree that reading all these sites and emails are triggers in itself. We should just concentrate on working on the marriage with our spouse and kids (most important). Your H must play an active and sincere role in wanting to save the marriage by his actions and words.
      Pray to the Almighty and if you believe in Mother Mary, please please pray to her too for she has been my inspiration. Good luck to the both of you.

    • sad

      I am about 5 months from my ex’s ea. He swears they were just friends but i found out a week after i moved out she moved into our house. I am trying to get my name off the house but it is taking a long time. Meanwhile he may have prostate cancer and i am worried that i will have to deal with the B if he is sick. I am still trying to understand what went wrong with our relationship of 16 1/2 years.
      This lady works with him and that is how they met. She lost her husband shortly before he told me that he wanted to seperate. (remember they were just friends)
      He is not like he was before.. He won’t call me, he barely texts our daughter. I have asked him if he has met her kids and the answer is no. She does not want to meet our daughter… I am so worried that this lady is up to something… She had him move me out of our house knowing that he could be sick. By the way.. her husband died of the same thing that he could have. I saw him a month ago and his eyelids looked like they were burnt. I hate to think this but i am worried that she is feeding him something that is causing this. I am so sad that he is letting someone like this in his life.

    • Caroline

      My husband has had numerous affairs, and emotional affairs. The emotional affairs started out with him just being friends. No I find every time he spends a lot of time talking to his female friends on a daily basis, I get anxiety and it brings up the past and I feel it is going to happen again. He does not communicate, and everytime I try to say it bothers me with all this woman texting and contackt, he shuts me down and talks over me. I feel like I am going crazy as he never allows me to express how I feel. I am so depressed.

      • Hissadwife

        I know how you feel. My husband keeps in contact with his ex and gives her money!!! when i express displeasure he shuts me down like im crazy then tries to make it like i am doing the same thing by bringing up things from 10 years ago to hurt me and validate what he does.

    • Hissadwife

      My triggers is everything and i am suffering from depression because of it. My husband for 4 months with his ex girlfriend he communicated with her by email, phone and went to her apartment and her job, put furniture together for her (he never does for me), gave her MONEY to help her get back and forth to work when i had to overdraft my account to get myself back and forth to work. My husband is also a gambler and a night owl he would leave the house a 4 pm and not come home until the next morning telling me that he was at the casino but it turns out he was with the OW. I went through his emails and his accounts which is how i found about his relationship with her. He swears he never slept with her she says the same but she then changed her tune and i asked her to stop emailing him. He felt that i violated his privacy so he set up another email account he claims it is the principle and not that he his is hiding anything, but now I am freaked out because I feel the OW is now emailing him on the new account because i don’t find anything in the old account he sleeps with his two WI-FI only cell phones he has put locks on everything and he refuses to talk to me about why these things are triggers. He doesn’t understand this woman cannot be his friend ,but will I look at every “Female Friend” with suspicion?

    • TL

      I caught my wife cheating with a co worker in September of 2016. I read their texts and the words that came out of her mouth shocked me. It was like she was a different person. At that point she said they had only kissed but that was a lie. This absolutely devastated me. I lost about 30 lbs and felt anguish I cant describe. As the months rolled on I tried to recover. I remember on Valentine’s day 2017 she looked me in the eyes telling me how sorry she was and how she wished she could take it back. I finally got to the point where i said ok i believe her they only kissed,, we have two beautiful kids I’m going to try and make this work and keep our family together. That very same day i had this epiphany i caught her again!!! I found texts between them that confirmed they had sex on multiple occasions while traveling for work . That was it for me we got divorced and I have since met another woman that I’m deeply in love with but the trauma I experienced from the ex is causing major relationship issues . My girlfriend is absolutely beautiful. Shes the type of woman that walks into a room and you’ll see guys heads turn. I have multiple triggers that cause me to fear shes cheating but theres nothing going on .The problem is it just feels so real.. It’s like there are these parallels that set me off. I know theres a guy at these meetings she goes to that hits on her. So that’s reminds me of my ex and her co worker.When she texts it sets me off sometimes I wonder who she talking to. It’s horrible because I used to be so confident and fully trusting but that’s gone I feel mentally I’ll I want me back. My girl tells me shed never cheat and she feels wronged because on the trust scale I have her below baseline because of what another woman did and shes right. I love her so much but I’m afraid I’m going to lose her.

    • Barbara

      I’m triggered daily, as my H’s ap & I share the same first name. He was a sales rep & she was his inhouse customer service rep. She knew from the first day she worked there that he was married with 3 kids but she worked to get him. Their affair lasted 1 year so each calendar day I can be reminded of the betrayal & lies of that day. He even took her out for dinner, drinks & sex on our wedding anniversary. Plus, she has a birthday 9 days after mine in the same month. I got stood up at the last minute on Valentine’s Day that year because “an important client came into town and he had to wine & dine him”. I stayed home with the kids and she got treated! That happened decades ago but sometime ALL the triggers rush back and hit me like a huge wave. I try to manage them but, I’m afraid, for me they will live with me always.

    • Kathy

      My situation iss totally different. My life partner (His label for us)of 19 years together, died of pancreatic cancer. I saw his email accounts a couple of weeks after he died . A woman who he knew from the gym, and dental office sent him nude photos of herself. There was also emails between them. I was devastated, this left me with the inability to ask questions, It made me rethink and analyze the who relationship and affair.My view of who he was changed. My trust now with being with someone new is gone. Time does help. The early years were good, but it ruined so much.

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