Monday, October 10, 2005

Chapter 9 - Rings and things

It was pretty random, what would send me off. A lot of people call them "triggers" -- things that reminded me of the affair. Obviously her work was a trigger, because the other guy was there. But the less obvious could be a trigger too. Bluegrass music, of all things (they went to a Nickel Creek concert together). Hiking (one of their dates -- the one that resulted in photos -- was to a nearby state partk). Massages (don't ask).

Some of the things made sense, some did not. Our wedding rings was a trigger and I don't know which category I would place it in. To her, the rings were just a symbol with lots of good memories, and she could not understand why I would associate any bad feelings with them. To me, I hated our rings. Mine was a symbol of promises she did not keep, and I'm not sure she meant them when she made them. Hers, she either took them off to have sex with another guy, or she wore them when having sex with another guy, and either way they were spoiled.

We compromised. She got me a new ring which I now wear, proudly. It symbolizes our new commitment. For her, her original rings reminded her of her commitment to me and held special meaning to her. She did not associate her old rings with anyone other than me. If they were meaningful to her, then I could focus on that. We each gave a little.

I went through a phase where I just wanted to purge our lives of anything that had any negative association. We moved to another neighborhood. I asked -- and she agreed -- that we get rid of the dresser where I found the souveniers. One non-negotiable for me -- any intimate apparel she wore with him had to go. It went.

Did it help? I don't know how much difference it made, but I'd do it again.

6 Comments:

At 5:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your site and how true your story plays on. My husband had an emotional/physical affair Sept 03 and I was only 10 feet away and didn't think his "friend" was the other woman. My triggers NYC, Winnie the pooh characters, and my wedding set. Let you express it was a broken promise. Although we are post 3 years, we're no where near the relationship you are. I have dealt with the forgiveness more of her then of him but I know it took 2. End the end, I have a new setting for my ring with that brings good & better memories. Thanks for sharing...it's nice to know someone else knows exactly how you feel!

 
At 11:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you have written. I am still recovering from an affair my husband had Jul 9 2005. How funny that date is burned in my memory forever. I am on Celexa as well and we are actually still together and doing well. It just seems that now that the weather is turning nice I have some triggers that seem to depress me. I loved summer I always have, but last year while I pulled all night duty my husband talked with her on the cell phone all day. and in the beautiful summer weather he left at 9:00 in the morning which is a miracle in itself he would be up that early. He went "to play golf" He had the audacity to ask me how he looked and lie right to my face when I asked if I could go. He said no you suck at golf and the people behind us will get mad because you take too long. He ended the affair after the one 4 hour tryst in the woods(playing golf). (three weeks of talking and phone calls, emails prior to that)But now beautiful weather seems to be a trigger. He had not wore his ring for some time before that because it it needed to be sized. Needless to say I immediately got it fixed after the discovery and now he never takes it off. My ring always meant something to me so I kept it without any changes. it was my commitment to him. not his to me. It is just very hard when these triggers come up and you want them to go away but they don't. Images of their lovemaking just pop in my head and it makes all these feelings come flooding back. How do you ever make the thoughts just go away. I know he loves me and I love him. we have a good relationship for the moment, but it makes me angry their affair has stolen one of my pleasures the joy of beautiful weather. It is always good to hear your not alone. I just wish I could hear the pain will eventually just be a little twinge and not a gashing wound when these triggers come up. Thank you for sharing your story.

 
At 9:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband had an emotional affair that lead to a brief physical affair with a girl at his school. Now his going to school is a huge trigger for me more so when they are in the same class. I know that he has no interest in her and is actually disgusted by her as a person because of choices she made after the affair and the lies she told during it, but I just don't like her being in the same space. How did you handle your wife and the man working at the same place?

 
At 3:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe how much our stories relate... Everything down to the rings. I am so grateful for this blog because, through God and our church, I am attempting to make this work. My husband is remorseful and has transformed into the Godly man I always wanted, but I continually struggle with whether or not I really can handle this emotional struggle.. Some days I want to leave and start fresh, other days I say "it was only 3 1/2 months and he wasn't mentally right". I'll pray for my marriage to make it through, but thank you for your testimony!

 
At 11:51 AM , Blogger Author said...

You're absolutely right: 3 1/2 months is not long. You have the freedom to leave the marriage, and I don't think anyone should criticize you if that is what you decide. That said, why not give it a shot and see if you can work it out? (Which is what you are doing, and I applaud that). If it works, it works. If it doesn't, you can leave then. But 3 1/2 months is probably too soon to know. Good luck!

 
At 12:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been almost 1 yr. since I D-DAY of my husband’s affair. We’ve been married 22 years and the past 6 years went through some extremely difficult issues which I now realize contributed to his affair. My husband quit a job ( no future in the company) and tried to start up another company with someone he thought was a friend. That ended in us filing bankruptcy. Our children were entering their Sr. yr. in HS and sophomore in college. In addition,my brother-in-law(husband’s BF since college) was diagnosed with cancer and died within 9 months. Only to have another friend die from the same disease and a third also diagnosed with it. I forgot to mention my husband quit his job and decided to start another business all before talking to me about it-- Understandably I was angry and hurt by this. A major decision and he didn’t even discuss it with me. I definitely began to pull away emotionally and built walls around me thinking he could never hurt me again. BIG MISTAKE! We drifted and when the bankruptcy issue hit, our marriage was at an all time low. I shut down and he felt like his life was ending and was having 0 fun. Enter the other woman. She too is married and in a miserable relationship. She and my husband have known each other since HS and re-kindled the friendship. It started online but quickly turned into a sexual relationship. My husband convinced himself that I would not be bothered. He even tried to convince himself that I was bi-polar (I am not)but it made it easier for him to pursue a sexual relationship. When I found out about the affair (New Yrs Eve )I begged him to tell me all the details. He only gave me very little info. like they met for lunch and there was some kissing. Stupid me believed him. As the weeks went on I discovered so much more like evening dates, lunch dates, walks in the park, hotel stays, oral sex and sexual intercourse etc. After He said he would pack his things and leave. I told him he could stay and we could try to put our marriage back together if he wanted. At least in the end if it doesn't work out we can't we didn’t try. I was completely devastated. He said that he would end it. However she still tries to contact him. I tried to talk to her by way of the phone. GOD that was awful. In my head it went so much better. I had simply asked her to stop contacting my husband he wants to work on his marriage with me. He told her the same thing as well and in return I would keep their secret and not tell her husband. I have kept my end of the bargain and not said anything. Recently we went to an informal HS event. She was not there thank god. However, the next day she called him screaming at him "How dare he go and not tell her" "How could you do that to me" then she goes on about how hard the breakup has been , also saying obviously “it must have been easy for her” (meaning me). This is the hardest, most devastating thing I have ever had to deal with (one I wouldn't wish on anyone). After almost a year she’s still playing games. My husband and I are in a better place, COMMUNICATING better and truly working to a better life. There’s still triggers and times I cry like a baby. My husband is sorry and has taken full responsibility .I have taken responsibility for contributing to the problems within our marriage but 0 for his affair. He went down the affair path alone. He’s out of the “affair fog” now and often says to me "I do not know what I was thinking" "I'm such as ass" etc.. for hurting you like this and destroying your trust and our marriage. I’ m glad we’re working this through. There’s still a long way to go and the pain still lingers. The triggers I fear will always will there be but I know that I made the right decision a year ago when I asked him to stay. Her husband still has no idea. I feel very bad for him. SAD. I’ve wrestled with calling him but in the end I don’t. I fear he will find out. Secrets never stay secrets 4ever .

 

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