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.