How to Deal with Triggers After an Affair

It’s never easy to look at the wife you’ve loved for years and only remember the woman who sneaked out of the house at one in the morning. Even more so, trust the man again who caused you too much pain when all you ever did was love him unconditionally. You will always be haunted by the thought that once a cheater will always be a cheater. And then you start doubting yourself, thinking you will never be good enough for someone, that all the love you’ve given away will never find its way back to you.

Although it’s painful to catch your spouse cheating on you, you still want to know all the details, even the smallest ones. You would want to know the shirt your husband wore on their date with his mistress or the car your wife used to go out with her lover even if you know very well it’s unnecessary and will only cause more damage to the relationship. You feel the need to uncover the whole truth because you think it’s the only way you can heal—only to realize they have become your triggers soon after. Even seeing the restaurant where they dated can give you intrusive thoughts and flashbacks of the cruelest betrayal.

These triggers will hurt and will have you dealing with the same kind of pain, as if the cheating incident only happened yesterday. Suddenly, you find yourself feeling off center and thrust into a bout of anxiety, depression, guilt, or shame. While it’s okay not to be okay when being reminded of a thing or event linking to a painful part of your past, it doesn’t mean you have to live like a walking chaos for the rest of your life. You need to find a way to deal with triggers that allow you to recover from infidelity and the heartbreak this whole ordeal caused you.

How You Can Healthily Deal with Triggers After Your Partner Cheated

When you feel that everything’s too heavy, that’s because it is. However, you are not meant to live a life full of anger forever. With a conscious effort, you can deal with triggers and even mend your broken relationship with your partner. Here’s how.

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1. Allow yourself to feel

Above all, give yourself the permission to feel. Don’t ignore the pain you feel and let it out. Understand that you are just a human being too, vulnerable to pain. Let tears flow and shout to your heart’s content. Try to recognize your emotions and understand they are normal. Make time for yourself to heal.

2. Accept your own share of faults

It’s easier to recognize your partner’s fault and blame all the cheating to your spouse. But sometimes, the pain can deafen your ears that you fail to listen to what your partner has to say. If anyone should feel responsible for everything that happened, it ought to be your partner. That’s true. But that does not mean you don’t have to reevaluate yourself too and check if you messed up somewhere.

In a relationship, no one is really innocent of wrongdoing. You might have spent lesser time and haven’t paid too much attention for the infidelity to flourish. It’s not until you figure out where things went wrong that you can right your relationship.

3. Divert your attention

Intrusive thoughts linger on your mind even months after the infidelity. One way to deal with triggers is to actually divert your attention to something else. You can try all sorts of activities such as traveling, camping, painting, anything that can help you forget what happened. This is a good idea to discover what you are capable of doing. You can even start writing your first book taken from your own life experiences.

Just be sure that as you divert your attention, it’s not to someone else.

4. Hear the truth from other

As you deal with triggers, you might find yourself disregarding other’s advice just because it hurts your ego when, in fact, it makes sense. When you are hurting, it’s hard to know the truth because you only want to hear what you want to hear. Listen to the people that love you most and individuals who have gone through the same thing. Remember that they don’t mean any harm and they only want what’s best for you.

5. Talk to your partner

It’s true that your spouse is the cause of your emotional breakdowns. However, it will be hard for you to move forward until you two have meaningful conversation about what happened. If your love grows fonder after the affair, you may feel at ease sharing your thoughts. Regardless if you have not completely mended your relationship, you should not give up on talking intimately.

It is definitely true that overcoming trust issues is hard, as you will always be reminded of your partner’s unfaithfulness. However, you need to realize that your marriage is not just any piece of legal contract you signed with your spouse. More than that, you need to remember that you vowed to be with your husband or wife in sickness and in health, richer or poorer, until death do you part. So take time to sit down, talk things over. Give each other and your relationship another chance.

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Amanda Thomas

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