Triggers are everywhere. Sometimes I’m able to deflect them. On the really shitty days I feel like I’m being pummeled. Most days I just brace myself… They are part of my new reality. As shitty as they are, I do recognize them. They won’t break me, but they sure suck.
Until recently, I hadn’t talked with my husband about them in any great detail.
Last evening, my husband worked late. He called at about 4:30 to let me know he had about 30 minutes of work left then he’d be on his way. At 6:10, he still wasn’t home, and I had not heard from him. I stayed busy preparing dinner and looking forward to us sitting down with all 3 kids. It has always been a highlight of any given day for me. My peeps all know how much I look forward to us eating dinner together. It’s increasingly rare that we have opportunities these days. Evening hours are a commodity and in short supply. My kids are active, busy, social and involved. They are all growing to be so independent and self-sufficient. So when the opportunity for us to all sit together for dinner presents itself, I take full advantage!
So at 6:10, my increasing anxiety got the best of me and I called Him. He picked up his phone while in mid-conversation . All I could hear was the female voice. In the moment before he said hello, I felt everything drain out of me. My legs got weak, heart rate increased, hands trembling, palms sweating… I asked him who he was talking to. He responded “Sue,” and proceeded to tell me he was walking out the door and would be home soon.
When he walked in the door, he quickly explained who Sue is; an employee, was working late to get some stuff done to take today off. She has some medical issues that she’s dealing with and has appointments. He was making sure she was all set before he left. He then pulled up emails to show me what he’d been doing since we had talked earlier. To show me that he just got caught up and delayed. He was forthcoming and transparent.
We have talked about triggers over the past week. He finally read “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair: A compact manual for the unfaithful.”
I was able to describe what I experienced, and suggested that he could have called. He was aware that he was running later than he said he’d be. He listened. He gently apologized and agreed. He didn’t act defensive or impatient. It was one of the most constructive communication exchanges we’ve had since Dday.
Baby steps.. But at least they are in the right direction.