daisy
It's been 4 years since my husband's affair ended. We have reconciled and moved on. Occasionally, I get flashbacks or something triggers me and I think about the affair, the hurt, something that happened, something he said or did. It usually takes me a few days to shake it off. 

I never mention the affair. I've read that it's a bad idea to do so and will just bring you back to square one. Is this true? Should I never discuss these feelings with my husband? Part of me feels like I'm being insincere and holding back part of me and what is our story. The other part feels that nothing productive will come of it, so why bother. 

What's the right answer? Do I just let the feeling pass over the course of a day or two (sometimes longer) and say nothing, or do I let him know that I'm feeling scared, hurt, etc. and why. 

I feel like the affair is such a big part of who I am today. The scars run deep and I'm a changed person because of it. However, I feel like I can't talk about it to my husband or to anyone else. Is this normal?

Sorry for the rambling, just looking for some perspectives.
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surviving
daisy - my WH says I may bring up his affairs (yes, with an added "s") any time I want to do so.  It doesn't matter if we reconcile or not, I have the right to bring it up.  Especially if I have a trigger, which are many these days.  When your WS confesses their affairs, they are done with the hiding and lying.  You, however, are just beginning your troubles.  You should have as much time as you need to forgive and move on.  If that is true, I have 34+ years to get my act together and I am taking my time.  I ask questions any time I want and he answers them as best he can.  Since he didn't ask me if it was all right to have his many affairs, he shouldn't worry about how long I have to ask questions, or bring up the affairs.  That is my opinion, but I think it is only fair since I wasn't involved in his decision to cheat.
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Anna26
Daisy, it's so refreshing to read a post saying that a couple have managed to reconcile like you have done.  And I've just remembered that you posted a while back, giving some great feedback about how things were going for you. I'ts funny because someone was saying just the other day how we don't seem to have much in the way of positive feedback in the community, and there you are!

The affair's bound to have changed you, but probably for the better, because you've been through a terrible experience and come out all the stronger for it at the other side. 
I think it's only natural to sometimes get a trigger or remember something and of course, it's going to be upsetting, but maybe it would help to try putting it in the perspective of another bad experience.  Like a bereavement or something equally traumatic that you may have experienced.  Those kind of memories hurt too don't they...

I can't speak from experience regarding bringing up the affair after reconciliation, I would guess that it depends how comfortable he would be with being reminded. I think my husband would feel I was flinging it in his face again after so long, but again that depends whether you are saying it out of anger or because you were needing comfort while you were upset. 
And I agree with you that it may be counter productive.  Have you ever asked him how he would feel if you wanted to just explain that you were feeling upset about things sometimes?

Part of me wants to say that that perhaps it's easier to completely turn the page over and start the new chapter, without keeping flicking back because you've forgotten what the old characters said. But in truth I know it's not that easy.  Maybe we dwell on things too much, instead of being determined that the things that remind us, are not going to define our lives in the future.  Maybe we expect or think that this is how we should react instead of letting the feeling flow around us and away..
Sorry if I'm getting a bit deep here, I do this sometimes...lol..think I'm rambling also...

In the end how you deal with this is your decision, if you feel you can't or shouldn't talk to your husband about it, do you have a trusted friend?
And those scars you mention..we all carry those, that's what life hands you like it or not, but in a strange way, we should almost be proud of them, they are symbols of a struggle and a victory and it makes us who we are...
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Graceandhope
What is your husbands response to this question? Does he notice and come to you and ask? I think , it is part of your story now, if you need to discuss it you should be able to with him he added this chapter. It doesn't sound like it's in an adversarial way or your punishing Jim, you just need some reassurance.

We're a year out so well see how we are in the future,but, he is so much better at noticing my moods and checking in with me, sometimes before I'm ready to deal with it but, that's another thing
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TimT
daisy wrote:
...I never mention the affair. I've read that it's a bad idea to do so and will just bring you back to square one. Is this true? Should I never discuss these feelings with my husband? Part of me feels like I'm being insincere and holding back part of me and what is our story. The other part feels that nothing productive will come of it, so why bother...

When any topic becomes something you cannot talk about in a marriage, it can be problematic, turning into private pain and perhaps even resentment. Of course, your husband would probably prefer that it NEVER come up again since it likely triggers his shame. But you can be very honest with him about this by saying something like: "Every now and then, something reminds me of what we've been through and I feel a moment of pain/panic. I have forgiven you and have truly moved on, but I can't stop these triggers from happening. When they come, what I want most is assurance and comfort from you... even just a word or touch to remind me that things are okay. Is there a way I can let you know when this happens without you feeling like I am attacking or blaming you again?"

They key is to focus on the PRESENT, not the PAST. That means that you communicate honestly about the current feeling, not the details of the past affair. You can, of course, mention the affair since it is the reason for the triggered feelings, but your conversation should focus on what you are feeling now without spending any time rehashing the past hurts, questions, etc.

If your husband knows that this is your need and that you are moving forward, not backward, then I hope he would risk stepping into that vulnerable place to give comfort.

Some men are really bad at this. They shouldn't be, but they are. If a couple is stuck in a place where one needs more than the other is able/willing to give, counseling would be a really good option.
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Searching4
I still trigger and think about the affair daily. I don't bring it up every day but if I feel I need to, I will. This is a journey for both of us and we help each other through it. When I need to talk about it, I will and most of the time these conversations bring us closer together. We talk, I may ask questions, I process the answers and his thoughts, and then I can let it go.

I am almost five years from discovery, but if I need to bring up the affair for the next 10-20 years, I will.

Tim's advice above is great and I agree that it important to focus on the present, but sometimes we need to look at the past and talk about it in order to understand where we are now.
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daisy
Wow. Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. When I get those feelings, I don't really feel an urge to ask questions about the affair. Honestly, I think I know too much about the details. It's more like, he may be in an irritable mood and I ask him an innocent, non affair related question. He might respond harshly (in my eyes) . I will tell him that I don't like the way he spoke to me and instead of apologizing he will say something sarcastic or with a hint of contempt. Now I am triggered because this is the way he used to talk to me all the time while he was having the affair. As a general rule, this is not how he treats me. So when it happens, it takes me back. Instead of mentioning that this reminds me of what happened in the past, I will just walk away and go somewhere else and have a good cry. The pain lingers for a few days, but I don't say anything. This is a probably not the best example, but it happened just the other day.

To Tim's point, shame is a big factor here and my husband it's very bad at being that emotional support I need. He will feel like I'm attacking him our he gets depressed and shuts down. I can see how resentment can build in me with my current approach. I suppose I can try to bring it up in a non threatening way and see how he reacts.

I'm starting to feel that perhaps I'm not as over this as I thought. I went to counseling when I first found out about the affair, but not after my husband finally snapped or of the fog and decided to recommit to our marriage. Maybe that's the problem?
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AHmember113
Daisy- when my husband responds as yours does sometimes it is a huge trigger for me as well. I feel so humiliated that I allowed him to treat me so badly during the affair, that I didn't respect myself enough to say enough is enough. Then I think, had I said enough, there would never have been a d-day. I likely would never have known about the affair. I would have just thought they started a relationship after we divorced. A crazy cycle of anger and being grateful. A roller coaster of emotions the reconciliation process evokes. I feel your pain. The person we are reconciling with is often our biggest trigger and there is no escape.
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Keepabuzz
Being a betrayed husband I had unbelievable amounts of rage in the beginning after d-day. But as time past, I just started keeping everything to myself. I would get triggered, and I would withdrawal, sometimes for days. She would notice immeadiatly, but when asked I would just say "I'm having a hard time". She knew what that meant. But that was it. Through therapy I realized that I was not being fair to myself, OR HER. I was not getting out my pain, I deserved to to tell her in detail about my pain whenever I wanted to. Also she DESERVED, to hear about my pain. I was torn. On one hand I had my big fat ego (and a big side of pride), that was saying to me "I can't believe you let her get close enough, let her in enough to hurt you this bad, you're a idiot. Don't show weakness now, you have already shown how weak you are." On the other hand was all this pain that I wasn't dealing with well, and I was committed to repair and didn't want to throw it in her face. So as hard as it was, I started to talk to her in detail about it. Not with rage or anger, not to punish her (I actually never punished her in any way). What I talked about was my pain in detail, also my triggers in detail. Now talking about triggers in detail required me to talk about specific things she had done, and how those actions related to my trigger, but not to dredge up the past unneccesariy. I also committed to tell her from that point forward, that whenever I was triggered, I would tell her exactly why. It has really helped both of us. Looking back, when I would withdrawal for days, she had no idea what was going on in my head, thought the worst, that I would leave. All the while I expected her to be a mind reader. I fully believe that I should be able to bring up my pain whenever I need to, FOREVER. BUT, I need to deliver that to her in the proper way.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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