I hate surprises and triggers qualify as surprises of the worst category. One can be flipping channels and bump into shows entitled, “Why Men Cheat,” or be browsing the news and see headlines telling of how another couple is broken up due to cheating. Affairs expert Peggy Vaughn says that 60% of married men admit to cheating and 40% of married women, which means more than that cheat. It’s estimated that 80% of people are “touched by affairs,” either by involvement or impact. Surprise.
Peggy had recommended a show, entitled, “The Good Wife,” starring Julianna Margulies who finds herself married to a man who cheats and must have done something else, since she is visiting him in jail when I tune in. Peggy believes that watching “The Good Wife” will be helpful to people who need to de-sensitize about the affairs they are recovering from.
Desensitizing is one of those sanity and maybe even life-saving skills one must acquire, a tool, if you will, to keep you from bludgeoning the offender with whatever is handy when the adrenaline kicks in after you manage to hear only one measly line of Dr. Phil’s soapbox rant to a half of a couple about how cheating on your significant other equals, “That dog don’t hunt.” Dr. Phil, himself, is a treasure trove of triggers for me, anyway, but I’m guessing it’s because I see him as a bit of a bully and then some.
Back to triggers. I was getting better about them. What have they been? A long day away from home and unexpected hours “late,” with no phone call after he had to drive right by her mother’s house, whom she often visits, on his way to his dad’s. During a drive from one city to another through the country, reminiscing about the last time he was on this road, which I’d never been on, wondering if he was alone or with her. His insistence that he took you to a certain restaurant you’ve never been to in your life. Someone insinuating what a mean and ****y wife you must be because they are dissatisfied with their own lot in life and your husband not defending what a remarkable person you are, simply due to the fact that you demonstrated extreme restraint on learning that he slept with another woman, and you didn’t even set fire to his belongings in the front yard.
By some people’s estimation, my husband “got away with it” because I didn’t make his life a living ****. Or leave him, or kick him out or put a table through his giant TV screen. Those things didn’t occur to me, and now that I am thinking of them, I am considering how these responses may escalate already unbearable tensions. Of course now that I am less in shock and currently feeling insulted about being hung out to dry this past weekend, burning his things seems a pretty fair reward for my under-appreciated grace under pressure. I deserve better. It’s true. I do. Maybe I am beginning to think that it’s impossible for him to make it up to me, breaking my heart, because if it were made up to me, would something like this bother me? It seems so petty
He says he is sorry he didn’t defend me and that I deserve more credit for how I’ve handled it all. Truth? I think I handle most very unpleasant stuff well, maybe a little too well, which is why I’m developing heart issues. I’m feeling decidedly under-appreciated, not just by my husband, but by the hateful and disturbed people I’ve practiced ducking and weaving from over the course of my life. In fact, I think I deserve a ****ed tiara and if you must know, a small country in a warm climate impervious to tsunamis and volcanoes.
It seems like such a little thing, a nuisance, even, my uncle’s pressure on my husband to tell him how miserable I make his life, maybe even slightly amusing, but the title of this post is “Triggers,” and triggers are like hot potatoes thrown in your lap which leave your sensitive fingertips red, throbbing and blistered.