One of the most difficult symptoms of betrayal P.T.S.D. and trauma are the triggers.  Triggers can be physical or mental and can wreck havoc on your health.  For a long time I had difficulty explaining what it was like having triggers day-in and day-out.  Below is the best way I could describe it.

You can start by imagining yourself as a small lake, the beautiful sandy shores are the barrier you built to protect yourself. You have existed for a long time with nothing disturbing your waters and the shores, but the occasional wind and rain (kids, family, work, etc.) until the unexpected happened.  A rare category 4 hurricane named Betrayal barreled through your waters and damaged your shoreline. Not only did Hurricane Betrayal spend a good amount of time breaking down your shores, it also broke down a rocky ledge 1000 ft above you. Within a day this ledge starts to crumble.  The very first piece to fall from the ledge is a boulder the size of a Semi-Truck. This boulder disturbs your peace and safety over a period of a few days reminding you of the hurricane. The next boulder that falls into your water is the size of a pick-up truck.  This boulder disturbs you for a day. The next boulder is the size of a compact car, you are disturbed a little less than the previous boulders but dislike how it reminds you of Hurricane Betrayal.  You have these boulders sporadically crashing down for a few months. They vary in size.  Every day you are unsure what type of rock is going to be falling into your water and what memories it will stir up.  It could be any size at any given moment.  This makes you worried, edgy, panicked, and nervous every minute of every single day. Every single pebble that comes down from that ledge reminds you of Hurricane Betrayal.

After 6 months of large boulders, rocks and pebbles disturbing your waters, you no longer identify as a lake, you are unsure what you are.   You become highly sensitive to anything that touches your water or shoreline. The wind and rain (children, family, friends, finances, work) pick away at your shores little by little even if just a minuscule amount. Everything that touches your water leaves its mark on you. You are in constant fear of no longer being a lake, of a boulder completely crashing down into your water destroying all the shoreline you have left after Betrayal hit.

Years goes by, you are exposed to the wind and rain. The ledge letting boulders, rocks and pebbles go is something you accept being there.   You are still a lake, like before. You have weathered through it all. You even made it through another hurricane.  Some days you would have a boulder and tiny rocks land in your water.  On other days the ledge would drop pebbles all day long.  Gradually over time the ledge stopped dropping the boulders and only dropped pebbles and an occasional stone.  Sometimes the stones would be significant and sometimes not.  There was a week where you didn’t have anything fall into your water.  The ledge you kept constant eye on no longer looks like a ledge.  You can barely see where it was. You will always remember what that ledge looked like right after Hurricane Betrayal hit. You will not forget the damage Betrayal and that ledge did to you, but you might appreciate what it made you become.

Is it okay to discuss your relationship with someone outside the relationship?


There is a common problem seen in marriages when one partner cheated.  Sometimes the wandering spouse seeks outside advice from friends, family or even strangers. Everyone has overheard or been part of someone discussing their marriage when the spouse was not around.  In most cases the discussion is about something negative about their partner.  In my own case, my spouse would discuss our marriage with people who didn’t even know me. They would feed into his beliefs. Such beliefs as “all woman are bi sexual” or “all people cheat”. For someone who suffers from a mental illness these people offering advice only caused more illness and/or pain to him and his family. 

The most damaging thing you can do in a marriage, even before there may be adultery is talking about or asking for advice about your marriage from outsiders.  People tend to talk to their friends, family, co-workers, or anyone who may hear them out. The way the conversation goes all depends on who they are talking to.  The best thing to do if there is trouble in your marriage is to seek professional help.   

But what do you do if you are unable to get professional help?  There are times you may talk about your marriage with others such as your Mom or best friend. There is nothing wrong with this if you talk about the conversation with your spouse later. It is never okay to keep that conversation hidden from your spouse.   You need to give your spouse a chance to insert their thoughts about that conversation. It is a very good idea to avoid talking to people who think negatively about your spouse or people who have ulterior motives. Another option is to seek help online from trusted relationship websites. 

If you are one for the friends or family members you are lending ears please be careful how you reply to the persons thoughts.  You are never in possession of all whole truth.  It is absolutely never okay to insert your personal thoughts when you know nothing about the other partner.  You are passing judgement on something you know nothing about.  There is all different sides of the truth.  There is her side, his side and the truth.  We all need to be careful when offering  advice on relationships.