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Grand gestures without triggering BH?

S0leil posted 9/4/2019 11:19 AM

Since DDay I have tried to be more demonstrative about showing my love to my BH. I want to build on it but I want to do it in a way that is safe for him. But because of our situation I have to be careful about certain things because I donít want to hurt him in my attempt to help him.

If I was to make him the primary beneficiary on my life insurance and retirement (right now, itís divided between him and the kids) and/or sign over the rights to our home and other belongings to him, I worry he will perceive it as a sign that I am suicidal. If I buy a bunch of sexy lingerie to spice things up in the bedroom I worry he will think thatís it a johnny come lately thing that isnít real. If I save up for an extravagant purchase for him (which he deserves) I will have to secretly stash money away, which will be me being dishonest with him. If I offer up new sex acts weíve never tried, I worry he will think Iím only doing that because maybe he will think that I am reliving sec with the AP.

How can I do big gestures and still live my life transparently? And without triggering him because it seems like unexpected triggers are everywhere

foreverlabeled posted 9/4/2019 13:49 PM

Something you should try to keep in mind is that triggers are a symptom of trauma and it's going to happen. A lot. Whether you do everything in your power to help avoid them or not they will still be there. You can get rid of some triggers like say your bed and replace it with a new one, but that new bed will still be a trigger of what was once there. It's of course a million times better than the old and helpful but the traumatized mind remains.

So making these grand gestures will sometimes trigger him but you work through it and help him. Reassurance is everything. Even if they aren't quite accepting. Especially if you know for sure it's something that will help. And avoid what won't.

And the most concrete way to know is to ask. Open the communication up and ask what grand gestures will help or not. Maybe you will learn it's not something he needs and that he would appreciate something else more. They don't have to be a surprise. In fact anymore surprises right now is probably the last thing they want. They might take it the wrong way and then you will certainly trigger them. Like your thoughts on buying new lingerie. But that idea might be a good way to dip your toes into the gestures with some communication first.

It was something I wanted to do as well early on to show I still want him and want to be extra. It did trigger him, but I involved him. I took him shopping with me and let him pick out my new piece and I think that helped. I was also very understanding and comforting when his pain levels rose because of it and I apologized. We got through it and it turned out well.

So my point being communication and knowing some triggers all triggers are a part of the process. Work with them not against.

hikingout posted 9/4/2019 22:53 PM

I think forever labeled nailed it.

I will only add that you canít let your fear keep you from actions. Do things that comes truly from your heart, anticipating what his response will be will become either an excuse or a manipulation.

I was afraid to express my remorse at times because I thought ďthese are just words why would he believe them now after my actions?Ē But that decision was one that led to me not being vulnerable, how could I expect for him to be vulnerable if I wasnít willing to be? Itís a hard thing for a bs to try to heal next to their perpetrator. Yet they are there doing it. That is so very brave, you need to be brave too.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/6/2019 11:31 AM


I think this is a good topic to post. From my experience I feel I tried to do grand gestures early on post dday and it backfired and caused some of the worst triggers. Sadly, my BW new the AP and we even met up at some of my BW fav places. We of course don't go to many of these places for now until she is comfortable and to give ourselves to recreate new memories later on. My mistake was that I was doing these gestures without actually doing the work in being emotionally supportive and being completely honest. So even if I brought her somewhere new, she would get triggered and question if I brought the AP there. It was these gestures that I was doing during our relationship and during the A which really added to her pain and trauma. It's pointless to go here if you're not doing the core work. So I looked like I was rug sweeping and gas lighting, and basically being a selfish ass.

At this point, I leave going places up to her and really just focus on our individual work. I will ask her at times if she wants to get out or do something special, but I don't push it. Ask what is wanted. So for me, My BW wants me to provide emotional support more than anything, along with showing care, love, assurance, honesty, and accountability. We also enjoy one on one time by talking and watching safe tv.

JBWD posted 9/6/2019 12:49 PM

Hikingoutís words resonate. Being in limbo makes such vulnerability even MORE challenging as itís a hard process to ask someone who, quite frankly, doesnít want to heal with their abuser, how to help them heal.

Itís a distinctly weird mix of love-bombing and minimizing to try and ďassumeĒ I can help at all, as I assess and think about ways to support. But it requires the vulnerability so that she understands the potential hurt down the line is worth the effort on my part. She had trouble believing she was worth such risk before, and I made that truly unfathomable when I betrayed her.

Anyone who dealt through this problem as a tangent? I have to trust that sheíll tell me when gestures are unwelcome, and thatís really all I have...

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