One of the most frustrating issue you face after the disclosure of your husband’s affair is getting him to open up and talk about the affair with you. There are certain things that you feel you ought to know in order for you to sort things out and begin to heal, but your attempts at discussion are being stymied. Generally speaking, it’s not that he feels you don’t have the right to know the details, rather it usually is because he finds it uncomfortable to do so or he wants to pretend the affair never happened.
Following the initial shock or confrontation after the discovery of your husband’s infidelity, you may wish to know all the details of the indiscretion. If you feel that discussing the details will help you heal, then by all means go ahead. You have a legitimate right to want to know the details about your husband’s affair, but consider carefully; do you really need to know all the graphic and explicit details of what happened during the affair?
The consequences of knowing too much
After the affair is revealed, knowing some of the details is appropriate. It is only natural to want to know:
- How did the affair get started?
- How long did it last?
- How often did he meet with his paramour?
- Who broke off the relationship?
Demanding that your husband share complete and graphic details of the affair with you can backfire. For example: asking questions about his lover’s sexual prowess, serves no real purpose in helping you to heal except to make you feel more miserable and intensify your pain and jealousy.
Instead, take some time and really think about what you want to know and why. Make a list of all the questions you want to ask your husband and sleep on it. Wanting to know all of the illicit details is a two-edged sword – yes he may tell you everything, but you might hear stuff you really don’t want to know. Remember, once that information is out of his mouth, you can never give it back!
Is he telling the truth?
Infidelity is characterized by lies and deceit, so how do you know that he is now telling you the truth about the affair? You are probably already having a hard time believing anything he says since learning about his betrayal.
It is not 100 percent possible to know if someone is lying to you or not. The fact of the matter is that anyone can be misled by a good liar. Why even law enforcement officials cannot spot a lie every time. On the other hand, being willing to answer your questions honestly and directly may signify that he is telling you the truth. This is a wonderful opportunity for him to show his commitment and loyalty to you and your marriage.
Talking about the affair and getting to the truth is a complicated and complex issue that cannot be fully explored in an article. On the one hand your spouse may be holding back because he does not want to hurt you anymore or he might be the type of person who likes to sweep things under the rug and forget about it. So he is putting up barriers every time you broach the subject.
In the end, it is up to you to decide if it is worth it to discuss the details of your husband’s cheating and if so, how much information you need to know before you can heal. It’s a fine line between knowing general details and getting into specifics or graphic details of the affair and/or asking your husband comparison type questions (e.g. physical attributes) about his lover.
If you must discuss the affair, there are certain guidelines you should adhere to. In the phase two section of the “How to Survive an Affair” program. Dr. Gunzburg, gives you a step-by-step process on how to break down the barriers and get him to tell you what you need to know about the affair.