Q&A Is It Better to Be Able to Talk about the Affair Partner or to Act like They Never Existed?

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Question: 

We are a little over 2 years from D-day and the end of their 5 month affair. We do individual counseling, some couple, have been to EMS, I’ve done Harboring hope and we’re at week 10 of married for life. We are at a much better place in our marriage in many areas and I can truly see growth in both of us as we’ve been working hard to recover & rebuild. I feel this until she comes up in conversation then he shuts down and goes into a “dark place”. And it truly feels like a different man is there, one cannot see or hear me. To me he still minimizes her role. She manipulated him when he was drunk by calling his manhood into question. He still says that he was amazed this stranger could see his lack of manhood that big brothers & friends have always teased him about. I see that as giving her credit for using age old tactics to get a married man. He says he doesn't want her to have credit or control over him or how he broke, but I think he needs to see that she did and explore why he allowed it. When I see and feel him disconnect it leaves me feeling exposed & alone again. He won't hear me that this happens every time and it leaves me feeling like she still has the power to take what's mine even if it's not physical. I need to feel validated that when I say I feel something that he not fight me. That's exactly what happened during the affair. I need to feel safe that when she comes around whether in person or in conversation she doesn't have the power to block him from seeing me or his true self again. That's what I feel happens over & over. We are good and then she comes along and takes it all away. He thinks the answer is just to never talk about her again. I think we need to defuse the ticking time bomb so I can feel safe.

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