Q&A Why Do I Want to Know? Part 1

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I found your article, “Why do I want to Know” very insightful, but your comments raised a lot of questions.

How does your advice change when disclosure spans 19 months rather than 6 weeks? The destruction is the story keeps evolving, so you never feel like it’s quite finished. It’s difficult to stop asking questions because of previous patterns. My husband has not changed or added any new information in a long time, and maintains that he has now told me everything. I admire his courage as I saw how difficult it was to rise above his shame, but how do I now know I have enough when it was so difficult getting the information? 

Could you walk me through a scenario regarding your question, “will knowing this help me heal?” I pushed and pushed to know if the AP had been in our home. For a year, the answer went from ‘never’, to ‘just in the garage, to finding out she spent 20 days and nights in our home. Does knowing this help me heal? Absolutely not. It piled on pain to an unbearable level. However, isn’t it my right to know so I can make decisions about my home? And didn’t I need to understand how far my husband had fallen, and how deep into the ashes our marriage was, in order to look Ground Zero in the eye? Can you help me understand how to pick and choose what I need to know?

I would appreciate any insight you can give me.

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In my experience I was being

In my experience I was being lied to about the amount of times the affair became physical. It was presented as a one time thing but the answers to the questions I asked didn't seem to fit the "one time" profile. So I continued to ask. However if I didn't ask the exact specifically worded question I was then presented with a lie of omission which eventually became a guessing game where I had to stumble upon the exact properly worded question to get a semblance of the truth. This went on for weeks and led to so much detailed info that haunted me for years (and still occasionally does).

Obviously 'Affair Recovery' wasn't around 35 years ago so we were in the hands of some fairly unskilled therapists in affair specific therapy.

What helped me to uncover the details of the affair was the timeline I created and wrote out through questions I asked and detailed phone records I purchased. Eventually that information led to a full disclosure.

I think having the unfaithful spouse write out a detailed timeline of the affair is a great idea because it's not an inquisition under the gun of the betrayed.

Take your time, write out every detail your remember in a timeline, without being graphic to the point of causing painful comparisons, but giving specific information as to how you met, how it progressed, when it became physical, where it became physical, how many times you met, texted, sexted and things along those lines.

Present that to the betrayed and let them ask specific questions about what you wrote. Writing seems more non-confrontational to me and allows for thought processes to play out instead of face to face discussion where emotions can sometimes derail even the most well meaning discussions.

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