How much do you really need to know?

When my wife found out about my affair, I was quick to repent and do what was necessary to reconcile and make amends. One of the principles I learned from Affair Recovery was that I needed to be totally honest. That means every time my wife asked a question, I was to answer it truthfully.

Now this was new behavior since I had been lying for over a year. It was very hard to tell her some of the details of my deception. And yet, I understood that if I was going to rebuild trust, I needed to do so. And so I answered her every question – no matter what it was.

It seemed like all the questions were difficult since every answer revealed what a self-centered, self-involved, low-life scumbag I had been. But the truth was the truth and now I was choosing a different path. And so I answered. I didn’t like what I was saying (because it was pretty horrible stuff), but I did like that I was being honest.

The kind of questions my wife asked were:

  • Did you love her?
  • How long was the affair?
  • How often did you have sex?
  • Where did you have sex?
  • Did she initiate or did you?
  • Were there others? Was this the first and only?

This was the general sense of what she asked. She did NOT ask detailed or graphic questions about sex. Our counselor asked her if she wanted me to give her more details and her response was simply to say, “I know what they did – they had sex. Details don’t change anything except make my own recovery more difficult.”

Now, this was my wife’s response. This was what she felt she needed in her recovery. I know not every hurt spouse would be satisfied with that. Many want and feel like they need more. So, I would never assume that I know what a person needs in their recovery.

However, my wife and I have talked to many hurt spouses who did ask the fine details – and got them. And often they say afterwards that they regret knowing so much. It does not seem to aid them in their recovery and just gives them more data for triggers.

As the unfaithful spouse, it is my responsibility to respond to my wife’s questions with total honesty - no matter what she asks. If you are the unfaithful spouse – that is your responsibility as well.

If you are the hurt spouse, before asking a question you might want to consider if the answer is something you really need to know? Is the answer something that will help you in your recovery? Is this part of getting your head around what happened (which is necessary)? Or is this question something that won’t be helpful? Will it only be fuel for intrusive thoughts and triggers?

Taking time to determine what you really need to know can be a very helpful in your recovery.

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Need to Know

Yes, those questions keep coming but I think it is because I am still trying to figure out just "how involved" it was. See since D day, the majority of the information has been pushed, pulled, or drug out of his mouth. So, now...I wonder...is it really all there is to know and is he just telling me what he thinks I want/need to hear but not the truth. That is what continues to drive me....

Need to know??????

As you well know I am the betrayer and the betrayed.  My husband only wanted to know the number of times and that's it. During a conversation he thought I was asking for details about his AP's performance. I was not asking that. He said do you really want to know what she did, Jana? My reponse was. You don't have to tell me I already know , it went like this......she did....you did... and she said... and you said.......... After  a few seconds and he recovered from the graphic shock of my dramatic recap. He said "Uh...yep that is exactly how it was". I'm not stupid and I know just like his affair nothing about it was real, even sexually. Performance is a good word for what went on with his AP. Nothing more than an acting skill. I could do that too with him , but I won't. We have done many inapropriate sexual things together during our marriage over the years and that conversation had to take place also. This is what will do  and this is what we will not do. It is better, connected and most importantly REAL!

Jana

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