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.