It’s the Lying….

In my own story, the infidelity was almost debilitating to Samantha.  Had our youngest, who was about 5 weeks old, not needed Samantha as much as he did, I’m just not sure she would have gotten out of bed most days.  Yes, my affair was gruesome and altered our lives forever.  The fact that I was intimate both emotionally and physically with my affair partner for over two years was ruthlessly difficult to hear and wrap her mind around. 

I heard this quote from a therapist not too long ago and I’ve found it to be immensely true:   “Most people can forgive the infidelity….it’s the lying they can’t get over.”   What makes recovery impossible is the perpetual drip feeding of new information rather than getting it out all at once.   The “wait, there’s more” feeling not only paralyzes the betrayed spouse, but starts their recovery timeline all over again, breeds mistrust, and gives them no chance to gain any ground emotionally.  Often times it’s not only once, but again and again and again. 

As recovery begins to take shape, lying will make momentum next to impossible.   Even if not outright lying, the appearance of lying can make a betrayed spouse flood like crazy.  When an unfaithful spouse comes home and recaps their day and says they had burgers for lunch, yet the spouse finds a receipt for chicken fingers, it’s the appearance of more lying. 

Carelessness with details can cause more damage than you may understand.  Early on in recovery, as a couple is newly starting to build momentum, the details need to be myopically clear and accurate to help rebuild trust over the next season (which is usually a long period of time).

The reminders and flooding a betrayed spouse feels is like an assault on them each time there is a question of what the unfaithful spouse did or said.  To say a betrayed spouse is then triggered when there is ‘misinformation’ is an understatement, and while it may not seem huge to the unfaithful spouse, it is.  The unfaithful spouse can take the approach of, “I just forgot what I had for lunch. It’s not like I’m cheating again or doing something illicit, I just forgot what I ate.” 

I would disagree and say you were careless with your details and are not taking the approach towards building trust with enough care and concern for what your betrayed spouse is dealing with.  Their recovery must be managed by you too.  Before you freak out at that statement, every unfaithful spouse has to have an idea of how their actions will affect their mate.   To say “it’s no big deal,” when in fact, it will trigger a big deal in the mind of the betrayed, takes no account for what is going on inside the betrayed.  There is a bigger picture which must be understood. 

NOTE:  This particular entry does not in any shape, fashion or form condone an approach of “see, I’m being honest now, get over my affair(s).”  That’s insidious.  Today’s entry is more for perspective and understanding the mind of a betrayed and how the unfaithful must go the extra mile to help support the other’s recovery.  

Add New Comment:

Comments

Fascinating

It never ceases to amaze me that when I am in need of a certain topic, it is always here for me to find. Thank you again for shedding light on all of us that are fighting to get out of the dark. This is a very important article and any unfaithful should take great heed to Samuel's words. I was drip feed information and at times my husband has been careless with details of information unrelated to his affairs. I can tell you that it is nothing short of TORTURE! My husband and I are two years into recovery but I believe that I have some additional trauma therapy that I need to do because of the way things were disclosed to me nearly two years ago. He was scared to tell me everything and very ashamed. He was trying to control the situation and he didn't want me to go. It was a big big mistake on his part and extended our recovery exponentially. I have suffered even more than necessary because of this. It doesn't seem realistic but I assure you I would have rather sat down for a whole day and had the shock of my lifetime and been told EVERYTHING there was to know instead of over the course of months. In addition, the minor details of the day(i.e. burger vs. chicken fingers) coming from the unfaithful are so very important as well. If there was a small discrepancy in any information my husband was giving me it felt like it set our recovery back and I was very shaken. It is absolutely careless or wreckless with recovery to be anything less than clear, concise and very very transparent with ALL information. Samuel you have given some very vital information to the unfaithfal spouses here. Thank you again for all of the help.

i'm so thankful for your comment

anonymous, huge thanks for your comment. does me wonders to hear that I'm helping and at least being used to help others heal. thank you for taking the time to share such caring words to me. it encourages me more than you know.

Perfect timing

We are a year and a half into recovery for the second time. I was given trickle truth, deception and additional lies for 7 months after discovery and still some facts remain undiscussed. Transparency does not seem to be of great importance to my wife even now. I just can't seem to get her to understand the gravity of what that has done to recovery or even the possibility of it. I hope she will read this and gain some understanding. Thanks for all you do.

JimmyB

great comment. fact is, most of the time, the unfaithful will not ever really understand the magnitude of how their choices effect(ed) you unless they get the right kind of help. it was only AFTER i got the right kind of help, that i began to see the enormity of what my choices did to samantha. then, i got it, as they say here. till i had Rick and another walk me through some things, I just didn't get it. i was still too caught up in my own dysfunction and what my affair had costed me, that i wasn't able to see what it had totally costed samantha. have you all been able to take a course or come to an ems weekend or anything like that? short of that type of scalpel like help, it's very difficult for true empathy to take shape and manifest. it also is really probably due to just ignorance of what holding the details, or drip feeding you, has done to you. now, i get what it does and back then, after a few sessions with rick and the ems weekend, i began to see why giving it all up was the best thing i could do for her and for myself. without being directed to do so by an objective third party, it's not likely they will ever get it. thanks again for the comment and for reading the blog.

Another timely article, Samuel!

Thanks again for sharing your insightfulness. I love how you have taken a dark, "unrighteous" time of your life and turned it into a ministry for others to benefit. I can only hope that my husband ever has a fraction of clarity that you seem to have on the situation that he created with the lies and deception.
My question though is as much as I want to know, how much do I really need to know? Now I wish that I didn't know a lot of things for the mere fact that the triggers and intrusive thoughts seem to have a life of their own and increase the timeline of the healing process.
Thank you again for a great article!

how much do you need to know ACE mom...

great question. every betrayed spouse has their own way of processing the reminders for the most part. some want to know all....and i do mean all. some only want the basics. i understand the different mentalities and approaches, but i think you want to remember the old adage: never ask a question you don't want the answer too. you are correct, each question about details creates another reminder and another trigger you'll have to work through later. sometimes there is a desire for more info in an approach to think the more i know the more i'll heal but it's not necessarily always true. just because you know all the details won't always make it easier in the long run, and for some, it can make it even harder to heal and recover. many times a betrayed spouse is encouraged to ask questions till they know enough to feel as though they have all the info, then it's about walking it out. there are two articles on the site about reminders and triggers you may want to read found here:
https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/reminders
https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/healing-after-affair-e...
i never pretend to know it all, as i'm not a betrayed spouse. but my own wife Samantha said, when you feel like you know enough to begin to start to forgive and to start to take steps to heal, you know enough. it doesn't mean that you wont ask more questions later as you process information and start to wade through recovery, but when you feel like you know enough, and have been at ground zero for enough time, then it's time to start to stop trying to find out more unless in the future, there is a need to. you may find that in a month you rethink something and have to ask your spouse something. that's totally ok. it's normal and happens pretty often to be honest.
i hope all this helps. i dont' want to keep going on if it's not helping, so please let me know what you think and we'll catch back up. thanks again for your comment

Samuel may I ask you a

Samuel may I ask you a question? My wife was the one who had the affairs I was faithful I did a lot a checking up on my own and through texts found out about her affair at the time of d-day and digging into oldemails found out about a Facebook emotional affair she had before that. Now I was able to piece together what had happened so I never did press her for many questions as what happened just laided out what I found and she stated I pretty much knew what happened. I did not dig be a use I felt there was nothing for me to gain with knowing to much so I was able to heal much quicker. The question I have a d seeing how you were the unfaithful one how much did you having to answer difficult questions help you better understand what you had done and better hoped you heal and be in a better position to set up safe guards so it is less likely to happen again. Now we have gone through e
mso and are doing "Married for Life"

answering tough questions....

dfulcher, thanks for the q. having to answer difficult questions was tough for sure. early on we didn't have a roadmap and didn't get help so it was excruciating and sometimes I paused before answering as i wasn't sure she really needed to know or wanted to know some details. but, i did share them anyway. they hurt her a ton and seeing her have to feel that pain hurt me as well. it caused me to have to process the pain she would feel when i would share the details. it produced in me a high level of shame and hopelessness for a short season, but also caused me to have to own what i did. it was a conundrum as i would have to weed through my own bull if you will, of condemnation and shame, and then have to make a decision to not give way to condemnation or a failure mentality. so i think it did help and was necessary for sure. it wasn't the key though, so i wouldn't think that if i make her/him do this, it will really bring clarity and healing and empathy. i hope the emso helped with that and created space to have her have to own what happened and see how it effected you? i'm not totally sure if this is what you're looking for, but i hope that helps in some way for sure. i'm happy to talk more about it too. thanks again.

Thank you it helped I was

Thank you it helped I was coming to the conclusion that I made things way to easy for her and may have kept her from having to realy process the what and why. I now have to decide if I need to walk back through it again to make sure it really hits home. Emso did nothing for this it is realy very easy to just go through the motions never letting things talk hold. Like I said I made things very easier for her. I was so broken by it I humbled myself and so focused so much on what I had failed at I also knew enough about forgiveness needs before hand that I was able to forgive with in days which unable me to start to look at her in a positive way very early on, pulling out wedding pictures studying them over and over again.. I also worked (or should I say tried to ) work several jobs so I was away from her most of the times the flooding hit so she can onto saw it hit me a few times waking up in the middle of the night. I was so focused on research on how to over come but the point that kept coming up was that if the marriage was not a lot better this then it will fail. So that was my so called therapy working to find answers to why how things got the way they were and how to improve them by the time we started emso about 4 months later I was almost healed I was just still in the pretend normal stage. But flooding was rare triggers were few and from my own digging I had a pretty good idea what had happened. My last trigger and one of only few times I got an very happened in January and was the real wake up call for me and I stopped pretending normal have no triggers I know for sure it was not me I have fully forgiven her I am healed and our marriage is better then it was and getting better. My only real concern is her heart not so much with me for I see that is coming but with the Lord. And also knowing that she has a firm grasp on the what happened and why and how to prevent it from happening. So I thought I should ask someone from that side to see if they thought it was important in their growth. I take it you think it was important to have to go through it.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer