What Do You Do If Your Unfaithful Spouse Can't Remember?

Samuel tackles a difficult but necessary discussion regarding the inability to remember details by the unfaithful spouse.

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This was so helpful to me as the betrayed. My husband seems to have legitimately blocked out so much because his brain doesn't want to remember it. Our marriage counselor said if he had not seen this over and over in his 40 years of marital counseling, he would think the unfaithful was lying. It was very hard to hear "I don't remember". I also had to come to a point where I knew enough to heal. But I've also thought that what if there is more? There was more when I found out more info that he just remembered one day. It was hell having another D Day. This message today was just so helpful to me.

Videos helped spouse remember

Well, I'm just over 5 months from D-day. I found out that my wife of 9 years, together for 14 years, was having a sexual affair with a coworker. She's a nurse and spent long hours 3-4 times a week with this guy. My wife is an attractive woman and he was hitting on her. She tells me she at first rejected the complements but after awhile she enjoyed them. Just before our 9 year anniversary she started kissing him. Shortly after our anniversary, they began having sex during work on their breaks and after work in their cars. Needless to say I was devastated by the news. I knew she had been changing and I head some hints here and there but I never imagined she was having an affair.

Initially, like all of us recovering from this type of betrayal, she did not want to talk about much. At first, I wanted to know the details of the sex, as in, what was done, where, when, how, etc. She gave me answers at the time but many of them she said, "I don't remember." I had a huge problem with her having an affair during special occasions (Father's day, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, holidays, etc.) but then my priest asked me, "When IS it a good time to have an affair?" He made me think that yeah, having an affair doesn't occur at specific times of the year, around specific holidays, special events, etc. They happened. I'm still sad some times thinking about how when we went on family vacations she was with him the day before and the day after, but I guess it is what it is now.

Moving forward these 5 months have been obviously up and down with the highs and lows on both our parts. We're attempting to make this work. We have 2 kids, a house, and careers. She said she never stopped loving me and just got caught up in the affair, which at first wasn't enough for me. However, after finding this website and watching some videos with her she's finally opened up with me about some other deeper feelings. We've been together since seniors in high school and have only been with each other sexually. I'm no angel though, I admit. I have been faithful with my wife but I have been to strip clubs as part of bachelor parties but she has always known about that before so and gave me permission. We discussed strip clubs and we both felt it is not cheating (which will be different for every couple). What she finally opened up to me the other day was that she has been "curious." Curious as to what it would be like to have sex with another person. She's only thought about it but has never done anything to initiate the act or pursue the opportunity. Until she met this other guy at work. She was not interested initially but he kept pursuing her to a point where her curiosity was accepted. She continued the affair for about 4-5 months until I called her on the red flags I saw. So basically, my wife is remorseful and feels horrible for what she did and how much she hurt me, but, part of why she did it was because she was "curious." She tells me she'll never have an affair again because she knows how bad a mistake it was and partly because she doesn't have curiosity anymore. I'm not sure how I feel about that or how I should feel about that. We've been a happily married couple for a long time and during the time of her affair, we were both caught up in new jobs and new experiences but that still doesn't excuse her having an affair. My problem now is how I feel about myself and my own situation. I don't want to hurt my wife and have an affair just to spite her, but at the same time, I've always had that curiosity too of what it would be like to have sex with another woman but it was never a strong desire. I guess I'm just talking out loud and not really making much sense.

Bottom line, thank you for these videos and support. My wife is slowly opening up more to me and we're trying to make this work. It's just a difficult process.

Unfaithful Spouse Can't Remember

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have also discovered my spouse has been unfaithful and in my mind he "conveniently" can't remember.
Let me backtrack and say my husband can remember what kind of jelly he ate on his biscuit when he was in the third grade the morning of November 6. Lol. Yes that is some exaggeration. Even so, his memory doesn't fail. Yet I am supposed to believe he can't remember how many times he made a mockery of our marriage. Or how many different women it was with. Or why he did it. I stay hurt and confused because he refuses to talk about it and be transparent.
And just like you I think about him cheating the day he is out birthday or Christmas shopping, before our vacations. I do remember every day he would kiss me goodbye and say "I love you". Everyday. In the evening he would come in and say, "hey baby, I missed you today". Everyday. So he was telling me this and going and screwing other woman.

Seriously? He can’t remember?

I’m having such a difficult time grasping this concept. I’m wanting answers and I am told “ I can’t remember”
So much effort was put into the 3 year long affair, the lies and manipulation, leading a double life, etc. And now finally, after so much gaslighting and denial he admits to the affair but isn’t able to answer many of my questions.
After the literal hell he has put me and our children through, I deserve the truth. And instead, I have to just accept this nonsense of selective memory.
It just seems so unfair.

They can at LEAST TRY!!!

I am with you! Just TRY! Talk it out. Show me you are willing to help me by talking out what you DO remember. My wife just says “i dont remember” before i even finish my questions! Ugh!!! Its so doggone frustrating! I said many times “how about next time you decide to have an affair, PLEASE write down everything!! I get so mad that i say that but you know how does somone not remember ANYTHING?? my wifes 1st affair happened a long time ago but my gosh she doesnt remember anything but that they had sex but cant remember anything at all about how or why.. i said hey you know you might not have even had sex with them if you dont remember anything.. no i know i did but i just dont remember it..

16 years ago

I think silence about the details of the affair is as good as lying


I’m in the same boat 20 years later. She still can’t talk about it or tell me the details or won’t should I say. Back in counseling. Counselor said she if far from healed and hides behind a wall of shame. I feel your pain and hurt.


Wow! I love your comment about the jelly on his biscuit. I'm living with the same kind of issue. Can remember every guy on the high school football team 60 years ago, the name of his science teacher, and whatever but can't remember the name of any female he had contact with in the past 4 years.

I agree!

I understand what you are going through since my first DDay was a year ago and my most recent was three months ago.
You know we the husbands were faithful and as men we had to “work” at that! I mean.. (i feel) God created males to procreate and that is a strong instinct in us. I know so many other men that have cheated and act like its just what men do.. but I did not cheat because i knew it was wrong and would kill my wife. I had temptations that i took very serious and squashed early on because i knew i might not have been ateong enough if i let it go farther.
So when i found out that my wife had two affairs (one with my boss (1 year) and one with my “best friend” (13 years) i was completely devastated and down right pissed off. I found out she never TRIED to fight off temptation but invited it on, it still gets me so angry. I fought off what she wanted to do.. so yea, she got to have this amazingly exciting time with two different men and I didnt. I want so bad to make her see how it feels to have to deal with this and at the same time, heck yea i am curious too.. i heard you be honest and it got me to realize i felt the same way.. they get to see how that feels and because we do the right thing we dont. How would it feel to know you are on the way to a hotel to have sex with someone else for the first time in 31 years (for me.. 29 years of marriage and 2 years of dating) that would be very exciting! BUT knowing me, if i had it all set up, i would prob back out or not be able to perform because of guilt.. dang it! But i think sometimes the spouse needs to feel that feeling we have about them letting another man enjoy what was supposed to be ours all along..

I also wonder what it would be like but now I am too old.

It has been about 30 years since my wife's affair or fling and it still hard not to think of what the details were really. I have never had sex with anyone other than my wife so I also wonder what it would be like to have an affair myself. The trouble for me now is I am probably too old to get into an affair so I will never know.

Is there a way to make them remember

Wife claims she can’t recall but has never attempted to. According to her it was only a a one time thing. Now as we all know things were already in the works before. 20 years later still extremely anxious and frustrated. It has consumed me. Triggers and break downs still just had one last Thursday watching a commercial. She said she now is confident which she has past denied that she just reciprocated all the advances and now it’s she was also the predator not just the prey. Significant detail in my opinion seems like hiding and lying. How do we get to the truth and have her remember things from such a significant and substantial event as a married woman ? That’s she claims and has always maintained she has disclosed everything. Was lied to so many times even with disclosure more came out. It’s killing me emotionally. Does hypnotizing work and suggestions. Desperate !!!! For answers.

I could remember, I just didn't want to

I disagree with this. I cheated and I remember everything...e v e r y t h I n g ! I just knew that the truth would hurt him even more & give him more ammunition to go after me and to keep asking questions. I felt deep shame, so every time it was discussed my shame overwhelmed me (yep, boo hoo).
I did end up telling him everything - all at once & then anytime he had a question I answered him. You spoke about blocking, which I did; but that was only so I wasn't thinking about it all the time. The details are always there & I believe anyone who tells you otherwise is actually lying.

I figured I had to allow him to make an informed decision - not one based on receiving only half of the information.

My wife is not a strong person

My wife is not a strong person and I suspect that she chooses to lie about not remember anything but it has been 30 years ago. Initially I had gotten a letter from the other guy's wife telling me about their affair.

He doesn't remember

So it has been 10 weeks si ce I found out about my husband's cheating. It happened 2 years ago with a total of 5 different women. He would work out of town and would drink at a bar with the other guys until he was black out drunk. One of the guys sharing a hotel room with him would get a women to go back to the room. So she was there for his co-worker. My husband said he would wait in the work truck and then go into the hotel. No sex happen, funny how he can remember that, it was all oral on both sides. He said he was so drunk his penis never once got hard. When I ask what happened that is pretty much all I get. He says he doesn't remember because he was so drunk. I'm hurting so so bad. He is very remorseful, has been doing everything he already should've been doing. I'm just having such a hard time.


My husband told me this when he was drunk he told me that he cheated on me with his ex and now he doesn’t even remember telling me that he cheated on me and he even gave me a sexual transmitted infection

Does’t remember…because he was blacked out

My boyfriend cheated on me and he truly does not remember and I believe him. He blacked out and DROVE a women home from the bar. When they got to her house he asked to come in and she said yes. He seemed to have initiated things, he stayed there for 4.5 hours leaving only after he finished, then left in a hurry. I have all these details (and many more) because the woman told me. My boyfriend told me he had very vague visions of himself doing terrible things and I put two and two together that he cheated on me. He says that he can’t remember anything more than the cloudy memory fragments that he struggles to communicate to words. What do if my partner truly does not remember? If he does not remember and she does, was he assaulted? I have no idea what to classify this as if he would have never cheated without being black out drunk and is going to therapy//AA now.

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-D, Texas