Let’s talk about why a betrayed wants details about your affair?
Maybe you haven’t always wanted to answer him fully, because in your mind,
you know the true answers will just set him back in his healing.
READ PART 2: If you’re the betrayed husband wanting more information from your wife
about her affair, I encourage you to read this post I wrote primarily for you.
Since I primarily write for unfaithful wives and betrayed husbands here,
that is how I’ll be writing this post; but much of this information will apply if you’re in the opposite gender.)
The truth is- many unfaithful spouses (both women and men) attempt to shield
Their spouse from the truth, either because they’re still actively in the affair;
Or they’re afraid of what will happen
once their spouse knows more than what they originally told them.
The house of cards of ‘trickle truth’.
What happens though, when you add more lies on top of more lies is-
the house of cards will eventually come tumbling down.
Truth has a way of being discovered- eventually.
When it does, any tiny bit of trust that was beginning to be rebuilt will be snatched faster than it took to rebuild.
Too many unfaithful spouses out there are stonewalling their partners questions.
Giving them non-answers, or avoiding talking about the things your spouse needs to talk about,
are all examples of ‘stonewalling’ your betrayed spouse’s questions.
Understanding WHY they need to know more about your affair, is in no way to make you feel guilty-
but to help you see it from their perspective.
So, I encourage you to push through, even though it’s never easy or pleasant to face these things.
If you really want to help your marriage heal, understanding why your betrayed husband wants details
about your affair will help you gain empathy and patience for his healing.
Do not hold anything back.
If they discover later that you lied, hid details or left out important facts that
doesn’t match the story you’re telling, they’ll feel betrayed once again.
It might be helpful to discuss more difficult details about the affair, with a good marriage therapist.
You can read my post about 7 marriage counseling guidelines and picking the right one, here.
So let’s talk about WHY a betrayed husband may want to know details.
(and how to navigate this painful part of the healing process.)
1. He needs more information to help him process his trauma.
Different people have different needs (and tolerances) for information to truly be able
to help get their minds around the betrayal.
Many betrayed spouses need these questions answered to be able to move through their trauma,
so they can eventually be able to move past it.
Their curiosity may be insatiable, or it may be limited- every betrayed is different in that way.
Betrayed husbands differ in betrayed wives a little in that men usually focus more on the sexual aspect of their wife’s affair,
and betrayed wives tend to focus more on the emotional part of their husbands affair,
and what level of love and emotional intimacy her husband shared with the other woman.
2. He feels in the dark about this ‘secret life’
that you shared with another man.
You have all the pieces to the puzzle of the details of your affair. But your husband does not.
It’s common for many betrayed spouses to now wonder what was really real, and what wasn’t.
Their reality has been turned upside down and everything they thought was true is suddenly not.
You have those pieces to the puzzle that they are looking for to help them get a clearer understanding.
They feel in the dark; an outsider to a secret relationship you shared with another that was meant for only them.
3. When you refuse to answer, you give the appearance that
you’re still hiding more information from them.
On your end, you might think you’re protecting him, but in his eyes-
it looks like you’re keeping him in the dark because there’s much more that he doesn’t know about,
and it’s worse than what you’ve already said. Also, many betrayed spouse’s imagine the reality as worse than it really was.
Or, he might even surmise that you’re still acting out in the affair,
that’s a common fear that is very difficult for many spouses to get past…
holding back in your answers only intensifies this fear in him.
4. A ground zero of all truth needs to be made,
in order for him to truly heal.
This is a hard one, but it’s important.
As I mentioned, trickle truth over time, or adding more lies to more lies will inevitably backfire on you.
Oh trust me, I did it. And it never ends well.
In the beginning I did that because I was still acting out in my affair- unable to find the strength to end it completely.
But those secrets don’t stay secret for long and continuing in the affair will be exposed –
so don’t fool yourself about that. Later on, when I truly ended the affair, it was painful to answer his questions.
So my instinct was to sugarcoat my answers- make them seem not so bad.
(but let’s be real- it’s infidelity- it’s bad no matter what your answers are).
I had to come to a place of just ‘rip the band-aid off’ kind of truth. That was our ground zero.
So, let go and just be honest, and whatever was going to happen was going to happen.
I had to be willing to give up my control of what would become of us.
This is really hard, but it’s honestly the best way to avoid him finding out important facts later,
which will set back his trust in you- and may even risk him thinking he will never be able to trust you again.
5. Just because he may ask the same question a dozen times,
doesn’t mean he’s trying to trap you.
Oh how I wish someone would have told me this!
I kept thinking he was asking me the same questions to trap me in a lie.
(and let’s be honest, he would have been right about that in the beginning!).
I eventually realized he sometimes just didn’t remember asking me- or remember my answers because of his own trauma.
Stress and trauma impact our ability to retain information the same,
and this is certainly the case when discussing difficult details of an affair.
Your husband might ask “Why did you do this?” of which you may or may not have an adequate answer,
but he might still ask it repeatedly. If they do want an answer, provide it –and answer honestly.
Even if he’s asked the same question-what feels like a million different ways-
be aware that the question itself, rhetorical or not, comes from a place of pain inside of him.
Which leads to my next point.
6. Understand, and have empathy with,
the pain that’s behind his questions.
When we can see the pain behind their questions,
it helps us to have compassion and be truly be sorry and less defensive.
Follow each question with an honest answer and an apology.
Try to help comfort him them with another promise that you’ll never again be unfaithful,
while also understanding that talk is cheap and your consistent and faithful actions will be what they need to see.
Each time he feels pain, and you see that pain, it’s okay to give another apology-
even though you know your words seem empty right now.
(I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to show him your compassion and empathy for his pain-
giving him space to express it.) Also realize,
Even he’s not talking about this with you,
he’s probably still asking himself the question “Why?” over and over and over again.
7. He needs reassurance that ‘he’s enough’ for you.
Many men compare themselves to their wife’s affair partner,
usually secretly feeling ‘not man enough, able to satisfy her enough’ or just ‘not enough’… c’mon ladies.
We know those feelings as women as we often compare ourselves to other women on a daily basis.
But your husband is probably going through this internal struggle of not feeling like enough of a man
to keep their woman satisfied. He might be wondering what the AP has that he does not.
He might also think he’s weak for staying in the marriage and taking you back.
Some of this is from years of society pressure upon men, and some may be within the man and his own thoughts.
But it’s important you understand where he’s coming from- and see his questions from a place of compassion.
They’re often needing reassurance and usually not trying to drill you, or trap you in a lie.
8. He needs to know you’ll let him ask what he needs to ask,
without shaming him.
Whenever they ask a question, whatever they ask, answer honestly and sufficiently.
Refusing to answer gives the appearance that you’re still keeping them in the dark, that you still have something to hide.
Do not hold anything back. If they discover later that you omitted or hid details,
or if the facts they discover don’t match the story you tell, they’ll feel betrayed once again.
Also, don’t try to rush him through his healing process by telling him not to worry about it or to get over it already.
Every betrayed spouse heals at their own rate and telling him to let it go already will only hinder his recovery, not help it.
However, if you see he’s getting stuck and not able to move forward-
then gently encourage him to seek marriage counseling with you- or individual therapy by himself.
You might say- “okay, but what do I do when he’s asking for details
that I know will only hurt him?”
I know how scary it is as an unfaithful spouse to open up, share those details,
and risk more hurt and anger-especially if you’re working toward marital recovery together.
But as the unfaithful, you need to have a willingness to tell your spouse
everything he wants to know.
That doesn’t mean your spouse should know everything.
There are some details of your affair that definitely will result in more hurt than healing.
But you’re not the one who should be making that decision.
Oh yea, I know that’s so hard.
This is where the help of a marriage therapist can be of great benefit, to help you both navigate
what is most important for them to know, and possibly be there when some difficult things are discussed.
So what I started to do with my husband when he’d ask me something that I felt would only hurt him was-
I’d ask him “are you absolutely sure you really want to know this?” and
“is this going to help you or hurt you once you know the answer?”
If he thought about it, and answered me that yes, he still needed to know about that,
then I would tell him (even while flinching, embarrassed and hating it),
but I realized that wasn’t my call to make.
If I was really, truly serious about healing this marriage,
I had to respect his need to know certain things if that would help heal his trauma…
even if I didn’t think it would help.
You might wonder if your marriage can even survive infidelity. I definitely believe it can- if you’re willing.
you can read my post “is it possible to get over an affair in marriage?”
There you have it- the 8 reasons why a betrayed spouse-
particularly why a betrayed husband wants details about your affair.
- He needs more information to help him process through his trauma and not feel so ‘in the dark’
about this other secret life you had with another person.
- When you refuse to answer, he feels you’re hiding more from him and you both
really need to come to a baseline ground zero of all truth about the affair.
- He might need to ask the same question a zillion times, but that’s just what happens
in trauma, it doesn’t mean he’s trying to trap you.
- Feel empathy for the pain behind his question and realize he needs reassurance that
he’s ‘enough’ for you.
- Last, he needs to know you’ll allow him to ask what he needs to ask without shaming him
or shutting him down. Again, if he’s asking something that you know will only hurt him-
you could gently suggest that you both bring that up to a neutral 3rd person like a marriage
counselor or infidelity relationship coach .
If you like these posts, you might like these:
If you’re the wife who was unfaithful (only), and
you’d like to request to join my private facebook group- click here,
and just answer the questions.