should i answer all questions about my affair"My husband discovered my affair 2 weeks ago and we've been talking about it every day since. I think things are getting better, but he keeps asking harder and harder questions.

He really wants to know sexual details. What questions should I answer about my affair? Should I answer anything he asks?"

- Shannon, Washington DC

Hi Shannon. Great question. Encourage your spouse to sit down and write out as many questions as he has for you. Some people want to know every detail of the affair, some want less detail.

 

The reason I recommend that your spouse write the questions down is so that he can get them out of his head and stop mulling over them all day. Make sure that he secures those questions in a safe place so kids and friends can't accidentally find them.

 

I'd prefer that you guys NOT talk about the affair every day. I'd like you to have some days off in between tough conversations so that your stress levels can come down. I know that's hard when you're hurting, but I'd like you to try...

 

Please schedule some time to talk privately and let your spouse ask you every question they have. Answer those questions as completely and honestly as you can. Yes, it will be painful. Yes, your spouse will be incredibly upset. Yes, it's going to suck. But... it's the right thing to do.

 

If the conversation is getting too hard or too much, ask for a break and agree on a time when you'll come back and continue. During the break, do something to calm yourself down - take a walk, listen to music, take a shower, meditate, anything that feels right to you.

 

Holding anything back will create major problems in the future. You may think you're protecting your spouse by sparing a painful detail, but what usually happens is that the truth comes out later. Your spouse will assign tremendous value to these details, so please, don't skip or whitewash anything. If you don't know what to say at any point, it's ok to say you don't know, but do try to offer a rough idea.

 

There is one super important exception... I’d like you to NOT share any sexual details of what happened.

 

These details can further traumatize your spouse. Instead, suggest to your husband that keeps an ongoing list of the questions he has and if he still wants to know sexual details in 6 months, that you and he can talk about them with a therapist.

 

Another tough spot is the why question. Most spouses become very focused on WHY the affair happened and this can be one of the hardest questions to answer.  To help you start thinking about this, please check out this blog post on why people have affairs. It will help you figure out some of what lead you down this road.

 

 

Free Resources For You

Affair Repair Kit - For The Straying Partner

Affair Repair Kit - For The Betrayed Partner

 

Dr. K's Blog - Infidelity

See All Our Infidelity Articles

 

You Might Also Like

What If My Partner Is Having An Affair With Co-Worker

11 Steps To Start Healing From Affair

Trust Rebuilding Roadmap

8 Reasons Couples Never Recover From An Affair

 

Tags: infidelity

Comments

  • Posted by Lisa on

    My affair was on facebook and the picture s got to my husband and he went threw my whole phone and asking about this account and such I really don’t remember doing half the stuff I did on that phone I had he has my old sims card in his phone.

  • Posted by Figaro Smith on

    It’s unlikely anyone will allow this to get posted, but if they do and are okay with divergent views from those of the author… bravo! In short, THE PART ABOUT WITHHOLDING SEXUAL DETAILS IS VERY BAD ADVICE when it comes to betrayed men. If you follow this, there’s a GREAT CHANCE you’ll be divorced or at least well on your way to divorce before even making it to a therapist 6 months later as advised in this article. While it’s true that some of those sexual details will only traumatize him further, YOU are not the one who gets to make that call. Getting a therapist early on that will help him sort through why he wants to know and whether it will help him is far more sound… some questions he will decide he doesn’t need to know, but others he will and it will suck and you’ll have to work through it. By the way, this is the view of at least 75%+ of infidelity recovery specialists out there for good reason… there are countless other sources I could point to. However, the part where I do agree with the author here is that there should be more focus on the “investigative” questions rather than the graphic detail questions (see Esther Perel’s “Rethinking Infidelity” TED talk to know what I’m talking about). Ultimately when the male is betrayed, however, the chance of marriage surviving is about 50%. If you withhold all sexual details when he wants them, I can promise you your chances are much lower than a coin toss. Thanks for reading.

  • Posted by Lexington on

    From my personal experience, I disagree with the suggestion to withhold sexual details (or anything). Having intimate secrets with your spouse is very special and your spouse having intimate secrets with another person is a devastating, unique kind of pain. Knowing the details resolved the pain of my spouse having secrets with another person, which also rebuilt trust and made our intimate secrets even more special to us. I think keeping any part of the affair a secret continues to put importance on the affair partner and keeps open the question of “who is more important to you.” Yes, it was traumatic, but it was necessary for us to heal.

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