I caught my husband having an affair about 3 weeks ago. After some thought, we’ve decided to try to work through things. But he’s not being completely honest about everything. I told him that if we’re going to make it work he needs to be 100% honest about what they did, when, where – the whole enchilada! He said he would be honest with me but when I ask him certain questions he tells me that he doesn’t know how that will help us and refuses to answer. I say I need this information to trust him again and he says that my questions are only hurting us more. I guess I can see that a little bit because we always end up fighting after these questions, but I don’t how else to build trust if he won’t be honest with me. Don’t I need all the details to rebuild trust? How do I move forward if I don’t know everything about the affair?
Dear Dirty Details,
Curiosity killed the cat, and it could kill your relationship too. As far as I am concerned, the details of your husband’s affair are none of your business. There are only two things that will help your marriage: 1. Understanding why the affair happened 2. Understanding how to prevent it from ever happening again. You will build trust when you see that your husband is invested in making your relationship work and is willing to prove with his actions that he is faithful to you.
Don’t torture yourself with the details. Forcing your husband to talk about something that he doesn’t want to talk about and will likely cause you to get upset. This will lead to a fight, and it will not make you more attractive to him or vice versa. Good luck to you both–you can get through this. Instead of rehashing the past, focus on having the best relationship in the present, and you will set the stage for a brighter future.
This is one of the most common problems partners have when they find out they’ve been cheated on. They obsess about the details wanting to know how often it happened, if they tried certain positions,if gifts were ever bought for each other, etc. And, yes, it usually does only hurt the relationship more to ask about it. The secret to fixing the relationship is to not obsess about what happened in the past but to focus instead on what he is doing in the present. Is he still coming home late with suspicious reasons why? Does he hide his cell phone or quickly shut down web browsers when you enter the room? Does he act distant and unfeeling?
The truth is, his current actions are way more important than his past ones. His current actions put the proof in the pudding about what his intentions really are in the relationship – so focus on those instead. Yes, you can’t help but think about his past actions but don’t dwell on them for too long. Give yourself some time during the day to think about it and then put it away until tomorrow. Obsessing about it throughout the day will only eat you up inside until you learn to get control of your own thoughts and see his current actions for what they really are.
About Rachel: Rachel Russo is a Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach who works with marriage-minded singles and couples in NYC and throughout the US. Checkout her website at RachelRusso.com
About Aaron: Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado and writer for various websites on marriage and relationships.