After Infidelity: Truth and Trust

Why Knowing the Truth About the Affair is Key in Rebuilding Trust in the Marriage

Source: infidelityinfo (edited)

Following infidelity, there are a number of questions that the betrayed spouse will need to ask before they can move on from the affair and forwards with their life and marriage. But it can be difficult for the betrayed spouse to know which questions they should ask to get the answers they need and for them to know which questions they should avoid asking. Although the betrayed spouse may have every confidence that the affair is over and that their spouse is being faithful, there might still be some questions that they need to have answered before they can properly move on. To start the healing process, here are a number of questions that the betrayed spouse could ask the straying spouse.

Can we both work out what kick-started the affair?

Following an affair, it’s common for the betrayed spouse to feel constantly worried about what their spouse is up to, where they are going, who they are seeing and whether or not they are planning to cheat again. In order to allay some of these worries, it’s important for the betrayed spouse – and the straying spouse – to understand the series of events that led to the affair in the first place. And to understand what caused the affair, both spouses need to ask themselves a series of questions about which actions of theirs may have contributed to the affair, as well as what they should have done to rebuild the relationship and what they could have done better.

Knowing the answers to these questions will mean that the betrayed spouse is able to trust that their spouse understands why they had the affair in the first place and that they know that there are other options available to them, should the relationship start to break down again in the future. Equally, knowing the situation and the circumstances that were responsible for the affair will help to ensure that an affair doesn’t occur again in the future, as both spouses will be able to clearly see the same pattern emerging and will be able to put a stop to it before anything else happens.

How did you deceive me?

Some betrayed spouses believe that they need to know the full details of the affair to move forwards – that they need to know details about times, places and sexual activities. In reality, learning these details will be far more hurtful and destructive than not learning them. It is not necessary for the betrayed spouse to know all of the intimate details of the affair – and no matter how much their curiosity may be piqued, and no matter how much they might badger the straying spouse, it is important that the straying spouse keeps that information to themselves. It might be tempting to use those intimate details in the heat of an argument, but in the long run, disclosing that information will get you nowhere.

However, although the betrayed spouse does not need to know intimate details about the affair, it is important for them to know how the straying spouse carried out the affair – what actions the straying spouse might have took in order to deceive their spouse. Knowing how the straying spouse hid the affair – for example, if they made up a new hobby such as going to the gym to cover their tracks, if they got friends and family members to lie to them, if they had a secret email account or mobile phone to contact their lover with – whatever it may be, knowing the behaviours that helped to cover the affair will ensure that the betrayed spouse knows whether or not their spouse is being faithful in the future.

What do you want from our marriage? Are you committed to working on it?

It’s important for the betrayed spouse to know in their heart whether or not the straying spouse is committed to working on the marriage – and it’s equally as important for them to know what the straying spouse wants from it. After an affair, it’s important for you to both understand what you want from the marriage – and to know that you are both committed to working for it – so that you can both know what you need to do to move forwards. It’s also worth mentioning that you should both know exactly how you plan to work on your marriage and how you plan to fulfil everything that you both want and need from the marriage. For example, just knowing that your spouse is willing to do things for you around the house, or that they will try their hardest to make you feel happy, or that they are committed to spending more quality time with you, can make all the difference in the affair recovery process.

How are you planning to show me that I can trust you again?

Perhaps the most important step in the affair recovery process is for the straying spouse to be accountable for their actions – firstly, for their actions leading to the affair and for their actions during the affair, and secondly, for their behaviour during the recovery process. For example, some straying spouses will let the betrayed spouse look over their phone or will disclose all of their passwords, or they may make a pact to stay home after work instead of going out with their friends. Whatever actions the betrayed spouse needs to see in the straying spouse in order to trust them again, the straying spouse should take them. It’s important for the straying spouse to tell their partner exactly what they’re planning to do to prove that they are trustworthy, and if they are not willing to disclose such a plan, it may well be difficult to move forwards in the marriage.

How do you feel about me now? And how do you think you’ll feel about me in the future?

Quite simply, it’s very important for the betrayed spouse to know how their partner feels about them and how they think their partner will think about them in the future. If they are unsure, or if they are unwilling to discuss their feelings with their spouse, it could mean that it may well be difficult to move forwards in the marriage.

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