How Can I Get My Spouse To Talk About His Cheating?

By: Katie Lersch: It’s maddening when you want all possible information about your husband’s infidelity, but he just clams up. It’s pretty easy to figure out WHY he’s being quiet – he’s afraid that if he attempts to explain or to give you more information, you are just going to get more angry or use his own words against him. And it’s also easy to understand why you want the information – knowledge is power. The more you know about what happened and why it happened, the more you can make an informed decision – and, if you choose to save your marriage, information can ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

This lack of information makes many wives try to force the information out of their husbands – but this often backfires. He will either become angry or defensive and he will clam up that much more. So, not only are you further away from getting what you want, but you are dealing with a spouse who is even less willing to offer information than when you started.

Someone might ask: “how in the world do I get my husband to talk about his cheating and his affair?” He basically told me the basics about it because I caught him. If I had never caught him, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have NEVER admitted to it. And even now that I have caught him, he says as little as is possible. He will tell me the basics – who the other woman was, where it happened, and how many times it happened. But that is it. When I try to get specifics or I ask him why he would do this, he basically shrugs and says something very generic like: ‘honestly I do not have many answers for you. I don’t know why I did this. I don’t plan to do it again and that is pretty much all I can tell you. Insisting on more information is a dead end because I don’t have it.’ Why would he be so elusive about this? His clamming up makes me think that there is even worse information that he doesn’t want me to know – which makes me determined to find out all that I can. How do I get him talking about his cheating?”

That is definitely a challenge that many of us have faced. He has a legitimate reason to fear giving the information and you have a vested interest in wanting it. Many of us have resorted to picking fights in the hopes that he will spew it out just to hurt us – because at least then we would have the information. But honestly, this does not always give you truthful information. You’re just getting information meant to get a reaction. And that’s not exactly valid.

I know of two good ways to get him talking about the affair. The first is counseling. The second is self help. Counseling allows someone else to pry the information out of him. The counselor will need to know the details and will likely ask him for specifics pretty early on, at least in my experience. It will be much more difficult for him to refuse to answer the counselor because it will be made clear that the information is necessary. It is often easier for him to ‘confess’ to someone who isn’t you. And offering up the information in the counselor’s office allows a professional to help both of you process and take in the information when it comes out. Personally, I think that this is the best option for finding out what you need to know because you strengthen your relationship rather than continuing to damage it in this way. But I know that some husbands won’t go to counseling.

In that case, try self help. Many professional books and videos give you checklists and questions. Assuming your spouse agrees to the self help, it is common sense that he is going to have to answer / address whatever topic comes up in the self help. The upside with this is that even husbands who won’t do counseling might participate. The downside is that once you get the information, you don’t have a physical person there to help you with it. However, sometimes the self help does help to walk you through what might come up.

Know too that with the passage of time, people often become more willing to talk. He will usually see that you are not going to stop asking for this information, so he may as well give it. Honestly, withholding the information doesn’t lessen a wife’s anger. If you refuse to give her the information, she is just going to fill in the blanks. And sometimes, she will fill in with scenarios that are worse and more harmful than what actually happened. The faithful spouse deserves to have their questions answered. Most cheating spouses do come to that conclusion eventually.

Early on, there were some things that my husband was reluctant to come clean about.  But I kept at it at different times and in different ways until I learned what I needed to know.  Getting the information is just the beginning, though.  The key is what you do with the information.  You can read more about how I handled issues like this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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