How To Find The Right Time To Ask Questions About Your Spouse’s Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I know from experience that sometimes in the aftermath of an affair, talking about that dreadful event over and over is probably the most excruciating thing that you can imagine. There are explanations that you don’t want to hear because they are going to give you images that you can’t chase out of your mind. Sometimes, you wish that you wouldn’t continue to have these nagging questions that need to be answered. Because honestly, sometimes you think it would be kinder not to know the answers. The problem though, is that the questions won’t let you alone. They nag you – even when all you really want is to get your peace of mind back. And so you finally bring them forth and you approach your spouse. But he just gets annoyed, frustrated, or angry. Because the truth is that the questions are no fun for him either. And he too wishes that the questions would just stop.

The thing is, if us faithful spouses could stop the questions from popping into our head, we most certainly would. But we can’t. They dog our sleep. They interrupt the rare moments when we find peace. So we must ask the questions, but when we do, we are put off, hushed up, and told that we need to tone it down. So the question becomes how do we find that time when we can get our answers so that both ourselves and our spouse can walk away relatively unscathed?

For example, I might hear from a wife who says: “I fully admit that I am full of questions about my husband’s affair. He has tried to answer many of my questions. But sometimes, after I take a little bit of time to digest what he has said, it doesn’t make sense to me. So I will want clarification or I will want to follow up. But when I try to do that, he gets angry at me and says he feels as if he is going to get the third degree for the rest of his life. So I will wait to ask again when things are good between us and then he says I am intent on ruining the mood. If I wait to bring it up when we are arguing already, then it only makes it worse. How do I find a good time to get my questions answered? Because I feel like I can’t rest until I have complete and total answers.”

Why Getting Your Questions Addressed Is Vital: I understand where you are coming from. And although your husband may never think that there’s a great time for him to be questioned yet again, I completely agree that you shouldn’t just give up. I know that many husbands want a break. And I know that they sometimes wish that you would give it a rest. But in truth, if you give it a rest, then you begin to shut down. You begin to turn this inward. And what happens then is this whole process damages you (and in turn your marriage) even more?

It may not always feel healthy to continue talking about this (and you do not want to dwell on it endlessly) but it is important that you have your core concerns addressed until you are satisfied with the answer or lack of one. (Because sometimes, he truly is telling you the truth as he knows it, even if it doesn’t make complete and total sense to either of you.)

Finding The Right Time: When is a good time? I don’t think that there is ever a perfect time. As this wife said, if you bring it up during good times, then you ruin the momentum and you look like a kill joy who refuses to truly allow herself to be happy. If you bring it up in an argument, you are going to be accused of always throwing it back up in his face. Here is my suggestion and I know that you may not be excited about it at first. But it came to work for me better than anything else.

Come up with an agreed upon time where you can discuss it. Perhaps it’s Tuesday nights or Saturday mornings or whatever time where you are together and can both be calm without interruptions. It also helps hugely if you can set a time limit on it. I know that this might seem unfair to you at first. But it’s important. It forces both of you to give undivided attention because you know that you only have so much time. Plus, because your husband knows that it isn’t going to go on endlessly, he is likely to have more patience.

Some couples have a hard time with this and they end up just agreeing to only discuss the affair in the presence of their counselor. I wouldn’t argue with this logic. Because I believe whatever works for you is valid. And I think that the most important thing is for both of you to know that the affair isn’t going to be brought up endlessly or at a moment’s notice but it is going to be regularly discussed when you still need for that discussion to take place.

As I alluded to, my husband and I did struggle with this issue also.  But scheduling time to have my questions answered worked best of all of the things that we tried.  As I began to heal, I naturally moved away from all of the questions.  But I wouldn’t have given up on them in the beginning. You’re welcome to read more about my experience on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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