I Don’t Feel Like My Husband Is Being Completely Honest As We’re Trying To Rebuild Our Marriage After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are very frustrated with the rebuilding process after their husband’s affair. Often, they are grateful that he is willing to make an attempt. But they feel that in order for this to work, both people are going to need to hold nothing back and to be completely honest. And when they suspect that their husband is in fact holding back, this can be very disappointing and frustrating.

In this situation, I might get a comment on my blog like: “when I found out about my husband’s affair, I knew that fixing this was far outside of our capabilities. I knew that we were never going to make it if we didn’t have outside help. After I hounded it him about it for a while, he agreed to go to counseling. I like the counselor but I’m not sure that my husband agrees. Honestly, I feel like he is not being completely honest during our sessions. She will be asking us about our marriage before the affair, and my husband will paint a rosy picture as though everything was perfect. He will then describe me as the perfect wife. It all just rings fake to me. I don’t think that we had an awful marriage by any means. But it certainly was perfect. Because if it had been, why would he cheat on me? I feel like we are sort of wasting our money. What is the point of spending all of the time and money in counseling if he is going to sit there and not be completely honest? And what does his holding back say about his willingness to save our marriage?”

This is a common problem. The cheating spouse will often hold back because he doesn’t want to hurt his spouse and he doesn’t want for it to appear that he is assigning any of the blame onto any one except for himself. And, he may not want for you to feel badly about any aspect of this. To that end, he may not be trying to be deceitful. He’s just trying to put a positive spin on things because he’s motivated to save his marriage. And he doesn’t want for you to think that this is an impossibility.

Also, cheating spouses will often keep the facts close to their chest because they are afraid that if they truthfully answer one question, then it is going to lead to others. They don’t want to be forced to admit all of the sorted details, so they will get into the habit of not revealing all of the facts.

And while you can understand this, it doesn’t help your marriage moving forward. So, it’s important to make him see that his not being completely honest is not helping. If possible, it makes sense to ask your counselor to help you with this. After all, complete honesty is absolutely vital when you are trying to restore the trust. You can’t expect for your spouse to believe that you aren’t going to lie or cheat again if you can’t tell the complete truth now.

You might also try to speak with him very directly about this. You might say something like: “I appreciate your trying to portray me and our marriage as favorable when we’re in counseling, but I don’t feel like we’re getting a complete picture. And if we don’t give her the total truth to work with, then she can’t completely help us. I know that you are probably trying to protect me. But I want our marriage to legitimately work. I want to build a new and healthy marriage. And I don’t feel that we can do that if we’re not presenting the complete truth. As painful as it might be, I need for you to be completely honest with me and with the counselor. I need the truth in every instance. It’s very important to me. Can you do that for me?”

I hope that this conversation turns things around and you get complete transparency moving forward. If not, you may have to keep drawing his attention to it when you hear something come out of his mouth that you know is not completely true. Frankly, when people have affairs, they sort of have to get into the habit of telling untruths. This can be a difficult habit for them to break. But if they know that you are going to call them on it every time they are less than truthful, then they will hopefully eventually learn that they are better off just starting to tell the truth from that point on.

Sometimes, your husband has to gradually come to believe that it is safe to tell the truth.  He needs to see that it is better for him to just come out with it (even when it’s painful) so that it can be dealt with.  If it helps, you can read more about this process for me on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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