I Wish I Had Told My Spouse The Truth About The Affair. He Found Out Anyway and Now He Is Furious That I Lied

By: Katie Lersch: When you are cheating or having an affair, you sometimes consider confessing everything and telling your spouse the truth – especially once the affair is over.

Sometimes, you want to confess because you know that it is the right thing to do. Other times, it is the guilt. Or sometimes your spouse is suspicious and asks you about your behavior. Whatever the reason, you make a split-second decision to deny everything.

And although there may be some relief in keeping your secret, you aren’t sure if this is the right call. But something in your heart just can’t bear to hurt your spouse with the truth. So you pray that the truth will never come out. But when it does, not only do you have to deal with the pain that you have caused, you have a spouse who vows to never believe anything that you say ever again.

Someone might explain it this way: “I honestly knew that I should have told my husband the truth about the affair. He had strong suspicions and he confronted me about them. I considered just coming out with the truth. But when I was looking into his eyes and seeing the hurt look on his face, I just could not do that to him. I knew that the affair was totally over. And I knew that I wanted to save my marriage. So I told him that he had it wrong and that I was not cheating. Unfortunately for me, I had confided in the wife of one of my husband’s friends. I thought that I could trust this woman as we have been very close friends for a couple of years. She barely knows my husband, although our husbands work together and are good friends. I guess her husband mentioned my husband’s suspicions to her and she felt that she could not lie to her husband. Of course, my friend’s husband immediately tattled to my husband. I thought about claiming that everyone was lying, but I knew that I could not take it that far. So I had no choice but to confess. Now my husband will not speak to me for more than a couple of minutes at a time. He says he maybe could have forgiven me eventually if I had respected him enough to tell the truth. But he says that he can not overcome lying as well as cheating. I can’t say that I blame him. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to save my marriage. I know that I will never lie to or cheat on him again. But I worry that I will never get another chance. Is there anything that I can do to convince him to at least give me a chance to explain?”

I don’t think that this is an impossible situation if you are truly remorseful and you are willing to be patient. You have to understand that your husband is extremely hurt. He likely needs some time. Pressuring him to listen to you or even to believe you is usually going to fail when this news is so fresh.

I would suggest accepting that he is going to need some time and, in the meantime, controlling what you can. Since you can’t control his thought process or what he is feeling, you want to control yourself. What can you do to make this better? Well, you can explore why you might have cheated and you can figure out ways to ensure that, should you get a second chance, this will never happen again. Counseling or self help is extremely useful for this and it wouldn’t hurt to let your husband know that you are seeking this out so that he at least realizes that you are taking this very seriously and are more than willing to do what is necessary to begin to fix this.

In the future, there may come a time when your husband begins to calm down and, as a result, he has questions. You may be tempted to lie to him because the truth is going to painful. Or you may fear that the truth is going to make him more angry at you. I can tell you that if my husband had repeatedly lied to me about his affair, I would have eventually have stopped giving him chances to speak to me at all.

Restoring the trust is a very fragile process. You only get one chance to tell the truth. If your spouse catches you continuing to lie, it is very doubtful that they will give you many more chances. It’s important that from this day forward, you tell your spouse the truth if they give you an opportunity to do so.

This won’t be easy. And you may find that you need counseling if you suspect that more of the truth is going to make things worse. But this is a problem for which there is really only one solution – you have to prove yourself trustworthy at every turn. You have to do exactly what you claim. And if your spouse asks you something and expects the truth from you, then that’s exactly what you have to provide.

If you want to attempt to have a conversation about this, I’d try something like: “you have every right to doubt my sincerity. I deeply regret lying to you. And I never will again. I can only say that I was trying to spare you pain, even though I know that this is not a valid excuse. I hope that one day you will give me a chance to earn your trust again. But I know that I have to be patient and earn that. When you’re ready to talk, I promise that you will hear nothing but the truth from me.”

He may not take you up on this right away. But be patient and willing to do whatever it takes when he gives you the opportunity. He’s hurting right now. And with time, you may have the opportunity to make this right again.

As I said, if my husband had told me even one more lie after I found out about his affair, I may have never given him another opportunity.  He seemed to understand that there was no alternative but the truth.  And this is sometimes painful for all involved.  But often, your marriage just can not withstand any more lies.  You’re welcome to read more about our own recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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