My Husband Cheated And Then Lied About The Affair Until I Caught Him. And Now He Refuses To Discuss It

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are so frustrated that their husband is still indignant and in denial about his affair, even after he has been caught. Often, the wife has very strong suspicions and even some proof. But the husband will continue to deny it and will continue to lie. He believes that posturing in this way is the best way to discourage his wife from learning the truth. And he wants to delay this for as long as he possibly can. But not all wives will give up this easily. Many will only become more determined to catch him. And when they do, they expect for him to admit everything and to finally start talking. When he refuses to do this, the wives aren’t sure how to proceed.

I might hear from a wife who says: “I suspected my husband of having an affair early on in the process. I know my husband very well. And I knew that he was acting distant and weird. I also saw a couple of texts and photos on his phone. He tried to play it off like a woman from work was pursuing him but he swore that he wasn’t doing anything to encourage her. From the looks of the woman, I doubted that this was true. But I backed off until I could get proof. For two months, I watched and became certain of the affair. There were more texts and then some emails. I printed them out and confronted him, but he continued to lie to me. This only made me more determined to get to the truth. So, I started following him. And it didn’t take long until I caught him red handed. I mean I walked right up to their hotel room and I knocked on the door. When my husband answered wearing only a towel, there was no way that he could weasel out of it this time. But although he hasn’t overtly denied it this time, he won’t talk about it either. When I try to question or confront him about it, he gets very angry and he will often storm out. Anytime I try to bring the conversation back to it, he will say something like: ‘we aren’t talking about that. And if you keep bringing it up, I’m leaving.’ This puts me in an awful situation. I am not going to just drop this. It’s almost as if he’s hoping that I will forget what I saw. But I won’t forget that for as long as I live. How can I handle this when he refuses to talk about it? Obviously, if we can’t talk about it, our marriage is over, at least as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have any idea if we would ever be able to save our marriage but I would like the option to at least try.  But the only option that he’s giving me is to just drop it or watch him walk away.”

Understand That He Is Likely Reacting To Fear: I know that this wife likely felt very discouraged. But, this is a very common situation. I’m not sure that this should make you feel any better, but at least it will let you know that you are not alone and that your husband is not the first man to try to posture his way out of taking responsibility for his actions. Many wives assume that this is arrogance, a lack of caring, or of being indignant. But frankly, in my opinion, it is based on fear. And sometimes also on shame and guilt. He knows that there is a lot at stake. He’s often embarrassed and ashamed. He winces at even thinking about the details of his deception and he may become downright filled with anxiety at the thought of having to actually put this into words.

Making Your Expectations Clear: I know that this puts you in a difficult situation. I suggest making it clear that refusing to discuss the affair is not going to be an option.  It’s also important to stress that it’s in both of your best interests to make the process as calm and as cordial as possible. Ultimately, I believe that a good counselor can make this process less awkward and more effective. But, very few husbands in this situation are going to agree to go to a counselor, especially at first.

I’d suggest a conversation that goes something like this: “I know that you are threatening to leave if I continue to push to discuss the affair. That’s really up to you. But you can’t possibly believe that I am going to accept the possibility that I will never get the answers that I need. This isn’t fair to me and it’s not even reasonable of you to ask. I have no idea if this marriage is still valuable to you or not, based on your actions. But if it is even remotely important to you, – and if I still matter to you – then you will agree to start talking, no matter how difficult it may be. I deserve answers. And I’m not going to accept never getting those answers. If it helps or if you think it would be easier, we can find a third party to help us with this process. But I’m not going to accept never talking about this. I understand that you might need some time to think about this. I’m not expecting an immediate answer. But ultimately, you are going to have to talk at length about it if we have any hope of saving our marriage or of salvaging some sort of relationship.”

He may not start talking immediately. But if you make it clear that this is going to have to happen and you don’t just allow him to pretend that things are normal, he will eventually realize that he can no longer just demand that you not ask questions. It’s unrealistic to think that you will just accept this. And you shouldn’t have to. There will come a time when he will have to decide if his continued silence is more important to him than your marriage. And he will often try to get you to accept less than you deserve until you tell him that this just isn’t going to be acceptable to you.

My husband didn’t posture to this extent.  But he did try to downplay some things in the beginning.  I had to make it clear that this wasn’t going to fly. If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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