My Wife Actually Seems Turned On When I Tell Her About The Affair. But I Think That She’s Just Trying To Trick Me

By: Katie Lersch:  Here are two things that are very common after the discovery of an affair:  the faithful spouse wants details – lots of details.  And the cheating spouse is reluctant to give them.  Why?  He knows that it is going to hurt and anger his spouse.  And if the affair is over, why rub salt into the wound?

Although these reasons make sense intellectually, this is a wounded heart that we are talking about.  Few faithful spouses are going to be satisfied with the not knowing.  Generally speaking, they keep asking for the details until they are given.  And just knowing the basics is rarely good enough.

Needless to say, the cheating spouse assumes that with each admission, things are going to go from bad to worse.  The assumption is that anger and outrage are going to be immediately forthcoming.  And many times, this is what happens. But sometimes, the faithful spouse isn’t mad, exactly.  Sometimes, they are actually turned on, which leaves the cheating spouse quite confused and unsure how to proceed.

Someone might explain: “I would give anything if I had never met the ‘other woman.’  I was so stupid.  I knew right away that I owed my wife a very detailed explanation, but I was so scared to tell her the truth.  She started out demanding that I tell her ‘everything.’  I knew that I didn’t want to tell her everything.  I knew that she was going to be hurt and angry with every single detail.  So I started out only telling her the very basics. And it didn’t go as badly as I had feared.  Over time, I noticed that she became affectionate when I would give in and give her details.  Eventually, we almost always ended up having sex.  Lately, she has wanted for me to tell her sexual things about the affair.  She playfully tells me that there will be no repercussions because of this. And there doesn’t seem to be.  Frankly, this seems to turn her on. But I worry about this for many reasons.  First, I worry that she is just pretending to feel this way to get the details out of me and then she is going to eventually turn on me and be angry.  I can’t imagine how learning these things is not going to make her very hurt and very angry.  Second, I hate going into detail.  I’m not proud of what I did.  Talking about it makes me feel guilty and ashamed.  I hate talking about it as it is.  But the dirty details just magnify everything.  I don’t want to get in the habit of being required to talk about this in order to have sex with my wife.  I understand that she has a right to and need for some of the details, but I worry that we are establishing a horrible precedent.  Is it possible that the sexual details are really a turn on to her or could she be trying to trick me?”

Frankly, it is not uncommon for people to admit that the sexual details were arousing.  There are many theories as to why this might happen. Some think that thinking about your spouse having sex in any capacity is a turn on.  Others believe that all feelings (anger, sexuality, sadness) are magnified because of what is happening.  Others believe that when your marriage is at risk, the attraction and arousal increase because of a fear of losing what you have.

Whatever the reason, this is not an uncommon scenario.  So I don’t think that you have to automatically assume that your spouse is lying or is trying to trick you.  This may not be the case.  But I do agree with your concern that getting into the habit of needing to provide the sexual details is not healthy.  The eventual goal in affair recovery is to be able to move on, and to not revisit things on a regular basis. I think it’s wise to address it now rather than to let it go on and become a habit that becomes harder to break.

The next time this happens, you might say: “you know I would never turn down physical time with you.  I love when we are together.  But right now, I want to talk about, and focus on, the two of us only.  I do not want to think about or talk about anyone else.  This is just about us from today forward.  I’ve told you all there is to tell.  There is no reason to keep rehashing it.  I want you to be turned on because we are together.  And I want for our focus to be what happens here.  Can you understand that?”

Be patient with your wife as she tries to adjust.  Because I have been on that side of the table.  And I can tell you that honestly, all of her questions for details are likely just an attempt to truly understand what has happened and why.  When you are the faithful spouse, no matter how much information you gather, you always feel like there is something that you might still need to know.  This is habit that has to be broken.  But it’s better to try to break it gently and to have patience. Because from a wife’s perspective, I can tell you this isn’t easy.  You can read more about my struggles after the affair at

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