Why Does My Husband Keep Saying That The Other Woman Isn’t Important?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are so frustrated that their husband will not address the topic of the other woman in the affair. Often, the wife wants all of the details about her and about what it was that brought the two of them together. The husband, however, will often resist giving the wife this type of information with the insistence that these details aren’t important.

An example of a comment that you might hear in this situation is something like: “honesty, I am a little obsessed with finding out everything that I possibly can about the other woman. I want to know what my husband saw in this woman. I want to know how she was devious and skilled enough to get a man who is very meticulous and careful to risk everything for a stupid sexual relationship. I want to know where she is now and how she feels now. I want assurance that she is going to stay away. I want to know if she told my husband that she loved him. But when I try to ask my husband for any details about her at all, he says that she’s not important. He says that our marriage and our child is important, but she is not. Why would he say this? She is of the utmost importance.. She is the reason that we are in this mess and how can he refuse to give me details about her? To be honest, I am thinking about getting the details myself if he will not provide them. What is his motivation by trying to discourage me to dig down the details about her?”

There are many reasons that a man might try to discourage you from asking too many questions about the other woman. I will go over some of them below.

He May Mean That There Was Nothing Special About Her. He Means That She Could Be Anybody: It may make him sound like a jerk to admit it, but sometimes she truly doesn’t mean all that much to him, even if he told her exactly the opposite. Some men have affairs to escape a vulnerable or painful part of their lives at that time. The woman herself doesn’t have much to do with it. In fact, with hindsight, many men will admit that it could have been any woman who was in the right place at the right time.

He May Not Want To Feed Into Your Preoccupation With The Other Woman: Many men in this situation comment about this on my blog. And they will tell you that they start out trying to be cooperative and to provide the details that they think you need. But, those details will generally lead to more questions. For example, you may ask your husband how the two of them met.  And, he may answer you. The answer then inspires the wife to ask how many encounters there were. When the husband answers this, she will want to know even more details about each meeting and why the deception wasn’t detected. This will eventually force the husband to tell his wife that one of her friends knew about the affair.  And this is going to be very painful for her. The hole that the husband is digging gets deeper and deeper while his wife becomes more and more hurt and more angry.

Once this cycle starts, the wife will often not be satisfied with the husband merely answering the question asked.  The husband fears that she will want to rapid fire question after question after question until she is asking for the most minute details that couldn’t possibly matter. It’s often not that your husband doesn’t want to give you the basic information. It is that he doesn’t want this to lead to a hunger for any and all information that can be painful.

How To Handle This Situation: It’s important to make him understand that by not providing you with information, he’s inviting you to fill in the blanks or to obtain the information yourself. At the same time, you have to respect (and perhaps work around) the reasons that he may be hesitant.

So you may want to say something like: “I need for you to understand that I absolutely need this information in order to start to process this and in order to truly know what we are dealing with. I am not going to give up on wanting this information just because you are hesitant to give it to me. It is better for me to hear it from you. I need to know the details that are going to help me evaluate what I need to heal. I understand that you don’t want to have to answer endless questions. And I will try to be conscious of that. But put yourself in my position. If there was another man, wouldn’t you want to know about him? Wouldn’t he matter to you? Because she matters to me. I need the details so that I can begin to put her behind us. I need to know that she is no longer a threat and that she is out of our lives. At the same time, I need to understand why and how this happened so that I’m sensitive to any vulnerabilities in the future. So I need for you to start answering my questions. I have a right to that. And I can’t begin to heal without these answers.”

At the same time, be very mindful of how you follow up. You have every right to know how and why he did this. You don’t necessarily need to know her jeans size and her favorite ice cream flavor. Hopefully, you see the distinction. Your husband is probably trying to avoid your asking endless questions while trying to make it clear that she wasn’t as important to him then as she now is to you.

I understand wanting details about the other woman.  But take care that she doesn’t become an obsession.  You want to move on as quickly as you can.  And sometimes, a preoccupation with her will keep you from doing that.  If it helps, you can read more about my own recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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