Why Is My Spouse Mad At Me For Asking Questions About The Affair? Don’t I Have A Right To Ask?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are unfortunately having to deal with two different issues. First, they are having to deal with the reality that their spouse has cheated on them. And that is no easy task. This is a shock and hurt that is comparable to few other losses in life.

Second, they are having to deal with the fact that every time they ask questions or want clarification about details of the affair, not only are they not given a straight answer, but they must face their spouse’s anger toward them. This puts you in a bind because without understanding how and why the affair happened, it’s going to be difficult to move past this and to fully heal. But it is difficult to have these necessary conversations when your spouse becomes angry with you every time you attempt it.

I might hear a comment like: “I actually considered leaving my husband when I first found out about the affair. I even packed my bags and made arrangements to go somewhere else. But then I thought about my kids and I couldn’t bring myself to just walk away. So I told myself that I would give this situation a month and then reevaluate after four weeks. I promised myself that if after a month, I still felt that my marriage was dead then I would give myself permission to walk away without guilt. And I promised myself that I would approach this month with an open mind. And that I would do everything in my power to try to make things better. But every time I approach my husband with questions about the affair, I am met with his anger. Frankly, so long as I’m not asking about the affair, he is sweet and apologetic and he seems remorseful. But as soon as I open my mouth and ask about the affair, his anger becomes unleashed, he clams up, and he insists that we are not going to talk about it. Why does he becomes so angry? Don’t I have a right to ask these questions?” I will answer this in the following article.

First of all, I believe that you have every right to ask these questions. I have been there and I know that these questions keep you awake at night and keep you from feeling peace. But, I also know that these questions come at a price. The more you find out, the more you want to know. And in truth, I honestly feel like my husband could have answered my questions endlessly or twenty four hours per day and I still would not have been satisfied with his answers. So, over a period of time, I’ve come to believe that it’s important to strike a careful balance between getting your questions answered and becoming almost obsessed with an unending list of questions. I am not saying that you don’t have a right to this. Because you do. But I am saying, from a hurtful experience, that I know first hand that getting every question answered doesn’t always bring you the closure that you were hoping for. In fact, it sometimes brings about a greater sense of unease. Now, I will tell you my theories as to why he might be getting angry.

He’s Angry At Himself: It’s easy to assume his anger is directed at you. After all, it is you to whom he is speaking. He is facing you when he is saying these words. It’s obvious by his tone and by his body language that he is angry. But I’ve come to believe that who he is really angry at is himself. He is angry that he put himself in this awful situation. He is angry at his horrible judgement and lack of control. And he is angry that now he is having to face up to his actions. If this sounds like the actions of a child, I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m not saying that is an evolved or mature thought process. But, in the beginning especially, it is often what you get. It’s normal to be angry at yourself anytime you make a bad decision where you knew better. This is no different.

He Doesn’t Want To Face The Painful Emotions That He Has Been Trying To Avoid All Along: I know that many people disagree with me when I say this. But, to a certain extent, an affair is about avoidance. A person doesn’t want to face the fact that they are aging, or deeply stressed out, or suffering a lack of self esteem and so the affair is a way to quiet those negative emotions. Well, when you ask him questions about the affair, it is like picking on a scab that he feels is never going to heal. He cheated as a way to avoid the fact that he doesn’t feel good about himself. Now, having to talk about it is all but ensuring the emotions that he was trying to avoid. And this painful to him.  So he tries to get you to back off with your anger.

Ways To Handle This: I often advocate having a third party asking the questions. Yes, this can mean counseling. But it helps if it appears that the questions aren’t directly coming from you all of the time. If you are resistant to counseling, then try a self help book where you can read off the questions. This still gives off the appearance that you aren’t the only one pulling the strings.

Also, try to limit the questions to set times. If your husband feels as if he’s going to be peppered with questions all day every day, then he’s going to get frustrated. But if he knows that this will be limited to your counseling session or those times where you’re working through self help, then he may have more tolerance. Also, try to be careful that you aren’t asking him the same thing over and over. Cheating spouse’s repeatedly comment on my blog that no matter what they say, it doesn’t satisfy their spouse and so they end up repeating themselves endlessly.

But to answer the original question posed, yes, you have every right to answers. But sometimes, you will have to change your approach in order to get the answers that you want.  If it helps, you can read more suggestions on how to strike this balance on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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