If you have recently found out that your spouse has been unfaithful, you may be tempted to find out every single, gritty detail about the affair. You are in a state of shock and disbelief that you spouse would betray you in this most intimate way. In an attempt to find safety in the midst of the turmoil, you may be tempted to ask about everything regarding the affair and the affair partner. Open communication is crucial in repairing a relationship, but be careful of what you ask.
Relationships are more likely to make it through and heal following infidelity when communication is transparent and all questions are honestly answered. You have the right to know the truth and the nature of your spouse’s betrayal, yet you may be tempted to ask questions that will only hurt you more in the long run. Each couple will need to determine how much is shared about the affair. Communication and the need to know is healing when the information is provided, yet obsessiveness can be retraumatizing. The balance can be tricky because the need to know every detail is very strong especially early on when emotions are
You may be tempted to ask questions about sexual acts or wanting to read love letters, but these types of graphic information may only add to your own trauma and may become intrusive thoughts that keep reoccurring in your mind. Sometimes people retraumatize themselves by pushing for more and more
details that become additional triggers and sources of pain. The key is finding the balance between what too much information is and what you need to know in order to heal.
If you are unsure of what is too much information, write down the questions on a piece of paper and check back in a week, a couple of weeks or a month. Once the time has passed, evaluate what unanswered questions are still important for you to have answered. Be gentle with yourself. There is no time table to be followed in healing from infidelity. You cannot rush the healing process.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, SRT, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist