User Topic: Why do we want the damn dirty details?
Member # 40133
Question  Posted: 10:16 PM, August 25th (Sunday)

(I know I have been asking you reconcilers a lot of questions lately, but since I am new at this I am asking for guidance once again.)

Why is it that we want to know the details? Why do I want to know what WH was wearing when it happened, or where it happened, or exactly WHAT happened? Why do I care what time of day it was, where exactly he parked his car, or if he shaved that day before he went?

Guys, I am really trying to R. I love WH very much and would love nothing more than to forgive him, then use all of this as a reminder that we should never take each other for granted. Some days get really ugly when I ask for details, and when he offers up what he can remember, I get really pissed off and our day goes downhill.

If the details hurt so badly, then why am I so f-ing compelled to ask about them?!?

Me: 31
WH (1DumbHusband): 35
Married 5 years, together 7 years.
D-Day: June 17th, 2013
TTs that came out as late as January 2014

"One is not tempted by that he does not want."

Posts: 136 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Dallas, TX
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 10:21 PM, August 25th (Sunday)

Because they are our spouses. We're supposed to know everything about their sexual and "dating" activity, because we're supposed to be present when it happens. They aren't supposed to have any secrets when it comes to that sort of thing. It hurts us, but I'd rather be the listener than the one who has to divulge that info any day. It's what they deserve.

It's funny though, if your experience is anything like mine, once you feel that you've gotten all the info, or enough info, it's easier to move forward. Let's face, we know what our spouses are like. We just want them to start being honest people again.

Me (BS)-45, WW-43
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
M - 18 years, 4 children

Posts: 1456 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
Member # 34602
Default  Posted: 10:27 PM, August 25th (Sunday)

For me, one reason was to have control over my life and my decisions. I wanted to make decisions based on the truth. Another reason was so that there was nothing left between the two of them. No special secrets. Wanting to know then not wanting to know...getting angry, sad, etc are all very normal reactions. Personally, I wanted to know it all. That's just me. And I am not going to pretend like I'm not like that to please my WH or because someone else would do the opposite. I am me...they are them.

Me (BW): 32
WH: 33 TimeToManUp
Married: 11 years, together 16 years
3 daughters: 9, 5, 3, and and 2 angel babies (2013 and 2014)
D-Day: 12/21/2011
Confronted him: 12/22/2011

Posts: 1727 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
Member # 38622
Default  Posted: 11:49 PM, August 25th (Sunday)

I wanted to know so I could stop making up shit that happened between them in my mind. It helped me get a handle on triggers and mind movies.

ME-BS 34
M 6 Yrs
DDAY- 8/20/12

Posts: 332 | Registered: Mar 2013
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:34 AM, August 26th (Monday)

Everyone else said my reasons. The main one is like TCD said: I don't like that he has a secret with her that I don't know.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 1:16 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)]

Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Member # 39858
Default  Posted: 12:52 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I just need to know.

In my mind, things went down one way, but in reality I've learned some stuff happened differently than I thought.

Nonetheless, even knowing how much I need the details, my husband claims he just can't remember them.

So I guess I'll live the rest of my life making up crap that never really happened...unless he finally decides to spill it.

BW - 42 (Me)
WH - 39 (2 ONS, 6m EA)
Married 13 years, 3 children
DD: 7/13/13
Status: Rugsweeping, I guess.

Posts: 248 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Somewhere Out There
Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 1:07 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I don't like that he has a secret with her that I don't know.

This is exactly how I feel! I can't stand that he had secrets with another woman.

Posts: 716 | Registered: Jul 2013
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 5:17 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I wanted to make decisions based on the truth. Another reason was so that there was nothing left between the two of them. No special secrets.

^^ I think TCD hit the nail on the head.

I felt like WH had built a wall around himself and OW and the A and if R was going to happen then that wall needed to be smashed to bits and I needed to be given full access to what went on within those walls.

I also felt I needed to know EXACTLY what I was being asked to forgive.

BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 1022 | Registered: Oct 2012
Member # 39759
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, August 26th (Monday)

Nicely put TCD!

I agree completely. For me it was definitely a case of my imagination was worse than the reality. We have such an amazing sex life I imagined the worst. Instead it was like the worst teenage fumble imaginable, especially since she later told me she is a lesbian who just uses men for what she can get out of them and "goes thru the motions if she 'has' to have sex to keep them" She also admitted she only seduced him cos she was 'bored'!

I believe H's story as it is so farcical he couldn't have made it up! Eg sex in the back of her car. She literally sat there like a princess when he clambered over the footwell, sort of crouched in front of her with one bent leg under the drivers seat and the other over the bump between seats, one hand on door armrest and the other on back of seat. Barely touching, both looking away from each other. Just imagining them in that position and him struggling to get hard, is ludicrous and helps me see how 'unexciting' it was.

I know everything I am sure. How long he touched her and how, at which points did he hesitate, how long they actually had sex, how and why he stopped so quickly etc. It helped me cos now I know the whole thing added up barely lasted a minute if you exclude moving around and arranging body parts.

The factual side of his story has never changed since he confessed. He winces and feels sick talking about it but keeps going for me.

He says it was like sex with a blow up doll or a prostitute. Wholly unpleasant and the biggest mistake of his life. I am so grateful It was so bad for him. HE actually didn't want to do it at all but was too weak to say no after getting too close via their EA.

It's not much but it helps me.

If I had left my imagination run wild I would be a gibbering wreck by now.

Together 19yrs
me BS 36
him WS 41 (silent lucidity)
ea 1 facebook flirting with an ex 2011
ea/pa - co worker 6wks feb to apr2013 pa for 1 wk with sex one time
too much tt to count = latest tt 30/7/14

Posts: 804 | Registered: Jul 2013
Member # 39759
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, August 26th (Monday)

Sorry, I didn't mean to rabbit on about 'my story' so much there but cos the facts and details were soooo unsexy I thought I would show how very different the reality can be to what you imagine.

That's why I don't regret getting every single detail I could! They hurt like hell at the time but I think it's starting to get a bit easier to move on now I have full account of the awful night.

Together 19yrs
me BS 36
him WS 41 (silent lucidity)
ea 1 facebook flirting with an ex 2011
ea/pa - co worker 6wks feb to apr2013 pa for 1 wk with sex one time
too much tt to count = latest tt 30/7/14

Posts: 804 | Registered: Jul 2013
Member # 27325
Default  Posted: 8:23 AM, August 26th (Monday)

i just want to know so i will know if R is possible (on my side)

i think if certain things were done, i would not be able to forgive...

Posts: 1401 | Registered: Jan 2010
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 8:28 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I wanted to make decisions based on the truth. Another reason was so that there was nothing left between the two of them. No special secrets. Wanting to know then not wanting to know...getting angry, sad, etc are all very normal reactions.

Tattood said it like how I felt it..... I needed to know so I could make my decisions on how much of his behaviour I was going to accept. I needed the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me god or I was done. It is was one thing for me to know he had cheated, it was another for me to except him back into my life. In order for him to do that he had to make me feel like I knew EVERYTHING. Yes this discovery hurt me terribly. Each new item brought its own sorrows and pain. But what I also realized through this process is that eventually I could digest and accept new pieces of info without them hurting me so badly for so long. I also saw how strong I was and had become.

I want to stress that not everyone is made like me or could handle 100% of the truth. It is one thing to read an email that says he loved is quite another thing to have your husband, in real time, admit that he HAD loved her deeply.

Your journey is your own. Do what makes you feel safe. Only you can decide if the pain is worth the truth and how much of both you are able to bare.


[This message edited by TxsT at 8:30 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!

Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
Member # 40317
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I wanted him to tell me everything because I wanted a few things from him.
#1 - WE are the sacred relationship. NOT them. He should have no secrets from me, so he knew he had to tell me EVERYTHING because there are no secrets.

#2 - I wanted him to see how hurt, disgusted, broken I was to hear MY HUSBAND did these things with this person. I wanted him to see the pain it caused to the *one person* that was always there for him.

#3 - I wanted him to be able to question every motive, quote, justification that woman used to make it *ok* for them to be together. I wanted him to see the manipulation, the dirty, dark side of this "woman" he fell for. She wasn't truthful and she definitely wasn't the person she portrayed herself to be.

WS said he never felt so dirty and empty as he did when he was telling me.

Me: BS
Him: WS
Married: 17 years
2 children
2 DDays

Posts: 255 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, August 26th (Monday)

i think if certain things were done, i would not be able to forgive...


and I don't understand those therapists cautioning people on finding out too much. If there is something I don't know, how on earth can I make a choice??
It's like we're instructed to lump all the bad choices they made into one bad choice. NO!

his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”

Posts: 5281 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 9:24 AM, August 26th (Monday)

i wanted to know, I NEEDED to know.

It's my wife and I wanted to know what that A-hole was doing with her.

BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1397 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
New Member
Member # 40432
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, August 26th (Monday)

Both him and I cheated on each other. Its been pretty bad. The cheating on my end stopped. However in recent days as we are trying work it out, he still wants answers and details which I give and I know why he doesn't believe me. I also want to know things and on my end he wont answer me at all or tells me I have no right to know after being such a monster. I am not on here to make him look bad at all or myself I am on here because this is the truth. and when you lie and cheat I feel it doesn't matter if its just one party or you are doing it to each other, when it comes to reconciation in order to heal then both parties need to come clean and not do the blame game

Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: New York
Member # 27196
Default  Posted: 9:54 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I think TCD nailed it. But for me, in addition to those reasons, since I was infected with the prostitute's disease, it became extremely important health wise to know exactly what acts were involved, as certain acts of unprotected sex are riskier than others.

me BS female 56/him WS 59
Married 33 years
D-day July 09/he gave me his slut's STD
Watch my movie: "My wayward husband's adventures in STD land":
Episode 1:
Episode 2:

Posts: 7102 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Coastal South
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 12:39 PM, August 26th (Monday)

1) To domesticate the affair, -to ruin it, make it non-special, to exploit it, to exemplify the filth it was.

2) To make my wife pay for her actions. It was her choice to crucify me. I wanted her to beat me and nail my hands and feet to the cross and watch me suffer.

3) To rebuild my understanding of truth, my puzzle, to learn, to see the trends, to be able to spot them, to trust myself.

4) To force the action/progress. Either she lie to me some more or tell me the truth, then I can act, -validate or prove her wrong.

WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 778 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
Member # 40133
Default  Posted: 11:30 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Thank you for your responses, everyone. I still have questions that pop up each day, but I've been suppressing them because when it comes down to it, does it really matter what he was wearing? What she was wearing? Etc.

[This message edited by ccw82 at 11:31 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

Me: 31
WH (1DumbHusband): 35
Married 5 years, together 7 years.
D-Day: June 17th, 2013
TTs that came out as late as January 2014

"One is not tempted by that he does not want."

Posts: 136 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Dallas, TX
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 2:05 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)

i think it is important...although some feel it is not. i want to know everything that happend. like the other poster said...i wanted to special secrets between them...i wanted it all out in the open...the lies, the secrets, how they betrayed me...all of it. nothing special about that.

but i had to know also so that i could know the truth, determine if i was going to stay with him..and heal from it. i knew that if i didnt get the truth, then i would always be wondering what happend between them. i wanted to get it all out now.

one thing though...once you know, you know. you cant take it back. and you will have to process those ugly details...and let me tell you, it does hurt.

BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
R:Last chance

Posts: 988 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
Member # 27941
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

For me, not knowing the details hurt so badly. I began to know what had been happening over a span of 4+ years of my life, and hearing the "dirty details" were part of the missing truth.

Putting 2 and 2 together, my sudden 10-15lb. weightloss and neurological problems coincided with those dirty secrets. This is when the EA heated up to PA, my mind could no longer shoulder the emotional abuse and my body began to break down. This was one of the reasons I felt compelled to know the details.

Another reason is because OW was not a stranger to me. I knew her H as well. OW worked with WSO and I never, ever suspected a thing. I believe that is another reason I felt compelled to ask - shocked, disappointed, hurt that OW said/did what??Naturally before D-Day I saw WS/WSO and OP working, socializing, having telephone conversations, etc. together, then after D-Day it was compelling to find out exactly what they said and did together behind my back. What they shared in conversation had an effect on what they did, so yes, the dirty details were important to know.

For me the details are dirtier when left in the dark.

Posts: 306 | Registered: Mar 2010
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

Wow - I feel a little left out here. I am only 3 months out, and while I have the major details, (how many times, where, generally when, how they communicated, etc.) I don't think I have the level of detail that many of you have. Occasionally I think I want it, but then I wonder why? It feels a little like pain shopping.

I understand the no secrets thing, and I do feel that. But I know my husband had sex with another woman x# of times. Do I need to be able to visualize it? Is that healthy? How can that be healthy? I think it would haunt me.

me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.

Posts: 2065 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Member # 40475
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

Because you have to know what you are forgiving them for before you can do so and start to heal.
Because I was still trying to figure out how the heck he could DO that, WHY did he do that and maybe make him see how awful and ridiculous the whole thing was.

Me: BS 50+
Him: WH 60

3 EAs

2 grown sons, 1 grown step-son

Last DDay, March 19, 2013 after a few weeks of TT- trying to have a new marriage after almost 35 years.
No more chances.

Posts: 56 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 39058
Default  Posted: 3:57 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

bionicgal I am with you on this aspect so don''t feel alone. Equally there is absolutely no right or wrong when it comes to how much of the nitty gritty details you know or want to know. As many have illustrated here it has been vital for them that they know and for everyone that needs this it is right for them.

For me personally, I think I know about the same as you and am comfortable with this. I know that my H and OW had sex, I know how many times, I know where and that it was ''perfunctory'' (his words). To know more details for me I don''t think I could stomach. I asked one direct question relating to oral sex as I felt I needed to know due to risk of an STD. Once I had my answer I felt sick, I felt worse than ever and it took a good long while for me to go back to that aspect of our sex ugh....

Sure I have mind movies BUT I can make them very bland, very boring and so not glamorous or even sexy. I''m too scared to know more details which have a danger of glamorising the whole act. I prefer to keep it sordid, squalid and nasty.

The whole thing sucks but I''m trying (not always succeeding) but trying to look past these details which, for me, are potentially more damaging.

Me: BW 45
Him: WH 48
Married: 6 years, together 9 years
D-day: 3 January 2013 - he confessed.
A: June-Dec 2012
No children.

Posts: 153 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: UK
Member # 8099
Default  Posted: 6:02 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

I think TCD hit the nail on the head - in going forward we need to know what base we are coming off so as to make the right decision. There is an additional factor and that is that many of the 'goings on' pre discovery made us question our own judgement. In making sense of some happenings in hindsight we are able to reassure ourselves that we were correct after all and maybe should have listened to our intuition more. Finally, in insisting on all the detail we afford our wayward spouse the opportunity to prove just how committed they really are by finally being totally honest. In my case I managed to ascertain many things that have never been admitted and that regrettably has left me with a measure of mistrust. That withholding of information could have been for a multiplicity of reasons, supposedly not wanting to hurt me more, shame etc, but the flipside of that coin is that there are still 'secrets' shared between them that have not openly been declared and hence that element of ongoing mistrust!

Posts: 469 | Registered: Sep 2005
Member # 35593
Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

We are supposed to be the couple with nothing under God separating us according to our vows. When the AP enters into our marriage, we unknowingly become a threesome. Once we find out we have been sharing a life with another I think our need to see a clear picture starts stripping away the crap the WS and AP have been using to keep secrets. Those secrets are what kept the A going and us in the dark. We want to turn on a light to kill the darkness and clean out the crap.

Some books call it breaking down a wall, brick by brick. On source likened it to cleaning a dirty window. My personal favorite is the puzzle analogy. We see the A as a puzzle that we only have a few pieces of. We gradually find pieces for ourselves and hopefully our WS gives us most of the pieces.

The problems arise when you do not get enough pieces to see the picture or you WS tells you the puzzle is a picture of a tree when it really is a picture of a lake. You are hindered in see the big picture and it will set you back. The devil is in the details. Some of us want a 50 piece puzzle to be satisfied and quickly done. Others of us want a 10000 piece puzzle we will never have all the pieces for and will never finish.

Me 52
WH 52
Married 30+ years
Together trying to R

I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.

Posts: 1527 | Registered: May 2012 | From: Southern, bless your heart
Member # 39682
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

What to you do if you have a need for details but your WS doesn't remember?? I have gone through texts, pictures, phone records and calendars to get a better idea of what happened. Almost everything I know I found out on my own or had to pull out of him. After DDay he told me the # of times of the physical acts and after a lot of TT I found out when it actually started. I actually discovered that they had been sexting prior to the PA and then he told me how long. He says he actually doesn't remember the date of their last time or the when the conversation happened that ended it (she ended it because she decided she might have a future with the guy she was seeing)..
So my issue is I get no elaboration, I don't really know how he was feeling about these things because he says he doesn't remember. I know he was a master compartmentalizer but could he now be compartmentalizing the affair?
He is doing everything else right (NC, transparency, supportive, helping with DS, chores, etc) but having him not be able talk about it with me beyond perfunctory answers to my questions is killing me.
Sorry for the t/j.

Eta a little more detail.

[This message edited by AML04 at 1:09 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

Me-BS Him-WH DS 5/12
Met 2000, Married 2004
DDay 5/26/13, TT through 8/13
2.5 yr EA w/co-worker, PA 12/12 to 4/13
Hopeful for R

Posts: 875 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: MA
OK now
Member # 14459
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

The trouble with asking and seeking the details relates to whether the WS is telling the truth when they 'reveal the sordid facts'.

Its human nature to attempt damage control. If the sex was awesome then telling the unfortunate BS doesn't seem very wise and definitely adds to the pain. Far better to feed a tale of disappointing sex and that they never stopped loving and thinking of you.

Its the very least they can do to mitigate the agony of their betrayal; make you feel it was no big deal and wasn't worth the effort. The actual truth has little to do with it.

Posts: 1748 | Registered: May 2007 | From: NC
Member # 28362
Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

I didn't want the secrets. The only question I asked is if used a rubber. I still don't know if I believe his answer. I am not sure I could ever touch him again if I know all the details. It is hard as it is. I know he had sex with someone else and I still get pissed off when I think about it.


Posts: 828 | Registered: Apr 2010
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

I'm coming on 3 months since d-day...and I would say that for the first 2 months I wanted to know EVERYTHING, but IC discouraged it because I already knew so much detail after reading pages and pages of their emails (lucky me). I wanted at timeline but never got it. He did answer some questions I asked. The few answers I got did match up with what I read in their emails, so I know when it started, ended, who it was, what they basically did and where and how many times. Now I'm in this place where I'm thinking that might be enough. He has no feelings for AP, it was just fantasy XXX stuff, if he loved her or if it had been physical for more than a few weeks (sexting went on for 2 months before they got physical for the last month) I might feel differently. And knowing what a roller coaster I've been on I may still change my mind and want to know more, but it's been such a relief to not be riddled with questions lately.

Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
Topic Posts: 30