I read all of your topics here on SI and they very much reminded me of what I was going through during the first two years after DDay. My husband rarely got angry, but he did avoid the topic, never initiated talking about it, answered with silence and I don’t know / I don’t remember. Or he would just repeat the minimized version that made no sense to me – no true explanation, no clarity, no truth. I’d send him books, articles, reddit or SI threads and then he would not read them until I got very upset about it and nagged him for the 5th time to read it. He would throw me a bone now and then, give some reassurance, and then I would calm down for a while. Then I would get triggered or my thoughts would become overwhelming, and the circle started again. No progress at all. It took two more years for us to start making some progress. Overall, it took him almost 5 years to start giving me the truth, not lies, not minimized versions, but the real truth and honest / uncensored answers. And I’m 100% certain there is more – the most recent piece of information I got was just last night!
I believe this is what brought us to where we are now:
1. I was persistent and I did not hold back. When I was upset, I showed it. I argued, I cried, I repeatedly pointed out inconsistencies in his replies. I brought up things that bother me again, and again, and again. I made it clear to him many times that I will not give up on finding out the truth. I will not settle for his partial explanations, and I will not stop until I know everything there is to know. I made it clear that I lost my patience, that I can’t live like this, and that we are headed towards divorce and not reconciliation - because he is holding back.
This requires of you to be stubborn and brave. Do not be afraid to demand, and do not be afraid of losing him. I often repeated to myself the Jem’Hadar mantra from Star Trek: "As of this moment, you are dead. You go into battle to reclaim your life." And to him another Star Trek mantra: "Resistance is futile". Sorry if this makes it less serious, but it demonstrates well the mode I was / still am in.
2. I demanded that we schedule weekly meetings to discuss and work on problems. We called it "therapy nights". Depending on your free time, this can be once per week or multiple times per week. The important thing is that you stick with it and compensate for any meetings that were skipped due to reasons. From my experience, it is better to have less but longer meetings, than more shorter ones. 1 hour is rarely enough to really start talking.
Use that time to discuss anything you want about your relationship, including the affair. Prepare your topic and your arguments in advance. You can also use that time to read together (this is what we often did). Get an article, forum threads, book chapter, whatever you want to discuss with him, read it then discuss it. Explain why you picked that to read – what resonated with you, give your opinion, ask for his.
Important thing – do not make those meetings about you only – encourage him to suggest topics that he would like to discuss and to find / suggest writings that he would like to read and discuss with you. I guarantee you it will be very awkward in the beginning, and sometimes you might feel it’s pointless, but be persistent.
3. Do your research on why it is important to get a full story. Write down every argument you can find, and you can think of. Vague reasons such as "it will help me heal" are not enough – you need to be able to explain it in more details. For example, "knowing the truth about XY will help me to stop obsessing over it and that is the first step towards healing". Take your time and once you are satisfied with your list of arguments, show it to him and discuss it together at one of your meetings.
During my quest for the truth, I often appealed to emotions (basically, with my eyes full of tears I’d say to him "please, tell me the truth") – just for the record, there was nothing manipulative about it, I didn’t do it on purpose, it was just how I felt back then. And there is nothing wrong with being emotional, but I believe appeal to reason was way more productive.
About counseling – my husband also did not see a counselor. Neither did I. This is something we talked about, and we decided that we don’t want it (we have our reasons). I believe there’s nothing you can achieve in counseling, that you cannot achieve without it. Although, you do need some kind of guidance, but imho books / articles written by professionals are sufficient for that. However, counseling might make things more efficient / faster. Also, I will not argue with plenty of people here who claim counseling was necessary and helpful for them – I fully believe them! So, if you feel that counseling would be beneficial, prepare arguments for why you want to do it and make it non-negotiable!
Now, I want to tell you few more things. I completely understand how you feel. I guarantee that you will not magically stop feeling this way. Contrary to the popular opinion, time does not heal all wounds. You will continue to obsess over details, over inconsistencies in his "explanations", over what you don’t know. It will not get better – it will only get worse! There are people who didn’t get the full truth but whose WS treated them nicely after DDay, and together they constructed a betrayal story that was good enough to move on. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I am not like those people. From what I read, neither are you. If you want to pursue the quest of getting honest answers to all of your questions, to find out everything there is to know, be aware that it might take years more to get that. And even then, there is no guarantee that you will get what you want. And even if you get the truth, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get over it. Then ask yourself is it worth it? Do you want to spend X more years in the state you are now in? Are you willing to fall very low, for a tiny chance of finding out the truth one day? The truth that you might not even be able to handle after all.
I can tell you honestly – if I had known on DDay how miserable my life would be in the following five years, how many life chances would I miss or screw because of his stupid choices, including the choice to not be completely honest from start, how much would attempt to reconcile affect my physical and mental health, I’d leave him right there and then. Yes, we had some very nice, happy moments during these five years. Yes, I love him more than anything and the thought of leaving breaks my heart, but everyone has a limit of how much and what we can handle. I’m getting some honest answers now, but I won’t stop until I’m satisfied with the amount and quality of the answers / explanations. And if that doesn’t happen soon, I’m out. Don’t settle for less than what you need and, once again, do not be afraid of losing him.