For instance, he asked me how he kissed me - my answer was with his mouth. That was seen as sarcasm, and I am making a joke of this and that I am not taking things seriously, etc. Please explain to me, how was I supposed to answer a question like "How did he kiss you"?
Did he take your jaw in his hand and guide your lips to his, ending in a soft but still firm kiss? Did he throw you up against the wall and kiss you like you were the only oxygen in the room? Did he kiss you like he kisses his grandmother? Did he wait until you were ready to move forward to kiss you, or did he move in fast on the first "date"? Did he kiss you romantically or like a porn star? Did he kiss you from your lips to your toes and back up again, or did he kiss you for 2 seconds and then move on to intercourse? What did you think of when he kissed you? How did it make you feel? Did you compare it to the way your husband kisses you? Did he kiss you or did you kiss him? What did he do with his hands, his body, his attitude? Did he take you somewhere romantic or hop in the back of the car? Did you kiss first or have sex first? Did his breath smell bad? Was it boring? Was it life changing? Did it curl your toes? Did it curl his toes?
I seem to remember reading something in the Healing Library where the writer said that being the BS is like having only some of the pieces to a puzzle, and no picture of what it's supposed to look like when it's done. When we're talking to our BS's about the affair (or anything really) it's important to remember two things. First, you have all the pieces and the picture. You know everything that happened, every detail, every emotion, to you it is almost "common knowledge". But when our BS's ask us questions, we have to answer them bearing in mind that they don't know much at all about the affair, and will never, ever, know as much as you do. It's fine to ask for "what level of detail" your BS wants to know, but if they ask for everything, then your response should reflect that.
The second thing we need to do is to put our shame and guilt and defensiveness in the closet, and go into difficult conversations with a calm and honest demeanor, which allows us to have empathy for the other person.
I think what's important for YOU to reflect on is what happened in your own head when has asked you "how" you were kissed. To me, it sounds as if that mountain of shame and guilt came rushing up and got you feeling defensive. Your thoughts turned inward, and were automatically minimized to the most CYA point of view imaginable. You didn't think about what was being asked, and what the person asking it was asking about. Instead, you felt attacked or judged by the memory and the question. At least, that's how it was for me for a long time. Somewhere deep inside, when asked those kinds of questions, my soul just screamed, "Why do we have to talk about this? Why does it matter? Why can't we sweep it under the rug and just pretend it never happened?". And that inner voice, that feeling, was incredibly difficult to shut up.
Look, 12 years is a long time to still be at the point you guys are at. A lot of damage has been done and who knows if it can be undone? But I do know that accepting the pain and learning to love and forgive ourselves nonetheless makes all the difference in the world. It is freeing. When you aren't buried under shame all day you'd be amazed at how clear your head suddenly feels, and most importantly, how those around you begin to react to you. The marriage may or may not survive, but you can still survive, and not only survive, but find something new in yourself that will not only make you stronger, but happier too.
It's like losing a leg. You can either spend your life in a chair being pissed off that you have live life with one leg, or you can learn to walk with one leg and go live life with one less fear to carry around. You never see 60 minutes doing a special on the people who stayed on the couch. We admire people who rise above, and here's a secret that no one tells you... it's not just others that admire us for our resilience. We admire ourselves too. When you admire and love yourself, no one can take that away from you.