In hindsight, I actually agree with the experts that the sexual details do more harm than good. That said, I do understand how other people might feel differently.
Care to share your experience with it, CT?
I'm so sorry. I missed this yesterday or I'd have been more prompt.
As you might imagine, I became obsessed with detective work after I discovered my WH's infidelity. I remember feeling almost crazed, searching his belongings, his vehicle, looking for clues, passwords, etc. I was pretty darned good at it too, so eventually, I did find his secret email account and I did get into it. I had months of emails, photos, even videos of him having sex.
At this point, I'm recovered from the trauma of it. That was eight years ago and even though I'm feeling much better now, I can tell you in all candor that I was knocked for a loop. Like so many of us, I became anxious and depressed. I found myself in an almost constant state of rumination, exploring every aspect of every detail over and over again. By about two years out, I had to get help. Started therapy. Did EMDR. Read copiously. You know, all the things we do.
In hindsight, every detail adds a trigger, and every trigger has to be processed. I had so, so many.
That said, even though we do have to process every new detail, some can work in our favor. So, I think you're on the right track to spend time in consideration of what you want to know and why. My WH wasn't just lying to me. He was lying to the OW's too. Turns out that while he was future faking that last one, he was still screwing the one before her. When I found his phone pinging a tower near OW#2, I suspected OW#3 didn't know a thing about it. I thought it over, decided it was worth adding another trigger, and confirmed that 'yes', he was having sex that day. This also confirmed the future faking, giving me more insight into how unserious his feelings were for OW#3 despite the sophomoric twaddle he was writing in his emails to her. So yeah, trigger to process, but perspective added to the case.
We do tend to amplify things in our imagination. That much is true. The sex videos I saw weren't even good porn though. People like to wax poetic about all the "porn star sex" cheaters are having, but honestly what I saw was just a couple of yahoos humping in the bushes. Could I have lived my whole life without seeing a video of the OW's pimply ass? Hell yeah, I could have, that's for sure. But what traumatized me mind, body, and soul wasn't the OW's fat ass.. it was the familiarity of my WH's body parts, his hands, his clothing, his thigh, his penis. People can say that their imagination is worse, but really.. is it? Is it worse than SEEING with your own eyes? The sex was bland and boring. Maybe it was exciting for them, what with all the cheating and the semi-public nature of maybe being caught, but by any observable measure, it was "meh". That's comforting in it's way, but to the extent that I would choose to see it? Not by a long shot. I would never choose that pain again. Never.
Anyway, that's me. Some people do legitimately feel differently about it. Whatever you decide, there's always a path untaken, right? Just know that no matter what happens, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You'll make it through.