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Letter to Spouse

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tryingtomvon2222 posted 6/3/2013 21:17 PM

My spouse and I are in therapy now- we have been trying to move on for the last two months since he found out that I briefly cheated on him (Brief background: Together many years- he began to struggle with his work and began an addiction, I struggled to leave even though I was unhappy and cheated before leaving) he is ready to fully commit and move forward, but wants to "know everything" - we tried to talk in therapy, but it was too difficult for me. I couldn't get through it without crying. The solution was a letter- I don't know what to write- so far I have written about where I was at and what I felt- but I feel like he is looking for different answers- looking for input from people on either side. Thanks.

Aubrie posted 6/3/2013 21:31 PM

he is ready to fully commit and move forward, but wants to "know everything"
So did he tell you what he wants?

I don't know what to write- so far I have written about where I was at and what I felt- but I feel like he is looking for different answers
Do not assume anything. Talk to him and get an answer from him on what he wants.

He may want a rough draft. Dates, times, acts.

He may want blood and guts details. What clothing, scents, positions, perfume worn, where, how many minutes, etc. etc.

What he needs, he needs. As difficult as it is, give him what he needs. But ask him specifically first. Communicate with him.

tryingtomvon2222 posted 6/3/2013 21:51 PM

Aubrie- thank you for your response. He has implied that he wants to know the details of the relationship. I have not yet asked him further than that. My concerns are that I believe he thinks this information is going to release him from his pain and while I think he may or may not "need" these details- I think it is going to further hurt him and he is in recovery from an addiction to which he has once relapsed upon finding out about the affair and went into a really dark and violent episode. With everything we have been through I also feel like my brain only has more of a rough draft scope on things now- it was a year ago and a very dark time for me- and I feel like he will either think I am withholding things or I don't know. I just want to do this right.

BaldwinBeauty59 posted 6/3/2013 22:07 PM

I just want to do this right.

Then give him what he needs to heal. You don't get to decide for him what he "needs" to know. He knows what he needs, addiction or not. You are making excuses to justify TT. If he asks, tell him and be honest.

tryingtomvon2222 posted 6/3/2013 22:10 PM

BaldwinBeauty- Thank you for your honest advice. I'm not sure what TT is but understand the general message you shared, so thank you. I will meet him where he feels he needs to be met to start to move forward.

Brokenpetal posted 6/3/2013 22:35 PM

Hi trying... You said people from either side, so here I go... I'm a bs... I have addiction issues too (so does he, so using that excuse, to me, is moot... Hipocritical in our case) anyways, addiction is an illness. Your vows say "in sickness and in health, ya? Plus, you have the option of D if the addiction causes too much marital strife....

Brokenpetal posted 6/3/2013 22:47 PM

Sorry, hit send too early....
Anyway, to write the letter....
For me, I wanted to know how the A started and how it progressed. I didn't want details like positions, etc. you can start by writing how it stArted, what you were feeling at the time, how it progressed, what you were thinking, etc. if he wants to know more, tell him he can ask questions to fill in the blanks. This is what I would have wanted. Like teaching a child about sex, you give the basics, then let them ask questions if they need more. Don't try to hold anything back. But don't say too much at first. I know most WS are afraid to inflict pain, but sometimes we need answers about certain things. If you feel your spouses addiction played a role, don't say "your addiction," say how you felt about the addiction, if that makes sense. Don't blame the addiction, look instead to YOUR reaction to it. There's always al anon, you can get help in other ways. In my opinion, it's your reaction to his addiction that played a part, how you dealt with it, not the illness itself. That's a hard thing to realize, but if you can, and do, it will help you both greatly. And perhaps, by writing the letter with this mindset, you will learn some things about yourself.
Like I said, my sitch is unique, in that my WH blames my addiction for his affair, even though he was "using" with his OP (a diff drug of choice, and he says his drug is acceptable but mine isn't..... Typical rationalization) but NA and al anon has helped me a great deal. He refuses to attend either. If I took his reasons as truth, I could have had 10 affairs to his 1, but that's beside the point. It's how you choose to deal with the issues that we deal with here on SI.

T/j --WOW, I refused to read the wayward side thus far, and I finally did, and I posted. That's progress for me....
I hope you get some answers here to help both you and your spouse....healing is progress....
Good luck

Kelany posted 6/4/2013 07:08 AM

Forget what you think he needs to know, or if it might be too much information or not for him. Its not about you. Its about him and what he wants to know in order to move forward. Some want less, some want all in regards to details. I needed everything. Details, positions, what did they talk about during sex, how did he touch her, where did they have sex, did he lay with her after and hold her, etc. I needed it all. Why??? Because the reality was actually not nearly as bad as my imagination. Plus, I needed to quiet the constant barage of questions in my mind and only he could do that.

You can't decide what he needs to know. Ask him, and then give it to him. honest full answers. Of course it will be painful, but, we have to go through the pain to get to the other side of it.

Aubrie posted 6/4/2013 09:22 AM

I'm not sure what TT is
It means Trickle Truth. Instead of telling the BS everything like they ask, the WS takes it upon themselves to withhold information in the "best interest" of the BS's feelings. (Or whatever other excuse the WS can come up with)

Uhhhh...we had an affair. And we felt that was a pretty cool idea. How in the world could we possibly know what would be "best" for the BS at that point eh? The worst thing we could do an A that is not tell them anything and everything they want regardless of if we (the WS) thinks it's "too damaging" or not.

Its not about you. Its about him and what he wants to know in order to move forward.
Lets say you only give him dates and basic details on acts. From now on, he's going to wonder. "Did he run his fingers thru her hair?" "Did she....did he..." His mind will run wild because of all the millions of possible scenarios. Our BSs ask so they know what they are facing, to quell the mind movies, to find some semblance of acceptance, and even in some cases, to know if it's forgivable or not.

Again, talk to him. (I cannot stress that enough) Ask him how much, how little, he wants.

My husband is one that didn't want any details at all. We're 18 months out. That decision is kind of biting us both in the butt now. I'm currently working on a timeline. It's brutal. But necessary.

Good luck.

KeepCalm_CarryOn posted 6/4/2013 15:09 PM

I believe he thinks this information is going to release him from his pain and while I think he may or may not "need" these details- I think it is going to further hurt him

Gently, this is not your decision to make. Only he knows what he needs and withholding that could be detrimental to healing. Some of the details may "further hurt him" but we can only begin to heal when we know what we are healing from.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/4/2013 15:27 PM

Withholding facts because *we feel* they may hurt our BS is just asking for trouble down the road.

Wish I could give proper credit and remember who made this suggestion, but I'll repeat it. Write two letters. One giving dates, times, places, and a clinical description: e.g. "we had sex". Write another one that gives details of the sex acts and your feelings: intercourse, oral, you loved it/him, etc.. Get it all out, seriously, even if you think it will hurt your BS. Because if it comes out later, you'll be back to square one. BTDT.

That way he can make a choice. Because that which is seen, cannot be unseen.

Along those lines, can I make a recommendation? (Mods I hope this is alright.) I'm a big fan of the "Betrayed Men" thread, because their accounts of the hurt (sorry) we WW inflict on our brilliant, handsome, loving BSs inspire me to work harder at R and be a better W. You can't post there, but go to http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=496405 and read it. Especially page 24 where they discuss the pros and cons of "knowing everything."

tryingtomvon2222 posted 6/4/2013 19:33 PM

Thank you all for your input regardless of your side/stance in the matter. It truly is helpful to read and experience the advice from someone who has been in either my shoes or my partners. I apologize if it came across as though I was trying to conceal anything- I have no intention of concealing information- I guess my wording should have lent more toward what many of you mentioned- (talking to him because) there are things that cannot go unknown once known. I have written the letter as suggested with the basic details of the A with the option to sit down and speak about the letter/its contents/the A together or in MC. I am open to any input here as well if anyone has any to share. MC is Thursday night and he is intending to read the letter tonight when he gets home. I am hoping for his peace. Sorry if this isn't what this is meant for, I don't have many outlets for these feelings.

PauLLing posted 6/7/2013 09:39 AM

I am new here but I find writing things down really helpful. I may do the same for my BS - I found actually writing the "My Story" part to my profile very helpful. Things can so jumbled and taking the time helps iron out the creases and focusses one on what it is you are actually trying to say.
I write down a lot of what comes out in our deep, emotional discussions - and it helps to read them back to myself as a reminder of where my BS's head is and how I feel too.
I wish you all the luck in the world.

toomanyregrets posted 6/7/2013 10:22 AM

BS here.

Your BH asked for details.
Then you need to give him those details, all of them.
Don't hold back.
If he wants them, then it's what he needs to heal.

Misfit123 posted 6/8/2013 00:39 AM

Aubrie

My husband is one that didn't want any details at all. We're 18 months out. That decision is kind of biting us both in the butt now. I'm currently working on a timeline. It's brutal. But necessary.

My BH doesn't want any details either. Why is it biting you both in the butt now? Did he change his mind and noe it's harder for you to remember?? Just wondering if this could happen to us.

PanicAttack53 posted 6/8/2013 01:51 AM

Why is it biting you both in the butt now? Did he change his mind and now it's harder for you to remember?? Just wondering if this could happen to us.

Mazola,

Not trying to speak for Aubrie here but wanted to chime in to try and address your question.

Many times a BS doesn't want full details in the beginning, and for a myriad of different reasons. Remember they are dealing with trauma type shock in that their whole world has just exploded in their face. Panic attacks, depression, anger, hurt, disgust, low self esteem are just a few of the many physical and mental maladies that can come with the discovery of a betrayal. For many BS's, adding the gory details of the A to their list of things they have to deal with is just too taxing for them.

Unfortunately, when a BS doesn't want the details in the beginning it doesn't mean they won't somewhere down the line. As they begin to reign in (or medicate) their emotional distress, they sometimes also begin to need all the details of the A from their WS. This can happen at any time as there are no hard and fast rules to this shitty mess. Thing is, as time passes, the WS many times is doing their own work to heal from the bad decisions they've made and the mess their M is in because of it. Many WS's who are truly attempting to *own their shit* find it very difficult to keep the sordid details of their A in the forefront without it causing them untold pain & guilt. For this reason, they tend to try and bury the detailed memories of their A as quickly as possible.

When a BS then suddenly decides they need full disclosure of the A from their WS, the wayward runs into a mental roadblock and has great difficulty in recalling many of the more finite details. This leads to additional friction and mistrust because the BS doesn't understand why the WS just can't immediately recall every single microscopic detail of the A. They believe the WS is stalling, or even worse purposely holding back to protect themselves and/or the OP. Bottom line... it's a no win situation for both parties.

I have always been of the school of thought that *ALL* information should be brought forth and digested as soon as possible. Yes it hurts, and yes it's lopping more pain on top of what's already there. However, IMO in the long run it saves a BS from having to go through multiple d-days as the information comes out.

Sorry for the length of this answer but I hope this helps shed some light on a very important but ultimately misunderstood issue regarding the disclosure process.

PEACE

[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 1:55 AM, June 8th (Saturday)]

nofool4u posted 6/10/2013 12:23 PM

He has implied that he wants to know the details of the relationship. I have not yet asked him further than that. My concerns are that I believe he thinks this information is going to release him from his pain

No stop sign.

As an x-BS I can tell you this. I always say details don't matter. What matters is cheating occurred.

Details will not help him, although he thinks it will.

But actually whether it will help him or not is irrelevant. Its like rolling the dice, he may be able to move on, he may not, it may enrage him. Depends on the type of person your BH is.

Having said that, if he asks for details, I believe it is your obligation to give them to him. If he asks for full disclosure, as someone who betrayed him, you owe it to him whether you think it is a good thing of a bad thing. Its not really up to you now to decide what is best for him. If you don't tell him, it will just further add to you hiding things from him and he may end up withdrawing to a point where he doesn't want to stay with someone that cheated, and then continues to keep information from him.

So its not a matter of will it be good or bad for him. Its a matter of you cheated, now you owe him whatever answers he wants.

[This message edited by nofool4u at 12:24 PM, June 10th (Monday)]

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