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Too much information or not enough?

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KatieG posted 6/1/2014 06:29 AM

I am one of those BSs who needs to know everything. But there have been a few posts recently warning about hearing too much detail about sex. I'm interested to know thoughts on this from both sides on this. The more we talk, the more detail I think I need but I am worried about any potential damage. Can total honesty be damaging?

TheIrishGirl posted 6/1/2014 06:48 AM

This is all personal preference. For me though, I would want to know about frequency, protection (get tested anyway), timelines and maybe location. Don't ask if it was good- if it was you don't want to hear it, but if it wasn't, WS probably wouldn't have gone back for more. I wouldn't ask positions because that's just asking for triggers in your own sex life should it resume.

Good luck with whatever you decide to ask for.

bionicgal posted 6/1/2014 07:00 AM

The $1,000,000 question!

As BSes many of us have a compulsion to know what happened, partly as a way of seeing exactly what we are dealing with, and perhaps partly to try to "control" the situation a little in retrospect.

I found it vital to talk about many of the details, because it gave me a feeling of not being in the dark, and honestly, it was good for my H as well. He had lived in a state of denial and darkness for 2+ months. Shining a light on it gave him needed perspective as well, and allowed him to see the real results of his actions, which he had been willfully blind to. So, I think the most important thing is that a WS is willing to look at themselves and be transparent about what occurred.

However, the details hurt, and can haunt you in ways that also hinder healing. I have had more than one occasion where I would hear something and think, profoundly that "I will never recover from this. This is unforgivable." But, all of those things I am recovering from, and many of them don't even bother me anymore. That, is nothing short of a miracle. (Such is the power of love, but I digress.)

What I guess has become most important for me to remember, is that his reality during the affair, is not reality. That terrible, hurtful, devastating things were done and said, that aren't based on any kind of truth. It is kind of like wanting to hear the details of someone who is hopelessly drunk. The details of what they did feel important, but in a significant way, they really aren't.

Our MC said to ask 25% of what I wanted to know, and then wait. Sex stuff leads to mind movies in my opinion, but also not knowing if they did X, Y or Z can lead to speculation. I guess there is no right answer, but I would err on the side of caution. Sit with the questions for a few days before you ask. And remember, then was then -- it may have nothing to do with your husband's true feelings, or his real, authentic self.

One of the most profound but simple statements my H has said about the terrible stuff he did (and mainly felt at the time, i.e. that he loved the AP) was "I was wrong." It is hard to wrap one's mind around being so profoundly, incredibly, stupendiously wrong, but yet -- it is so common.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:06 AM, June 1st (Sunday)]

Chinadoll30 posted 6/1/2014 07:37 AM

I'm still only 2 months out, but my therapist cautioned that I think about WHY I am asking something before I ask it. Is it self-flagellation, pain shopping, coming to terms, gaining understanding, punishing him? All have been motivators.

vivere posted 6/1/2014 07:51 AM

I think this is difficult to answer as we all process information differently. Probably a good idea to write down questions and sit with them for a while before asking.

The dumbest things can cause problems down the track. For me the admission 'I liked the sound of her voice', really causes me more pain than knowing that she was 'on top'. Go figure!

lovehonorcherish posted 6/1/2014 08:02 AM

I asked for details about the sex and I can honestly say I wished I had not. Apparently the AP was into very kinky sex and my stbxh discovered that he enjoyed it as well. That was hard for me to hear because he and I had never been shy in the bedroom and we had both always been willing to try new things to see what worked for us. When I started getting the details about the sex...quite frankly I thought I would vomit There is a huge difference between being adventurous in the bedroom and being downright twisted. I ended up wondering who the hell is this man I have been married to for the past 17 years? My perception of my stbxh has forever changed and once again I am left feeling that I am just not enough. Just make sure that you really want answers to the questions you are asking...those answers are not for the faint of heart.

AML04 posted 6/1/2014 08:51 AM

For me it was damned if I do, damned if I don't. My mind went wild with mind movies so I felt like I needed details in case my imagination was worse. It was very hard to hear them and even harder to forget. I think the not knowing would have been worse for me though.

I agree with the advice to sit on it and if you can't let it go, ask.

[This message edited by AML04 at 8:53 AM, June 1st (Sunday)]

justlivin posted 6/1/2014 09:04 AM

Yes in my opion. Iam the same. Wanted to know eveything. But the more u know the more u have to deal with urself. When i thought of somethin i just asked. Wanted to get to the bottom of it. Thought well if i hit rock bottom the only way is up. Well now i know just finding out is rock bottom. The rest is up. So think before u ask. Do i really want to know. Will it really help if u know. Give it alittle time anyways and see if u really need the answer. It may pass and u may find that u forget about question and more on to somethin more important.

KatieG posted 6/1/2014 09:22 AM

Yes, I feel like I have a lot of detail now but it's almost like I need to be there with them to know what I think I need to know. The advice us good and I'm hearing that it could cause more damage.

I'll write down the questions and ponder to myself for a bit.

Flatlined123 posted 6/1/2014 10:21 AM

I wanted to know everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. There was a lot of ugly. This was something that happened to my life and I needed to know it to deal with it. My imagination was a lot worse than reality. I also didn't want to feel like they had any dirty little secrets between them left. I wanted it all out in the open.

The problem in doing this is that I also got information I didn't need or want.

One of the things I still vividly remember H saying was what kind of underwear AP wore. I didn't ask for that. I.DID.NOT.NEED.TO.KNOW.THAT!

So what I'm saying is think about what you want to know. Then ask yourself why you want to know. Then sit on it for a day or so. If it still feels important, then ask.

justlivin posted 6/1/2014 11:10 AM

Good call flatline. And you,ll know when enough is enough. When u can take nomore. I think i went a little to far. But we cant get exactly the right amount. Or only the things we want. Like the panties lol sorry. Mine was her sayin oh ya it feels good. Like i needed that. Lol. But i guess thats how we find out our bariors and boudries. Trial and error.

bionicgal posted 6/1/2014 13:06 PM

I will add one more thing -- it is not universally true that things are not as bad as you imagine. Perhaps I am just an optimistic person who didn't want to believe my H was an incredible jerk, but some things were, indeed, worse than I even imagined. (i.e unprotected sex for example, which obviously must be asked about.)

I am not saying don't ask -- not at all. We all have to find our happy medium. But, when I read people say their imaginations were worse than reality, I am really jealous. (And my H didn't do anything out-of-the-wayward ordinary.)

And I have gotten to the point at a year, where I can finally say, "You know, it doesn't really matter what AP was wearing," or "it really doesn't matter if she shaved," etc. I feel like I am beginning to see the forest for the trees. Part of that may be I have satisfied enough prurient interest, but part of it may just be I am healing, and gaining perspective.

KatieG posted 6/1/2014 14:14 PM

So I haven't even thought of the underwear thing. I know she turned up naked at his door! I know she shaved for him, I know other intimate details that have affected my feelings about our sex life. Maybe I already know too much. They had 3 sexual experiences, the proportion of details rises for me. If they had spent 6 months together or 6 years there would be too much detail to even think of. One sexual experience, a blow job and then full intercourse seems to make me want to know EVERYTHING. Can that help me or hinder R?

mbbd posted 6/2/2014 06:38 AM

My MC says that being blindsided by this is trauma. In my case, my need to know it all was trying to create a footing on quicksand. I didn't feel that I could forgive him, but I damn well wanted to know what it was that I was trying to accept. Yes, I do know too much. Yes, I do struggle with mind movies and have major triggers. But the whole not knowing thing was allowing the control of the secretive relationship to make me the fool. I couldn't work on my marriage going forward without full transparency and disclosure. That said, you have to ask cautiously... only you know what you can handle.
I'm glad I pursued it to the extent that I did. It may give you some sense of closure in the end if you can discuss the things that sting the most in counseling.
Your question, can it be damaging? The damage is done. keeping it hidden only helps the one that did the damage not face the pain.Let the healing begin!

10yearsafter posted 6/2/2014 07:57 AM

I was lied to for over a year,with things Like "I have to work late" which was really means " I am meeting OM at the bar for a drink". While I was left to take care of DD and get her from school and take her to dance lessons and fix dinner.

I could have really used some help with all the home and kid duties.

Then when the affair turned sexual which was 7 months before I found out about the affair. It was "I have such and such professional organization tonight" which meant I am meeting OM at a motel for sex".

When I first discovered the affair with a coworker I heard a phone message from him and at the end of the message he said love ya tons call me later.

My WW lied and said they were just kidding around and she let it get out of hand and she understood it was inappropriate and she said "I never cheated on you" so I let it go but I was suspicious and a week later I found out it was full blown meet at the hotel for sex affair.

I asked her how many times this happened she said just a coupe (really 10 or so times in 7 months including "I have to work on New Years Eve" Left me and DD at home to meet OM for sex at a motel.

Since I felt so lied to and betrayed I had to shed light on everything. The sex and every thing they did. Not only for me to know the truth but so WW could say it out loud and admit it to me. I wanted her to realize the depth of the hurt.

I even had her drive me from her office to the motel they would meet at and I ask her what she would think about on that 30 minute drive. Did I go overboard, no not for me was it painful, yes for both of us. But in the end no stone was left un-turned. It still took me more than a year to recover. And I hat to say it 10 years later some times I think about it. I don't get mad or wonder what happened, because I know everything.

Ask what you need to know I asked for a year and I was able to move forward.

seenow posted 6/2/2014 08:26 AM

EVERYTHING. I needed everything. I would wonder something and ask. It would be more torture to me to not know. I don't think it caused anymore trauma than the fact that he did this shit.
Seems like people all need different things though.

KatieG posted 6/2/2014 11:30 AM

Thanks guys - what about sex acts that they did and we didn't - and then did. Only now I know why.

Did anyone have this? How do you feel about that - grateful that your sex life has opened up or disgusted that it took the A to bring them out?

Morhurt posted 6/2/2014 12:15 PM

I agree with this wholeheartedly...

I also didn't want to feel like they had any dirty little secrets between them
But as others said, it's truly a personal choice, and it's a very difficult one. I was in a haze of pain and didn't even think, I just asked and asked. Some things (OK, everything) were extremely difficult to hear but honestly, some things were less bad than my imagination.

I'm still trying to reconcile the body image stuff. My thinking is that they were all more toned and slim than I am and that has exacerbated my already poor self esteem. They also all shaved their.... parts. In a fit of self loathing I shaved mine after DDay and then felt extremely confused and upset. I kind of wish I didn't know that part as I really don't want to shave but while still foggy my H said that he did prefer it (I asked). He swears that he doesn't feel that way now but I'm still struggling with it.

southsidecali posted 6/2/2014 12:30 PM

We rug swept and didn't really reconcile-but initially I needed to know all details.

For me it was more of no more secrets between us, I didn't want there to be any more suprises later on. I didn't want to be in the dark.

My imagination was a lot worst and I was glad to hear everything.

10yearsafter posted 6/2/2014 15:20 PM

Thanks guys - what about sex acts that they did and we didn't - and then did. Only now I know why.

I did ask that question and surprisingly the sex was kind of bland most of the time between fWW and OM. But I had to know I asked about positions and everything. I asked if he asked her to do certain things and she would just tell him no.

But I did have to ask.

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