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Reconciliation :
Do I need the entire truth to attempt reconciliation?

Topic is Sleeping.

 ConcernedHusband987 (original poster new member #82709) posted at 4:20 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

I just posted my situation in Just Found Out, but wanted some feedback from here as well. I'm 52, wife 51, married 25 years.

Quick summary (more details in my JFO post)... My wife has lost over 100 pounds over the past year, and over the past few months has been going out with friends/coworkers, something she did not do much when she was overweight. I recently became suspicious, asked her if anything was going on, she denied, so I checked the phone records, and found she had been communicating with a 63 year old married man, who lives a mile away, since early December. Lots of texts and long phone calls.

I confronted her with this, and she claimed he was an accounting client. But shortly after I confronted her she deleted all of her texts from her phone. I did find one via a screenshot, and it was "slow and deep for starters". She finally owned up to talking to him too much, and to a point to having an emotional affair with him. Continues to deny anything happened in person, even though she admitted to dropping off a meal on his porch.

Naturally she deflects the situation by bringing up issues we have had, mainly my drinking, but I keep telling her this indiscretion has nothing to do with my drinking. Another share is that I have ED, and have not pursued medical help since we hadn't been having sex at all until this past summer, as I've been waiting for my annual physical, but I should have addressed this sooner given our recent intimacy.

I have asked her to end all contact and take an STD test.

I would prefer to try and get over whatever happened, and ultimately repair the issues that have kept us distent for quite a long time, although with the weight loss we have been not been as distent.

Anyway, I know there is more that she is not sharing. My question is do I need to know the entire truth to consider reconciliation? I've seen mention of a timeline on other posts, not sure what this is all about.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2023
id 8772924

Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 5:25 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023


the more experienced members will be posting for sure - I'm not as well versed in providing guidance - however
Read stories in JFO and Reconciliation - and a side trip to the Wayward forum/threads.

I see three problems - all inter-related

ED? There are lots of things you can do and your wife having lost 100 lbs and you are still "not interested" ??!!
Well, in her mind that is a "go" for finding someone to provide her with dopamine fix. The particular "who" not so important.

She made the choice to wander with her attentions

Daily interaction with your wife is an essential ingredient to a good working marriage. After all, you should be best friends and best friends share a lot - verbally and with their physical presence. Appears you need to work on that. Now a worse situation due to her choosing to emotionally (at a minimum) invest in another male interest.

How much do you need to know about her dalliance and paramour? Not a pat answer for that but there is the guide that YOU need to KNOW as much as you want and questions should be addressed until you are satisfied.
Be warned that cheaters LIE, LIE, and, if their lips are moving, lying some more. Find a way to verify anything she says or relates.

Does "Mr. New-Interest" have a spouse? If so, inform them and do so with proof. Note that just deleting stuff off cell phones does not wipe it off the phone. Take the phone to a tech expert to get deleted info. If cell phone is Iphone, google all the ways Apple products interact with each other and how you can obtain texts. (I don't know much about them other than Apple cell phones have the best security features.)

Go to a male doctor ED specialist - try some drugs and physical appliances for starters. Googl "Eddie by Giddy" for example.

If you consider counseling - avoid "marriage" counselor like poison Ivy. Read here for more info on the disasters MC adds to broken marriage with a cheater.

Read the library info - lots of info there.

Keep posting here and suggest you move the thread to JFO as you will get lots of members adding info to use in your quest for resolution of your broken marriage.

Wish you luck -

Side suggestions: See a lawyer just to get the "lay of the land" should this activity cause your marriage to hit a reef.
Go to your physican and get STD tests for everything known to man. Do not trust your wife that "nothing happened."

cheaters LIE!

There's no troubled marriage that can't be made worse with adultery.If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, why not bungee jumping off a bridge span? For an extra thrill, don’t anchor the cord.

posts: 882   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8772946

survrus ( member #67698) posted at 5:55 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023


Please note that the affair may have started before the weight loss and even been the reason for the weight loss.

Find out what you can about the OM his past is your present, if OM has cheated before he is likely doing it now as well.

Yes you need to know the full truth, even more so if he lives one mile away.

posts: 1462   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8772951

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 5:58 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Everyone is a little different in what they need to R. Some people learn about affairs that happened 10-20 years ago and as a result of the passage of time, memories have faded and the entire truth is not possible. For me, I wanted/needed to know everything as I really believed that I needed to know what I was dealing with and I needed to understand it. I wanted there to be no specialness, no secrets, nothing just between my husband and his AP. Without the truth, how can you possibly discuss and process and come to terms with things. Also, new details have a way of trickling out over time and every new detail (even small ones) can set you back in your healing to D-day At the end of the day, what I think is absolutely crucially necessary for R is a WS that is willing to answer every question you have openly and honestly, to the best of their ability. They may not be able to answer every question with precision (memories aren't perfect) and they may not yet have the tools to answer questions like "why" at the outset. But if you don't have a spouse that is willing to tell you the truth, and it doesn't sound like you do right now ConcernedHusband, I do not think R is possible. That is the bare minimum.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8772953

Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 6:59 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

You should stick with one thread at this point. You will have information overload. I just responded to you in JFO, she is not ready for R.

Truth is very important to R. The key is she has to be willing to give any information you request. There are sexual details I don’t care to have, but my W is willing to share them if I ever do need them.

Your WW is still covering her ass and hiding things from you. Please head back over to JFO.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8772961

ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 8:40 AM on Thursday, January 19th, 2023

Two quick answers to your question re how much truth do you need?

First, you need as much as you need. Second, you will never know the whole truth - ever. And this isn't always because someone is hiding something. It's just impossible to know everything. It's impossible for me to remember everything I did last week. Nothing nefarious - but reality none the less.

As it turned out I know way more than I needed, and honestly way more than I wish I did - I cannot forget some of the more hurtful things. I'm very pragmatic. For me, what I needed to know was how long it went on, how often they communicated, how often they met, where, and generally what happened at these meetings/talks/whatever. I needed to know what he felt for her emotionally and what he felt about me and what he wanted to go going forward. Really simple, basic, no-frills stuff. In hindsight I did not need to read 1000s of pages of sext messages between them. I did not need to read a 3 page love letter AP wrote to my WH's penis (yeah - gross on so many levels). I really did not need to know or see any of that stuff, and I knew it when I saw it but like a. train. wreck I could not look away.

What I needed was the truth at its most basic level.

You will know when you have "enough" for you.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:40 AM, Thursday, January 19th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2301   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8773858

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 11:44 AM on Thursday, January 19th, 2023

Different people need and want different levels of truth and knowledge to reconcile. I needed to know just about everything.

More to the point, I think the main thing needed is to have a spouse who is honest, willing to disclose everything, and willing to answer whatever questions you ask. It doesn’t sound like you have that.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8773862

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:44 PM on Thursday, January 19th, 2023

In my case, I needed as much of the truth as I could get.

I needed to know what it was I was being asked to accept.

I also wanted an accounting of the time that was stolen from our M.

Here is the other thing that helped by getting that truth -- it made the A out to be what it was, not a series of special moments or real feelings, just the worst of the AP and my wife. It also helped as my wife told the horrible details, which was tough for her to do, it showed me she was finally willing to be honest with me again and attempting to build at least a small amount of trust.

You have to decide what you want and need in order to R or not. But it is your call, not your WS, not any counselor, and no one here on these forums. It is an individual call to figure out what details you have to have.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4699   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8773895

Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 11:56 AM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

Go to The Healing Library and find Joseph's Letter.

For most BS's, if you aren't sure you know the full extent of it, the wondering about this will nag you, eat away at you, corrode you from the inside.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8773973

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:41 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

I know there is more that she is not sharing.

That looks like a red flag to me. If she's holding back info that you want, she's dishonest, both with you and with herself. Dishonesty kills Ms; honesty is a prerequisite for R.

My question is do I need to know the entire truth to consider reconciliation?

You need to have evidence that she's honest that you think is incontrovertible. R pretty much requires no-more-lies, although I can maybe see saying you like something that your WS likes, even though you don't love it.

Asking lots of questions is one way of uncovering lies.

I've seen mention of a timeline on other posts, not sure what this is all about.

A TL is a written history of the A(s). The BS gets a lot of horrible info on and after d-day, and it's easy to forget. Getting the info down on paper, or on what passes as paper now, is a good way to refresh your memory.

It's not a punishment. It's a way of comprehending the incomprehensible. My W organizes her experience very differently than I organize mine, so we worked together on the TL - she'd give me her info, I'd ask questions until I understood the event, and we document the discussion. Other WSes can write the TL by themselves.

It helped us a lot at one point a little over a year out: my W mentioned something that I thought was new info, and I had set (what I thought was) a firm boundary over TT (trickle truth). W said she had told me, We checked the TL and found that it was old info that I saw in a different way that day. No TT. Crisis resolved.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:42 PM, Friday, January 20th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29800   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8774115

Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 2:40 AM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

How do even know you should reconcile if you don't know what happened? The point is you shouldn't until you know exactly what you are dealing with. To do otherwise is foolish IMO.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8774170

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 4:53 AM on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Short answer: Yes.

Slightly longer answer: In order to attempt R, you need forgiveness (not immediately, but it is quite a major component). In order to forgive, you must know what you are forgiving (LPT: Things find a way to resurface even after trying to hide it)....

If you don't know what you are forgiving, then why even bother thinking about forgiving, which leads on to why bother to R?

You cannot cure stupid

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id 8774594

Mechanic ( new member #70602) posted at 10:26 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I'm going to be in the minority here. I didn't need to know anything.

Now, I know my mental health and I know what I can and cannot handle. The last thing I needed to know was details about her affair - I already knew one thing she said she did and that traumatized me, to the point where I still think about it to this day. And she was probably lying about it anyway to make me feel better. (She gave him a limp dick BJ, she told me she couldn't understand because that never happened with me, like that's supposed to make me feel better).

That piece of information was more than enough for me to put the brakes on any more details. You can't unring that bell.

She had an affair. That's all I need to know.

Me: BS (58)
WW: 54
M: 30, together 34
2 grown girls
DDay: 2/13/16. Happy Valentines Day, chump!

Slowly reconciling.

posts: 27   ·   registered: May. 22nd, 2019
id 8775437

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:06 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

I can just repeat what I said in your JFO post:

You can only fully deal with what you know. In other words: if you don’t think you know everything there is no way you can deal with the infidelity in the marriage.
I have this theory (and it’s not even mine, it’s probably the common consensus here on this site) that if you have the truth, you can possibly recover from ANYTHING. Doesn’t mean you should or that every marriage should be saved, but I honestly believe that if you know the truth you have a chance of working things out. That’s why we have esteemed members that have reconciled from multiple affairs, long-term affairs and comparable situations.
The level of truth is dependent on what you need. In your instance you question if it was ever physical. While you have that doubt there is no way at all that you can really reconcile.
Furthermore – if you were to try to reconcile and make seemingly good progress then all that progress would be set back if you discovered 10 months from now that they kissed. THAT knowledge at THAT time has the potential of causing more damage than learning NOW that they had sex.
The level of detail you need is dependent of what YOU need. For some knowing there was physical contact is enough and no further detail needed. Some need more info, as was it oral, kissing, full-on-sex or whatever. It’s dependent on your needs.
I want to stress this: Learning NOW that they were at it like rabbits will cause less permanent damage than thinking nothing happened, and then discovering a year from now they made out.

To elaborate:
You can try to reconcile without knowing the truth, but in doing that you would need to be able to let go of resentment and questions for things you might wonder about but not know.
If you can 100% tell me that you are willing to live with not knowing if they had sex or not and can 100% tell me that you foresee being happy and NEVER wondering if they did… Go ahead.
But if there is even a minute where you look at her and wonder… It wont work.

Just remember that there is truth and there is truth.
If they had sex then that’s a true truth. That is relevant.
If you were to ask her if he was better in bed or had a bigger baloney or whatever… those issues IMHO are too subjective and emotionally charged to be of much benefit IMHO.
Where, what and how – factual matters.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12305   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8775481
Topic is Sleeping.
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