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Avatar universal

My husband keep asking me the details of my affair that I can't really remember

What will I do my husband keep asking me the details of the affair i had years ago which I totally can't remember any of it. I got so traumatized on that experience that I erased it in my memory. Now he wants to know the details and he doesn't buy it that I can't remember anything. I want to remember for the sake of my husband and wanted to save our marriage but I'm really having a hard time remembering every detail of that affair. Is it possible for that to happen? What will I do about? Is there a way that I can remember what I erased years ago?
14 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not sure if this actually is such a great idea that you all do this WITHOUT the consultation of a THERAPIST.  Plus, you aren't able to remember the details of the affair.  

How many years ago was this anyways? Why would he want details after it happened years ago?  Did you all seek therapy after the affair was done?  

It is possible you really can't remember being that it was traumatizing for you.

I don't think the details of the affair is more important than the reason or reasons you had the affair.  I do think you all should address this with a THERAPIST.      
Avatar universal
You not being able to recall all of the details of the affair is a very real thing.  You too may have been traumatized by the affair (not anywhere near the trauma your spouse has gone through) and your ego won't allow you to recall all of the details.

All I can tell you is, not being able to recall is totally real and I feel for you.  It is a difficult road that you are on.
I too am on the same boat. I have wracked my brain trying to recall details when things happened ect. But he says he needs that for clarity and thinks I am just taking the easy road saying I don’t remember. My marriage is depending on this and I don’t know how to recall this. Mine was 6 years ago was when it ended and I am scared to death my marriage will end if I don’t recall this info!
Hi Stanleyjsmm, welcome.  This is hard.  I think a natural response to a partner of someone who has had an affair is incessant questioning.  No matter how many details you come up with, it may never be enough.  I sometimes wonder if it isn't an outpouring of processing the situation and shock. But it also at some point becomes unfair to you.  As your partner doesn't know exactly what happened, the pressure is not on you to come up with all the details.  If you miss some (most), they don't know any better.  And it's not like you are lying because you don't recall them whether from memory from it being a long time ago or from blocking it.  It's still legit that you can only recall so much.  While you are in the wrong for the affair, your partner also has a responsibility to YOU.  In that they can not torture you or hold it over your head forever.  Did this just come to light (the affair) for your partner?  Or are they questioning it for a long time. If it's new info to them, then tell her some details that you know making it as unsexy as possible.  Like, that she won't become obsessed with it that it is sexier than the real life marriage you have.  Then once you do, tell her that's all you remember. Your main way of repairing your marriage is by being the best partner you can be.  Do you guys do couples counseling ?
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi.  Ugh.  I want to comment on a couple of things.  You say the affair was years ago and it concerns me that your husband is still talking about this to the point of demanding details.  Is this an affair you had while with him or something from your past?  I ask that because I think it is odd he is still bringing it up if it happened years ago as if the story of what happened is new information.  Or did he just learn of this?  

If he's known for a while and is still grilling you about it, it is time for him to stop.  It is a common reaction to hurt to want to go over it and go over it but at some point ----  this does have to stop in order to move on.  

You may be blocking out parts of the affair due to being traumatized about it or he may be asking you for details that were unimportant to you and you didn't etch them into your memory forever.   But his asking and asking is a problem.  If he has had the opportunity to process this betrayal-----  it is time to move PAST it.  That means that having it as a topic of conversation regularly would hold you back.  

I agree with above that reliving the affair is not really helpful to the process of healing. More to the point------  a solid discussion as to where the relationship with your husband was at the time the affair happened.  How it happened.  What you are doing now  to make sure it wouldn't happen again.  How you are working to be closer as a couple.  These are the most important things to be talking about.  

good luck
1415482 tn?1459702714
I am sorry that you and yr husband are having such a critical time, the aftermath of an affair is really difficult for any relationship. However, I agree with specialmom, constantly bringing up the matter will not help the situation at all. You two need to get counseling if you haven't already started. This is a healthy method to get everything out and both feelings and emotions can be dealt with. Its scary that yr husband still wants details after YEARS, it signifies that it is still hard for him to accept and you both cannot move until you both have reached a point where u say "yes it has happened but that was in the past, this is the present and we are looking towards the future."
You have blocked out the details of your affair, maybe you just couldn't deal with the thoughts. Tell your husband honestly that you simply do not remember but I do believe that you need to face it, just like all other traumatic happenings you need to understand where u are coming from and where u wish to end up and that involves back tracking.
I wish you all the best, you and ur husband needs a professional mediator to help and make unbiased observations, so get on that. Take care.  
1808540 tn?1320114860
I think that even if you did know the details... it would worsen your marriage. I had a cheating boyfriend, and I was so mad I picked apart the truth until there was no truth left to be told. Knowing all the details hurt me so much. I wish I would have just left him and not have asked what happened. But in your case it's different since you are married. I can't put myself in your shoes, but I can put myself in his... and I don't think he is going to let this one down. I think you guys need to somehow figure out a way that he is going to stop asking you and get over it. Couples therapy may be a very good idea. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Apparently you people have never been cheated on in your life . Years ago or recently , the details matter for the cheated on spouse because they are trying to piece together a puzzle that they have never seen before . Just because some of you think it should never be spoken of again ,doesn't mean the cheated on spouse can ever forget . Your asking this person to just forget a part of their life as well . A part they have no clue of . No they were not in the affair but it was a part of there life that was going on without them. For one thing it helps to bring it out in the open , breaks the deception , the hiding , the lying .  For it can't really be an affair if both spouses know about it .
Thank you, This is true. My story is very similar. I dated my wife for a year and a half before getting married. Ive been married 22 years. She was molested my her older half brother when she was young. He died at 20 from drug overdose.
At years 6 and 10 she had affairs. She agreed to quit working since both times it was with co-workers. both times was a few months long and both times she ended up moving out and leaving me and the kids home for a short time. the last affair was 12 years ago, at the time she agreed to tell me all the details which were graphic, and we would stay together for the kids... My youngest will graduate in 3 months from high school. A few months ago she confessed her love for me saying she has never loved me or anyone before.. I must admit I come to admire the woman for staying 12 years without ever hearing "I love you", taking care of our kids, making my coffee every morning. But love? What a shock!
After a few weeks I began believing her and realizing I could not stay unless her claim to be fixed of her problems was indeed true. I told her that if it was going to work she must come clean with any lies she had told in the past....WOW what a list. The included discussing details of the first affair as well as other guys she had talked to and went on dates with before the "1st affair" it came down to 7 inappropriate actions in our first 10 years.
Now the problem she keeps lying and then telling the truth about the last affair..and her story makes no sense and she agrees but claims she just can't remember.....
I honestly think she is crazy. I do love her but I don't know if I can stay with a person like this....
I think that you should ask your wife to attend marriage counseling with you, so that you have an objective 3rd party that can help you both to try to move on from this, and if not, make sure that you both have support you'll need to move forward.  You are not wrong to consider not staying with your wife, and your feelings on this matter need to be dealt with, maybe privately with the therapist. I wish you every success getting to a better place. You deserve to be in a good place in your life, and if that means moving on, that's what it means. It's possible to find another partner, without this drama being part of the equation. At the least, connection with a therapist for both of you, will help moving on to a better place, together or apart.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  I'm sorry you have been hurt in the past.  I would say that there is no right or wrong way to get over an affair.  It hurts no matter what.  

Sometimes though, ruminating on the details perpetuates the pain.  No, you can't forget but you keep it fresh by asking and asking and asking.  There comes a point in which one needs to understand that the details only make us angry and no matter how many times we hear them, we won't be satisfied for how this happened.  I think if one is going to try to move on, that some point they have to decide to live in the here and now.

Frankly, some people are unable to stay together and have a healthy relationship after an affair.  Everyone is different.

But one thing that is universal, infidelity hurts beyond belief.  I've been cheated on as well at one point in my life.  luck to all who suffer in overcoming.
Avatar universal
Not against the spouse knowing the "details" of the matter, but this should be done with a therapist involved.  
973741 tn?1342342773
I think my above advice that I've just read again as related to the person posting the question is still the exact same advice I'd give.  An affair from years past can not be ruminated over for eternity.  It is a sign that someone is not able to move past it and perhaps being together at that point is not a good idea.  

I certainly can't fault someone for wanting to piece it together, however, after years of trying to do so . . .   I feel the offending spouse does have the ability to say, I already told you that.  

luck to all and wishing no one had to suffer in their relationships
The affair may have been years ago (years could mean five or fifteen) but nothing was ever explained as to how long ago and when the spouse actually found out. Those are pretty crucial details before you just pop in and tell the betrayed, hurt spouse to just let it go.
Avatar universal
Nobody is asking anyone to forget anything.  What people are commenting on originally is the fact that this woman cannot remember all of the details of the affair that devastated her marriage.  I can attest that that is entirely possible.

I can also attest to the fact that bringing up the affair for years on end can in and of itself put an end to the marriage.  If a decision has been made to work on repairing the relationship, forgiveness must be given on some level in order for this to take place.  One cannot forgive and then retract that forgiveness at will and expect the marriage to move forward.

I know full well the trials and tribulations of trying to repair a marriage that was devastated by infidelity.  It takes a tremendous amount of work on both parties behalf.  The affected rightfully demands and deserves some things and it is the cheaters position to follow through, to the best of their ability.  

If that isn't good enough and those demands cannot be met, if the cheater is not sincere in his or her efforts and the affected continues to demand accountability years down the road, the marriage is doomed.

People can move forward and do move forward, and all of the facts given above were given by people who either have lived this situation or are in some kind of a role regarding therapy.... it is good, sound advice.  The fact of the matter is, some marriages cannot survive infidelity...
Avatar universal
I can speak directly to this so-called, unimaginable request by your husband. As many people here know, my wife had an affair with a friend that I considered my brother in every way. I read many emails that stated that they just felt they were better as a couple than she and I were. The aftermath of their decision has left me, even after a lot of therapy, rather empty. It is hard to trust people after the two closest people in your life do and say horrible things about you as a person in every aspect. I lost my BF, but decided to stay with my wife because before that, she was a wonderful mate. We had a great life with the ability to be great friends at the core of the relationship. We are working toward that again, but it has been a slooooow climb.

Now, I have gone up and down, seen many therapists, and have even ceremoniously tried releasing the pain with therapists and even a pastor. (Unfortunately, I did lose a lot of my faith through this, but that's a whole different story.) So...I do the same as your husband. Not all the time, but it's regular enough. What he is asking for is reassurance that what you told him was the truth...he doesn't know what to believe, or not believe. His mind searches for missing pieces to allow him to feel normal again. He is also insecure now about what you do with him, versus what you did with the other man. It is a tough reality to know that your wife's wild side came out with another person, and the lengths she went through to do it.

My wife also has difficulties remembering things about the affair, and will not recall details that I read in emails from her. I have come to realize that not everything was as impactful to her as it was for me reading about it. Perhaps, sit down with him AND A THERAPIST, and go through what you do remember. Help him truly see that you are being honest, and that you just can't recall details he is asking for. Everyone's details are different, but much of the devastation is the same. With all that I've lost as a result of this, I often wonder how it can't be illegal...but....I digress.
Avatar universal
I just wish there was a "like" button
Avatar universal
Im going through the same thing with my babys dad and I'm ready scared to answer because most things I can't remember.  Although I didn't have a sexual encounter he seems to fought sometimes even when I swore. I guess it counts because I thought about it. :( I do hate myself for this. Does couple therapy really help. Because I'm willing to do everything, anything for him and our relationship! He might not want to though.
Avatar universal
Make up a story and tell him............. If that doesn't help, tell him you swore on your child and he will believe it
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