Let's talk about what you want to ask after the affair is discovered and when you should dive into these questions and why.
If you've experienced betrayal in your relationship you likely have a lot of questions. So many questions seem to course through our brains and it can be overwhelming. Here are the top 3 questions the betrayed partners typically ask:
1. Why did this happen?
2. How do I know this won't happen again?
3. Were you thinking of me?
A philosopher once said, “If you have a big enough ‘why’ you can tolerate any ‘what’.” Is this true for you? For me it is. If I can see where I'm going and know what lies ahead of me I can pretty much follow any course of action.
It may surprise you to hear that both the betrayed spouse AND the betrayer need to understand the “why” behind the infidelity. So many partners who betray their spouse are shocked by their behavior. They feel a deep since of shame and struggle to understand how they got to where they are today.
That can explain why they seem to go around and around with their answers. Sometimes you hear "I don't know" a lot when you ask why this happened. It can feel like a cop out answer....but it may actually be the truth.
They've been so detached from their feelings for so long...they may not really know why they did it. It shouldn't stop you from asking questions. But you really will need to try and be patient. This is also why couples therapy is so important. We help partners to get in touch with the why so they can begin to heal.
What You Should Be Asking...
It is important that before you talk about the “why” you need to talk about the who, what, where, when, and how of the affair first. Other questions you could and should ask are: Who was the affair partner? Are you still seeing the affair partner? Are you planning to cut off the affair? How do you plan to cut off the affair?
What happened during the affair? Could you have an STD? Have you been tested for STDs? Was there sexual contact at all?
Where did the affair take place? Did you bring them to our home? Where did you feel the most vulnerable to the affair? What were you doing when the affair happened?
How did you go about doing what you did? Did you carve out time in your calendar? What did you tell me or others to make the affair happen? Who else knows about the affair?
If you jump to the “why” it is likely that you will fall into a bad cycle of blame. This is because the betrayer often doesn’t really know “why” and it is often easy to blame the betrayed spouse or the marriage. You'll find yourself stuck and unable to get where you really want to be: feeling normal again.
Sure, quite a few factors played into the “why” this happened but it is important to realize the affair must be dealt with first before we look at other aspects of the relationship that led up to the affair. It can be so tempting to start looking at how bad or good the relationship was before the affair took place.
Would you like more help healing and asking questions in a safe setting? Consider 1-on-1 personalized help with the experts in affair recovery. You can do counseling in person or virtual coaching. Call 918-281-6060.