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Is full disclosure after a affair necessary to be able to move on?

(29 Posts)
onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 10:20:28

I am 8 years on from affair, dh refused to disclose all of the details which I needed at the time to clear my head.
We have since had counselling, as he has done some really stupid things this year, nothing major I must add but stuff that you dont do when you are married as it hurts the wife, this has put me back to a horrible place as I cant trust him again, I thought we were past this, so many years have past but I feel like I am no further forward, I am forever stuck on that day I that I found out he had cheated. I wish I had left long ago.
Its not been helpful having counciling as dh sat there and said he wouldn't disclose the details of affair as he was frightened how I would react if I knew the truth! I have tried so many times to get the details of the extent of just how much he betrayed me.

Is it too late now to make him tell me? the reason I need to know is that I cant take anymore its making me ill. I have lost any trust in him but I have lost all respect for him now too.
He has also said that he will do something stupid if I leave!
He says he doesn't understand why the two incidents have upset me so much an can not see what he has done wrong. Which in itself doesn't give me any hope at all that anything is going to change.
His answer to this is that its up to me to monitor his behaviour! I refuse to do that for the rest of my life with him..thats just madness isn't it?

GrumpleMe Tue 09-Jun-15 10:24:56

It's never too late, if that's what you need.

But you can't MAKE him do anything.

I would tell him that you take his word for it that you would end the marriage if you knew the truth...and then I would end the marriage.

I know that's easier said than done. But personally the alternative would be unacceptable to me.

ludovica Tue 09-Jun-15 10:47:48

It's not too late to ask him to tell you, but it might be too late for you. If the trust is gone, and the respect is gone, with very good reason, is there any point?

Don't stay because of the sunk cost fallacy. I did, for 8 years too, and I now bitterly regret trying to make it work.

If you wish you had left all those years ago, just leave now.

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 11:05:52

I regret not going at the time, I feel like I'm living a lie. I need to know just how much of a twatt he has been. In the hope that its not as bad as I imagine it to be.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jun-15 11:15:09

Dear OP look at his behaviour, not the words.

He says he doesn't understand why the two incidents have upset me so much an can not see what he has done wrong.

Can't or won't?

You probably feel the very least he owes you for continuing to share your life with him is total honesty.

For the longest time you have thought disclosure will help achieve closure.
Bottom line is, you deserve better.

He knew what your values and expectations were back then, eight years on he is still overstepping boundaries by the sound of it.

Even if he does tell you all the gruesome details, how do will you know that he's telling you the truth?

As for threats he will 'do something stupid' if you leave, that alone would tell me he knows he is on thin ice. Fancy trying to hold that over your head. Always thinking of #1 isn't he.

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 11:19:45

He's shifting the responsibility on to you. You are "responsible" for checking his behaviour; if you leave you'll be "responsible" for his actions, and you are even "responsible" for how shit you feel about his affair, as you are "overreacting" to something that's actually no problem, in his eyes.

What are these non-major things he's been doing?

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 11:22:34

Photos of female colleague on phone was one, when he should of been concentrating on his own child.

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 11:31:24

That would be a red flag even if he didn't have previous form for this, right?

BloodontheTracks Tue 09-Jun-15 11:33:26

If it's making you ill of course it's not too late. Why on earth do you accept such a thing? Are you afraid he will leave?

Look, truthfully, it's a terrible sign that he wouldn't disclose details of the affair and meant that your power relations were set in the totally the wrong direction following the affair. This is not you fault, it is his, but that is why you are now ill, depressed and stuck. You do not have to be anymore. You said you 'wished you'd left long ago'. You don't have to stay. you can go now. It doesn't make you petty.

Your post is very sad, OP. Imagine reading it as an outsider or a friend. See how clear it is that you are desperately unhappy. You need support. Who do you have in real life who can be there for you through this.

bigbumbrunette Tue 09-Jun-15 11:34:44

I'm 6 weeks post 'discovery' and after a lot of soul searching and talking, we're trying to make a go of things. The big thing for me was full disclosure. He told me everything, including other things I didn't know. It hurt like hell and still feels like he's cut my heart into tiny pieces. I've no idea whether we'll make it but without the information, there'd have been no chance.

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 11:42:53

I found out the details by reading his emails, so have "full disclosure" of the facts - but still no admission of guilt from him. He continues to see it as my responsibility. That still frustrates me.

Personally I find it hard to imagine staying with someone at all in this situation, so I may not be the best source of advice ... but listen to your heart. You feel sorry you didn't split then. Whatever he may suggest, that is not because you are hysterical, suspicious, unreasonable, overly sensitive, naturally untrusting or anything like that. It's because he cheated on you, is still keeping secrets from you, and is now acting suspiciously.

How did he react when you saw the photos? Did he make out you were being excessively suspicious?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jun-15 12:07:20

That's a good question BloodontheTracks I hope you have some rl support OP.

(Good luck bigbumbrunette sounds like your H is at least owning responsibility and hopefully committed and prepared to work at rebuilding).

magoria Tue 09-Jun-15 13:23:38

So he basically decided you had no right to make a decision based on all the facts because they would make him look bloody bad and would have increased the chances of you leaving.

Even after the affair it was all about him and what he wanted.

You can never heal as the wound had not been cleaned. It has scabbed over but is still festering and rotten underneath.

He isn't interested in your feelings at all is he.

It is not too late to change your mind.

You deserve better.

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 13:35:21

I don't have anyone in rl to talk to, I would be too embarrassed to admit to the stuff I have put up with. Im supposedly a strong woman, if only they knew.
The stuff he has done this year would probably make most people leave, I have become worn down by it all. I've become the person I never thought I would be.

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 13:40:23

Bigbum that's great that you have full disclosure it is a huge step forward but the full disclosure has to continue for a long time to come, to enable you to feel secure. I hope it all goes well for you.

wannaBe Tue 09-Jun-15 13:47:47

IMO in order to move on from an affair full transparency is crucial. but at the time of the discovery.

If you are going to make the marriage work, then there does IMO need to come a point where you do move forward and not look back or bring up the affair during arguments, for instance.

The question would be, if he refused to disclose at the time, why did you choose to stay and not walk away then? Why are you bringing up the affair eight years on?

He was wrong not to disclose all the details of the affair at the time. But you made the choice to stay anyway.

Now you've entered into a new issue with pictures etc on email, you can choose to leave for that reason alone if you so wish.

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 13:47:55

The strongest of women would be worn down by such a difficult situation. I didn't admit what was going on at first as I thought it was too private, and made me look an idiot - and as my heart was in my mouth anyway. But when I did say what was going on, it was actually a relief. I got help from my GP and from counselling, and it's been very useful. Splitting up has not been easy, but no worse than the long-term stress of living with someone who doesn't show you respect. And now, when something nice happens, it is a step towards a happier life, rather than a tiny, sad ray of light in the gloom.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jun-15 13:48:20

Was the affair something that you kept quiet about for your sake and his? I mean apart from the counselling was he anxious you shouldn't confide in anyone? I can't imagine the stress of 'behaving normally'.

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 13:48:35

Raven yes, huge row over the photos, I didn't trust him blah blah how could I not after all this time etc. It has taken some serious getting angry on my part to make him understand that. I'm just continually treading water, I don't feel like I'm living my life at all.. Going to see the counseler today, last time it wasn't very helpful for me as she said I had allowed him to do these thingsconfused I suppose I have really! He's not a child I cant be responsible for his behaviour can I?

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 13:55:52

New counsellor, pronto.

onlyif Tue 09-Jun-15 13:57:41

I stayed because we had so much going on at the time, we moved to a different country, got caught up in family traumas lots of ill relatives etc, there just wasn't time for me to up and leave, and I stupidly believed that somehow maybe it was just a blip as we had been under so much stress. I thought we could get through it.

ravenmum Tue 09-Jun-15 14:04:35

Don't call yourself stupid; it's normal to hope for the best, and many people try to maintain a relationship after an affair. You can't see into the future, and it's usually pretty hard to understand the present - the past is much easier to interpret!

Now you've had more time to digest your situation, what's to stop you acting differently?

brightreddress Tue 09-Jun-15 14:09:13

What do you mean by full disclosure? Like the intimate sexual details, or just the how many times and for how many months stuff?

The second I would have to know, but the first perhaps would drive me over the edge, especially after such a long time had passed. I'm sorry OP but it sounds like you are drowning in the misery of it all. You have not been able to move on, for whatever reason, and I think you should break up.

Dead Tue 09-Jun-15 14:29:32

Many of the posts on this thread - especially the last should help you see how others have addressed similar situations and what actions are required BY THE CHEATER to fix it.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2289860-support-thread-Marriages-in-recovery?pg=29

These links are also useful in understanding what has happened. She talks about turning the disclosure request to be more positive and constructive so that you can learn from it ie as "What did you get from the relationship" etc I think that this is valid -- but for me I need to know the intimate sordid details first....but it might be a less threatening way of getting him to open up. Looks to me like you NEED this info whether you stay or go....Dont feel stupid about staying -- you did what you needed to for your family at the time. many of us are int he same boat.

www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_rethinking_infidelity_a_talk_for_anyone_who_has_ever_loved

Read these below in correct order - I think I vacillate between couples one and two -- but aim to be three. DH wants us to be couple 3 RIGHT NOW.

www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-perel/an-affair-to-remember-wha_b_694976.html
www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-perel/an-affair-to-remember-wha_1_b_694980.html
www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-perel/an-affair-to-remember-wha_2_b_694982.html

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jun-15 15:47:10

Okay now I've read those extracts. Does the third part suggest an affair can be a catalyst for positive change? It seems a perilous way to reconnect. I guess it depends on how unappreciative and self-absorbed a cheater is. Trust is fragile.

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