I wanted to piggy-back just a bit off Sarah P’s excellent post from last week and provide you with some more reasons cheaters don’t want to talk about their affair and/or provide the betrayed person with much – if any details.
After all the secrecy and lying that usually comes with having an affair, very few unfaithful persons tell the whole truth when just beginning to answer their spouse’s questions. If they actually choose to talk about the affair at all.
If they do, information usually comes out in dribs and drabs (trickle truth). And unfortunately, it seems that very few people who learn of their partner’s affairs ever learn absolutely everything.
What usually happens is that an unfaithful person tells as little as possible – only what they feel they absolutely have to tell – and nothing more.
This is understandable in that virtually nobody – on any issue – wants to voluntarily disclose things that they know will create bad reactions. It’s normal human survival.
Of course, there are also other reasons for avoiding affair related discussions, which I will get to here in a minute.
My spouse doesn’t always want to continue to talk about it. To him it’s over and done and in the past where he’d like to leave it because he doesn’t want to hurt me again. But for the betrayed there’s no such thing as “being hurt again.” The hurt is always there and will always be there. It’s how we choose to live with it that makes it better or worse.”
Over the course of my mentoring experience, absolutely one of the most prevalent issues that people want me to address is their unfaithful spouse not talking about the affair. (Second only to how to get the CS to end their affair.) That’s because the person who has had an affair would like nothing more than to sweep it under the rug and move on without talking about it.
Meanwhile, the betrayed person has an intense need to know so that they can make some kind of sense out of what has happened.
The needs of the two people are very different, and the reasons for their needs are different as well.
So, what are the real reasons cheaters don’t want to talk about their affair?
Believe me, I’ve heard some interesting and disheartening stories over the years. Many of which really hit hard as to what the betrayed person has to put up with.
This post is going to be fairly short and sweet. No research. Just stuff that I’ve heard from other unfaithful persons, from lots of betrayed spouses, and from some of my own experiences.
Here we go…The real reasons cheaters don’t want to talk about their affair. (Please add to the list based on your own experiences in the comment section below.)
- Sticking to the code of silence – Never tell. If questioned…Deny, deny, deny. If caught…Don’t say anything that might incriminate you.
- Feeling guilt, embarrassment and shame.
- Lack of remorse.
- Protecting their partner’s feelings. They don’t want to hurt them anymore than they already have.
- Protecting the affair partner.
- To avoid a confrontation.
- To avoid potential loss – their marriage, their kids, their home, their finances, their social standing, etc.
- To not have their lies be uncovered or mixed up. It’s hard to keep all the lies straight!
- Because he/she is a coward.
- They want to keep conducting the affair and/or have additional affairs.
- To avoid further discovery of affair details and facts.
- To avoid triggering their spouse.
- The affair details may be foggy after several months or years.
- The unfaithful person has successfully compartmentalized and filed the details away to avoid dealing with them.
- D-day can be a sense of relief for the cheater (a huge weight off their shoulders), so now they feel that since it’s out in the open, it’s time to just move on. “No need to dwell on the past, now is there?”
- The mindset that the more the betrayed knows, the less likely they are willing to forgive the unfaithful person and reconcile the marriage.
- He or she doesn’t feel safe or trust the betrayed enough to divulge information for fear of further punishment or other painful consequences.
- To try and remain in/achieve a “one up” position over their mate. In other words, to be the one in control.
- Unwilling or unable to take responsibility for his or her actions.
- To avoid arguments, angry outbursts and other unpleasantness.
- Doesn’t want to be labeled as a “cheater.”
- They don’t respond well if they feel like they’re are being interrogated. (Fight or flight instincts).
- The unfaithful is honoring some sort of pact they had with the affair partner to not divulge the truth and/or details.
- The CS has a long history of lying and avoidance. It’s second nature to deny and deflect.
- In the case of an emotional affair, the cheater doesn’t believe that it was indeed an affair. “So, what’s there to talk about? – It was nothing! We’re just friends.”
- It’s simply easier for them to not discuss their affair, their feelings, their shortcomings.
- They’ve already checked out of the marriage. What’s the point of talking about it?
- He or she is just being an asshole. (Very common, unfortunately) It’s as simple as that!
Here is an excerpt from “Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful” that further solidifies some of these points:
Ok. There you have it.
Now, most of us understand why the betrayed spouse needs to talk about the affair and needs to know details. Sarah did a great job of explaining them, btw. If you’re a betrayed spouse, you have your own reasons for why you need to talk about the affair, and whatever they may be, they are more than enough reason for your unfaithful spouse to comply.
However, if you are an unfaithful spouse, perhaps you don’t fully understand the reasons why your spouse needs to know – or even how to talk honestly about your affair. If that is the case, here are a couple of posts that might be helpful for you:
- A Betrayed Spouse Needs to Know the Details of the Affair
Finally, here is another excerpt from “Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful” where Tim and I address some ideas on how to get the unfaithful person to talk about the affair: