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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question when a BH finds out about an affair that happened 10, 30, 30 years ago and wants details.

How much do you really remember?

If you tried to recall how much could you bring back?

Saying to a BH I don't remember sounds the same as I refuse to tell you.

So how does a BH know you don't remember or you are lying?
 

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Well, I'm not a wayward, but it would seem to me that if the WS were carrying around this much guilt and shame after so much time has passed, I think it's highly unlikely that they would forget the reason (and more importantly, the details) that caused that guilt and shame.

The devil is always in the details.

JMO
 
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Well, I'm not a wayward, but it would seem to me that if the WS were carrying around this much guilt and shame after so much time has passed, I think it's highly unlikely that they would forget the reason (and more importantly, the details) that caused that guilt and shame.

The devil is always in the details.

JMO
I thought the same thing until my WW explained that she felt so bad about it that she buried the memories; kind of like a psychological defense mechanism. She literally went a decade without even thinking about her affairs (ONS x2). I just don't know if this is true or not.
 

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I just don't know if this is true or not.
Who knows, but if I HAD to make a bet on one or the other, I wouldn't have to think twice on which one to bet.

Wouldn't even matter to me though. At that point (this is just me now) she would be out the door as the long term secret of it would probably trump the adultery.

But that's just me, but since I haven't been there, I honestly can't say how I would react.

Lulz, truth of the matter is NONE of us truly know what we would do until we have to actually live it.

I think I may have gotten off the beaten path a little here.
 
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Okay..... I'm going to be brave and answer this.... from my own perspective, because that's the only one I have to give. On my husband's thread, as a former WS, I don't avoid the tough questions. I answer them with extreme honesty. But, there is a fairly regular group of posters on that thread and we have an unspoken but understood agreement that while dishonorable behavior is never condoned... no one is condemned, either. Whether you are a BS who isn't handling your "situation" the way that most of the TAMers recommend or a WS who is still very much "in the fog," you are welcome to post on the thread without fear of being textually/verbally assaulted. With that having been said, TAM has been the single most beneficial resource for B1 and me during our reconciliation, so if I can possibly help a BS, in any way, by sharing my own story, then I would be happy to do so.

So, back to the original question. After 10, 20, 30 years, how much detail would a WS remember? I can't go back that far. My infidelity ended less than 7 months ago. It lasted for 15 months. There are many details that I remember with 100% accuracy. I remember what day of the week that we usually met for lunch. I remember what night of the week I would usually spend the evening with him (when I was supposed to be out with a girlfriend of mine,) I remember what restaurant we used to have lunch at most of the time. Of course those things are easy to remember and my affair wasn't that long ago.

Now, the truth is, what haunts most BS's, I think, if they are anything like my husband, is not what day of the week their spouse met their AP or where they ate lunch or dinner. The truth is, for most BS's, especially the men, what haunts them is the details of the sex. Right? This is the part that you are likely having the most difficulty coming to terms with, especially if you are attempting to have a successful reconciliation with your WS, and you are having the most difficulty getting answers that truly "answer" your questions.... or the answers seem incomplete to you. No, a WS, especially one who is truly remorseful and repentant will NOT enjoy having these conversations. The answers hurt their BS and, again, if the WS is remorseful, it hurts the WS to answer the questions knowing that they are hurting their BS. If your WS appears to enjoy answering these questions, then you might reconsider whether or not you should be reconciling with them. My husband, B1, was the type of betrayed spouse who wanted to know every single detail. Our MC was very much against this. But, I could clearly see that B1's imagination was feeding him horrible mind movies that only seemed to calm, somewhat, when what he was imagining was replaced with the actual facts. The facts haunted him, too, and they still do. But, there are no more mysteries. By telling him everything that he asked me to tell him, he spent less time trying to fill in the empty gaps and more time processing the facts. In the long run, it seemed to make our reconciliation more genuine and his (and my) healing more complete. But, after a while, when he knew every single detail that I could give him about a specific situation, I had to tell him that every time he asked me to repeat the details that I had already given him, time and time again, without ever changing my story, that I was having to relive those events over in my own mind. I want to forget them. I don't want to think about my former AP, anymore. It's getting better and B1 asks me fewer and fewer questions. I, honestly, can't think of anything that he doesn't know, at this point. The truth is, now, not even 7 months later, there are many details that I COULD NOT tell you with absolute certainty of accuracy. I made a conscious decision early on NOT to dwell on the affair. If B1 and I were going to attempt to reconcile, then I had to get out of the fog and get the AP out of my head. B1 and I had decided that we were going to try to reconcile our marriage. I don't think that either of us had any real belief that that was even a remote possibility. But, because of finances and our children, we were going to be "stuck" together for the foreseeable future, at least another year, and we both chose to make the best of the situation. After 28 years of marriage we felt that we owed ourselves, one another and our children that much. We knew that whether we ended up together or apart that we had to heal and reconcile.... because reconciliation happens inside of the individual before it can ever begin to happen in the potential "new" marriage. We both knew that we had each contributed to the lousy state of our marriage prior to my affair and we both knew that we were going to have to go way back and dig deep if we were going to have any real chance for a successful reconciliation.

If I can truly begin to "forget" details after 7 months.... because I have consciously chosen to release them from my mind, I am CERTAIN that after 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years that very few of the actual details can be remembered with very much accuracy. I have often read on TAM where BS's have insisted that they made their WS give them every single detail of affairs that occurred 20 years ago. I told B1 that I thought that the WS was probably making the "facts" up just to satisfy the BS's need for details. I know that I won't remember everything with accuracy..... I don't want to. I have thrown away every tangible memento. I try to do the same thing with "mental" mementos, as well.

About 6 weeks after D-Day, my husband, B1, and I spent a weekend at a hotel downtown enjoying some serious hysterical bonding..... lots and lots of hysterical bonding.... all weekend long. A few days ago, he asked me how many times we had made love that weekend and how many orgasms I had had. I looked at him, very confused, and said "I have no idea!" He smiled and said, "Good answer!" He had caught me completely off guard with his question and it was my response that made him realize that when I say that "I don't remember every single detail," I really do mean it.

I hope this helps to answer the OP's original question. If you all will not be intentionally unkind, I will gladly do my best to answer any other questions that you might have. I used to take some pretty serious "lashings" from some of the members on TAM. I won't do that anymore. I need all of my energy, strength and positivity, to be the best wife and mother that I can possibly be. Letting strangers tear me down isn't going to do my family any good.... and they are only ones that I "owe" anything to.

Take Care,
~EI
 

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My EA wasn't a long time ago by this threads definition, I'm a little over 2 years post DDay. Based on my memory of mine I would tell you I have about the same level of recall as I do with everything else. So if your spouse is one who recalls every detail they likely do of their affair to. If they tend to forget details they probably forgot them about their affair as well. Participating in an affair does not automatically sear memory of the details into your memory. Ultimately a person's mind works the way it does.

Unfortunately you will never truly know, but you can apply a little reason. If they are really remorseful they can work on it, talk about it with you, and recall at least some details. If they seem to have had a lobotomy about the whole thing they're lying.
 

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I wasn't a spouse at the time, so I'm not sure if this counts, but I met up with an ex-gf, and spent a night with her (when I'd just started going out with someone new.) It didn't go 'all the way' - but it went much further than it should have - habit...

Anyway, that was 20 years ago. The new gf (who became, and still is, my wife) found out because I told her - I didn't have to and she would never have found out otherwise, but I didn't want to be that sort of person. She forgave me, married me, and (to my knowledge) have both been faithful ever since.

How much can I remember about, bearing in mind it was close to 20 years ago?

Little.

A few images, snippits. A touch. Nothing more.

Yet still, I've avoided school reunions because I might meet her if I went, and that would make my wife uncomfortable.
 

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Well, here is the thing. This doesn't relate to the exact parameters of the question, but maybe provides some insight.

If you asked me to give a litany of crap my wife laid on me during our fights, the things that cut me to the quick, I can lay out three or four significant things from up to 15 years ago with remarkable clarity.

If you asked me to lay out the horrible things I said to HER...doh! I can barely remember a one...because it didn't have that huge an emotional impact ON ME.

So if a WS suddenly refocuses all their efforts TO THE MARRIAGE, the emotional import of their affair withers.

So pop quiz: I assume most of you are married. Mentally recall a blow by blow account of 6 of your sexual encounters with your spouse of 5+ years ago. Hazy on the details? Can't remember when you sucked and when you blew? What you kissed and how you thrust? Do you even remember the lingerie she wore/what his pajamas looked like back then? How about the sheets? Recall that? What time was it?

What?!? Are you saying that having sex with your wife/husband wasn't emotionally important to you? That you DON'T REMEMBER?

Hmm...

If you asked me to describe the FIRST time I had sex with my wife, I could give you a good bit of details on WHERE it happened, but mostly recall a bunch of fumblings in the dark without crystal clarity...and that's about as signficant an encounter as you are likely to get.

What was your first time with your spouse like? Details! If you don't have them, then expecting recorder like quality from the WS isn't particularly fair.
 

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I recall a fair amount of detail of our 1st time. It was Xmas eve 26 year ago. She was wearing a navy blue dress, white lace panties and matching bra. I was still living at home and the family was out for dinner. We were in my room. Uneven remember the smell of her perfume.

I won't describe it further. But moments like that stick with you if you ruminate on them. I can see the details fading over time if you want to put it out of your mind.

Still WS will diminish and minimize what they remember. On Dday WW claimed I was icky and she didn't like it. It took me 6 months to get her to be more honest about the fact she must have enjoyed something about it. She had multiple cybersex conversations with multiple men. If it was "icky" as she claimed it would have stopped at 1.

So, maybe I would accept "it was icky" if it was a ONS one time. Outside of that any claim of "I didn't even like it" is utter bullcrap.

Not wanting to tell the details is natural. The WS is wrong. Divulging the details reminds them of how wrong, and forces them to admit they were self serving sh1ts.
 

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Human motivation isn't binary. They can want to minimize their guilt AND want to protect the spouse AND might honestly not remember all the details the sordid desires of the BS wants.
 

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I recall a fair amount of detail of our 1st time. It was Xmas eve 26 year ago. She was wearing a navy blue dress, white lace panties and matching bra. I was still living at home and the family was out for dinner. We were in my room. Uneven remember the smell of her perfume.

I won't describe it further. But moments like that stick with you if you ruminate on them. I can see the details fading over time if you want to put it out of your mind.

Still WS will diminish and minimize what they remember. On Dday WW claimed I was icky and she didn't like it. It took me 6 months to get her to be more honest about the fact she must have enjoyed something about it. She had multiple cybersex conversations with multiple men. If it was "icky" as she claimed it would have stopped at 1.

So, maybe I would accept "it was icky" if it was a ONS one time. Outside of that any claim of "I didn't even like it" is utter bullcrap.

Not wanting to tell the details is natural. The WS is wrong. Divulging the details reminds them of how wrong, and forces them to admit they were self serving sh1ts.
Okay. That is ONE. Five to go. How many kissses did you give? How much oral? Both ways? Positions? See, it's not easy to remember EVERYTHING.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay..... I'm going to be brave and answer this.... from my own perspective, because that's the only one I have to give. On my husband's thread, as a former WS, I don't avoid the tough questions. I answer them with extreme honesty. I hope this helps to answer the OP's original question. If you all will not be intentionally unkind, I will gladly do my best to answer any other questions that you might have. I used to take some pretty serious "lashings" from some of the members on TAM. I won't do that anymore. I need all of my energy, strength and positivity, to be the best wife and mother that I can possibly be. Letting strangers tear me down isn't going to do my family any good.... and they are only ones that I "owe" anything to.

Take Care,
~EI

Thank you for your effort. I don't want to rehash this so I will be brief.

My WW had told me nothing happened.

Then about every 4 years something always happened to cause me to ask about what happened. Trickle truth. Emphasis on trickle.

So it took about 24 years for her to say sex only once. Then volunteered that is wasn't that good. I think see responded un prompted because I was just trying to believe what I had heard.

I saw her unprompted evaluation as damage control.

Asking took time because I wanted to proceed with caution. Can't unhear the answers. Along with each answer I heard I could not respond quickly with another question.

The last time I tried to ask more questions was about 6 years ago. I was told I'm not going to talk about it, I don't remember, you bring it up I'm out of here.

To this day I still want answers.
I still want every detail.

My wife knows this but ignores it.
I ignore part of the day.
 

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Well, the traditional TAM message would be that she isn't worth having

But you seem to find some value in your marriage. I'm going to post a link to this to Edubs thread.

I think you should PM him some of your experiences theroad, so he can make an informed choice about his marriage.
 

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Thank you for your effort. I don't want to rehash this so I will be brief.
You're welcome and I do hope that it might help you in some way.

My WW had told me nothing happened.
I completely understand that..... for about 5 minutes.... after that, it makes no sense to me. If the WS wants out of the marriage, then tell your BS the truth..... At that point the BS's shock and hurt will be so raw and intense that they will likely be glad to show you the door. If the WS suddenly sees the light and wants to reconcile, then why would they NOT want to give their BS whatever information they need in order to begin the long process of healing and, potentially, reconciling.

Then about every 4 years something always happened to cause me to ask about what happened. Trickle truth. Emphasis on trickle.

So it took about 24 years for her to say sex only once. Then volunteered that is wasn't that good. I think see responded un prompted because I was just trying to believe what I had heard.

I saw her unprompted evaluation as damage control.

Asking took time because I wanted to proceed with caution. Can't unhear the answers. Along with each answer I heard I could not respond quickly with another question.

The last time I tried to ask more questions was about 6 years ago. I was told I'm not going to talk about it, I don't remember, you bring it up I'm out of here.

To this day I still want answers.
I still want every detail.
Well, that explains why you are still so angry and bitter. Infidelity, in itself, is a deathblow to marriage.... no matter what problems may have already existed in the marriage prior to the affair. The infidelity, all by itself, changes the marriage, (if there is to be any hope of reconciliation) the BS and WS, forever.

I cannot fathom remaining in a marriage..... even as the WS, knowing that my BS was still hurting and needing answers that only I could give him and then refusing to do so. From a selfish standpoint..... I don't want to be in a miserable marriage, anymore,..... we had already done that for years. If my spouse is miserable.... then, how can I possibly ever be happy? I need for him to heal and to be happy. My own happiness, and survival in this marriage, becomes contingent upon my spouse being able to fully heal, recover and be happy, again. If I hope for him to stay in this marriage, it is my obligation, need and desire to give him honesty, transparency, answers, love, and whatever else he needs to recover. I have been unbelievably blessed with a husband who loves me and who chose to dive in.... head first.... on D-Day and begin to work with me to unravel every single detail of our lives that lead us to the place we found ourselves in on D-Day. My BS knew that our marriage had been in trouble long before my affair ever began. He knew that I had reached out to him, repeatedly, for several years and asked him to work with me to fix what was broken in our marriage and in ourselves. He wasn't able to, at that time, depression and low Testosterone had left him incapable of finding the will to fight for our marriage. He would start therapy, then stop, start taking Testosterone injections, then stop.... anti-depressants may have helped him to function at work, but did little to inspire the motivation that he needed to work with me to work on "us."

Something clicked inside of him on D-Day..... something powerful. He made a choice, a choice to begin to fight for himself, for me and, ultimately, for us. At that point, I was completely checked out of our marriage. I had been for well over a year. The sad truth is..... he really hadn't even noticed. I think he was relieved that I was sleeping on the couch and no longer "nagging" him about "working on our marriage." I think he thought that I had finally "settled in" and accepted our miserable existence the way that he had. I hadn't. I had found my escape, elsewhere. Whatever motivation, drive, desire he had lacked for so many years..... kicked in..... in an instant. HE began the process of choosing me and our marriage. He hadn't been able to express his love for me when I had been a happy, loving and attentive wife. I had finally became so depressed, bitter, angry and defeated that I had lost all hope of ever being happy in this marriage, again. He fought for us..... He made me fall madly and passionately in love with him.... not like ever before..... more than I ever imagined. Now, it is my job to do anything and everything that I can to fight for him, for us and for healing and reconciliation. We have a real marriage now. After 28 years of marriage and 31 years together..... I love him more than I ever thought possible.

My wife knows this but ignores it.
I ignore part of the day.
I am so sorry. After all of these years, why do you choose to stay? Why does she? I believe that if she loved you then she would want nothing more than to help you through this. No, it isn't "fun" as a WS, reliving all of those details for your BS. It's painful, painful for the BS to hear, painful for the WS to admit, and when the WS comes "out of the fog" it is degrading and humiliating to admit those things to your spouse. Honestly, it's degrading and humiliating to admit them to yourself. I guess that's why I wanted to go ahead and give my BS whatever information he needed, immediately, so that the process of healing could begin. It's like an infection. Without proper treatment it will continue to fester.... never really completely healing and the potential for the infection to come back stronger than ever is always there. With aggressive and immediate treatment that infection can be cured. It won't erase the painful memories and there may be scars that remain. But, the infection can be healed and what remains can be stronger than ever before. I really do believe this. My husband, Betrayed1 aka B1, the OP on the Reconciliation thread, and I are happier than we have been in many years.... And, our marriage is stronger and has more potential for postive growth that it ever had before. NOT because of my affair, but in spite of it..... it is BECAUSE of the way that we have handled the aftermath. But, it takes two partners willing to give 100% and then some.

I wish you the best.

Take care,
~EI
 

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For what it is worth,

the words 'I don't remember' and 'I dont know' were the two most used answers by my WH directly after DD and I guess by many WS.

Having said that, he soon realised the only way to have any chance at saving the marriage was to answer me truthfully and to the best of his ability.....hard as it was.

Oh and It did take the threat of a poly to make him remember!
 

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15 years later, I still know more than enough details to make you puke. And 1/2 of the time I was dead drunk or high or drunk and high at the same time.
 

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For what it is worth,

the words 'I don't remember' and 'I dont know' were the two most used answers by my WH directly after DD and I guess by many WS.

Having said that, he soon realised the only way to have any chance at saving the marriage was to answer me truthfully and to the best of his ability.....hard as it was.

Oh and It did take the threat of a poly to make him remember!
I completely understand that. I have offered my husband a polygraph if he thinks it will help him. But, the truth is, I have been so forthcoming in giving him the information that he asks for that he doesn't feel the need for me to take one. I posted on TAM within about 2 1/2 weeks of D-Day. I have learned a lot and it has been very beneficial in our reconciliation. I love my husband. If he needs that from me in a year or 5 or 10.... my offer will always stand. If you love someone, you would be willing to give them whatever they need in order to heal and move forward, barring physical or extreme verbal abuse. Because that would indicate, to me, that he didn't love me and that HIS motives were not in the right place. As long and he and I are genuinely working towards the same goal.... healing, recovering and successfully reconciling our marriage into a loving, happy union, then it is my desire to help him however he needs me to.

You should never have to beg, demand or threaten your spouse, whether they were the BS or WS, to participate in meeting the most basic needs in a relationship..... to care about the healing, happiness and well-being of one another.
 
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EI

Again let me tell you and TAM that yours, Almostrecovered's case are really rare. Not to forget Beowulf's.

The trouble is my wife has exceptionally good memory, but for her EA.

The dynamics between you and B1 is what ultimately mattered in the path to recovery.

Good lucks.
 

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I completely understand that. I have offered my husband a polygraph if he thinks it will help him. But, the truth is, I have been so forthcoming in giving him the information that he asks for that he doesn't feel the need for me to take one. I posted on TAM within about 2 1/2 weeks of D-Day. I have learned a lot and it has been very beneficial in our reconciliation. I love my husband. If he needs that from me in a year or 5 or 10.... my offer will always stand. If you love someone, you would be willing to give them whatever they need in order to heal and move forward, barring physical or extreme verbal abuse. Because that would indicate, to me, that he didn't love me and that HIS motives were not in the right place. As long and he and I are genuinely working towards the same goal.... healing, recovering and successfully reconciling our marriage into a loving, happy union, then it is my desire to help him however he needs me to.

You should never have to beg, demand or threaten your spouse, whether they were the BS or WS, to participate in meeting the most basic needs in a relationship..... to care about the healing, happiness and well-being of one another.
My H also posts on TAM (megmg) it has helped both of us so much.

He has stopped saying 'i don't know' and 'i don't remember' he realises now that lies and omissions hurt more than the truth, and like your H, I need to know everything, or my imagination fills in the gaps...and that is often much worse than the reality!

The whole truth and answers to my every question were the only way to start to rebuild the marriage......and like your H, I also asked the same things over and over....my H has been very patient, as he should be.....

Now I feel I have had the full truth, and i think it almost caused a melt down...I have recently had a couple of weeks of despair, but feel we are back on track.....

He continues to heavy lift, and H transparency will be ongoing, forever I imagine......but in many ways we have fallen in love with each other all over again. Reading your post has helped me realise that.

The worst thing we can do in a marriage is take one another for granted.

Thank you for your insightful posts:)
 
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