4 Key Things to Avoid When Disclosing Infidelity

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Manage episode 254607738 series 1423957
By Caleb & Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele and Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
The thought of disclosing an affair to your spouse can be quite terrifying. You know that it is going to cause a lot of distress, perhaps even profound distress, and you also know that you do not really have control over the outcome of your disclosure. While no disclosure is ever going to be a positive experience, our experience working with couples over many years has shown that there are some helpful and some very unhelpful ways to disclose infidelity. We want to help you prepare as well as possible to disclose a betrayal to your spouse. Disclosure is Important If you have broken a promise of faithfulness or fidelity to your spouse and have not told them, then you are facing the need to disclose this betrayal or infidelity. Infidelity can be a number of different things. It can be a purely emotional (and sometimes romantic) relationship with someone of the opposite sex, an online relationship (or relationships), viewing pornography, a one-time or ongoing sexual relationship outside the marriage, or a financial betrayal (e.g., hidden gambling debt or purchasing something significant without disclosing it). Although it is very difficult to disclose an affair, the research shows that individuals who do disclose acknowledge that in the end it was a challenging but correct decision to make.[1] We do want to mention that if you are realizing that you are sex addicted and have an extensive double life to disclose to your spouse, there are professionals who specialize in helping with this kind of disclosure. In this article, we’re mainly focused on the disclosure of an affair, although some of the principles will apply to other betrayals as well. We just want to note that for sex addiction, the process is much more deliberate and planned because of the extent of what must be disclosed and how traumatic that typically is for the betrayed spouse. Avoid These Things When Disclosing Infidelity It is important to be fully honest. You definitely want to avoid lying while disclosing the truth. That may sound funny to say, but sometimes people think they can ease the blow by reducing the overall truthfulness of the disclosure. When those lies get discovered, even the truth is called into question at that point. There are several things to avoid, but we’re assuming that you, as the reader, have the goal of becoming radically honest with your spouse as a result of engaging in this disclosure. Avoid Excessive Detail First of all, every spouse varies in how much they want to know about the infidelity. Some want to know very little. Others want to know what the infidelity was and who it was with, and others want to know all the details even down into the exact play-by-play intricacies of the extramarital sexual encounters. While it is important for your spouse to know the truth, it is also important not to give too much detail as this will greatly increase the traumatic blow of the disclosure.[2] When too much is disclosed, we hear a lot of betrayed spouses talking about flashbacks and scenes playing like a movie in their mind even though they did not see the event. We do recommend in cases of infidelity that the betrayed spouse know who the affair partner(s) was, where they met, when they met, and what happened (e.g., whether the trysts involved intimate conversations or if they involved sexual intercourse, etc.). Those facts help the betrayed spouse to understand the pattern and extent of the extra-marital behaviours so that they can be aware of the signs of the behavior. Now, if your spouse wants extensive detail (sexual positions, what she was wearing, your exact thoughts at different points, etc.) you have to be careful not to appear to be hiding or minimizing what happened. A thoughtful response is really important. We recommend that you tell your spouse you are not entirely opposed to sharing all of the details, nor do you wish to continue any form of hiding or dishonesty,

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