BlindCheetah
I’m about 3 weeks from D Day, my husband of over 18 years had a 1 nighter in June and a failed second attempt in October which is when I cough the him in a lie he couldn’t explain. He also admitted a 2 ish month affair 9-10 years ago the same day. He’s willing answered a lot of questions and resisted others, the one he’s currently not answering is my request for names. I am working on a written list of things I want to know and things I absolutely don’t want detail on. I’ve told him can take a few days to respond maybe a week but the trickle of info is not helping. 

I need help help with my list.

I want to know who, not because I want to contact them but to help understand what he was looking for. 

I don’t want any detail of what they did or if he ever brought her home.

Interested in texts, FB messages and emails but see no benefit of reading them unless there is new contact.

Multitasking is making this hard, I welcome suggestions for both lists.  
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surviving
I needed to know who, when, where, why and how.  After six years, I still don't have the why or how.  All the books say I will never know those two.  I also needed to know the lie he told so that I wouldn't suspect anything.  After I got that information, I threw out everything that was tainted by them (yes, them) which included decorations, homemade items, our couches and our car.  It is all gone - they were all triggers.  Don't know if that helps you or not, but that is what I needed to know and do!
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triplehooks
Your husband is a serial cheater at this point. He doesn’t GET to hold secrets anymore.  I can’t tell you what your questions need to be but EVERYTHING is fair game and if he has questions he feels entitled to withhold answers on...tell him he can answer your questions or pack his $hit...PERIOD.  There are many things he is trying to do by withholding answers but on the question of identity in particular he is trying to control the outcome and avoid consequences...he’s hiding some VERY important information there.  At a minimum he’s PROTECTING her and therefore preferring her over you.  That’s NOT ok.  Worse, he’s protecting HIMSELF and therefore preferring himself over you.  In this case that’s also NOT ok. True, all hell would break loose for him if you were to contact a) the other woman or worse (for HIM) b) OW’s husband... but he should’ve thought of that BEFORE committing adultery, and that’s not a BAD thing if he’ll breaks loose for him, it should at this point.  Please don’t let ANY of his excuses back you down from this: he’s afraid of other husband whooping his a$$? That’s not your problem and he should’ve thought of that.  It’s your best friend and you’ll be even MORE pissed and stop them from getting together socially right under your nose?? He should’ve thought of that.  See my other comments in other fresh d-day threads regarding the broader issues.  Get checked for STDs, make hubby do so and cease intimacy until he comes fully clean.  If he’s explicitly showing entitlement thinking about secrets you cannot really trust him.  He hasn’t been protecting you or your marriage/family..don’t expect him to keep you from getting an infection.   It’s very possible what he’s hiding WILL cause you to leave, but if there’s something to know that will cause you leave (if him screwing other people isn’t enough), wouldn’t you rather know it and know it NOW instead of wasting ANOTHER 9-10 years (since earlier cheating)?
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Bgreen

I needed to know everything personally. My counsel or advised against it but in the end it was the right decision for me and I have no regrets knowing the details. 

to me, at a minimum you need to know who, and what and how many times. If he isn’t willing to say who there is likely a reason for this (I would suggest it is possibly a friend or family member of yours if he is resistant to disclose). You also need to know at least vaguely what to determine if you need to be tested for STI’s and to be able to protect your health. Not necessarily positions but you should at least know if there was sex and if it was protected etc. 

I think you also need to know how many time or over what period of time because this will help you determine what type of affair this was and how you can move forward. 

Female, BS 21 months post DDay
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seventy7
Like others have stated above, I was one that needed to know the who, what, when, where, why & how of the entire affair. Looking back on it, as painful as it has been, I needed that amount of clarity to satisfy my need for honesty. If I were to counsel anyone on this, the first thing that I would tell them is that you need to make it safe for your spouse to tell you the truths which you seek. I know that sounds idiotic, but let me explain. I made the mistake of not reading anything, or seeking any type of counseling before confronting my wife. Instead, I came out of the gates guns blazing with all of the information that I had acquired, and immediately started to threaten her that I would leave her and take our son with us if she didn't tell me the entire truth. That was my first mistake, and one that I would give anything to get back. 

My wife told me things that lined up with the information that I had, but something still seemed off. I had to dig around for more information, confront her with that, then I would get more details/etc. I think it would have gone better had I came to her calmly (as calmly as I possibly could have been for having my life destroyed), and explained what I knew, where my head was at, and why it was important for me to know the whole truth. Spouses seem to go into survival mode, almost willing to do or say anything to protect what is falling apart around them. They think that by keeping details hidden, it will lessen the pain of what they have done. You need to explain to your spouse that you know what he did, regardless of what they tell you, its not going to lessen the pain at all.

Rule #1: Never make any commitments (to stay or go), while you are flooding or spiraling. Take the time you need to rationalize the impact of your decision and if it is truly what you want. It is your choice, not his. He lost his say in that as soon as he stepped out on the marriage.  
Rule #2: If you make the decision to stay or go, refer to rule #1 and make sure that it's a rational decision. 

Here is a quick list of things that I wish I knew prior to confronting my wife about her affair:
1. Explain what trickle truth is (or have him read about it), and why it is so detrimental to recovery. Explain that trickle truth will not be tolerated going forward.
2. Create an environment that will be safe for both of you. You need to feel safe in that he will share the information that you need. He needs to feel safe in that you aren't going to go full on ballistic on him when he starts giving you the information.
3. If you ask it, be prepared for the answer, as tough as it may be. Appreciate his honesty and try and hold yourself together (easier said that done, i know).  
4. Understand that you will never understand the why or how, even if he tells you his reason a million times. It will never make sense to you because you could never bring yourself to do such an awful thing. That continues to be one of the hardest things for me, I just can't imagine doing what she did to me. The hurt from that is unbearable sometimes. You just have to learn to cope with it.  
5. Explain to your husband exactly what you want to know, and the why behind it. If knowing names are important, then explain they why. I am sure that your husband believes that it will only do more harm to your relationship...but if he wants this to work, then he doesn't get that choice. However, refer to #2 above.  If you found out the 2 month affair was with someone that you are still close to (family friend, sibling, etc) would you still want to know? Would it change your decision to stay or go? Is it a non-negotiable? Tell him your reasoning for wanting to know.

My last piece of advice, do not use ultimatums, make promises instead. However, be prepared to deliver on to the promise should you not get what you want. Don't use ultimatums as a tactic to get more information, use the promise that if they don't share the information that you need, or if the lies continue, the marriage will end. It really is that simple...without 100% transparency, trust cannot be rebuilt. And without trust, there is no marriage. 

Just my two cents, I hope everything works out for you, and I pray that your husband pulls his head out of his ass and realizes what he is risking by not being forthcoming with information. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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BlindCheetah

He was I a talking mood yesterday and I got a lot of questions answered. It wasn’t easy to hear but nothing completely shocking. It was not just 1 night in June and it was emotional and sex. 😢 I was very calm through all of it, I decided from the beginning we shouldn’t discuss it inside the house and absolutely never in bed, also no serious discussion while he’s drinking.

I have some time and a place where I can be alone after work and my dog is going to create a Facebook account and dig into who these people are. He asked me not to search with my profile, since I have no desire to communicate with either of them I’m OK with that. 


He immediately started drinking when I stopped asking questions. The guilt is killing him, he keeps asking why I’m still here, sometimes I ask myself the same. 

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Crushed
How do you do it?  I hear compassion, empathy and understanding in your words.  I feel none of that for my WS. I still feel disgust and loathing for him and it's been 3 years.  Of course it may have something to do with the fact that he doesn't feel shame or guilt.  He just forgets it ever happened and wants to move on
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BlindCheetah

I never suspected it was one of my friends, it was a former coworker and someone from high school. I confirmed the most recent is the one I suspected before he cleared his FB friends out. The first I have met once, our kids where invited to one of her kids birthday parties we all went as a family (that was really stupid). She is still married and has 2 cute kids.

He is doing his own reading now, I hope it helps. He needs to find someone other than his mother for relationship advice. I hope what she is telling him isn’t as spectacularly bad as what she told me. 

For those suggesting getting tested for STIs that’s been done and we are both clear. Which was very nice to hear since we’ve had more sex in the last month than the last year. It’s frustrating at times when I just want to be mad but it seems to clear my head. 

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BlindCheetah
Crushed wrote:
How do you do it?  I hear compassion, empathy and understanding in your words.  I feel none of that for my WS. I still feel disgust and loathing for him and it's been 3 years.  Of course it may have something to do with the fact that he doesn't feel shame or guilt.  He just forgets it ever happened and wants to move on


He is doing a lot of things right, not everything but it’s gradually improving. It’s still early, I suspect I’m still kinda numb. I have been less anxious since confirming my suspicions. I have also been going on long walks 4-7 miles when I get too pissed off and when I’ve thought of new things I need to ask that will come with answers that hurt. Sometimes I wish I could be less patient and be the one throwing the tantrum.
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GuyInPain
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said by other posters.  Who, when, how long, how many times, whether it occurred in your home – all those are or should be non-negotiable questions to which you must have clear & honest answers.  How the sex was, what positions were used, how his/her satisfaction with the AP compared with sex with you – those are questions to which you don't need answers & which I suggest you not ask.  I also very much agree with the book suggestions that were made above – I've read most of those & found them very helpful.

My one disagreement with some posters is about why.  I feel I now have a pretty complete & accurate understanding of why my wife had an affair.  As one online site – I think Tim Tedder's – notes, there are four general areas of cause: family & social background, personal issues, state of the marriage, and opportunity.  In a number of conversations my wife has shared her sense of how she got into it & she's covered (without intending to) all those areas.  The issue of why is very important, for without some understanding of why it's difficult for the BS to be able to understand the inner life & motivations of the WS.  Without such understanding, it's difficult for the BS to take responsibility for his/her part in the state of the marriage, or to be aware of when the WS may be feeling some of the same things that led to the adultery, and also difficult to trust the WS not to stray again.  

Bear in mind, though, that my understanding of my wife's why came only after lots of struggle between us – lying & trickle-truthing on her part, dissociation on my part, then, when I realized I had to bring it all up again, many painful & difficult conversations.  Only after the full truth was out & agreed on could she delve deeply enough into herself to identify the whys. 
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ABurris105
BlindCheetah,  you wrote...“I want to know who, not because I want to contact them but to help understand what he was looking for. “ 

Please be aware that WHO they are may not hold a lot to help you understand “what he was looking for”...what my WH was looking for had nothing to do with his actual AP.  She was the complete opposite of me and I have struggled with comparing myself to her because I thought at first that THAT was what he wanted. Only now, 2 years and 3 months from Dday, I am beginning to REALLY get this for myself... it wasn’t about HER, it was about HIM.  I have told myself this so many times and I have known it in my head, but I am just now beginning to truly believe it and know it in my heart. And that really helps me to let go of some of the anger because he is remorseful and I can see it.  

I wanted to know “who” because it drove me crazy wondering and also because if I happened to run into them while I was out and about, I wanted to be “in the know” that there were no secrets between us and I could face them (not confront) boldly with self respect, not feeling as if they had an advantage over me.  We did happen to see one of WH emotional affair partners from a distance while out together.  I spotted her first and because I had the knowledge of “who”, I was able to walk over to my husband and grab his hand before she saw us.  I took great pleasure (probably a little too much) in smiling and saying hello when she spotted us (we have known each other since we were kids) and thoroughly enjoying her confused look and doubletake glance as she stumbled through awkwardly smiling and saying hello back. He kept his head diverted the whole time.   Had I not known who she was this wouldn’t have happened and I don’t know if she would have tried to make contact or not.  Either way, it was very clear to her that we were together.  That is a nice solidifying moment for he and I to share.
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anthro
ABurris105 wrote:
BlindCheetah,  you wrote...“I want to know who, not because I want to contact them but to help understand what he was looking for. “ 

Please be aware that WHO they are may not hold a lot to help you understand “what he was looking for”...what my WH was looking for had nothing to do with his actual AP.


This is very important. One thing my IC told me soon after d-day really stuck with me and has felt ever more true as time has passed. It is that a person having an affair is primarily having a relationship with himself/herself. It has very little to do with any of the qualities that the AP actually possesses. There's very little connection between the two of them. This is one of the reasons why (a) the affair feelings disappear so rapidly after going no-contact and (b) affairs are only ever sustained at all when there is very frequent contact. There's no real substance to the relationship.

(Then again the picture can be different in both directions; I know of a woman in an arranged marriage who ultimately ended up with a man she "had an affair" with, but it was more like a normal relationship whereas there was no connection at all in her arranged marriage. In the opposite direction, there are also cheaters who are not fooling themselves into believing it's true love, who just feel like they are entitled to screw around.)
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
This is SO TRUE - your IC put it perfectly.  It is very hard to see/internalize in the early days when it feels like it HAS to be about you.  But as time wears on it becomes VERY, VERY clear - to you and if the WS does ANY form of self-reflection, to them as well.  As I have stated before, my husband was truly horrified when he realized how little he "missed" the AP.  As he began to look back, he realized that NONE of the attraction had anything to do with her.  As a matter of fact, there were things about her he actively KNEW he wouldn't want in a long term partner.  But he LOVED the way the attention made him feel.  He LOVED being pursued and desired.  That was what he was so attracted to - his own reflection in her eyes.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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BlindCheetah
How long does it take them to realize they don’t miss AP? Every time I ask questions the 1 night stand gets longer, I’m estimating about 4 months. Every thing he’s blames me for has been really ridiculous including not having a say in how long our kids where breastfed, youngest was weaned 7 years ago.

Fear of running into AP and being the only one who doesn’t get it was a large part of wanting to know who. 
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triplehooks
I’m sorry but this is ANOTHER classic case.  Here you have a serial cheater trickle truthing their betrayed spouse, blaming them for TOTAL bull$hit.  I’m SURE, while he was plunging his dong into this other woman he just COULDN’T get the thought of not having a greater voice in breastfeeding choices off his mind, and with every stroke he was getting relief from that “no voice in weaning” pain... GTFOH!!!  What an idiot.  He’s REALLY reaching for an alibi.  

Blindcheetah, I’m sorry but I believe you have a ZOMBIE on your hands and he is going to do this to you again.  Blameshifting of that level is a sign of a SEVERE case of childishness.  Do you want to spend the rest of your life policing this guy? I don’t know how you will EVER see him as a dependable protector.  

I seriously just want to set up a circus cannon and blast these morons into outer space...
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