TimT
Note: I'm looking of input regarding the experiences of the unfaithful partner. Some contributions may be quoted in an affair recovery manual I am writing. (I'll give you a free copy if I quote you.) I'm especially looking for quotes from those who had an affair, but betrayed spouses may also comment about their experiences with an unfaithful spouse in these areas.

Questions to consider: Have you been completely honest about your affair? How long did it take you to be honest? Do you regret what you've confessed? What would you do differently? How has your spouse responded to your honesty (or lack of honesty)?
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Kalmarjan
TimT wrote:
Have you been completely honest about your affair?


As far as I know, yes. I have finally let everything out. There are a few minor things that come out from time to time, but in the sea of lies I told, there is bound to be something I forgot here and there.

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How long did it take you to be honest?


It took me at least 6 months to work up the nerve to tell my wife about the biggest thing that I was hiding to "protect" her. That is, a pregnancy and subsequent abortion.

My wife and I had problems in the past with infertility, and I knew that it would devastate her.

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Do you regret what you've confessed?


The pregnancy part, yes and no. My wife was devestated by it. She told me she wished I hadn't told her. But, I couldn't hide it any longer. I needed to be straight with her. I told her just before we went to marriage counselling.

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What would you do differently?


I would have come clean on the beginning I think. I am unsure whether I would tell about the pregnancy.

I would be less casual about what I shared. I got to a point where I was sharing everything, including how I was working through things. I was doing it to show my wife that I was getting rid of any emotion or attachment. But, it showed that it was still there.

The marriage counselling taught me that I should work through that myself, and if it has no bearing on the relationship going forward, then keep it to myself or go through it with a safe person.

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How has your spouse responded to your honesty (or lack of honesty)?


Honestly, I know it hurts her and she still doesn't trust me. It hurts her to hear the word "I love you" or "you are beautiful."

I think that her being able to make sense of things (if that is even possible) may help her get past it.
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Stashh
Kalmarjan
Tough to be in this place as the WS as much as for us BSs. Well done for posting. It will take time but if there love between you both and a willingness from both to stick at a very tough task, you'll both get through it. I am 6 months on from DDay and I have heard some tough things from my wife (unprotected sex, pregnancy scare, oral sex, an additional previous relationship, lies that the relationship was 2 months with X and then discovering it was 2 years with Y but her still refusing to tell the truth etc) BUT if the BS asks a question and wants complete honesty - and most truly do want it - then I would suggest that a WS confirms it is what their spouse/partner wants, is gentle and does in fact give the truth. If a BS cannot genuinely feeling their spouse/partner is finally being completely honest there is little hope for long term reconciliation. My wife expresses her love for me in writing and by saying it. It is so comforting to hear, but, in contrast, I can barely bring myself to say anything similar: occasionally I do but more often than not, I do not. My conclusion it is a means of self defence to avoid being hurt again. As I see it, until the trust is completely restored (that is a matter of the passage of much time and constant reassurance from the WS: suggestion to read Linda McDonald's book on how you can help your wife if not done so already) a BS will always want to give themselves protection. A WS knows how they feel: a BS is no longer sure what their spouse/partner truly feels and simply feels too vulnerable, because the breach of trust has been so great, to allow themselves to be exposed to the same sort of hurt that they have experienced already. Give your wife the honesty, the patience and the unconditional support she deserves. If so, healing will take time but can take place. Without it there is, I suspect little hope. Stick with it. Good luck
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AHmember129
I'm here to tell you that without complete honesty to your marriage there will be little hope to carry on.. I have been waiting for honesty from my husband and he has been unfaithful to me for 33 years.. I found out through a polygraph that he left out many other women and only disclosed 2 at the time I found out about the last affair. He lead me to believe it was only one 2 year affair and 1 one night stand at the beginning of our marriage. After going to counseling and finally seeing a sexual addition counselor things started to make sense in a way to me. He has yet to be completely honest, I feel it and something's just don't add up in my mind.

 The anger that comes when you feel he is being deceptive is just like the pain of first discovering the affair. I'm trying to take care of myself and joined a women's group that deals with being married to a sex addict and counseling every week. The bottom line will be my decision to live with him or move on which will be heartbreaking, I pray for his honesty everyday and my patience to see him through this.        
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Apples
 Have you been completely honest about your affair? How long did it take you to be honest? Do you regret what you've confessed? What would you do differently? How has your spouse responded to your honesty (or lack of honesty)?     

I had several affairs. In the beginning I admitted to only what was discovered. Then there was one he did not know about and would never know but I told him about it. Then a few months later I admitted I had not been honest about when one of my affairs started so I came clean on that. Since that time he has no belief in anything I say about my affairs since it was a trickle truth situation so I do regret sometimes revealing this.

There are some minor things that happened that I haven't disclosed: NO sex at all but I did go to lunch with two other men but nothing sexual happened. My BS is very traumatized by what I did. To the point where putting him in a mental hospital was being considered. He told me he can trust me again but not believe my story and that is a roadblock to healing. I am torn about revealing about these lunch dates because they were not physical and he will use the information as a means of obsession and as a means of control. I also don't think he would believe me if I told him. He will think I am minimizing what happened (I am not) and it will not be a healing revelation but something that will destroy him further (as my previous revelation was).  I ask others...some say tell him, others say no (and these people have all been through affairs on both sides). So I am stuck. He is stuck.

If I had to do it over again I'd have told him everything up front.        

I'm stuck about revealing this and this is the consequence of my lack of honesty up front.    
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Sadie
I was given trickle truth for (so far) a year and a half.   It is no way to live.   Did you know, that when more truth comes out that it puts the bs back to ground zero?   I went from beginning to trust him again, to now wondering if every single thing he says to me is a lie.    I am actually more mad about that now, than the affair!  The lies, the trickle truth, well, it’s almost worse than the affair itself!     Thing is, I am still glad that he is telling me, yet so mad that it is taking  so long.    If there is more for me to know, then I want to know it, no matter how hard it is to handle.   I also see it as a control thing.  He doesn’t get that it’s my time now, not his!
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Phoenix


Questions to consider: Have you been completely honest about your affair? I had my affair 19 years ago and I just told my WS 1 year ago. I told him 3 different versions. The first one was a clean version. The second I made myself look like the victim. Finally I told him the truth in the third version. I have tried to be as honest as possible. It happened 19 years ago and it’s been hard to remember details. My WS cannot understand how I can not remember details after such an experience. How long did it take you to be honest? I believe it took about 7 months. Do you regret what you've confessed? No I do not regret what I confessed. I had been carrying with this burden for 18 years. I battled with telling him for that long. I came close many times. I have felt shame and regret all these years. What would you do differently? If I could turn back time I would come clean 18 years ago or at least a year ago. I did more damage with my lies. My WS always tells me if there was true remorse I would have come clean right away. How has your spouse responded to your honesty (or lack of honesty)? He is very angry, disappointed, sad, confused. He no longer believes in anything I say. He says he will never believe in me again and that’s to hard to live with. He really wants to end the relationship because he will never be able to trust me again. 
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Sorry
Have you been completely honest about your affair?

I think that is always a tricky one. I have to the veey best of my knowledge been completely honest. My husband knows all of the important details, and when ever he asks a question I have answered it truthfully. I have also disclosed a few things that were important to me for him to know which I remembered afterwards, or plans that the AP and I had that we never went through with.
I have definitely not deliberately overlooked any facts or information. I life to think that I have been completely honest, however I have found that in the healing process some of my thoughts are best kept to myself so as to not further hurt him. However these are more my thoughts in processing the affair, which I have been seeing a psychologist about. Most of there thoughts have also changed over time so perhaps the don't count as a lack of complete honest. Just like people dont always say mean thoughts that pop into their head. I can honestly say that nothing has been with held out of fear or shame. 


How long did it take you to be honest?

It took me a week after the end of the affair to realise that the only way I could possibly salvage my marriage was If I returned it to an honest state and faced the full consequences of my actions. The marriage I had left was beyond repair if the secrets remained.

Do you regret what you've confessed?

Not one little bit. I have numerous regrets about having cheated and the hurt it caused my husband and family but not one about complete honest disclosure.
I regret not having had the balls to be honest with my APs wife when she confronted me, but I think that is a differently issue.

What would you do differently?

Is not having an affair, or stopping the affair earlier an option?
I think I would have liked to get out of the affair fog faster, some of the truth my husband heard while I was still juggling conflicting feelings must have been very hard for him to hear. I guess its the huge price of honesty over social niceties 

How has your spouse responded to your honesty (or lack of honesty)?

He often comments that he trust that I am not an idiot, and therefore he trusts me not to make the same poor decision and lose it all. My husband and I are in a very  happy and satisfying marriage now where we both protect our relationship. Perhaps my honesty when I was telling him things that were really difficult to hear make it easier for him to now trust me when I say that I am happy and fulfilled. We have worked very long and hard towards forgiveness and I think he feels secure that he has the full truth. I at least know that my marriage from my side is now based on truth and honesty. I guess it is all I have control over.
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