What questions can you ask to an unfaithful spouse?
Betrayal is a traumatic experience.
The first reaction is that of storming out (for ever), attacking our partner or self-harming.
Resist all of them.
These are 10 great questions to ask an unfaithful partner to gain a better understanding of him, of the affair relationship and of your relationship.
- 1. How did you give yourself permission?
- 2. Did you feel guilty after sex
- 3. What about previous opportunities? Have you had any, did you think of any?
- 4. Why did it last if you knew it’s wrong
- 5. Did you think about me at all?
- 6. What did you say about us
- 7. Did you talk about a future together?
- 8. What did you see in the affair partner?
- 9. How were you different in the affair?
- 10. Did you have unprotected sex?
1. How did you give yourself permission?
Ask them what did they tell themselves.
With this question, you want to gain deeper insights into his morals and values. If they didn’t think much, or if they never thought it was wrong, they value monogamy and fidelity very little.
2. Did you feel guilty after sex
Similar as the above, but focused on sex.
If they deny or they seem insencere, you might have very different approaches towards sex and extramarital affairs.
Or you might have very different moral standards.
3. What about previous opportunities? Have you had any, did you think of any?
Ask them if they had previous opportunities, and how was this different.
You want to understand if your partner is constantly scanning for opportunities or if it was a one off. It might be the case your partner has had more than one affair, or that he doesn’t value monogamy.
Or it might be that this affair just grew out of weaknesses from your marriage. For example, it might have started as a friendship because the affair partner listened better.
4. Why did it last if you knew it’s wrong
Most partner will not answer they didn’t think much and will admit to at least a little bit of guilt. This question explores whether or not the guilt recedes.
It’s important to know because people react in different ways to ongoing sense of guilt.
- Suffer continuously and eventually end the affair
- Get used to it and the guilt recedes (or the involvement increases)
- Build mental models that allow them to suppress guilt
You want to know about this because among those mental models is painting the relationship and the betrayed partner as undeserving.
This is something you need to fix if you want to heal your relationship after a betrayal.
5. Did you think about me at all?
This is likely to be painful. The betrayed partners often see themselves as central elements in the affair. But often the unfaithful partner didn’t think much of the betrayed partner.
If the unfaithful partner got emotionally involved, it will be even more painful to know that they think of their affair partner when at home but think little of their spouse when with the affair partner.
Part of the reason is because of the secrecy.
Secrecy and thought suppression increases the attraction of the affair partner and (The Link Between Thought Suppression and Level of Arousal, Debbie Layton-Tholl).
This is one of the reasons why why honest communicaiton is crucial to move on and heal.
6. What did you say about us
An affair is devastating because it drives a human wedge between the couple. With this question you want to understand how close the two were and how far off you had drifted.
This question also helps demolish the wall between you two and start getting close again. That’s key to heal. If you want to heal you need to rebuild the togetherness and to make the affair partner the stranger one.
Opening up with the spouse and cutting the affair partner out is the best way to do so.
7. Did you talk about a future together?
If the affair was deeply emotional, some of these questions will be painful to listen. This is why it’s best to leave them for later on, when the traumatic shock has started to taper off.
8. What did you see in the affair partner?
This goes at the core of the personality traits. Often affair partners are very different from the spouse or from the unfaithful partner.
The difference is very exhilarating in the short run, but in the long run it would get annoying (divorce rate of unfaithful partner with affair partner are the highest).
But few have the foresight to understand that.
9. How were you different in the affair?
The answer to this question is very important to understand the weaknesses of your marriage. It’s possible the unfaithful partner was attracted to new roles, or newly found feelings.
For example, a strict and rational man at home, he might enjoy being a free spirit with the affair partner.
When you know what it was, you can expand your personal roles and try on new personas within the relationship.
10. Did you have unprotected sex?
And get ready to get tested.