Post Affair Chatter

When a partner has cheated, not only is the disclosure excruciatingly painful for the victim on an emotional level… their search for answers can be frustrating.

And the cause of this frustration is none other than the cheater himself or herself… because their own actions are so repugnant, they’re uncomfortable discussing them!

It’s not necessarily that the cheater feels the victim doesn’t have the right to know.  Rather, they wish they could erase their actions and pretend as if their cheating never happened.

In today’s blog, I’ll tell you the 3 barriers to having a post-affair talk, and then give you 2 tips for how to get the cheater to tell you what you need to know.  Please keep reading…

The 3 Post-Affair Barriers to Talk

In order for an affair victim to begin to heal, they need to sort a lot of things out…

  • Emotional reaction post-affair
  • Thoughts concerning the affair
  • Memories of the affair

And what they most need is factual information… just enough… to rein in their imagination, which is often in overdrive in filling in the blanks.

But the biggest issue a victim often has is getting their partner to talk about the affair.  It’s generally uncomfortable for the cheater to talk about such an emotionally-charged topic.  They know the conversation isn’t exactly going to go “well,” and their partner is probably going to break down in tears at some point.

So, here are the 3 biggest barriers that a cheater may put up when their partner wants to talk to them about the affair…

Barrier #1: Stonewalling

The classic “stonewall” is exactly what the word implies: a big stone wall is put up in the face of the victim, behind which the cheater may hide and not talk.

Barrier #2: Avoid/Evade

The cheater may try to avoid their partner, suddenly becoming very busy and difficult to pin down to have a conversation.  Or, the cheater may avoid coming fully clean to avoid any repercussions.

Barrier #3: Dismissal

The cheater may try to downplay the seriousness of their betrayal, or even of their partner’s reaction.  It’s a tactic that doesn’t fully allow the cheater to take responsibility.

Each of these barriers may be consciously or subconsciously used by the cheater because they are trying to avoid pain.  Unfortunately, when you perpetrate that level of betrayal on someone else and cause them such pain, you can’t hide from reaping a bit of what you’ve sown.

For the victim, here are 2 tips to get your partner to open up and talk to you about the affair…

Affair-talk Tip #1: Decide What You Really MUST Know

There are certain pieces of information that will truly help you heal, and other details that may really rip you apart.  Only you can judge the difference, so take your time in deciding what information you absolutely must have.

Then, I recommend you write down your questions so you can stick to something of a script and not let emotions take over so much that you veer off into detail territory you can’t take back later.

Affair-talk Tip #2: Take Frequent Breaks

Set the stage for the talk you need to have by letting your partner know you need this to find peace.  Let them know you want this to be as minimally painful for yourself as possible, and so you may need to take frequent breaks to gather yourself.

This will take away some of the “fear factor” that your partner may have about experiencing emotional backlash.  No one likes repercussions for their actions, and though they are deserving, it doesn’t mean that it will feel good for you.

Also, if your goal is to learn information that will help you heal, then you will need to guard against going off track.  Your partner may feel the need to evade or stonewall to protect themselves, forgetting that they brought this on themselves in the first place.

If your partner cheated, what barriers have you experienced for talking about the affair?

If you cheated, do you feel you are putting up any of these barriers?

What do you feel is the most important thing an affair victim needs to know in order to begin the healing process?

– Stephanie Anderson
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