The discovery of an affair can be devastating to both the unfaithful spouse and the spouse who has been cheated on. Deciding to stay together after infidelity is common among most couples. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of couples who experience infidelity in their relationship make the decision to stay together.
The road to recovery is not an easy one. Often times a couple will experience the tedious motion of moving two steps forward and one step back. If a couple is dedicated to growing and moving past the affair they can experience the birth of a new type of relationship, one that far exceeds the limited boundaries of the previous one.
But to be able to move past the hurt of an affair and enter into the realm of a better union the affair needs to be aired out and processed. The couple needs to understand what caused the affair in the first place and work together as a team so they do not make the same mistakes in the future.
Processing an affair is very painful for both partners but the end result can be well worth the struggle. There are a number of questions that come up after an affair that both partners want answered. Some questions are ubiquitous to any affair; others are specific to particular couples.
To help process the affair I have included a number of common questions that couples typically want answered. Remember that it is not helpful to ask for certain details. There are some images that you don’t want replaying in your head.
Questions To Help a Couple Process an Affair
Finding Meaning in the Affair
What did the affair mean to you?
Did the affair provide something that you felt you needed?
What did you get out of it that you weren’t getting in our relationship?
Where you getting some need met from this other person that you were afraid to ask me to provide?
Did you feel guilty?
Did you find anything new out about yourself?
Why do you think it happened when it did? Was there anything else going on in your life that influenced your decision?
I hear you blame the other person for the affair, is it difficult for you to take full responsibility?
What does it mean to you if you were to take full responsibility for the affair?
What made it difficult to stop?
Did the affair have anything to do with something you felt was missing from our sex life?
Did you ever want me to find out?
Why did you tell me about the affair? -OR- Why didn’t you tell me about the affair?
What drew you to this person?
Were you ever worried about losing me?
What do you want me to know about the affair?
How did you feel when I found out about the affair?
Did you want me to find out about your affair?
Did you think I would never find out?
What was it like to keep the affair a secret?
What was if like for you to have the two relationships?
What was it like to come home to me?
Did you see a future with this other person?
Did you ever think of leaving me?
Did you ever want to leave me?
Are you staying for me or are you staying for the children and our life together?
Do you think it will happen again?
Were you trying to get my attention?
Questions for Both Partners to ask
Do you think we can repair our relationship?
Do you think the affair has brought with it any good attributes?
Do you think you can move past this?
Do you still want me in your life?
If we were to walk away from our relationship what would you consider the biggest loss?
Are you staying for me or our family?
What do you see as the most challenging thing about rebuilding our relationship?
What do you consider our relationship’s areas of growth and strength?
What do you value most in our relationship?
Do you think you could ever trust me again?
What do you need to see for us to move past this?
What part do you think you played in contributing to the beginning of the affair?
Questions for the hurt partner to ask partner who had the affair
Do you understand how I feel?
Are you willing to be patient as I learn how to forgive you?
What would it be like if I had an affair?
Questions for the partner who had the affair to ask the hurt partner
Do you want me to stay?
Why do you choose to stay with me?
How can I begin to rebuild trust?
Do you believe me when I say I am sorry?