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Reconciliation :
When did you believe you had the entire truth?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 WhiskeyBlues (original poster member #82662) posted at 10:49 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Was there something your WS did that made you believe you had the whole truth and they were no longer hiding anything?

My WH has TT'd our marriage to death. He has followed the same pattern throughout - I will get a gut feeling about something, we will have a massive falling out, I'll inevitably tell him I no longer wish to R, he'll go away for a bit and eventually admit he's lying. He will then admit 2 or 3 more things, as an offer of "look, I'm offering information up now, I see the error of my ways". I will feel at ease, and start to believe he really "gets it". After a while, that same gnawing feeling will return...wash, rinse and repeat.

I feel, for me to fully believe he has nothing left to tell me, I need him to literally have a massive truth vomit. I need all of it, everything, big and small, for him to let go of every single lie he knows he is holding on to, even in our marriage pre-affair.

But again, he's adamant he has told me everything there is to tell. It's the same pattern.

Maybe he's finally telling the truth and there is nothing to tell anymore. But I know R will never work until I see something different.

So if you experienced TT, but now feel like you probably do have the whole truth, was there something your WS did/didn't do, that made you reach that point?

posts: 85   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8808557
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 3:27 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

I experienced TT to a degree...the story on week 1 vs week 3 was very different, but at that point I knew I had the full story.

Why?

1) When the A was happening I felt something was off. Once I had the truth, I also sensed it.

2) WS was also really open about the relief and intimacy he felt finally being honest. If he was lying, he'd win an Oscar.

3) The OW sent lots of letters and messages and all the things she said matched up.

4) He gave me all his passwords so I was able to read it all for myself

5) Moving forward from there, when she contacted him, he told me immediately and forwarded the message.

So I knew he was practicing radical honesty. Of course you never fully know, and that's one of the hardest bits.

Contrasting, months into R when things were crashing and he'd broken NC - I felt it. I knew something was off. So there were more lies down the road.

You're feeling that gnawing feeling for two reasons:

1) you've said yourself, he still lies. You can't trust someone who lies.

2) you know he's cheated, so you're hypervigilant.

Those things are understandable. Your trauma brain is giving you the gnawing feeling because it's trying to feel safe.

I remember the last lie my WS told me. He'd omitted to tell me about 18 months ago that he was going to meet friends for coffee who were mutual friends of the AP.

He thought it would upset me so he didn't tell me until afterwards.

Now as far as my brain was concerned, that was the apocalypse. It set us back to day one with recovery.

I think after someone cheats, they simply have to tell the truth.At the same time, don't beat yourself up by needing to ask the same questions again and again.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 269   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8808575
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 3:38 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Ten years from Dday. Happily reconciled.

Do I feel I have the whole truth? Nope. Never gonna get it either. I believe his first 4 year EA was physical as well. He claims it wasn’t.

Whatever!! I’m going to believe what I know to be true and I’m pretty certain I am not wrong.

So no, I don’t have the full truth. But it’s what I choose to accept and move past.

WB, you are clearly locked into a pattern of mistrust, lies, deceit and then "some truth will come out".

I would view you as living in limbo in your marriage, waiting for the next shoe to fall. I don’t think I could endure that.

At this point I wonder if your H actually told you the truth, the full truth, if you even would or could believe him.

I think you need to find someone you. An talk to who won’t gaslight you to death.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13799   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8808578
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Dreamdaisy ( member #67729) posted at 3:52 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

WhiskyBlues,

I cannot comment on feeling like I had all the truth, simply because, like yourself, it took WS the best part of a year to feed it in small increments, but continued to say that was everything when it wasn't. I also found text messages on a burner phone a long time afterwards that was never mentioned (although I had specifically asked if there was any messaging.

So personally for me, unless they are willing to hand over every scrap of information right away and do not lie anymore, either to direct questions or lies by ommision, it will always leave that lingering doubt that maybe there was more. Just my feelings though.

Sorry you have to endure this

posts: 121   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018   ·   location: Uk
id 8808581
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 4:11 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

You will never get the full truth. Ever. I am certain that I have most of the story, based on my detailed notes I took during and after the A compared to her version. I don’t know everything, and some dates/accounts don’t match, but in the grand scheme they are probably not critical. If I find out some how that what I suspect is true, it will probably do more harm than good and it doesn’t matter if x happened at that specific date anymore. What matters is that a A happened, and I wasn’t crazy all the times I thought I was That’s where it has to be, so you have enough, and are you willing to accept that.

You however are in a different situation, because you keep finding out lies. It’s really not the details that matter, it’s the lies about them at this point. The problem is, it won’t stop. This is who he is. As part of R, did you make it a stipulation that any lie whatsoever and it’s over? I’m betting yes, but it’s not over. He lied, you found out, you stayed. As long as you rinse and repeat, that is what it will be.

Trust me, it’s hard to make that actual decision to end R, as I know all to well. It’s like they sense it, give us a breadcrumb to give us hope and then once they feel like it’s safe, back to the same.

If you choose to remain in R, you are choosing to accept he is going to lie to you again. Doesn’t mean or matter he will cheat again. That isn’t the point. What matters is can he be the partner you thought he was, and if not
can you accept who he is and will be.

Me mid 40s BH
Her mid 40s WW
1 year EA/PA

"Just" a friend.
in R, getting by

posts: 148   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8808589
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:39 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

On not getting the whole truth: I expect it would take longer to tell all the thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in an A than it took to conduct the A. In that sense, one can't get the whole truth. Hell, if someone wanted the whole truth - everything that went through my brain and rest of my body - I couldn't give the whole truth about the last 5 minutes.

My W told me the whole truth in capsule mode in the 1st 5 minutes after her revelation. Everything about her - words, tone of voice, posture, the look on her face - everything indicated she was coming clean. All my questions only filled in gaps and - because I used repeated questions to look for inconsistencies (lies) - confirm what she said in the 1st 5 minutes. No TT, blameshifting, minimizing, or gaslighting after she revealed her A.

IDK how to get your H to come clean. I told my W, 'If you reveal something now, I may walk. If it comes out in the future, I will walk.' For a while, I thought that threat caused her to stay honest. In retrospect, I was mistaken - she became and stayed truthful because she chose to.

I think you face the horrible choice of going with your gut (continued lies, remember) and choosing D or remaining uncertain and staying with a guy you think is likely to be lying. What might work is to sit him down and tell him he has to convince you he's honest now and won't tell lies in the future or face D. But that's a long, long shot, because it's so hard to prove a negative (i.e. that there's nothing more that needs to be revealed).

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29583   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8808596
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 5:44 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

My W told me the whole truth in capsule mode in the 1st 5 minutes after her revelation. Everything about her - words, tone of voice, posture, the look on her face - everything indicated she was coming clean. All my questions only filled in gaps and - because I used repeated questions to look for inconsistencies (lies) - confirm what she said in the 1st 5 minutes. No TT, blameshifting, minimizing, or gaslighting after she revealed her A.

Same with my H. He wasn't really telling the truth for me - he was telling the truth for himself. He was suffering badly by being out of synch with his values. Because of that, and because he never held back when answers to my questions were painful for me to hear and difficult for him to say, I could feel that he was being honest. It took a lot of repeating the same questions to recalibrate my gut. It was badly out of synch after a decade and a half of being gaslit.

I don't think that I would have tolerated being TT'ed, simply because I had been so badly gaslit for almost my entire marriage and I was DONE with it. I had already asked him to leave once, even though I was terrified of the financial aspects of D, so I knew that I could do it again and he knew that I would do it again. But like I said earlier, he wasn't coming clean to appease me. He was doing it for himself, and that really made all the difference. The WS's motivation has to be at least partially for their own recovery, IMO, or the chances of reoffending are pretty big.

Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

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ANewPerson ( member #83728) posted at 1:26 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

TT'd and DARVO'd for over three years, so I understand the OP question. A person seeking to tell the truth, explain their feelings, provide a mostly accurate story as to their behaviors, is certainly a challenge. The more years and affairs can only add complexity. There were rare moments my STBXWW began to tell the truth, but then it degraded into the same cycle you described. The stories always had lies, minimizations, and manipulations. Ultimately those untruths would gnaw at me and then DARVO/TT fight. My thoughts now are that I should have recognized the cycle, stood my ground on truth, and not responded so supportively. Ultimately, I participated in all her tactics, I played into the wayward's playbook. My STBXWW was special in my mind and I needed to coax and nurture her to the truth like a fragile flower. I no longer think this way.

I did believe my duty as a BS was to work on forgiveness and understanding so that we could pivot to issues beyond infidelity we had with the relationship. This openness to work on my side only exacerbated the DARVO and TT. I now believe truth must come first, if not, all forgiveness falls apart at the discovery of new lies. From what I've seen nobody ever truly knows, but one should be in a place where they can actively see their spouse attempting an enlightening answer every time they answer a question, it should always be a heart looking to serve the truth. I think we know it when we see it and everything else we feel is a warning we need to heed.

BH 54 Divorcing

posts: 55   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Heartland USA.
id 8808676
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 WhiskeyBlues (original poster member #82662) posted at 2:14 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

I appreciate all of your replies so much, I keep re-reading them - the SI board has been a life line.

We had a big day yesterday, and I feel something clicked. We chose to tell our girls what WH did last year. They're 12 and 11, so of course we were very delicate and kept things age appropriate. I'd usually be for keeping problems in the marriage away from children, but we were worried what they might have heard and also last year affected them a great deal, as he walked out on them too. They both have said they feel better for knowing, and asked lots of questions, which we answered factually but carefully. WH made some very heartfelt apologies to the girls, namely for stealing so much of their time, and making me so sad. He has vowed to them, that it will never ever happen again and that he will spend the rest of his life doing right by us. And do you know what? I believe him (cautiously).

I know the affair was physical. I know he felt at the time they were soul mates and he had never felt that way before. I know he left her for me. I know meals/lunches/dates. I know he risked his career and our home to have sex with her. I know what meals she cooked for him. I know their stupid "in-jokes". I know he met her mum briefly on a few occasions. There might be some things he hasn't quite told me, but I think I know enough about the affair.

OTOH, I know he is trying. I know he has worked hard figured out why he chose to throw away his wonderfully happy marriage for some ego kibbles and sex. I know he knows he is a coward but that he is working on this in all aspects of his life. I know he has started standing up for himself at work. I know he has chosen not to be in the new team WhatsApp group as he is their senior, and he wants to maintain colleague boundaries. I know if he gets a message out of the blue from an old female friend he tells me straight away and shows me their conversations. I know that he despises the AP, and that he would freak out if she ever got in touch. I know he appreciates what he has in me as his wife. I know the other day he randomly owned up to the fact that pre-affair, when he used to make us both a bowl of nachos, he used to microwave mine first and his last, so his were hotter - he told me he knows I would always to the opposite, and he sees what a selfish asshole he was, in so many different aspects. I know he brings up the A regularly, and asks me how I am or if there's anything I want to talk about. I know he shares random thoughts with me - the other day he randomly sent me this when he was at work...

"When I think about what it is that I have done, the pain I have caused you and the level of hurt you experience on a daily basis I am literally left with this utter discomfort in my tummy. Not a nervous shit kind of feeling but this absolute horrific feeling of just guilt and sadness. It hurts my back, my legs go cold and I feel sick. I am so sorry for what I did last year hun and for how I treated you x"

So I think it's time for me to move forward and stop digging for something that might or might not be. It's time to focus on healing and mending our marriage - because know that whatever happens, I will be OK 🙂

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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 2:31 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

I am four years out from the trauma my husband intentionnaly created.

Another perspective on lying:

What is obvious to me at this stage in our"senior" lives is the fact that he forgets and mixes things up. So in asking him to review a specific situation from that time, I get different answers. I believe that in answering he is giving me his truth as he remembers it. And I've had contradictions. And he mixes me up with his ex affair partner with whom he lived together after leaving me. For example, he claims we went to x-City for a visit. I've never been to x-City with him. He took her. Things like that.

That doesn't automatically mean he is lying as over time our memories do get distorted.

My memories from four years ago get distorted. I know that. His memories are distorted. I see that. Perhaps he is hiding the truth from me. I shrug my shoulders. I do not want additional truths from him. What is the point, I ask myself. I know he can lie easily. Today I wonder more about his memory failings. And I do start conversations about the past with him. Sometimes for clarity, sometimes for understanding his mindset, sometimes to try and validate my own thoughts. He gives me answers.

So I will never get the whole truth from him about his past follies. Ever. That no longer bothers me. I have the present to deal with, the recent passing of our mothers, some health issues. Mourning.

I have acknowledged his stupidities and follies and lies. I remember my deep hurt, my families disbelief and hurt. The past is part of my life with this man I chose to be with.

I believe for each BS, the time it takes to detach from the past trauma is so different. For me it took four years. Others longer.

It helps to talk about your feelings (and not with your spouse) to break the cycle of wash rinse and repeat. I really like your analogy.

fBW. My heart is scarred.

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id 8808683
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 4:44 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

WhiskeyBlues, I LOVE this update. Love love love!

We told our kids, too. After my childhood of knowing that there were bad things happening in the background, but being met with plastered-on smiles, I believe in giving kids age-appropriate truths. They know something is up; better to give them the truth than to let them wonder and make up their own stories about what's amiss. Also, knowing that we're straight with them makes it so much easier for them to come to us when they need support.

Notaboringwife, my H mixes things up, too. He always has, so I can't blame age. He'll see a movie preview, then see it again a few days later and think he's already seen the movie, even though it's not even out yet. And he doesn't hold on to details like I do. He purged it all in the early days, I got what I needed, and he doesn't like how he feels when he remember all the details of the A (like WB's H said,) so he let them go mentally. When I bring up something, it's almost like it's new information for him. I'm kind of glad he's that way because it means that he's not holding onto memories of the AP.

Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 11:47 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Whiskey blues, I love this update ! I am so happy for you. I truly am. I remember your post and thinking this is unsalvageable, but your update proves it otherwise. Your WH seems remorseful, putting in the work and facing his mistakes head on.I would stop looking back and just use this opportunity to make your marriage better.

I want to wish you the best and hope that your marriage gets stronger and healthier. I know this journey was painful for you but I know you learnt a lot about how strong you are.

Enjoy the hot nachos !

posts: 235   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8808793
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:44 PM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

You however are in a different situation, because you keep finding out lies. It’s really not the details that matter, it’s the lies about them at this point.

This. At this point, will it ever matter if you have the truth when he's proven that he'll never stop lying? Can you ever begin to trust when you, for good reason, believe he'll always choose saving himself over your peace of mind.


I can answer your original question, but keep in mind I've never been where you are. My H was certainly not perfect post-d-day but as far as waywards go, he was pretty honest. There was one round of trickle truth that came out and when it did, my H rushed to tell me a list of other details that he'd apparently been holding on to. It was basically the truth vomit you described. I think he'd originally planned to lie to save himself/me but had come to realize that the lies were more problematic than good, and I could sense holes in the story. We had also started taking steps towards R and had had deep honest conversations where I had explained how I could handle the story but I didn't think i could handle hearing he was still lying. He wanted to put it all out there but was scared that if I found out about the lies, I'd be done. He told me he had felt incredible guilt over promising me something when I was willing to be vulnerable with him. So when I pulled on the right string and one thing came out, he let it ALL out. He had a list! Not all of it was omissions rather than outright lies but it was stuff he had knowingly not told me for various reasons. It was all pretty stupid in the grand scheme of things and none of it mattered to me more than the fact that he'd lied.

He was visibly lighter after that. It was like he felt relieved that the truth was all on the table. Conversations about the A timeline were easier and freer after that (presumably because he didn't have to keep track of anything, he could just be honest). When I'd ask questions, there were a lot less "I don't knows" (except when I would ask "why"). There was less defensiveness in generally. The timeline and the narrative of the A started to make sense to me. When I say it made sense, i don't mean I was like, "Oh okay, that explains it then, I suppose I don't have any more questions about the A then..." but when I would answer questions, the answers would be consistent with what I could picture. There were no major gaps or holes or conduct that just seemed to belie credibility. It would be like yeah, I can see him doing that and yeah, I can see that happening, etc. He was also being radically honest about other stuff in a way that I'd not seen from him before. Pre-A he had never been a liar, but he was avoidant and him being willing to address stuff with me now, FELT different.

That said, because he had lied once (and obviously a million times during the A itself), it took me a while (many months) before I began to believe that I had the truth. When his story continued to stand up to continued scrutiny and was supported by outside sources, I eventually stopped stressing about the A and I began to feel like I could focus on healing.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
6+ years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

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id 8809026
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ChumpednBroken ( new member #74604) posted at 5:23 AM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

I knew I had the whole truth when that niggling, nagging feeling was gone. It took five months, and boy… it was more than I ever could have imagined.

Once I’d had a chance to process what I’d heard, I no longer had doubts or felt like "there was something else" or some other shoe to drop.

One thing I’ve learned … trust my gut. It was actually always right, I just talked myself out of it and called myself "silly" when I really, REALLY, should have listened to it.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8809062
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 1:38 PM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

I'm going through this whole mess of healing right now (which feels very good) and I was reading the archives and someone described on there the moment after they knew they'd had the full truth - their spouse was able to properly look them in the eye again.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 269   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809072
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Tav3n ( member #83401) posted at 6:48 PM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

For me it was when I went through her phone. She had saved the initial texts to her ex-bf who she had an online affair with for a year.

I was TT initially but got the truth 3 weeks later when I said she had to do a polygraph. So she told me the full truth and we went through her phone where I saw the messages and some videos/pictures she sent him.

So I knew it started around when she said it did. The only thing that I am pretty sure isn't right is how many times they sexted and she sent pictures to him on instagram. I am pretty sure that is downgraded a little but that part isn't really important to me. I cared more about the extent to what was done and how long it went on for.

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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 7:45 PM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

I have been pretty fortunate in that I haven’t had to deal with a lot of trickle truth. When I first saw the phone records that made me think my husband was having an affair, he lied and lied and gaslit and gaslit for a month. It was horrible and devastating and did more long term damage to our relationship and to my psyche than any other aspect of his affair. At the end of the month I did a deep dive for hard evidence, which I found.

At that point he did almost a 360. He answered every question I had and seemed very committed to sharing anything and everything. There were some issues where foggy thinking and the desire to protect his AP warped some of his disclosures at the beginning, or at least kept him from being as bluntly honest as was warranted. And there was one notable piece of trickle truth about two years after Dday that he volunteered. But for the most part he did a complete turnaround once I found hard evidence. What some others have shared above feels true about my husband—he wasn’t happy about lying, and he never rested easy in it, and full disclosure was as much for him as for me.

That said, even now, three years later, I am still very conscious of the possibility that he could be lying to me (whereas before his affair I never gave that a thought. I would’ve staked my life on him being honest to me). I feel reasonably sure that I have a full picture of his affair. I’m sure there are "truths" I don’t know in the sense sisooon talks about—it’s impossible to tell someone every single detail about something. But at this point I’m more concerned with whether my husband is a truthful person than I am with getting more "truth" about the affair.

I think you might find it helpful to shift from asking yourself whether you know the whole truth to whether you’re married to a truthful person. A truthful person might have moments of lying, or even an egregious, longer-term violation like an affair. But at their core they value truth, expect themselves to be truthful, and believe that those around them deserve truth. And when they violate that core value, they return to it without resorting endlessly to half lies and manipulative prevarications.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 595   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 8:42 PM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

the moment after they knew they'd had the full truth - their spouse was able to properly look them in the eye again.

I feel uncomfortable with this as a general gauge. I asked my H many times over the years before he confessed if he had ever cheated on me and he looked me in the eye every time he said, "No, I could never do that to you."

Obviously, everyone is different, but I thought I’d add my two cents.

Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 11:48 PM on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

When did you believe you had the entire truth?

Um….never.


I really don’t think human brains work that way. If someone lies to you even a little you are always going to have some distrust of them. Thus, you never fully believe you have the entire truth when your source of information is someone who has lied to you and betrayed. I don’t think the goal can really be believing you have the entire truth. The goal is more like reaching a point where you’re pretty confident that you have the bulk of the truth. If you can’t live with some level of uncertainty I don’t think you can really stay married to an ex-cheater and mentally move on. Part of your brain will keep asking you « are you sure you really believe this person who lied so much? ». Part of your brain may come to believe them, but there are going to be some holdout regions of your brain. Its just human nature I think.

posts: 320   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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Topic is Sleeping.
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