There's a middle ground that may help here
anonymous Asks ...
I cheated on my wife and I was caught. It almost ended our 12 year marriage and I am so thankful that she is willing to give me a second chance. This happened (my getting caught) just before Christmas. Now we are getting to a point where things are starting to feel more normal again. We are talking and laughing and joking together like we did before the affair and this is really a lot better than how things were in the first couple of months of this year. Now my wife wants to go to marriage counseling to work on our relationship. I feel like all we’re going to be doing is lifting the scab off an old wound and diving back into all that pain and suffering. Also, there is a lot I have not told her about what happened. I do not want to lie to her either. But I cannot imagine that her knowing more details is going to help her or us in any way. Given the situation, would you agree that we should just leave well enough alone?
Steve McCready Says ...
If your wife wants to go to marriage counseling, that tells me there are probably some unresolved feelings or concerns for her that may need to be addressed.
A marriage counselor who is an expert on affairs is not going to require, or even suggest that everything about the affair be disclosed, because it's not necessary. They are going to assess the relationship for areas of concern or weakness and work with you to address those things - typically, in the case of an affair, rebuilding and maintaining trust is the big one.
My favorite book on the subject of affairs and recovery from them is "After the Affair" by Janis Abrahms Spring - give it a look.
Hope that helps!