Drip…drip…drip…The danger of the “trickle-truth”

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Trickle-truth: A phenomenon whereby an individual who has betrayed their partner reveals the complete truth s little at a time, as opposed to all at once.

You either have a denier, a gusher or a trickler. A denier will deny the affair is happening, and make you feel like you are going crazy, filling you with self-doubt. A gusher will explode with all of the truth right away, whether they were caught or whether they willingly disclosed. A trickler, on the other hand, reveals information slowly, over time, possibly telling lies to conceal certain aspects of the truth until they are ready to let them out in a slow and controlled way, thereby delaying the betrayed partner from having the “complete truth” for some time.

Do you have a denier, a gusher or a trickler?

I had a gusher, and I am thankful.

First of all, I should back up one step. Before the truth can come out or be received, the betrayed partner needs to decide at what pace they wish to receive the truth, and how much detail they want/need. Not everyone needs or wants the details. I am NOT one of those people. I wanted to know as much about the affair as my husband did. I didn’t like knowing that another woman knew more into that window of his life than I did, and so I set out to see the affair through his eyes, to share in the details and not feel as though I was left out. So, for me, having a gusher was a good thing.

Aside from complete denial of the events, trickle-truths have to be the most damaging thing to the healing process, second only to finding out that your affair never ended, after being told it had (but that is another blog post for another day). And so I write this blog post for the spouse who betrayed. Yes, you…I am talking to YOU this time.

Being betrayed hurts. It hurts like hell. There is no greater hurt imaginable. Whether you were discovered accidentally, or whether you came clean and told your partner you had an affair, the simple fact is that you committed a crime against your marriage, and have changed your spouse forever. The hurt that comes from the betrayal of the most intimate part of your life is intense. But what carries more weight than the details of your behaviour during your affair are the details of the behaviours you exhibit AFTER disclosure. Whether you are aiming to reconcile or whether you are headed towards separation or divorce, your partner is going to want to know what happened. BEing cut out of someone else’s life, and having a secret life outside of them is hard to wrap your head around. When your whole world comes crashing down, and you are given the devastating news, you really do start to question what was ever “real” in your life. In order to make sense of the information, many betrayed spouses find themselves asking a ton of questions designed to pieve together the puzzle, create a timeline of events, and make sense of what happened. It isn’t enough to know that you cheated. We want to know where, when, how often, with whom, in what way, what you did, and most of all WHY you did it. We want to know if she was prettier than us, if she was smarter, if she was better in bed, if she was thinner, if she made you laugh more, if she was….better. Whether you are uncovered or disclosed, your opportunity for some sort of redemption is NOW. You are already found-out, you really have nothing else to lose. So, why do the trickle-truth way of concealing certain details, only to reveal them later? Don’t you know that is more hurtful to us? All you are doing when you do that is protecting yourself, and once she realizes you aren’t being forthcoming, she will see that you are once again thinking only of NUMERO UNO, and not putting her needs first.

I know that you feel ashamed. Maybe you feel angry because your secret has been uncovered, and you feel like you can no longer partake in your extra-marital activity. Regardless, all you want is for it all to go away. If you could snap your fingers and make her “reset”, whereby she is aware of the affair, but never raises it, doesn’t cry, doesn’t ask questions, doesn’t hold it over you, and doesn’t threaten to leave…I bet you’d snap those fingers. I know that anytime I’ve felt shame, I’ve just wanted to hide and come out when it is safe, has blown over, and people have forgotten about it. I get it. But, let’s face it, you did something pretty vile, and you need to take responsibility for your actions and the hurt they have caused. Telling the truth is only part of what is necessary, so I start there.

When your hurt partner asks you for the truth, they want it. They NEED it. You hold the key to their healing, and if you deny them the truth, you deny them healing, or at best, you delay their healing. Neither are good options. I firmly believe that people ask questions at the time when they are ready to receive them. In the case of infidelity, I think this is an exception to that rule. Sometimes a partner asks for the truth, demanding it immediately, only to discover that they aren’t emotionally ready to process what has been offered. The betrayed spouse has a responsibility in asking ONLY THOSE QUESTIONS THAT THEY ARE PREPARED TO HEAR THE ANSWERS TO. You will need to talk together about how fast and how much, but just knowing that you are giving it ALL to her/him at the speed at which S/HE needs to hear it is so comforting.

I look at it this way: The affair was a wall between you and your spouse. Your activities were completely hidden behind the wall. When the affair was blown open, it threw open a window between you and your spouse. She can see you, and you can see her. She might even be able to climb through the window to meet you on the other side. But, each time you tell the truth in a way that shows her that you concealed it previously, the window closes by an inch. With each concealed lie slowly making its way to truth, the window openings gets smaller and smaller until you find yourselves on two opposite sides of the window, unable to cross through to the other person. Your window, right after the affair is the widest it will ever be. Keep it that way by telling the truth as you are asked. Each time you do, the truth helps prop the window open, making it more likely that you can 1. See each other better, and 2. One of you will make the overture to join the other on their side.

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It sounds silly, but in the wake of my husband’s affair, while I was reeling in pain, the one thing I could feel comforted by was knowing that although it felt I had momentarily lost him to the other team, knowing that the truth was given freely each time I asked felt like he was coming back to mine. Knowing that I could access the information that I needed whenever I needed it, allowed me to feel as though I was strangely in control of something. When you learn of your partner’s affair, suddenly you are strapped into a roller coaster ride that you never intended to board, and you feel as though your life has run away with you, and you aren’t in control of anything. Your partner cheated, perhaps the other party is making demands or acting like a nuisance…either way, you feel out of control. Having the information as I needed it allowed me to feel some small semblance of being in control of my self.

For me, I wanted the information right away. I told my husband to give it all to me at once. When he disclosed, I felt as though my world was pulled out from under my feet. I had fallen down, and getting up felt like an insurmountable task. The last thing I wanted was to stand up, knowing the truth I had, bearing weight on my legs again, only to have them swept out from under me again with some new unexpected information. I wanted it all at once – quick – like a bandaid. I figured: “knock me down, beat me up, kick me while I am down here. But, so help me God, if I have to get up and be knocked down again….I don’t think I will get up the next time”.

My husband was forthcoming with the information I needed. It was one of the factors that allowed him to restore my trust in him. Had he withheld, told me slowly, or concealed further, it would have added insult to injury. It would have left me feeling as though he didn’t respect me enough to tell me the truth. It is one thing to conceal an affair when it is a secret. It is entirely another to be given a chance to come clean by someone who is begging you for the truth, and then deny it knowing how much it means to them. When you are in the affair, you can rationalize why s/he doesn’t need to know. You can justify your actions and secrecy by saying that she wouldn’t want to know. But when s/he stands in front of you, a broken person, and begs you to tell the truth, and you don’t….on purpose…you are simply someone holding onto a large cold glass of water, and depriving the parched and dehydrated person in front of you from taking a sip.

Now, if you are the betrayed spouse, there is a way to minimize trickle-truth. Remember, that trickle-truth tends to happen because the unfaithful partner feels scared and ashamed. They are less apt to tell you the complete truth if they think it will harm them (you will walk out, you will threaten to take the kids, you will divorce them), or if they think you will use whatever information they provide as ammunition against them later. Remember that you too have a role here, and that is that if you are going to ask for the information, you have to promise to use it internally only, for your own knowledge, and that you won’t turn it around and use it as poison. No one will offer you a vial of poison if they think you are going to turn around and pour it down their throat. Reassure your partner of why you want to know, and that you won’t hurt them with the information. Reassure them that although it might hurt YOU like hell, that you will do your best to process the information that comes in a way that is healthy and helpful to both of you.

Being betrayed hurts. Being deceived after the betrayal is uncovered is just further disrespect. You don’t have to spill it all in one episode, but the simple act of reassuring the betrayed spouse that you will do your best to give her the information as you remember it, when asked, is a huge step forward and earns big points.

Betrayed spouses: Be prepared for some of the answers that you do get to be “I don’t remember”. This is especially true if the unfaithful spouse is male. Men simply don’t remember the details the way us women do. We remember what he was wearing, what cologne he had on, whether it was breezy out…he simply doesn’t look for, appreciate, or need that detail in order to live his life, so he may not have made that mental note. But, don’t fret, those memories can come back, if they are given time to percolate. The important thing is that the unfaithful spouse doesn’t start creating details that weren’t accurate simply for the purpose of ‘having an answer’. That helps no one, and can do more harm than good. If you don’t know – say so. If you spontaneously remember in a few days, gently remind your partner that you’ve had a breakthrough memory of the events s/he was asking about, and ask when it would be a good time to share it.

Healing can only begin once the truth is known. Finding out weeks or months later that the “truth” you thought you had wasn’t the truth at all can cause significant setbacks in healing. If you want to move forward to a place where forgiveness is possible, a place where she doesn’t “bring it up anymore”, where she doesn’t “ask anymore questions”, and where the affair no longer dominates discussion, remember that truth now brings healing later. Truth later, brings healing even later. In a nutshell: You need to sit in the shit before you can get out and towel off. Be willing to jump in.




  1. I have a trickler. And it was/is the worst thing ever, throughout my whole life I can honestly say this is the worst. I am four years out and still don’t trust. It took an entire year for the whole truth to come out. In the beginning when I thought I had the truth we had lots of wonderful hysterical bonding. But that didn’t last. Because each time I felt safe to believe and trust, the rug was pulled out from under me yet again. He was protecting himself and convinced himself he was protecting me from the truth. Now I am at the point where I don’t invest myself fully in our marriage and he wants to reconcile and spend the rest of his life making it up to me. We have seen a MC, he has an IC, I have an IC. I sometimes just get sick of the therapy. It is hard to invest emotionally in something that you clearly were wrong about – and we were/are married now for 23 years. His affair(s) lasted a few years on and off from year 15 through 19. But because he took the entire year to tell me everything I really have no clue. I’m completely stuck. We haven’t had sex in two years because I honestly can’t relax and trust enough to let myself be close to him for fear of all of it happening again. And the more time that goes by, the less and less I invest in anything about us. We have 4 kids – I can’t see divorcing until and if I feel like I will never get this going. So I stay in the hopes that something will convince me to stay and invest my heart again. He asked me the other day if I wanted to keep trying. My response – I want to WANT to keep trying but that isn’t happening. And I do believe it is because of the TT. All the way because of that.

  2. Still Loving Him says:

    My husband was also a trickler, it killed me every time a new truth was revealed. He would only confess after interrogation and he made things up just to have an answer. The lies and being told over and over that there was no more, that he’d told me everything were devastating. I thought I was going insane. It made me hate the person I’d loved most in the world, it made me not trust the person I’d trusted most in the world. Is there really recovery from that? How do I recover from a 6 year affair, 6 years of lies and then the torture I went through with his trickles of truth. The affair was unfair, the lies were unfair, having to rewrite my history is unfair but the worst was the constant insult of continuing to be lied to after I knew about the affair. My husband could not grasp that the truth was less harmful to me than the lies he told me. The thoughts I had in my mind about what he’d done were often far worse than reality but when he failed to give me the truth so that I could know the reality it made me think that what I believed happened was the truth. It was horrible. I don’t know how or why I stayed with him through all the lies. My father was dying at the time and I needed my husband to get through it all, I was in shock and emotionally unstable. If it happened today, while I’m stronger, while I don’t have a parent dying, while I don’t feel insane I know I would leave him. Sometimes I feel like an idiot for staying with someone who took me for granted the way my husband did. I’m going to go cry myself to sleep now.

  3. Reblogged this on Is this really my marriage? and commented:
    Such a great read about how the affair comes out. I had a trickler…but it was for a reason. Once I tried to go to sleep for good, (or had my episode, as I like to call it) JR was scared to death to give me too much information at once. He was scared it would send me over the edge again, he may have even been right. It took about 3 months to getthe whole truth. As for not remembering things, this is true for men, so, so, true. 2 years later I still got a couple of pieces of new information. He wasn’t trying to keep these things from me, he simply didn’t remember at the time. I even believe that future conversations may still reveal more…who knows.

  4. This is how my husband handled his affair with half truths and just plain lies. He lied from the very start right up until just a couple of weeks ago. He now tells me that I know everything but I’m still waiting for the next bombshell to hit from a great height. He can’t get his head around this now because he knows he’s telling the truth but how can i possibly know after everything?! I think only now he’s beginning to see how much damage he has done as now I don’t believe anything he tells me. He’s taken to bringing one our children out with him whenever he needs to leave the house to show he’s not up to anything. I’m sick of defending his actions. I hope he reads this post.

  5. I also have a trickler. And yes, typically she, like most women you mentioned, can remember all kinds of details about things that happened years ago. But somehow , when it comes to her 3-4 year affair, she has several ” I don’t know(s)” or “I can’t remember(s)”. I know she thinks she is protecting me but I would rather the band-aid be ripped off at once.

    • I think that often, the unfaithful spouse allows themselves to belief that their concealment of the truth protects us, when it reality the person they are protecting is themselves. They protect themselves from the shame. It is sad to say, but I find many women have a hard time facing blame and stepping up. We become passive aggressive, and defensive. I suspect it has to do with how girls are raised…always being sheltered and protected from unpleasant situations, in this case dealing with facing your wrongs and facing shame head on. I don’t think we equip girls for that well enough. That is just my opinion. I am horrible at it, and was also never taught to say “I am sorry”….it was never said to me as a child – my parents were always right.

  6. Samantha Baker says:

    Reblogged this on Repairing Shattered Pieces and commented:
    Yep, I had a trickler. And I’ve said it many many times myself, that was so traumatic for me. From the first DDay (july 2011) until I got the final disclosure (October 2012) I had 15 months of trickle truth. It broke me. It was traumatic. I begged and begged and begged for the truth. And because he held thingsback from me for so long, our reconciliation was restarted at day one each time another lie came out. We really only started a real recovery about 2 months ago. Often it is said that people do not divorce due to the affair, but due to the lies after the affair. I agree, comepletely. It was heart breaking to go through new revelations over and over again.

    • Exactly…
      It is never about who you cheat with but who you cheat ON.
      Infidelity is the fastest destroyer of marriage.
      Affair happen in good marriages but can ruin them forever. The BS can never be intimate or she may be just waiting for it to happen again or the trust is gone forever…
      so whether men have sex for sex or compartmentalize whatsoever.. DON’T DO IT
      Why destroys meaningful years over meaningless moments?
      Why hurt the love of your life for a whore you dislike?
      Everyone doesn’t heal like RMM.Even if some couples reconcile, its never the same.
      I would also give some credit to MR RMM he really showed true regret and repented unlike several others who are waiting for the dust to settle and cheat again and give hollow promises.

  7. I experienced trickle truth after D-day. It was like having the knife in my back twisted every time a new truth came out. It was heart-wrenching to say the least and I knew that I could not begin to get better when I always had to wonder what lie would be uncovered and what truth would be revealed down the road. I no longer feel like there are any lies, just details that he hasn’t discussed, but I am ok with not knowing anything else. I asked all the questions I needed to, over time along with his trickle truth, and I feel like I can begin to heal.

    I think that his reasoning for trickle truth is because of what you said about giving the BS a bottle of poison and it being poured back down their throat. I have been guilty of making jabs and using the information to hurt him. I understand his hesitancy to share info with me, but like you said…he needed to man up and face whatever consequences would come his way and expect that I would be angry and hurt by all of this. He shouldn’t expect it to last forever, but that is also dependent upon how honest and up front he is with the truth about his affair

  8. I have a trickler. It has only been 8 months since discovery every couple of weeks either I hear something from someone else or he “remembers” something. I feel like I am losing my mind. I just wish we could sit and he could tell it all in one disgusting, torturous session so I can heal and try to move on. The wound keeps re-opening and is never going to heal this way. I emailed this to him and insisted on him reading it. We shall see…

  9. My husband is a trickler. It’s been over the course of 5 years (I guess I am a glutton for pain) and I am still positive that I don’t have half of the truth. But in the past few months, I have begun to feel ok about it. I am in recovery, working my program, comfortable in knowing that his secrets are making him sicker – not me. I am no longer begging for details, demanding he tell me about his “recovery” (he is still active in his addiction), or as focused on this marriage. I am taking care of myself and I am becoming more comfortable with the knowledge that saving this marriage is impossible until he (and I) recover individually.

  10. Samantha Baker says:

    Hope you don’t mind but I posted a link to this on my facebook page:

  11. i have a trickler too. its frustrating. thanks for sharing this & helping me realize i am NOT crazy. best part, “Truth later, brings healing even later. In a nutshell: You need to sit in the shit before you can get out and towel off. Be willing to jump in.”

  12. You hit so many nails on the head with this, RMM. Excellent post.

  13. Foolish Woman says:

    Great post, RMM.

    I had a Trickler too. And yes, this damaged me far more than the infidelities.
    It took eighteen months and several D-days before I finally got the complete truth.
    Even now, I’m not 100% sure he’s told me everything.
    At one point – and this is the one thing I cannot forgive him for – he swore on our children’s heads that he’d been completely truthful.
    I told him on another occasion that he had an open window to confess everything and that if I later discovered he’d lied, I’d walk.
    Of course I realise now that I shouldn’t have backed him into those particular corners but one finds oneself suddenly mired in the Betrayal Bog with absolutely no knowledge of how to best handle things.
    Sometimes I wish I’d been brave enough to have thrown him out on D-day #1; I think that might have been the catalyst for a bit of gushing and could have saved both of us several years of Trickle Fallout. It’s easy to be wise in hindsight.

    Counselling helped to a degree. Our first counsellor was sympathetic but inexperienced and H lied his way through that for several months. The second counsellor did help us improve our relationship but uses a method which takes little account of what’s gone before a couple appearing in his consulting room. I needed to understand why he’d lied – to give me trust and confidence that he wouldn’t hurt me again.

    At nearly four years since the initial discovery of his infidelity, he cannot understand why I still need to ask him an occasional question and feels I’m rubbing his nose in it.
    It’s said that every time more previously denied details emerge, the recovery clock resets itself to zero but I think it’s probably a reset to minus zero because of all the further damage that the lies cause.

    • I completely agree about the trust clock resetting. I’m just sorry that it has causes it to drag on this long for you.

      • Foolish Woman says:

        I was feeling particularly negative the day I posted that, RMM, but actually – most of the time – life is good and we’re both well on the way to recovering from that mess.

  14. I’m stunned. I have a trickler too and this post plus the comments are exactly dead on my feelings.

    • See? In reading this, you’ve come to see that we all share this pain and it is the same hurt. It’s a club no one wants to belong to. In a way, you’ve just found “like others” 😉 feels good, right?

  15. Yes great post (& the comments) … came across your blog today and have been reading it for hours. Thankyou.

    Sadly this one and many of the posts are very familiar. Mine is erratic, angry, moody, then loving, but never truthful. The most stupid part is one of the reasons I married him was because he was honest (sometimes a little too brutally) I think I have now learnt that was all about him too. One of his affairs has been going on for my whole marriage (she lives in a different country, he travels a lot) and he has just gone away and contacted her again. I found out, gave him an opportunity to come clean and he denied it and got angry at told me I was paranoid and that he thinks I can never move forward.

    The trickling and the result of trying to make out I am crazy is the worst part of all. The relationship started more than 8 years ago (we’ve been married 9) and at first “nothing happened” and it was my fault for not being the right choice to marry, then he was going to leave 3 years later and again nothing had happened, they were just friends. It took 7 years for him to admit he had slept with her but then he made out that it ended long ago, and then he happened to contact her again, again my fault and again he made a big thing of breaking up with her.

    We have been to counselling numerous times at different intervals but he shuts that down as soon as he has to tell the truth or dig a little deeper or do anything that would mean real behavioural change.

    I think the vows I made are important and all the work & sacrifice to build a life together … and I am scared of being bitter and cynical if I give up and throw that away and have to start again …. but I am beginning to think it’s just his life and to weigh up what of myself am I throwing away by accepting all the lies.

  16. I have a trickler. I hate it. I hope that the last bit of truth came out this Sunday. And the truth started coming out 6/6/2012, with the affair starting Jan 2012. I’m still rebuilding my picture of the past. What was he telling me, doing with me, or doing to me when he was also with the other women (2 of them).

  17. GraceUnderFire says:

    I had a trickler too. In fact, that’s how I found your incredible blog after googling the term, so I guess for once I am actually grateful my husband was a trickler. I found out about my husband’s two-month affair almost two years ago after stumbling across a parting letter she wrote to him as a sick goodbye present. Their fling happened while we were living in separate countries because of horrific work circumstances. Every time he slept with his low-life piece of side-pork (the company’s receptionist, how cliched!) it was a drunken night out with work mates so in some ways his memory is completely foggy but not knowing the details has also been absolutely torturous. He was also diagnosed with clinical depression of which memory loss is a common symptom. Not that he’s any less responsible for his actions. But to make matters worse, I am a journalist and so very good at digging and interrogation and have a thirst for needing to know everything! I am still incredibly resentful that none of my husband’s admissions were volunteered but discovered by me after tracking down details or by repeated questioning. It made me so crazy I almost subjected him to a lie detector test. Each revelation has been soul destroying. I try to stay positive because my husband has done everything else required of recovery and we’ve put some very clear boundaries in place now that we both will never take fidelity for granted. I would love to read how yourself and visitors to this blog stop delving into the ‘garbage’ – unfortunately the side-pork has a blog and an instagram feed and for some reason, I still have a burning desire to keep tabs on her even though she lives in a completely different hemisphere and has had no contact with my husband since D-day. I think it’s because out of all of this, I just really want an apology from her. She pursued my husband, knowing he was married. She even knew that it was causing him great mental anguish and had considered suicide. She’s apologised to him but as for me..I am still waiting. I don’t know how you can crush another person’s dreams, hopes, faith and not feel any remorse? Somehow I think I’ll be still asking this question on my deathbed. I’ve spent a good deal of time reading your blog today and it’s such a comfort to find like-minded women who understand the strength, love and commitment it takes to stay in a marriage rocked by infidelity. So I send you my sincere gratitude.

    • Grace I am away on vacation but I want to reply to you. Remind me if I forget 🙂

    • Like I said… there are several stalkers who don’t care, they just want to GET the man. and they start planning what to say and what to do. this is especially for those people who say OW must never be blamed…. crap. OW is to be blamed.. not as much as the man ( he still shares a greater blame) but still she can’t get off the hook like this.

  18. This post is written so well. Such a fantastic job of using word pictures to convey the meaning behind the words. Your reference to the closing window, getting smaller with each knew discovery is so accurate and this is what I tried so desperately to explain to my partner who felt protecting himself (and me) from the details was better. I tried to explain that I needed the truth complete, at once. As you explained, once I was down I didn’t want to get knocked down and try to get up again. And again. And again… And what I tried to make him understand was I needed it then. While I was still partly numb. That there would come a time when I wouldn’t be in a place to hear it. That was my mistake. I think he took that one to the bank. Trickle, trickle, wait me out. Our problem now is that I’m no longer in the place to hear it and process it. Too much time has been lost, too much rage has seeped in, and now I am caught between not knowing the whole truth and living our lives on two sides of the wall because the things he wouldn’t tell me then are the things that will forever live in my mind as the mortor that seals our wall and makes it hard for me to trust him or anything else for that matter. He’s too weak to tear down the wall. Too afraid. I wish I could have explained it as well as you have. maybe he could have understood that he wasn’t protecting me….he was losing me.

  19. Well said:) I had a denier and a disappearer. Not knowing was one of the hardest aspects of the whole situation. I had to learn to come to terms with the fact that I will never know the facts. I eventually realized that my 16 year relationship was real to me and that has to be enough. Since it is over, there is nothing to be gained from trying to disect every memory to try to see what deceptions may have been going on behind the scenes.

    A major challenge of the betrayed is that the power to reveal information ultimately rests with the betrayer. It’s like you’ve been stabbed in the heart and only your attacker can give you medical attention.

  20. bombladoze says:

    i dont just have a trickler… Im hooked up to an IV drip. Hes also a stonewaller. Its completely doing my head in. He doesnt understand.

  21. the Problem. says:

    I am a denier. And at times, a trickler. I drove him crazy, and still stood my ground. I saw the pain I put him through and told him to leave me without giving him the complete truth he wanted… which is why he stayed… To try to figure it out, I suppose. I promised to tell him the truth after it somewhat blew over… hasn’t happened yet. He doesn’t believe me when I tell him I’m poisonous. We’ve got either a long road ahead, or an imminent explosion in the near future.

    • If you’ve selfishly harmed someone you promised to love and protect, I can only hope that you are able to put your self-protecting denial and further selfishness aside to give him the details that he needs in order to live the life he deserves. You need to start putting his needs first for a while and help him heal, not further deny because of your shame.

  22. Brokenandgoinginsane says:

    My partner of 16 years is trickle truthing me to death. It’s been almost 5 months since Dday. I found out she had been having an affair on and off with a man for 5 months and didn’t tell me until she became pregnant. Since then she has diminished their affair, stating she didn’t like him, she wasn’t attracted to him, etc. about every other week a new bit of information is revealed and it crushes me. She gets angry when I call her out on a lie. She has looked me in my eyes, crying, stating she has told me everything – which was a lie. She had him in our house, in our bed, on our couch. Around our daughter. She gives me such confusing information so that nothing makes sense. I was obsessing about the two of them so badly, trying to understand – to make some sense of what she was telling me. I was going insane. She claims she’s told me everything but how can I believe her? We are trying to work things out but I can’t trust anything she says – even when she tells me she loves me. I am so scared of her, so miserable. I question why I’m still here? Will she ever come clean? Is it possible she has told me everything? I’ve read the posts here and most people say it took a year or more for their partner to come clean. I can’t take any more. I’m utterly broken at this point. I just don’t understand. If she really loves me and wants this to work then why can’t she be honest with me? I have begged, cried, pleaded with her to tell me truth and she continues to lie? Is there any hope for us? Is it even possible for her to love me considering everything that’s happened? I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  23. Fudavidpab says:

    Forgetful thoughts of getting away with momentarily cheating isn’t logical to use sexist male delusion of being forgetful. The cheater knew he didn’t forget he was supposed to be faitful but choose not to be faithful. That’s giving an advantage to stay longer and conceal it better with ambiguous words versus details of what truly happen.

    • I’m not sure if you are referencing me or another commenter. I don’t think anyone is referencing male forgwtfulness as an appropriate excuse. because it most certainly is not. However, there is certainly a very predominant difference between the sexes such that women particularly seek out and are good at observing detail, while men typically are not. Men tend to be more “big picture” thinkers so when ASKED to recount a situation from the past, tend to be less able to remember the exact details that their partner desperately needs. Of course, this can often abusively be used to his advantage to say “I just don’t remember” when truly he is concealing, which is why trickle truths tend to happen. Is there a lack of detail in men’s recall of situations that makes them less able to provide these answers? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that some well-intentioned partners who are doing their best to provide answers won’t be frustrated themselves by their lack of recall. IN some cases it can also be a DESIRE to forget, a subconcious compartmentalization which allows them to put it so far out of mind that they just can’t access those details in order to self-protect. I don’t think anyone, me included, alluded to a man’s predisposition to being less detail-focused is an excuse, and it isn’t a sexist observation, it is rooted in the way men and women process information, and our brains, it has scientific fact behind it, it is not merely opinion.

  24. I am a trickler. I have never been unfaithful to my husband, but I have recently disclosed a large amount of debt that I have racked up behind his back, and what happened at a party where I got black out drunk. My guy friend carried me downstairs and put me to bed. Nothing sexual happened at all. But it has come out gradually over the last 4 months. I didn’t realize how much damage this has caused him. This is so well written.

    I am willing to change and make things right, but tell me, betrayed folks, is there recovery from me? I don’t want to do this to my husband and best friend.


  25. Love Hurts says:

    I also am married to a trickler.
    Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my discovery of his infidelity. I didn’t get the full unencumbered truth from him until almost 4 months after the discovery date. There were so many droppings along the way. Each and every time t a new detail was revealed felt like a sucker punch, a slap in the face, a hot knife in my belly. If it weren’t for my most amazing angel of a friend and Jesus Christ I honestly believe I would’ve committed murder. I was just that enraged. What few people realize is that it’s not the act of cheating that is so damaging to a marriage but it’s the lies and betrayal that supports the cruel act itself. It takes BALLS to look someone in the eye and LIE to them especially when you can see the desperation and hurt in their face.
    Everyday, I pray for insight and peace. I’ve come a long way and so has my husband we’ve built stronger bonds and have renewed our commitment to our vows. I have a new level of respect for him. I have forgiven him and the crazy cunt that tried to destroy our marriage. I call her a cunt because she took us to small claims court over a piece of property that DID NOT BELONG to her and the judge told her so. The case was laughable, frivolous and a complete waste of time. Of course she didn’t win anything but used the case as an attempt to humiliate him but only made herself look like a fool. The judge dismissed her claim and awarded him money in a counter suit that we’ll obviously NEVER get.


  1. […] am still working through –  1) the deliberate deceitful actions of lying and misleading me and 2) the truth trickling.  Never mind the money he spent that he should have been giving to me for child support.  As I […]

  2. […] have to find it.  Some have all of the details given when asked, others have to wait for the trickle-truth which is traumatic over and over again each time new details are revealed.  We all have such […]

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