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Full Disclosure of affair material should carry a warning of high voltage with it.

Full Disclosure of affair material should carry a warning of high voltage with it.

A reader posed the question "How important is full voluntary disclosure?" Before answering that question, consider "What kind of relationship do you want with your wife?" The kind of relationship you want determines how important the 'full voluntary disclosure' is, since that kind of disclosure changes your relationship.

A full voluntary disclosure brings a change in the power structure of the marriage. The disclosure of affair information is sexually and emotionally charged.

The kind of energy it contains, brings a massive shock to your marriage relationship. The intensity of such emotionally and sexually charged information rewires your relationship.

As part of the rewiring of your marriage relationship, the disclosure creates a  more parent-child dynamic (or priest/parishioner, doctor/patient, etc.). The more you push, the more they'll resist, the more the drama that goes with it.

Once the dynamics change, you can't go back to 'the way it was'.

Once you have that information, it forgiveness harder. With full disclosure, the more graphic the detail, the harder it is to forgive, since you'll find yourself replaying the scenarios over and over again in your brain.

Your spouse needs accountability. With spouses it becomes a double-edged sword. If you want an adult-to-adult relationship, with intimacy between two equals, you need enough disclosure to know what you are forgiving them for, yet not so much that you can't get the images out of your mind, or recreate/replay them over and over.

When you replay them, they become a nightmare.

"Full voluntary disclosure" is important. Such disclosure is best if it is done with the counselor, pastor, etc. Although you may be wanting to know and eager to hear, the jolt is more than some spouses can handle.

Your spouse needs accountability, although when it's with you, the price tag is that the relationship totally changes. Once full disclosure happens, the relationship becomes more about control and less about love.

Let me repeat that: Once full disclosure happens, the relationship becomes more about control and less about love. You have traded love for control. It is a trade that there are not take-backs for.

Most spouses can not objectively handle the highly charged sexual content. Most spouse can't listen to such emotionally charged material objectively. Their emotions cloud their mind.

Since you love your wife, you'll be biased. It's likely that you'll take many things personally, rather than being able to 'hear them out'.

A better question than " How important is full voluntary disclosure?" is "What are you doing that brings healing to your marriage?" When you consider this question, you'll focus on what needs to be done to reduce the separateness, what is keeping your wife from feeling safe with you, and what you can do to prevent future lies.

She's likely developed a 'response set' if not outright habit of lying. The longer lies continue, the higher the chance that lying becomes a way of life. You will want to help her move beyond this habit.

The video, "Forgiveness: Stop the Pain, Tear down the Walls and Remove the Roadblocks" provides additional help in healing your relationship. When things are more intense than you can handle, get help.

Best Regards,

Jeff