08/02/2013 03:40 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2013

If Your Spouse Cheated, Would You Demand All the Nitty-Gritty Details?


This weekend, a college acquaintance of mine, who happens to read my blog, messaged me to say that she just found out her husband was having an affair. After the initial shock was over, she said she NEEDED to know all the lurid details, and implored her husband to answer every single one of her questions in regard to the woman he slept with outside of their marriage. She even admitted that she is INTENT on meeting this woman.

Personally, if my husband were to cheat on me, the thought of meeting "the other woman" seems like it would only further crush my spirit. I'd probably just end up obsessing over every last detail of her physical and emotional makeup, comparing it to my own. I'd probably end up falling short in the interim, because I think any of us can find flaws and often covet the features we don't possess. I'd probably think, Did he have an affair with this woman because her nose was straighter or her butt tighter? All the features that I felt insecure about would simply become magnified. And in the end, I'd probably end up feeling such a sense of self-loathing. And then there's the whole not being able to take back the past, and so seeing these women would just be a huge, concrete reminder of my husbands' transgressions and the fact that our marriage would ultimately never be the same.

On the flip side, I empathize with my friend and I, too, might want to contact this woman to reprimand her and to tell her how worthless she is for engaging in an affair with a married man who is also a father. I'd want to publicly humiliate her, I would not want her to silently fade away. I'd want to pin a scarlet letter to her chest and make sure everyone knew she was a partner with my husband in dismantling the union we once had. But it's likely that any woman who gets involved with a married man has issues of her own -- not to mention, in my opinion, major character flaws and a conscience that allowed her to engage in an affair. So, ultimately, would confronting this woman be worth my time and effort? And then, of course, the woman did not act alone; an affair is a two-way street.

I think when you are feeling so raw and wounded you want to lash out and punish everyone who has put you in this predicament and has shattered the world you attempted to carve out for yourself. So, I'm torn; on the one hand, I might just want to call her and give her a piece of my mind. But on the other hand, I think finding the closure and peace I needed would not come from her, it would ultimately come from within me.

Why would a woman want to hear the lurid details of her husband's sexual encounters with another woman? What kind of closure could she possibly garner by finding out about this woman?