I have found when the injured party goes into these questions; it just takes them to a "place of absolute inadequacy". Feelings of inadequacy are problematic issues for many of us anyway. If Mike tells Jessica that the sex was better; devastation for Jessica. If Mike tells Jessica the sex wasn't better; Jessica won't believe him. It's a "no-win" scenario for either partner. (Note: I have found that most men, more so than women, focus on the sexual detail questions. As you remember from my comments on the socialization of men. It's about performance for us. Our self-esteem is wrapped up in performance. So if sex occurred in the infidelity then there must be something wrong with me as a man. Most men when the infidelity happens to them; almost always want to know if it went sexual and then the details.)
For all partners, male or female, the violation from an infidelity happened the moment we emotionally opened ourselves to a third party. The intimate things that we shared with our partner are now being shared with someone else.
News flash: It's not the sex, it's the devastation from having gone outside the relationship to begin with.
STEP NINE- THIS IS A DIRECT MESSAGE TO THE INJURED PARTY: YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN
The injured party (Jessica) already knows what she will do if the infidelity happens again. You will leave the relationship. Your respecting yourself.
Mike knows Jessica will probably leave if it happens again. The point here is this: Mike is going to go through all the steps above and then turn around and have another affair. JESSICA WOULD YOU EVEN WANT TO BE WITH SOMEONE LIKE THAT?
Really, Mike couldn't have the balls to come to you to end the relationship if he didn't want to be in it. He's going to start up another affair. JESSICA FLEE FROM SOMEONE LIKE THIS.
STEP TEN- WORKING ON ALL THE OTHER ISSUES IN THE RELATIONSHIP- IN COUPLES THERAPY
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EXCUSING AN INFIDELITY.There were and are other things that were contributing to the relationship being dysfunctional. I mentioned some of these in earlier steps. Things such as: obvious poor communication; not being heard in the relationship; intimacy distancing either emotional/sexual or both; afraid to work through emotional conflict; lack of emotional trust; caretaking; co-dependency; doing things out of obligation rather than want; etc.
In conclusion I have found over the years when couples have experienced an infidelity; if they are willing to do the above TEN STEPS they do re-establish the trust in their relationship and their relationship can even better.