Patti E. Hard,

M.S., L.M.F.T., C.A.D.C., A.A.S.E.C.T.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Sex Terapist, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor  |  Lexington Kentucky


Discovery Of A Spouse's Affair After Death

A particularly shocking and painful discovery after one's spouse has died is the possibility that the spouse had an affair. This discovery may come about when sorting through the deceased’s clothing or personal items. Diaries, letters, cards, gifts, or even receipts may give evidence of a relationship the living spouse had no idea about. Or perhaps he or she had suspicions.

The living spouse has a double blow. She has his death to grieve, then she has to struggle with the shock and hurt. In addition she may have many questions concerning this new information. Processing this information can be severely traumatic. It is made more difficult by not having the deceased around to answer questions, or account for themselves.

This can be an especially lonely, painful, and possibly humiliating experience. All the feelings most have after discovery of an affair occur. This throws the spouse into a complicated grieving process. Both symptoms of grief and trauma may be present. Obsessive thinking and intrusive thoughts are especially prevalent. Having someone to talk with can be especially important to break the isolation and aloneness. It may be impossible to turn to family, or friends. Consider reaching out to a therapist who understands complicated grief, trauma, and affairs.


Patti E. Hard, M.S.  |  1517 Nicholasville Road, Lexington, KY 40503  |  859-278-4364