Confront cheating spouse? How? What do you say? Feel like you’re walking on egg shells? Do you fear that whatever you say or do could push them further away?
You never expected to deal with cheating when you got married.
It comes down to this. Something felt wrong. Your husband(or wife) starting acting peculiar.
Then your worst nightmare became reality just like it did for me.
The day you found out your spouse cheated on you.
You didn’t plan for it. Neither did I, but it happened and just like I had to choose, you must consider your confront cheating spouse techniques carefully.
Deal with your cheating spouse incorrectly and pay the price of either losing your marriage for good and possibly even replaying the “what-if” game in your head for an eternity.
You don’t want to live with regrets, do you?
And you don’t have to.
Confront Cheating Spouse: Focusing On What You Can Control
Want to know the biggest secret for avoiding disaster right after catching your cheating spouse?
Logic over emotions.
Yes, doing the opposite of what your heart wants to do.
You probably want to smack him. Perhaps you wish to boot your wife out of the house.
Many of you want to shout at them until your lungs go blue.
Trust me. Find a way to ignore your emotions.
Right now do not decide anything long-term. Do not plan your future.
Time to focus on the right here and right now. Do not sabotage yourself.
Their choice to cheat wasn’t fair. It also wasn’t logical. And you will NOT succeed at talking sense into them.
Easier said than done, but if you don’t believe me check out what all marriage counselors say. Listen to what other betrayed spouses recommend from experience (I’m one of them). Read articles on the subject.
As it turns out, All say to not react emotionally or you will just make things worse.
Your mind will play tricks on you. (It probably already started).
You’ll Be OK…No Matter What Happens
Another secret for you…
Seek a win-win solution. No time for extreme opposite thinking (black or white thinking).
Any outcome that happens later must benefit you. (We’ll talk about that in a bit here).
Stay clear of win-lose thinking. PLEASE. “If he doesn’t stay with me then my life is over.” That’s an example of win-lose thinking.
Ask yourself this. Do you have absolute control over what happens?
No, of course not. They cheated after all and you had no control over their choice.
So let’s “stop the bleeding” right now. Accept that you do not have control over handling your cheating spouse’s choices.
BUT you can influence those choices AND you CAN control your own path- no matter what happens later.
Therefore, if you cannot control what someone else decides to do then experience peace of mind. Don’t kill yourself hoping for something that may or may not happen.
Now let’s take a look at what not to do to confront cheating spouse.
Confront Cheating Spouse: 5 Ineffective Things NOT to Do When Dealing with Your Cheating Husband or Wife
You may not know my infidelity story, but I have experienced both sides of cheating. On one side, I cheated on my first wife. And on the other side my second wife cheated on me (this despite me thinking I knew enough from my first marriage to avoid the disaster from happening again).
Due to this, I feel I have a pretty good idea what consequences you could expect by handling your cheating spouse incorrectly (otherwise I wouldn’t create a blog around the subject).
After the first wave of emotions hits you (anger, sadness, shock, etc) for a few days or perhaps a week, you’ll begin to know what you’d like to accomplish (repair the damage and stay together or form a plan for a new life).
Right now you do NOT know what you want because you’re so upset. You naturally FEEL things right now- thinking and planning do not come automatically.
That’s why you must emotionally step away and disconnect yourself (catch your breath) FIRST for at least a few days.
Do NOT make a bad situation worse. And do NOT eliminate future options by overreacting now.
Onto the list…
1. Do NOT Hurl Insults at Your Spouse.
Seems unfair, right? They’re the ones that decided to cheat. You should almost have permission to call them whatever name you want.
You’ve just pushed your wife or husband further away emotionally. In my case, when my first wife saw the phone call coming in from the woman I began to confide in at work it didn’t take long for her to lob insults at me. At the time I had already felt like I let her push me around too much for too long. Her screaming confirmed just how much she didn’t understand me.
Of course, I was the one who made the mistake. I chose to cheat rather than approach her early before allowing my proverbial emotional balloon burst.
But this is my point- cheaters don’t think straight. In fact, they don’t think at all. Thinking would mean weighing the balance of your decisions long-term and seeing the consequences of betraying your spouse.
If you want any chance to repair the situation then you must do the opposite of what your body tells you to do. We’ll talk about that in the next list.
2. Do NOT Contact The Other Person
I will contradict myself for one moment. Everyone’s situation is different in some way. I contacted my second wife’s boyfriend. In my case, with what was happening, with my personality and with her personality, I felt it was necessary in order to find the truth. Without going into the details why, just trust me. My circumstances only occur in less than 1% cases.
Do not contact The Other Person. Only bad things could come out of it. And certainly do not insult the Other Person either.
If you insult The Other Person, they of course, will insult you back, which in turn your spouse finds out and guess whose side they take? Yes, that’s right- their girlfriend or boyfriend’s side.
You will push them closer to together. You probably do not realize at the moment that your spouse most likely complains about your relationship to them, shares his or her sadness, lack of hope, lack of intimacy or whatever they feel lacks in your marriage.
Rather than identify the true problem in the relationship and then confront you about it they blame the relationship and suddenly The Other Person becomes the savior, the solution to your spouse’s problem (which again they misidentified).
Contact The Other Person and come out more frustrated, more confused and feel even more outside the circle once your spouse runs to the defense of “the person who truly understands” them.
3. Do NOT Tell Close Friends, Relatives [or Anyone Who Knows You Both] In-depth, Personal Details
I felt so alone when I found out my wife cheated on me. The person closest to me no longer seemed that close. I’d bet you know the feeling.
But there are grave consequences when you tell people close to your too much personal information.
So how do you think your friends and family would about your spouse if you reconciled with him or her? They’d never forgive your spouse and always would hold a grudge.
Furthermore, what kind of advice do you suppose you’d receive?
Not very useful advice that’s what. They’d likely push you to leave them and insult until they ran out of breath.
You’ll end up more confused and upset than before you spoke to them.
4. Do NOT Blame Yourself for His/Her Betrayal…and Tell Them It’s Your Fault
Your spouse made a choice to step outside the marriage instead of dealing with the problem head on.
From a former cheater I can tell you that in order to effectively get away with cheating you jump through a lot of hoops to pull it off and pass through many stop signs.
Cheaters must plan and work hard to cheat.
All those actions a cheater takes so they can meet up with their lover require thought.
That same effort could have gone towards at least seeking help from a professional how to deal with whatever bothered them in your marriage or in even in life.
Under no circumstances tell them it’s your fault for the affair.
You will hurt your chances to win back your spouse because blaming yourself will make you look weak and you confirm what he/she already thought- that you caused them to cheat.
Make yourself the prize-to-be-won. Women or men should jump over themselves at the chance of being in a relationship with you (someone who sticks through thick and thin, and who values relationships to the extent you do). Your cheating spouse could lose the chance to be with you.
(That is the kind of healthy thinking you must have to survive an affair!)
Your spouse went behind your back and there’s nothing you could have done to change that. No matter what his/her reason for cheating you don’t deserve that behavior. And how would cheating fix you marriage? It wouldn’t. You never catch a sneak before they snoop around- you catch them after. Your husband or wife were going to cheat unless they made the right choice of approaching you about what bothered them.
Blame yourself for his or her affair. Beat yourself up and you will not feel any better and certainly your marriage will not improve.
More suggestions to come how to handle those feelings eating you up on the inside of how this whole mess happened to you.
5. **Do NOT Beg for Your Cheating Spouse to Come Back
By far #5 outweighs the others on this list.
The most important asset you have is your attitude (particularly your self-esteem). Lose that and you will neither win back your marriage nor succeed at moving on alone.
Perhaps you will win your husband or wife back, perhaps not.
Either way your attitude determines if you survive the affair now and in the long run.
No one can take away your happiness unless you let them. Furthermore, should your happiness DEPEND on someone else?
Do you see the danger in telling yourself things like, “If my wife leaves I’m nothing”?
Let’s just say you want your marriage back (maybe even better than it ever was), how do you suppose you will entice your wife or husband to return by begging them.
My first wife begged me to come back. It pushed me further away from her. We had many confrontations and differences that year and for awhile. She never held back berating me with insults (and I’m an easy-going guy).
Despite me being a push over and not addressing what bothered me, the worst way to approach me after having cheated on her was not to beg me back.
Do NOT give the cheater any power. You must take the power away from them and force them to second guess who they are and what they did. Do not let them take reins of the situation. Instead allow them to doubt themselves and to begin fearing loss- the possibilities of you leaving and their lack-of-character lover doing the same.
The real possibility exists that they could end up alone!
We’ll discuss a technique called “charging neutral in the next list.
Now let’s move onto to the list of how ways to survive an affair and even turn the marriage around.
Confront Cheating Spouse: 5 Ways for Betrayed Spouses to Find Hope and Potentially Even Turn Around Their Marriage
Remember what I mentioned before, create for yourself a win-win situation.
No matter what happens later, whether you move on alone or stay together you must do what’s best for you. Every one of you experiences a different set of circumstances, but the one ingredient all us betrayed spouses must strive to achieve is maintain a high level of self-esteem.
That also involves demanding a high-level of respect.
It involves regaining then maintaining the power from our cheating spouses.
Surviving an affair does not automatically imply winning back your spouse because that may not be the best move for you. It means achieving the healthiest, best long-term outcome based on your ENTIRE set of circumstances and personalities.
So with that in mind what 5 confront cheating spouse tips do I recommend…
1. Design a Plan for What Happens Next
I’m going to bet that if you’re like most betrayed spouses (me included) you feel tough and confident before you have “the talk” about how they could ruin the good thing you had going.
After…you won’t sing the same tune.
How does this happen?
Us betrayed spouses get hit in the stomach from the news and we react right away.
You create a sense of security and peace of mind because you know you have a fallback plan- you will be ok. The scariest thing you could do is lose control with no idea where you will go next. Don’t watch your life unravel as your spouse says they will decide if they want to stay or go (while you wait around praying they don’t pack their bags) or that they’re running off to their lover (ugh!).
Find a place to stay if you decide to leave while figuring out what to do next. Without telling your close friends or family exactly what’s going on ask if you could stay with them. Or perhaps your church could help. If you must stay under the same roof as your spouse then at least sleep in separate rooms (what to do about the children is for a different post/article).
2. Only Confront Cheating Spouse with Hard Evidence…not circumstantial evidence
Perhaps you sense they are cheating on you, but you don’t have evidence. Luckily for you I have experience catching cheating spouses too. Get a copy of my book Top Cheating Spouse Report: How to Catch a Cheater in their Lies for simple, non-technical tips to trap a cheater in their lies.
Bottom line: you must present concrete evidence they cheated on you. Accuse them of cheating without evidence then you create two problems; 1) they cheat more effectively now and cover their tracks better since they know you are watching, 2) you’ll push them away as they feel that you stalk them.
You trap them. They will not have a way to weasel away from the truth. Checkmate. For the moment you find yourself in the driver’s seat. What you do next determines how long you stay there.
3. Decide What Truth You Can Handle…Ask Direct Questions
Confront cheating spouse afraid to hear the truth and the images will haunt you forever.
Something bothering you about his/her affair that you can’t go another minute without knowing the answer, then yes, arrange a time to speak and urge them to lay it straight. (It doesn’t mean they will. I’ll share a resource that could get them to talk here in a bit).
First decide how much you can handle. To do this take a few days to figure out what you want to accomplish (or at least what you won’t put up with).
Here’s some examples of direct questions to consider.
- What do you want to happen now that I know you cheated?
- What future do you see with (fill in their girlfriend/boyfriend’s name)?
- What types of things did you say about me to him/her?
- What bothered you in our relationship so much to the point you didn’t want to confront me?
- What do you like most about him/her?
- If I leave what would you regret most?
Your attempting to find out about their feelings of losing you and how sorry they feel about hurting you.
Handle the truth sooner than later and achieve peace of mind faster. Waiting around hoping and praying that he or she will come around is a shortcut to depression and anxiety attacks.
Do you want to live day-to-day hoping they like you again after they’ve already disrespected you?
Anyone who has ever survived an affair and moved on with their life (whether staying married or finding a new purpose in their life) will tell you the truth may hurt, but facing the realty of the situation leads to the quickest recovery too.
We’ll discuss more confront cheating spouse techniques before you leave today.
4. Express Your Dissatisfaction and Dissappointment with their Choice to Cheat…Not Your Sadness You May Lose Them When You Confront Cheating Spouse
As difficult as this may sound, you must approach your disloyal spouse business-like. Act emotionally and they will not respect you as much which could make things more challenging to negotiate what you want or to get them to talk.
Furthermore, if you give into your emotions you will only sadden yourself even more. You will grieve, I did too, but you must do it away from them. You want hope right now that you will feel happy again, no matter how it happens.
Force them to respect you. Reverse their power and show them what they don’t expect to happen- your disappointment instead of your sadness.
Which action would a parent take to maintain respect with their child who misbehaved?
a) Cry in front of the child and express how difficult the child is making life for them (“if only they could just behave like a good child”)?
b)Express dissatisfaction in how their child’s choice disappoint them?
You win a battle. The battle of self-respect. They took a piece of your heart, but they didn’t take your soul and they will not take your happiness. You decide how to define your happiness. By not allowing them to kick you around anymore you maintain your dignity. From this win you gain positive momentum and begin to develop the mindset that you decide how to feel and that no one can make you feel sad (at least for very long).
The correct confront cheating spouse approach always protects your attitude and pride- without those you will feel empty, helpless and hopeless…you will fall into depression. The worst kind of sadness that exists.
5. Focus on the Disloyal Act Instead of Attacking Your Husband’s or Wife’s Character
Absolutely. Of course, you want to attack them. You feel like you have that right since they betrayed you. BUT what do you want to happen?
I’m assuming you want something positive to come from your encounter, right?
When you insult a cheating spouse they will only want to insult you back and blame you for their decision to cheat. What do you really expect to happen? Do you actually think a cheater will say, “Wow, you’re right, I guess it was all my fault. I was very happy in our relationship. Everything was perfect. So I’m not really sure why I cheated. Forgive me honey?””
Good luck with that hope.
Yes, you want to see they regret what they did, then take the action to prove they want to earn your trust back, but I suggest a better method.
You gain control and they must work to gain your trust and respect. And there’s a step-by-step way you can achieve this.
A method offered by marriage therapist Dr. Bob Huizenga. You may have heard of him. I reviewed his infamous eBook, “Break Free from the Affair: 7 Types of Affairs“. Read my review here so you can decide if you wish to purchase your own copy.
He discusses a confront cheating spouse technique where you focus on their disloyal act and make them feel like they’re broken emotionally. You choose you words carefully. All your comments and questions work to convince them they need to fix themselves. And whether they figure it out or not you will be fie with them or without them, but you will not tolerate cheating.
Furthermore, everything about how you utilize this highly effective technique by Dr. Bob Huizenga demonstrates that they are responsible for the choice of cheating and that they must do the work to convince you to stay- NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
You remove their power and all ability to produce lame excuses.
You may not be able to reverse what already happened nor control what happens next with your spouse, but you certainly control your own actions and influence your spouse’s.
No matter the right actions you take choosing the wrong ones could negate the right ones.
I kept the list simple based on my own experience and research.
However, if you’d like to learn a professional marriage therapist’s confront cheating spouse suggestions read my review of “Break Free from the Affair“.