Confronting Your Unfaithful Spouse
What happens if you started looking into possible infidelity, and then you found it? This happens to millions of people a year, and you are most certainly not alone, though it may feel like it after discovering that the love of your life, your husband or wife, has been cheating on you. It may feel like your world is coming down around your ears, but the most important thing to do is to keep your wits about you and to focus on the matter at hand: what do you do next?
The first decision you'll have to make is whether you want to confront your spouse or not. There are positives and negatives to confrontation, and no single answer fits every situation and every relationship. The best you can hope to do is remain calm and focus on what's important. Remember the kids, if you have any, and be sure that you keep them as insulated from the pain of the situation as possible. Remember to remain mature in your dealings with the cheating spouse. Retaliation in any form isn't recommended, though retaliatory affairs often occur in the wake of infidelity. These usually serve only to further weaken the relationship. Finally, decide with as cool a head as possible, if you want to stay with your spouse, or if this is the beginning of the end of your life together.
Choose The Place
If you do decide to confront your spouse, you need to do it in a place that will provide you the most safety and comfort. Don't surround yourself with friends, as that would definitely change the power dynamic, but certainly don't do it in a private place either. Simply put, this is because your spouse could become exceptionally angry at the accusation, especially if the accusation is true.
More important than your own safety and comfort is that of your children. If you have children, make sure that they are nowhere near when you confront your spouse. That is to say, either they should be out of the house, or you should. Never involve the kids.
If you decide to confront your spouse about his or her infidelity, have proof. This can't be stressed enough. An accusation without proof is only an accusation based on a feeling, which is less than concrete. If you can't confront your spouse with irrefutable evidence, such as a video or photograph, then you are only inviting "explanations." These may only be excuses, but if your spouse is insistent, they can wear away at your resolve. It's profoundly important to have incontrovertible evidence at hand so that your accusation will not be met with shoddy excuses or doublespeak.
When and if you decide to confront your partner, realize that it may be the end of your relationship. It's possible that your spouse will beg forgiveness. It's also possible - and you should be emotionally prepared for this eventuality - that he will look you in the eyes, admit that he has been having an affair, and initiate the breakup himself. This is often unexpected on the part of the spouse who initiated the confrontation, but is certainly one of the more probable eventualities.
Whatever the case, you should have emotional support at hand. The confrontation has the potential to go very, very badly, and so you should have a system of support in place for the immediate repercussions. That same system of emotional support can prove absolutely invaluable for the long term as well, particularly if the confrontation leads to an eventual dissolution of the relationship.
Ask yourself a few questions: Do I have good friends whom I can count on? Are they impartial third parties with the ability to distance themselves from the situation? Before I confront my spouse, have I told my friends exactly how they can help me?
By choosing the location of the confrontation, having proof of the infidelity, and preparing for the repercussions, you can limit the amount of time that the pain lasts, and move ahead with your process of healing.