HELP - I Just Found Out My Spouse Is Cheating!
BEING CHEATED ON IS JUSTIFIABLY ONE OF THE MOST DEVASTATING LIFE EVENTS THAT CAN HAPPEN. IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU, I AM SO SORRY.
We get messages from many of you saying something like, “Help me! I just found out my spouse is cheating on me, but I haven’t told them I know yet. What do I do!?” It breaks my heart, but it also made me realize that we need to have a resource about this. So, if you have the proof in your hands and just found out your spouse is cheating on you, here are some very important steps to follow:
Don’t freak out.
Your next steps are crucial to the way that this all plays out — especially if you have children. Hear me out carefully, I’m not saying you’re not justified in your anger and I’m not saying your spouse doesn’t deserve an earful — because you are and they do. However, despite how incredibly hurt you feel, you’ve got to take a deep breath and start to get a solid plan together to move forward. Before you do anything else you need to answer these questions for yourself:
What would my spouse need to in order for us to move past this? (Counseling, cutting off contact with the lover, sharing passwords, etc.)
What boundaries will I want to set up should we both agree to move forward with our relationship?
Why did my spouse choose to look outside of the marriage for love and connection? (You’ll need a lot of self-awareness to answer this.)
Affairs should never be navigated on your own. They are highly emotional (understandably so!) and it’s very easy to get off track. Once you figure out what your goals are for moving forward (either together or separately), I highly recommend setting up a Life Coaching or Counseling session with a professional to help you take your next steps. Have the appointment set before you talk to your spouse. Keep reading and you will see why.
Have a Naked Conversation.
Once you figure out your goals and set up an appointment with a counselor or life coach, you need to carefully choose a time to have a very honest and real naked conversation with your spouse. It needs to be a time when you will not be interrupted and it definitely needs to be a time when you aren’t hungry or tired. When the moment comes, take a deep breath to calm yourself and very directly, but gently say:
IF YOU WANT TO STAY TOGETHER:
“Honey, we need to have a conversation. Today, I found ________ (pictures, videos, texts, Facebook messages, whatever) and learned that you have been having an affair. Before you say anything, please hear me out. I love you and I am devastated this has happened to our marriage. I feel betrayed, I feel hurt, and I feel so sad. I know that you are not 100% alone in the blame for this, as you must have been feeling lonely and neglected, so for my part in that I apologize. However, you chose to go outside of our marriage and I did not, so in that regard, I need to let you know how I need for this to move forward if you choose to work this out with me. First, I need you to cut off all contact with _____ (the lover). Second, I need to hear from you that you can commit to being all in, 100% into repairing our marriage, whatever it takes. And third, I have set up a counseling appointment for us at ___________ (location, date, time, therapist name) and I expect that you will be in attendance with me, willing to try and do whatever they suggest. Please take some time to think about what you truly want and let me know. If you do not want to be with me anymore, then I will need you to explain to our family (children included) and friends why you could not keep your marriage vows”.
Stay calm and firm on your decisions and then and walk away.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU STICK TO WHAT YOU SAY.
We teach people how to treat us, so if you are wishy-washy on your boundaries, your spouse will be, too. The best way to make them take you seriously is to stand firm on your word and your boundaries. You can do this and we are here to help! And remember, the only way affair recovery works is if both you and your spouse are 100% committed to the process.
DISCLAIMER: We understand that each marriage is unique and has their own story and factors. The advice above is simply a suggestion for the average marriage who is having to deal with the massive consequences of an affair. The best advice we always give to the spouse who was cheated on is to work on you. Seek counseling. Surround yourself with safe friends who can give you empathy and also speak truth to your life. As you become more self-aware, your confidence will begin to grow. You will be able to see what was happening in your marriage that lead up to the infidelity. You cannot control your spouse’s response, their actions and their words, but you do have control over your words, actions and attitude.