How to Approach your Husband when he is Cheating

Approaching Spousal Infidelity: Effective Communication Strategies

Do you feel your husband is cheating on you? If you haven’t caught him red handed yet, then he is still a ‘suspect’ until proven guilty. You should tread carefully throwing your allegations at him, especially if your aim is to fix things and not to file for divorce. Perhaps, this is not his first time cheating.

The tell tale signs might be there. Late nights at the office, lipstick stains on his white shirt or when his phone rings with an unfamiliar caller ID on his phone screen. These things could make you paranoid but confronting based on these suspicions alone might make you look stupid and help to him cover his tracks even better.

The most important thing is to gather concrete evidence to prove that your husband is indeed cheating. If you do have proof in form of text messages, emails, and strange female panties in the car; or eyewitness accounts from trusted relatives or family friends, then it is advisable to consider a confrontation with him. When you have confirmed this for yourself, your first reaction is most likely to be you feeling betrayed and then angry. The fact is nobody enters a marriage expecting that their spouse would cheat on them. Every woman expects the best from the man that she fell in love with and married. It is also important for you at this point to figure out the depth of information you want to know and the details you don’t. Some women would go the full nine yards to get the nitty gritty details such the name of his mistress, her address, and intimate details of their rendezvous. They do this because it will help them find closure. Some women on the other hand, would prefer not to put a face to the name of his mistress or be privy to so many details so as not to incite an uncontrollable anger. You need to know if category of women you fall in and which of these two choices would make you feel most comfortable.

Also Read: Prayer Points to Stop an Angry Verbally Abusive Husband

The anger you feel will most likely emanate from the life shattering realization that the man you once held in such high esteem is not the man that you thought you knew. Your anger could also emanate from remembering how many of your best years you’ve given to this man and all the effort you’ve put in to keep your marriage vows, stay faithful and make your marriage work. When anger wells up within you, it is very important for you to maintain your composure. Do not take any rash action.

Your first angry thought may be to throw his clothes out on the lawn or worse yet, behave like Bernardine, the character in the movie, “Waiting to Exhale.” She had put in eleven of her best years into her marriage. She put her life on hold to become a stay-at-home mother to their two children. She felt quite betrayed by her husband who was not only having an affair with his secretary, but had moved out of their matrimonial home to be with his mistress and promised to come back to get the rest of his things. Movie lovers will never forget that hair-raising scene where Bernadine stuffed all of her husband’s expensive suits, silk ties, shoes and valuables into his car and set everything on fire. When a cop knocked on her door to inform her that burning anything except trash on the lawn was illegal, she responded with that unforgettable statement: “It is trash.” While it may look entertaining in the movies, do not consider attempting it in real life. It would only make things worse.

It is okay to cry. Sit down and have a good cry. Crying will unburden the load in your heart and give you a clearer perspective of what to do next.  When you are done crying, settle down and carefully evaluate the information that you have. Once you’ve made up your mind about confronting him, you have to consider what you want the outcome to be. If your aim of confronting him is to fix things, then you have to also consider what your lives together would look like after you have confronted him. You have to think about the steps you’d take to help both of heal and move past this. You have to think of what your spouse could do to win back your trust.

The next step would be to pen down all the questions you’d like to ask your husband. This will help you not to forget your train of thought while engaging in such an emotionally draining conversation. After that, you will need to plan an appropriate time and place for your conversation with him. Set up a time when he is not too tired or stressed from work and a time where you will not be both distracted by your phones or children or visitors. Make sure both of you are sober, avoid alcohol. Taking a walk for example before starting such a conversation can elevate your mood and help give you some clarity on the best approach to take. Sometimes also, having these types of conversation at a neutral venue other than home also helps. It could be where you first met, some place that triggers good memories for the both of you or even a parent’s house. If your spouse has the tendency to become violent or show aggression, having the conversation in a public place or at the home of a respected family member or close friend are the best options. Don’t forget to take all the necessary precaution like having emergency numbers or domestic violence hotlines on speed dial should things go south by any chance.

While it is expected that emotions may run high, and it is natural to have emotional outbursts from either of you, research has shown that asking a cheating spouse too many pointed questions may make them to shut down emotionally. They could become defensive, lie about the affair or even blame you for making them go astray. So keep your questions unrestricted, so it will prompt to do most of the talking and open up better. Avoid saying things like, “How could you betray me, after all that we’ve been through?” Rather, use a more subtle approach like, “I’m feeling very hurt and would like to talk about this, Babe.” An important aspect of communication is listening. It is essential for you to listen to what your husband has to say about why he cheated. They usually may not have a sensible explanation to why they did it. They could tell you they cheating after being tipsy with alcohol; or they were stuck in a rut and needed to feel validated about something. Relationship experts have confirmed that the non-cheating partner may not be entirely innocent in the part they played in the marriage going sour. It is important to be honest about any negligence on your part if any rather than play the victim.

Did your husband cheat because he felt neglected, mistreated or undervalued? Although these are definitely no excuses for cheating, neither does it justify his betrayal in any way. However, knowing what part you may have indirectly played will help you as his wife to understand what possibly triggered his actions and help you focus on how to deal with those issues, rather than seeing your husband as the main problem. Make him explain what may have led to his dissatisfaction about your marriage but never let him manipulate you into feeling responsible for the situation. Cheating was entirely his choice and did not happen by accident. You should not expect to resolve the issue with only one conversation. End the conversation when it stops being constructive. Then subtly fix a time for a follow-up conversation. Start making plans for how your lives would be once this conversation is over. No matter what the outcome of your conversation may have been, it was important to confront it because it is a crucial step toward healing.

After hearing your husband out, this most important question needs to be answered by you. Can you forgive your husband for cheating on you? Forgiveness is the very first step to moving on from a broken heart to a healthier space. Look to what is at stake and what might be destroyed should you remain in a state of unforgiveness. If you cannot forgive him, then there might not be any point in remaining together. If you have children between you, they could be that solid reason you need to draw strength from to make your marriage work out. Also, it helps a great deal if your cheating partner is truly repentant, admits they are wrong and tells you those three words, “I am sorry,” in a most heartfelt manner. Everyone depends a second chance, although that depends on how many ‘chances’ you may have already given him for cheating before now. You must find a way to make him commit to mending his life and putting effort to bringing the spark back into your marriage.

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