dealing with infidelity | surviving infidelity | dealing with infidelity | infidelity
 

Dealing with Infidelity -
Preparing to Confront Your Partner

Get help dealing with infidelity - talk to a Life Coach and create an action plan to get startedThere is no scenario in life quite equal to confronting your partner about infidelity. Dealing with infidelity is a gut-wrenching experience, because there are so many factors out of your control.

You'll need to mentally prepare, gather real evidence to back up your suspicions, practice what you'll say, and brace yourself for a variety of reactions.

Dealing with infidelity won't be easy. But, you can do it more effectively if you take time to thoroughly prepare in several important ways.

Believe it or not, the actual confrontation - and the strength it takes to confront - is more about you than about your partner. For example, you have to look deep inside yourself to make sure you can handle the truth.

In addition, you must be able to manage your own emotions before, during, and after the confrontation. This will take a lot of personal strength. You'll need to picture different scenarios in dealing with infidelity and how you might manage each one, since you don't really know how things will unfold.

Coping with infidelity is really coping with betrayal. It's all about holding the other person accountable for that betrayal and honoring yourself in the process.

Dealing with Infidelity -
Do you Want to Know the Truth?

First of all, you must review these types of questions: Do I want to know the truth?  Do I have the strength to ask for a separation?

Think about the practical aspects of what might happen after the confrontation. If you catch a cheating spouse, will you show him or her the door?  Or, will you pack up and leave yourself?  Is there a possibility that he or she might become violent or dangerous?

If you're feeling chickenhearted over dealing with infidelity, admit it. Know yourself, above all. For example, ask yourself, "If I corner my cheating spouse, present my evidence, and gain a confession, would I likely start backpedaling?" Most decent people love and need their mates. It's normal to want to explain away the pain - and hang in there for dear life!

However, you must stay true to your own goals. Don't delude yourself. After all, you may really want to confront to prove to yourself that your partner is not having an affair. Or, you may - and many of us are like this - start explaining away what's happened to keep your sanity.

Dealing with Infidelity -
The Confrontation Itself

In Part II of this article, you will learn how to actually go forward in confronting your cheating spouse or partner. But for now, think about how to prepare yourself in every way you can. Your thoughts will twirl and spin - over what might happen to your relationship - like Fall leaves blowing around in a Kansas tornado. After all, this is your love relationship. You have your life wrapped around this person.

Every person is different, and every affair is different. There are absolutely no two situations alike on the planet. So, be honest with yourself about what you want to gain from the confrontation needed while dealing with infidelity.

Maybe you want all of the truth. Or, maybe you want to open a discussion about your strained relationship. That's okay. You are in control of how you want to manage this stressful situation! You can listen to your friends and all of their advice beforehand. But remember to trust your "inner voice" in how to deal with infidelity.

Dealing with Infidelity -
Avoiding the Truth

Here's something to consider strongly about discovering the truth, however. If you avoid the truth or flat-out run from it, the truth will still await you up the road! Don't waste your life pretending a bad situation isn't real. If the cheating is real, dealing with infidelity will still await you. And sadly, you'll be older.

Plenty of people put off having children or put off making an important job change because they stick their heads in the sand about a cheating spouse or philandering partner. Wasting time, by failing to confront, will only work against you!

Your goal is to engage your partner in a dialogue. You want a conversation, not a screaming match, to address your questions and fears over dealing with infidelity. If you gain a confession, you likely will end up crying and screaming. But, take things one small step at a time. You want to show natural verbal anger - but you don't want to become physically violent yourself. That would make you feel out of control - not to mention the legal and moral repercussions!

Do Your Detective Work
When Dealing with Infidelity

There's only one effective way to open a dialogue about your pain with your cheating partner. In dealing with infidelity, you must focus on assembling evidence that is real.

Signs of cheating can range from overhearing quiet phone calls to catching your partner and the third person in your "love triangle" in bed together.

It's usually very time-consuming to catch a cheating spouse, but do your homework and investigate thoroughly.

Credit card statements showing fancy dinners, hotel stays every weekend at the same hotel, and flowers sent to the same address repeatedly are real evidence.

A one-time lipstick smear and a high credit card balance are not real evidence. Your mate might have charged his sister's car repairs. A sisterly kiss of appreciation might explain the lipstick stain.

Keep reviewing your evidence to ask, "Does this really add up?  Are the signs of cheating really in place?"

Don't discount gossip, hearsay, and your gut feelings. To catch a cheating spouse or partner, you must start listening to signs that tell you something is out of kilter.

It's ideal to personally catch your ex with the other man or woman. That's harder to deny! Or, try to gather incriminating evidence gleaned from your snooping on the computer over a period of time.

Dealing with Infidelity -
Have Your Evidence in Hand

You will be staking your life, quite literally, on this evidence, so take your time in gathering that evidence. In dealing with infidelity, carefully plan your moves, use discretion and don't tell your friends too many specifics, in order to solidify your detective work. Friends can leak information they don't mean to!

First of all, make sure you have important evidence actually in your hand when you confront. Don't refer to an email you "know you saw on the computer." That's too vague.

To confront a cheating spouse or partner without hard-core evidence is setting yourself up for failure. While there's a chance your partner might confess, the chances for that are slim. All you'll accomplish by confronting without evidence is to increase the tension between you.

Dealing with Infidelity -
Confront Your Partner, Maintain Your Dignity

Preparing well means that a part of you will be eager to confront. Dealing with infidelity means stopping something that is a mockery of your personal dignity.

Part II of this article will help you understand that coping with infidelity means taking charge of what happens during the confrontation and afterwards.

Having solid evidence that proves you have a cheating spouse or partner gives you the ammunition to carry through from a more powerful position. You might want the support of a relationship coach as well.

Although your insides will be trembling and you might want to throw up, during your actual confrontation for dealing with infidelity, you want to speak and act in ways that show you are in control.

You definitely want to rehearse what you'll say. Practice your sentences over and over, so they naturally roll off your tongue. Strive to say things that "open up" conversation.

A lecture is not what you want to deliver. You are after a confession from a potentially guilty party. People confess a lot more details, or fail to cover up their lies, when they are doing most of the talking.

Above all, you do not want your partner to go silent. If so, you're in an awkward place in coping with infidelity.

Present your side of things, making full eye contact. Looking someone in the eye shows you are confident in dealing with infidelity, if it's real, and that you are serious about what you say.

Dealing with Infidelity -
Asking Your Partner Key Questions

Remember to offer some open-ended questions for your partner. This might include a question such as: "Would you like to explain these emails?" Or, "I need to know why you've been at a hotel every weekend for five months."

When you put a question out there, stop talking. Tell your partner, "I'm listening."

Your goal is to encourage your partner to provide you with information. Remember, this person may lie boldly out of fear. That's okay for now. Don't force answers in dealing with infidelity. Just keep reminding yourself that you want your partner to do a lot of the talking!

Accusing a mate of infidelity is really a "mini trial." You are kind of acting as a prosecuting attorney. You will be nervous and very emotional. However, the less emotional you can act, the better.

Dealing with Infidelity
Without Being Overly Emotional

If you get very, very nervous-consciously slow your speech down. This will help you become less emotional. For example, say, "I know you're probably tired of running from the truth yourself, aren't you?" Don't ramble on by saying, "Come on, now, tell me the truth, I said! Tell me the truth!"

Rambling on will cause your thoughts to scatter. If you slow down and think about your words carefully, those words will carry more impact and elicit a deeper response. Superficial arguing is useless. Dealing with infidelity centers on a conversation way too important for that.

Remember: You are confronting your partner because his or her actions haven't been healthy for you. Over weeks or months, your partner might have been ignoring you, acting hatefully, spending too much money, or disappearing for hours on end.

Remember, too, that conversations that gently prod the other person do not classify as a confrontation. Don't nag and prod in dealing with infidelity. Instead, find your adult "voice." Speak up. Ask, clear, logical questions instead.

For example, you might have already asked your mate why he or she spends so much time away from home. Or, you might have mentioned the long hours spent on the computer.

These types of conversations are more like a "discovery" or "fishing" mission.

A true confrontation, whereby you ask: "Are you cheating on me?" is different. This type of conversation ranks right up there with telling your folks you wrecked the new family car on prom night! It's a major piece of business, and it will heavily impact the other person.

Since this is an important conversation, it will evoke strong emotions that don't go away in a few hours. Dealing with infidelity requires a bold accusation. Your partner could be innocent! Getting accused of cheating is a hurtful thing - innocent or guilty - from the perspective of the accused.

Be Sure of Your Facts While
Dealing with Infidelity

Before you confront in a bold way, you have to be 90% sure that your partner could be cheating. There is always some measure of doubt, largely because most of us would like to be wrong concerning our betrayal!

Most likely, a voice inside you will be praying the whole thing is truly a mistake. You'll naturally want your mate to exonerate himself or herself by laying out facts to counter the proof you've got.

But remember there are really only two goals to achieve during a confrontation: First, you need to know if your partner is cheating. You need to know the truth. Secondly, you need to know what your next goal will be. Stay?  Leave?  Talk?

If you have young children, especially, you might want to fight for your marriage even if you gain a full confession from your cheating spouse. That's totally up to you.

However, if infidelity is the case, you cannot leave what will happen next up to your partner. You have to know your bottom line in dealing with infidelity. Will you stay and ask to visit a professional counselor as a couple?  Will you tell your partner to pack and leave?  Will you need two days at a friend's house to think things over?

Know what actions you will take before you confront. This puts you in control. You don't want to hear a confession, hit someone, or break your wedding china against the wall!

Be Prepared for Strong Emotions
When Dealing with Infidelity

But, you will have an emotionally violent reaction if there's another man or another woman in the picture. The most intimate places of your heart and soul have been violated during the horrible process of coping with infidelity. So, clearly define what your next step will be in advance, if the cheating is real.

If you don't have an emotionally violent reaction to the news, you will have it later! But for now, have a logical plan of where to go, what to ask for, or what you're going to do next. From a legal standpoint of home ownership, you might not want to abandon the home and leave. Getting back in might be tough.

Check out options with an attorney before you confront. Don't take anyone's advice - not even the opinion of your friendly police dispatcher or minister - that you can leave property and come back the next day! Get the facts - do your homework - and talk to a Professional Life Coach so you can plan a strategy for dealing with infidelity while getting through it with your dignity intact.

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