Dealing with Infidelity -
Carrying Out the Confrontation
In this article, we're going to show you how, when dealing with
infidelity, you'll actually be confronting your partner.
Once you've come to the conclusion that your spouse is probably guilty of infidelity, you'll need to think about
how to confront them - and how to do it wisely. You'll want to envision what might happen when the news is "out"
when you'll be dealing with
infidelity at every step. In addition, it's important that you choose the right time and place
for the confrontation.
In preparing to initiate your all-important conversation concerning his or her cheating, you have to look for
ways to stay in control. You don't want to sound off prematurely, so gather your evidence, rehearse what you'll say
until the words roll off your tongue, and avoid sounding off in anger at the wrong time! Dealing with infidelity
requires all of this.
Make sure your mate knows you'll need at least an hour. Don't say, "I've got something really important to
discuss with you," since that might clue your cheating partner about what's coming up.
You don't want him or her to have time to prepare. You'll want to hold all of the cards yourself, so to speak.
Your goal is to get a confession, and you can better do this by catching your mate off-guard as you plan your moves
throughout the process of dealing with infidelity.
In Part I of this
article, you'll get tips for how to think all of this through after suspecting a cheating spouse or
partner. You really do need to stay as logical as possible - even if you feel that you're in "kill mode." Pull
out your best acting skills, because you'll want to stay cool and think. Your dealing with infidelity
successfully will demand this.
Tell your mate, "I need to get your opinion on something, and I need to sit down with you for a good bit of
time. Could we go for a walk after dinner?"
Try to avoid talking in the car while driving. That would be way too dangerous. Talking in a restaurant might
work, but make sure you have a private corner. If you believe your mate may become violent while dealing with
infidelity, only confront them in a public place. Above all, do not have this conversation where your children can
Staying Cool as a Detective
When Dealing with Infidelity
If you're following your mate around - doing your detective work - you may discover the indiscretion at a local
restaurant or bar. You might catch him with a nice looking woman at his side. Or, you might find your wife sitting
on her boss's lap.
These types of confrontations can really get ugly. But remember: Focus on confronting your mate - not the third
person. The issue really is between you and your mate. Who knows what your partner told the other man or the other
And, the other woman or other man you confront might just be a friend of your partner's. Or, if he or she is the
third person in the triangle, your mate might have lied all along.
A woman we'll call Tracey confronted her husband and the sister of his mistress - not realizing the actual
"other woman" had gone to the ladies' room! That caused a lot of embarrassment for Tracey since all of her
investigation to look for signs of cheating was right on track - other than this mistake.
"I slapped a woman in a bar who'd been dating my husband for over six months," says an accountant we'll call
Becky. "It turned out that my husband had lied to her. The other woman called me to apologize. She was sincere in
saying my husband told her he was not married."
In dealing with infidelity, you will eventually fantasize about making the other woman fall off a
cliff. Or, you will probably think about dueling in the streets with the other man. But remember: It is your spouse
who is perpetuating the lies - or managing the affair from every angle! The issue of having a cheating spouse or
partner lies squarely on your mate's shoulders - one hundred percent.
How to Confront Your Partner
with Your Suspicions
If your mate is prone to temper tantrums or physical violence of any kind, confront him or her in a public place
when the signs of cheating add up to true evidence. Do not speak in a childlike voice and do not speak in a tone
Hitler might have used. Use a business voice instead.
Speak as if you are a professional person interviewing an employee.
This helps you stay in control. Your own voice - and its tone - will help you stay grounded in dealing with
infidelity. Think of your voice as a tool. If you need to cut through the bull you've been dealing with, you'll
have to stay grounded, mature-sounding in tone, and geared to getting true answers while dealing with
Try not to sound evil, but do sound as if you mean business when you catch a cheating spouse or partner! If you
use a small voice, sound too child-like, or look overly fearful, your cheating partner will likely use this against
"I got a friend to role-play with me ahead of time," says a woman we'll call Teresa.
"I've been a wimp most of my life - a stupid man pleaser," laughs Teresa. I laugh about this now, but my friend
had to work with me for over two hours before I found my nerve! She recorded me, and I went from sounding like a
mouse to sounding more like Oprah. Finding my voice helped me find my power. Your entire being will change -
posture, body language - along with your determination when you speak like an adult!"
Dealing with Infidelity and
Producing Your Evidence
Tell your mate: "I have good reasons to believe you are cheating on me. I have had suspicions for a long time,
and now I have evidence that I need you to explain."
Don't over-talk. Get right to the point. Show the evidence and put pressure on your mate to explain it. Stay
quiet and wait. Don't speak up and fill in the blanks. Your mate has to process a lot in this moment. His or her
head will be spinning in dealing with infidelity that he or she tried to hide! But now, it's on the table!
Be prepared for denial, outrage, or nervous laughter too. Rest assured that your mate isn't very likely to say,
"Oh, God, I'm afraid you've caught me."
At best, a partner caught and cornered will probably grow silent. Or, he or she might be willing to tell you the
truth in bits and pieces. Dealing with infidelity from your mate's perspective means guilt and shame have probably
been overwhelming him or her. Cheating spouses often say they've felt like a 10-ton weight has been on their
shoulders during an affair. It can actually be a relief in some ways to get caught!
After a long pause, your partner might start to mutter a confession by saying, "Well, things haven't been great
between you and me." Or, some might counter with anger - hoping to overrule you and bully you into putting things
back to the way they were.
Allow your mate to react, flounder, sit in silence, and give a reaction. Do not be tempted to jump in and speak
when you present signs of cheating. Your goal is to make room for him or her to speak! Your goal is to give your
mate room for opening up and laying all cards out on the table - knowing you're ready for the truth.
Again, resist the temptation to fill up the silence with words. Resist the temptation to lecture or ramble
Say, "I have all of your emails printed and in my hand," or "I carefully went over the credit card bills. I
finally concluded you've been with a woman at a certain hotel right under my nose. That explains your long nights
playing cards with the guys."
Dealing with Infidelity - How to
Your Feelings During the Conversation
Use a lot of "I" statements. Statements that start with the word "you" sound accusatory. By using "I"
statements, you are keeping the conversation more logical - so your mate will have to speak up and make sense. The
minute you allow yourself to get emotional during the initial confrontation, you've lost ground.
When you confront, pretend that you're being videotaped for the whole world to see. The whole world will watch
your "performance" on the six o'clock news. Imagining that others will critique your behavior keeps you from doing
or saying anything you'll regret later.
Save your emotions for after the confession. Your first goal is to get your partner to start telling the truth
and giving you correct information. If you wrangle no confession whatsoever, use all of your willpower to stay
cool. This tells your partner that you really are in control!
We all remember former presidential candidate Senator John Edwards and his ordeal in dealing with infidelity. On
CNN's Larry Live in May 2009, Elizabeth Edwards said her husband told her he cheated only one night in the
beginning. Later, John confessed the affair went on for over a year.
Dealing with Infidelity and
Getting the Whole Truth
While you probably cannot get all of the truth upon initial confrontation, it's important to know the truth
eventually. Otherwise, what you don't know will consume you in dealing with infidelity. You will spend every waking
moment trying to figure it out. You want your mate to tell it like it is - right at the beginning.
If you cannot get a confession - and your evidence is flung back in your face - this shows your partner is
afraid to confess. The confession may or may not come later. But you'll have to tell him or her, "This discussion
is not over. I want you to respect me by staying at a friend's house over the weekend."
Going home or staying in the same house with someone you've just accused of infidelity is not a good idea -
especially if all of the signs of cheating have been forcefully denied. You need space, and so does your partner.
Staying together can cause emotions to escalate into violence - until things calm down later on.
What are the Possibilities for the Reactions
You Will Get?
Rehearse How You Will Manage
Before you confront, imagine the different reactions your partner may have. Figure out how to manage each and
every possibility before you confront them with signs of cheating.
Your cheating spouse or partner may deny everything. He or she may act truly sorry and want to patch things up.
He or she might start crying quietly or uncontrollably.
Or, he or she may blame you for the affair. The tactic behind this reaction is to make you feel guilty. You
might hear: "I was lonely during all of those times you worked late!" Or, "I couldn't take it when I heard about
you volunteering to travel with that nice-looking coworker of yours!"
Rest assured you will not get this simple reaction: "Why, yes dear, I've been cheating. You've caught me, and
Your partner will think about what he or she could lose - the house, the kids, your respect, the bank accounts.
So, voicing a simple, non-emotional confession will not likely happen in a million years - unless your partner is
trying to use humor to brush you off during a serious confrontation in dealing with infidelity.
Dealing with Infidelity
Some Scenarios That are Likely to
Your partner may hurl words of denial at you. For example, the accused may say: "You cannot be serious! I'm
shocked! How dare you accuse me of cheating?! Ha! I'd say you would be the one most likely to cheat!"
Your partner may lie boldly and forcefully. For example, you might hear this: "I am 100% innocent! I work and
slave, and all I get is this kind of crap! For the love of God! You must be out of your mind!"
You might get a sincere, but emotional, confession too. For example, your partner might say, "Oh, God, I didn't
want you to find out. It's not what you think. I mean, it was not a big affair or anything. It was just a stupid
thing that happened over time!"
You might get a confession demanding some sort of action you didn't expect. Your partner might tell you: "Honey,
I feel awful. I didn't want to be doing those kinds of things. May heaven help me, but I can't lie to you. Now that
it's all out in the open, I guess I need to step up to the plate and tell the truth. I want out. I want a
A worst-case scenario is confronting a potentially abusive partner. He or she may not act too crazy, until you
start showing your emotions at full steam. Any normal person will rage, scream, cry, stomp, and curse when hearing
a confession concerning an affair - even if it was only a one-time indiscretion.
To keep you from leaving or demanding a divorce, that person might slap you or start acting dangerously. As soon
as possible, get help and work with a professional if that should happen to you.
Take Control and Find Your Best
When Dealing with Infidelity
To manage the situation, you'll need to prepare yourself, so that you can do what's best for you. You do have
choices while coping with infidelity.
Remember: You can continue the conversation later. You can go to a friend's house and regain your calm - before
you discuss the evidence against your partner. Or, you can ask your partner, "Will you spend the night on the sofa
in the family room?"
Most individuals who catch a partner cheating cannot sleep at all the first night. Most likely, neither can the
person who is caught. As stated above, it's best to go your separate ways for a day or two in coping with
infidelity that's no longer hidden.
Dealing with Infidelity -
How You'll React Next
In dealing with infidelity you might choose to sit up and talk all night with your partner, or you might go off
to separate worlds. One or both of you might talk to a relationship coach as the drama unfolds. How you each react
in dealing with infidelity as a couple largely depends on how you've psychologically managed your relationship all
In Part I of this
article, you will learn to manage this painful job of dealing with infidelity by focusing on what's
going to serve your needs well.
A woman we'll call Rebecca says, "I was so relieved to get a confession, I actually went home and slept like a
log. My ex-husband tortured me for years because of his guilty conscience. He'd been cheating for a decade! I was
glad to close that chapter, pack him a bag, order him to leave, and fall into bed for a good night's sleep."
Dealing with Infidelity -
Here Come the Emotions
If you've had a fairly good relationship with your partner, you might choose to talk calmly and in an adult
manner in dealing with infidelity and what's to come next. But, somewhere along the line - during or after the
confession - you will have an emotional explosion.
Managing how you'll cope with that explosion within yourself is important. Driving recklessly, yelling until the
neighbors call the cops, or throwing a lamp at your partner are all very bad ideas.
If there is a lot at stake in dealing with infidelity - financial assets, a house, your children, community
respect you'd like to keep intact - you don't want to make headlines in tomorrow's newspaper.
You don't want your soon-to-be ex to tell the judge, "My wife tried to kill me with the fireplace tools!" Or,
"My husband drove the car through the garage wall!"
Speak and act appropriately in dealing with infidelity. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, but don't do
anything you'll be ashamed of later.
Above all, do have friends or family to call within the hour after your confrontation. You might decide to wait
a day or so before sharing anything with other people, but have someone lined up to call if you feel the need to
vent your feelings.
If your relationship is truly over, it's a death in a very real sense. It's the death of your relationship. You
will need supportive people to lean on while you figure out your next steps. We recommend you contact a trained professional for help
and support throughout this process.
Relationship help is just a phone call
Website Content © 2016 Jay Reiss, M.S.W.