It can be difficult to get your partner to admit they are cheating on you. Pay close attention to what he says and look for inconsistencies in his excuses. If he uses oversimplified language or avoids making self-references when explaining absences, chances are he is lying. Ask casual, open-ended questions and expect your partner to tell the truth when you're ready to hear the confession. Show empathy and make your partner feel that it's okay to admit betrayal. By the time he confesses, his goal will have been achieved, but until then, it's important to stay calm and not become aggressive or violent.
Part 1 of 3: Listen to your partner
Step 1. Note the type of language used by your partner
People who are cheating tend to use different words when lying about what they were doing. Being more specific, they tend to use less complex words, make fewer self-references, and put more negative emotions into the speech.
- A more complex language includes more difficult words and compound sentences. If your partner is cheating on you, he or she will likely avoid overinformative sentences by making up an excuse.
- Examples of self-referential words are "I" and "mine". They demonstrate ownership and personal responsibility for the story being told. People they are cheating on will have a tendency to avoid that kind of word by lying about where and who they were with.
- Examples of words that express negativity are "hate", "sadness", "useless" and "enemy". This type of word tends to appear more often in false stories, as the person who is lying will feel guilty and annoyed when telling a false story (unless the person is a sociopath).
Step 2. Nod your head when your partner is talking
Doing so is a sign of encouragement and agreement, which can make your partner feel more comfortable to keep talking. With a little luck, maybe he'll end up confessing the lie.
At the very least you'll get more clues that can help you find out where he's been recently
Step 3. Don't be in a hurry to speak
Many people think that the best way to get a confession of infidelity is to bombard your partner with lots of questions, but that's a bad thing, as it doesn't give him room to admit what he's done. When broaching this subject, always let your partner talk too. So try not to answer every thing he says right away, whether it's with another question, accusation, or any other answer.
Part 2 of 3: Asking questions
Step 1. Use priming techniques on your partner
Priming is a technique in psychology that allows the exposure of a person's thoughts or behaviors with the help of certain words or phrases. Your partner will be more cooperative and willing to help you if you use this technique to make him recognize that he is a sincere person. To do this, casually ask this simple question "How honest do you think you are?"
- Your partner should respond by saying he is very honest (especially with you).
- Most people want to imagine themselves as honest people, so reminding your partner that he is an honest person (or helping him to see himself as one) may make him admit to cheating.
Step 2. Ask your partner to talk about what happened in another way
If he's trying to hide something from you, he'll probably lie about where he was, the things they were doing, and the people he was with. To get your partner to confess (or at least to get evidence of the betrayal), ask him to explain what happened in another way.
- Liars often cannot tell the story in reverse order (saying the things that happened last first and going back to the first), and they have difficulty continuing the narrative from somewhere in the middle of it.
- Ask your partner to recap what happened at some point during the narrative. Then ask "What did you say happened right before this?" If he can't remember or ends up ordering the facts differently, point out his mistake and ask something like "Are you sure you were really there?" or "What really happened?".
Step 3. Tell a wrong version of your partner's explanation
If he tells a story explaining where he's been and what he's done, try telling it again by adding details to unmask him. For example, imagine he is having an affair with a co-worker. When you ask him where he's been, he'll probably say he went out drinking with his friends. In your answer, say something like "Oh, you went bowling with your friends and a co-worker?" Maybe he'll respond "I didn't go bowling with my friends."
- Note that, in this case, he partially denied his inquiry, which suggests that part of it, the one referring to the co-worker, is true.
- It will likely notice this error and try to fix it quickly.
- This technique works even better if you pretend to be interested in another activity, such as reading a book or watching a movie.
Step 4. Ask open-ended questions
Open-ended questions are those that require an answer other than just a "yes" or "no". They get your partner to talk, and the more information he provides, the more evidence you'll have to demonstrate once you know what's going on.
- Open-ended questions also make the other person more comfortable, which can influence him to reveal, directly or indirectly, that he was cheating on you.
- Note the small details of the story told by him and check them later. For example, you can talk to the people he said were following him to find out if the story is true.
Step 5. Don't push your partner too hard
If you ask too many direct and accusing questions, your partner may withdraw and be less likely to confess. It's okay to ask a few questions about his day when you get home from work, like "What have you been up to?" or "Why are you so late?" However, if you show suspicion before you're sure he's about to confess, he might get frustrated and react with sarcastic or lying answers.
- Prefer conversational styles that are natural to you. Use the way you always used to talk as a basis for any suspicion.
- In general, the idea is to avoid questions like “What are you doing?”, “Who were you with?” and "Where were you?"
Step 6. Avoid adopting a cold, accusing tone
Talking passively-aggressively (or simply aggressively) with your partner will not inspire him to open up to you. Instead, adopt a lighter, more inquisitive, non-accusing tone when asking the questions. This will prevent him from discovering that you have suspicions about the betrayal. If he finds out, it will be bad news, as he may be more careful and try to hide the wrong things he does better so that you don't discover them in the future.
Keep calm and balanced when asking your partner questions
Part 3 of 3: Getting the Confession
Step 1. Show empathy for what your partner has done
He will feel more secure if he knows you understand his attitude, which will make him more likely to confess.
- Take the pressure off his back. Say something that shows you understand what he did. You can say, for example, “I know I'm always away from home because of work. I would understand perfectly if you were seeing someone else."
- Encourage him with phrases like “I've always been honest with you” or “Please be honest if you're cheating on me. I would like to know who you really are." Another option is to say "It's okay, I won't be upset if you cheated on me."
Step 2. Press on your partner by decreasing their space
Taking a kinder, more sympathetic approach is usually the best option, but some people won't confess if you don't push them a little bit and show that you're in control. It is not necessary to be aggressive or domineering, just make him feel a little uncomfortable by reducing his space.
- Move your chair closer to him than usual.
- Take a small step towards him if you are standing.
- Lean across the table while speaking.
- These subtle behaviors can change the dynamics of the conversation in your favor and make him confess what he's done.
Step 3. Don't say everything you know at once
If you know your partner wasn't at the bar last night, don't confront him by saying something like "I know you weren't at the bar last night." This allows him time to think about something and end up denying the betrayal.
Instead, wait for him to be tempted to make up an excuse and compare the story told with the information you already know. This will allow you to deny his excuse
Step 4. Pretend you know exactly what's going on
If you think you have good evidence that he's cheating on you but aren't 100% sure, try taking a more direct approach to getting him to confess. When you're alone at home in a quiet time, call him and say something like "I know what's going on" or "I think we should talk about [the person you think he's cheating on you with]."
- You can start the conversation by giving him a chance to confess by asking something like "Is there something you should tell me?"
- This bluffing strategy can be very effective in getting a confession, but if it isn't convincing, he won't admit the betrayal. Also, after the incident he will feel more confident knowing that you don't actually have any proof.
- If you bluff but your partner isn't actually doing anything wrong, you'll look silly.
Step 5. Let him fill in the missing information
When bluffing, build a narrative based on the facts that you are already certain occurred and ask him to fill in the missing information. For example, you might say “Every night this week you came home late. You told me you were with friends, but that's not true. Where were you?". Then add facts that you believe (or are certain) have occurred. Your partner should start making corrections and reporting the missing details to tell you what actually happened.
Step 6. React calmly when he confesses to betrayal
Even if you've been suspicious for a long time, finally getting confirmation of a betrayal can be devastating. Despite this emotional charge, try not to start screaming or physically assaulting your partner. These behaviors are immature and irreparable, in addition to being able to justify legal actions.
- To react calmly, try breathing slowly through your nose and focusing on your breathing. Inhale and then exhale very slowly.
- If necessary, leave the area or go out for a walk and cool off.
- Call a friend or family member and tell them what happened. The best way to deal with a betrayal is to seek support from those who care about you.
- Don't try to accuse your partner of cheating just because of their body language. Obvious methods, such as saying someone is lying because they are not making eye contact, are not accurate. Body language will hardly help you in these situations.
- There is no surefire way to get your partner to admit that they are cheating on you or engaging in any other inappropriate behavior. He could be cheating even if he doesn't admit it.