It's always painful to find out that your partner is cheating on you. Infidelity causes a huge breach of trust and is not easy to face. Before talking about the problem, gather solid evidence. Choose the time and type of conversation you want to have. Try to stay calm: show your feelings and decide with your partner what it will be like from now on. Do you prefer to end the relationship? Seek support from friends and family. If you want to continue the relationship, take the time to rebuild trust.
Part 1 of 3: Reflecting on How to Confront Your Partner
Step 1. Gather the evidence
It's not a good idea to confront your partner without evidence. Even if you are sure of the betrayal, he may lie or take a defensive stance if you don't have indisputable proof. When entering the subject, show the evidence.
- Try to find anything that supports the suspicions. Perhaps you received the information from a friend or came across a clue while cleaning the house, for example.
- The existence of evidence can also make you more relaxed. Confrontation is necessarily uncomfortable, but it becomes easier when you have conviction in what you say.
Step 2. Plan the conversation
Don't get nervous and start yelling at your partner. People imagine that getting it all out has a liberating effect, but it hardly works in real life. You need to think very carefully before the result is what you intended.
- Choose a time and place where you can talk. You need some free time so there are no interruptions. For example, arrange to chat on a Sunday afternoon when both are available.
- Rather show the evidence than ask. The traitor is more likely to lie than confess the truth. Start by saying, "Your sister told me what's going on. I know you're having an affair."
Step 3. Reflect on what you want
It is necessary to have clear objectives during the conversation. You can't predict the other person's reaction or intentions, but you must know where you're going with the conversation.
- How do you want it to be from now on? Do you still want to make a decision about the relationship or have you already chosen to end it?
- Perhaps there are doubts. Do you want an explanation for infidelity? Do you want to know why your partner acted that way and if he wants to work things out? For example, ask something like, "Why did you look for someone else if I was here?"
Step 4. Write down your ideas
It's very important to get a sense of what you want to talk about in advance. So write down everything you think about. In more complicated conversations, it is often difficult to find the right words at the time. It's easier to plan a "script" in advance.
- Think about your feelings. What is the best way to express them? How can you clearly show what you feel? Do these reflections as you write and rewrite the ideas on paper.
- Think a little more about what you want. Does the conversation have a real purpose? If so, include it in your notes.
Part 2 of 3: Developing the Conversation
Step 1. Take a good time to talk
It is best to talk to your partner at an appropriate time, as talking about a betrayal is very serious and cannot happen when either of you is busy.
- Ask him in advance when you can talk or propose a suitable time. For example, suggest, "I'd like to talk to you tomorrow night after dinner, okay?"
- Eliminate all distractions. Before starting, turn off electronic devices such as TV and cell phones. A conversation like this requires undivided attention.
Step 2. Don't create expectations
It's not good to enter a conversation thinking it can go this way or that, because it's harder to stay calm like that. Talking about a betrayal is a very draining experience. You will already start the conversation irritated if you imagine that your partner will be too nervous and defensive.
Accept that you don't know. As you start talking, think to yourself, "I don't know." During the conversation, repeat internally, "I don't know what's going to happen and I don't know what his reaction will be."
Step 3. Keep it cool
Calmness is important to handling the situation in a productive way. You have questions to ask and problems to solve, so don't lose control entirely.
- First, take a deep breath. It might be good to open up to someone else first or write in a journal to ease what you're feeling a bit.
- Emotions come naturally and you may feel like crying or just feeling angry. However, don't let these feelings stop you from saying what is necessary. Let your emotions vent after the conversation.
Step 4. Use first person sentences
With this way of speaking, you don't appear to be judging your partner and emphasize your own feelings instead of showing an objective truth. Divide your speech into three parts. Start with: "I feel…" and complete with what you feel. Then tell what your partner's attitude was and why you got this way.
- If you're angry and sad, for example, you could say something like, "You didn't have any respect for me keeping an affair instead of telling me you were starting to take an interest in someone else. We could have settled it the right way if you had spoken."
- It would be better to rephrase the sentences using the first person: "I feel disrespected because you preferred to have an affair with someone else than to tell me about your feelings. We could have talked about this situation as a couple."
Step 5. Ask the reason for the infidelity
There is usually a motive behind a betrayal. It's not always just one person's fault and there can be a hidden problem in the relationship. You need to talk about this issue to figure out how best to move forward, especially if you want to save the relationship.
- Your partner may hesitate to reveal why you cheated. The causes of infidelity are a delicate matter and he may want to spare you, but they must be clarified in a healthy way.
- Approach the reasoning conversation in the right way. Don't think of it as a way of blaming someone, but as a team effort to understand what went wrong and how to improve.
Part 3 of 3: Moving Forward
Step 1. Decide if you want to continue the relationship
Infidelity is not always insurmountable. Many couples manage to overlook a betrayal. However, it greatly undermines the trust in the other. Perhaps you will realize, after the conversation, that the relationship is not worth it.
- It is necessary to understand the situation well before making the smartest decision. The conversation must have exposed a lot of things about the relationship and your partner that were hidden.
- Don't make your choice right away. Spend a few days reflecting and weighing the pros and cons. It is never easy to make the decision to continue or end the relationship after a betrayal. Wait as long as it takes.
Step 2. Focus on relationship recovery, if that's what you want
Both need to commit to the process of regaining the relationship. Let go of feelings of anger and recrimination. Go forward together as a couple.
- Working together to re-establish the relationship lessens the insecurity of the one who has been betrayed and encourages the person who had the affair. Strive to redo everything from scratch.
- Accept that it will take time to rebuild trust and intimacy. Set some limits on communication between yourselves. For example, it's not a good idea to keep reminiscing about betrayal in the beginning. Say something like, "I think we should keep the relationship as natural as possible. I don't want to broach the subject beyond what is absolutely necessary."
Step 3. Get tested for STDs, regardless of whether you continue or end the relationship
If you have had a sexual relationship, there is a risk that you may have contracted an STD. Make an appointment with a doctor and get tested for all sexually transmitted diseases.
Step 4. Ask others for help
It is important to seek emotional support in these circumstances. Go to friends and family to share what you are feeling.
- Don't be vindictive. Don't be spreading negative information about your ex. Rather focus on yourself and your feelings than complain about him. Talk about your own emotions. It's better to say, "I was so hurt by what he did." Don't say, "He hurt me a lot because he's an asshole."
- No matter the outcome of the relationship, the support of others is essential. You deserve affection, love and protection.
Step 5. Think about therapy
She can be very useful if you want to stay together. The psychologist can help to overcome problems and restore the relationship to health. Ask for a doctor's recommendation or consult the list of professionals that your health plan offers.