After considering what signs to look for in your partner to determine if they are cheating (9 signs your partner may be cheating), the next step may be considering confronting your partner. If confronting your partner on your own feels like too daunting of a task seek assistance through couples therapy. Therapist are trained to help couples navigate the strong feelings associated with betrayals.
As mentioned in the previous post, each potential sign of cheating by itself may not be proof that an affair is occurring. However, the knowledge you have in your partner combined with a suddenness of change and gut feeling, may be all you need to confront your partner about a possible affair.
Before you do, there are a number of important things to consider:
Avoid Directly Attacking Your Partner
Remember, confronting your partner is not the same thing as attacking your partner or getting into a hostile, offensive conflict with them.
Confronting means that you are going to meet with your partner and present information for the purpose of clarification. How you start this conversation will likely influence the direction this conversation goes, so keep your intent in mind.
Consider what it is that you hope to gain through the confrontation and share the goal with your partner. Do you just want your partner to acknowledge it? If so express that.
You can’t decide how to move forward, or if you should work on the relationship, if you don’t know the truth of what you are dealing with.
Dont Set Truth Traps
It can be more helpful for you to hear the truth directly and not through a set up. While it might feel like you are giving your partner an opportunity to tell you the truth after all the lies, the reality is that if they have been lying this whole time then its unlikely they are going to confess when confronted in a truth trap.
Ultimately you will be left feeling more angry, hurt and devastated.
Give Yourself Cooldown Time
This can be incredibly difficult to do, however, if you can approach this conversation with a fairly level head you will likely get more from the conversation than if you go in aggressively.
Excessive emotion or aggressiveness will likely get your partner to take a defensive stance blocking them for having a conversation where they confess to an affair.
Stick to the Facts
Stick to what you know, what you saw and what you have been told. Talking about the facts removes an element of the emotional perspective, and facts are harder to deny.
You can even address the contradictions of what you have been told and the facts of the matter.
Write It Out
Consider writing down your thoughts. Whether you use this as a template of what you want to say or you read from it directly, this can be helpful for keeping you on track and not having to worry about forgetting what it was you wanted to say and how you wanted to say it.
Talk About Your Feelings
Now that you have gone over the facts, you can talk about how the lies and deceit have made you feel.
Talking about your hurt and pain might be a window for them to connect to the guilt and shame they may have about the affair and open up an avenue for honesty.
Time and Place
Consider choosing a time and a place where you are both unhurried and free from distractions. Bringing this conversation up when your partner is rushing out the door might give them an opportunity to dismiss you.
This then gives them an opportunity to think about how to respond instead of getting an authentic in the moment response. Do not confront on the phone, there is a lot to be learned with body language that would be lost.
Trillium Counselling provides Couples Counselling services in Kitchener Waterloo area and online via Online Counselling. Contact us today for a consultation or to book an appointment!