So You’ve Discovered That Your Partner is Having an Affair – What to do?
However it is that you have come to find out about the affair no longer matters at this point. It might have gone from a strong suspicion to blatant evidence. If your case is similar to what happened to me years ago, then it was probably pretty obvious that something was going on. Your partner changed, seemingly overnight, their sex drives either plummet or skyrocket (literally), and any disagreement with your partner turns emotionally violent rapidly. If you are reasonably connected with your partner, then it will be rather obvious that an affair is taking place. If your partner is giving emotional energy to another individual, it is going to come from somewhere, and that is from you.
I have to warn you that my advice will likely rub you the wrong way, but I need you to consider the advice from a logical standpoint and not from an emotional standpoint. If you want this relationship to work, then you have to push away the instinctual or habitual responses that are building up pressure from within you. The advice that you will find, herein, is 99% about keeping you emotionally resilient during this difficult time, although it may not sound that way,at least initially.
Confronting your spouse will no doubt be an arduous task. You likely anticipate lies or blame to be reciprocated, when they hear that you have found evidence of an affair. This advice will overcome that hostile reception from your partner and empower you, while also maximizing the chances to save your relationship.
1. Let your partner know everything that you know. It is not up for debate. Their response is not needed and, in fact, you do not even want to hear their response. They are going to feel backed into a corner and will likely lie or blame their way out of it, if you allow that. You disallow that by giving them the gift of the truth. When you indicate the truth, say it as if you were telling them that the sky is blue or that 2+2=4.
2. Let them know that you are asking them to end the affair. This is not an ultimatum. This is not an order. You are placing the onus entirely on your partner to end the affair. Now is not even the time to make long-term decisions as to whether or not the relationship is to be ended. Much is left to be resolved before you arrive at a point to make that decision.
3. Tell your partner that you will not check up on them. Undoubtedly, you will feel the urge to continually check-up on your partner, monitoring phone records, installing key-loggers on the computer, and you might even install cameras in the home and GPS devices in their vehicle. Don’t do it.
4. Confront this affair partner. Do this if and only if you can do it without violence. When you confront this other person, you are just expressing the same thing that you already expressed to your partner. Doing this with strength will greatly intimidate this other person, while not driving them into each other’s arms.
You might feel the incredible urge to punish your partner for the unbelievable pain that you feel, discovering an affair. I sympathize with you as, in my past, this happened to me on three occasions. What you do will greatly affect how this problem is resolved (or not resolved). I can tell you that taking the default route will only damage your primary relationship, possibly driving the adulterers further into each other’s arms. You have to realize that our partner, like it or not, has feelings for another man or woman. They committed this sexual or emotional affair because they sought something in this other individual that, in their perception, you weren’t giving or giving enough of. Reacting with the incredible pain that you feel will only prove to your partner why the affair partner is better, in their perception. Another outcome might send your partner begging and pleading for forgiveness, which doesn’t address the underlying cause for the affair, whatsoever. The pleading also does not necessarily end the affair, either.
What can greatly assist you in this solid confrontation would be for you to empathize with your partner. Step into their shoes and see why they feel the way they do and why they took that traitorous action against the relationship. While they have 100% responsibility for cheating, you both (likely) have some blame on your shoulders for the disconnectedness that precipitated the cheating. Your partner’s weakness and availability to other men or women, and the disconnected relationship have to be addressed.
What not to do
1. Spy on and monitor your partner. You are not James Bond. You are not Batman. Doing these things only adds to your paranoia and pain. Realize that you will feel anxiety,
whether or not you actually find something. Additionally, this expenditure of energy towards spying takes away from energy that you can give to your partner.
2. Yell and scream at them. You are allowed to feel whatever you feel, but acting on this anger to get revenge does not help you and it does not help the relationship. You have to always act in accordance with your perceived destination in the relationship. If you act out of love, you are paving the way towards reconciliation. If you act out of anger, you are paving the way towards divorce.
3. Play games with them. You might feel the urge to say that the relationship is over, to manipulate their feelings and bend them to your will. You might succeed, and you also
might show them that you have no intention of reconciling – while they already have a backup plan lined up.
4. Cheat in revenge. Whatever it is that you do, you are endorsing or promoting that behavior. If you cheat, then you are putting a stamp on that behavior with your name on
it. Although, you will feel justified in doing so, and still deem your partner guilty of great punishment.
5. Expose the affair to the entire world. This is actually a commonly advised action to take, to supposedly wake your partner up. Doing this would entail telling your partner’s parents, friends and other family members.
6. Do not rush to forgiveness. You have to take your time here, as does your partner. When you forgive, you are also putting your stamp on it. Once you forgive, the affair should be allowed to be laid to rest, not continually brought up at every argument in the future.
So you still feel the need to act on your anger
Your feelings are valid and it would be odd if you were not in tremendous pain. But you need to realize that your actions can have a significant impact on future relationship success or failure. The quicker you act on this solid advice, the quicker you get over it and your partner gets over the affair. There is likely something missing in the relationship, and your partner sought to fill in that gap by finding another man or woman; you didn’t. What you can do is use this as a catalyst to rebuild the relationship that should have existed in the first place.