I’ll start with a warning: Do NOT confront a cheater without a good plan. If you don’t follow some critical rules, most chances he will either angrily run out of the house (allowing him to get his story straight), or stay and turn the focus to you (by attacking you for snooping on him, or blaming you for your problems etc). This guide will show you the right way to confront cheating and getting the truth out of him – today.
Rule #1 – Prepare Yourself for Complete Denial
Before you learn how to confront a cheater, prepare yourself to this: The majority of cheating spouses will deny-deny-deny infidelity until they are blue in the face. Some cheaters will deny an affair even if you present them with hard evidence.
He will deny because even if you thought he was your best friend, the one person that would never lie to you this way, the fact is that you will probably catch him unprepared. He doesn’t have his story straight yet, he hasn’t decided whether he wants to admit cheating, how to tell you about it, how much to reveal and in case of a long term affair. Admitting usually means he will have to end the affair, which is also something he may have not decided about yet.
Rule #2 – Do Not Confront a Cheater before You have Evidence
I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have physical evidence, such as nude pictures, emails describing his passion and love for her, a receipt for jewelry or a motel, do NOT confront him.
If you don’t have proof you will only give him a warning to be more careful from now on and he will start to hide the affair much better, which means you may never find proof. Second, if you don’t have proof, you might be wrong. He could be faithful to you, and if you wrongly accuse him you could destroy your relationship.
Rule #3 – Keep Calm and Collected
I know it is the HARDEST thing to do in this situation. You are upset, hurt beyond belief, your whole life is crumbling under your feet. But you have to confront him when you are calm and collected. Focus on the facts and don’t let your emotions control you. If you attack him and scream at him he will probably use it to storm out of the house saying he can’t talk to you and use this time to get his story straight. Be prepared with your proof and don’t let him turn the focus to your snooping. You can say, “Yes, I admit it was wrong to snoop on you, but the FACT is that I had a good reason to do that. Here’s the evidence.”
Rule #4 – Don’t Let Him Turn the Tables on You
He will probably try to blame the whole thing on you. It’s much easier than providing an explanation to his behavior. He will instinctively call you crazy, stupid, insecure, childish and a psycho. Don’t let him do that. You can say, “OK, I am stupid and childish. Who is she and how long have you been cheating on me?”
Demand an explanation. He may also try to get you to admit that he had a good reason for cheating. He may ask you “Why would I look for sex outside my relationship?” and get you to think of an excuse for him (clever, right?) or to make you believe that he has no reason to cheat. Make him answer his own questions by saying nothing. Just look in his eyes as long as it takes and wait for him to answer it by himself.
Rule #5 – If He Still Won’t Admit – Try This Jedi Mind Trick
If he insists on denying, and your proof has “holes” in it, try to take some of the blame on yourself. You don’t have to mean it; it’s just a tactic to get him to confess. Bring up the possibility that you may not have been giving him what he needs—sexually, emotionally or otherwise. If he is close to confessing, it will make it much easier for him to tell you the truth. He will not feel like the only one to blame in this overwhelming crisis in your relationship.
Rule #6 – The Most Important Rule of All
Do not assume that an affair will end your relationship. You may find it hard to see right now, but an affair is just a symptom of a “diseased” relationship. You can go with the "once a cheater always a cheater" BS, or you can stop, think about it a little and consider giving your relationship one more chance.
Remember, even if he cheated, it doesn’t mean he has no love for you anymore. Something went terribly wrong along the way, but if you both commit to the healing process, you have a chance of winning a better relationship than ever.
Surviving an affair requires honesty and transparency that can work wonders on your relationship. It’s hard for me to admit it, but my husband’s affair and the healing journey we went through together has brought us a new and amazing communication, honesty and eventually more love than ever.
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For more relationship advice from Lisa Penn, visit How to Save a Marriage.