Have you reached a point in your marriage where you suspect something shady’s going on but you’re not sure? Now, you simply have to know what’s really going on?
Like I always say, “You cannot conquer that which you will not confront.” So, in this article that is part of chapter four (Confront & Conquer) in my book entitled Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted I reveal ways to gather the courage you need to confront your spouse in a healthy and productive way. Walking around with blinders on typically damages the marriage. You are unable to specifically fix that which you do not know is broken.
Some wives will confront their husbands only after they have proof of the affair. Others will confront based simply on instinct. Sadly, some wives will never confront.
There are many reasons why women choose not to confront their suspected cheating spouse. Many women don’t have experience with healthy confrontation, and they think of the very worst outcomes. Confrontation doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
Great things can come about as a result of healthy confrontations.
The primary reasons women don’t confront their spouse are:
- Afraid of being right
- Afraid of being wrong
- Don’t want to disturb a comfortable lifestyle
- Fear of inadequacy
- Stressful and tense conversations
- Not sure where to start
It’s not enough to simply tell you to confront them. I want to provide you with some actual words that you can use to start to navigate the conversation. As difficult as it may be, may I suggest that you confront only after you’ve calmed yourself. We do some regrettable (and irreversible) things when we’re in a state of outrage. Have you seen the show “Snapped?” Enough said!
So, how exactly do you confront? Well, rather than provide you with some light, frail motivation, I prefer to outline how the conversation might actually go so you can make the necessary adjustments as you see fit.
Below you will see conversations in an organizational chart form that offers various scenarios so you can navigate through the conversation before you actually have it.
You will notice that the conversations are in two categories:
The Indirect Approach is for the spouse who is not accustomed to, or comfortable with, confrontation. This approach is ideal if you’re scared to death of just starting the conversation and have no idea what to say.
The Direct Approach is for spouses who have no problem confronting when issues and discrepancies arise. You can review the chart and decide for yourself which approach is ideal for your particular situation.
Confronting a cheating partner can be a gut-wrenching experience, but if you are mentally prepared that is half the battle. Considering I have been here, I’d advise you to practice what needs to be said and brace yourself for a variety of counter-arguments. Expect the unexpected!
Confrontation takes meticulous planning. Anticipate resistance and denial. Your spouse may call you petty, snoopy, paranoid, jealous, insecure, mad, or insane. Whatever the provocation, don’t lose your cool. Personally, this is the one thing I wish I would have done more often. Not that I flew off the handle every time, but it really is so much sexier when you remain calm, cool, and collective! Remind yourself of the greater purpose for you, him, and your shared marital union each time you find yourself losing it.
If you can, confront your spouse with a body of evidence so that he/she cannot easily deny the affair. It is hard to deny black and white facts. Imagine various worst-case scenarios and carefully plan for each. I’m all for being optimistic and staying positive, but be prepared for some worse case scenarios so that you are able to navigate the good, the bad, and the downright ugly if need be. Stay in charge of your emotions as best as possible ensuring you reason calmly. It will take a lot of personal strength. After all, dealing with infidelity is dealing with a form of betrayal, but eventually, from the results that you get, you will infer that your dignified conduct has been well worth the effort. By all means, hold him/her accountable, but don’t lower your dignity.
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Your reasons may be varied.
- You want him to own up.
- You want to walk out of the marriage (if it is truly worth leaving).
- You want to preserve the marriage (if it is worth saving).
- You don’t want to disrupt your children’s life.
- You are worried about financial necessities.
Whatever the concerns, stay calm and believe in yourself! Remember I have been where you are and I promise there is not just a light at the end of the tunnel, but a brighter marriage that is truly better than before. However, the prerequisite is putting in the work, and it does take WORK! Above all, stay positive by handling the situation and no longer allowing it to handle you. By doing this I found I was able to do damage-control to save our marriage along with the assistance and support of my husband. Like my husband, your partner too may realize his mistake. He might begin to clean up the mess too, but remember…you can not conquer what you are not willing to confront!
BMWK, are you ready to carefully confront infidelity?