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How To Cope If You Discover Your Partner Has Had An Affair

THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE to discovering your partner has cheated on you or is having an affair is often anger and hurt. And you are likely to lash out and attack your partner – certainly verbally, which is totally understandable.

BUT BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY RASH DECISIONS, give yourself some time. Get some support from a trusted friend or family member. But not one who will fuel the fire, as at some time in the future you may decide you want to work things out and you don’t want to make that more difficult by causing a family feud. If there isn’t anyone you can trust, then find a relationship specialist such as myself, who is experienced in helping people through the aftermath of affairs. I’m more than happy to listen. You can arrange a call here –

YOU WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE AFFAIR IN DETAIL, including all the details about the other woman, what she looks like, what she has that you don’t, or imagine you don’t. Torturing yourself with your fantasy of her and their relationship. These questions will only make you more unhappy and are not constructive.

CERTAINLY ASK QUESTIONS about how long it’s been going on, and whether it’s ended now. But keep to factual questions. There is a temptation to ask why? The chances are he won’t be able to answer that – at least immediately. By continuing to pursue the question it’s only likely to panic him and he may then lie, or just clam up.

OR COURSE YOU FEEL IT’S A COMPLETE BETRAYAL OF YOUR TRUST! How could the one person you trusted with your innermost thoughts, who you had built a life together betray you in this way? You can’t make sense of any of it.

TALK TO YOUR PARTNER, allowing him to speak freely, without interrupting, however difficult that feels. It’s very tempting to disbelieve what you are told but try and hear him out. Make sure that talk is somewhere safe, and where your children won’t overhear. And whilst talking about children,  don’t drag them into your issues. They love you both and they will feel really scared by this situation, loving you both and don’t need to feel divided loyalties. If you can’t talk to each other, writing it down maybe the first step, or seek help from a professional.

ITS LIKELY YOU PARTNER WILL DENY WHAT HAPPENED or even not tell the complete truth in the misguided belief he can cover things up, only to find later it all comes out anyway. He is likely to feel embarrassed and not want to hurt you.

SO TRY TO MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO BE HONEST from the start. However hard it is to hear. I suggest this not to protect him, but it will reduce other things coming out of the woodwork later. And if you know he is telling the truth about the affair from the beginning it will lessen your hurt. Blaming your partner or yourself totally for what has happened doesn’t help either. You are each responsible for your part in making the relationship work or for it faltering at times.

Relationships can recover from an affair. So it’s sensible to try to keep as calm as possible, and not throw too much mud. It won’t happen overnight, the one who has cheated wants to move on, whereas the one who has been cheated on finds it much harder to get over it as trust has been broken.

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