How To Confront An Unfaithful Partner

You suspect your partner’s cheating, or maybe you even have proof that they did. Now’s the time to confront them, but how should you go about it? Your emotions are all over the place and you want to hold them and throw shoes at them simultaneously. Take a deep breath and consider these 10 tips to help you deal.

  1. Figure out what you want. Before you do anything, and certainly before you confront your partner, think about what you want. Do you want to stay with this person if they cheated on you? Do you want to give your love another chance? Knowing this is important so that you don’t get swayed by what they want.
  2. Think about the consequences. Confronting your partner will certainly have consequences, so play out as many as you can think of so you can be better prepared for various situations that could happen. For example, what happens if your partner storms off and doesn’t talk to you? What will you do if your partner confesses that they had an affair?
  3. Get enough evidence. If you have evidence that your partner is cheating, collect it all to be sure that it’s enough of a reason to confront them. On the other hand, you might not have cold, hard proof that they were unfaithful. Maybe you just have a gut about it. Dig deeper into your feelings. Are they doing anything that seems strange, like working all the time or suddenly being preoccupied about hitting the gym to look good? Are they being secretive with their phone? These will help you talk to your partner about why you’re feeling suspicious.
  4. Wait until you’re calm. If you’ve just found out that your partner’s possibly cheating on you, your emotions are probably all over the show. Now’s not the time to confront them. You need to be calm and collected, otherwise, things could get out of control and you won’t be able to have a rational conversation that gives you the answers you need.
  5. Choose the right time. It’s hard to be patient to find the right time to talk to your partner about your proof or suspicions, but the worst thing you can do is try to talk to them when they’re busy or rushing off to work, or when you’re at a noisy club and can’t even hear each other. This will just increase your frustrations. Choose a time when your partner has enough time to chat, and when you both can be alone in a quiet place.
  6. Don’t do it via text. It’s tempting to want to tell your partner what you think of them or accuse them of cheating via text, but it’s better to do it in person so you can properly chat and not be distracted. Throwing an accusation at them will just put them on the defensive and won’t get you anywhere.
  7. Tell them what you found and how you feel. Open the conversation with what you found, like the evidence you saw on their phone when they went to the bathroom, or their suspicious behavior that has made you suspect them of cheating.
  8. Let them speak. Once you’ve calmly told them what’s on your mind and why you think they’re cheating on you, let them speak. It can be hard if you just want to shout at them, but give them a chance so that you can suss out what’s going on. Their answers will tell you tons about them! Being calm will also help you figure out if they’re lying to you and if they’re really guilty.
  9. What to do if they confess. If your partner confesses to having cheated or is currently cheating on you, it will probably be a shock even though you suspected it. Now you have to decide if you want to ask more questions about it or if you don’t want to know anything about the infidelity. Choose wisely because this is your golden opportunity to try to get all the information you need to be able to work through this.
  10. Decide how to proceed. Whether your partner denies the allegations or confesses to being unfaithful, you’re going to have to decide if you want to work on the relationship or leave it behind. For example, if they denied it, you might feel in your gut that it’s total BS. You might not be able to make a decision in the heat of the moment, so it’s worth telling your partner that you need some time to work things through. Don’t be pressured to stay with them if you just can’t seem to believe or forgive them right away. Having a bit of time to yourself to think about what they said and what you want is valuable to help you make the right decision. After all, they might also need some time away to be on their own and think things through.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.