How To Confront a Cheating Spouse

Hossein Berenji, Jun 12, 2024

How To Confront a Cheating Spouse

Infidelity is a heart-wrenching reality for many couples. In fact, studies suggest that approximately 20% of married individuals have cheated on their spouse at some point in their relationship. 

The discovery of infidelity can shake the very foundation of a marriage. While some couples are able to heal and move forward together after infidelity, for others, it’s a hard line in the sand and marks the end of the marriage. Still, others fall in between, realizing they can’t get over the heartbreak and betrayal after attempting to work through it together. 

If you are faced with an unfaithful spouse, you are likely experiencing a whirlwind of emotions that seem to change every moment. Preparing for the difficult conversation about infidelity is daunting, but it’s an important step forward, whether you are interested in repairing the relationship or pursuing a divorce. Here are some tips to help you with the confrontation. 

Gather Evidence First

Before confronting your spouse, start by gathering evidence of the infidelity. This may be important for a few reasons. 

When your spouse finds out you know about the cheating, they may try to hide any evidence they can. They may also lie, possibly so convincingly that you doubt yourself and what you know to be true. Gathering evidence can ensure you don’t doubt your sanity later, and it may be helpful during the conversation to prevent lies and unnecessary arguments. 

California is a no-fault divorce state, so proof of infidelity will not affect divorce proceedings – at least, not directly. It may indirectly affect spousal support and property division if marital funds were used to support the affair. It’s unlikely to affect child custody, however, unless the court decides it’s relevant.

Consult a Divorce Attorney

Before confronting your spouse, speaking with a divorce attorney may be in your best interest. Consulting a divorce attorney or even hiring a lawyer does not mean your marriage is already over, but it may be wise to protect yourself and get legal guidance on the steps you should take.

An attorney can also help you understand options going forward, such as legal separation. In California, legal separation allows you to divide marital assets while remaining married. You may decide this is the best way to protect yourself while you consider what you want to do. 

Be Prepared For the Conversation

Before initiating the conversation, make sure you’re ready to handle it without losing your composure. Try to avoid starting the discussion when emotions are high or you or your spouse are stressed. Ideally, this conversation should take place somewhere private unless you do not feel safe doing so. 

Approach the topic calmly and directly with the evidence on hand if they try to deny the allegation. Focus on using assertive “I” statements. This helps you express difficult thoughts and feelings without making the other party feel attacked and defensive. You may find it helpful to practice what you are going to say in a way that communicates how you feel without causing your spouse to shut down. 

Coping With the Aftermath of Infidelity

After this difficult conversation, it’s important to give yourself space to grieve. Get emotional support from family and friends. Remember, it’s okay to feel a range of emotions, from anger to sadness. 

When you’re ready, think carefully about the future of your relationship. Decide whether you want to work on rebuilding trust or if separation is a better option for your well-being. Take your time to make this decision, and don’t rush into anything.

Regardless of your decision, prioritize your mental and emotional health. Engage in activities that bring you joy and peace. Consider journaling your thoughts and feelings to process the situation more effectively.

Professional counseling can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of infidelity. Couples therapy can provide a safe space to communicate and rebuild trust. Individual therapy can help each partner process their emotions and gain clarity.

If you decide to pursue divorce, you are not alone. The divorce rate in California is 5.8%, and many divorces are triggered by infidelity. Divorce is not a failure; it may be the right step to help you move on with your life and find a healthier and more fulfilling relationship. 

If you are considering divorce or legal separation, Berenji & Associates is here to help you. Contact our law firm today for a case evaluation with a Beverly Hills divorce attorney.

Contact a Beverly Hills Family Law Lawyer Today

If you’re going through a divorce, you need a strong team on your side fighting for your rights. Call Berenji & Associates today to know how we can assist you.

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