Broaching a difficult topic with a spouse can be hard, especially when it involves infidelity. Nevertheless, many have done it. Here are some helpful tips on preparing for a conversation that changes the course of the marriage, regardless of whether it continues or the couple files for divorce.
The initial reaction will likely be for the accused to flee in anger or counterattack the accuser. Either way, it won’t be easy, so it is essential for you to have a plan.
Preparing for it
Every marriage is different, but these general suggestions may be modified to fit the circumstances:
- Gather evidence: Accusing them without proof will only make them more careful. It can be explicit pictures on their phone, incriminating emails, receipts for hotels or gifts, or even a suspicious phone bill with a particular phone number that appears regularly.
- Stay calm: This is an emotional situation where the marriage and the lives of the family could change forever. It is best to remain calm, focus on facts and even acknowledge that the accusation will seem like an attack.
- They will deny it at first: As with anyone accused of wrongdoing, they will likely deny it, at least at first, until they can get their story worked out and how they want to respond.
- Prepare for any response: Instead of denial, there may be an attempt to blame you for leaving them no choice.
- Ask for details: Some people don’t want to know the details. However, there may be potential health risks that make this information necessary, and it can be helpful to know if is someone you know and trust.
- Don’t provide them answers: It is a common trick to answer a question with another question. If you aren’t careful, you can provide answers to your own difficult questions. It is best to wait for a response from them.
- Help them along: If silence doesn’t work, move on from the accusation and provide a general starting point for a truthful response. For example: “Was I not fulfilling your sexual, emotional or other needs?”
There is no turning back
Some marriages recover from infidelity, often with the help of therapy, and can become stronger for it. But the confrontation may be the beginning of a conversation about divorce that one or both spouses previously avoided. If a fair and equitable divorce is the best option, you can start the process by each spouse seeking guidance from a knowledgeable family law attorney.