Finding out about an affair in your marriage is devastating and life altering…
… and we know that navigating it is not easy. It can be hard to see the way forward, at times, and everything may feel foggy and confusing. That’s okay and is to be expected. We also know that there are many things you want to do and/or say right now, but it is very important that you take careful and calculated steps forward. You don’t want to do something driven by emotions that you may regret later.
So, once you find out your spouse is cheating, here are some suggestions…
1. Keep it private, for now
There will be a place and time for you to proceed publicly, if you so desire, but taking the affair to all of your friends, family, co-workers, children, or social media right now will create a mess that you do not want to find yourself in later. The truth is that you may or may not choose to forgive your spouse for cheating on you, and that’s 100% up to you; it does NOT mean that your friends, family, children, or co-workers will. You DO, however, need a safe person to walk through this with you, so we encourage you to find a safe friend and a counselor to help you navigate the next part of this journey. Once you’re a bit farther down the road you can share with whoever you would like- trust yourself- you’ll know who the right people are and when the best time is.
2. Don’t let your anger get the best of you
Decisions based purely on high-emotions are rarely wise ones. So, even though you have EVERY right to be angry right now, protect yourself and the future of your family by making sure that any choices you make are made in logic, reason, wisdom, and truth. You may decide to leave your spouse after what happened, and that’s justified, but it should be said calmly and clearly after putting a lot of thought into it. You may also decide to stay with your spouse, and that is also justified. That, too, should be said calmly and clearly after putting a lot of thought into it. What you do next is a defining moment for your life- make sure that you’re positive about it.
3. Set HARD Boundaries
You don’t have to tolerate this affair any longer, so, please, DON’T. It’s time for you to lay out clearly what you need as you navigate forward. If your spouse is to be given a second chance, it is absolutely imperative that from this point forward, not only does your spouse need to agree to cut off ALL contact with the lover(s), but they will also need to agree to be fully transparent with you. NO more secrets or lies of any kind. This is a time for you to explain fully to your spouse what you need from them moving forward and to also explain WHEN and HOW you need that to happen. Set a clear timeline with clear goals so there is no guess-work involved. It is difficult, but it will help you to be sure about your next step; and you are worth it!