Marriage Infidelity Survival Guide
It is every married person’s worst fear – discovering that their spouse has been having an affair. Marriage infidelity is a major cause of divorce and separation, but it doesn’t need to be that way. However, before assuming infidelity is occurring in your home, it is important to recognize the signs of a cheating spouse and respond appropriately. Read on to learn how…
Often, the signs of adultery are missed because a spouse doesn’t want to admit there is a problem. Other times, a spouse might assume marriage infidelity when there is none. Either way, it is vital that you learn to recognize when your spouse might be having an affair. You don’t want to ignore a potentially marriage-breaking problem, but you don’t want to create one where it doesn’t exist either.
What are the Signs of Adultery?
So how do you know when you have good reason to be concerned about marriage infidelity? The following list includes some of the common signs of adultery. If your spouse exhibits several of these signs, it may be time to sit down for a frank, heart-to-heart discussion. These signs are:
- No longer wearing their wedding ring
- Work schedule changes for no apparent reason. Your spouse may begin working late or take trips out-of-town for conferences.
- Credit card receipts are hidden or bank account information is restricted.
- Caller ID records and text messages are quickly erased. Your spouse becomes secretive when using the phone.
- Accusations that you are having an affair. It is common for the guilty party to try to deflect attention away from them by putting their spouse on the defensive.
- New birth control methods
- Dramatically decreased OR increased interest in sex.
- Changes in behavior by mutual friends and acquaintances. Often, they know about the affair before the spouse.
- Unable to be contacted by phone when normally available.
- Regularly distracted and no longer interested in activities you use to share together.
- Insists on removing all toys or other family items from the car.
Talking About Marriage Infidelity
Perhaps the most common comment made by those who have been the victim of a cheating spouse is that they felt something was wrong. If you have that gut feeling that something is off with your spouse, by all means sit down and talk it over with them. Remember to phrase your concerns with “I” statements. For example, say…
“I’ve noticed changes in your behavior lately. Is something wrong?”
“You’re cheating on me, aren’t you?”
If your spouse becomes defensive and refuses to talk, that alone might answer your question about whether infidelity is occurring.
How to Respond to a Cheating Spouse
If you have established that your spouse is in fact cheating, you might wonder what to do next. Your emotions are undoubtedly in overdrive, and your first thought is probably to throw the cheater out. That’s perfectly understandable. You wouldn’t be human if that wasn’t your first reaction. But before you make a rash decision, step back, take a deep breath and consider these steps instead…
1. Regroup: Take time to take care of yourself. If there was ever a time for extreme self-care, this is it. Don’t be a hero or a martyr. Treat yourself to a massage or a movie if you need an escape. Find a trusted confidant who can be a shoulder to cry on. BUT be careful who you choose to unload your emotions on. Even if you later reconcile with your spouse, your friends and family may be less likely to forgive and forget. Also, don’t spend too much time with someone of the opposite sex if there is any chance whatsoever you might develop romantic feelings for that person. You don’t want to complicate one affair by adding another.
2. Give Your Spouse Some Space: I know you want answers, and I know you deserve them. But when emotions are running high, now is not the time to badger your spouse about their infidelity. Not only is it counter-productive to dwell on every mistake your spouse made, you may discover that you didn’t want to know all the gory details should you reconcile.
3. Look at the Big Picture: Does your spouse have a history of marriage infidelity? Or was this just a one-time fling? While having an affair is never excusable, are there extenuating factors that may have made this out of character for your spouse? For example, is he unemployed and depressed or did one her parents recently die? Do you have children together? As you carefully consider these questions, you can determine the right course of action for your family.
Regardless of the circumstances, marriage infidelity is devastating. But it doesn’t have to be the end. Marriages can and often do survive a cheating spouse. Before throwing away your life together, remember that marriage infidelity can be overcome.
Get Help Surviving Marriage Infidelity
If you are struggling with a cheating spouse and would like some help learning the best way to save your marriage or relationship, you might want to check out “How To Survive An Affair”. It’s a course on exactly what the name implies, how to recover from marriage infidelity. This course is from the counseling team at “Save My Marriage Today”, one of the highest rated online resources for helping people save their marriages and relationships. “How To Survive An Affair” is a program designed specifically for couples dealing with the painful issue of marriage infidelity.