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How to Deal With Your Spouse's Affair
When you spoke your vows to each other, this day was not in your mind. Chances are that it was never on your mind, but the day has come when you have found out that your spouse has been having an affair.
The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to try to repair the damage and save your marriage or whether you are going to ask for a divorce. If you have found out and have not confronted your spouse yet, it is time to do so. Be very direct with them but try to remain non-combative. You will make a poor start of fixing your marriage if this first step turns into an emotional scene. Surely there will be a lot of emotion, but if you speak to your spouse with care and respect, even if you do not feel they deserve it at the moment, then you will not create even more animosity that you will have to eventually deal with.
Your spouse will most likely deny it in the beginning, but once they realize that you know and that there is no denying it, they will then assume one of a couple of positions. Either they will break down and be repentant or they will get angry and turn the blame upon you. If it is the latter, listen to what they have to say and really look at yourself and ask yourself if what they say may be true. If you find that they have valid points, it is time to put down your ego and admit that you have some responsibility.
People who are in a committed relationship do not often throw it away on a whim. It does happen, but it is rare. Chances are your spouse has been feeling neglected in some way and the affair was a way for them to validate themselves, a way for them to feel wanted or needed. Sometimes it is simply a case of the two of you drifting apart a bit and the spouse no longer feels attractive to you. This is a common reason why people cheat on their husband or wife. The point is, unless your spouse has a serious emotional issue, you have some responsibility to own up to and denying that will only make solving your problems that much more difficult. Listen to your spouse and assure them that you understand and will work on whatever they see as your issues with the marriage.
If your spouse breaks down and accepts responsibility and blame, this may make reconciliation easier and it may not. Admitting their mistake and apologizing, however sincerely is a common way for some people to slip out of a problem spot quickly and easily. By turning the situation around and making themselves the hurt party, they blunt your anger and prod your sympathies.
Many times this is not a conscious effort on their part, but merely something they have learned works very well, most likely learned in childhood. The best thing to do is not to fall into the position of coddling their fears or soothing their sense of guilt. Not to say you should make them feel guiltier than they seem, but make it clear that you are hurt but that you want to work together to fix the problem.
Do not let them avoid addressing the underlying problems by slipping out under a cover of guilt and shame. It is completely understandable to wish to avoid all of this and say “it’s ok” and then move on. However, this will not solve the underlying issues and they will crop up again and you will be in the same position once more, possibly even more angry-maybe too angry to want to work things through.