What To Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Cheating

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sad couple sitting on couch
Heartbreak

So you have a hunch and a suspicion that your spouse is cheating. Or, perhaps, someone told you something that led you to believe that it might be true.

Either way, you suspect your spouse is cheating and you're probably devastated, scared, and feeling lost and shocked and angry — your emotions are all over the place.

You can't think clearly.

Right now, in this state, you could probably use some help moving forward in a healthy way.

RELATED: 13 Subtle Signs Of Cheating You Probably Would Never Suspect

Here are 5 things to do next if you suspect your spouse of cheating.

1. Consider the source.

Is the person sharing this info with you someone you love and trust? Or is it someone who might have an agenda?

The difference here is important — one of those people is looking out for you and the other might be looking out for themselves.

So, if they're the second kind, listen to what they say with a grain of salt!

On the other hand, if you suspect that your spouse is cheating because your gut is telling you so, think carefully.

Is your gut usually right in these instances? Or are you someone who goes to that worst place easily? Do you have trust issues from past relationships?

Does your gut have any real reason to go to that place or is it just a natural inclination of yours?

Whether it's another person or your own gut that's telling you your spouse is cheating, it’s important to pay attention to that source and make sure the intentions are good and based on truth.

2. Don’t snoop.

Right now, you're probably dying to snoop. You have suspicions and you need to find out everything that you can to confirm.

Don't!

I have a client who believed that her husband was having an affair and she snooped. She went through his e-mail, phone, Instagram, and Messenger. And, there, she found evidence that he was, in fact, having an affair.

But, she also found way more information than she needed. She learned about specific things they did, read the words they said to each other, read unkind things the other woman said about her, and more.

It was awful.

"I wish I hadn’t snooped," she said. "I can’t unsee what I saw and it’s making it really hard for me to work through it."

If you suspect your spouse is cheating, don’t snoop. Instead, face the situation head-on. What you might find might be more than you can handle. It was for my client.

3. Ask them directly.

It's very important to sit down across from your person, look them in the eye, and tell them what you know or think. Try to do it calmly and watch their expression carefully.

It takes an amazing actor to deny an affair when their spouse puts it so calmly and clearly. And that's why you'll want to look them in the face and read their reaction because it might just be a fleeting one.

For just a few seconds, their guilt will be written across their face.

If, in the midst of a fight, you throw out that you suspect the affair, emotions will already be heightened and you won’t be able to read your partner.

Alternately, if you take the passive-aggressive route, where you fish around for answers, you're just going to frustrate your person and they'll be ready for you if you ever ask directly.

If you suspect that your spouse is cheating, ask them as soon as possible. That way, you won’t have to sit around obsessing. You'll get your answers and figure out what to do next.

RELATED: The Harsh Reality Of Cheating On The Person You Love

4. Don’t blame yourself.

There's a phenomenon in the world of infidelity where the partner being cheated on takes all the blame for what happened.

They blame themselves for not being good enough or pretty enough or attentive enough or worthy of love. They blame themselves for being stupid and ignorant and missing the signs.

They believe that if they confront their partner, all those things will be true.

What's happened is not your fault. Yes, there are two people in every relationship and each of them has a role in its issues.

But, you weren’t the one who found someone else and cheated. You're the one who stayed even if the going was hard.

So, don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t let your fears and self-blame prevent you from confronting what has happened.

As a matter of fact, if you do confront the issue head-on, you will prove to yourself that you aren’t weak. You respect yourself and have the strength to take on, head first, a very difficult and devastating situation.

5. Don’t spread the news.

A client of mine discovered some e-mails that another woman had written to her husband six months earlier. There were declarations of love, playful banter, and a tearful goodbye when they had to part.

She called her husband out on them. He denied it completely but went home and deleted all e-mails immediately.

When she asked him why he deleted the e-mails, he said that he couldn’t abide the thought of her sharing those e-mails with her friends.

If you suspect your spouse is cheating, you will need some support to process it. And I encourage that.

But don’t be the person who gets up at a dinner party and announces the infidelity to the world. That isn’t going to help anyone.

Instead, keep what's happening between the two of you and your closest support system. Ask them to keep it to themselves.

These things get bigger and uglier the more oxygen is exposed to them.

The goal is not to let this situation spin out of control but to keep it in a manageable size so that you can work through it and come out the other side intact.

If you suspect that your spouse is cheating, you probably feel like your world has ended.

Yes, things are bad but you can work through this heartbreak.

Before you go too far down the path of suspicion, make sure that the source is trustworthy. Don’t snoop and be direct. Do not blame yourself and keep what happened close.

If your partner is cheating, you're going to have a lot to deal with in the near future.

Doing these things will help you get through what is happening quicker, whether it's towards healing or about walking away.

So, pause and take a deep breath. You will figure this out. One step at a time.

You can do this!

RELATED: 8 Things Chronic Cheaters Have In Common

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and get started!