Heartbreak, Sex

How To STOP Your Spouse's Affair From Going Any Further (Once You Find Out About It)

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So you're spouse has cheated. Now what?

You were a little suspicious before since he was coming home later than usual and being a little more distant.

But now, you saw the text and you know it’s true.

Your husband is having an affair. (Or, your wife). So now what do you do? 

You love your husband, you have 2 little children, but how can this be happening to you? Every situation is a little different, but typically here is what needs to happen: You let him know that you know. 

You're feeling tremendous pain and it is not a time for you to start working on the relationship. However, you let him know that you know and you may or may not tell him how you found out.  

You tell him that you need support so that you can tell a good friend or a family member to get some help. He will probably be panicky at first, so just let him be.

After the initial shock wears off and you get some support, have the conversation. 

Ask him what he wants; does he want to continue the affair or does he want to work on the marriage (as long as you are willing of course)?  Remember that your willingness to "work on" the marriage by seeing a qualified marriage therapist does not mean you necessarily will stay married. 

You are just committing to exploring what is going on and what could be done about it. If he is willing to work on the marriage, find the right relationship therapist. 

RELATED: 4 Big Signs Marriage Counseling Will Work (And Big 4 Signs It WON'T)

If he is not willing to go to a therapist or work on the marriage, I would basically suggest beginning grieving the relationship. Unless people change their underlying patterns, the same thing happens again.

Before beginning marriage therapy, give him an ultimatum (yes, ultimatums are absolutely necessary sometimes; it will preserve your self-respect and integrity). 

The ultimatum is that he must communicate with the "mistress" via text, email, or phone with you as a witness saying that he is breaking off all communication with the mistress in order to focus on and work on the marriage. You witness the phone call or him hitting the send button.

In addition to the ultimatum, make sure you do these:

1. You make sure that the initial marriage therapy is about understanding why the affair happened. 

It is his responsibility that he made those choices and his alone. However, it almost always has to do with the relationship dance that both partners are doing.

Be open to your part of the problem without taking responsibility for his cheating.

2. If the affair went on for a while, let your partner grieve.

That is a tough one but the truth is sometimes some real bonding happens. 

This grieving should not go on for too long but a little time may be needed for him to process the termination of that relationship.

RELATED: Why Men Won't Ever Leave Their Wives For Their Mistresses

3. Make sure that the both of you are committed to making the changes needed for the relationship to dance better.

Following through and learning new ways to solve emotional challenges are the best ways to minimize the chances of an affair to repeat. If your partner starts to revert back to old behavior patterns, get back to the therapist and make sure that the temporary behavior relapse is just temporary.

The way back from infidelity is difficult. However, healing can happen and relationships can recover from this emotional scar. 

My hope with these couples is that I assist them to get to a place in their relationship that is better than even before the infidelity took place.

RELATED: 4 Honest Men Confess The REAL Reason They Cheated On Their Wives

Todd Creager is an expert in relationships. For over 30 years, he has worked as a relationship therapist, specializing in marriage, sex and couples counseling.

This article was originally published at Todd Creager. Reprinted with permission from the author.