If You Think He's Cheating, Here's What To Immediately Do

Photo: courtneyk | Canva
Woman contemplating

If you ask yourself, "Are they cheating?" you probably sense something is off in your relationship. Too often, women doubt themselves in favor of accepting a cheater's lies.

"Are they cheating?" is a brave question to ask. It means you trust your instincts instead of the lies they are offering.

Facing the reality of your relationship can be difficult. However, it also can help you see your relationship more clearly. Six steps can help you grow emotionally, whether or not they are cheating on you.

RELATED: 5 Painful-But-Healing Revelations That Strike When You've Been Betrayed

If you think he's cheating, here's what to immediately do:

1. Identify your feelings

You are the expert on yourself. If you're so busy that you are unaware of your feelings, you miss out on a precious gift. You are unique and have inherent worth just for being you. You deserve to be cherished and treated respectfully physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

What do you feel? Usually, anger is the tip of the iceberg. There are deeper feelings that fuel anger. Identify the feelings under your anger and hurt. Journaling is a great tool to help you vent and identify those deeper feelings. Sometimes, drawing a picture of the feeling can help you to express it in a way words cannot capture.

2. Talk to your partner about your concerns

Once you have identified the deeper feelings, talk to your partner about how their behavior affects you. Your anger is justified, but your partner will not hear anything you say in anger or an angry tone. Speak about your feelings in a tone they are willing to hear. You will feel better about yourself if you communicate respectfully. Do this for yourself, not them. Consider how you can stand up for yourself, address their behavior, and maintain self-esteem.

RELATED: 8 Signs Your Husband Might Actually Be ADDICTED To Sex

3. Watch their reaction and body language

If your lover is cheating, they may respond by denying it, blaming you, or they may get angry. Look for the following behaviors: Are they posturing over you for power and control, or looking at the floor out of shame and deceit, or are they humble and sorry for their behavior?

4. Provide physical evidence of the cheating

You may have credit card statements with mysterious charges, photos, text dialogue on your phone, hidden email accounts, or apps to hook up with others for affairs. Show them the evidence. They may deny it until the evidence is shown to them.

RELATED: How To Get Over Infidelity And Heal From Your Partner's Cheating

5. Ask for honesty

After you have confronted them with the evidence of their cheating, ask them to be honest with you. You may want to employ a therapist if there is a lot of acting out. If it is a one-time affair, a family therapist might be appropriate. They may or may not want help with their behavior.

6. Set appropriate physical and emotional boundaries for your self-care

Be prepared to set physical and emotional boundaries to keep yourself safe. If they have visited strip clubs or had any sexual interaction with another person, you need to get STI testing for your knowledge.

Ask them to sleep in a different room or leave your residence. Tell them you need time to think and process the knowledge of their cheating. Most people can wait six months to a year before making a big life decision, like breaking up. The time will give you a chance to process your feelings and time to prove they want to stop the behavior and continue a relationship with you.

There is hope for couples to work things out after cheating. It does require excruciating work for both people in therapy. You both chose each other for a reason, and the reason is still there. Do you remember what brought you both together?

Ask yourself if it is worth the risk, vulnerability, and pain to work it out. The worst thing that happens will be that you break up. The rewards of trying to work on the relationship can deepen the emotional intimacy between the two of you.

RELATED: How To Build An Emotional Connection With Your Partner

Teresa Maples-Zuvela, CMAT, CSAT, LMHC, MS, is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with women who have experienced betrayal in intimate relationships.