What to Do if You Suspect Your Partner is Cheating On You

January 2, 2019 Relationships
cheating partner

Given that nearly half of men who have ever been married claim to have cheated on a partner, cheating is more than just a paranoia. Worrying about a cheating partner has science to back it up. If you’re wondering if your partner is cheating on you, you need to take some smart steps before you take serious action.

Here are five steps to dealing with suspicion of a cheating partner.

1. Take a Breath And Step Back

When you suspect that someone is cheating on you, it’s easy to blow your top. There’s no one on the face of the earth who isn’t going to be upset about being lied to. Having a strong feeling of anger, betrayal, or bitterness is natural.

However, when we’re angry and emotional, we’re most likely to make our worst decisions. It’s even dangerous to drive a car when we’re upset, let alone go to work and do our job. Simple tasks like doing the dishes result in long moments of staring off into nothingness when we’re upset.

If you have a strong feeling that this is true and not an instance of crying wolf or overreacting, find a way to make space to think. If you realize this just as your partner is about to come home, call your best friend and ask them out for a drink. Go to a meeting of a local community group like a church, town board, or whatever community group meets near you.

You need to get out of the house, to think, and do something fully unrelated to your partner. Going to see a movie might be your best bet. Don’t deceive your partner but tell them you’re just heading to this thing alone and it’s not a problem or a big deal.

2. Talk To a Close Friend or Family Member

If your first inclination was to call someone, it was likely your closest friend or family member. Whether they’re the one you trust the most or just the one that’s in closest proximity, get together with them as soon as possible.

The longer that you wait on this feeling, the more likely you are to let it grow and fester into something ugly. Rather than letting this leaden feeling pinball around your skull, get it out of your head and into words.

Get together with someone who is good at listening and unselfish when it comes to emotional content. While a glass of wine makes the conversation flow a bit easier, it’s also a problem when you have one too many and work yourself into a lather. You’ll get into a situation where you might go home and say something you regret to your partner.

3. Make a List of Your Reasons

Either alone or with your interlocutor, work on a list of reasons why you’re feeling the way that you do. For each reason, leave some room for possible explanations. Keep your partner in good faith because once you decide that they’ve wronged you, it’s hard for most people to flip the script and admit that they’ve made a mistake.

When you list each problem, ask yourself if you’re ever guilty of the same thing. If calls or texts aren’t coming in as frequently as you’d like them to, think of times when you’ve left your loved one hanging. Consider times when you’ve been overwhelmed with work and haven’t responded to your partner as quickly as you’d like.

Also, think of times when you’ve been upset and unable to talk to your partner. This could be one of those times. If your partner has been through a lot lately, there could be something built up and in the way of intimacy and conversation. If that’s the case, come to your partner with an open heart and an open mind.

While bringing your list to your partner is tricky business, it helps guide the conversation.

4. Have a Direct Conversation

Since you don’t like the idea of your partner sneaking around, don’t do the same to them. If you’re concerned with something, bring it up directly. Talk to them as soon as possible so you can address the issue head-on.

Having a direct conversation with your partner is hard to do. There may be intimacy issues that arise during that conversation. If you’re not ready for this conversation, don’t start it.

However, by the end of it, you’ll know what’s going on.

If you have trust issues, be honest about that with your partner. If someone cheated on you in the past, let them know if they don’t already. It’s reasonable to fear history repeating and any loving partner understands that.

5. Talk to a Professional About Trust Issues

Whether it’s true or not that your partner is cheating, trust is hard to regain after cheating. You’re going to have a damaged ego and a damaged ability to trust others.

The best and healthiest thing to do is to talk to a professional. If you were seeing a relationship counselor, talk to them, since they know your history. If that’s too painful, seek out someone new.

Talking to a professional gives you the chance to see where you made mistakes and where your partner did. While you don’t need to beat yourself up, it’s vital to be critical about ways that you’ve made mistakes in any kind of relationship. Our problems don’t need to be chronically bad or permanent fixtures of our relationships.

A Cheating Partner Requires a Steady Hand

If having a cheating partner is a final and definitive dealbreaker, you need to be firm about your feelings on that. If you’re not firm with your partner, you risk having your boundaries violated. While some couples recover from infidelity and others are torn apart by the mere suspicion, every couple needs to come to things on their own terms.

Before you pursue this long and difficult path, first try spicing things up with our guide.