These guidelines are intended as a way to help folks when they are first
assaulted by knowledge of infidelity and they need to know what to do.
~ What to do indeed! My hope is that this rather long post helps answer
that question and will in fact fill a void for guidance, particularly in
the early phases, when you have just discovered the affair. Because let's
face it, it's at this point that most of us are totally caught off
guard?and feel helplessly hopeless.
Also, so that you all know, lots of this comes from personal experience and
from the experiences shared by many other betrayed spouses. But while I
call this Poodle's Reality Check for Betrayed Spouses, much?make that
most?of it has been taken from or adapted from other sites. So here it!
- Don't try to make sense out of what's happening or those that have made
it happen. You are not dealing with rational people or situations. Normal
thought processes won't work. That's why you're confused! Your spouse will
act as if having been abducted by "aliens." Further they will seem to
mentally be in almost a hypnotic state, which you will hear people on this
site call the "fog." In short, their brains will seem scrambled. So what to
- At the beginning, say as little as possible and just watch. Try not to
take any of what they say or do personally. Impossible I know but you must
try. And what ever you say or do, do it calmly! YES! Confront your spouse
with the evidence?but expect denials and lies beyond belief. Just be firm
in your resolve?let them know that you know?. Don't ever dignify their lies
- Don't be in a hurry. There is little, if anything, you can do to stop
what's going on. The cheaters have to do this on their own. YOU HAVE NO
CONTROL OVER THEM! You can control yourself, however. You can hasten the
end of the affair but only with constant and planned pressure. But to do
so, you can't confront it head on. The fact is, that there's almost nothing
you can say or do to make the situation immediately better but there's a
WHOLE LOT you can do to make it worse.
- All spying is good and necessary, but be ready for an ANGRY reaction if
you're detected. If this happens, do not be deterred! Keep on spying! And
please! Get past any childish notion that spying is disrespectful. If
you're really troubled by this aspect of the situation, think of it as
- Even if the WS claims to have ended "it," keep on spying! Cheaters lie
and lyres cheat! Believe nothing that you have not verified on your own.
- Don't beat yourself up for "causing" the affair, because you didn't! You
MAY be partly responsible for creating the environment which made the
affair possible,? you may even need to examine yourself critically in terms
of the relationship? but you are NOT responsible for your spouse's decision
to have an affair. Never the less, your WS will accuse you of just that, as
well as all sorts of other nasty things. In fact expect your WS to rewrite
your marital history, exaggerating every trivial issues they ever had with
you!?And then shift the blame to you! They do this in their attempt to
lessen their own guilt and to justify their decision to cheat. In affairs,
culprits are everywhere?. except in the mirror.
- This will likely be the worst experience of your life. You are a prime
candidate for depression, so see a doctor if you feel like you're having
difficulty coping. You may need medication. As for your mental health seek
counseling immediately. This is not something that a person can or should
handle alone. Get professional help!
- Don't recruit your cheating spouse's family or friends to "help"
convince any one about anything. Tell them for sure and if they ask
questions, answer honestly, but don't expect their support. If you get it,
great, otherwise forget about it. "Blood is always thicker then water."
- Do not expect too much right away from the wayward spouse...even if they
have already ended the affair. But if they claim to have ended the affair,
always respectfully request that they send a No Contact letter. Also
understand that you may feel like you are they only one trying to save the
marriage. To prevent feeling like a doormat, take a pro-active position.
Tell your WS what you feel is acceptable behavior...just do it in a loving,
respectful way. In fact, always communicate in a loving, respectful way, no
matter how angry you are or how stupid the things said to you may be.
Further and no matter what, never beg or plead! Never! Never cry in front
of your cheating spouse. Never! Try never to appear needy. Just stand up
for yourself with all dignity and grace that the good lord provided you.
- You will be told by the well intentioned to "Throw him/her out!!!" And
indeed, this may end up being the proper course of action. However, at the
beginning and before doing anything permanent, learn everything you
can?first both about your specific problem and then about the phenomenon of
infidelity in general. Seek professional advice. Make no immediate life
changing decisions. Time is your friend. Do things at your own pace and
only do that which is in your own best interest. Take action only after
much thought and reflection.
- Very important! If your spouse's OP is married, tell the OP's spouse!
If you don't know their identity find out. In fact inform everybody you
know that can influence the situation. Just be honest in your
interpretation of the facts. The purpose of revealing the affair to the
OP's spouse is get help in motivating the OP to end it while you are
working on your own WS to end it!
Exposing the affair and making it public knowledge is not a mean or
underhanded thing to do. Only the cheater will feel that it is. The world
knowing need embarrass only the cheaters.
Understand?affairs flourish in secrecy! Remove the secrecy and romance from
the affair and you expose it as what it is...a nasty, shabby, little lie!~
So that's it. Hope it helps. For some who may feel that actions recommended
here may not be right for them, I urge a little more thought. If you do, it
should occur to you that all of us here are really and essentially in the
same situation so what we need to do is essentially the same. The sad truth
is that we are all just walking cliches. So take it all or take part of it.