What To Do If Your Spouse is Having an Affair? Create a Plan.
Many times, when we do catch a client cheating on his/her partner, it turns out the chicken has come before the egg, so to speak. In other words, the information has preceded the plan - and our clients are left in the lurch. If you suspect your spouse is having an affair, we highly suggest you create a plan before you precede with your own investigation. Whether you decide to investigate independently, or hire a private investigator to catch a cheating spouse, it is important to have an idea of what you will do with the information once you have it.
Have a Plan Before You Investigate A Cheating Spouse
For the purpose of this blog, we are going to assume your spouse is cheating. However, you may find out your spouse isn't cheating - in which some serious apologies and/or therapy may be necessary to amend any trust issues or hurt which has occurred on both sides of the table.
What should I do now that I've found out my (husband/wife/partner) is cheating?
This is one of the most common question we get from clients who have concrete evidence their partner has, indeed, been cheating on them. The problem is, it's difficult for anyone to create a solid plan of action in the heat of the moment or under duress. Therefore, when clients come to us asking for surveillance services or other investigative services used to catch a cheating spouse, we usually ask "what do you plan to do with the information we uncover during the investigation?" Most of the time, we get a blank stare, at which point we begin to help the client create a plan that suits their situation.
If you suspect your partner is cheating, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I feel safe confronting my partner about this information? This is the most important question to answer before you confront your partner. If you have ever been the victim of abuse, or if you fear your partner's reaction, it is critically important that you have some kind of safety net in place. You can call your local police department and an officer or volunteer can assist you with the communication if you feel you are in physical danger. You can also hire a private investigator to accompany you or mediate the situation. Perhaps friends or relatives you trust can be present when you share what you know. Whatever you decide on, your safety - and the safety of any children involved - is of the utmost importance.
- Am I willing to work it out if they are? Sometimes our client might be willing to work on things but the cheater is ready to move on once the cat is out of the proverbial bag. You need to be prepared for the fact that s/he might not want to stay now that you have finally uncovered their secret. This is especially true if your cheating spouse is involved in a serious or long-term affair.If your spouse is ashamed and guilty for what s/he has done, you need to know if you are willing to work on things or not so you can continue to Step 3 of your plan. Of course, your plans may change at any given time depending on your feelings, their feelings, your children's feelings, etc.
- If I plan to stay, what needs to happen? If you decide to stay in the relationship and rebuild/heal - you will probably need to set some ground rules in terms of communication, honesty, and accountability. We also recommend you consult a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) or Psychologist as the waters can get very murky. While it may feel uncomfortable at first to discuss your issues in front of a stranger, once you become more familiar with your therapist, you will understand why a professional party can be so key in healing the wounds. Even though you are the victim in the situation, you may be pleasantly surprised at the things you learn about yourself, your partner, and the workings (or lack-thereof) of your relationship.
- Where will I go if I don't want to work things out? What is the plan should you decide not to work things out? Do you want to stay where you are at? If so, do you feel 100% confident the cheater will move out when you request them to? If they are not willing to leave, do you have somewhere you can stay until a long-term plan is worked out? These are important questions to have answers to before you confront your cheating spouse.
- What about the children? Do you have children? If so, how will they be affected by this information? Will they need therapy? Do they have a safe place to stay if they choose to go elsewhere for a while? The ripple effects of an affair can have a long-lasting consequence on families
While these questions are just the beginning of the journey ahead of you, we hope they can provide some sense of action on your part. Discovering a loved on has been unfaithful is one of the most painful experiences you can have, but the more prepared you are to face what lies ahead, the more power you will have over the situation.
Mike Garroutte is licensed private investigator in Los Angeles and Orange County. He has helped thousands of clients navigate the murky waters of infidelity over the past three decades. Contact Linked Investigations for more information about how to catch a cheating spouse.