Don’t rush in to the first conversation you have with your spouse when you think they have cheated on you. How you approach this first discussion could have an important impact on how things work out for not only the conversation but also the future survival of the relationship.
At a time when you may well feel like everything is spinning out of control, making a clear action plan for your discussion with your spouse, could help you obtain some much needed control in your life. To enable your conversation to be as productive as possible, I would recommend the following:
- Prepare what and why you want to know- Write a list of questions to ask your spouse. It is also useful to make a note of why the answers to the questions are important to you.
- Decide on a time and date to meet – Choose when you and your partner will be as comfortable as possible to have this important conversation.
- Make an appointment with your spouse – Make arrangements to meet your spouse and put it in your diaries. Keep your reasons for wanting to speak to them, simple.
- Choose to meet on neutral ground – It is a good idea not to have the conversation in the family home. It avoids children over-hearing and allows you both to feel more comfortable.
- Meet somewhere quiet and where you won’t be interrupted – This keeps you both focused and helps you concentrate on what each other is saying.
- Put a time limit on the first conversation – Don’t put too much pressure on covering everything in the first conversation. It may take time to cover all the information.
- Prepare how to talk to your spouse – Ask open questions to encourage your spouse to answer honestly. Avoid using ‘attacking language’ – you won’t get good results.
- Keep a calm head – This may sound difficult but is really helpful. If however you feel either of you is getting upset and/or angry, bring the conversation to an end.
- Actively listen to what your spouse says – You each need to allow each other space to talk. Make sure you are listening not just hearing. Don’t interrupt each other.
- Encourage your spouse to be honest – Using a calm tone of voice, open questions and showing some understanding to your spouse, can help them to tell the truth.
When you are going through something difficult in your life, you would probably normally have turned to your spouse to support you. This is a different situation. Don’t struggle alone, think about working with a divorce coach to help you process your feelings, and prepare your thoughts for the next discussion with your spouse.