What To Do If You Think Your Husband Is Cheating On You

There’s no handbook on how to handle the situation when you suspect your husband might be having an affair, but here are a few tips.

By Mia Gonzalez3 min read
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Things with your husband have been feeling…off lately. He’s been working longer hours, so maybe he’s just tired. You’ve been distracted by family drama, so maybe you’re just projecting. It’s been a while since you’ve had a proper date night, so maybe you both just need a chance to reconnect. Still, you can’t help but feel like something isn’t right.

Then, it dawns on you: What if he’s cheating on you? Would that explain why he’s been gone more often than normal? Or why he has been less invested in knowing what’s going on with you? Or why he hasn’t bothered to take you out to dinner for months? Suddenly, a million other bits of “evidence” fall into place.

As you think more about it, you’re more and more convinced that there’s a strong possibility your suspicions are true. But now what do you do? You can’t imagine just leaving it or ignoring it, but you also don’t want to confront him without thinking things through. So what should you do?

Don’t React Immediately

The thought of him cheating on you likely has you feeling a lot of emotions – probably a whole dangerous cocktail of them. You might be feeling enraged, betrayed, blindsided, heartbroken, or numb, or maybe all of those at once. 

With your emotions running high, it’s tempting to confront him right away, presenting your pieces of evidence and demanding remorse. But before you react, take a moment to breathe and think clearly. Gather yourself. Ground yourself. Give yourself time to figure out the healthiest way to move forward.

Think About the “Red Flags” You’ve Spotted

Take this time to think about the “red flags” you’ve spotted – the flags that led you to believe your husband is being, or has been, unfaithful. You could jot them down in a journal or simply reflect on them. Either way, try to get crystal clear on what’s making you suspicious. Is it a gut feeling or an actual behavior/action of his? This will help you move on to the next phase…

Try To Be Honest with Yourself

Once you’ve gotten your pieces of “evidence” worked out, it’s time to get brutally honest with yourself: Are your suspicions objective or subjective? Have you begun to wonder if your husband is cheating on you because he suddenly asked you to stop dropping off lunch for him at work on Fridays, or because you happened to see a flirty text from a name you don’t recognize, or because a buddy of his dropped a hint for you? In other words, was it a real, undeniable event that caused you to wonder if he’s having an affair?

Are your suspicions objective or subjective? 

Or does it have more to do with insecurities that existed before you even met your husband, possibly due to past relationships or upbringing or trauma? Maybe you’ve always had a fear of abandonment. Or maybe this isn’t the first time you’ve suspected cheating where there was none. Or maybe you’ve been cheated on before, and you’re extra anxious about that happening again. Try your best to be honest about where your suspicions are stemming from before taking action.

Speak with a Trusted Friend/Family Member

If you come to find that you do have good reasons to be suspicious, backed up by real changes in his behavior, it might help to speak to someone you trust, both so as not to feel alone and to help you gain clarity. But be prudent when choosing whom you confide in.

Telling the wrong person about your worries might come back to bite you – they could betray your trust, gossiping and beginning a rumor that ends up not even being true. Or they could simply give you poor advice and cause even more friction between you and your husband. If possible, it might be even better to speak to a licensed counselor or a pastor, someone who can be objective and confidential.

Tell Him There’s Something You Need To Discuss

Once you feel more settled in your suspicion, convinced you’re (unfortunately) right about your husband being unfaithful, it’s normal to want to confront him when he least expects it – to just get it all out in the open. You’ve barely been able to focus on anything else, and you just want to address what you feel has become the elephant in the room.

But it’s important not to bombard him, whether or not your suspicions are true – that never makes for a fruitful conversation. Instead, let him know in advance that there’s something you need to discuss with him. Set the tone by ensuring there won’t be any distractions. 

Keep Your Cool When You Confront Him

Even if you’re correct in thinking he’s been cheating on you, it’s best to try to remain as composed as possible when confronting him about it. Begin by expressing how you’ve felt things have changed between you lately, and you’ve been searching for the reason why – but don’t beat around the bush too much or hope he’ll just come clean. Ask him point blank if he’s been cheating (“I need you to be honest with me. Have you been having an affair?”).

Think through your options before confronting him and decide what makes the most sense for you.

Know What Your Options Are If He Did Cheat

This is the first time you haven’t wanted to be right – but maybe you were. Maybe he has been cheating on you. You’ll understandably need space to process this betrayal, and maybe even some time away from him. But it’s best to think through your options before this stage and decide what makes the most sense for you and your marriage.

You might choose to forgive him and stay – in this case, it’s wise to see a professional marriage counselor to walk you both through this time, when you’re probably feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster. Or you might want to separate for a while to gain clarity and decide on your next steps. Or maybe for you, there’s no coming back from infidelity, and as far as you’re concerned the marital bond ended as soon as he got involved with another woman. Whatever path you choose, it’s helpful to have at least thought through each option before confronting him.

Closing Thoughts

No one ever wants to think their husband might be cheating on them – it’s one of the worst thoughts that can cross our minds. But there are a few ways we can handle these suspicions wisely, with our well-being in mind.

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