Should You Contact The Person Your Spouse Is Cheating With
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Infidelity is one of the most devastating events that can occur within a marriage. When you find out that your spouse cheated, you’re probably left feeling a range of emotions, including anger, confusion, and deep pain.
After the initial shock wears off, you wonder what to do next. Should you contact the person your spouse is cheating with? Learn the answer, as well as how to cope with a cheating spouse, below.
What constitutes cheating in a marriage?
Before we jump into how to cope when you have a cheating husband or wife, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what constitutes infidelity in the first place. The truth is that the definition of cheating in a relationship can vary.
At the most basic level, a cheating spouse is one who engages in any sort of behavior with another person which violates the expectations of the relationship. This can include anything from having sex with another person to establishing a deep emotional bond with a coworker or someone on the Internet.
What makes behavior cheating is that it violates the trust and the terms of the relationship. Generally, if it’s something your partner has to hide from you, and it involves another person who can be a potential partner, it’s probably cheating.
The takeaway is that cheating can be physical, emotional, or both. A cheater may start a fling with a coworker and show physical affection, such as kissing or hand-holding. Cheating may progress to a full-blown sexual relationship as well.
In other instances, cheating can be purely emotional. Your spouse may develop deep feelings for someone else and engage in a relationship via texting or email.
In the most extreme cases, cheating can involve a full romantic relationship with another person. This could mean meeting up for dates, spending weekends together in a hotel, and planning a life together.
Learn about different types of infidelity in marriage in the following video:
Should you contact the person your spouse is having an affair with?
Now comes the million-dollar question: should you contact the person your spouse is cheating with? The answer is that it depends, and there really isn’t a straightforward answer.
Before confronting the affair partner if your spouse cheated, you have to consider what your intentions are. If you’re looking to make yourself feel better by lashing out at the person they cheated with, you’re probably only going to create more drama and hurt feelings.
On the other hand, if you have reason to believe the affair partner doesn’t know your spouse is married, reaching out may put an end to the affair.
5 pros of talking to the person your spouse cheated with
Finding that you have a cheating spouse is never easy, and when you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder if you should contact the affair partner. Below are 5 benefits of reaching out:
1. You might be setting the record straight.
If your husband is a cheater, or you’ve caught your wife in an affair, there’s a chance they may be lying to their affair partner. Perhaps they’ve told this person that they are single or that they’re “in the process of a divorce.”
In this case, reaching out gives you a chance to tell this person the truth. If you reveal that your spouse is, in fact, married, this can come as a shock to the affair partner.
If they didn’t know you were in the picture, they may genuinely apologize and walk away, and your cheating spouse won’t get away with their nonsense anymore.
Related Reading: 15 Tips To Stay Strong And Deal With A Cheating Husband
2. You’ll get the other person’s side of the story.
When you catch your spouse having an affair, it’s quite possible that they aren’t giving you the whole story. Maybe they tell you that the person is pursuing them, and they’ve just been an innocent victim.
Reaching out can give you a different perspective. Perhaps your spouse tells you that the affair is over or that the affair partner pushed them to do things they didn’t want to do.
When you contact this person, you may get an entirely different version of events, which may even open your eyes to the truth that your spouse is withholding from you.
3. You can learn details about the affair.
This isn’t always beneficial, but if you truly want to know the details, the affair partner may dish them out to you. Your spouse may leave out certain details to avoid making you more upset, but since the affair partner has no obligations to you, they’ll be more likely to divulge the details.
For instance, your spouse may tell you that they just “went on a few lunch dates” with this person, but you might learn from the affair partner that the two of them slept together on business trips or had a year-long relationship at work behind your back.
4. You’ll learn what your spouse meant to this person.
In some cases, an affair partner can fall head over heels in love with the person they’re having an affair with. If you’re trying to rebuild your marriage or at the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to find the strength to move on, knowing what the affair meant might give you clarity.
Maybe the affair was just a temporary fling, and it meant nothing serious to either party. This can be an indicator that it was short-lived and that you’ll be able to heal.
On the other hand, if the affair partner reveals they were in love with your spouse, this might suggest that the marriage is doomed or that you’re going to have a hard time getting this person to go away.
5. You can convince them to part ways.
If you’re trying to rebuild your marriage, but the affair partner keeps coming back around, contacting them may send the message, loud and clear, that they’re not going to get away with seducing your spouse any longer.
Ultimately, this should be a last resort because if your cheating spouse wants to make the marriage work, they should be the one setting boundaries and cutting off contact with the person they cheated with.
5 cons of talking to the person your spouse cheated with
You might think that contacting the person your spouse cheated with will make you feel better and solve all your problems, but in many cases, it makes things worse. Confronting the affair partner can make a bad situation even worse by creating additional drama.
Consider the 5 cons of reaching out below:
1. They might belittle you.
The truth is that most people recognize that hooking up or starting a relationship with a married person is morally wrong. In an effort to convince the affair partner to hook up with them, your spouse has probably said some pretty terrible things about you.
Perhaps your cheating spouse told the affair partner that you’re abusive or that you’ve gambled away all of the family’s money. In this case, the affair partner may think you deserve what happened to you.
When you reach out, instead of being remorseful or understanding, they will tear you down to make themselves feel better or to defend your spouse for having an affair in the first place.
This reaction is probably only going to further damage your psyche.
2. They’ll only lie to you.
Cheating in a relationship leads to a loss of trust, and you might think you can find out the truth by talking to the affair partner.
While this may be a possibility, it’s probably more likely that the person will lie to you because they have been convinced that your cheating spouse is justified in their behavior.
If you reach out with the hopes of finding the truth, you may be disappointed to find that it backfires. Instead of opening up and telling you the truth, the affair partner may make an even greater attempt, along with your spouse, to keep the affair secretive.
3. The truth can hurt.
Suppose you reach out to the person your spouse cheated with, and they do tell you the truth about their relationship with your husband or wife. You might find that hearing these details is just too painful.
Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, and learning exactly what your spouse did with someone else behind your back can be incredibly painful.
4. You might make your spouse angry.
The harsh reality is that if your spouse is having an affair, they might be quite invested in the relationship with their side partner. If you reach out, you may make your marriage even worse by angering your spouse.
While they’re certainly the ones in the wrong for cheating, they may convince themselves that you had no right to interfere with their relationship. Your decision to reach out may ruin any chances you had at repairing your marriage, unfair as it may be.
Related Reading: Coping With Anger in Your Marriage
5. You’ll compare yourself to this person, making yourself feel worse.
When you reach out to the person your spouse is cheating with, you’ll now have information about this person. You may even lead yourself down a rabbit trail of searching for them on the Internet and checking their social media pages.
Once you open yourself up to contacting this person, you may find that you become obsessed, constantly comparing yourself to them. This will likely lead you to feel inferior.
Commonly asked questions
If you’re looking for information on how to cope with a cheating spouse, the answers to the following FAQs provide additional insights.
What is the best way to handle a cheating spouse?
When an affair comes to light, you may not know how to cope. There is no one best way to handle the situation. You will have to determine what your needs are and what you’re willing to do to rebuild the relationship.
Some people may have strong values against infidelity, such that an episode of cheating is grounds for ending the marriage. If this is the case, you’ll need to determine how to divide assets and move toward divorce.
On the other hand, if you choose to repair the marriage when you find you have a cheating spouse, you’ll need to set expectations with your spouse. This will require them to end all contact with the affair partner and show a commitment to rebuilding trust.
For healing to occur, it will be important to have open conversations about what went wrong in the marriage, and both of you will have to be intentional about rebuilding the relationship. Your spouse will also need to show legitimate remorse and make amends for their behavior.
Ultimately, it can be helpful to work with a marriage therapist to help you do the challenging work of healing from an affair.
How do I stop overthinking after cheating?
When you’ve caught your spouse cheating, it can be difficult to stop your racing thoughts. You may become overly clingy or constantly worry that they’re still cheating.
It can be helpful to go through counseling to help you overcome your anxiety and develop coping strategies. It is also beneficial to have open, honest communication with your spouse about how you are feeling.
If they are committed to rebuilding the relationship, they will be understanding of your need for additional reassurance during this time.
What are the signs your spouse is cheating?
It’s difficult to know for sure if someone is cheating, but some signs of a cheating spouse include:
- Changes in behavior
- Being gone for long periods without telling you where they are
- Becoming defensive when you ask where they are or why their behavior has changed
- Finding evidence of the affair in your partner’s car or among their belongings (ie: someone else’s shirt is left in their car)
- Emotional distance
- Secretive behavior (suddenly clearing their Internet browser history or keeping their cell phone out of view)
Should you tell someone their spouse is cheating?
Whether or not you reveal to someone that their spouse is cheating depends upon the situation. If this is someone that you know well, and you are confident that they’d want to know the truth, you should probably come forward and be honest.
If on the other hand, you do not have all the facts about the situation, or you don’t know the person very well, it may be best to keep quiet. Speaking up might just make things worse.
In the end, go with your gut and what you think is right.
It’s your call to take!
The answer to, “Should you contact the person your spouse is cheating with?” is quite complex. In some cases, reaching out may give you clarity, as well as an opportunity to tell the unknowing affair partner that your spouse is, in fact, involved in a marriage.
In other cases, contacting the person your spouse cheated with creates additional drama and makes your hurt feelings even worse. Before reaching out, it’s important to carefully consider your intentions, and understand that contacting the person may make things worse.
When you find that you have a cheating spouse, you may decide you want to work on the relationship. Many marriages do heal from affairs, but both parties need to be committed to mending the relationship.
If you are struggling to cope after your spouse’s affair, relationship counseling can help you to heal and repair the relationship.
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