It is one of the most painful experiences anyone can go through.
The feeling of betrayal when you find out that your partner has been cheating on you is almost unbearable. But how do you confront a cheater?
Before you go about yelling at them, take a minute to read this article, and you will know exactly how to confront them about their betrayal.
1) Clear your head and think about what you want to say
Unfortunately, many people confront a cheater without thinking about what they actually want to say.
This is a huge mistake, because when you’re not thinking clearly, you’re too emotional, and you will say things that you will immediately regret or not even get the information you want in the first place.
Make sure that you’re calm and that you know exactly what you want to say before you go into this conversation.
You need to think about how you want to approach the conversation.
Do you want to speak to them alone, or do you want someone else there as support?
Do you want to do it in person or over the phone?
Do you want to write them an email so that you have time to think before you say anything?
You see, I know that you will be emotional regardless, this is an incredibly difficult conversation to have, but that’s why it’s even more important to prepare yourself at least a little bit and clear your head.
Especially if you don’t have proof, this is crucial.
The last thing you want is to completely freak out and confront them when it ends up being a misunderstanding and they didn’t even cheat.
However, it’s okay to be emotional, of course.
You can’t be rational and calm when you’re confronted with a cheating person.
You can’t go into this conversation unprepared, so make sure that you have all of your information and proof, if possible.
I know it’s difficult because whoever is cheating will try everything in their power to avoid talking with you but this is how it has to be.
2) Decide what this person means to you and if you’re willing to consider reconciliation
If you’re not, then you need to be 100% clear about what you want to say and do.
If you are willing to consider reconciliation, then you need to be just as clear about what you want from them.
You need to make sure that your cheater understands exactly what you expect from them and what you need from them.
You don’t have to know if you can reconcile with them before talking to them.
Trust me, in that situation, you probably don’t even know yourself if that’s gonna be possible.
However, you will know whether you are considering it, as you won’t go into the conversation ready to end the relationship there and then.
Why is this important?
Well, when you know that you want to end the relationship regardless of what they say, then you will approach the conversation differently than when you are still considering potentially working things out.
3) Understand that this has nothing to do with you or your worth
When you confront a cheater, the last thing that you want to do is blame yourself or let them blame you for their actions.
This person has made a choice to cheat, a choice that has nothing to do with you or your worth.
You see, when a person cheats, it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
Sure, sometimes, there is a background of being unhappy in the relationship, but more often than not, it’s simply the person going through struggles with themselves and not knowing how to cope.
This person has made a choice to betray your trust, a trust that you’ve given them countless times.
You’re confronting a cheater to let them know that their actions are not okay, that you deserve better, and that you deserve to be treated with respect.
You’re confronting them because you want closure, and you want to understand why they did what they did.
Now: if you don’t realize that this has nothing to do with you, you run the chance that, if your partner happens to be a narcissist or just simply cruel, they might put the blame on you.
Not everybody is like that, of course, but there are people who won’t own up to their mistakes and who will put all the responsibility on you, essentially making you feel guilty for them cheating on you.
Yes, it is, but trust me, in a state of vulnerability, many partners are tricked into believing these things!
So, remember that no matter what, this is their responsibility.
But that raises the question:
Why does love so often start out great, only to become a nightmare?
And what’s the solution to having a partner who cheats on you?
The answer is contained in the relationship you have with yourself.
I learned about this from the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me to see through the lies we tell ourselves about love and become truly empowered.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, love is not what many of us think it is. In fact, many of us are actually self-sabotaging our love lives without realizing it!
We need to face the facts about being cheated on:
Far too often we chase an idealized image of someone and build up expectations that are guaranteed to be let down.
Far too often we fall into codependent roles of savior and victim to try to “fix” our partner, only to end up in a miserable, bitter routine.
Far too often, we are on shaky ground with our own selves and this carries over into toxic relationships that become hell on earth.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to not get cheated on anymore.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
4) Talk to someone you trust
Before you confront a cheater, it is important that you talk to someone you trust.
Talking to someone will help you to organize your thoughts, and it will give you the chance to let off some steam.
It will also help you to see things from a different perspective.
You do not have to tell them everything, but you can let them know that you’re in pain, and you need their help to get through this as quickly as possible.
The thing is, talking to friends or family can sometimes be scary when telling them about your partner cheating, especially, when a part of you isn’t sure yet if you want to reconcile.
You see, it’s still important to put your trust in someone because whether you break up or work through it, the next few months will undoubtedly be very difficult, and you need someone apart from your partner to talk about these things.
5) Prepare yourself emotionally
You will be confronting a cheater, and you will be emotionally raw.
This is okay, but you need to prepare yourself for this.
You are most probably not in a really good place mentally and it’s really crucial that you know how to deal with that before going into this conversation.
What are you going to do after, is there a friend you can go to and talk about what happened?
Do you have to drive or is there a chance you can get a ride?
When you get overwhelmed, what are your coping mechanisms?
All these things will help you to deal with the situation a little bit better because it gives you a sense of control.
6) If you have proof, don’t show it immediately
If you have proof that your partner has been cheating on you, don’t show it immediately.
Instead, ask your partner about their betrayal first and see if they will admit to it without you showing proof.
You see, this will show you if they have an ounce of integrity left or if they are not only a cheater but also a liar.
If you want to show them their texts or emails, save them or screenshot them, so that you can easily let them know that you have them.
Now: if they deny the cheating, you can whip out the proof.
I don’t know about your situation, but usually, reconciling will be harder if they try to lie and deny the cheating before knowing you have proof.
7) Find out how deep the betrayal was and if you can imagine a future with this person
When you’re confronting a cheater, ask them about their relationship with the person they’ve been cheating with.
Ask them about how long it’s been going on, when did they first start talking to them, and what happened.
You can also ask them if they’ve met up with them, or if they’ve gone on any dates with them.
You need to know exactly what has been going on between them, and if you can imagine a future with this person.
If so, it’s okay, and you can confront him or her, and you can work through this together.
But you know, you don’t have to ask about all the gory details, that might just make things worse in the end.
However, you want to know if it was a one-time thing, if they were drunk, if your partner has any feelings for this person,…
8) Listen to their side of the story and try to understand, even if it’s painful
When you confront a cheater, listen to their side of the story.
Try to understand where they’re coming from, and why they did what they did.
You may not agree with their reasons, but try to listen and understand, even if it’s painful.
They’re going to try to justify what they did and why they did it, and you need to let them talk.
Let them know that you’re listening and that you’re trying to understand why they did what they did.
Make sure that you’re not interrupting them or defending yourself, but that you’re fully listening to what they have to say.
This step is especially important if you want to reconcile with them.
You see, getting to the bottom of why it happened is the most crucial step to working on improving the relationship so that it will never happen again.
Plus, even if you don’t want to stay with them, this can give you a bit of closure.
Again, whatever they say, just don’t let them put any blame on you, okay?
9) Stay firm in your consequences and boundaries
When you’re confronting a cheater, you need to be firm in your consequences and your boundaries.
You can let them know that you will be taking a break from them while you process things and that they need to give you some space if that’s what you need.
Or you let them know exactly what you need from them now moving forward.
Whatever you choose to do, stay firm in your boundaries and consequences, and don’t let them manipulate you.
Whatever they say, don’t let them change your mind, and don’t let them manipulate you into forgiving them.
Just be firm in what you want from them now and in the future.
If they’re not willing to give it to you, then move on!
Whatever you need right now is valid, and you shouldn’t compromise that in any case.
10) Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean you are letting them off the hook
When you’re confronting a cheater, make sure that you know that forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re not letting them off the hook.
You can forgive them and let them know that you’re willing to work through this together, but that doesn’t mean that they get to walk away scot-free.
If you forgive them, then you need to make sure that they know that you will be holding them accountable for their actions.
You can forgive them, but that doesn’t mean that you are letting them off the hook.
So if you’re confronting a cheater, remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean you are letting them off the hook, it means you are letting go of those negative emotions go so that you can move on.
I know it’s a misconception that forgiving someone is saying “what you did was okay”. It’s not!
In fact, forgiving someone is what you should do regardless of whether or not you stay together.
This is because forgiving someone is for you way more than it is for them.
It’s not to say that they don’t deserve punishment, but it’s more about letting them know that you will be moving forward with your life and not holding onto the negative emotions.
11) Think about whether they deserve a second chance
When you’re considering reconciliation, then it’s vital that you decide whether this person deserves a second chance or not.
This is something that I don’t think many of us can do easily and we often miss out on opportunities for reconciliation because we make rash decisions based on our current circumstances.
Your current circumstances may change drastically in the future, but that doesn’t mean that your current situation has to change too drastically when it comes to what they should get out of their relationship with you.
When you’re considering reconciliation, then make sure that you consider the following:
- Do they really deserve another chance?
- Have they changed?
- Are they willing to change?
- What are their motives?
- Why did they cheat in the first place?
- Is there any hope for reconciliation?
- Have they apologized enough times?
- Do they have any remorse or shame about their behavior?
- Do they realize how much pain and suffering this has caused you and do they want to fix things between both of you as quickly as possible?
- Can I trust them again after all of this time has passed?
These questions are super important in deciding whether your partner deserves a second chance after what happened.
Look, no matter how much you love them, if they don’t show incredible remorse and show you in which ways they want to change to become a better partner for you, it’s questionable whether or not they deserve a second chance.
12) Think about the consequences if you stay together
When you’re considering reconciliation, then it’s vital that you think about the consequences of staying together.
I know this is a very scary thing to think about because it could potentially be really bad and it may cause you to not go through with reconciliation.
However, this is something that we have to consider because there will be consequences if we don’t go through with reconciliation and the consequences may not be good for either party.
You see, after what happened, there will be consequences either way, and life as you knew it will change.
Now it is up to you to decide how to move on from here.
You are not alone
As lonely as you might feel right now, you are not alone.
You are strong and you can confront your partner, it will be okay!
Whatever happens, remember that you are amazing and none of what happened has anything to do with you or your worth.
And no matter what you decide to do in the future, you will be okay.