Cheating Spouse: Relationship Advice When You’ve Just Found Out About It

One of Jamey’s worst nightmares just came true. This morning, after another of her husband’s all-night “emergency” work sessions at the office, Jamey received a phone call from a trusted friend who saw Jamey’s husband, Tom, and a young woman kissing and holding hands at a diner eating breakfast.

This information literally took Jamey’s breath away for a moment as she found a chair to sit in. And, while she feels devastated and numb, she isn’t totally surprised.The biggest question for Jamey right now is what to do next?If you have just found out that your spouse has been cheating, you may be experiencing similar feelings and be asking yourself the same questions as Jamey.

You might not feel numb, but instead absolutely enraged. You may want to run out and hurt your spouse and/or the person he or she is having an affair with.

Alternatively, you might just want to run away and never see your partner’s face again. Or you might wish your mate would come back to you, admit what he or she has done, and you two could start over again.

If your spouse has been cheating, you may be feeling any, all or none of these sentiments.

Jamey expects Tom to arrive home from his so-called “work emergency” any time now. He actually called her to say good morning a few hours ago and promised to be home to catch up on sleep in two hours. Jamey feels compelled to quickly pack up her clothes and leave the house– without even a note. But, as angry and hurt as she feels, a part of her isn’t ready to give up so easily.

So rather than pack any clothes or do anything at all, Jamey just sits in the chair and stares blankly at the kitchen floor.

Take the time and create the space you need.

You may not know what to do right now. As much as you’d like to reverse time and have the affair– or even the knowledge of the affair– not have happened, it has and you now know about it.

How you view your spouse and your relationship, and possibly even yourself, has probably changed. You might want to take some time to process what you’ve just found out about and possibly even put some space between you and your mate until you feel more settled about what you want.

If time and space is what you need, give yourself this gift. As hurt as you feel right now and as much as you might want your partner to also hurt, resist that urge. However you can best communicate to him or her that you are taking time, do it. It might be face to face, by note, e-mail, or even through a friend or family member.

Jamey feels too devastated to wait for Tom to come home. She packs some clothes and leaves a brief note for Tom. She chooses not to tell him she knows about the affair right now but she does say that she needs some time to think about their relationship and that she will be staying at her sister’s house for a few days. She requests that he wait for her to call him to arrange a time for them to talk.

Get clear about what you want at this moment.

While you are recovering from what is possibly shock after learning your spouse has cheated, make it your intention to get clear about what you want right now in your life.

Try not to worry too much about what you think you might want 1 year from now or even 6 months from now. Focus on finding clarity about what you want in the present.

You can start with something like, “What would bring me comfort and ease today?” Then move on to determining “What do I want from my relationship right now?” Listen to what you want and sit with that desire for a few minutes before deciding what actions to take.

While staying at her sister’s house, Jamey realizes that she does want to talk with Tom and see if he is willing to end his affair and work on rebuilding their relationship. As hurt and angry as she feels, Jamey would like to at least explore this possibility.

What you want may change over time.

You may start out never wanting to see your spouse again but, after a period of time, discover you’d like to try to work it out.

Remember that whatever it is you are wanting is a valid option. You can allow yourself to consider everything you are feeling and know that you don’t have to act on it all. With a sense of clarity and feeling into yourself, you will know what steps to take toward healing– either with your spouse or alone.


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