How to Confront Your Spouse about an Emotional Affair

Realizing that your partner is likely involved in emotional infidelity can be devastating, but how you confront your spouse will likely determine whether or not your relationship can be saved.  For many people, their first impulse is to become angry and accusatory, but if you are interested in fixing the problem rather than breaking up, you will need to control your emotions.

Start by taking a few minutes to write down what you would like to change to resolve the problem, and then take some time to remind yourself that you care enough about this person to fix your relationship.

Once you are ready to confront your spouse, you will need to keep a few things in mind.  The first step is to find the right time and place to discuss the situation.  Calling your partner at work or starting an argument in a public place will only make your partner more defensive and angry.

Instead, find a time when the two of you can sit down together and talk.  Choose an environment in which you feel comfortable and there will not be many distractions to help you remain calm and focused.

When you begin talking to your partner, remember to use words that explain how you feel, rather than accusing him or her.  Avoid statements like “you never” or “I always”, and try to avoid words that will cause an emotional reaction such as “cheating” or throwing out the idea of a divorce or separation.

Instead, focus on how your partner’s behavior makes you feel, and why you feel that his or her relationship with this other person may be interfering in your relationship.  Expect that your partner will defend the relationship and avoid saying negative things about the other person, as this will only make them more defensive.

Also, as much as possible, avoid admitting to “snooping” through emails, texts, or receipts.  Avoid giving your partner ammunition to blame you for making the situation up or misinterpreting what you have seen.