When you are cheated on, you may feel lost in the world. It isn’t pleasant and can lead to severe mental health, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Everything will feel like it is spiraling out of control, and you don’t know the next step to take.
Finding the right questions to ask your unfaithful spouse can help you to get the answers you need to decide on how to move forward and how to feel when the situation is over. Before asking any questions, though, you want to make sure you are calm and level-headed.
How to Handle Your Feelings When Your Spouse Cheats
It can be hard to know how you are feeling and how to react when you first find out your spouse is cheating. Most of the time, you can expect to go through the common phases of grief, like shock/denial, anger, bargaining, depression, remorse, and finally acceptance.
The first thing to do is to not blame yourself. You cannot be held responsible for the actions of your spouse. You can reflect, so you know what signs occurred, or to understand how it got to the point, but don’t ever blame yourself.
Also, there is no point in focusing on the past. For the most part, knowing the specifics of how your spouse cheated isn’t going to help you feel any better. While it can be good to know if it happened multiple times or not, knowing the exact number isn’t going to help you feel any better. It can make you feel worse.
Additionally, knowing every time your partner cheated on you, or everyone they cheated on you with isn’t going to help you, so it isn’t worth fighting with them to try and figure it out. Focus on the future and decide what you are going to do from here.
You may think about getting revenge. Maybe you want to out them as a cheater to all of their friends and family, or go out and cheat to get back at them. While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to move on with someone new, or to explain to everyone why you are breaking up, if that is what you decide to do, you should be calm before making these decisions.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to a close friend and explain the situation, or your therapist if you have one. They can help you process your emotions, come to a conclusion about how to handle the news, and just vent.
Overall, it is important to be patient with yourself. Don’t ever think you are overreacting or making a big deal out of the situation when you find out the news. Cheating has devastating effects on people, to the point that many who have been cheated on develop PTSD.
What Should You Do After Your Spouse Cheats?
The first thing you should do is take some time. Figure out your emotions before making any rash decisions. You will only regret your choices if you do them while angry or hurt. So, go stay with a friend or family member, or kick them out so you can have the space for yourself, and take time to think and calm down.
Only once you are thinking reasonably again should you make decisions. Some people choose to try and give their partner another chance, while for others cheating is a hard line. You may not know where cheating is for you, so you need to decide which option is better for you and your family.
Some people decide to stay together and attend couples counseling. Others decide to end it and have to figure out living arrangements.
While you can take advice from others on what to do, don’t let anyone decide for you. This is your life, and not someone else’s so you have to figure out what you need.
If you do decide to stay together, you will have to sit and have a serious conversation about rebuilding trust, and your new boundaries and rules to keep the relationship going without stress or fear.
22 Questions to Ask Your Unfaithful Spouse
Before making a decision, you may have some questions or need to know more about the situation. The answers and reactions to these questions can let you make the final decision on whether or not you are going to keep trying or decide to end the relationship.
It can also give you the answers you need to understand why it happened and what happened without getting into the gritty details.
Some questions to help you figure out the severity and maybe understand what you want out of the relationship are:
1. How did you decide this was the right decision?
2. How did you think this would end?
3. Did you feel guilty when you came back home?
4. Have you had the opportunity to cheat before and did you do it or pass it up?
5. If you passed it up, why, and what made you not pass it up this time?
6. Was it a one-off or an affair?
7. Did you think about me/your family at all?
8. Why did you do it/keep it going if you knew it was wrong?
9. Did they know about us?
10. Have you thought about being unfaithful before?
11. Did you talk about leaving me for them?
12. Did you two plan a future together, or was it just for sex?
13. What did you see in them?
14. How do you feel about them now?
15. If you had the chance to cheat again with them, would you?
16. Would you cheat again with someone else?
17. How did it start?
18. Do you still want to be with me?
19. How do I know I can trust you not to do this again?
20. How do you suggest making changes to the relationship if we decide to keep trying?
21. Did you have unprotected sex?
22. How did your behavior change when you were with them?
Unfortunately, your spouse may lie about these questions, and that is something to expect. Their lying can also give you answers, though they may not be the answers to the questions you asked.
How to Move Forward After Your Spouse Is Unfaithful
To move forward, you first have to make sure there is remorse. If they don’t feel sorry or regret their actions, then you can’t guarantee this isn’t going to happen again.
You also have to be honest as to why it happened. While you shouldn’t blame yourself for their cheating, you can be aware that something was wrong in the relationship that needed to be fixed.
Setting boundaries is also important. While it may seem harsh to say what they can and can’t do in a relationship, setting down rules for a while can help them to rebuild your trust and for you to not be worried all the time.
This can be things like meeting all their friends. Them cutting off contact with the person they cheated with, move, set a curfew, and more. Find things you both agree on that will make you both feel better moving forward.
Be honest. Lying is a huge problem, and continuing to lie after cheating occurs won’t help anyone. You both have to be honest and open, even if it feels hurtful and brutal.
Finally, couples counseling should seriously be considered. They can help you to set those boundaries healthily, and fully talk through problems in a safe environment without accusations.