Infidelity is a fairly common occurrence. Each year, nearly 10% of married people admit to having had an extramarital affair. These figures increase for couples under the age of 35. While some decide to never expose their infidelities, others feel the need to spit it out. If you decide to confess to your partner that you have had an extramarital affair, there are many things you can do to make it easier.
Part 1 of 3: setting the tone
Step 1. Pick a convenient time and place
This conversation must absolutely take place in private. Choose a place and a time where you can discuss freely and at length.
- It would be better if you had this conversation in your living room, rather than in a cafe or restaurant.
- Avoid choosing a time when your wife is not already on edge, such as when she comes home from work.
Step 2. Consider your partner's preferences and schedule
You could also meet with her to agree on a time and place to chat. Tell her that you have something important to say to her and ask her when would be perfect for her.
For example, you could try this: “I have something very important to tell you and I would like to make sure that we have enough time for it. What time would be ideal for you? "
Step 3. Don't say anything other than the truth
If you have decided to go to confession, say nothing other than the truth. Even if your partner asks painful questions, you need to be totally frank. Try to keep it simple and don't miss any detail.
You might think that it is a good idea not to tell everything that happened, but a partial confession will only have one result: you will feel even worse than before. If, for example, you have cheated on your wife several times, a partial confession would be to tell her that you have cheated on her only once
Step 4. Listen to her
Even if you have a lot to say, your partner might have some too. So don't cut her off and just listen to her. Showing respect for her feelings and thoughts will go a long way in saving the relationship.
- Show her that you are listening by facing her and maintaining eye contact.
- Stay away from any distractions to avoid any disruption. Turn off your phone, PC, TV, etc.
- Don't cut your partner off while she's talking. Listen to her until she finishes saying what's on her mind.
- Take back what your partner has said to show them that you are listening. For example, you could start by saying this: "So if I understand correctly, you are saying that …"
Part 2 of 3: Breaking the news
Step 1. Use straightforward and simple sentences
Any unnecessary detail and any long story would only deflect the conversation. Stick to relevant details to avoid prolonging the already painful conversation.
- “I met him at work” is better than starting a long story such as “The production manager needed a new secretary, so he hired a new person and then I had to train them and…”
- Be prepared to say more when she asks you to. Don't skip the details if your partner is looking to learn more.
Step 2. Respect their right to want to know everything
No matter how many questions your wife might have, patiently answer her. Being ready to talk, even the most embarrassing details, shows that you are open and want to regain her trust. Therapists then advise unpacking everything, so that the healing process can truly begin. Also, if you were in his shoes, you would have wanted the same respect and the same patience.
Step 3. Don't get defensive
Minimizing your mistakes or refusing to take responsibility for your actions will only make matters worse. You shouldn't be thinking about protecting yourself, but rather being there for your partner in these difficult times. Relationship experts have come to the conclusion that defensive statements sabotage not only the conversation, but the entire marriage over time. Avoid the following sentences:
- i didn't mean to hurt you
- it only happened once
- you don't know what you're talking about
Step 4. Don't stand up for the third person in the relationship
This will make it clear to your partner that you have feelings for the other woman. Why else will you feel compelled to stand up for him? If you really want to save your marriage, you should make it clear to your loved one that she will now be the only woman in your life.
Part 3 of 3: To be forgiven or not
Step 1. Own your mistakes
Sincerely ask forgiveness for your mistakes. Aside from feeling guilty, seeing how painful this episode can be for your partner should make you admit your mistakes. Research has shown that those who are willing to admit their mistakes are generally the happiest in life.
Step 2. Explain why you are sorry
An excuse that comes from the heart doesn't just involve admitting your mistakes, but showing that you feel bad for hurting your partner. If you clearly admit that you have wronged your wife, it will show her that you care about how she feels. If you're running out of words to say you're sorry, here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- I'm so sorry I lied to you, you don't deserve this
- it's all my fault and i beg your forgiveness for hurting you
- I was wrong to lie and I apologize for betraying your trust
Step 3. Consider doing couples therapy
If you really feel like saving your relationship, consider attending couples therapy. Dealing with the repercussions of infidelity can be a long and tedious process. A knowledgeable counselor can help you and your partner put the pieces back together.
Step 4. Be totally honest
It will take time to regain his confidence. Speaking only the truth from this point on will show that you are ready to do anything to get your relationship back together again.
You may have to agree to certain conditions that will help your wife to trust you again. For example, you might come to terms with the fact that she has access to your phone, social media accounts, or emails, or agree to check in more often when you're not around
Step 5. Tell your partner how you feel
According to therapists, for a relationship to really work after a betrayal, you need to share your innermost feelings with your partner. Take the time to identify what prompted you to have an extramarital affair, and then share what you learned with your spouse. Here are some helpful questions you should ask yourself.
- Did I feel alone? If so, why?
- Why did I choose this person over my wife?
- What do I still feel for my wife?
Step 6. Expect to be rejected
While many of the couples will try to work things out and stay together, others will go their separate ways after a betrayal. Be sure to prepare for the eventuality that your relationship may be dead.
- You should also be prepared for your wife's temper tantrums. Remember, your wife has the right to be angry. Be prepared to listen to her as she expresses her resentment.
- Keep in mind that while you took all the time to prepare for this conversation, it might come as a total surprise to your wife.
- Confess everything to your partner as soon as possible. It would be very hard for her to find out from someone else.
- Your partner will want to know why you cheated on her. The answer to this question could take time as well as many hours of therapy. So be patient.
- Tell your sweetheart it wasn't her fault. Your partner will obviously have less confidence in her when she hears the news. She might even begin to blame herself. Take the time to explain to him that the error is solely yours.
- Get a health exam immediately. If you had unprotected sex outside of marriage and then have sex with your wife, she should know about it.
- Everyone reacts to bad news differently. Expect your partner to start making noise, become violent, or even leave on the spot. Control your emotions so that you can help him through these difficult times.