If you have ever caught your spouse cheating, then before you take the next step, make sure that you ask yourself certain questions.
For many marriages, affair recovery is possible. Is yours one of them?
Did you just catch your spouse cheating? If so, your marriage is in crisis and you are likely left feeling as if one of your worst fears has come true. You’re also wondering if you should stay or go. This isn’t the time to act on impulse but to slow down and carefully consider your options.
There are many sources explaining the reasons why men and women cheat as well as tips on how to fix your broken relationship or save your marriage after finding evidence that your husband or wife is having an affair. But how do you decide what to do about it and whether you should get a divorce or work on forgiving your spouse after they’ve been caught cheating?
Increasing your knowledge about the many dimensions of infidelity can help empower you to have the kind of marriage you desire after one spouse has cheated. It’s important to find out the specific reasons this betrayal happened, who they cheated with, and the nature of the affair, i.e., whether it’s emotional, physical, or a combination of the two. While sexual dissatisfaction is certainly one of the multitudes of reasons why people cheat, the primary reason cited by both men and women is actually emotional dissatisfaction, identifying issues such as not feeling desired or appreciated, a lack of communication, or feeling as though they have differing values.
Nonetheless, if you’re one of the people whose partner has been caught cheating, here are the most important questions to ask yourself before deciding whether to divorce or forgive your partner.
Here Are 5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself If You’ve Caught Your Spouse Cheating
1. Does your spouse have a parent and/or close friends who have cheated?
If the answer is yes, don’t underestimate how this influences your spouse. A message can get internalized that cheating is acceptable or just a part of “everyday life.”
You also want to watch for your partner spending time, especially nights out, with known cheaters. It wouldn’t be a good idea to try to entirely control your spouse, but he or she should be responsive to your concerns. If this behavior continues, a cheater will be at risk for ongoing improprieties.
2. Is your spouse good at compartmentalizing?
“Compartmentalization” is a defense mechanism that people use to separate internally conflicting thoughts from one another. People generally have a tendency to compartmentalize parts of their lives so they can better control them and cope with life’s stressors. For example, we may act a certain way at our jobs, another way with friends, and yet a different way with family.
If your spouse tends to compartmentalize, this could be a serious red flag.
Many successful people use compartmentalization to get ahead, but unfortunately, sociopaths are also known to be exceptionally good at compartmentalizing. This isn’t to say that your spouse is a sociopath; however, you need to understand what mechanisms allow someone to have sex with their co-worker on a desk at the office, then sit with you at the dinner table and act as if everything is perfectly normal.
3. Does your spouse show guilt and genuine remorse for having the affair?
From what I’ve seen in my practice treating many couples over many years, most cheaters really do feel guilty and remorseful about their affairs. However, this will not necessarily stop the cheating behavior. Some people don’t feel the least bit regretful; some may see the affair as the justifiable ramifications of a bad marriage.