>You’ve suspected for a while that something is not right between you and your spouse. Maybe they were spending lots of extra hours “at work” but there was no overtime on their paycheck. Maybe they completely changed their music, hairstyle, or clothing choices to something appropriate for someone decades younger. Maybe they were chatting or texting all the time and then deleted everything so you couldn’t see it. Whatever the reasons, you had a sneaking suspicion something wasn’t right…
There are seven specific steps you can take if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. This week we’ll be going over two steps in more detail every day; yesterday we looked at steps one and two, and today we are examining steps three and four. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.
Step 3) Disclose. When you have confronted your disloyal spouse about the affair and asked them to end it, and they either refuse to do so or have not done so (maybe they took it more “underground”), the next step is to disclose the affair to ONE very respected authority whom the disloyal is likely to look up to and listen to…someone who is likely to be pro-marriage and tell the disloyal that having an affair is not acceptable…that they should end it and work on the issues in their marriage. This one person is possibly one of the disloyal spouse’s parents, a pastor or religious leader, a teacher or boss. Meet with the one person in confidence; explain to them you expect them to keep it confidential but that you need help; and then explain that your spouse is having an affair and give them the facts. If you can, show them the evidence. Then ask the respected person to help you and give you any support they can offer to encourage your disloyal spouse to “come home.” The idea here to keep this to ONE specific person who is pro-marriage, wise, and trusted by both of you so that any potential for embarrassment is minimized and so your disloyal has the opportunity to “do the right thing.” As an alternative, if you would like assistance with this step, we here at Affaircare can help you talk to your spouse. On the occasion there are disloyal spouses who will listen to the person they trust and respect, and end the affair. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to next step.
Step 4) Exposure. When someone that your disloyal spouse respects has spoken to them about the affair and encouraged them to end it, but they have hardened their heart and refuse to end it, the next step is to expose the affair to those who will likely be affected by a potential divorce. The idea behind exposure is not to drag your disloyal spouse’s name and reputation through the mud (their ACTIONS are doing that!) but rather to refuse to keep the affair a “secret” and to bring the ugly truth of the unfaithfulness to the light of day. In many ways an affair is like an addiction, and in the disloyal’s mind they may be thinking something like, “Oh yes we might be disrupting four people’s lives, but don’t I deserve some happiness too?” What they DON’T realize is that a divorce will not affect four people–it will be a like the ever-widening wake of a nuclear bomb, affecting possibly hundreds of people! For this step though, there will be a focus to the exposure. The loyal spouse should contact their own family (parents and siblings), the disloyal’s parents and siblings, their church or place of worship, some of the loyal spouse’s co-workers, some of the disloyal spouse’s co-workers, the loyal spouse’s employer, the disloyal spouse’s co-workers, and the other person’s spouse and inform them that the disloyal spouse is having an affair, that it is serious, that the marriage is in trouble, and ask for help. The focus and main concern here is to contact those who may be harmed by the affair, give the facts, and ask them either to support the loyal or talk to the disloyal and tell them to return to the marriage. And by the way–YES you speak to your employer so they know why you seem distracted, cry at work, and aren’t as productive–and you contact the disloyal’s employer because they are seriously in jeopardy of a sexual harrassment lawsuit! Their property, time, and resources are being used for unwanted sexual contact (you, as the spouse, do not want it) and they need to address it or they could be sued. And YES you contact the other person’s spouse and ask, “Are you aware that my spouse is having an affair with your spouse? I have evidence…” Nothing ends an affair faster than the OP’s spouse screaming and putting their foot down!
Now, your disloyal is likely to be pretty upset with you for exposing their affair. A) Affairs are much more “fun” when they are a clandestine romantic rendevous and not brought to the truth of being adultery! And B) you are trying to cut them off from the drug they are “addicted” to-the affair. But just like you sometimes have to endure the fury of an addicted friend in an intervention–it’s for their own good and the hope is that once the addiction is broken, they will see and appreciate what you did. Your marriage can survive your disloyal spouse’s anger–it can not survive ongoing adultery. On the occasion there are disloyal spouses who realize that everyone knows about their affair–and the OP’s spouse screams and puts a stop to it–and the affair is killed. If this is your case, consider yourself blessed and move to the phase of recovering your marriage!! If it is not, move to the next step.