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…
If you suspect your spouse is having an affair or is being emotionally unfaithful, do not despair. An affair does not have to mean the end of your marriage. In fact, consider this:
- Approximately 20% of affairs last less than two months
- Approximately 50% of affairs last more than one month, but less than a year.
- The remaining 30% last more than a year
- Very few last more than four years
- Around 3% result in marriage
There are Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair if you have reason to believe your spouse may be unfaithful. There is no guarantee your marriage will recover, but these steps will give you the best opportunity to recover after the affair ends.
Step 1) Gather evidence.
Just to be clear, it is very typical for the disloyal spouse to deny they are having an affair, even if you walk in and catch them “in the act.” They jump up and as they’re putting their clothes on they’ll say “It’s not what it looks like!” So this step is not so much to use as proof to make the disloyal spouse confess, so much as it is proof to the loyal spouse that they are not making a mountain out of a molehill…something REALLY IS going on. So if you suspect, keep an open mind and gather evidence to either prove or disprove your theory.
Oftentimes, when people hear the words “gather evidence” what they think of is some high-tech gadgetry to spy on their spouse. These days we have GPS on our cell phones, we have Voice-Activated Recorders, we have little cameras the size of a button that can be hidden anywhere, we have keyloggers and software to capture every stroke or text message…it’s like James Bond for the public!! However, not all evidence has to be gathered using high-tech methods. Some low-tech methods will prove things just as clearly and much less expensively–it just takes some of your time and effort. Here are several low-tech options:
- Plan a surprise visit to work, or come home at unexpected times, or make announcements about having to work late, but then come home early, etc.
- If you can, check your spouse’s call log–maybe by looking at the bill. Look for an unusual amount of phone calls or text messages. Keep in mind that cheating spouses often store their lover’s phone number under someone else’s name: a friend, a co-worker, etc.
- Keep track of all incoming phone calls at home. Record the time and any info that comes up on the caller ID (name, phone number) for all calls.
- Keep track of your spouse’s mileage, receipts, credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, phone records, etc. Although this may sound daunting, we don’t mean you have to write down the mileage on the car every night…but if they “filled the tank” today and supposedly only drove to work and back 5 miles each way and now they have to “fill the tank” again…some extra miles were in there somewhere! Look at any receipts you find, look at the itemization of your CC (wait there’s a charge in XYZ city on this date when s/he said s/he was in ABC city). Be specific and look CLOSELY the CC statement, the bank statement, and the phone bill!!
- Keep a journal of your spouse’s reported activities. Write down the times, dates, places, other people involved, excuses given, etc. Your journal will become invaluable as you compare what’s said with phone bills, credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, talk to other people, etc. A cheating spouse is likely to change his or her story, or question your memory, so keeping a record of everything is critical. (I personally recommend a DayTimer type calendar so you can write each day the reported activity, dates, times, excuses etc. maybe in one blue….and the true facts from cell, CC or bank statement in black.)
You can also purchase those high-tech devices like hidden cameras and voice activated recorders… or download a keylogger. However, in some states it is illegal to tape someone without their knowledge, so you may want to check your state’s laws on electronic surveillance. However, in very general terms, you can usually be within legal boundaries if you are one of the parties talking, and you agree to recording the conversation (visually or audio recording)–you have met any state that requires one person’s consent. If you record conversations in which you are one of the parties talking and you hold out the recorder and say: “For my own documentation and protection I am recording this conversation. If you continue to talk to me that will be taken as your consent to record,” then you have met the state requirement for two people’s consent. Those tape recordings and transcripts of those conversation would then meet the requirement to be evidence in a court of law. Any other kinds of visual or audio recordings (like if you are not one of the parties talking, if you only give your consent but you need two, etc.) would not meet the standard to be evidence in a court of law.
Whether you go the low-tech route or go for some more sophisticated surveillance, the goal is to gather evidence. When a loyal spouse suspects something is going on, often the disloyal spouse will say “Oh you just have jealousy issues!” or “You’re crazy! You’re making something out of nothing!” This step is for the loyal spouse. The intention is not “to get enough evidence to make the disloyal spouse confess” because that just may never happen. But it should prove to you, one way or another, whether something IS or IS not going on behind your back.
This blog is the first of a series of seven blogs about ending an affair. Here are the other blogs in this series:
Step 2 – Confront
Step 3 – Disclose
Step 4 – Expose
Step 5 – Carrot and Stick
Step 6 – Consequence
Step 7 – Legal Separation
This is post #1 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!
I’m also joining this Godly Link-ups:
- Back to Basics – Love Kindlers #7 Security Commitment ~AND~ Save Our Marriage Saturday (affaircare.com)
- Back to Basics – Love Extinguishers #7 Security Neglect -AND- Save Our Marriage Saturday (affaircare.com)
- “How do I end my affair?” (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)