What NOT to do if your spouse is cheating


When you first find out that your spouse is cheating, it can be very devastating.  Usually in those first few days or weeks, the Loyal Spouse is tempted to do things that are not necessarily in their character, such as scream, fight with the Other Person, or take revenge.  But if you want to save your marriage, here are several things you should NOT do when you find out your spouse has been unfaithful:


1. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening.   Yes you’ve known in your gut for a long time that something was wrong,  and now you have a small bit of evidence or you’ve seen it with your own eyes.  Don’t go into denial.  Don’t pretend that spending hours on the cell phone is “normal” or that co-workers need to send each other thousands of emails every week.  Face the truth: your spouse is being unfaithful.

2. Don’t confront without proof.  So you got a small piece of evidence that certainly looks suspicious but doesn’t really conclusively prove anything.  If you confront with that one little piece of evidence, your spouse will try to “explain that away” or blame you, and then will be tipped off that you know about their affair and take it deeper into hiding.  Instead, wait.  Gather not just one suspicious piece but several confirming pieces from several different sources.  Get emails, IM chat logs, phone itemization and credit card statements that ALL confirm there is a lie.

3. Don’t drink or do drugs.   You’ve got all the proof.  You’re spouse is cheating.  The pain is horrific and unending, and the temptation to go numb by getting drunk or getting high is all too intense.  The only problem is that easing the pain with alcohol or drugs does not address the issue of infidelity, and it doesn’t make it go away.  When the effects of the alcohol or the drugs go away, the adultery will still be there.  Not only that, but you are bound to make poor decisions because you’re not thinking clearly!  Your mind is altered.  So I completely understand….it’s tempting…but don’t  go there.  Face it–stone cold sober.

4. Don’t beg.  When you first have the proof that your spouse is unfaithful, there is a temptation to beg them to stay, to bet them to love you, and to beg them to not divorce.  After all, you are clear-headed enough to understand the amount of pain they are inflicting on you and the amount of damage they are about to do to the family; whereas their thinking seems completely unaware of anyone but themselves!  Although begging seems to make sense at first, it’s actually counter-productive because by the time infidelity has reared its ugly head, the Disloyal Spouse is no longer caring about the hurt to the Loyal Spouse or even the hurt to their children.  Begging will come across as weak and unattractive, and if anything it will have the opposite from the desired effect.

5. Don’t promise you’ll change.  This is very similar to #4 above, “Don’t beg.”  At first,it may seem to make sense that if you promise your Disloyal Spouse that you’ll change, they’ll want to stay and “go back to the way it was.”  But in real life, to the Disloyal Spouse it will come across like too little, too late.  They’ll think “I  asked you for change before and you didn’t back then, so you probably won’t now either.”  So if you have things about yourself that you know you should work on, work on them but don’t promise you’ll change.  Just BE different and let them see the changes in your actions.

6. Don’t rage.  No one wants to be screamed at for hours, even if they have committed adultery.  No one wants a partner in their life who will become violent.  Punching out the Other Person doesn’t suddenly make you look desirable and make them look unattractive.  So if you are angry–and it’s natural to feel angry–find a healthy way to express the anger–maybe with a friend or family member.  Raging will just lead to domestic violence or assault charges, police involvement, and consequences like being forced out of your own home -AND- the adultery will not be stopped.

7. Don’t have a revenge affair.  Finding out that your spouse was unfaithful can send your self-esteem plunging, and in an angry state of mind you may want to rebuild your self-worth by going out and having a one-night-stand to prove your desirability.  Trust me on this one…don’t.  Adding another affair to a marriage that is already in dire trouble does NOT make the situation better.  Going against your own moral code will just make things worse, and you will not feel better about yourself.  Instead, focus on doing what you know is right, and that will build your self-worth.

Now that you know the seven things to NOT do if your spouse is cheating, what DO YOU DO?  I recommend you take a look around on our site,  read our articles such as “ Seven Steps You Can Take to End an Affair,”  or contact us via or Contact Page to set up email, mentoring or an appointment!

12 thoughts on “What NOT to do if your spouse is cheating

  1. I am not too sure I agree with this. I feel as though these steps act as though the betrayed spouse did something wrong. I also do not think that people cheat just because there is a problem at home. In some cases, men cheat because they want to and because they can and most often it has nothing to do with their wife.

    I agree that you shouldn’t do drugs and shouldn’t confront them unless you have enough proof, but as far as trying to change for your spouse and proving to them you can? I think that is crazy! The spouse cheated, therefore, if anyone needs to beg and change, I would think it should be the unfaithful one.

    I always love your articles, but I have to say that I do NOT agree with this one!

    1. Interesting. I know in hindsight that I did a little bit of spineless sniveling. Further hindsight would probably show that reparations would have been more sincere had I shown some dignity. Even to this day I harbor some resentment that I did not just laugh at the dispicable nature of a dignified spouse of some class and worth stooping to build such a pathetic fantasy with HER!!! mentally challenged little welfare drunk. Today I know for a fact that I harbor even more anger towards “ladies” such as yourself who have this facade of purity wrapped around you as though you could do no wrong. You will be the first to spout lie after lie about how you never planned your rendezvous, you never commited certain acts of lust, and the warts on his genitalia never alarmed you. Newsflash maam. Ladies are perfectly capable at stabbing their partners in the back also.

      1. I had my girlfriends mom introduce her to her new man in her life because I didn’t go to church enough. So now their living in sin and the mom has no problem with them living in SIN. Who got Adam to eat the Apple? Don’ t act like it is always guys who cheat, I was loyal,loving and put her above everything in my life and I got scrapped on big time. She left me while at work and text blames me for the break up! If there is a God will he punish them?

  2. Ariella~

    Thank you for taking the time to send me a comment. I have to admit, though, I am a little puzzled by it! I’m not sure you “got” the intent of this post, so maybe I didn’t make it very clear.

    This post is all about what NOT to do when you discover your spouse is cheating. In other words “DO NOT DO THIS!!”

    Thus, I think we agree. I am saying “Do NOT beg” them to stay and beg them to love you. You want someone who’s in your life who loves you voluntarily and willingly, not because you begged them for a crumb.

    Likewise I’m saying “Do NOT promise them you’ll change.” So far, the Loyal Spouse may not have been perfect (hey there’s always room for improvement) but that in no way justified adultery! So if you’re tempted to try to bargain with your Disloyal Spouse by promising you’ll change…don’t. Don’t do that. If you know of something about you that you want to change (like for example if you know you need to work on how you express your anger), don’t try to convince an unfaithful spouse to stay with promises. Just do it. The point here is that they may try to blame you as justification for their choices, but that’ just silly!! They are adults and so are you. They chose to cheat and need to choose on their own to stop–period. Likewise you’re an adult and if you want to change you need to choose on your own to just change–period.

    So think of the other Loyal Spouses you know with whom you’re friends. When they first found out, what did they DO? Lots of times the Loyal Spouse is tempted to drink, to beg, to promise, or to rage, and this article is saying those are not productive ways to act to save your marriage. I understand WHY you want to do those things, and it’s pretty normal to feel like that, but behaving like that will not help.

  3. I did the denial, drank too much wine, stopped eating, lost 45lbs, stayed in contact with the Affair Partner, promoted reunions for husband and his Affair Partner, left blatant clues for husband, FINALLY started telling the TRUTH to cheating husband….. Spoke softly, said “Nothing you have done cannot be forgiven by me with God’s help”, he never confessed, had to hit him over the head with the horrible proof (emails, texts, phone records, nude pictures and homemade porn videos… So much more I do not even want to look at…) approaching the 11th month of NO CONTACT with his Affair Partner, I am very anxious and still very hopeful for recovery. Making new memories to replace 18 months of hell. Forgiveness has never meant so much. Each day is a new beginning. In marriage counseling. Husband is clean. Wish I knew how he is coping. What he has learned, regrets and misses from affair. I have not told my parents. Very few close friends know. Reaffirmed our marriage vows last August on our 23rd anniversary. Very hopeful. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages and Meyer Briggs Personality Types have been useful tools. God is doing what I cannot. Peace Hope and Love.

    1. Of all the posts, articles, blogs, and prayers I have read online, your post gives me the most hope. I have been devastated by my husband. I still love him with every fiber of my being. I want desperately to work this out and fill that anything can be forgiven if asked for. Our anniversary is also August 23rd. You give me hope!

  4. I believe…that if a man pursues God…his wife will not feel the need to look elsewhere…his godly leadership and Christ-like love will go a long way to meet her needs and inspire her to pursue God as he does…but…if he doesn’t…then the compass has no true north…and the ship drifts at sea…where ever the wind blows…usually onto a rock shore…I did not know of this website at the time of my storm…I did not know what I should do or not do…thanks to the information here on affaircare…this wee bit of a light or a distant bell can keep others from crashing into the rocks…thanks

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