One of the worst feelings imaginable is suspecting that your partner is being unfaithful. You immediately envision the life that you have created crumbling in front of your eyes. For a hot minute, you convince yourself that it is all in your head, but that nagging feeling —i.e. your intuition — knows that something is just not right. Your heart wants you to immediately confront your mate, but your head is telling you to think it through and consider these questions to ask if you think your partner is cheating.
If you have suspicion, but no solid evidence that your partner has been unfaithful, you may not want to immediately initiate an emotional confrontation. Cheating partners have a way of making their mates feel and sound paranoid. Without proof, your accusation may lead your partner to better cover their tracks in the future. If you are married or a parent, you will want to obtain evidence of the infidelity in the event you decide to move forward with a divorce or a custody agreement. Even without physical evidence, there is a reason you get a gut feeling. If you believe your partner is cheating, there is a very good chance that you are correct.
The following are some questions to help guide you once you decide that you a ready to confront your partner.
1. "Do You Promise To Be Honest?"
The first thing you should do is stay calm. Though you may want to scream, curse, throw your partner's clothes into the middle of the street and set them on fire, you should do your best to focus on the practicality of the situation. You want your partner to be honest with you. You need all of the facts in order to decide on your next steps. Be level-headed and tell your partner that no matter the answer, you want—no, you need to know the truth. The calmer you stay, the less likely your partner will spin your question and make you feel like you are just being insecure.
2. "Is There Anything I Need To Worry About?"
Once your partner agrees to be honest, the next question you should ask is whether or not there is anything for you to worry about. According to Guide Doc, this question leaves the door open for truthfulness. On the off-chance that your intuition was wrong about the infidelity, it may still have been correct about being deceived.
Maybe your partner has been hiding another secret and was looking for a way to tell you. It could be an issue at work, like learning he will soon lose his job, financial problems from a bad investment or overspending, an illness, a DUI, family problems, or another piece of bad news. While none of these are a great alternative, you can at least feel hopeful that you can work on these problems together.
3. "Are You Interested In Someone Else?"
If your partner denies that you have anything to worry about, but you aren't quite convinced, it may be the time to ask the big question. There is no guarantee that you will get an honest answer, but posing it brings you one step closer to the truth.
It's possible that your partner has considering being unfaithful, but hasn't gone through with it. This question may bring about an answer such as "I've been having feelings for the woman I work with." or "I met my ex-boyfriend for lunch, and it brought back some unresolved feelings." But it's not always a cause for concern. As noted by Hitched magazine, sometimes people in committed relationships develop "crushes" that are simply a momentary distraction.
4. "Do You Want To Salvage Our Relationship?"
First, and foremost, do you want to salvage this relationship? If infidelity is a deal-breaker, it may not matter if your partner wants to try to works things out. However, no one truly knows how they will handle betrayal until they cross that bridge. If your partner is sincerely remorseful, you may surprise yourself and agree to try and work through this. As Dr. Phil writes on his website, "forgiveness is a choice. It doesn't mean what your partner did is OK. How much you trust your partner is in part about what your partner does, and in part a function of whether you have confidence to handle it if he/she disappoints you."
If you partner does not want to save the relationship, you can start to plan the next steps you will need to take in order to begin a new, and better, life for yourself.
5. "What Will You Do To Regain My Trust?"
Whether or not you decide to continue the relationship, if your partner has lied or been unfaithful, he or she needs to work at regaining your trust. This is especially true if you have children. You must have trust in a person in order to hand your children over to their care, no matter for what length of time. You should be able to trust that an ex-partner won't spill your family secrets, attempt to mar your reputation, or take more than their share of your community property.
Trust is still important, even if the romantic part of the relationship dies.