Every marriage has milestones. The first date, the proposal, the wedding, and the birth of a child are common examples. Other milestones may be challenging times like a severe illness or injury. Another could be the time you confronted your spouse for being unfaithful. Whether you stay together or decide to file for divorce, that initial conversation is one of the most challenging and important moments in both of your lives.
It is essential to prepare before starting this conversation because you never know how they will react — likely responses include fleeing in indignant anger as the reality of being caught sets in, or simply denying the facts you present.
While you may have no control over what they will say or do, you can control your actions and how you broach the subject. Here are some suggestions that you could adapt to fit the circumstances:
- Gather evidence: Confronting them without proof will make them more careful to hide their behavior. It is better to present proof – inappropriate pictures from their phone, receipts for gifts or hotels, or a phone bill with a regularly-used number.
- Remain calm: This will likely be an emotional moment but do not fight fire with fire. Focus on the facts and even acknowledge that they will probably feel defensive.
- Denial comes first: The guilty rarely admit fault at first, so it may only sink in after you present the facts. They may still deny it to stall as they try to come up with a story to cover their actions.
- Ask for details: It is best to get the details. It is helpful to know if it is someone you know and maybe trust, how serious the relationship is, and whether they have exposed you to health risks.
- Don’t answer their questions: They may respond to a question with another question. Don’t answer their question. Instead, let them stew in their uneasy silence rather than let them change the subject.
- If that doesn’t work: If they seem ready to admit it, help them along by moving beyond the “if it happened” to “why it happened.” Ask them something along the lines of: “Was I not fulfilling your needs?”
What’s your next milestone?
Some marriages recover from infidelity and become stronger for it. For others, however, this conversation is the first step towards terminating the marriage. Whether it means going to court or settling outside of court, it is often useful to work with an experienced, Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who handles divorce here in Texas. Their knowledge of the law and local courts enables them to help you handle your divorce quickly and effectively.