Seven Questions to Ask Your Cheating Spouse Introduction:
Once infidelity has occurred in a relationship, numerous questions on the details often lead to a much more intricate and complex story of betrayal and deceit.
For example, there may be questions about what kinds of gifts were exchanged between the cheating spouse and their lover to get some idea of how emotionally and financially invested they were in the affair.
A great example is the story of a housewife in San Diego who had actually recorded love songs with her younger lover. When the husband found out he actually took her iPod and listened to one of the songs.
Although it was very difficult for him mentally and emotionally to hear it, he quickly realized why his wife had been unfaithful. The sensual nature of the music made him understand that it was due to a lack of romance that she had decided to have an affair.
He sought to reinvent himself and ultimately became a more loving, romantic partner saving their marriage.
These seven questions will help you to better understand the reasons behind the infidelity and what if any meaning you can take from it.
One thing you might want to consider is to check out our e-book on how to tell if someone is giving honest answers before you ask these questions. Knowing how truthful the guilty party will be essential in determining the future of the relationship.
You just need to provide your name and email address in the upper right hand corner and shortly you will receive it.
Some of the book and programs we recommend on our resources page will provide additional steps each person in the marriage can take to hopefully find a way to resolve the issues and bring the couple closer together again.
And is there a chance that they are still cheating?
OK here are some questions to ask a cheating spouse.
Questions for the Cheating Spouse
1. What did you say to yourself that made you feel justified to cheat in the first place?
Finding out what the cheating spouse or partner said to themselves to justify the infidelity is often an important clue into the root cause of the affair in the first place.
Often cheating spouses will convince themselves that this is something they need to do for not just their benefit but for the benefit of others.
After all there is no better justification than that their perceived happiness would be to the benefit of everyone including their spouse and children.
Often a cheating partner will say “I would have been completely miserable otherwise and that is not good for anyone, so I had to do it”
Also by revealing their values and sharing their vulnerabilities, we can better understand their mindset as they began cheating.
Did they think they would not get caught, did not care if they got caught or were even hoping it might happen to get attention?
Did they think about the consequences before or during the affair? Is this a pattern of behavior that might get repeated in other ways? Sometimes how a person justifies or not their actions reveals quite a bit about their core psyche.
In fact, sometimes when a partner confides in a friend about their marital issues it’s often a subtle way of seeking out an affair.
It’s not uncommon for a person to state that the affair began innocently over coffee with a friend who was willing to listen at a time when the communication in the marriage was breaking down.
Remember that people want to be supportive when a friend or colleague just “needs to talk” about a situation in a distressed marriage and sometimes people allow themselves to get drawn into an affair.
If the wife or husband cannot talk to their spouse openly and with the expectation that they will listen and work to resolve the issue, it’s often a matter of time before they seek emotional support elsewhere.
Knowing how an affair started is crucial to determining some of the underlying causes of the breakdown in the relationship and whether or not they can be resolved. .
2. After the first time you were intimate with each other, did you feel guilty?
Inquiring about how guilty someone feels even more about the internal values of the unfaithful spouse.
In fact, some people legitimately do not feel any guilt about their actions and may be inclined to repeat the behavior.
They see it as more of an error on their part for getting caught, not for having committed adultery in the first place.
In fact, ironically enough some people feel so completely upset with themselves for having the first encounter that they only way to relieve it is to continue the affair.
If you found out the unfaithful partner uses extra marital sex as an escape from stress, tension or feelings of guilt, you have even greater insight into the probability of future transgressions.
Some unfaithful partners rationalize their cheating by stating that as long as nobody finds out, there is no possibility of emotional or mental damage.
Again one must really understand this motivation and how much of a factor it was in the affair.
This also draws up another pertinent question: Are there other inappropriate and potentially harmful actions they may undertake if they truly believe there are no consequences as long as nobody finds out?
Is this part of a pattern of behavior?
3. How could you let it go on so long if you knew it was wrong?
This is one of the best questions to ask a cheating spouse because it really helps uncover the deeper reasoning for what happened.
Ironically, it’s the forbidden nature of the affair that ignites the passion and keeps the flame going for months or even years.
Numerous attempts to end the adulterous affair fail because of a magnetic force that can’t fight and the overwhelming urge to meet with their cheating partner consumes them.
In fact, the more they have to sneak around to see each other, the more intrigue and excitement it adds to the affair.
Understanding the root causes of an affair is very distinctive from what kept the affair going on (assuming it was more than a onetime fling).
Affairs often start due to impulses spurred on by immediate sexual gratification but if that is all there is, they usually will end within a few months as with most relationships that are mostly based on surface attraction.
However if it continues on for any length of time it is almost certainly due to a growing mental and emotional attachment.
You also must understand how and why it ended as well as what kept it going for so long in the first place.
An affair that was intentionally ended by one or both parties before the affair was disclosed is very different than one that ended by someone who got caught.
As with anything if the liaison ended hastily, breaking that attachment will be much more challenging than if it ended naturally.
If the cheating partner actually feels a deeper bond with their affair partner they may actually resent having it end just because someone found out.
They may actually feel as if they’re the ones being denied a satisfying relationship. This is particularly true if they are not in a good financial position to end their marriage.
4. What did you share about us?
Although the answer to this question may be difficult to hear, it speaks to the issues of emotional intimacy and loyalty.
The betrayed spouse has a right to know how much personal knowledge the affair partner has about their marriage, their personal family issues and other matters particularly if the couple has young children.
Sometimes an unfaithful spouse will engage in self delusion by telling themselves that since they did not discuss any details of their marriage with their affair partner, this makes the affair acceptable.
It creates the sense they are leading a second life and as long as the two lives do not cross, it’s as if someone else was engaged in the affair and not them.
Having a better understanding of this mindset can help reveal the true values of the offending spouse and whether they may be more or less likely to cheat again.
5. What did you see in the affair partner?
It goes without saying that the partner who was cheated on will have a portrait in their head of what the affair partner is like or might even know them.
The betrayed partner will sometimes put much or all of the blame on their spouse’s affair partner, having a strong preference to believe that their spouse was taken advantage of and seduced.
The idea that their soul mate took a very active role in the affair is too difficult to accept and thus they direct much of their anger towards the affair partner.
One must realize that both parties had to be very active for the affair to take place particularly if it was hidden for a long period of time.
Admitting their guilt and taking full responsibility for their participation is an essential step in reducing the odds that they will ever be unfaithful again.
After all, if it was beyond their ability to resist the advances of another, what’s to prevent that from happening again?
What’s interesting to see is how the betrayed spouse can oscillate between seeing their spouse’s affair partner as a rival who could never measure up and seeing them as a terrible person who could threaten their marriage once again.
Often the betrayed partner will ask questions and make comparisons about their intellect, educational background, physical appearance, sexual prowess, and social status in life.
These kinds of questions and comparisons do not really serve any purpose and should be avoided.
Rarely if ever do they reveal anything useful about what was appealing to the unfaithful spouse about their affair partner.
Rather the questions one would want to ask are more about how the affair partner made them feel, what unique qualities and personality traits they brought to the relationship.
6. What did you like about yourself in the affair? How were you different?
Ensure that when you ask this question you are truly encouraging them to open up and share what they felt they got out of the affair. This is not the time to be jealous, resentful or angry.
Knowing the benefits they felt came from the affair can often be the start of a very healthy discussion about what specific issues needs to be address in the marriage if there is indeed hope of saving it.
While it may be difficult hearing what their unfaithful partner will have to say here, it may allow the couple to start the process of building a more healthy relationship.
One man interviewed stated that he felt more alive, freer to express himself and more like a man when with his younger affair partner.
His wife over time took this to heart, started exercising more, wearing sexier clothing, being more supportive of his personal hobbies and interests and found that their relationship actually became better than before the affair started.
7. How do they truly feel about doing whatever is required to mend the relationship?
This is again a question in which one really wants to not only hear what their spouse has to say but pay attention to the body language, the gestures, the voice tonality and sense of urgency.
If the offending partner is truly excited about working on the relationship, they will react with a great sense of urgency and be open to both traditional and non traditional forms of therapy.
ON the other hand, if they seem hesitant about dedicating a lot of time, resources and energy into strengthening the relationship it might mean it is time to consider alternatives.
Finally, one must listen for what the cheating partner says he or she will personally do to change themselves.
Recovering from infidelity is not just about the couple working together to address issues, but rather each person engaging in proactive self-improvement.
This can take form in many ways from getting in better shape, anger management, attending seminars and workshops on life skills, using books, audio and DVD programs on relationship management.
Infidelity does not always mean an end to a marriage that otherwise might have lasted for the rest of one’s life.
There are ways to resolve the anger, hurt and stress that an extra marital affair has on a relationship.
Starting with a clear, straight forward discussion using the questions above is just the first step in moving from the shock, hurt and pain of infidelity to restoring a happy and healthy relationship.
Your Affair Expert at Having an Affair