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He's having an affair: what should I do?

(8 ratings)
A couple standing back to back
Absolutely nothing! This is definitely NOT the right time to make any major life-changing decisions about your relationship.

'The early days are incredibly emotional and confusing,' says Paula Hall. 'Don't feel under any pressure to either throw him out or forgive him.' There's no rush to do anything. Just let the news sink in - and cry all you want.

Talk to him again

Once you're ready, it's essential that you both talk and listen to each other. But this is not the time for a slanging match. No matter how angry you are, you must stay calm throughout this conversation. You have two aims:

1. To get the facts right
You need to know when the affair happened, where it happened and how long it's been going on. 'There are many different types of affairs,' says Paula Hall. 'A drunken one-night stand is very different to sleeping with your sister for five years.'

Painful though it may be for you to hear, you need to be aware of all the facts before you can go any further.
Tip: Resist the temptation to ask questions you really don't need the answers too, such as 'Is she thinner than me?' or 'Was she better in bed?' 'It's natural curiosity to want to know these things, but are you ready to hear the answers?' says Paula Hall. 'Will knowing that she was quite pretty or quite slim really help you to recover?'

Continued below...


2. To ask him 'Why?'
This is the big question and it's crucial that he answers it honestly. 'What you do next will largely come as a result of how he answers this question,' says Paula Hall. 'If he sounds genuine and his reasons make sense you'll be able to reach a decision far more quickly than if he's vague or simply refuses to talk.'
TIP: Limit the time you have for this conversation and always keep to the point. Otherwise you'll find yourselves going round in circles, getting more angry and tearful, but achieving very little. 

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Linda Fisher

I was married for 3 years to my ex. I found out he was cheating purely by accident. I went through various stages too, like anger, guilt, fear but I managed to have a rational conversation during which he explained that it was just a one off after going out with the workmates to a bar. I think I could have accepted that were it not for the fact that I met the woman he cheated with. She told me they were together for about 4 months before I found out. I didn't go in to a rage about it but we discussed our relationship quite a lot and he told me he wanted an open marriage. I felt rather devastated at first, feeling that the reason he needed others was because I was not good enough for him. After a while it dawned on me that I did nothing wrong and it was he that cheated on me for so long and he never even attempted to work out any issues we might have had. Not long after that I met a guy at a party my husband and went to who made me feel like he wanted me and he made it obvious perhaps an hour after we met, saying it was a shame I was there with my husband. For the next three weeks I debated with my self, weather to let his advances get to me or put a stop to it. I got a call from him one day at work and he asked me to lunch in a nearby restaurant. It happened to be a day I only worked half day till lunch so I had the rest of it free. I decided to join James for lunch, after all it was midday and a public place. What could happen there? After a nice lunch and a glass of fine wine to go with it we had a very nice chat about this and that when he reached over and held my hand. He asked me to dance to the soft background music that they had playing. We danced a song and I was feeling like I hadn&#146t for some time, we danced a couple more dances with him holding me real close with both hands on my lover back any my hands around his neck. A few times he made sure he got a good feel of my behind and pull me to him at the same time so I could feel him against me. I liked the feelings he gave me and when he suggested we go to his place I was more than willing. We spent the whole afternoon making love all over his house after which I started feeling guilty for cheating on my husband. To make matters worse for us I got pregnant and I knew it had to be James that did it as my husband and I hadn&#146t been doing it. It was than I decided to end the marriage. James was more than happy and we married soon as my divorce was final. That was fourteen years ago and we have three kids now. But I remember feeling guilty for quite some time for cheating and getting pregnant on top of it all. I felt as if it was all my fault and it took James a while to finally set me straight. Had I the chance to do it all over I would have left him the moment I found that he was cheating more than just the once as he claimed. So I guess my opinion is, if he cheats one LEAVE as he will do it again.

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