Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).
How to Confront Your Cheating Lover After Snooping
We’d all love to believe that we can trust the people that we care about—and usually, we can. Sometimes when you’re in a relationship, though, you’ll get that sinking feeling in your gut that something is just not right.
That on its own isn’t enough to accuse someone, and it’s certainly no excuse to go snooping through your partner’s private stuff, but it can definitely tip you off to the fact that you should be keeping an eye out for any weird behavior.
If you notice something obvious—or a mutual friend tells you that they saw your significant other fooling around—then the temptation to look for evidence may be overwhelming. Be careful here, though. Searching for evidence of a cheater’s betrayal can make you crazy and paranoid—not to mention it violates your partner’s privacy—so it’s an absolute last resort. Many people will confess even without being shown evidence, so sometimes there’s no need, anyway.
Occasionally, more is at stake, though. You might be married or you may own a house or a business together, and your lover would have incentive to lie to you about their cheating because they don’t want to lose their stuff. In a case like this, you might need to collect evidence before they can hide it from you.
So if you’re dead-set on snooping, do it once and only once. If this is something that needs to be a routine because you trust your partner so little, then get out of the relationship. Be very thorough during that one-time spying event and save the evidence, if you find any. If you already strongly suspect that they’re cheating, chances are you will find something.
Save any pictures, any texts, any incriminating chat logs, and get any screen shots of messages that you need. This way, they can’t just delete the evidence after the fact and try to convince you that you were mistaken or that you interpreted the proof wrong. You’ll have it right there with you for reference every time they come up with an excuse.
Once you have the proof, you can confront them, but of course the question is how do you even approach something like this? Your heart is broken. You know that the relationship is over, or that at the very least it will never be the same again. What do you do? How do you keep yourself from bursting into tears or becoming an emotional wreck? In addition, how do you justify that you were spying on your partner in the first place?
Follow these guidelines to help make the confrontation a bit easier (even though it will certainly never be exactly easy):
1) Remain Calm
It’s hard to keep your emotions out of it, but try to be as objective as possible when you’re about to confront them. Wait at least a few hours after you’ve uncovered your evidence. That feeling of finding out, when your stomach drops and you realize all of the lies they have been feeding you, can leave you in a chaos of emotions. You might feel angry. You might feel stupid and gullible. You might feel like you can never trust someone again.
Try to stifle the murderous rage or the hysterical sorrow so that it doesn’t affect any of your decisions too much. Once you feel like you can face them at least somewhat calmly (meaning, without throwing things at them), then approach them to have “a talk.”
You can always freak out afterwards, when you’re done addressing this serious problem and all the boxes filled with their stuff are laying out on the front curb.
2) Let Them Do The Talking and Don’t Tell Them What You Know at First
If they really have been cheating, then they will probably already suspect what you want to talk about when you solemnly ask them for a moment of their time. They might have known that this was coming and they might have even been wondering when you would eventually find out.
If you can, just tell them that you know they cheated and nothing more. Try to avoid going into detail, and don’t tell them who you think they cheated with or how many people you think they were involved with. You might have found evidence that they were cheating on you with one person, but actually there may have been a few, so leave it up to them to mention the names.
Don’t go over the evidence yet unless they deny it, and don’t reveal how you found out about everything. Let the wheels turn in their head a little. Most people won’t deny it if it’s true.
Once they know that the jig is up and it’s obvious that you know they cheated, they might immediately start trying to tell you their side of the story. Let them talk if they have to. Don’t interrupt. In fact, they might give you more information than what you gathered, so don’t let on how much you know. Don’t ask any questions at first and don’t reveal any holes in your knowledge until they’re done confessing.
3) Find Out if They’re Still Lying
One of the big reasons that you should withhold how much you know is to determine if they are still lying to you. Don’t give them a chance to make their story match what you already know.
If they confessed or started telling you their excuses, stand there and listen closely before you react. Silently compare the facts of what they are telling you with the evidence that you uncovered yourself. If they don’t match up, then there’s a good chance that they are still lying to you. Obviously, this matters more if the evidence isn’t 100% incriminating and your partner could maybe come up with a good explanation.
For example, let’s say you saw a text message on your boyfriend’s phone from a girl named “Melissa” sent at 12:07 AM and it says, “I forgot my underwear at your house. This wouldn’t have happened if you had let me sleep over!” This kind of evidence is highly suggestive of cheating, obviously, but it still isn’t complete proof. There could be some other explanation, so you might allow your boyfriend to explain himself.
Don’t say anything about how you heard about Melissa, just ask about her. Imply that you know he’s cheating with her. You might say, “So who’s Melissa? Are you seeing her behind my back?”
If he’s dumb, he might respond with, “Who?” If he’s not quite as dumb, he might say something like, “Oh, that’s a woman I know from work. No, no, there’s nothing between us. I don’t know her that well.”
Then you might prod a little more: “Do you ever hang out with her outside of work?”
If he says, “No, never,” then obviously you know that he is definitely lying. She was clearly at his house. This might still not mean he’s cheating for sure, but he’s obviously hiding something, and the chances are high that he indeed has cheated. At this point, you might not even want to waste your time finding out the details.
On the other hand, if he responds with, “Ew, no, Melissa’s my cousin,” and you follow up on his claim and find out that Melissa is indeed his cousin, and that he had a family gathering at his house that night that she sent the text, then that might make some sense. And if, after talking to his family, you find out that Melissa got diarrhea that night, soiled her pants, and had to borrow your boyfriend’s clothes while her own were in the wash, but she forgot them in her haste to get home before it grew too late...then the text would make even more sense.
So let your partner talk, then compare.
4) If You Caught Them in a Lie, Lay it All Out
Once they have told you a few blatant lies, it’s time to turn into Chris Hansen from To Catch a Predator. Lay out all the evidence. Explain to them how what they said couldn’t be true because of X text message that you sent, or because of Y restaurant that you saw them at on Thursday, or because of the calls to Z person that you noticed in their call log.
When confronted with evidence, all but the most stubborn liars will own up to what they did and confess. They might try a few half-hearted excuses, but if what they did was obvious enough, then you will know the truth. Unless they have a stupendously good explanation, break up with them right there. There’s really no sense in wasting your time with someone who is not only a cheater, but who is perfectly fine stringing you along with lies.
5) Don’t Bother Justifying Your Snooping
Yet another good reason why you shouldn’t reveal everything you know or any of your evidence before they have tried to explain themselves is because many cheaters will try to deflect your accusations by accusing you instead! Instead of owning up to their mistake or giving you an explanation, they might act offended and ask you what you were doing spying on them.
It’s not that this isn’t a legitimate concern of theirs—it is. Spying really isn’t the best course of action in most cases. However, once you get to the point where you found evidence that they obviously cheated and were lying to you about it, then your snooping becomes sort of a moot point. How else were you supposed to find out the truth? If they weren’t going to tell you because they were fine with lying, then how long were you going to waste your time in a relationship full of betrayal?
If they start getting angry at your spying, then point this out: When were they going to tell you? Why did it have to come to this? Were they perfectly fine with you just never finding out about what they did? This should shut them up. If it doesn’t, and they keep accusing, then they are just trying to avoid putting the spotlight on themselves and their mistakes.
Break up with them. There’s really nothing to lose at that point.
Finding out that your partner cheated on you definitely sucks, and it can turn your world upside down. You may never be able to look at them the same way again because you trusted them and they lied to your face. As hard as it might be, try to remember that you dodged a bullet in a sense. It could have been a lot worse; you could have spent many more years and decades with them, never having learned the truth.
The Other Party
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Jorge Vamos
Suzie from Carson City on August 01, 2018:
Jorge....."Cheating," for most normal people, results in emotional & relationship turmoil. When trust is broken, it can rarely, if ever be retrieved. The kinds & levels of devastation may vary from person to person, but the bottom line in terms of going forward with the cheating person, is often a senseless hope at best.
I'd have to say my question is very much the same as scorpio's. Why bother to confront your cheating partner? If you have undeniable proof ( and be CERTAIN of this proof) you must face the reality of their deceptive behavior. What you can realistically expect from them is only more deception. Lies, excuses and flimsy explanations will be what you'll get. These reactions can only prove to hurt you further. Don't be a glutton for punishment.
Protect your broken heart, remaining dignity & be courageous. Cut your losses and move on.
We needn't accept this kind of treatment. If love & peace of mind is vital to you (and it IS to most everyone!) understand you'll not realize these gifts from a person who can betray you in this way.
Seems to me, the decision one is left with is fairly obvious to make. Suffer the pain, hard & fast, once & immediately...then begin the healing process, OR, remain where you are and brace yourself for the "next time." Experience dictates, the next time is inevitable.
Believe this. A cheater is a cheater is a cheater. Peace, Paula
dashingscorpio from Chicago on February 19, 2017:
I never understood the purpose of confronting a cheater especially if cheating is a "deal breaker". What's the point in watching them dance?
It must be in part due to one's (ego) that they feel the need to let their cheating mate know they were "smart enough" to find out.
Another ego exercise is having the desire to be "begged for forgiveness". This is especially true if one (wants to stay) with their cheating mate.
However if one plans to "dump" their mate anyway why prolong it?
Unless one has a history of being insecure or paranoid they should trust their instincts. If you're unhappy in a relationship or feel you can no longer trust your mate then it's pretty much over already!
Generally speaking what causes us to suspect our mate of cheating is usually a CHANGE in their behavior towards us. Naturally (we) are NOT happy with the change. Even if we were unable to "prove" they were cheating and the behavior remained odds are at some point we'd walk away. Finding out they're cheating simply gives a "justification" or permission to do so.
Time spent playing private detective is time you could have been using to mentally and emotionally reset.
If you think your mate is cheating assume you're right!
The next thing you have to decide is whether or not it's a "deal breaker".