You Just Discovered Marital Infidelity
Discovering infidelity in a relationship is a painful and sensitive matter. Cheating spouses are a common feature of divorce law, indeed an everyday occurrence for a family lawyer. If your spouse cheats, you need to contact a divorce lawyer, it’s that simple.
As local divorce lawyers, we wanted to provide a blog post to address concerns about a cheating spouse – it could, of course, be a wife or a husband.
First off, it's essential to approach this type of situation with care, respect, and a commitment to open communication. Here are some steps to consider:
- Self-reflect: Before taking any action, reflect on your feelings, doubts, and concerns. Make sure you're not jumping to conclusions based solely on suspicion. Although in our experience if you are suspicious, your spouse is likely having an affair, maybe multiple affairs.
- Communication: Try to talk openly with your spouse. Express your concerns and feelings honestly but avoid accusations or confrontation. Encourage them to share their perspective as well. Sometimes a spouse will admit infidelity; they may even be proud of it.
- Trust your instincts: While it's important not to jump to conclusions, trust your instincts and pay attention to any red flags or changes in your spouse's behavior, such as increased secrecy, distant attitude, increased social media usage, or unexplained absences.
- Gather evidence: If you're still concerned and want to gather evidence, it's crucial to do so legally and ethically. You don’t want to violate Georgia law. Be aware that some forms of evidence collection may be illegal.
a. Monitor communication: Monitor your own feelings and look for patterns in your spouse's behavior. Be cautious about invading their privacy, such as hacking into their email or social media accounts, as this may be illegal and can harm your relationship if it turns out they are not cheating.
b. Private investigator: If you have substantial reasons to believe your spouse is cheating, consider hiring a licensed private investigator to gather evidence discreetly.
- Support system: Reach out to friends and family for emotional support during this difficult time. You probably feel horrible that your husband or wife is having sex with another person. Your support system can provide a listening ear and advice to help you navigate the situation.
Remember, you are probably not thinking clearly and objectively because you are imagining your husband or wife engaged in sex acts with another person, so a support system can be important.
- Decide on a course of action: Depending on your findings and discussions, you may need to make decisions about the future of your relationship. This could include working on rebuilding trust, separation, or divorce. Remember that each situation is unique.
- Self-care: Regardless of the outcome, it's essential to take care of your emotional and physical well-being. Seek therapy or counseling to help you cope with the emotional distress that often accompanies affairs.
- Legal advice: If your relationship progresses to separation or divorce, consult with a local family law attorney to understand your legal rights and options.
The Consequences of a Cheating Spouse – Emotional Damage
Discovering that your husband or wife has been cheating on you can result in profound emotional damage and trauma. Maybe you caught your wife in bed with another man, maybe you discovered a condom, and you don’t use condoms, perhaps you saw nude pictures of your husband he sent to his mistress, or a video of your wife engaged in various sex acts with a trusted neighbor, maybe you found garments stained with semen. Maybe your husband admitted to you he is bisexual and has been having a relationship with a man at work, who is also married; or your wife came to you, crying and distraught, and said her boyfriend posted a video of them having sex on an internet porn website, and then she admits that she finds in “exhilarating and fun,” and instead of an apology she begs you for a “threesome.”
The impact varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the length of the relationship, the nature of the infidelity, and the individual's emotional resilience.
But even the most resilient person would likely have issues seeing his or her spouse engaged in sexual activity like oral sex, anal sex, or just intercourse, with someone else. Here are some common emotional consequences of dealing with a cheating spouse:
- Betrayal and Trust Issues:
- The discovery of infidelity often leads to a profound sense of betrayal. Trust in the cheating spouse is shattered, and this betrayal can extend to trust issues in future relationships.
- Emotional Pain and Grief:
- Many people experience intense emotional pain, akin to grief. The end of trust and the loss of the idealized version of the relationship can be deeply painful.
- Anger and Resentment:
- Feelings of anger and resentment toward the cheating spouse are common. These emotions can be directed at the spouse for their actions or at oneself for not recognizing the signs earlier.
- Low Self-Esteem:
- Discovering infidelity can significantly impact one's self-esteem. Individuals may wonder what they did wrong or why they weren't enough to keep their spouse faithful.
- Anxiety and Depression:
- Anxiety and depression often follow the discovery of infidelity. The emotional toll can lead to sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and other symptoms associated with these conditions.
- Loss of Identity:
- A cheating spouse can cause a person to question their identity and worth, especially if their self-esteem was tied to the relationship.
- Difficulty Trusting Others:
- Trust issues can extend beyond just the cheating spouse. It may become challenging to trust new people or even close friends and family.
- Some individuals withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves due to feelings of shame or embarrassment.
- Insecurity About Future Relationships:
- Fear of being hurt again may lead to insecurity about future relationships, making it difficult to open up to new partners.
- Complex Emotions for the Cheating Spouse:
- If the relationship continues, the injured party may experience complicated emotions, including jealousy, suspicion, and difficulty forgiving and rebuilding trust.
It's crucial to approach this situation with sensitivity and respect for both your own and your spouse's emotions and well-being. Keep in mind that trust and open communication are essential in any relationship, and when lost, the relationship usually falls apart and the bickering begins. When you need a local divorce lawyer, call us immediately for a free case evaluation!