7 Steps to Confront Your Husband Without Escalating Conflict

What every person in a relationship dreads has already happened: getting betrayed by the one person you trusted.

But finding out isn’t even the worst part—the worst part is what comes after, the confrontation

Confronting a cheater is the hardest thing, particularly if you don’t want to lose him; for this very reason, knowing the correct way to do it is vital.

The rehearsal, the actual confrontation, and the aftermath—this is the right way to confront your spouse about his online cheating:

What you need to do before confronting your husband:

There are a couple of things that need prepping before the actual confrontation.

  • Getting ready the evidence, mentally preparing yourself, setting the agenda.

Let’s take them all one by one.

Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts.

Vivna explains that staying calm in stressful situations has benefits as it boosts brain activity—very little can be done in a pent-up state.

  • You’re likely shaken up from finding out that he has cheated, so take a moment to calm down.

Don’t be rash by lashing out at your husband because later you might regret not being able to properly discuss this with him.

Get a glass of water, talk to someone, and start collecting your thoughts; do whatever you do that helps in overwhelming situations

Set the agenda: plan how the confrontation will go.

One of the most crucial mistakes people make before confronting a cheater is jumping right in without a plan—avoid this.

Come up with a plan for how the discussion will go (e.g. first get your thoughts in order, notify him that you want to have a talk, and let the confrontation flow).

Think of an adequate time and place (pick a time you’re both available and a place that has minimal distractions, such as your house).

By the way, make sure you have solid evidence.

Whether you found their profile with Swindlerbuster or other methods, you have to have proof before confronting him.

I’m talking about the type of evidence he can’t weasel his way out of (screenshots of his texts, sexual images, or dating profiles.)

  • The evidence has to not be vague or insufficient.

No matter how nagging that gut feeling is, unless our evidence is indicative, a cheating partner will be able to spin it around.

Talk about your husband’s online affair with the people you love/trust.

Talk about your husband’s online affair with the people you love trust

In cases like these, I confide my thoughts and feelings to good friends and family—people I trust who have my best interest in mind.

Feel free to do the same thing! Vent to them, ask for advice, or simply have them stay close to you during this chaos.

  • Talking to people helps relieve stress and gain a clearer understanding of the crisis; they help chase away negative thoughts.

Ask yourself: “How do I want this to end?”

Do you want to be able to work things out, or is the damage he caused irreversible?

This is exactly why I don’t recommend rushing into stuff; going in without expectations means being unprepared.

It’s the equivalent of starting a journey without a destination in mind.

Have some alone time to think if you’d want to make your marriage work or not so that you feel more comfortable and confident in every step you take.

Before getting into it, know that you’re worthy of love, not disrespect.

I’m aware that situations like these tend to take a pretty heavy blow at one’s self-esteem—I’ve been there and done that.

Keep in mind, though, that you’re worth it and you should act that way.

Thinking thoughts like, “What did she have that I don’t?” need to be stopped immediately as they’ll only make everything more difficult.

The fact that he screwed up has nothing to do with you—that’s his problem.

– More or less, this is the pre-confrontation preparations—let’s get into the toughest part, which is having the big talk.

1. Be calm while you confront him—no yelling or insults.

Be calm while you confront him—no yelling or insults.

After taking your time to process everything that’s happened and how you’re going to deal with it, it’s time to bring his affair up for discussion.

As we all know, the talk is what’s going to change the whole relationship, so I recommend talking calmly no matter his reaction.

  • If you want the marriage to work, the last thing you want to do after catching a husband online cheating is behave offensively.

Instead, bring the topic up in a calmer way; avoid harshly accusing or cussing him (be understanding whenever he starts opening up).

By acting more maturely, the chances of him becoming defensive will greatly decrease, and it will open the gateway to a meaningful conversation.

2. Show him all the proof you have: don’t give him space to lie.

If you gave him the chance to admit it, yet he didn’t, it’s time to bring up all the proof.

I’m talking about:

  • Screenshots;
  • Call logs;
  • Text messages;
  • Pictures, and all of the things that help your case.

If he chooses to continue his lie despite the evidence, take it as a sign of his immaturity and wonder if he’s worth all the trouble.

Normally, when a cheater gets shown proof, they start admitting everything; this paves the way for an honest, forthright conversation that will help your marriage.

3. Don’t let him turn the tables on you during the confrontation.

You may not want to lose your husband, but you also don’t want to let him get away with it—the perfect solution? Stand your ground.

  • Don’t let him victimize himself and make you the culprit here.

Stop him in his tracks as soon as he starts blaming you for “neglecting” his needs or for somehow pushing him to cheat.

Don’t let him tell you that sexting or dating apps aren’t considered cheating since they’re only online (he might attempt this).

No need to lose your cool, only redirect the conversation to his evil doings and be pacific so as to show your spouse you’re willing to work things out. 

4. Tell him how his actions have made you feel.

If you’re the kind of person who gets closure from speaking their mind, then by all means—go ahead.

Learning about your perspective may help him regret having done what he did and swear off any forms of micro-cheating once and for all.

Don’t let him sweet-talk you by demeaning other people or by telling you that he loves you still—cheating isn’t a mistake, but a choice.

Try saying something like, “My world came crashing down when I found out you had been [online cheating]. I have poured everything into this family and even now I still love you and want to fix this marriage. But to do that, I need partnership.”

5. Ask only the necessary questions.

Ask only the necessary questions.

There’s no need to dig deeper into his sexual interactions—they will only add to your trauma.

Ask him questions that help the situation, such as: “When did this start?”, “Why did you do this?”, and “Were there others?”

This will push your husband to reveal more of the truth and it may even help you assess whether the marriage is worth saving or not.

Otherwise, trust me: the last thing you need is the mental image of your partner sexting with a stranger online.

6. It’s hard, but listen to what he has to say about his online infidelity.

As difficult as it may be, try giving your husband space to explain himself so that he knows you’re understanding and there for him.

Though I doubt he has anything but lies, on the off-chance that he does tell the truth, you’ll find your closure there.

  • Allow your husband to answer your questions one by one without interrupting him and bombarding him with questions.

Let the conversation flow naturally and take turns.

Let him communicate his feelings/opinions in regards to what pushed him to online cheat—as he talks, remain your calm, supportive self.

7. Inform your husband of your decision to forgive him.

If your intention is to forgive him, let him know that you’re willing to do it but only if he promises to change his ways (e.g. stop talking to people indecently).

  • The reason why I’ve been recommending a peaceful approach is to prevent him from storming out, presumably out of shame).

But only do this if he admits and is willing to make an effort for the marriage; converse until you reach a mutual agreement about things.

Show him how serious and determined you are about his respecting your wishes and boundaries; imply—not rudely—how he won’t have a lot of chances.

My husband cheated online—now what? Dealing with online cheating.

Now that the band-aid has been ripped, it’s all about healing the wound, but, how exactly can we do that?

What steps can be taken towards that journey, or even the mending of the marriage?

I always suggest putting yourself and your children first—if someone is okay with hurting you, they don’t deserve your precious time.

– Don’t punish your husband for cheating.

If you’ve been thinking of getting back at him (by revenge cheating, for example), then I suggest you don’t go through with it.

As GoodTherapy states: punishing your spouse will create an obstacle for you and him as it only leads to bitterness and a slow healing process.

Get through these tough times together with your husband by communicating and being there for each other in times of need.

– Confide with friends or family about the matter.

Seek comfort in the people who have been there for you since day 1 and want to see you well and do well.

Don’t be shy to ask for their point of view or simply have them lift your spirits up when you need to escape.

Being alone doesn’t benefit everybody so don’t purposely isolate yourself from loved ones by ignoring them or locking yourself in.

– Learn to trust each other by setting reasonable boundaries.

If he wants another chance, and you’re thinking of giving him it, go all out by setting boundaries that help remedy your marriage. 

He cheated using his phone, and that’s exactly what he needs to fix.

  • You could—and this is only an example—introduce the habit of checking each other’s phone periodically or make a “no-flirting-with-others” rule.

It may sound excessive, however, if both of you want to make the marriage work, boundaries need to be respected.

Because of the nature of his actions, it comes as no surprise that he’s lost a big chunk of your trust and needs to put in work to get it back.

– Mending the marriage: consider trying out couples therapy.

Mending the marriage consider trying out couples therapy.

If the two of you are thinking of doing everything in terms of rebuilding the marriage, consider trying out marriage counseling!

According to research, couples therapy positively impacts 70% of the couples who try it and it even helps treat certain disorders.

It’s effective and helpful, specifically in tackling infidelity issues.

What your spouse did is serious—do your research on an effective, respected couples therapist and attend sessions regularly.

– Or, if you’ve decided the opposite, divorce him.

Of course, not everybody is okay with forgiving and forgetting—rightfully so.

If you’ve decided that the marriage can no longer be saved and being together with him is more tiring than fulfilling, then it’s time to let go.

Contact your lawyer and lay out all the facts and evidence regarding his unfaithfulness.

Silently divorce him—don’t make a fuss or act in any way that gives him and his party something to hold against you.

Should I confront my husband about his online cheating? The final verdict.

The answer is 100% yes; do confront your husband about his infidelity.

But only do so if you have concrete proof for the sake of legal issues and avoidance of misunderstandings.

Don’t allow yourself to repeatedly get disrespected and hurt; the confrontation is going to be hard, but it’s a must.

Physical or virtual, it doesn’t matter—cheating is cheating and shouldn’t be tolerated.

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