If I were to rank the most unpleasant experiences, having to confront the person you love about something you never thought they’d do would definitely make the list.
The heartbreak and negative thoughts—where do we go from here?
You recently confirmed your suspicions: your partner is cheating on you, and naturally, you want to confront them.
All that’s left is to think about how you’re going to do that!
If you’re stuck thinking about how you’re going to confront a cheater, let me share with you 18 tips that’ll help you get through it.
1. Being cheated on is heartbreaking, so take some time to calm down.
Finding out that a partner you trusted has been cheating isn’t exactly something you welcome with your arms open.
It’s shocking, and then infuriating—whatever negative feeling you associate it with is justified.
Before we take any further steps, though, I want you to take a deep breath and try to calm down.
Drink a glass of water, sit down, and think about what it is that you can do right now to help relax you even a little bit.
Is it being alone, or calling a friend/relative you can trust?
Do whatever that helps; if you’re thinking of confronting your cheating partner, being in a calm state will greatly help!
2. Don’t rush!
If you’re anything like me, then the last thing you want to do is wait until berating the cheater for their despicable actions.
But I assure you, waiting is for the best—let me tell you why:
To begin with, we have no idea how we’re going to deal with this situation; we didn’t even give ourselves time to process our emotions.
Not only that, but we have yet to think about our plans for the future and relationship (trust me, knowing this is very important)!
Don’t immediately confront the cheater—wait until you feel ready and have the confrontation all planned out.
3. Get solid evidence so that they won’t be able to turn the situation around.
You might be thinking, “Why do I need proof? I already know for a fact they’re cheating.”, and I see where you’re coming from!
Proof is important, and let me show you how!
For starters, you know he’s cheating, but not other people; not having proof but accusing your partner of infidelity won’t look too good.
The people in your lives (family, friends, acquaintances) most likely won’t believe you right off the bat—to them, it’ll look like a “he said, she said” situation.
If you two are married and thinking of divorce, then having no proof will be an advantage on the cheater’s part.
Furthermore, confronting them without it will give them more time to destroy all the evidence.
Not having any proof allows your partner to turn the tables around and gaslight you into thinking you’re overreacting!
To prevent all of this from happening, make sure to gather all the evidence you need: pictures, messages, and anything that can be used against the cheater.
4. Think about the future of your relationship—is there any?
Think about what you’re hoping to gain from the confrontation!
Do you want the relationship to end indefinitely? Or is it worth trying to make things work even though nothing is guaranteed?
We need to answer the important questions: “How do I want this to end?”.
This is also one of the reasons why I don’t recommend confronting the cheater as soon as we find out about their actions!
We need a proper amount of time to think and make a decision regarding the future of a relationship—knowing this will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.
5. Take the time to be 100% sure that your partner is cheating!
I always suggest knowing for a fact that something has happened!
If you’re not too sure whether they’re cheating, take the time to confirm what you think and know is true.
Confirm that your evidence is legit and comes from a reliable source—especially if that “source” is another person!
You’d be surprised just how many people pray for others’ downfall, so it’s still possible for them to have lied to you out of spite.
If you end up accusing your partner while still being uncertain, they will possibly take offense at such accusations.
If they’re innocent, the relationship could get damaged irreparably.
6. Pick an adequate time/place and tell your partner you want to meet up!
The last step before the actual confrontation is picking the right place and time.
Tell your cheating partner that you want to meet up with them at a certain time and place to discuss something!
And if you want my advice regarding this, I would avoid mentioning what you want to talk about (their cheating).
They might keep away from getting themselves into the uncomfortable position of being confronted about something wrong they did!
Simply tell them you want to go on a date as usual; pick a place where you two have some privacy and a time when both of you are available.
7. Finally, confront them about what they’ve done.
Now we’ve gotten to the most important time of the confrontation, which is, of course, confronting the cheater!
After meeting up with him/her, reveal why you actually wanted to meet up.
Tell them that you know about everything they’ve done and encourage them to talk.
Be honest about how their unfaithfulness has made you feel; don’t let your thoughts and feelings go unspoken.
They did something hurtful that will ultimately change your relationship, and they deserve to be confronted about it.
Remain calm and as objective as possible—even though it’s going to be difficult.
And, just as a safety measure, have a friend or relative present.
8. When confronting them, being as calm as possible will benefit you!
Being calm while confronting a cheater is really difficult—they did something unforgivable, so why should you treat them kindly?
I 100% agree with that thinking, however…it’s the only way to make the conversation as fruitful as possible.
For instance, insulting the cheater and yelling at them will make them reluctant to open up and give you the details about what they’ve done.
This means that you won’t be able to get your closure, or you will, but it won’t be the type you’ll be satisfied with.
Aside from closure, being hostile will make the cheater act hostile in return; all in all, being calm and objective is the only solution.
9. If they don’t admit it, show the cheater the evidence.
The only reason why it’s best to wait before showing the cheater the evidence is because they’re given the opportunity to confess first.
They have the opportunity to be the bigger person and apologize while having at least a little bit of dignity left!
If your cheating partner insists on having not cheated (even though you know for a fact they have) show them the evidence.
This way, they have nowhere left to run—the proof is right there so they won’t be able to lie or manipulate you and/or other people.
10. Hear what the cheater has to say!
And not for their sake, but yours.
Sooner or later while confronting the cheater, you’re going to have to hear them out.
Even though I do not guarantee they’re telling the truth and not trying to simply preserve their honor, hearing what the cheater has to say will help you get your closure.
He or she might tell you the necessary details, reasons, and thoughts on the relationship.
And even if the cheater doesn’t admit they cheated, lies, or acts childish, that in itself is closure: you now know what type of person they are!
11. If it’ll help your healing, ask them the right questions.
And only the right ones!
For example, you can ask the cheater why they did it in the first place: were they mindlessly trying to fulfill their sexual needs, or was it something deeper?
Are they in love with their affair partner? How long has this been going on?
These are only some examples, what you decide to ask is completely up to you—whatever question you think will help you.
12. Do not let the cheater manipulate/lie to you—they will attempt.
We all know this, but cheaters lie—a lot.
All they’ve done up to this point is lie, so what makes us think they’ll be telling the truth when they’re confronted?
In this case, your cheating partner will lie about what they did, how it happened, and how often it happened.
The cheater may even try to manipulate you by somehow making it seem like it’s YOUR fault they cheated.
They might also try to get you to feel bad for them or even gaslight you into thinking they never cheated.
13. Don’t be surprised by whatever their reaction is!
If there’s one thing this situation teaches us is to never be surprised by what people are capable of.
Cheaters normally react strongly to being confronted.
They might lie, try to shift the blame, insist you stay together, or anything in between.
Sadly, no reaction at all is quite common as well; some people who cheat do so because they don’t care for their partner at all.
Be prepared for any situation—I would like to repeat my advice of having another person nearby as it’s also possible the cheater will get dangerous.
14. When the two of you are done talking, inform the cheater of your decision.
And tell them their choices.
Inform your partner what your decision about the two of you is—whether you will break up or not.
If you already made up your mind about breaking up with them, then good! Don’t let the cheater change your mind.
However, if you want to give them another chance, lay out the ground rules: talk about what your partner needs to do in order to gain your trust back.
Let the cheater know that if they want to be forgiven, they have to change their ways and respect your boundaries.
One more strike and they’re out!
15. Don’t minimize their actions—they made a huge mistake.
Well, it’s not quite a mistake if they did something wrong while being fully aware of the consequences, but you know what I mean.
If you’re thinking of somehow excusing their actions or cutting them some slack, please stop that.
I think that empathy is a generally good trait, however, using it in this situation isn’t fair for you and it will only make the cheater not regret their actions.
You might get the occasional feeling you’re being too harsh by bringing up something bad THEY did, but pay no attention to it.
I do recommend being calm, but not forgiving.
Don’t make it seem as if what your partner did is no biggie—it is and they should know that not everyone will put up with their immaturity.
16. Dump them and don’t look back!
Don’t sugarcoat your decision to let them go: tell them straight-up you won’t tolerate such disrespect.
Do not let the cheater change your mind if you’re already set on ending the relationship—after all, you have every right to.
It’s their fault for ruining the relationship, and they should’ve seen this coming!
I wish letting go of someone is this easy, but it’s not; it’s going to take a while to heal.
To prevent getting tempted to contact the cheater (as well as to stop them from talking to you), consider blocking their social media and phone number.
17. During this whole ordeal, know that it’s not your duty to teach your partner what’s right and wrong.
They should’ve known better—it doesn’t take a genius to know that cheating is wrong.
Their cheating is their problem and has nothing to do with you, so don’t think it’s your fault.
Maybe your partner is a narcissist, or too emotionally immature to maintain a genuine relationship.
Maybe they have commitment issues—whatever pushed them to do what they did, keep in mind it’s not your obligation to educate them.
They know what cheating is, what they were doing, and how it would impact you, yet they still went ahead with it.
If and when you decide to confront your partner about their cheating, don’t let them convince you it’s your fault.
18. If you feel conflicted about your initial decision, take some time away from each other.
Maybe the discussion you have with your partner ends up making you feel conflicted about your initial decision to break up with them.
Don’t worry, that’s normal!
Maybe your partner’s actions weren’t as “severe” as you were led to believe, or maybe it’s something that happened a long time ago.
If your conversation ultimately made you unsure about something, suggest taking some time off from each other.
Create some distance between the two of you and think about what you want to do.
You can even confide in family and friends; they will give you valuable advice!
Take as much time as you need to think about your decision.
– Should I contact the person my partner is cheating with?
It depends on what your goal is!
If you believe that contacting them will help you get closer to getting your closure, then do reach out.
However, do not insult them or berate them for what happened—this will make them less cooperative.
Your partner’s affair partner may have not known they’re in a relationship, but it’s also possible they did.
Reaching out to them could end up making you feel worse—they might belittle you or even lie about what happened.
So, unless the affair partner is not on your partner’s side, talking to them will be futile.
Before confronting the cheater, have a plan in mind first!
I believe that confronting a cheater is the right thing to do in this situation, however, it should be done with a plan!
Think about what you need to do to make the discussion as fruitful as possible—remember, you need to have your best interest in mind.
Come up with an agenda, and tell a trusted person your plan.
And I know this is my third time mentioning this, but I really do suggest having someone with you while you confront your partner.
After coming up with the perfect plan, you will be ready to confront the cheater!