All men are pigs! Okay, okay… they’re really not. In fact, most of them are wonderful, faithful partners. But when you suspect that your boyfriend or husband is cheating on you, it sure feels like all men are pigs. And even worse, it feels like your head’s going to explode with all the choices you have to make. Do you confront him? Cut and run? Or do you sit quietly in torture, waiting for the moment to explode?
1. Relax. The first thing you should do is… try to relax. Don’t do anything rash. That means put down the phone, stay off of his email account, and take a deep breath. It’s time to do some serious thinking.
2. Evaluate yourself and your relationship. To begin, you have to know how seriously to take your suspicions. First, evaluate yourself objectively– and figure out if this is something that happens often. Are you paranoid or super possessive by nature? Have you believed that boyfriends or husbands were cheating in the past? Also take a look at your relationship. Do things seem fine between you, or are they strained or strange? Does he treat you the same way, or is he acting suspiciously?
3. Decide how far you’re willing to go. Women who think their partners are cheating can do some pretty crazy things. A college friend of mine agonized over a “maybe cheating, maybe not” boyfriend for weeks, driving by his house in the middle of the night to see what he was up to. Other women hire private detectives or call strange numbers on their partners’ cell phones.
If you think he’s cheating and aren’t ready to confront him, there are lots of ways to snoop and find out– but most of them aren’t going to leave you with a lot of dignity. Before giving in and hacking his email or obtaining his phone records (or, worse, hiring a private detective), take a minute to think about how snooping will make you look– and feel. If you want to go all out, do it. But do it cautiously, and try to maintain a bit of your dignity.
4. Get your decisions ready. Before confronting your (possibly) cheating partner, you need to decide what you’re going to do if it turns out he’s cheating. While you should, of course, give the decision a lot of time and thought, you’ll probably already be leaning in one direction or the other: you can either take him back, or you can cut and run. Either way, having a set decision beforehand is one of the best ways to keep the conversation from getting out of hand.
5. Confront him. If you’ve exhausted all of your snooping capabilities (or decided not to snoop– in which case, “good for you!”) you’ve probably come up with one of two options. One, he’s cheating and you’ve discovered it. Or two, you still don’t know. Now it’s time to confront him about your suspicions.
No matter how you do it, this isn’t going to be a fun conversation. If you know that he’s cheating and can prove it, it simplifies things a bit. You’ve already made your decision on what you’re going to do, and all you have to do is tell him. However, if you don’t know yet whether or not he’s cheating, try to keep an open mind. There may be a good explanation for his strange behavior. At the same time, trust yourself: in most cases, if you think he’s cheating, he is. Don’t let him off too easy.