I Cheated On My Spouse And Had An Affair. What Types Of Questions Should I Expect? How Should I Answer?

Sometimes I hear from spouses (usually men) who are getting ready to come clean after they’ve cheated or had an affair. For whatever reason, they have decided to tell their spouse. Sometimes, the guilt is too much to bear. Other times, they know that admitting the infidelity to their spouse might help them to save their marriage. In some instances, someone else knows about the affair and has threatened to tell their spouse if they don’t do it first.

Many times, these spouses are asking what types of questions they can expect because they want to have the answers in their own mind so they aren’t making things up as they go along. I recently heard from a husband who vowed that he was going to tell his wife everything on the upcoming weekend.

He said in part: “I’m going to tell her about the cheating because I believe if I’m the one who tells her, she’s going to be more likely to hear me out so that the fall out won’t be quite as bad. But, what types of questions should I expect? What is she going to want to know and how much should I tell her?”

I will try my best to answer these questions in the following article. I was the spouse who was cheated on, so I generally see things from that perspective. But I do dialog with a lot of people on the other side of the equation so I will try to give some balanced insight for people who truly want to do right by their spouse.

Expect Questions Along The Themes Of Why, How, And Who, Like:

1. Why did you cheat on me? How could you do this?;

2. What were you thinking?;

3. Who was this person you were cheating on me with? What did you see in them?; and

4. How did you get away with this? How did I not know?

Without a doubt, the first question that typically will pop up is “why?” They are going to want to know why you would cheat on and betray them. You have to expect this. Now, how strongly this all comes out usually depends upon whether they expected this or not (or if they had their own suspicions.) But even if they knew, they will still have plenty of questions and likely some outrage (and rightly so.)

They are also likely to ask about your thought process and what you were thinking. They want to know what types of thoughts could cause you to act this way and why you didn’t share these thoughts before you acted on them. One reason that this is very important to them is they’re trying to gauge whether the relationship is salvageable and what you are thinking right now in comparison to what you were thinking then.

They will also want to know who you cheated with. They want to know who else betrayed them and whether this was any one they know. They are also going to want to know what this other person looked like, how old they were, and just what you saw in this person that made you willing to cheat. (This does mean you should explain the other person’s physical attributes in glowing terms. Your spouse really doesn’t want to know how attractive you think the other person was.)

They also often want to know how you were able to pull this off. Because this information will help them to watch you more closely from now on. For example, if you cheated after work, then it’s a fair bet there’s going to be a very prompt request for you to change that and come straight home.

Finally, they will often want to know who else knows about the cheating. They are trying to determine who has kept your secrets and helped you carry this out. They want to know if you and the other person were the only ones who betrayed them or if there were more people involved.

Expect Questions That Ask About Your Feelings, Like:

1. How do you feel about me today?

2. How did you feel about me when you cheated?;

3. How did you feel about the other person? Did you love them? Do you miss them now? Do you want to see them again?; and

4. How do you feel about what happens next?

Sometimes after everything comes pouring out, the spouse who was cheated on will want nothing to do with you and they won’t care how you feel or who your feelings today are directed toward.

Usually though, once some time has passed, they’ll wonder how you feel about them right now, especially if those same feelings prompted you to tell the truth. This is particularly true if the two of you decide to save your marriage. Keep in mind that they are looking for your reassurance.

They are looking for you to say that although you made a mistake, your feelings for them didn’t really change. They are looking for you to say that you love them enough to make a go of it right now. They also want you to express words that let them know that you still find them attractive, that you still want them, and that you still value them.

I’m not saying that you should express these things if they aren’t true. (I doubt you would be reading this article if they weren’t.) But I am telling you that this is often what they are looking for even if their words, facial expressions, and behaviors aren’t necessarily saying this. Everyone wants to be validated. However it’s a good idea to respect their wishes if they tell you to back off.

Expect Questions Along The Lines Of What Happens Now, Like:

1. What is your plan now?;

2. How do you intend to show me I can trust you again?; and

3. How do you plan to prove that you and the marriage are rehabilitated? Are you willing to work tirelessly to make this right?

This is where many people make their biggest mistake. They will have very good intentions toward telling their spouse the truth. But, when they see their spouse’s reaction, they take this to mean that the spouse doesn’t want much from them at that point, so they back off. And then they wait.

They wait for their spouse to spell things out. Meanwhile, the spouse who was cheated on thinks the cheating spouse doesn’t care enough to come up with a plan going forward. Before you break this news, you need to know in your own mind what sort of recovery plan you intend to offer them. This can make a big difference as to how they react in the long term.

If you’re willing to get help or go to counseling, now would be the time to tell them that. If you intend to come straight home every day after work and include them in all of your activities so that they have no reason to worry, say that to. If you’re going to make them and your marriage your number one priority, that’s something you’ll want to say.

Expect That They’ll Want To Know Every Single Detail About The Cheating, Like:

1. How many times did you betray me?;

2. What did you do with the other person?;

3. Did you use protection?; and

4. Was the sex or relationship better than what you share with me?

People who have been cheated on often want to know everything. They want to know where you went and what you did. They want to know precisely how many times you betrayed them sexually (and exactly how you did it.) They might even ask if sex was better with the other person.

You have to be very careful how you respond. Your spouse does deserve answers and you should do your best to be honest to the extent that your answers allows your spouse to retain their self esteem and dignity. And they have the right to know if you used protection. But, on a personal level, you don’t want to tell your spouse that anything about the other person was better than anything about them.

You don’t want to allude to being happier or more excited while cheating. You want to paint this as a very big mistake that won’t happen again – which is why you’re talking about it and being open and honest right now.

I probably had a novel full of questions after my husband’s affair. He answered as best he could but after a while it became clear that I was obsessing over the details and this wasn’t helping. This was one thing we had to work through, and we eventually did. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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