The 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse after the cheating has stopped
As the victim of infidelity, there are questions to ask after an affair and questions not to ask after an affair.
Asking these questions is essential if you are to ever get past the trauma of having been betrayed out of your mind. As well, if you ever find it in your heart to forgive your partner who cheated, you must know what you are forgiving him or her for.
However, you do not need to know every detail. You need to use common sense. If you ask questions such as, “Do you think your outside lover is more beautiful or attractive than I am?” If your partner answers “yes,” you will likely be haunted by his or her answer for the rest of your life. This is an example of a question that you do not need to know the answer to. Another example is asking your partner about the sexual positions they were in when they made love; the answer will cripple your future lovemaking with your partner.
Before you ask infidelity questions, warn your partner who betrayed you to only tell the truth
Tell your partner who betrayed you that since you have been lied to repeatedly over the course of the affair, lies of omission or commission can no longer be tolerated.
Tell your partner there are only two responses he or she can give: 1) Tell the truth and answer the question fully, or 2) Say that he or she doesn’t want to answer a particular question.
The reason the partner who cheated should only answer the questions in one of two ways is to prevent lying. Lying at this point is very damaging. It will undo all the prior effort to heal and recover from the infidelity.
Infidelity is always maintained through lying and concealment. A partner who has cheated can only redeem him or herself if he or she shows remorse, is completely honest, and stops all the deception.
All lies, even ‘white lies’ that are meant to protect you from additional hurt, are damaging. The reason is that should the lie be discovered, it will make no difference whether it is a ‘white lie’ or not. It will simply be interpreted as a lie. You need to rebuild trust, which can only happen when your partner who cheated is honest.
Tell your partner that if a lie is discovered during the infidelity recovery process, all the prior healing work will be undone, and you will be worse off than before since the betrayed partner can’t even tell the truth during the recovery process. You will feel as if there is no hope — and you are right! Trust is essential to a healthy marriage or committed relationship. Trust can only be built when there is ‘honesty.’
For many victims of infidelity, more hurtful than physical contact with the outside person is the deception needed to keep the affair a secret. Being lied to makes the betrayed partner feel that he or she is only an object to be manipulated — not a cherished and valued partner.
Tell your partner who cheated that if he or she chooses not to answer a question, this may not be okay with you. Nonetheless, it is a true statement, and it is preferable to lying. Not wanting to discuss something is at least a true statement.
Nonetheless, tell your partner that the more honest and transparent he or she can be, the quicker and smoother the recovery will be.
You need to be ready for the 'questions to ask after infidelity'
You can only begin the infidelity recovery journey after your partner who betrayed you has completely ended all contact with his or her outside lover.
When your partner cheated, and you found out, you were destroyed. If you talk to your partner prior to his or her ending it with their outside lover, you are setting yourself up to be destroyed again. It’s like somebody who has been shot in the heart, rising from the dead and asking to be shot again. I know this sounds harsh and is a difficult recommendation to follow. You will want to talk or rage about the affair with your partner. However, given the status of your current situation, that the affair is still ongoing, this is the safest way to proceed.
Tell your partner who is betraying you that if the cheating doesn’t stop immediately, the marriage is over, and you will be contacting a divorce lawyer! This is the only thing you should be talking about with your partner who is still betraying you. You can repeat this message for several days and in many different ways until your partner fully understands. However, after a few days, it should be evident that your partner does not want to be married to you and that you should now take appropriate actions to protect yourself, your children, and your assets.
Once you become aware that the affair has ended, to immediately start the ‘questions to ask after infidelity’ can be a mistake. When you are still at the point of ‘shock and disbelief’ having just learned about the affair, you are likely not functioning in a calm and logical fashion. You need to give yourself some time and wait until you are ready, when you are sufficiently calm, to hear the answers to your infidelity questions. At this point, you will likely benefit from the assistance of a caring and competent infidelity recovery specialist. Links are provided below to help you with your research to find the right infidelity professional to guide you threw these turbulent times.
Yes, I know you are desperate to know the details of what happened, and even more importantly, what is NOW happening. However, you probably are so agitated upon learning about the affair that you won’t absorb what you are told by your partner who betrayed you.
Most importantly, don’t make any decisions that will impact your marriage or committed relationship or the future of your children. This is not the time to quit your job, put the home up for sale, or file for divorce. Nor is it a time to neglect yourself and stop eating and sleeping.
Coping with infidelity will take all your strength and concentration, and you don’t want to deplete your efforts by creating an emotional breakdown and distractions.
Surviving infidelity requires careful planning, moving step-by-step through this quagmire.
In fact, before you can even ponder how to move your life forward after the affair, you need to ask 10 essential questions that can establish a baseline to begin putting the pieces together and planning for your future.
After your mind has accepted what has happened and you are somewhat calmer, you can begin preparing the questions to ask your partner after the cheating has completely ended.
You may already know part of the answer to some of the questions. However, it is necessary to ask again and hear the answers directly from your partner. Doing so establishes a baseline, a springboard to request more details later. This will help you in your effort when dealing with the infidelity.
You may even need to ask the same infidelity questions repeatedly without justifying the reason to do so. This is your need, and it is legitimate. Hopefully, your partner who betrayed you will be compassionate and cooperative and repeat the answers as many times as you need to hear them.
10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse
- Who was your paramour, your outside lover?
- How long have you been together?
- Where did you meet?
- Is this person married? Does he or she have children? Does he or she know you are married?
- Was it an emotional fair, or did the two of you have sex? If you had sex, were you protected from sexually transmitted diseases?
- Did you exchange gifts? Have you traveled together?
- Why did you allow yourself to become unfaithful? Why didn’t you realize that you would mess up everyone’s life by committing adultery?
- Why didn’t you stop after the first few encounters?
- Besides myself, who else knows about your affair?
- Has all contact ceased between the two of you? I want to check up on you to make sure you and your outside lover have no contact. Will you allow me to do this?
Try to ask these questions and listen to the answers calmly. Repeat what you hear from your partner to make sure that you got it right.
It may be helpful to take notes as your partner is speaking. Likely during this questioning, you will be emotional and agitated, and you may not fully comprehend what you are hearing. If you take notes, you can review them later to gain a fuller perspective and to evaluate what your next move should be.
These 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse are just the starting point to learn what has happened to you, your marriage, and your family. There are many more infidelity questions to ask, and you should do so. How many infidelity questions to ask depends on how much you need to know and how often you need the answers repeated to make sure there is no deviation that could suggest you are being lied to.
Infidelity recovery is a very personal journey, and no two individuals will be on the same path.
If needed, get help with your 'questions to ask after an affair'
Infidelity recovery is a process. It is not an event. It goes in stages. This first stage is a ‘fact-finding stage.’ Once all the facts are known, they become the starting point for making intelligent decisions — decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life, and if you have children, these decisions will also impact them for the rest of their lives.
Certainly, this is a difficult time for you and your partner. Anger, shame, blame, fear, insecurity, and hopelessness are common feelings. Many couples at this stage find it difficult to talk with one another. There are many questions to ask after an affair has ended. All the questions and answers need to be delivered calmly and respectfully. If you need help communicating, please read my article, 3 Powerful Couples Therapy Exercises.
Often, the assistance of a relationship professional specializing in infidelity is required to help you ‘ask your questions’ and, should you choose to stay together, recover from infidelity. Below are sources where you can find qualified therapists.