Dealing with an extra-marital affair is a traumatic process that often has a long-term effect on the lives of the people involved and their immediate families as well. If you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you, it is absolutely natural and okay for you to feel terribly upset and concerned about it and you must be as well if you are fully invested in the marital relationship.
Coming to terms with reality and deciding on the future course of action now becomes necessary to move on with life. While it is not advisable for you to make any rash, spur of the moment decisions simply based on suspicion or speculation, it is not good to ignore tell-tale signs or your instincts either.
Here’s what you must try to do if you suspect that your spouse is involved in an extra-marital affair.
- Vent Out Your Emotions
The slightest suspicion of your spouse’s infidelity is bound to trigger a combination of emotion and physical reactions that you may not be even able to describe.
Shock, rage, frustration, helplessness, guilt and a myriad of other emotions are quite common. It is not advisable to control these natural reflexes or get overly hysterical either if you can manage. Get the initial shock out of your system, grieve, cry or lash out in anger if you must, but take care not to physically harm or abuse your spouse.
- Get Some Clarity
Once you are over the initial impact, it is time to sit back and understand the gravity of the problem and possible reasons that might have resulted in such a betrayal. If you don’t have any solid pieces of evidence, it may a little too soon to jump to conclusions.
You may want to remain calm and composed until you have enough proof to support your instinct. Confronting your partner simply based your suspicions is likely to alert him/her in case they are indeed guilty of cheating.
- Confide In Trustworthy Friends / Family Members
You may want to discuss your feelings with your best friends or siblings to confirm your suspicions. Are you right in suspecting your spouse? Are you over-reacting to a specific event? Feel free to sort out your thoughts but strictly with just a few trustworthy confidantes. More the people you confide in, more the suggestions that you will receive, making it difficult to deal with the situation.
- Watch For Subtle Hints
The least you can do is to watch out for repetitive subtle hints that confirm your suspicion. Behavior changes, hidden receipts, frequent phone calls, locked phone/laptop, and long hours at work / outside home are typical but aren’t concrete proofs. Feel free to ask for an explanation and if the pattern persists you might want to get it investigated by a professional detective.
- Hire A Private Investigator
Private investigation (PI) services are now available in different parts of the country. Simply locate a reputed service provider and hire a professional private detective to check if your spouse is really involved in an extra-marital affair.
While you can always try to follow your spouse and keep a tab on their activities by yourself or take the help of a trusted friend or family member to gather evidence, the process definitely will be exhausting and probably not very discreet. There is always a possibility of being caught spying, or even catching your spouse red-handed but both these situations are bound to be embarrassing.
A qualified and experienced private detective goes about gathering proof without even getting noticed. Detectives also know what evidence is applicable in a court of law if at all you choose to end your marriage. While you may have availed PI services to simply confirm your misgivings, relevant evidence must be available to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that your spouse is guilty of cheating in case you choose to apply for a divorce.
- Consider Your Options
While infidelity and extra-marital affairs are in no way justifiable, select cases could just be a temporary or one-time affair – under the influence of alcohol, misunderstanding or marital discord that some couples willingly resolve and tide over.
If you are having children you may want to sort things out more amicably, without filing for a divorce.
You could request for a judicial separation, move out of the home and reside separately to think clearly and decide on what is best for you and your children (if any). You may choose to spend time away from each other even without legal intervention to figure out what works best.
It is your life and if you trust and love your spouse enough to forgive him or her and get on with life, you are free to do so.
- Consult A Lawyer
An experienced divorce attorney or lawyer specializing in Family Law will be able to guide you on the legal course of action that is possible in such a situation. Your detective agency or private investigator itself can advise you on the legal matters and also recommend a legal expert if you wish to avail legal help.
If you choose to end your marriage, get your attorney to file for divorce and furnish all the evidence gathered by the private investigator.
You may however still need the PI to gather details about the net financial worth of your spouse in order to claim a fair share of the property /wealth and alimony as a part of the divorce process.
An Extra-marital affair is a breach of trust that may not be fully healed, irrespective of whether you opt for a divorce or to stay married. It is important that you make your decision after considering all the available options and their long-term impact.