top of page
  • Writer's pictureLauren

3 Things Not to Do When You Discover Your Spouse's Affair

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

"D-Day" happened.... Discovery Day, that is. Your worst suspicions are true. Your husband/wife/partner has been seeing someone else or cheated. Chances are you're in shock but oddly relieved to know the truth. Your emotions are like a wild rollercoaster.

In the moments and days after affair discovery, there are a few key things NOT to do. What happens to your marriage isn't going to be clear yet. But you're bound to have some major reactions. Read on to avoid common mistakes. you might make after you find out your spouse has been unfaithful.

  1. Don't resort to violence: Intimate partner violence is a common result of affair discovery. The anger, hurt, and pain feels like too much to bear. But physically taking your feelings out on your spouse is a reaction to avoid at all costs. Not only do you risk harming one another, but you'll damage your relationship further, and potentially cause worse problems legally and personally. Your rage is overflowing, so punch a pillow or make haste to a boxing class, but do not lay your hands (or legs, or household items) on your spouse. A client of mine, *Minnie* from Hingham, Mass., got into a brief physical skirmish with her husband when he tried to wrestle a piece of affair evidence out of her hands. When she later reported the incident to the police she learned that she and her husband would BOTH be charged with assault. Needless to say, my client freaked out. On top of her marriage disaster, she now had a mess to clean up with local authorities that had the potential to end up on their record. Don't get physical.

  2. Don't show your spouse everything you've found: Just take a breather and hang on to your evidence. Before you confront, make sure you're certain. Also, if you tell your spouse everything you know, he or she may just conceal things further. It's not your job to play detective, but it may benefit you to take your time and simply watch and wait after you've become aware that your suspicions are confirmed. Also, what do you need to do to make sure you'll be okay when shit hits the fan? Are your finances secure? Passwords locked down? Do you have a place to go if you need to? These are just a few common considerations. I've met with enough spouses who immediately confronted about the affair and wished they hadn't. They let the cat out of the bag and started a marital world-war before they were truly ready to deal with the fall-out of the discovery.

  3. Don't contact the affair partner or the affair partner's spouse: You want to go on the attack and confront the person your husband or wife has been seeing! And, if that person is married, you may also want to blow up their marriage just like yours! Phewwwww. Rage is blinding. Again, hang in there and don't do anything rash. You won't achieve anything good if you reach out. All you'll succeed in doing is looking like the crazy scorned person who is lashing out. (Yes, you are wildly hurt and no you are not insane, so let's keep you looking as good and clean in this situation as possible). Right now you're not using your judgment, you're just on a war path. I'd recommend you focus on yourself and the immediate issue of your own marriage. Stay away from communication or contact with the affair partner and anyone close to them.

Right now you're blown away by this often-times very traumatic discovery. Finding out that your husband or wife has stepped out of your marriage is a huge deal. Hang tight, ensure you've got a good therapist who knows how to work with matters of infidelity, and carefully consider what you need to do to take care of yourself. What's important to know is that right now, less is more. The less you react and the less you act, the less damage you contribute to an already destructive situation. By avoiding these very common pitfalls of the post-discovery period, you'll likely save yourself much more grief and you may even help yourself down the road.

Lauren provides boots-on-the-ground lived experience combined with invaluable professional expertise working with infidelity. She is committed to helping individuals and couples deal with and heal from marital affairs in a highly effective, yet warm and judgment-free style.

Lauren's articles help share much-needed information, and reduce the stigma and shame around the common experience of infidelity. Contact Lauren at to learn more about working together.

Lauren, Affair Specialist

37 views0 comments
bottom of page