Telling Your Spouse about an Affair

Posted by Dr. Tammy Nelson, PHD, CST, CSCT, LPC, LADC on November 4, 2020 at 6:00 AM
Dr. Tammy Nelson, PHD, CST, CSCT, LPC, LADC
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2 minute read

Having an Affair

When revealing infidelity to your partner, it is essential to handle the conversation with compassion.

What you are about to tell them will undoubtedly be hurtful.

You will need to show empathy and kindness when you tell your spouse about your affair

The following is an exercise to help you prepare to disclose an affair to your spouse. 

Five Items to Think About Before you Begin to Share:

#1 - This conversation is purely to disclose your affair.
    • This isn't the time to tell your spouse how you feel about your marriage.

    • Do not do any finger-pointing.

    • Don't turn the conversation around to focus on them.

#2 - Your spouse is not you.
    • This affair means something different to them than it does to you.

    • Allow them to express themselves.

    • Don't disagree with how they feel.

#3 - Keep the conversation focused on the basic information about the affair.
  • You don't have to tell specific details about when, where, how many times, or even with whom you had an affair.

  • Those details may come in time, but for now, keep to the basics.

#4 - After your disclosure, remind your spouse that this is not the end of the conversation.
  • Tell them you want to keep talking, and you are open to more discussion. 
#5 - Honor the "WHY" questions your spouse will have.

If your spouse is willing, find a couples' therapist specializing in treating infidelity to work with you both to move into a new and more sustainable monogamy that works for you and your partner.  You can also pick up my book to help along the journey, "When You're the One Who Cheats; Ten Things You Need to Know."     

If you are struggling with infidelity in your marriage or relationship, we are here to help with  Imago Relationship Workshops and Relationship TherapyWe have Online Couples Therapy and Couples Workshops too! 

Discover more about Imago with our Imago Professional Membership, Imago Professional Facilitators, Imago Professional Training and Imago Educational Webinars


Connect. Transform. Thrive.

*An excerpt from When You’re the One Who Cheats by Dr. Tammy Nelson*

Dr. Tammy Nelson, PhD - Imago Relationships North America
This blog post was written by Dr. Tammy Nelson, PHD, CST, CSCT, LPC, LADC


Topics: Marriage Issues, Couples Therapy, Recovering from an Affair, Cheating, Online Couples Workshop, Getting the Love you Want, Creating Healthy Relationships, Online Couples Therapy, Imago Dialogue, Affair, Affair Recovery, Cheating Spouse

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