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.
- Let them know that you are willing to have a more in-depth conversation and even go to therapy to explore your marriage problems.
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 Therapy. We have Online Couples Therapy and Couples Workshops too!
*An excerpt from When You’re the One Who Cheats by Dr. Tammy Nelson*
This blog post was written by Dr. Tammy Nelson, PHD, CST, CSCT, LPC, LADC .
Tammy is a sex and relationship expert, an international speaker, an author and a licensed psychotherapist with almost thirty years of experience working with individuals and couples. In private practice she focuses on helping people of all ages, orientations and genders find love, healing and passion.
Tammy is a Board Certified Sexologist, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Imago Relationship therapist, and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. She is the author of When You’re The One Who Cheats, Ten Things You Need to Know, The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity and Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together as well as What’s Eating You: A Workbook for Teens with Anorexia, Bulimia, and other Eating Disorders.
She has many other eBooks including Six Weeks to Erotic Recovery, as well as chapters and articles on topics ranging from sexuality, desire, affair recovery, monogamy issues, open marriage, online infidelity, intentional divorce, passionate relationships and everything related to couples.
She has been a featured expert in NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, RedBook, MSNBC, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, and has been a source for Time Magazine. She writes for the Psychotherapy Networker, is a blogger for Huffington Post and YourTango, and can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and her blog.