You messed up big time — you cheated on your spouse. As devastated as you feel about your affair, your partner is about to feel even worse. Your next steps will determine how the ensuing chaos plays out when you break the bad news. There is no easy way to confess, but some tactics are worth avoiding, as highlighted below.
What Not to Do
Never reveal your affair in a moment of anger. Wait until both you and your spouse seem calm. This serenity will not last, of course, but already-heightened emotions could cause either party to say something they regret.
Avoid blaming your spouse for the affair. Sure, your partner could have done things differently. Perhaps you suffered emotional neglect and perhaps he or she also cheated, but this is not the time to espouse your partner's failings. For now, focus on your own actions and how they damaged your relationship.
Do not refer to the affair as a mistake or otherwise attempt to downplay your behavior. And, avoid demanding forgiveness right away. Your partner needs time to process this horrible development. A phrase such as, "I hope I can one day earn your forgiveness" is fine. However, "You need to forgive me and move on" is not.
Suggestions for Breaking the Bad News
Planning precedes the most productive conversations. Think before you speak and ponder all possible responses from your spouse, as well as how you will handle them. How will you answer tricky questions? What if your spouse becomes physically violent? Determine a few key talking points, but avoid the urge to rehearse and recite a scripted announcement. This will sound disingenuous and may convince your spouse that you lack remorse. Once you are finally ready to discuss your affair, choose a quiet setting, free of distractions. If you have kids, wait until they are asleep, or are occupied with extracurricular activities.
Begin by letting your partner know that you intend to be 100% honest, though some details may be better left unheard. Avoid long stories — get to the point. No matter how you explain the situation, offer a genuine apology. Accept any mercy or forgiveness granted right away with grace, but be willing to grant your spouse time to come to terms with the bad news. Lastly, let your spouse know you are willing to make amends.
If your affair leads to divorce, you'll need strong support from a Virginia family law attorney who understands the sensitive nature of your situation. DiPietro Law Group, LLC offers comprehensive, judgment-free counsel.
Contact our law office today at (888) 530-4374 for the knowledgeable and compassionate representation you will need to get through this difficult time.