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Infidelity Alert: How to Confront a Cheater

How to Confront a Cheater
Finding out that your partner has been cheating on you can be quite a painful truth to learn and cope up with. Hopefully this post will make the aftermath a lot less painful. Learn how to confront a cheater as you read on...
Mrunal Belvalkar
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2018
I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats... I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires... Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats!
- Carrie Underwood (Before He Cheats)
Cheating is something that different people define differently, and that everyone has a different opinion and/or view about. Trying to define it as objectively as I can I will say that, an act of cheating is one wherein either of the partners in a relationship step outside the boundaries of the relationship and violate any of the mutually accepted norms, rules or codes of conduct. But even beyond that cheating is an act that can leave you feeling thoroughly disillusioned and shaken to your roots.

Before you confront your partner, it is important to understand the psyche behind why people cheat, and the possible reasons behind your partner having cheated on you. Trying to understand why people cheat will save you at least half the anger and pain that you would feel if you knew nothing about the psyche of cheating. So let's take a few moments to understand cheating.
Why do People Cheat?
If you think your partner is cheating on you, first try and understand why he/she is cheating on you, what is it that could have driven your partner to take that step. Not every person who cheats does it willfully.
Emotional Cheating ("I thought it was dying...")
Sometimes desperation pushes us into a direction much against our wish and will. One may become attached to or emotionally involved in a person outside the relationship - an act of emotional cheating. From this point of view, following may be reasons why your partner may be cheating on you:
Lack of attention - this includes emotional as well as physical attention; feeling unwanted, like you are not loved anymore, like your partner does not want to take efforts to make things work, feeling neglected, etc.
Distracted husband
Lack of time - this is especially true of couples with only one of the partners having a job, or in case of workaholic persons.
She working too much
Lack of communication - the most common reason for a long-distance relationship to fail; this is even true of couples in whom one of the partners is away from home for a long time or a major chunk of the year, owing to a job or career.
Concentrated on work
Lack of consideration - with all due respect, some persons may be real good people but really thankless, egotist and inconsiderate partners; this can prove reason enough for the other partner to get involved outside the relationship.
Valentine story
Physical Cheating ("Commitment is not an issue for me - I still love you.")
On the other end of the spectrum are people for whom commitment and monogamy are the top-most priority to make a relationship work. They are the kind of people who are broadly referred to as free-thinkers. They may involve in varying degrees of polyamory, or even polygamy for that matter. Now many think of this behavior as unworthy and immoral; but branding someone unworthy and immoral simply because they do not believe in monogamy is like calling gay people bad simply because they are not straight. Of course, I am NOT saying that you should put up with a partner like that. But this alone should never be a reason to brand someone a 'bad person'.
How to Confront a Cheating Partner?
If you are wondering how to confront a cheater, these tips are bound to help you. Here are some pointers to remember while confronting a cheater...
Be Sure!
Wrong accusations can and do jeopardize relationships in a very ugly way. Wrong accusations are symbolic of mistrust or lack of trust; and no relationship can last for long if it lacks trust. So be very careful and very sure your partner is cheating on you before you confront him/her. Picking up on signs of cheating is not so difficult. Take the time to do it before you decide to 'have the talk'.
Depressed teenage girl
Not 'Are you?'; Ask 'WHY are you?'
No one is going to say "Yes I am indeed cheating; gotcha!" when you ask someone if he/she has been cheating on you! The best way to ask someone if he/she is cheating on you is to twist the question around a little and ask WHY rather than if or not someone is cheating on you. It is going to throw the person you are confronting off-guard, even if only for a moment. It is this moment that you should be looking for.
Relationship difficulties
Don't Fight; Talk
Fighting and crying is going to get you nowhere. Avoid. Yes if you find out your partner is cheating on you, it is going to feel bad. But leave the anger-fits and tears in the bedroom, and come into the kitchen calm and dry-eyed when you decide to confront your partner. Approach the issue with your lid still on top of your head. Fighting is only going to lead to wounded hearts and hurt egos - so avoid it. Make your point calmly, and ask your partner to completely hear you out before they tell you their side.
Couple sitting on couch
Take Responsibility
Every person knows if and when a relationship is not working out or is becoming difficult to cope up with. And ladies, that's not just you; the guys know and feel it too. So when it is time for confrontation, do not simply point fingers at your partner... it may not be all him/her. There is no point in saying "Okay I was a rude, insolent, inconsiderate partner - but that doesn't mean you go s**g other people." Not cool man. Not cool at all.
Couple talking
Be Firm
Be open and considerate when you hear your partner's side of the story; but not at the cost of forgoing your self-respect. You are not a doormat, so don't let anyone ever treat you like one, including your partner. If your partner sounds genuinely sorry for his/her deeds, maybe you can give him/her another chance. But if your partner is being inconsiderate; or if your partner is making it sound like your minor flaws warrant him/her to cheat on you, it is time to walk away.
Sad women
Second Chance?
"In the world of love, Ethan - not that I am a genius at it - but in the world of love, cheating is simply not acceptable!"
- Amanda (Cameron Diaz), The Holiday
Not all of you may have agreed with my views so far. Especially the part about being pushed into cheating on your partner. I do not blame you, for you have probably never been as desperate as a person probably is when he/she gets involved in someone outside their relationship. But just think for yourself; is being faithful such critical a virtue that not complying to it should wipe out all the good that a person has within him/herself? If it is that important to you, no problem. But let that be a conscious choice and not a preset that society has made you believe in. "Everyone I know is straight, so being gay is bad; everyone I know is faithful, so polygamy is bad" - wrong. Yes an act of cheating is bad; but we are all humans, and everyone deserves a second chance. We have been conditioned into thinking sex is very important and that everything linked to it is a big deal, that is why we find it easy to forgive someone who lied to us but difficult to give a cheating partner a second chance. Why? Lying is as unworthy and immoral as cheating; but we still forgive an act of lying. Then why not an act of cheating?

The point to be considered here (I think) is whether the instance of cheating you have found your partner to be guilty of is a one-off or a habit. If it is a one-off, and if your partner sounds really sorry for his/her deed, you probably can give him/her another chance. But be sure there is never a 'third chance'. There are many reasons why partners cheat - one of them is that it boosts their ego, or makes them feel young, or like they are still exciting. Another is because they think their partner is never going to leave them and go and will forgive them no matter what. Don't let that happen to you. Know the difference and act accordingly.
There is an extremely thin line between an innocent act of flirting and an instance of cheating. This line, and where couples draw it, should be a personal and conscious choice. Everything in life is not black and white - everybody has a gray as well. But gray can be anywhere from 1% black and 99% white to 99.9% black and 0.1% white! Any 2 people in a relationship are first individuals, then partners. So not all your views are going to match. What is important is, at least the important ones do. Take time to get to know someone. Clear your views on cheating, sex, love, commitment, marriage, children; on all those things that are important to you, before you get into a relationship with someone. With a little bit of frank talk in the beginning, you might just save yourself a big heartache in the future. All the best!