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Surviving Infidelity: The Three Most Important Questions to Ask

Questions to ask after the affair has ended

When a partner is currently involved with an outside lover, they lie.

When active cheaters are asked reasonable questions, you cannot trust their answers since they are still involved in a coverup.

Only after the affair has ended is there the opportunity to get honest answers to your reasonable questions.

Honest answers to reasonable questions are a necessary part of infidelity recovery.

surviving infidelity, after the affairInfidelity is not easy to survive. Coping with infidelity requires a strategy. Your first step is to ask the 3 essential questions—but only when you are ready!

The three most important questions to ask after the affair has ended

You have found out your that partner has been cheating. The surviving infidelity journey has begun!

If as a couple you are to survive the infidelity and cheating, you need to ask the three important questions about the infidelity that has befallen you.

But are you ready?

After the affair is discovered there is emotional shock

When you first found out about the infidelity, your first reaction was that of emotional shock. From numbness to rage you have bounced back and forth stopping along the way at disbelieve, shock, anger, self-loathing, hatred and desperate love.

As you are dealing with infidelity, these feelings are normal.

You could have never prepared for your partner's betrayal. Even had you been suspicions, it could not have prepared you for what has actually happened.

What should you do after the affair has been discovered?

Nothing! That's right… do nothing. Because of your agitated state whatever you do, other than take care of yourself, will only make matters worse.

Coping with infidelity

Immediately after the affair, even talking to your partner about the infidelity can be a mistake. He or she will likely say something that will only make you feel worse. You need to give yourself a little time, wait until you are ready to hear what he or she has to say.

Yes, I know you are desperate to know details of what happened, and even more importantly, what is NOW happening. However, you probably are so agitated coping with the infidelity that you won't absorb what you are told about the infidelity.

Most importantly, don't make any decisions that will impact on your marriage or committed relationship or the future of your children, if you have any. This is not the time to quit your job, put the home up for sale or file for divorce.

Coping with infidelity will take all your strength and concentration and you don't want to deplete your efforts by creating distractions.

Surviving infidelity requires careful planning, moving step-by-step through this quagmire.

In fact, before you can even ponder how to move your life forward after the affair, you need to ask three essential questions that can establish a baseline to begin putting the pieces together and planning for your future.

After your mind has accepted what has happened, and you are somewhat calmer, you are ready to ask the 'three questions.'

You may already know part of the answer to some of the questions. However, it is necessary to ask again and hear the answers directly from your partner. Doing so establishes a baseline, a springboard to request more details at a later point. This will help you in your effort as you are dealing with the infidelity.

1.Who? Who is your paramour, your outside lover? Is he or she someone I know, or is he or she a complete strangers? How long have you known this person? Where did you meet? Is this person married? Does he or she have children? Does he or she know you are married?

2. What? What have you done with your paramour? Have you had sex? Where have you had sex? When did you do all this? What did you tell your outside lover about me? Did you make plans to leave me?

3. Why? Why did you allow yourself to become unfaithful? Why didn't you realize that you would mess up everyone's life by committing adultery? Why didn't you stop after the first few encounters? When answering this question, it may become apparent that there were problems in the relationship. This does not excuse having an affair, but if you and your partner choose to stay together, and have healed from the affair, it is necessary to deal with past relationship issues. 

Try to ask these questions and listen to the answers calmly.

It may be helpful to take notes as your partner is speaking. Likely during this questioning you will be emotional and agitated, and you may not fully comprehend what you are hearing. If you take notes you can review them later to gain a fuller perspective and to evaluate what your next move should be.

Dealing with infidelity

Surviving infidelity is a process. It is not an event. It goes in stages. This first stage is a 'fact finding stage.' Part of this 'fact finding stage' is learning if there is the possibility that you may be exposes to sexually transmitted diseases.  Once all the facts are out, you are laying the groundwork for making intelligent decisions that will impact upon the rest of your life, and if you have children, on their lives as well.

Often the assistance of a relationship professional who specializes in infidelity is required to help you survive infidelity. Below are sources where you can find qualified therapists.

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
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Get the tools you need to survive infidelity:

Click: Learn how to survive infidelity

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About the author

Abe Kass, MA, RSW, RMFT, CCHT., is a Registered Social Worker, Registered Couple and Family Therapist, Certified Hypnotherapist, and award-winning Educator. He has a busy clinical practice in Toronto, Canada and throughout the world using the phone or Zoom.

After many years of clinical practice and research, Abe concluded that practical solutions requiring a focused effort of no more than a few minutes a day for very specific relationship problems were critically needed. GoSmartLife Publishing House has been created to fill this need.

Topics: How to deal with infidelity, After cheating how to rebuild trust, Surviving infidelity