Dealing with a blow as severe as infidelity can be one of the hardest things in life. The devastation, pain, hurt, and anger can consume you, even as a host of unanswered questions swirl around in your mind. At a time when emotions are running high, it can be hard to reach and communicate with your unfaithful partner but without the answers you seek, it can become impossible to move forward and work through this setback. At a tumultuous time like this, having a simple list of 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse can help break down the communication barriers that come in the wake of infidelity.
So, if you’re currently consumed by thoughts like, “My husband cheated and I want details” or “I want answers from my cheating wife”, we’re here to help you. This list of 10 simple, straightforward, open-ended questions about cheating will help you gain some clarity on the situation and figure out your next course of action.
10 Questions To Ask Your Unfaithful Spouse
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Everyone likes to believe that a breach of trust as serious as infidelity can never plague their marriage. However, given that statistics indicate that 70% of Americans engage in some form of infidelity during their marital life, the risk of being cheated on is real. Even so, when this realization hits, it can cause the ground beneath your feet to shift like soft sand.
In times like these, it can be hard to make sense of the what, why, and how of it all. Though you might be having a hard time acknowledging that this happened, the more information you have, the better equipped you will be to decide where to go from here. To help you navigate the tricky territory of communicating with your cheating husband/wife, here is a lowdown on the 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse.
1. How did you allow yourself to cheat?
This is one of the most important infidelity questions to ask your spouse to understand their frame of mind when they decided to step outside the marriage and cheat on you. The answer to this question will shed light on many other, such as:
- What did they tell themselves?
- How did they decide that it was okay to cross the line of faithfulness?
- Did they feel it wasn’t a big deal because they don’t attach much value to the concept of fidelity and monogamy?
- Or were there any marital issues at play, which they used as an excuse to justify the act of cheating to themselves?
- What need did the extramarital relationship fulfill?
Their response will give you a sense of their values and sense of morality. It will also help you identify the cracks in your marital bond that may have lent impetus to their transgression. It can be painful to hear details about your partner’s infidelity and how they justify the act but to make the best possible decision in this situation, you must listen carefully.
Related Reading: 11 Things You Didn’t Know Amount To Cheating In A Relationship
2. Ask your cheating spouse – Did you feel guilty?
Being cheated on is a traumatic, devastating experience. When a wife cheats on husband or a husband cheats on his wife, surely, they know the impact their actions can have if and when their act of betrayal comes to light. But did they feel guilty about the potential damage their actions can cause – to you, and to your marriage? This is one of the most important questions to ask an unfaithful partner.
Confronting a cheater spouse with a question like this can help you understand,
- How they felt after spending an afternoon in bed with their lover
- What was their state of mind when they came home to you after a romantic dinner date with this other person
- Did the guilt get so overwhelming at some point that they tried to put an end to the affair
- If so, what made them continue anyhow
Cheaters’ guilt is real. A lot of people feel horrible about sleeping around outside of their marriage or getting into an affair. The curious thing is that they continue to go down this rather dangerous path despite the guilt. From the list of questions to ask spouse who’s been cheating, this one might leave you spiraling down a road of self-doubt and confusion.
If the answer is something you hoped you would never have to hear in a million years, it can leave you feeling you never really knew the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. Asking your unfaithful spouse questions about their feelings of guilt will give you clarity on how much they value you and the marriage. If your partner feels no remorse for their actions whatsoever, it can be a worrying sign for the future of your marriage.
3. Have you entertained thoughts about cheating before?
How to confront a cheater? How to get the truth from a cheating spouse? What are the right questions to ask after infidelity? Whatever your conundrum, this important question can shed light on a lot of other aspects, such as
- Has your spouse been tempted to cheat on you before?
- If yes, did they act on this temptation?
- If not, then why?
- Was it because they didn’t want to break your trust or for a lack of opportunities?
- And if this is the first time they’ve cheated, what made them cross the line?
This is why it is one of the crucial 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse. It will help you ascertain whether your partner would actively look for opportunities to get some action on the side or if this transgression was a one-time thing. If it’s the former, you can’t rule out the possibility there may have been other affairs or one-night stands in the past and your partner seeks variety in their romantic life.
If it’s the latter, you need to pay attention to weaknesses in your marriage that may be at the root of their choice to stray. Bear in mind that such hard-hitting questions to ask a cheating husband or wife can make them lie in response. Look out for the classic signs that someone is lying to you: they may divert their gaze, lingering silences will suggest something is amiss, and half-baked stories that keep changing are definitely a cause for concern. Encourage honesty, even though you may find it extremely difficult to believe anything your partner says.
4. Did you fall in love?
In case you have discovered that your partner has been having an affair, the possibility of them being emotionally invested in the other person cannot be ruled out. That’s why this is one of the most critical infidelity questions to ask even though their answer might sting and add to the pain and angst you’re dealing with. After all, emotional affairs can have more damaging consequences for the primary relationship than a fleeting transgression that is purely sexual in nature.
If they do confess to being in love with this other person, you both need to decide what it means for the future of your marriage.
- Is it possible for someone to be in love with two people at the same time?
- How do you feel about the possibility?
- Are you willing to accept that your spouse loves another person the same way they love you?
- If not, does it mean it is the end of the road for you as a couple?
- Or would you rather stay on and keep up the pretense of being married even though your spouse is in love with someone else?
- Or, are you willing to work toward saving your marriage by redefining its dynamics – for example, making it an open marriage?
The idea behind these questions to ask someone who cheated on you is to figure out the path you want to take in the future. Forgiving an affair is never an easy undertaking. Getting information on what went down and most importantly, why it went down, will help you make a more informed decision. Their answer to this question and your reaction to their reply hold the key to the future of your marriage in the aftermath of an affair.
Related Reading: When My Wife Cheated On Me, I Decided To Show More Love
5. Did you think about me?
This is undoubtedly the most painful on the list of important questions to ask a cheating spouse. But it is one that is bound to weigh on your mind, and hurtful as it may be, on some level you do want to know,
- Did your spouse think about you at all?
- Did they ever pause to reflect on how their act of cheating would impact you or how it would break your heart and risk the future of the marriage?
- If they did, why weren’t these potentially disastrous consequences enough to stop them?
- If not, does it mean that you no longer matter to them?
Fearing that the answers will be too much to bear, you might just want to avoid these investigative questions for couples experiencing infidelity. Even so, this question will help you understand how passionate the affair was. While it can be heartbreaking to hear it, you must, for the sake of assessing whether your marriage can survive the affair.
6. How long did the affair last?
While it won’t be easy for you to hear the responses to any of these questions to ask after infidelity, this can be especially hard. Let’s say, your spouse says that the affair lasted three years or five, your life during this period will flash in front of your eyes. Suddenly, you’ll be able to identify all the times when your spouse made excuses to be away from you so that they could be with their affair partner.
All the late nights at work your spouse claimed to have had, all the business trips and the weekends spent away, the realization may leave you incapable of being able to think straight. All the special moments that you’ve shared during that time can start to feel like a big lie. This question can augment the feelings of hurt and anger that you’ve been experiencing. But it’s important to ask questions about cheating in relationships so that you can gauge the depth of the bond your partner shares with this other person.
7. Did you ever talk about me?
This is one of the open-ended questions about cheating that can bring to the fore the dynamics of your spouse’s affair. When a wife cheats on husband or a husband cheats on his wife, there are always underlying triggers at play – ranging from discontentment in the relationship to their own emotional baggage. The answer to this question can help you understand those triggers, by helping you uncover the following,
- Is your spouse’s lover aware of your existence?
- If yes, how did they portray you to them?
- Did they use the oldest trick in the book of claiming that they are stuck in an unhappy marriage with an unbearable spouse to win this other person’s affection?
- Did your spouse promise them that they would divorce you to be with them?
- Did your unfaithful spouse discuss a future with their affair partner?
If their answers to these questions are affirmative, you need to think long and hard about whether it is worth giving your unfaithful partner another chance or trying your marriage. You deserve a lot better than a lying, conniving life partner who wouldn’t hesitate to paint you as the villain to win over someone else. Considering the insight it can offer you, this is one of the most relevant 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse.
8. Do you still have feelings for that person?
When caught, most cheaters swear that they would end the affair and make amends. This first reaction can often be a knee-jerk response to the fear of their marriage falling apart or being outed in society as a cheater. You need to figure out if your spouse actually means it or if they are just saying it in an attempt to fix the broken marriage and save it from falling apart.
Asking them about how they feel about this other person becomes one of the most important questions to ask your spouse after infidelity, as it’ll help you assess the sincerity of their promises. If they still have feelings for their lover, it means their relationship isn’t purely sexual. Chances are that they would gravitate toward them sooner or later. Your marriage may not be able to survive another incident of cheating. So, it’s best to find out now and make a decision that will work out well for all parties involved.
Related Reading: 15 Signs Your Husband Is Cheating On You With A Co-Worker
9. What is it that they have, and I lack?
This is definitely one of the important questions to ask an adulterer. Now, this is in no way meant to hurt your sense of self-worth or make you feel as if you’re somehow responsible for your partner’s decision to cheat. Your spouse chose to love you and marry you for who you are. Therefore, you should have been enough for them.
Even so, this is among the necessary questions to ask after an affair for the sake of seeing the situation from their perspective. Perhaps you were too caught up in balancing your work and domestic responsibilities that you could not devote enough time to your spouse. This created some distance between the two of you, making room for a third person. Their affair partner met the needs that they were unfulfilled in the primary relationship.
We want to reiterate that their choice of cheating is theirs alone. Regardless of the issues you both had, cheating should never have been an option. But the answer to this question can help you resolve dilemmas such as, “Why did my husband cheat?” or “My wife is cheating what do I do?” Besides, if you’re both willing to give your marriage a shot at survival, understanding these problem areas and finding solutions to fix them is key.
10. Did you plan a future with them?
Be it short-term plans such as taking a vacation together or long-term ones like moving in with them, it is indicative of the extent of your spouse’s involvement with this other person. If they were planning to move out and live with this person, then your unfaithful spouse is too deeply involved with their lover.
The affair can no longer be dismissed as a fleeting transgression. It has evolved into a full-blown relationship, with physical and emotional intimacy. In case it has come to that, it would be wise for you to decide to let go of your spouse. A divorce can be a daunting proposition but being stuck in a loveless marriage with someone else occupying your spouse’s heart and mind isn’t exactly a desirable situation to be in.
What After Confronting A Cheating Spouse
Now that you’ve figured out how to confront your cheating spouse and what questions to ask them to understand the dynamics of their affair/extramarital transgression, you need to figure out what next. Where do you go from here? What does finding out your husband is cheating or your wife has been having an affair mean for your marriage?
There are primarily two options available to you: walk away from your marriage or give your cheating partner another chance and try to make it work. Neither of these decisions is easy, and we cannot stress enough that you mustn’t arrive at them while you’re still processing the hurt and pain of being cheated on.
Take some time and space to decide what you truly want – in doing so, factor in your spouse’s answers to the questions you’ve posed. If you decide that you can’t look past the infidelity and start over, you can begin the process of dissolving your marriage. This may involve,
- One of you moving out of your home
- Hiring a divorce lawyer
- Going through the exacting process of division of assets, deciding on child custody, alimony, and hashing out other details of your lives as a divorced couple
All of this, coupled with the emotional trauma you’re already going through, can take a toll on your mental health. You must prioritize your healing in the middle of all the chaos you find yourself plunged into, and seek professional help to come to terms with the betrayal.
On the other hand, if you decide to give your unfaithful spouse a second chance, know that figuring out how to save marriage after infidelity and lies is no walk in the park either. For it to work,
- The cheating must stop
- Both partners have to be willing to put in the work to restore the relationship to its original health
- You may need to seek the help of a marriage counselor to identify the cracks in your bond and rebuild your relationship
- You have to be prepared for the possibility that you may not be able to fix things or go back to the pre-infidelity phase of your relationship
- In that case, you have to be open to taking on new roles in each other’s lives, which may not fit into the traditional paradigm of marriage
- Asking the right questions can help you understand the nature of your spouse’s transgression
- Their answers can help you figure out your next course of action
- The duration of the affair, the nature of their relationship with their affair partner, and their ‘reasons’ behind cheating are some of the things to ask your spouse about their infidelity
- Based on your partner’s responses, you may decide to walk away or give your marriage another chance – neither of these is an easy choice and must not be made unless you’ve worked through the hurt and emotional trauma of betrayal
Use these 10 questions to ask your unfaithful spouse well, so that you don’t spend the weeks, months, or years fixating over the what, why, and how of it all. Being cheated on changes you in ways more than one, and getting the answers you seek can be a cog in the wheel of your recovery. Even though closure stems from within, the way your spouse answers these questions can definitely aid that process.
This article has been updated in April 2023.
You can ask them about how and when the affair began, whether they are in love with this other person, and if they’re willing to end the affair for the sake of your marriage. You can also ask them if they ever felt guilty about cheating on you and if they are planning a future with their affair partner.
It can be hard to rebuild trust after cheating and make peace with your spouse’s infidelity. With time, proper communication, and consistent effort to work on your issues, you can make it happen. Couples therapy can also be extremely beneficial for those trying to give their marriage another chance in the aftermath of an affair.
No, not necessarily. If your partner’s act of cheating was a one-off, they may well be able to correct their course and not go down that path again. It all depends on how much they love you and value the principles of fidelity. If you are important to them and they want to be with you, then they will mend their ways.
While it’s not possible to forget the pain of being cheated on, you can try to forgive your partner and give your marriage a second chance. Time does blunt the pain enough that you can learn to live with it and love your spouse despite their infidelity.
Yes, cheaters guilt is a real thing. It is possible for your partner to feel guilty and ashamed of themselves for having cheated on you. If your spouse has cheated on you and if they still love you, chances are that the guilt must have been eating them up all along.