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Betrayed Spouse 101

The Big Confrontation

When you're ready to confront, keep these pointers in mind:

Calm Yourself Down   - You are not going to be able to accurately communicate, much less interpret the verbal and non-verbal signals your spouse is giving you if you are freaking out. It's impossible to be unaffected by what you're feeling, but you need to retain as much control as you possibly can.

Make A List - In the heat of the moment, when emotions are running high, you will NOT remember all that you want to say, and it's important that you DO say it. Make yourself a list of pertinent points, things you want to say, conditions they must agree to if they want to rebuild, items you want out of the house with them NOW if they do not.

Take 3 Deep Breaths - Being nervous activates the middle, emotional part of our brains, making it hard for us to think straight and handle the situation well. Studies show that by taking just 3 deep breaths, you switch on the rational neocortex – the ‘logical’ center of your brain.

Dress The Part - You are not going to feel powerful and worthy of love and respect if you’re standing there in your stained tee-shirt and baggy sweatpants, unshowered and with your hair a mess. I’m not necessarily saying dress to the nines, here, but ‘tidy up’ a little. You want to feel like you’re going into a business meeting and impressing a client. You’ll feel more in control, and look like you’re together – something the cheater will not expect. They’ve always pictured this confrontation with you shaking and falling apart and begging them to stay because they’re just too wonderful to lose. Disabuse them of that notion, and I assure you, you’ll have their full attention.

Do a Mental Review - Picture yourself mentally going through the list you made, making your points, and picture every possible reaction scenario your spouse might have to them. Mentally ‘rehearse’ yourself – you’ll feel ready for most of what they throw at you.

Use the Timing to Your Advantage  - You may not be able to ‘pick’ the time of your confrontation – when you first learn of the betrayal, you may feel that you have to confront immediately. Understandable, but it doesn’t give you much time to calm down, and striking at an uncomfortable time for the cheater may be an added plus for you. For instance, if you know they have an assignation planned for a certain time, you may want to get to your cheater just before they head out the door. Interrupting a meeting between them puts the cheater at a distinct disadvantage – part of their mind will be occupied with worry for their paramour, who is sitting at their rendezvous point thinking they’ve been dumped. The cheater is likely to be on the defensive, with their thoughts scrambled from the get-go, an ideal situation.

Lower Your Pitch - Close to 40% of how seriously you are taken has to do with the pitch of your voice. Studies show that speaking in a lower pitched voice makes you seem more confident and competent. This is especially helpful if you’re like me – emotion makes my voice high-pitched and squeaky. Making an effort to consciously pitch my voice lower made me feel like I was regaining control whenever that happened.

Wait 6 Seconds After Major Replies Before You Say Anything - Nine times out of 10, they have more to say – and giving them that time can work in your favor. A cheater wants to be as unrevealing as possible, so encourage them to keep on talking. They may just hang themselves, or at the very least make a statement under stress that may come back to haunt them later when a story doesn’t match up. Also, a few healthy, uncomfortable pauses will only keep you in the driver’s seat.

Don’t Tip Your Hand - You’ve learned a lot of tricks about checking up on your spouse. You have, in fact, become SuperSpy. They don’t necessarily need to know your sources. You may want to throw those keystroke logs from the spy program down as evidence, but it might be better to cut and paste them in an MS Word document and tell them you figured out their email password, or found the email in a deleted file. Or better yet, don’t tell them at all. If you tip your hand, they will be able to guard against that trick the next time. Forewarned is forearmed, and since many cheaters don’t stop seeing their Other Woman/Man ‘cold turkey’, you may need those tricks for awhile.

Be Specific About What You Want  - Its not enough to say “I want you to stop talking to her/him.” Cheaters are used to maneuvering around words and looking for the ‘gray area’ that they can exploit. Be specific about your feelings and conditions to rebuilding so there is NO DOUBT in their mind about the effect of their betrayal and what they must do to heal it.

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