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Surviving Affairs and Infidelity

Infidelity Denial: How to Cope When Your Spouse Won't Admit the Affair
By Susie and Otto Collins

It's difficult enough to find out that your spouse had an affair. But it's even worse when he or she refuses to own up to the infidelity. Or perhaps your partner has confessed to having an affair, but denies that it is significant.

Either of these situations can leave you feeling angry, helpless, frustrated and possibly wondering
if you can stay in this relationship let alone trust him or her again.

Jackie was crushed when she discovered that her husband Tom was having an affair with one of his co-workers. There was no denying what was going on as she literally walked in on Tom and the woman passionately kissing in his office. 

Sometimes she wonders how long the affair would've gone on had she not decided to surprise Tom that day by bringing him lunch from his favorite restaurant.

While Tom did not deny that he was having an affair (that extended beyond the kiss Jackie witnessed), he has continually refused to acknowledge that his infidelity has broken trust between the two of them.

Whenever Jackie suggests that they talk about why the affair happened in the first place or requests that Tom go to a relationship coach with her, Tom accuses Jackie of blowing the whole thing out of proportion.

He claims that their relationship will get "back to normal" just fine if she'd just forget the whole thing. These blow-ups leave Jackie feeling frustrated but also embarrassed as if she's the one who's done something wrong.

It is obvious that Jackie and Tom are at an impasse in their relationship. Not only was trust broken because of the infidelity, but they strongly disagree about how to turn their relationship around and move toward trust and connection or if this can happen at all.

Imagine what it also might be like to have reliable
evidence that your partner cheated but he or she continues to flat out deny that an affair happened! This can not only lead to further confusion (both internally and within the relationship), but will probably also stand in the way of healing and improvements occurring between the couple.

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when dealing with infidelity denial in your relationship...

1.) What do you need right now?
Go within and ask yourself what you need right now to help you feel better. Keep in mind that no matter how much you yell, cajole, or push, if your partner doesn't want to admit that he or she had an affair or that the infidelity has damaged trust in your relationship, it's probably not going to happen.

But you can focus in on what you can do for yourself at this moment.

Of course, we encourage you to be sure that the evidence you have that an affair happened is reliable and clear. If there is a chance that a misunderstanding has occurred and an affair didn't happen, you will still need to repair trust. When in doubt, get more information.

In the event that your partner either admits to the affair or you feel confident that the evidence of an affair is accurate, stay focused on determining what would be helpful to you right now.

Perhaps you need some distance from your
spouse. If so, give yourself that space and communicate with him or her about your intentions. Ask yourself what would be nourishing and soothing for you and then consider doing those things.

2.) What next step do you want to take?
Keep in mind that you don't have to plan out the rest of your relationship or life at this time. You probably have a lot of conflicting feelings and perhaps a fair amount of confusion. Ask yourself what next step you want to take. 

You can think in terms of what you need for this moment, this day, this week or this month which may help you to not get overwhelmed.

You might be wondering if you want to stay in or leave this relationship. If so, our website: may be helpful.

Talking about your feelings and possible plans with a trusted friend or family member or a counselor or coach may also assist you in making decisions no matter how big or small.

While you can't force your spouse to admit an affair that he or she isn't ready to admit or to acknowledge the seriousness of what happened, you can set boundaries within your relationship.

You can make clear what you are willing to accept in the aftermath of the infidelity and what you
are unwilling to accept. Then follow through on the
boundaries you have set up.

You can also try to keep yourself open when you listen to what your partner is saying to you. This may feel nearly impossible when there is little or not trust. But when you are completely closed down, trust cannot begin to rebuild.

Infidelity denial can feel like an added hurt to an
already hurtful situation. What is perhaps most important is that you stay tuned in to you and to what can soothe you at this moment and take those steps. Know that ease
 and healing are possible.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
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