Finding out your partner is having an affair can leave you completely lost. Read our practical guide for ways to direct your next steps.
If your partner is having an affair, your life has probably been derailed. The uncertainty, heartache and practical concerns can be overwhelming.
What should you do now? Where do you turn?
If you’re dealing with these questions, this guide is for you. Its goal is to give you suggestions for next steps if your spouse is cheating on you.
This guide is not written by professional counsellors. It’s coming from experienced private detectives. We’ve investigated countless adultery cases and sat with many of our clients after. But we aren’t relationship consultants or lawyers. Please, consult professional advice if you are making decisions about your future.
Infographic of topics in this guide
Who we are and why we wrote this guide
We’re Melbourne Investigations, a private detective agency. Our private eyes help people find out the truth about their spouse or partner. We have a 99% success rate in getting answers about suspected cheating. And we take our responsibility seriously.
We’ve run a lot of adultery investigations. And we’ve supported many clients when it all comes crashing down. We know how hard it is for the betrayed partner. It means a great deal to us to be able to make a difference to our clients. So we’ve combined our experience with outside advice to write this guide.
We’ll take you step by step through the stages of discovering and reacting to an affair. You may only have a suspicion, or you could already be dealing with the fallout. No matter where you are, this guide has suggestions for next steps. You don’t have to feel lost.
We truly want the best for you and your family. And we hope this guide helps you.
There are some classic warning signs that your spouse or partner could be cheating on you. Has your wife been staying at work late more often? Is your husband getting secretive about his phone?
Maybe you’re not sure if anything’s going on at this stage. Whatever kind of cheating you suspect, you need certainty. But how can you get it?
Hire a private investigator to find out for sure – Contact us for a private chat today
Hiring a private eye can give you hard facts about where your partner goes and who they meet.
We can’t speak for other detective agencies. But at Melbourne Investigations, we aren’t happy unless we bring you concrete answers. So we conduct unique in-depth investigations that don’t stop until you get answers.
How private investigators prove cheating
The gold standard for proving an affair is video evidence that your wife or husband is spending time with someone else.
Our private investigators will talk with you to find out what’s been happening. Why are you worried about your partner? Who is the person you’re suspicious of?
This will let us plan the best way to discover the truth. There might be places or times, people or activities we need to be aware of. Using this information we’ll work out how to conduct surveillance on your partner.
Covert surveillance means following someone without them knowing. Our private detective will follow your husband or wife from a safe distance. It may be on foot, through public venues, or by car. We’ll gather video evidence that proves where your partner went, what they did and who they met.
We’ll find out for sure, and your spouse will never know we’re there.
It’s scary to think about. What if your investigator does find out your husband or wife is seeing someone? If you’re at the point of hiring a private eye, you know there’s a chance they’ll discover an affair.
Some people get emotionally destroyed by the news. We don’t want that to happen to you.
If you can prepare beforehand, you’ll be able to cope better with your partner’s affair.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Research by Dr Kate Sweeny shows that allowing yourself to expect the worst can help soften the blow. She found that people facing an uncertain future do better when they face it. This allows them to prepare their mind, emotions and practical plans. If the worst happens, they’ll be ready.
This is true for coping with a possible affair, too.
Let yourself acknowledge that your partner might really be cheating on you. Consider the impact it would have, but try to keep some perspective. Think about what practical changes might happen in your life. Try to think about what you might choose to do next if the news is bad.
It might seem unhealthy to dwell on these things. But if you have already faced some of the emotional and practical aspects of an affair, you’ll be prepared. You’ll be able to cope better and make better decisions for your future.
Considering the worst case may be uncomforable, but it can help make your path smoother.
How private investigators break the news of an affair
If you hire Melbourne Investigations for a possible affair, we hope we don’t find anything. Our staff believe in the importance of marriage and honesty. We hope the best for you.
But we’ve seen a lot of infidelity cases, and we’ve learned to spot trends. If someone is worried enough to call us, then sadly their partner probably is having an affair. Your gut instinct (link) about your wife or husband is often correct.
If the worst happens and your partner is seeing someone else, we have a plan in place for how to tell you.
We will take you through the case in a gentle and caring way. We will explain everything about the investigation and what we found.
You will receive a written report with photo evidence as proof. We will be factual and compassionate.
And we’ll make sure you have a support person with you. This will help keep you grounded. You will know you are being respected and cared for.
Our female investigation manager will spend this time with you. Finding a woman private eye is rare in Australia. She is caring and easy to talk to. Both men and woman feel comfortable and confident talking with her.
Melbourne Investigations will be there for you if your spouse is having an affair.
Let’s assume the news is bad. Your private eye tells you that your husband or wife was seen in someone else’s company.
Now matter how much you want to, now is not the time for hasty actions. You are going through some deep emotions that can cloud your judgement.
Feelings you may go through if your partner is unfaithful
- Fear about the future – finances and being alone, where will you go?
- Shock and anger over the betrayal
- Embarrassment and shame about being cheated on
- Grief over the loss of your relationship
- Desire for revenge
These emotions are valid and it’s important to address them. But they are not a reliable place to start making decisions from. Would you expect anyone to act sensibly when dealing with these feelings?
You have every right to take some time to deal with your initial reaction. Then come back and approach the issue when you’re fresh.
Hasty actions can have long term repercussions
Actions taken when affected by deep emotions can have lasting effects. They can start steering your relationship and family down a path you can’t easily return from.
You have every right to be deeply angry, but we don’t want to see you living in regret about anything done in haste. We want the very best for you and your family. And that means considering your options calmly to make the best decision.
Being the victim of your partner’s affair can be embarrassing. You might not want anyone else to know. But trying to deal with it successfully by yourself is not easy.
We are made to have others in our lives, and we count on each other for support in the tough times. You need someone trustworthy who can come alongside as you work through the fallout. They might be a friend, family member, faith mentor or professional counsellor.
How to choose your support person after an affair
Think carefully about who you confide in. If you tell too many people about your partner’s affair, it will likely spread beyond your control. Instead, consider which one friend or family member you can trust.
Qualities to look for in an affair support person
- Stand by you in solidarity
- Not judge your partner or inflame the situation
- Keep everything strictly private
Take care of your support person
And make sure you’re looking after your support person too. They will need to be able to unload with someone you both trust. If you can, choose a support person who has their own reliable partner. And let them know they can talk to each other confidentially!
We aren’t suggesting you separate or divorce your spouse when you discover infidelity. But it is important to understand where you stand legally before going much further.
Consulting with a family law solicitor is the only way to be sure. They are the only ones qualified to guide you through issues like assets and child custody.
And in case you didn’t know, Australia has no-fault divorces. This means the courts don’t consider who was responsible for the marriage breakdown. There is no punishment in the divorce settlement for cheating on one’s partner.
Now you have grounded yourself, got support and consulted legal advice. It’s time to think about getting everything out in the open.
Are you going to confront your husband or wife about their affair? How? This is something for you to work out. Your lawyer and support person should be able to help you decide.
But if you do decide to talk to your partner about their cheating, we have one big suggestion:
Discuss it in a open, public place with a support person along.
This will help keep both you and your partner safe, and help prevent too much escalation.
Not in a confined area. Not at home. And not alone. That’s when things can go wrong.
As private detectives, we’ve seen a lot of outcomes of affairs. Some good and some bad. In our opinion, you’ve already gone through a lot. Make sure you stay safe.
It’s time to think about the future. Your options are simple, but the way forward will be hard. Should you try to reconcile, separate, or get a divorce?
Nobody can answer that question for you. It is deeply tied up in your circumstances, relationship and beliefs.
We recommend professional counseling to help you work through these issues.
Counselors can help you work through your emotions and understand your situation. They can point you towards further support services if needed. You do have a future, even after adultery.
Choosing a counselor after an affair
There are counselors who specialise in adultery cases. Counselors can have other qualifications too, like social work, psychology or religious ministry. Each one will have their own approach and area of expertise. It’s important to find a relationship counselor you are comfortable with.
It may not seem like it right now, but life will go on after your partner has been unfaithful.
Understand the reason for the affair
Identifying the reason for your husband or wife’s cheating may give closure and help you move on.
Relationship experts differ on the various kinds of affairs that exist. One method to break them down uses four categories:
- One night stand. A single indiscretion, perhaps when on a business trip or weekend away.
- Emotional affair. A platonic friend or “office wife” who becomes too emotionally intimate over time.
- Sexual addiction. A compulsion to fulfil sexual desire which drives someone to be unfaithful.
- Unsatisfying relationship. Problems in the relationship go unresolved or needs are not met, so they look elsewhere.
Your relationship may not be salvageable. But if you want to try, understanding the cause of the infidelity will help you address the root of the problem.
Forgiving your spouse after an affair
Regardless of what you choose to do with your relationship, you will need to forgive. If you don’t, you won’t be able to heal.
Forgiveness means letting go of resentment. It depends on your attitude, not your partner’s actions.
Forgiveness is not the same as reconciling. We can forgive without continuing the relationship. And forgiveness doesn’t mean the unfaithfulness can continue. That would be abusive.
Instead, forgiveness is about leaving behind bitterness and finding healing. It’s a process rather than a single event, and it takes time.
It may seem impossible right now. But when you’re ready, start the conversation about forgiveness with your counselor. It will help you heal.
Rebuilding trust can help restore your marriage
Believe it or not, an affair doesn’t always have to be the end of your relationship. It can be possible for you and your partner to heal.
We aren’t making any suggestions about what you should do. Sometimes separation and divorce are inevitable. You’ll have to work through this decision for yourself.
But if you want to try and save your marriage, here is some food for thought:
Relationships that have experienced adultery have had their trust destroyed. Couples in this situation need to rebuild trust through honesty and openness.
Ways to help rebuild trust after an affair
- The cheating partner must stop the affair completely
- Complete freedom to ask any questions
- Complete honesty by the cheating partner
- Willingness to listen by both parties
- The offending partner taking responsibility for the affair
- Spending time together without discussing the affair
But think about how much information you need to know. Detailed descriptions of infidelity can cause you further anguish. There is a balancing act between honesty and making it harder to rebuild trust.
Things might seem hopeless if you’ve recently discovered your partner’s affair. But with time, healing can come. Work together on forgiveness and rebuilding trust. It could help restore your relationship.
Finding out your spouse or partner is having an affair is devastating. It affects every aspect of your life. And it can leave you feeling lost, with no idea where to go or what to do.
But if you have some next steps up your sleeve, your path should be that much smoother.
If you need to hire a private investigator for your partner’s suspected adultery, call us. Melbourne Investigations is ready for a confidential chat about anything you’re concerned about. And we know how to get results, with our 99% success rate.
We wish you all the best.