How to Approach Someone You Suspect of Cheating

Have the courage to leave the cheater if he says he won't stop.
... Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Whether you have a sneaky suspicion or you heard a nasty rumor, facing the possibility that your significant other is cheating head on is a must. While it may feel uncomfortable, approaching your guy or girl will help you to clear the air and get a better picture of how -- or if -- your relationship can continue.

1 Fact Finding

Before you begin to point fingers and call your beau a "cheater," get your facts straight. While a rumor that your best friend tells you may seem true, gossip isn't always the same as reality. Instead of approaching your partner with, "Jane said that her boyfriend saw you with Megan," go fact-finding first. Ask Megan if it's true. While you shouldn't invade your partner's privacy, if you see a girl's name constantly coming up on his cell phone or recognize the number as a female friend from class, you have some initial facts to go on.

2 List Suspicions

Approaching your mate with a jumbled head full of half-thought-out suspicions gives your girl an easy out. If you just have a "feeling" but can't communicate what you see in her that makes you suspicious, she can quickly deny any wrongdoing. Think about her actions. Look for signs within her, such as acting overly private all of a sudden, changing her schedule or focusing more on her looks than usual, according to the article "How Do I know if She's Cheating?" on the PsychCentral website. Write a list of these suspicions to prepare for your upcoming approach.

3 Assertive Action

Sheepishly approaching your guy with a shy accusation of cheating may not cut it for this type of serious conversation. Speak up for yourself in an open and honest way. Acting assertive allows you to voice your opinions and not be bullied by his voice. For example, instead of saying, "Do you think maybe you're kind of spending too much time with Allie?" in a soft tone, look your boyfriend directly in the eye and confidently ask, "Do you have something going on with Allie?"

4 Other Side

Even if you know that your mate is in fact a cheater, let her tell her side of the story. You may have misinterpreted the facts or it may have been a one-time indiscretion that she's truly sorry for. Instead of approaching her with an immediate break-up on the brain, open your mind -- and heart -- and listen to what she has to say. Ask her why she cheated. If she says that you don't make her feel attractive anymore or she wanted to get back at you for hurting her, you have a deeper issue to work on than infidelity.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.