Let me give you an example of what happens when you confront too early, and another example of what happens when you control yourself, take the time required to gather solid evidence, and then confront.
THE FACTS OF THE EXAMPLE:
Loyal Spouse (LS) finds a gift of a rather “adult”nature given to Disloyal Spouse (DS) by some Other Person (OP). LS also discovers a 1-800 phone card in DS’s possession and DS has a nice, new cell phone with no need for a secret phone card. LS does a little initial checking and can not find OP’s name, address or phone number, and does not see hours of calls on the phone bill. LS suspects a certain co-worker, but has no real proof, just a hunch. LS checks through DS’s phone and finds history is deleted and finds no texts or calls.
CONFRONTS TOO EARLY:
LS can not contain his/herself and goes immediately to S2 that night. LS expects to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with DS and ask what’s going on and get an honest answer (forgetting of course that if DS has demonstrated that they will lie to cover up the gift and phone card, that DS will also lie about where they came from and how they intend to use them). LS is angry and asks DS if they are cheating! DS vehemently denies what IS going on, and demands to see evidence–DS is also tipped off the LS knows. DS blameshifts and says “If anyone has problems it’s YOU! You’re just petty, jealous and controlling!” and now the focus is on LS defending themselves instead of focusing on the cheating!! DS even throws out what a HORRIBLE person LS is for invading their privacy! “HOW DARE YOU!!” they cry with pretend righteous indignation, then they storm out of the house with the evidence, and DS probably goes straight to OP’s and let OP know that the gig is up and they have to go further underground.
CONFRONT AFTER GATHERING EVIDENCE:
LS contain his/herself and goes to the closest electronics store that night and gets two Voice Activated Recorders…one for DS’s car and one for the room in the house where DS sneaks off to at night to “play on their phone”. While waiting for the evidence from the VARs, DS asks for a night out, and LS asks a friend to follow discreetly and take photos of anything they see. Meanwhile LS writes a timeline of when DS SAID they were going somewhere and when DS didn’t answer their cell phone and later called back to give some excuse. LS begins to see a pattern. This goes on for about a week, and the friend finally says “LS, I actually saw DS and OP together and they were kissing outside OP’s car. I did get a couple photos.” So LS decides it’s time to check the VARs and sure enough that very night DS was recorded talking to OP planning their rendezvous and saying what they intended to do. There was more on the tape, but LS had heard enough.
LS goes the next morning to the bank, creates a new account, separates funds, and changes all direct deposits. LS places copies of all evidence in a safe deposit box and then goes to the doctor to be tested for STD’s. Then the LS goes to an attorney to file for divorce and ask for full custody and child support. LS waits until the papers are ready (another couple days) and then has them served to DS at work in front of OP. DS RACES home and wants to know WHAT THE HECK is going on! DS is met with all their possessions boxed and packed, in the garage, and LS says “I know you are cheating with OP and I will not have a partner in my life who is unfaithful. This is your one and only chance to come clean and end all contact with OP. If you do not, we are through.” DS vehemently denies the affair, and LS doesn’t say a word–just shows one or two pieces of solid, damning PROOF (like two photos). DS stutters, tries to blameshift and LS says “I’m not controlling you–you are free to make any choice you want. But your choice is to honor your vows and end all contact with OP–including quitting your job tomorrow–or to lose your family, your lifestyle, and me. I will not be with a cheater,” and the focus is kept on DS defending themselves. DS tries throws out what a HORRIBLE person LS is for invading their privacy! “HOW DARE YOU!!” they cry with pretend righteous indignation, but LS says “How dare you commit adultery and destroy this family for an orgasm! Your things are packed in the garage. Until you are ready to stop cheating, get out of this family house!”
DS walks out the door, kind of freaking out…and breaks down. They are found out and they KNOW they can not keep doing this.
So you see, if you confront too soon, the chance of reconciling your marriage is extremely small. EXTREMELY. On the other hand, if you control yourself and hold on…there is a better possibility. Now I warn you, it is a small chance: I’d say that the majority of Disloyal Spouses are too proud to admit even to themselves that they did something wrong (about 90% I’d estimate). But there are a small number that will be confronted HARD..and will realize what they’ve done and what it’s about to cost them, and stop.
For your family and your marriage, I pray you will stand strong, be a hero, and wait until you have gathered evidence. And remember, the evidence is not “to prove it in a court of law” necessarily–it is to prove to you in no uncertain terms that there is or is not an affair. It is to prove to your spouse that you KNOW and there is no denying it.