It’s frustrating when your husband denies cheating despite the evidence being right in front of his face. This makes it completely impossible to move on from but you can’t even address it. So what can you do?
Your husband feels like he has two options. Admit to cheating and face punishment or deny everything and hope for the best. Even with evidence of his affair, his decision to lie about it is mostly subconscious for lack of a better option.
So, what can you do next?
Why Do Cheaters Deny It?
I asked a few friends for their opinion on this one.
Because they’re stupid enough to cheat in the first place.
… Warranted, but not the answer we’re looking for.
They think I’m dumb enough to believe it.
They’re probably hoping you believe it, but it’s unlikely they genuinely think you will.
A few too many blows to the head.
Alright, how about I just tell you.
Humans are hard-wired to want to avoid stress and conflict. This survival is baked into our DNA and can be hard to overcome. Lying is often a subconscious response. It’s unlikely he’s genuinely thinking ‘even if she shows me the evidence I’ll just deny cheating and see what happens’.
The way your husband will see it he currently has two options.
- Admit to cheating on the relationship and face the consequences.
- Lie and… hope the problem goes away.
The logical choice is admitting to the affair because that’s the only way the two of you can begin the healing process to move on, but he isn’t making logical decisions. His knee-jerk reaction is to lie and hope the problem just goes away.
It’s possible (and fairly likely) they’ll regret those decisions down the road. One of my most popular posts was I broke my wife’s heart how do I fix it and I bet a fair few of those cheating husbands denied everything at first.
So the ‘why’ isn’t because he’s stupid, it isn’t because he’s trying to hurt you. It’s because he’s human… and maybe acting a little stupid at the moment. So what do we do about it?
Note: this advice is based on the general things you see. Every marriage is unique in some way and if you’d like to talk more specifics (and how to get things back on track) take the marriage assessment quiz.
How to Get Him to Admit to Cheating
Until you’ve had the truth, it’s not going to be possible for either of you to fully move on. You’d always have lingering doubts in the back of your mind and I completely understand that.
So how do you get him to admit to cheating?
He’s lying because he subconsciously thinks the problem might just go away if he comes up with a lie you can’t disprove. If you use your evidence wisely and catch him in a lie his only option will be, to tell the truth.
Use Evidence Tactically
If you throw all your evidence at him at once, his lie will have to account for everything you’ve shown him.
For example, let’s say your evidence is as follows:
- Phone records of his calls to her.
- A photo of the other woman in his wallet.
- You saw them together last week.
Show him the phone records and the photo. Maybe he tries something like:
We’re just friends. I haven’t seen her in 12 months.
You then add your last piece of evidence and he’s caught himself in a lie.
If you throw everything at him at once his initial lie could also cover the recent meeting. It’s not a fun experience for you either having to drag this out, but using your evidence tactically to catch him in a lie will force him to understand he only has one option left.
Spycraft: Gathering More Evidence
If you’ve already used all your evidence (or he’s fallen back on further lies to try and cover being caught in one) one option is to get more evidence.
I don’t suggest this one lightly as, at best, it’s a massive breach of trust but if you genuinely do have evidence your husband is cheating then personally I think this one is justified. Just make sure it doesn’t breach your local laws to spy on him.
When I say spy on him I don’t expect you to pull out the night vision goggles and start crawling through the air ducts at his workplace. These days our entire lives exist through our phone and it’s pretty unlikely the other woman isn’t on there somewhere. A spy app will let you see exactly what he’s doing with his phone including where he is and who he’s talking to.
It should only be an act of last resort if you’re sure. I wrote a guide on telling if your wife is cheating on Facebook which covers the use of these apps. It’ll work the exact same way for your husband and likely give you further evidence you can use to force him to tell the truth.
I recently covered polygraph testing for infidelity and while there are plenty of companies trying to sell you this rubbish please don’t be fooled by it. It’s more likely to hurt things rather than help (if you have been tempted by some of these ads – please read that guide first).
Just Sitting Him Down
The other way to go is appealing to his logical side.
If he’s lying because he doesn’t see another way out then it might be a good idea to offer him a way out. I’m not talking about complete clemency here, but his knee-jerk lying basically boils down to a fear of the unknown. So what if you spell it out to him?
It’s kind of hard to give you an exact script for this as it’ll really depend on your situation but as an example:
I know you’ve cheated on me. I know you don’t want to admit it. I need you to know that I can’t just pretend that I haven’t seen this. I also know we can move past it and figure out how to get us back to where we were but I need you to tell me the truth.
Resist the urge to shout and scream. You don’t need to hide your emotions but you do need to give him a chance to overcome his knee-jerk reaction to lie. Show him a way forward and back to a more comfortable place.
It’s entirely likely he doesn’t enjoy being in this position. Let him see there’s a way out even if it won’t be immediately easy.
I really suggest looking at my guide on how to get your husband to leave the other woman.
I don’t expect (or think you should) instantly forgive him but having gotten your husband to admit to the affair, the next step is to make sure she’s out of the picture so you can begin to move on together.
Rebuilding trust doesn’t happen overnight but if you’re willing to put in the work then you’ve already taken the first steps towards getting back to a stronger place. An affair doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship.
What Percentage of Marriages Fail After out Infidelity?
Remember: The numbers here are a bit skewed as not everyone will want to fix a marriage after infidelity.
Studies vary but some have seen up to 60-75% of marriages survive infidelity meaning only 25-40% fail. That’s including couples who had no intention of even trying.
So there is certainly the hope of you both coming back if that is what you want. Getting him to admit to the affair is just the first step on that road.