Seven Questions To Ask If Your Spouse Has Been Unfaithful

Photo credit: blu27. / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo: blu27. / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The following questions were posed by Dr Phil McGraw when he was interviewing engaged couples that were cheating on their spouses-to-be. Below them, we’ve added a few summary statements. However the Seven Questions Dr Phil discussed could also be applicable for those who find out their spouses have been unfaithful. We hope you’ll prayerfully consider them as you think about reconciling because they could really help you in this type of situation:

An affair does not necessarily foretell the end of a relationship. Dr. Phil McGraw has seven questions to ask to determine if your cheating partner deserves a second chance.

1. Is this an isolated event or a pattern?

2. Does your partner own his bad behavior or make excuses for it?

3. Does he have insight into how he’s hurt you or is he oblivious?

4. Is he sorry for his choice or sorry he got caught?

5. Is he willing to clean up his act, or is he in denial?

6. Is this out of character or does he have an insensitive gene? [Marriage Missions Editors Note: By this question Dr Phil is asking if the family has a pattern of infidelity in it. Family patterns can sometimes manifest themselves in future behavior of the children that grow up in it.]

7. Is this a legacy or new behavior?

The previous seven questions you asked of your partner.

One major question you have to ask of yourself is: If you reinvested in this relationship and allowed yourself to trust, and your partner cheated, do you have the depth and strength to recover from it, or would you be emotionally bankrupt?

Dr. Phil says this final question is the deal-breaker. If you can confidently say that you would have the courage to recover, you can move forward in your relationship with a spirit of optimism.

On his web site, Dr Phil drphil.com has other related information that he makes available to help with this type of situation. Even though this isn’t a Christian web site the information is helpful. And for the most part it doesn’t conflict with Biblical principles. Just use the gleaning principle that is discussed in Marriage Message #252 if you question any of it.

— PLUS —

Here are 10 more questions, based on those posed by Shirley Glass, which could also help you as you’re dealing with this issue:

10 Questions to Ask After An Affair for a Christian Marriage to Recover (Part 1)

10 Questions to Ask After an Affair for a Christian Marriage to Recover (Part 2)

— ALSO —

On DoctorOz.com there is an article posted that will help you to spot whether your spouse is lying to you and could either cheat on your again or is cheating on you now:

TIPS TO SPOT A CHEATER

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Filed under: Emotional & Physical Affair

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50 responses to “Seven Questions To Ask If Your Spouse Has Been Unfaithful

  1. After 24 years of marriage my husband decided to have an emotional affair with the stay at home mom who lives across the street, this went on for nearly 10 months unbeknownst to me. This was over 3 years ago, I am still having issues with getting over it. He seems impatient and insensitive to my healing. Always making quips on how the women in our neighborhood/small town all seem to want him. I am still hurting and very sensitive to these off color jokes he makes about it.

    He says I need to take responsibility for MY part in the breakdown of our marriage which led to his affair, but I am having trust issues because nearly a year after he told me “broke it off with her” he made contact with her again behind my back. He says it was to let her know that it wasn’t right to have the affair at all and all the ugliness that came about from her husband finding as well and it was all innocent for MY protection.

  2. Dear Dr Phil, I have not had an affair with anyone. The women or lady was past with a friend of ours. The man she was seeing told my wife something about her, which is unknown to me. The other day in the supermarket the women gestered a wave in my direction. My wife immediately snapped out! I do not have the time in my life for such an affair. I have treatments three times a week the other days I’m with my wife!! Please help!!!

  3. Hi I have been married 7 years. We are both 55 yrs old. I was suspicious of my husband cheating at work, so I put a minni tape player in his lunch box. The first day when she walked in the building he called her his hero. They immediately started kissing she told him she’s in love with him and he said, I love you; I can’t prove it to you. I’m trying as hard as I can. And he is still denying it. Why won’t he just tell me the truth?

    1. Hi Peggy, I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. I truly feel for you in this situation… therefore here is my answer. Your husband won’t tell you the truth because he’s probably very scared of losing you. The truth is, the forces driving an affair are so strong, that even though he knows it’s wrong, even though he knows it is dangerous… to break free of an affair is extremely difficult. Does your husband know that you are aware of this conversation? I had (I’m ashamed to say) on-line affairs through Facebook, which were ended now 11 months ago by me and my wife through writing letters together. I was very afraid of telling my wife the truth. But I knew I had to do it at some point in time. I will tell you, it was VERY difficult to give up these relationships… even though I love my wife first and foremost, and I said this to the affair partners as well. Thank God these are now ended. I am not proud of them and know I have to be very careful in this area in the future.

      Perhaps you need to carefully make up your own mind about what you want to do next. I believe that your husband needs to know that he cannot keep this up without significant consequences which you are prepared to implement. What should NOT happen is that he retain the conviction that he can keep on doing this without any changes in his life with you. How you do this is a matter of prayer and counsel from friends and family with whom you can freely share these issues.

      I hope these words help Peggy… and I hope for a positive outcome here. Perhaps the following websites will be of help? See what you think:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQUMFYNe8sk
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTkoxti_P6A

      Take care Peggy. May God bless you and keep you these days… WP (Work in Progress)

  4. I know this may sound weird but here goes…I’m a 68 male in very good health married to a lady who cannot have sex because of COPD and her shoulders are bad so hand “manipulation” is out of the question. She has hinted for me to go have an affair. My body is in full mood for sex and I feel like I’m being deprived of a healthy sex life. Should I have an affair or try to get by without sex?

    1. Jerry, having been in a marriage in the past where my wife could not engage in any intimate physical activity due to her health condition, I would recommend that instead of you seeking to satisfy your sexual desires outside of your marriage relationship, you instead seek to draw close to your wife in an intimate and loving manner. Focus your energy on bringing your gentle lovemaking to her mind and heart and body and soul by gently pleasuring her through your soft, sweet words and gentle touches. Learn new ways to play intimately with her that, while not perfect, seek to satisfy both of your needs within the context of your marriage relationship. May our Lord and Savior Jesus be with both of you during this changing time of life!

    2. Jerry, I’d like to add on to what M shared with you. I assume that when you and your wife got married you exchanged vows where you promised each other that you would love each other no matter what came your way: “til death do you part..” That included “for better, for worse…in sickness and in health…” I know what’s happening stinks – for both of you. But there are NO CONDITIONS in a marriage (according to the Bible we base our marriages on) that ever give one spouse a license to have an affair.

      What M shared with you really boils down to you being the “unsung hero” and being willing to sacrifice your wants, your needs and place your wife’s health and needs above your own. There won’t be any medals for you or dinners in your honor by doing this; but if you do this you will be a blessing to your wife and a God-honoring husband. And if you have children you will be a living example of what TRUE LOVE looks like. Blessings!