Marriage is a sacred bond, centered on love and trust. That is why finding out your spouse is having an affair can change your life forever. For some people, it's a deal breaker. It's the end of the marriage. For others, forgiveness and therapy are an option.
Only you know what is right for your situation. Either way, you want to make sure you think fast and protect your best interests and avoid making mistakes that could cost you.
WBTV talked with a family attorney and a family therapist to get the information you need to know if you catch your spouse cheating. We uncovered advice that can help you in the courtroom and advice that could help save your marriage.
Attorney Angela McIlveen told WBTV that, nowadays, spouses are typically catching each other cheating by reading texts or social media conversations.
"It is rare that we get what you might think of as the money shot," McIlveen said.
In a conversation with WBTV, she said it is uncommon for a person to catch their partner "in the act."
Again, she said she is seeing more and more cases where an affair is revealed through email or Facebook exchanges.
If you want to have a case in court, McIlveen said it's important you save those exchanges. Essentially, the conversations serve as evidence.
"One of the mistakes that people make is they delete emails that they found or they tell the spouse they know about the affair early on," McIlveen said. "That causes the spouse to go and delete everything and they miss the opportunity to get the evidence they need."
But what if you decide, despite the fact that your spouse is cheating, you want to try to work through it?
Family therapist Pepper Hair said it is important to refrain from physically lashing out or threatening your partner.
Hair told WBTV that will only cause further damage to your relationship.
"Threatening, threatening, threatening, that is some peoples first go to response and that is quite understandable, but it is really very unproductive because sometimes you say things that people live with a long time afterwards," Hair said.
Another thing to avoid, according to Hair, is asking for unnecessary details about the affair.
She said that can make it harder for you to heal.
"You don't need to know exactly what bed it happened in, what people were wearing and that kind of thing. You think it will make you feel better if you have the picture but it actually makes you feel much worse," said Hair.
Something both Hair and McIlveen agree on: No matter which road choose it's best to shield your children from heated arguments and name-calling.