By Andreea Ciulac
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When you find out your partner is sexting, how should you respond? A few experts give their take on the best ways to confront him or her and how best to resolve the situation.
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Q: You accidentally see a sexy text on your partner’s phone. Should you confront him or her right away, or wait to gather more information?
A: The natural impulse is to confront your partner. If you’re actually dealing with a cheater, you won’t get an honest answer.
However, if you jump right into spy mode, hacking into his or her social media to find more malfeasance, you’re going to feel like a jerk.
How you proceed comes down to your partner’s response when you confront.
Minimizing: “It was just a joke between friends.”
Defensiveness: “What are you? The friend police?”
Blame shifting: “You don’t want me to have friends.”
Gaslighting: “What text? I didn’t get a text.”
Review the evidence, and weigh how plausible the explanations are. Do you call any of your friends “sexy beast?” If you get sketchy answers, consider snooping. It comes down to what your deal breakers are.
When you’re considering wiretapping your partner, admit that the trust is gone. If your partner cannot respond with honesty and transparency, you don’t need any more evidence.
-Tracy Schorn, owner of the infidelity blog Chump Lady and author of “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life, The Chump Lady’s Survival Guide”
If the text message is clearly and obviously inappropriate, you should address it immediately.
Start out the conversation directly: “I saw it by accident, but I’m glad I did. What is going on?”
Watch your partner as she responds to you. Is she showing any arrogant behavior, looking down her nose at you, disregarding your feelings, brushing you off or showing inappropriate emotions such as smiling as if it’s no big deal? All of these are bad signs.
A truly regretful partner will realize he messed up and will be willing to let you have the space you need to earn his trust back. That shows he values and respects you. He will understand that you won’t take what he says or does at face value anymore until you can trust him again, and that will take time.
Someone who loves you will give you all the space you need to heal because of her bad judgment. If your partner gives you any excuses, doesn’t take your feelings of betrayal seriously or doesn’t understand she breached the trust of your relationship, you know where you stand, and it’s not as a valued partner and a united couple.
-Renee Ellory, deception and credibility expert and blogger at Eyes for Lies