Adultery is a serious thing, one of the reasons a marriage may end in divorce. But what if your spouse or partner accuses you of cheating when you are completely innocent?
This will play out in two ways:
In scenario one, your partner will realize his or her error and (hopefully) apologize. The whole incident may blow over. However, the accusation can ignite trust issues, making it difficult to continue a marriage. You may need to seek couples therapy to find your path again.
In scenario two, your partner continues to accuse you of cheating and even works to find evidence. Sometimes this stems from his or her insecurities or a lack of trust. In other cases, the accusation may be a diversion designed to prevent you from examining his/her behavior too closely. He or she may even be making it up as a way to prompt divorce.
- Is it possible your partner is the one cheating? He/she may not be, so do not jump to this conclusion. However, it is worth examining.
- Is something happening in your relationship that has your partner feeling insecure or disconnected?
Speaking to your partner about this will be difficult, especially because you have every right be furious about the false accusation. But if you can calmly ask what led to this conclusion, you may be able to uncover the problem. Explain your side of things. Explain you love him/her and ask him/her not to bring this up again.
If he or she continues to accuse, ask for marital counseling. If he/she is unwilling to listen, you may need to seek therapy alone to figure out your next steps, whether that’s divorce or not. You may also be feeling guilty, as if somehow it’s your fault, but it’s important to recognize that you did nothing wrong.
A partner who has accused you of cheating may not make divorce easy. The partner may feel entitled to more money. In North Carolina, affairs have legal ramifications in divorce, so make sure your lawyer knows about the accusation in case your partner tries to prove an affair in court. You might consider mediation as an option for working things out.
If You Cheated
Please note that if you cheated, it’s best to come clean to your attorney during divorce proceedings. Not telling your lawyer can cause problems, make his/her job harder, and will probably cost you more money in the end.
Divorce questions? Bring them to our Raleigh divorce workshop, every second Saturday of the month.