Relationships: What to do when you've falsely accused your faithful spouse of cheating
Wrongly accusing one's spouce of cheating can be a marriage breaker. At the very least the wrongful accuser will need to take some serious steps to rebuild the relationship
The silence is almost unbearable. The hurt in the eyes of your spouse feels like a knife tearing at your heart. The trust is draining away like your lifeblood. Why is all of this happening? It is your fault, because you have just wrongly accused your spouse of cheating on you and it has been proven beyond doubt that the accusation was false. He or she has not been unfaithful. You were wrong to accuse. Yet your words hang like a crown of thorns over the head of your loved one, unable to be retrieved. What do you do to make it right, what can you do?
You were so sure of yourself when you began. The facts all seemed to point towards an affair and indicated that your loved one had breached the trust that should exist between married couples and yet now it is you who has broken that trust. It is you who has to hope the damage can be repaired.
Trying to put things right
The first step needed is to apologise. Accept the expressions and words of anger from your wronged partner, if they happen, without thinking of responding in kind. He or she has a right to be upset and angry. Similarly, you must make the apology unconditional and show by your words and actions that this is the case. By that I mean that no attempt should be made to justify your actions, because there is none. Apologise sincerely and with humility.
Don't expect, or even worse demand, an acceptance of your apology. Your loved one has been hurt and people react in different ways to dealing with such emotional upset. Give him or her time if they need it; time to calm down and to come to terms with what has happened. It may take them a while to accept that you are truly sorry and you have to be patient and allow your loved one the space to make the decision.
When the atmosphere has calmed ask your loved one if you can sit down quietly together in order that you can try to explain the reason behind your accusation. Again, this is not a question of being able to justify what has happened, it is a means of clearing the air. In addition, with the help of your spouse, you may find what it was within yourself that caused such a mistake and they might be able, if they are willing, to help you to deal with that situation, even if it is something as dangerous as jealousy. Sometimes we see ourselves better through another person's eyes. In a situation like this, we need our partner’s vision.
The next step is to ask for forgiveness. In that quiet time take their hand in yours and tell them you would like to be forgiven. You cannot, at that stage expect them to forget, but you can say that you hope you love and affection and future actions will lead to you both being able to put the situation behind you in the future. Forgiveness is important in providing both of you with healing.
It is you who have broken the trust, therefore it is imperative that you accept the responsibility of needing to rebuild the relationship, which of course can only be achieved with the help of the spouse who has been wronged. But you must take that first step on the path to rebuilding and mean it. Working together the two of you will be able to recover the loving relationship that you had before, but it takes intention, determination, commitment and time. Do not expect miracles as the pain will not disappear overnight. Work slowly and carefully as you seek to re-establish the close and committed relationship and it will happen.
Learning the lesson
Finally, you must learn from the experience. In the future think twice before you say something that might cause pain to others, especially where that comment might not be true. If something happens that you do not understand, ask and explain your reasons for the questions. Never accuse unless there is literally no doubt that you are right, because the next time you might not be able to put right the consequences.
Wrongly accusing your spouse of infidelity is one of the worst mistakes you can make in a relationship. Make sure your regret and apologies are real and come from the heart and ask for his or her help to enable you both to move onto the future, putting the past behind.