Challenges in a marriage come in many forms, often the most difficult one you will have to face is infidelity. It can be an enormous blow to a marriage. But if you’ve found your way to this article, it’s because you’ve had your suspicions and need to put your mind at ease. Before you jump the gun and try confronting your husband, you must be certain of his indiscretions. First and foremost, I will tell you this: If your gut tells you that your partner is cheating, it may be right. That said, you may want to gather other evidence before you confront your significant other about their behavior.
Consider the following possible signs that your partner is not being faithful. As you can see, some of these signs are at odds with one another. This range of possibilities, which is certainly not all-inclusive of everything, shows just how different signs can be from one person to the next. And realize that while there are certain behavioral changes, curious actions, and odd occurrences that, together, may back up your unfortunate hunch, none of the following definitely indicate your partner is cheating.
1. He starts acting distant
Something suddenly feels “off” about him. He is physically present but is always lost in her thoughts. You ask him if there’s something that’s bothering him but the answer is always no. However, you can tell something mysterious is underway. His actions are peculiar and he might act shifty or fidgety. These can be signs of cheating guilt
2. He's constantly texting someone, but won't specify who
If your husband has a relatively small social circle, but suddenly has someone he's texting at all hours of the night, you might be seeing the nascent signs of an affair. The thrill of hiding the new relationship from a significant other might even be what keeps him going back for more. "There is a thrill that comes from being secretive and trying not to get caught. Cheating can create a relationship that has excitement and risk. It can indicate a break from the monotony of the relationship with one's primary partner," says Powell.
3. Changes in Your Sex Life
It’s more common for cheaters to decrease the frequency of sex at home, given that they’re getting it elsewhere, Coleman says. But sometimes they try to have sex more at home. “Guilt-ridden people may increase lovemaking,” Coleman says. “Some will do so to cover their tracks. But some may do so to satisfy a partner so that the partner will not be seeking sex at a later time when the cheater knows he or she won’t be available.”
4. Money becomes more of an issue
No surprise, but money talks. If you notice cash withdrawals from your joint accounts that are out of your partner’s usual spending limit or habit, alarm bells ought to ring. “They could be using cash to pay for their outings, with another person so that their activities aren't trackable,” Weiss says. If nothing else, it’s worth talking to your partner about where the money is going.
5. Your spouse doesn't argue anymore
If you and your partner used to argue but they take a sudden about-face, it could actually be a signal that they’ve checked out and are focusing their passions on someone else. “When you have other options, you are less affected by problems in a relationship. This is often misinterpreted as someone growing more patience, but, it often signals they are distracted with someone else,” Nicholas Hardy, a psychotherapist in Houston, Texas, tells Woman's Day.
6. They get defensive when you ask why certain things have changed
Usually a question as innocuous as, "How was the grocery store?" won't trigger a massive emotional response—unless you're dealing with a cheater, that is. Cheating can be stressful for everyone involved, meaning your husband suddenly starts acting like anything you ask him is akin to the Spanish Inquisition.
7. You start catching your partner in little white lies
“This is often how cheaters get caught,” Doares says. Maybe your partner says they needed to do something that doesn’t add up or someone they say they were with slips that they weren’t. “The truth is easy but lies are hard to keep straight,” she says. “Objective evidence supports truth but often conflicts with lies.”
8. They’re putting more effort into their appearance
It may be nice to see your significant other putting some work into their health and appearance, but those long hours at the gym might not be for you. When your husband suddenly has a new reason to look good naked, don't be surprised if he's suddenly hyper-aware about the calories in his favorite foods or the lack of definition in his calves.
9. They’re gone more often than they used to be
Cheaters have to make time for their fling—and that time usually comes from the time you once spent together. “Also, if the affair has gone on for a while, there may be demands placed upon them by their paramour to spend more time together,” Coleman says. Again, it’s perfectly OK, and expected to ask your partner what’s going on when they’re suddenly not around as much as usual.
10. Protectiveness with Electronic Devices
Infidelity is often revealed online, in text messages, or in phone messages. These tech changes may warrant concern.
- Your spouse is suddenly unreachable at certain times of the day.
- Your spouse changed their password or won't share it with you.
- Your spouse is always texting or sneaking off to take phone calls.
- You notice cloud sharing has suddenly been switched off on your devices.
- Your spouse stops using shared devices altogether.
Again, there is no definitive way to tell if your partner is cheating without asking directly or catching them in the act. What may be a warning sign in one relationship may be nothing to be concerned about in another relationship. Most signs of infidelity are quite subtle. It is only when the lies and stories stop adding up that the cheating usually comes to light.
Don't try to get through coping with unfaithfulness alone. Before you make any decisions about whether or not to end your marriage, it's wise to seek relationship therapy either together or alone. You can even try an online program that may be more convenient.