Cheating. It affects both young and old, as well as the affluent and the financially struggling. But one thing remains: The consequences of cheating are devastating for all parties involved.
In a 2012 survey, over 30 percent of women confessed they would be tempted to cheat if their partners never found out, while 41 percent of men said cheating violated their moral values. Everyday, men and women cheat — physically, emotionally, and even via technology.
If you’ve had that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach and your intuition has screamed out that something just isn’t right, you may have endured your suspicions long enough. The first step in determining the likelihood that your significant other is being unfaithful is to concentrate on their patterns and the potential signs of infidelity.
Love is not blind. If anything, it should help you see things with more transparency.
While the following signs may not imply that your partner is in fact cheating on you, each is definitely a warning that something is amiss with your relationship.
Take them with a grain of salt and be careful not to confuse these signs with proof. Because the truth of the matter is that you might just be downright paranoid.
But if you seriously think your lover is cheating, it’s time to set those suspicions straight.
Increase or Decrease In Sexual Needs
If your partner is suddenly turning you down for some midnight romping when they’ve never dissed your advances before, it could be they are getting their sexual needs satisfied elsewhere. When a lack of intimacy in the bedroom becomes an issue and your partner will do anything in their power to avoid physical contact, something is definitely wrong.
On the other hand, a hasty increase in sexual appetite may also be the result of infidelity.
“Both more and less interest in sex can signal infidelity,” says Jennifer Oikle, PhD, psychologist and dating coach. “While many couples experience changes in their sexual activity over time, if your spouse is never interested in having sex anymore, you should consider the possibility that they are having an affair.”
Drastic Change In Appearance
When your casual companion begins transforming into a fashion-forward individual, it doesn’t always mean they are attempting to impress you.
“A man or woman who drastically alters their clothing style, appearance or body shape for no apparent reason may be having an affair. Perhaps the other lover has suggested he grow a beard, wear her hair differently or use cologne/perfume. If they begin dressing differently for work, there may be a coworker they are trying to impress,” explains Danine Manette, investigator and infidelity expert. “They may be trying to look good for a new love interest or perhaps the other person works out at the gym and they are showing a sudden interest in going too.”
Change In Attitude
“Cheating creates a lot of internal turmoil and tension, which gets played out between the two of you. Plus, in order to cheat on someone, you have to be focused on what you don’t like about them. By making that loud and clear, they’ll feels more justified in cheating and less guilty,” says Dr. Oikle.
If your companion starts becoming suspicious of you, even though none of your behaviors or habits are out of the norm, that typically calls for a red flag. When they feel guilty for cheating, they’ll simply project their frustrations onto you.
They Become Protective of Their Cell Phone
Does your spouse have a death grip on their phone–bringing it into the shower and into bed with them at night? Do they happen to get all defensive when you ask why they deleted specific phone calls, a voicemail or text messages? People who suddenly become more private–putting a password on their phone or laptop–will often times get defensive and accuse you of snooping.
Since the majority of emotional affairs occur over the phone, if you find that your trustworthy companion immediately hangs up when you enter the room, or that they always erase their phone history, you may want to check their phone records to see if they are arranging illicit liaisons. That is, if you have access to them.
“Many people who are having affairs are found out by their mobile phone records, which will typically have numerous calls to the same person,” says family therapist Donna Tonrey.
Trust Your Intuition
Your intuition will assist you in detecting the early warning signs. Are you constantly looking for excuses related to your partner’s behavior or trying to convince yourself that they would never hurt you? When you suspect that your sweetheart’s behavior is out of the norm, communicate your suspicions with them, ask for honesty and talk about what you’ve been noticing.
Trust and communication are the foundations of a good relationship and whether or not you are being cheated on, your concerns MUST be addressed early on to deter future infidelity.