Something is different about your relationship, but you cannot put the finger on it. Things are not going as well as they started; your partner seems distracted most of the time and not engaging; you have probably been there before, but you do not want to jump to conclusions and look silly at the end of it, speculating and casting assertions will certainly make you feel silly if none of your aspersions was true. How do you know for sure that your partner is a cheat, especially if you are with someone who will carry something like that to their grave?
Is your partner cheating or going through a rough patch?
It is always good to be in tune with your partner; once the communication is good, you can know when the changes are taking place and sometimes prevent cheating before it even starts. After interviewing several couples, I have come to realize that most saw the clues very early but did nothing about it; interestingly enough, these persons were in denial, thinking that their partner would not cheat, however, cheating is a reality for most relationships, and we should at least know the signs.
1. Your Partner strays from their predictable everyday behaviour.
“My wife knew I was cheating before there was any real evidence. She said should tell.” Said one guy after being caught.
After spending time with someone for several months (or even years), you know their typical behaviour. You know how they act in certain situations and when they act differently, you want an explanation—if not cheating, then something else real and tangible.
In this respondent’s case, when he started his affair, he would grab his phone and head into the restroom for 20-30 minutes. His excuse: He was “reading email and the news.” The only problem was, his phone bill showed something very different.
2. Unpredictable mood swings.
“I was constantly looking for reasons to get away, and it was hard to think of new excuses all the time. So, I’d start a fight with him.” Said one lady about her husband.
Being angry in an instant—or being overly nice—is a red flag. There’s no real reason for her to leave, so she has to create one.
A glaring example is new activities that your partner goes to all the time (but never mentions afterwards). If they were going somewhere and had no reason to hide it, they would most likely talk about it with you.
“I just need time alone.”—while logical, excuses like these are usually without reason or completely out of the norm for your partner.
3. A rapid change in weight or appearance.
“After I started my affair, I dropped like 10 pounds in about a week. It was crazy.”
Cheating spouses change physically. Their love handles disappear, their posture changes and their muscle tone/definition returns. It’s the body’s primal means of preparing for courtship—some women will use that special perfume to hang with her girlfriends, the ones you are never introduced to, the hairdresser bills go up because instead of a monthly wash, it’s twice.
In addition, a cheating partner starts taking much better care of themselves and take a lot of pride in their appearance… especially when leaving the house without you.
4. Overnight change in musical taste.
“I’ve never really liked jazz. But I struck up with this woman; we enjoyed it together. I started listening to it all the time, to think about her.”
There’s nothing wrong with trying new things. But when it’s out of the blue, and they exclude you from the change, it’s a warning sign that something is amiss.
5. Loses track of the details.
“I was talking to my wife about a movie we saw and laughing about one of the scenes. She wasn’t laughing. I asked, ‘What? Don’t you remember?’ She then informed me that we hadn’t seen it together.”
As your partner shares their time with two persons, the memories of time spent with whom can be a difficult proposition, and mistakes will be made. Schedules get crossed, and they won’t be able to keep track of where they were on a given day. We are told that the women are particularly skilled at this; men beware.
6. Your partner suddenly needs a lot of privacy.
“I was working from home, and I started closing the door more often, saying that the kids were loud or that I just needed to work quietly. I was online chatting with my mistress.”
To take time for one’s self is normal. But when it’s out of the normal pattern—or is more and more frequent—it’s a sign that something else is going in. Going into work early, leaving late, getting off the phone suddenly, taking lots of private calls from a “relative” (mom, sister, someone untraceable) are also red flags.
7. Change in sexual appetite.
“We always had an active sex life; it was unbelievable when after a couple of months we hadn’t done it, and my husband is telling me that he is tired, two months and nothing.”
“After I started up with [my mistress], I started sleeping with my wife much more often. She told me I was really aggressive in bed and that she hadn’t seen me that way before.”
A sudden shift in what’s “regular” or familiar in bed—without discussing wanting something new—is a big warning sign of cheating. All the men I interviewed expressed experiencing a huge rush of testosterone, which manifested as a new confidence during sex.
They felt strong, masculine, virile … like every woman wanted them. Their egos were growing daily.
8. Hides financial history from you.
“We shared information easily, credit card bills and all, but when she started hiding the bill, I knew something was very different.”
The cheating partner will need an untraceable way to pay for things: gifts, meals, hotels, trips, etc. Loadable credit cards, PayPal accounts, eBay purchases are great ways to hide large or frequent transactions. Definitely investigate large, random transfers or cash withdrawals.
9. Technology is now smarter, and affairs have gone high-tech.
A new password on his cell phone or computer, a change of password at your bank or cell phone company, or cell phones being “left in the car” were once valid signs of infidelity.
But now, cheaters fly under the radar by using technology to do their communication dirty work. Apps exist that allow text messages, online chat sessions and pictures to last for a certain amount of time (and then disappear). Please pay attention to new email accounts and new apps being used on his cell phone.
Ways in Knowing a Cheater
While these signs aren’t foolproof signs of cheating, a few taken in combination are sure signs that something is up.
When and if any of the above is noticed, do not nag or jump down your partner’s throat, but set a time and voice your concerns; my mother always said, “Prevent is better than cure”, and that is how I approach my life. Building a good sound foundation is the key element to a successful relationship, the more informed we are, the better it is.