Studies show that over 20% of married couples face infidelity at some point in their relationship. While infidelity can mean different things to different people, it generally refers to when a person in a committed, monogamous relationship engages in an emotional or sexual relationship with someone else without the other partner’s knowledge. It can upturn lives and implode the very foundation of a marriage. Most affairs don’t stay secret and become apparent over time. Generally, the partner having the affair is going to act differently than they usually would. But accusing someone of infidelity without cold, hard proof is no small matter. So, if you’re looking for how to tell if your partner is cheating, any of the following signs could indicate that something is up.
He’s Emotionally Distant
Your partner is avoidant. He pulls away from your touch and avoids eye contact. He doesn’t want to connect emotionally and makes excuses not to spend time with you even though he spends it with other people. And he may stop talking about the future since he doesn’t know if you will be part of that future.
There’s Someone New He Can’t Stop Talking About.
Someone seems to have captured your husband’s attention in a way that appears to be gaining intensity. He’s taken a huge interest in a female coworker, a golfing friend, a neighbor, or a new friend and shares too many details about her life.
He Suddenly Cares About How He Looks
Since when does he wear cologne to work? Why is he washing his car so much? Are those new clothes? He’s joined a gym?!
A sudden change in personal grooming habits can indicate that he’s trying to impress someone else.
He’s Secretive With His Phone
He’s texting more than usual or sneaking off to use the phone. He changes the password on his phone and won’t share it with you. His social media is switched to private, and he clears the browser history on the home computer. In fact, he stops using shared devices altogether. Clearly, there’s something he doesn’t want you to see. His phone left on the bed used to be no biggie. Now, he’s changed the password, and God forbid you reach for it to show him something on Instagram.
He Communicates Differently
Have you noticed your partner ignoring you, seeming paranoid, or appearing sensitive to questions? He changes the subject or storms out of the room without a word. He’s passive-aggressive and uses dismissive body language such as eye-rolling or avoiding your touch. Your calls go to voice mail, or he needs to “call you back later.”
His mood changes on a dime and without explanation—because his guilt has shifted into depression, anger, or anxiety. He suddenly finds fault with everything you do because he’s trying to convince himself there’s something wrong with you in order to alleviate his guilt.
He’s Overly Thoughtful
He’s suddenly Mr. Perfect. He goes above and beyond with public displays of affection, out-of-character gestures of love, and effusive compliments when this has never been a thing in your relationship. He constantly reaffirms his devotion to you and seems to say “I love you” constantly. Alas, he’s most likely overcompensating because he feels guilty.
His Spending Habits Change
The car is always clean, and the gas tank is always full. You notice unexplained expenses on your credit card statements, or money withdrawals, and charges that don’t make sense. (NOTE: Cash is the payment of choice when it comes to an affair because his spending could easily be tracked with a credit card.).
He’s Away From Home More Than Usual
His job suddenly demands long hours and numerous out-of-town business trips, or he picks up a new hobby that keeps him away from home, but he doesn’t want to share it with you. Your husband stays out late without calling and doesn’t answer his phone when you call. He is vague about where he’s been, and when he comes home, he’s tired or grumpy and not interested in sex.
He Can’t Keep His Stories Straight
You may notice him give inconsistent information, or what he says and what actually happens don’t add up. Good liars try to repeat the same story each time they tell it. But cheating takes mental effort and can cause confusion. If he’s whispering sweet nothings to another woman, there’s more for his brain to keep track of… and more things to forget.
His Friends Avoid You
Let’s face it: his friends will know about his affair before you do. So, if they steer clear of you or can’t look you in the eye, it’s because they either feel guilty for keeping his secret or uncomfortable because of it.
He’s Overly Interested in Your Schedule
He wants to know where you’ll be and when because he’s looking for chunks of time to be with his mistress uninterrupted.
Your husband has lost interest in things you used to do together and things you both loved. He’s indifferent to you and uninterested in spending time with you. He doesn’t get jealous if another man tries to flirt with you, and he no longer cares about family functions or gatherings with coupled friends.
He Gaslights You
You confront your husband about your suspicions, and he goes above and beyond with his denial. He tells you you’re overacting, you’re paranoid, or that you’re crazy. In fact, he accuses you of cheating. This is because he’s projecting his feelings of guilt onto you—as a tactic to divert attention from himself.
You Smell Something Unusual
Your nose knows. If his shirt smells like Chanel No. 9., and you don’t wear Chanel No. 9; if he smells like cigarettes and neither of you smokes…you may be smelling a rat.
You Catch Him in White Lies
Lies spring up around a variety of things – however insignificant – perhaps to conceal his affair. Regardless of the reasons, he’s become accustomed to lying, and it’s easier for him now.
Sex feels superficial.
He only focuses on the physical aspects of sex, doesn’t prioritize your needs, and isn’t as romantic in bed. He appears to be thinking about other things, and there is a loss of connection—or even a loss of interest.
You Catch a Sexually Transmitted Disease
Need I say more?
Your Gut Tells You
Sometimes it’s simply your gut that says something is off. Sadly, if you suspect he’s having an affair, chances are he is. You know him better than anyone, so if the pit of your stomach is talking to you, listen. Add in any of the above signs; chances are something is up, and it’s time for that conversation we all dread. Hopefully, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. But if not, remember, your peace of mind is the most important thing. You deserved to be loved. You deserve to be ADORED! And whatever happens, you will be just fine.