cheatingThere are few totally reliable signs your spouse is cheating, so it’s often difficult to be certain.  Your spouse could be working late or seeing someone—how can you know?  You want to trust your spouse, but sometimes your instincts say something’s wrong.  Don’t ignore the feeling and don’t presume your spouse is guilty.  Instead, look for signs he or she is cheating, such as changing appearance, protecting a phone, getting a new credit card, wanting separate vacations, changing sexual behavior, becoming critical, needing privacy, using birth control, working longer hours, and emotionally withdrawing.

Changing Appearance

If your spouse suddenly begins using a new cologne, enrolls in a gym to lose weight, changes his or her hair style, or has cosmetic surgery, these are signs your spouse may be cheating on you.

Protecting a Phone

If your spouse puts a new password on his or her phone, keeps the phone with him or her at all times, turns it off when you are around, and gets upset when you touch the phone, something may be going on.

New Credit Card

If your spouse takes out a new credit card and has it sent to his or her office rather than your home address, or the statements are only available online and are password protected so you can’t access them, he or she may be buying gifts for a lover.

Wanting Separate Vacations

If your spouse suggests you take separate vacations this year, that’s a sign he or she wants you out of the way to be with someone else.  Time to have a serious discussion about what’s going on.

Changes in Sexual Behavior

If your spouse suddenly seems less interested in sex or wants to introduce new sexual behaviors into your routine, you should wonder what’s wrong or where he or she learned these new techniques.  This is a fairly sure sign someone else is around.

Being Critical

Pay attention to the quality of your relationship with your spouse.  Does he or she seem especially critical?  Are you fighting more about nothing?  Do you spend less time together?  A poor relationship can be a sign of cheating or the cause.  In either case, it’s bad for your marriage.

Need for Privacy

If you and your spouse stop doing things together, start to worry.  If you find your spouse is not sharing information that used to be common knowledge, pay attention; or if he or she accuses you of snooping when you ask a simple question, that’s a sign of trouble.  Your spouse is pulling away from you.

Using Birth Control

If you notice your spouse is taking the pill even though you had a vasectomy years ago, or you find condoms in his dresser or car even though you’re on the pill, that’s a solid sign your spouse is having an affair.

Working Longer Hours

If your spouse works longer hours more often and has no good explanation, discourages you from calling at work, wants to attend work parties alone, or takes out-of-town business trips more often, something is wrong with your relationship and a work affair may be involved.

 Emotional Withdrawal

If your spouse is suddenly distant, isn’t interested in sex, spends more time away from the house, or starts a fight when you try to get close, these are signs something is wrong and he or she is afraid of getting close to you.

What should you do if you think your spouse is cheating?

Trust your feelings because they are telling you something.  But, don’t immediately confront your spouse and accuse him or her of adultery.  Instead, begin collecting information to help you decide whether your spouse is cheating or not.  Search online for clues, talk to someone you trust, and seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by jealousy.  If you become convinced your spouse is cheating, share your concerns with him or her.  Don’t accuse him or her of adultery.

Instead, share your feelings and say why you are worried.  If he or she admits the affair, you must decide whether you want to save your marriage or get a divorce.  If they deny everything, can you trust your spouse in the future?  Wait and see–you will know if a few weeks or months whether your spouse is trustworthy or not.  If you decide you want a divorce because your spouse had cheated on you, seriously consider opting for a collaborative divorce rather than litigation, because you will begin healing emotionally sooner and be better able to co-parent your children with your ex-spouse.  A litigated divorce will simply inflame the anger and make your family situation worse.

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