Do you worry sometimes that your spouse is cheating? Well, join the club. Many people have this sort of concern from time to time. It’s normal to wonder every now and then about cheating. Most of the time, within a few days, your worries will fade and you’re likely to forget about it. That’s normal, too.
But are there signs that you should really pay attention to? Are there “red flag” warnings that you shouldn’t ignore? There are some signs you might want to take more seriously.
Before you begin, though, it’s important to be honest with yourself. You need to be sure you are doing what is best for you and for your marriage.
Do you really want to know if your spouse is cheating? Maybe that seems like a silly question, but there are plenty of people who don’t want to know. Some of them, sure, are just hiding their head in the sand, but others have actually thought about it and decided it’s not something they want to know.
Make sure you’re being honest with yourself before you begin any kind of investigation into your spouse’s possible cheating.
There isn’t one certain sign that your spouse is cheating, other than you catching them in flagrante with someone else. Usually, there is some combination of signs that points to infidelity.
Here are some signs that can possibly indicate a cheating spouse.
1. Loss of Intimacy
This is not the same as a lack of sex in your marriage, although the two can be related. Rather this is a broader loss of emotional connection and sharing between you. Has your spouse withdrawn from your relationship? Do they no longer tend to share their feelings, whether positive or negative, with you the way they used to? Do they no longer want to be naked in front of you?
A gradual loss of intimacy – though still a problem that needs to be addressed – isn’t a serious a worry as a sudden change. An abrupt change could be due to some abrupt external change in your spouse’s life, and that could be caused by them making a new intimate connection with someone else.
As with many marital problems, the best way to address a loss of intimacy is by talking about it, rather than ignoring it. Don’t be afraid to talk to your spouse about your emotional connection with each other. If you can’t work out the kinks between you two, it’s best to ask for a counsellor’s help or get my coaching program so I can help you sort things out in your relationship.
2. Physical Separation
Besides emotional distance between you, a physical distance between you can also be a warning sign. Is your spouse suddenly going on the road for work much more than in the past? Or are they suddenly working nights and weekends away from you and away from home?
Do they seem to be “missing” at times you would normally expect to be able to reach them – at work, for example, are they no longer there at lunch or break times when you call? Again, if this is a sudden change, it can be a warning sign.
Other types of physical separation include sleeping in different places. Does your spouse want to sleep on the couch, or in a different room from you? It may be an innocent explanation, such as insomnia, but you should pay attention to it. Don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Little Or No Interest in Sex
This is not an uncommon problem in marriages, and it doesn’t always mean cheating. But a sudden loss of sexual appetite by your spouse can be a problem for you to address. If they aren’t interested anymore, it could be that they’ve found a new sexual partner.
4. Sudden Change in Sexual Behaviour
If your partner suddenly changes the way they have sex, if they want to try crazy new positions or do something suddenly different from your past, that can also be a warning.
Where did they suddenly learn this new sexual position? Could it be from a new sexual partner?
You know your spouse best, and if you think they haven’t learned it from the latest issue of Cosmo, then you can almost bet there’s something fishy going on.
5. Excess Online Time
Is your spouse spending too much time online? This can point to cheating, since if your spouse is having an affair they will want to keep their messages secret.
If your spouse is using a computer, do they keep the screen turned away from you, or from the door of the office? If so, why?
Do they use their phone too often or at odd times? Perhaps they try to hide what they’re doing from you, either by hiding their phone or by seeming nervous when they use it.
Excess online time can also be a warning about pornography. Looking at pornography is not necessarily a bad thing, but if it is done secretly and compulsively, for hours at a time, it could be a warning that your spouse is less interested in a relationship with you. Again, the best way to address this problem is through an honest conversation.
None of these warning signs is a serious indication of cheating all on its own. Each of them can have a perfectly innocent explanation. So don’t panic.
Best Guide Might Be Your Gut
There is no checklist of warning signs, so be careful and be sure before you bring up the subject of cheating. Feel free to bring up the symptoms you’ve noticed, though.
It is always OK to talk about them. “I’ve felt like we aren’t as emotionally connected as we were in the past, and I’d like to change that.” That’s a fine thing to say to your spouse. Or, “I miss having sex with you and would like to do it more often.”
Your best guide to whether your spouse is cheating is your instinct. No checklist can replace that. If you have a serious feeling – maybe you don’t even know exactly where it comes from – that your spouse is cheating, pay attention to it. If there are enough warning signs, you may be able to confirm that feeling.
A good analogy is your instinct about crime. Let’s say you’re walking home at night and you wonder if you should save ten minutes by cutting through that dark alley or deserted park. But something, a feeling, makes you hesitate.
That feeling is your instinct, and it’s based on all kinds of subconscious and unconscious data your brain has collected. Listen to it, and don’t take the dangerous shortcut! A good self-defense teacher will tell you that the most sensitive part of your body is the little hairs on the back of your neck. If they stand up, get out of there!
This is similar to worries about cheating. You must learn to trust your instincts, which come from subconscious and even unconscious impressions. If your spouse is cheating, this is how you will figure it out.