No one wants to believe that their partner is being unfaithful. Sadly, it happens all the time. For unsuspecting partners, suddenly finding out that their partner has been dishonest hits them like a freight train. They begin to analyze all of the seemingly off interactions that led to the revelation, looking for signs in retrospect. You, however, may be few steps behind finding tangible evidence and are just beginning to ask yourself, "Is he cheating?"
Well, if you have an unsettling feeling that something might be amiss, you may be able to save yourself some time wallowing by being a bit more observant than usual. The truth is, most people who are cheating aren't able to fully cover their tracks and pretend nothing is happening. And the ones who do, well... let's just say they probably had a lot of practice.
Even if you don't have proof, the suspicious behavior is oftentimes the most telling. One-night stands can be much harder to uncover because they are usually spontaneous and thus have no real evidence attached to them. However, the more sinister, premeditated infidelity that is a recurring thing usually comes with some warning signs.
If you suspect your partner may be cheating, then keep an eye out for these red flags.
1. They Display Any Sketchy Phone Behavior
As easily explainable as it may seem, in my opinion, any amount of suspicious behavior surrounding a cell phone should be a dead giveaway that they are up to something. I get it, phones hold a lot of personal information, but none of that information should be so private that they actively take measures to keep you from seeing something.
According to dating expert and relationship writer Demetrius Figueroa, “[If he regularly] seems to avoid talking or texting on his phone near you, especially if he goes as far as entering a different room to check his phone," then they may definitely be cheating.
Did they decide to put a lock on for no apparent reason? Have you caught them deleting messages? These are all situations that could mean that they are in contact with someone they don't want you to know about.
I am generally against snooping as I think it is a pretty big reflection of a lack of trust, but if someone's behavior is giving you a reason to doubt their loyalty, then this may be a reason to be more observant.
2. You're Having Less Sex
For most happy couples, sex is an awesome way to blow off steam after a stressful day. If you've noticed the number of intimate exchanges (either sexual or otherwise) taking a nose dive, then this as a sure sign that something isn't right.
It's totally natural for the amount of sex a couple is having to fluctuate a bit due to exhausting work hours or simply transitioning out of the honeymoon phase. But, if you've been having much less sex with your partner for no real reason aside from their disinterest, there's a chance that they are getting physical intimacy from somewhere else. Talking with your partner about changes in your sex life can feel uber daunting, but this is not something that should go ignored.
3. They Have A New Habit
Has your partner started hitting the gym a lot out of nowhere? Or wearing a new fragrance you don't recognize? Major changes that don't have a clear catalyst could mean that they are putting in some extra effort — unfortunately, it may be to impress someone else.
As upsetting as this can be, if you suspect your partner may have a new habit or behavior, instead of freaking out — which, more often than not, will be met with denial — certified sex therapist Kristin Marie Bennion recommends keeping your cool and avoiding any rash behavior: “More often than not, this is not the time to engage in 'detective work' (which many people do). This is a time to engage in good communication skills, be honest about what [was] observed, and let [your] partner know how it is making [you] feel.”
Basically, if something feels amiss, don't be afraid to acknowledge the change. Just be careful not to be too accusatory in case they end up having a totally reasonable explanation.“Things change in healthy relationships all of the time, so it doesn't necessarily mean there is a need to be alarmed," notes Bennion.
4. Their Work Schedule Changes
It's normal for everyone's workload to fluctuate based on a plethora of different factors. Most changes in schedules tend to coincide with a particularly important assignment that you likely would have heard about as soon as it came into the picture. If you are aware of a legitimate work commitment that could lead your partner to put in extra hours, then this may not in and of itself signify a hidden lover.
But if you notice your partner's working habits have suddenly changed without explanation, this should be a red flag. If your partner is frequently staying late at the office to "work," they could most definitely be covering up some premeditated sexcapades.
Again, this seems like something that should be addressed in a conversation at some point — not gone unacknowledged.
5. They Spend Long Periods Of Time Unavailable
Has your once super responsive partner started taking hours to respond to your texts? When you ask what they were up to during this time, do they respond with vague details like "working" or "running errands"? Although it's totally normal for people to spend part of their day away from or unable to answer the phones, if this starts happening regularly, then it may be a good idea to dig a little deeper by asking some follow-up questions.
Just take a moment and put yourself in their position. How often are you honestly away from your phone, completely unable to answer your partner's text for more than a few hours? These days, situations that require long periods of radio silence without prior knowledge really are few and far between.
Try calling. If it goes straight to voicemail and you hear from him a few hours later, then only two things could have happened: Either his phone died (which is totally possible, but just think about how panicked you are when your phone's dead and you're unreachable — you'd want to find a charger ASAP), or he turned it off.
6. They Are Frequently Distracted
Talking to a brick wall is no fun, and trying to have a conversation with your partner when they are clearly mentally somewhere else is just as miserable. If you've noticed your partner seems distracted while you're spending time together, then this could definitely be a sign that something is up. According to clinical sexologist and founder of Eros Coaching Dr. Mara Tara Lee, “[This] has to do with the amount of emotional energy that you put into the other person, and consequently denying or unable to give to your partner.” Even if they are able to go through the motions with you, if they seem unusually drained or off, and there haven't been any significant changes to account for this behavior, then this could be a reason for pause.
Ultimately, I believe that people do make mistakes. It's up to you if to decide if it's worth staying with someone who has past or present transgressions. You do owe it to yourself to not let an unfaithful partner sucker you into coming back if you are not ready or able to forgive them. Choosing to forgive them and move on to someone who values your relationship enough, to be honest, is most definitely your prerogative.
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