You don’t have to catch your partner red-handed to know that they’re cheating on you. You don’t have to witness incriminating texts or get a phone call. Your instincts tell you something about the relationship is not right. Are they coming home later than usual? Maybe they’re acting a little more distant toward you. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t brush off the signs thinking you’re just overreacting. Trust your instincts. Here are ten subtle signs to watch for.
1. Where Are You?
Not being able to reach your partner on occasion isn’t necessarily suspicious. However, it’s a red flag if lately, you call and they don’t pick up. When they do pick up, they have a lame excuse, like their phone ran out of charge. Sure it happens, but after the fourth time, you may want to raise your suspicion level. Another excuse that raises red flags is if every time you call, he’s “sleeping.” This raises suspicion levels, especially if it’s two o’clock in the afternoon.
A cheater needs an ample amount of time to, well, cheat, so if they’re engaging in an affair, they will be unreachable in that timeframe. Otherwise, if they do answer the phone, they run the risk of you hearing background noises and voices.
2. Schedule Change
When it comes to cheating, hindsight is everything. Once an affair is out in the open, you realize small indicators pointed toward infidelity, but you missed them. An affair doesn’t purely mean physical. There are emotional affairs, too, and these signs can be subtle. Maybe your partner started staying at work later. Or were they on their phone at night more? You saw the signs, but you brushed them away.
Cheating is about secrecy, so the individual does their best to stay under the radar. The endgame is to not get caught, so of course, they attempt to make everything look normal, and if you are a trusting person, you will give the suspicious behavior a pass. It’s important to note that not all of these circumstances mean your partner is cheating. However, if the behavior raises suspicion, don’t brush past it either.
Predictable schedules are common, even if they change slightly every so often. However, a subtle sign is when the daily schedule isn’t so predictable anymore. Instead of going to the gym in the mornings, they’re now going every evening. Maybe they used to work overtime once a month, but now it’s once a week even though they didn’t get a new job or a promotion.
3. Change in Phone Habits
This sign is a big one that should not be overlooked and can range from a password change to dragging the phone into the bathroom every time. Phone habit changes indicate deception. Even something as small as never asking you to retrieve their phone anymore. It’s a red flag if your partner is constantly clearing the history.
Today, cell phones make cheating easier because you can now text messages that disappear within an hour.
4. Making up Excuses to Run Errands
A cheater needs to make time for their affair, so they have to get away somehow. You just went food shopping yesterday, so why does your partner need to run to the grocery store again? It’s a red flag if they went to the gym this morning but tell you they’re going again this evening.
Sometimes cheaters will simply say they are going for a drive. This leaves no paper trail and is a good excuse not to answer the phone if you call. Additionally, if they say they are going to the store and are gone for over four hours and come home with only a loaf of bread as “evidence,” you may have a cheater on your hands. They may “run errands” at places you can’t trace, like getting an oil change. Again, these small changes may not seem like much, be they are red flags to watch for.
5. Change in Sex Drive
If your cheater is getting it elsewhere, they will have less time and energy to get it from you. However, cheating can sometimes be a turn-on, which makes them want even more sex from you.
People that feel guilty tend to increase sexual activity at home because they either feel bad or they are attempting to cover their tracks. Another reason for an increase in their sex drive is that they want to satisfy you when they’re available because they know they will be unavailable later. Doing so helps cover their tracks.
How to Re-Kindle a Romance
A cheating partner doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship. With help from a therapist or simply deciding to work on the relationship, many couples have gotten back together. However, if you feel your relationship is on the rocks, here are a few tips on how to reignite the flame.
- Be Kind: Niceness goes a long way, especially with small gestures like making them a cup of coffee in the morning.
- Take a Day Trip: Use a vacation day from work and spend the day together doing things you enjoy, like hiking or having a picnic in the park. Make the day just about the both of you and nothing else.
- Do Anything Together: It doesn’t matter what the activity is; just do it together, just the two of you. Ride bikes or take the dogs for a walk. Why not try preparing dinner together? The point is to have fun together (and leave the phones at home).
- Schedule Time for Sex: Unfortunately, due to family obligations, work, and other outside circumstances, sex doesn’t always occur naturally. Sometimes you need a little push to make it happen. Make it romantic with a bubble bath and candles. It may sound cheesy, but it works.
6. Changes in Their Friends’ Attitudes
Cheating takes a lot of energy, and a cheater would rather spend time covering up their tracks with you than with their friends. Chances are your partner’s friends already know about the extracurricular activities.
Additionally, people tend to confide in their friends, especially when it comes to something as secretive and personal as cheating. Whether or not your partner’s friends condone these scandalous acts, they will most likely end up feeling anxious around you because they know what’s going on. It’s a definite red flag if it felt like you were part of the group at one point, but now your partner’s friends barely acknowledge you.
7. Changing up Their Appearance
One day they don’t care about how they look when they go out to dinner, and then suddenly, they can’t go to the supermarket without putting on their best clothes. People decide to focus on their appearance or go to the gym for different reasons. But if that’s the case, there shouldn’t be any secrecy behind it.
If it was never their thing in the past, but now they’re spending a lot of money on things like clothes, cologne, and jewelry, you shouldn’t feel guilty for inquiring why.
It becomes a red flag if your partner gets defensive about it when you ask.
8. Something Doesn’t Add Up
This bigger red flag is commonly how a cheater gets caught. If it’s not adding up in your head, you already have suspicions. For instance, they say they are going to meet their best friend downtown, but you ran into the best friend earlier today, and they never mentioned it.
This is usually the turning point in the relationship because you’ve seen the other more subtle signs, and now you can’t ignore this bigger one. At this point, you either move on with your suspicion, or you continue to ignore the signs and continue living in ignorant bliss.
What to Do if You Suspect Your Mate of Cheating
You absolutely cannot ignore the signs any longer, but you don’t have any proof. Your gut (and your best friends) are shouting, Beware! Beware! But what do you do if you suspect your mate is cheating on you, but you’re not sure? Check out these five things you should do if you think your partner is cheating.
- Create and Analyze Your Red Flag List: You’ve seen the signs. Make sure you’re absolutely ready to label your partner as a cheater before you act.
- Create a Pro and Con List: This can help you look at the situation more objectively.
- Confide in Supportive Friends: SUPPORTIVE friends can help you with a third-party perspective.
- Create a Journal: Use a journal to write down all your thoughts. This can help you in understanding your next move.
- Communicate with Your Partner: Sometimes, it’s best to confront the situation head-on. If you feel uncomfortable, try a therapist so you both can talk it out.
9. They’re Less Talkative
Your partner used to come home and talk about his day, including all intimate details. However, if they’re cheating, they’re less likely to confide in you any longer. Those conversations are now reserved for the fling. Your partner used to joke around with you or discuss future plans, but that has stopped. Now it’s more grunting of answers to questions you asked.
Before, your partner told you when and where they would be and what time they would be home. Now, you have to ask where they’re going?, and what time they’ll be home?, and when you do, most times the answer is a shrug or an “I don’t know.” There are only so many hours and so many questions in a day, and if he’s cheating, your partner has to spread out that energy more, which means less attention for you.
Common Reasons for a Divorce
Even though the divorce rate fell 19% from 2008 to 2016, divorce is a very real thing. A recent study shows that approximately 42% of married people decide to divorce. While marriages end for various reasons, here at five common reasons couples head to divorce court.
Lack of Affection
When was the last time you told your partner, “I love you?” When was the last time you held their hand or kissed them on the cheek? Can’t remember? Couples heading for divorce can’t either.
One of the biggest predictors of divorce is contempt. During a marriage, it’s normal to have some negative feelings toward your partner, but when you begin eye-rolling and sneering and feel your partner is beneath you, you may be headed for divorce. This happens when you’ve lost respect and have a lack of appreciation for them.
Married at a Young Age
The person you were in your 20s isn’t the same person at 50. Of course, physically speaking, things change with our bodies. However, as we mature, our values and interests, among other things, have changed. If we don’t grow with our partners, the only other option is to grow apart, which is what commonly happens.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
In a recent study, substance abuse is cited as one reason for a third of all divorces. If you or your partner (or both) are struggling with addiction, it can become a major stressor in your relationship.
When one or both partners venture outside the marriage to have their needs met (either physically or emotionally), this breaks down a marriage. When this betrayal happens, trust is very difficult to get back, so the option is to dissolve the marriage.
10. Suddenly They Become Critical of You
Things that never bothered them before become irritating to them. For instance, you always leave your dishes in the sink, but now your partner criticizes you for doing it. It’s as if they’re nitpicking because they feel guilty and trying to justify cheating. Oh, you always leave a dish in the sink, or you constantly forget to let the dogs out at night, so now I have to cheat. It makes their cheating your fault. It sounds ridiculous, right? But it’s the mind’s way of coping with doing something it knows is wrong.
Don’t ignore the red flags. You know when it feels your relationship is off. Could you be overreacting? Maybe, but the signs are all there. No relationship is perfect. However, it’s not a healthy relationship if you are constantly worrying about if your partner is being faithful to you. At the very least, have the uncomfortable conversation. You may find your partner is not cheating, but if you do, once everything is out in the open, you can decide to do what’s in your best interest.