In the first installment in this series, we talked about the most common scenarios where affairs take place. Next we are going to look at the warning signs you need to look for, in order to help you determine whether or not your spouse is having an affair.
Hollywood movies are full of the “classic” signs of unfaithfulness: a smear of red lipstick on his collar; the lingering scent of another woman’s perfume; or her sudden desire to dress up and go out for a drink “with friends” you’ve never heard of before. Real life is often very different, and rarely are the signs of a cheating spouse that obvious, or that cliched.
If your spouse has recently changed the passwords on their social media accounts, or started a new email or messaging account but hasn’t shared that information with you, where before they would have, this could be cause for concern. In fact, any sneaky behaviors that are new, and don’t have a justifiable explanation, should make you wonder.
A sudden change in schedules can be a red flag, especially if the reason given is something they don’t want to discuss, or give few details about. A significant increase in the number of days they have to stay and work late, or “get called into work,” especially if there doesn’t seem to be any increase in the family’s finances, can be an indicator of unfaithfulness.
Distracted and forgetful:
If your spouse has become increasingly distracted of late, as if their mind is elsewhere and they are thinking about other things, this may be a clue. If the distractedness is compounded by forgetting important dates in your marriage, like birthdays or anniversaries, then you may have cause to worry!
Sudden, unexplained increases in guarded phone use is a certain red flag. Regularly stepping out to use the phone, as if they don’t want to have you overhear the conversation they’re about to have, could be a sign of unfaithfulness. Additionally, suddenly being protective of their phone and being careful to take it everywhere with them, as if they are afraid you may check their messages or call history is a sign to watch for.
Many people spend hours online every day. Whether it’s social media or games, it isn’t uncommon for a person to spend several leisure hours every day online. But if your spouse suddenly seems to want to spend much more time than usual online, and doesn’t seem to want you to see what they are doing, this could be a sign of a virtual affair.
Vague and dismissive:
If your spouse have become vague about where they are when they go out, or seems reluctant to share details with you about social events they attended, you may need to worry. Especially if they were open in the past, and lately seem to have become more guarded and closed about their whereabouts and activities.
A spouse who was never particularly attentive, that suddenly wants to talk and buy you gifts, or a spouse that was formerly very engaged and lately seems distant and uninvolved, could be a sign of a spouse who is cheating on you.
While these aren’t the only signs of an affair, they are the most common ones, and tend to be indicators of a marriage in need of some serious therapy, or a divorce attorney. So if you have seen any of these trends in your spouse’s behavior of late, you may need to do some careful thinking about how to proceed from here. Join us next time, when we will be looking at what cheating spouses say to themselves to justify their affairs, and how they may be feeling.