If you worry about a partner who strays, you're not alone. One snapshot is the popularity of Ashley Madison, a website that boasts 37 million paid subscribers seeking affairs, which CNN Money reported in July 2015. Proving that your hunch is right can feel overwhelming, since digital technology makes it easy for cheating spouses to cover their tracks. Cheaters often leave subtle clues about their behavior, however, which is important to recognize before you confront your spouse.
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Changes in Schedules
Cheaters often cite real or feigned changes in their work schedules to cover their tracks. A spouse may leave home earlier, arrive later, or claim some pressing responsibility -- such as a late meeting -- as the reason for his newly irregular schedule, advises divorce and affair consultant Dr. Reena Sommer in her online article, "10 Signs of a Cheating Spouse." When he does get home, however, his mood is distant, and he no longer seems interested in sharing the day with you.
Unexplained changes in personal habits may indicate a spouse who's seeking fulfillment outside of the relationship. For example, a cheating wife may go outside periodically to use her cell phone or she may spend long hours at the home computer, says psychologist Dr. Betty W. Phillips in her online article, "Warning Signs of Infidelity." Other red flags include abrupt phone hangups or computer logoffs when you enter a room. When you ask the reason, she becomes evasive, defensive, or she simply refuses to answer.
Increased Personal Spending
Sharp spikes in personal spending could suggest a spouse trying to impress an extramarital lover, Start with your spouse's cellphone bills, which will show if your spouse frequently calls a particular number, and when he's doing it, states private investigator C.R. "Bob" Brown in his PI Mall article, "Tell Tale Signs of a Cheating Spouse." Similarly, a review of bank statements, check stubs and credit card bills may reveal if your spouse is spending more money than usual.
Loss of Interest in Household Activities
A cheating spouse who is spending time with a lover may show less energy and less interest in household activities such as mowing the lawn, or doing basic repairs, says Brown. If you have children, she may show little or interest in their activities or in their well-being. You may also notice growing periods of apathetic behavior, irritability, or the withdrawal of affection. As Phillips states in her article, if your spouse suddenly stops saying, "I love you," it's time to ask why. Such behavior may suggest that a new person has stepped into the space of your relationship.
Preoccupation With Appearance
A sudden fixation with physical appearance and grooming habits could indicate the onset of an affair, especially if your spouse has seemed indifferent to these details before, says Brown. Examples include differences in hairstyles or clothing, as well as losing weight, or switching his brands of aftershave or cologne. These behaviors may indicate a cheater who is trying to make himself more sexually appealing. Similarly, if your husband starts showering once he gets home, you should ask why he's doing so.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- CNN Money: Who Is Ashley Madison?
- Betty W. Phillips, Ph.D., Psychology: Warning Signs of Infidelity
- PI Mall: Is He Cheating? Ten Telltale Signs of a Cheating Spouse
- Dr. Reena Sommer & Associates: Ten Signs of a Cheating Spouse
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: Causes and Types of Extramarital Relationships
- Beyond Affairs.com: Brian and Anne Bercht: Top 10 Signs of Infidelity
- The Huffington Post: Cheating Signs: 10 Classic Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating
- Woman's Day: Eleven Signs That He Might Be Having an Affair