Sometimes it feels as if people are simply programmed to cheat. Perhaps not everyone, and not in every relationship, but the data suggests a large percentage of folks will be unfaithful at least once in their life.
One of the most robust surveys on the topic claims 19 percent of American women and 23 percent of men have been adulterous. This data, from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, & Reproduction, shows that statistically, you’ll likely find yourself in a relationship with a cheating partner at least once in your lifetime.
Are you reading this because you are worried about your relationship? How can you figure out if your husband or partner is cheating on you? Very rarely does infidelity unfold like a bad episode of the daytime talk show Maury Povich. . If you don’t catch someone in the act, all you can find is indirect evidence and a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Everyone’s relationship trouble unfolds differently. Browse through the following 15 red flags, and see if any of them sound familiar. Do they ring true to what’s happening in your marriage?
15 Signs Your Husband is Cheating on You
1. Your Gut Instinct
Reflecting on all those day-time TV talk shows about cheating husbands, you often get the impression the wife is always assuming the worst. She always feels her partner is unfaithful. But what if this gut instinct is right?
If you start to feel a deep-rooted shift in the dynamics of your relationship, you should pause for thought. While clearly, not every ‘gut reaction’ turns out to be accurate, there is something to be said for intuition. You might be subconsciously picking up on changes in your relationship that you can’t quite put your finger on yet. Trust your gut instinct.
Have you ever heard of gaslighting? According to a story in NBC news, “the term “gaslighting” to refer to a specific type of manipulation where the manipulator is trying to get someone else (or a group of people) to question their own reality, memory or perceptions.”
Have you tried to ask your husband questions about his strange behavior, but suddenly he’s turned the line of questioning around on you? Think back to your last few tough conversations, did your concerns end up flipped on their head, and you being in the wrong? Getting gaslighted is often tied up with an unfaithful partner.
3. Changes in Sexual Activity
Long term relationships usually get into a comfortable routine. You know what to expect when the lights go off, and how frequently you both need a little affection. If you notice sudden changes in your husband’s sex drive, even if it increases, this may be a sign of infidelity.
4. Lack of Affection
What’s it like to be in the same room as your husband these days? In most relationships, there are at least some displays of affection like kisses on the forehead, cuddles at night, or a tender touch while passing.
One sure fire way to tell something is a-kilter within the relationship is if these actions stop. It means something is sitting between you both, and that might be an extramarital affair.
5. Secretive Phone or Computer Use
Maybe you notice that the computer is now always locked in between uses, or that he quickly shuts his phone off when you enter the room. Both you and your partner deserve the right to have a private life outside the marriage, but that shouldn’t mean a secret relationship and communications with someone else.
6. Changes in his Friendships
There could be two changes in your husband’s friendships. Maybe, if they know something you don’t know, his friends could be uncomfortable around you. It might trigger their inner-conscious. They may become nervous.
Another change you might notice is that your partner no longer hangs out with his closest amigos. He may be spending more time with someone secret. He could be worried about his friends finding out about his indiscretions.
7. Fails to Answer Phone Calls Around You
If the phone is constantly ringing, but he doesn’t pick it up – what does that mean? Could be an uptick in scam callers, but it also might mean he doesn’t want to answer it when you are around. Is there someone on the line that he doesn’t want you to find out about?
We don’t condone snooping on his phone to see who all these missed calls are from but feel free to ask gentle questions. If he isn’t answering the calls, that is a bit strange. You deserve an explanation.
8. Late Nights at Work or with ‘Friends’
Many of the signs on this list can’t 100 percent detect a cheater. They are about changes in behavior, not necessarily the behavior itself. Spending late nights at work is another example, where drastic changes might be an indicator of infidelity.
If your husband has a job that requires constant over time, then more overtime isn’t anything new. But if you had a job that previously didn’t have any late nights, and now every night is late, this might be a red flag.
9. Aggressive and Accusatory Towards You
This ties in with gaslighting but is worth highlighting separately. If you ask questions, does he get aggressive towards you? There is usually a lot of stress on the cheater who is trying to keep everything secret.
A cheater could start lashing out at you, getting increasingly aggressive, or accusatory because they are under so much stress from their double life.
10. Avoids Being Seen in Public with You
Often the cheater won’t tell their new relationship about their other relationship. They try to maintain a double life – filled with lies and secrets. A marriage is about being together, which includes doing obligations outside of the home.
If your husband is cheating, he could start avoiding being in public with you. He could also begin to act strangely while out and about. Maybe he doesn’t want to hold your hand or only wants to sit at the back of the restaurant. These are all telltale signs of cheating.
11. Paying Attention to His Appearances
It is often true that once you are in a long term relationship, you don’t have to dress to impress. It’s comfortable, it’s natural and totally normal. If you notice that your partner is suddenly hitting the gym 24/7, putting gel in his hair, and wearing matching socks, you might want to ask some more questions. Who is he dressing up for, if it’s not for you?
12. “Forgot” to Mention an Appointment or Boys Night Out
As your husband frantically runs out the door, and you yell after him “Where are you going?”, you find out he had plans. Is it weird he didn’t tell you about them in advance? He may start “forgetting” a lot of plans.
Usually, you should have some idea of your partner’s schedule (especially if you have a family together). If he forgets to tell you critical details of his schedule, what does that mean about his faithfulness?
13. Suddenly he Becomes Overly Chatty
According to a report in Oprah about cheaters, “Liars talk too much.” Psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. elaborates, “When you’re telling the truth, you tend to be terse because it comes easily. Cheaters will often create long tales about strange stories and places they have been that day to act as an alibi.”
14. Big Changes in Spending Habits
You could have noticed the last few credit card bills were missing the usual charges from your partner. Has he switched to a personal credit card?
Another change you might notice is unexplained charges, which he then quickly explains with a long tale with too many details (See above point). If your husband is hiding his spending, or spending in new ways, it’s a small indicator that he doesn’t want you seeing what his buying.
15. Contracting an STI
It is an obvious sign that something is wrong if one or both of you show signs of an STI. You have to confront the fact it came from elsewhere, from outside the marriage. If both of you have been faithful, then there will be no new risk of STI. If one appears, it means it came from outside the marital relationship.
Do These Signs of Cheater Hit Home?
How many of these signs did you check off your list? Did one or more of them sound all too familiar? Accusing someone of cheating when they are not can be just as damaging as real infidelity. It’s worth taking time to reach your decision carefully. Nobody wants a situation to unravel as it does on Maury Povich.
If you have concerns about his fidelity, speak to a counselor. A couples counselor can even help you if your suspicions turn out to be true. While not every relationship can make it through an extramarital affair, many successfully do. It takes a lot of work from both parties, time, and commitment – but easier under the guidance of a therapist.