By Daniel H Moss, Attorney
Infidelity is a betrayal that can shake a marriage to its core, often devastating both parties and making it impossible to reconcile the relationship. While there’s no scientific test to know if your partner is likely to cheat, knowing some of the telltale signs can help you sort out the facts of your specific situation.
Why do people cheat?
Unfortunately, no one answer fits every situation. Sometimes the marriage is unfulfilling; sometimes one partner suffers from low self-esteem; sometimes it’s due to a pure lack of self-control. Men tend to cheat for sexual, not emotional reasons. They aren’t necessarily looking to end the marriage, just fulfill their needs outside of it. For women, cheating typically fills an emotional need not being met in the marriage. Women often cite loneliness as the main reason why they are unfaithful.
All of the signs listed below combined might seem like a glaring red flag, but often potential infidelity starts with small behavioral changes here and there, making the clues less obvious.
Signs your partner may cheat:
- Displaying lack of interest in your relationship and home life.
Has discussing even daily activities become one-sided? Has your partner become distant or stopped offering support with home and life decisions?
- Participating less with the children.
Is your partner no longer helping with homework, attending dance recitals, sporting events, or planning family vacations with you?
- Changing appearance.
Has your partner’s wardrobe significantly changed or upgraded? Is he/she suddenly wearing a new cologne or perfume? In addition to changing appearance, a significant change in musical interests can also be a sign that someone new has entered the picture.
- Changing behavior or routine.
This could include working late every night, working every weekend, spending more time out with friends and not inviting you, disappearing for long periods of time with no explanation, cancelling plans, or more or longer business trips that often span weekends.
- Criticizing you often or accusing you of cheating.
Is your partner quick to argue? Does he/she criticize your behavior or appearance? Has he/she accused you of cheating? This behavior can often occur as a method of deflecting blame.
- Buying you gifts for no reason
Buying gifts or flowers “for no reason” is often done by cheating spouses as a response to guilt.
- Behaving secretively.
This can include whispering on the phone, late night calls, secret texts, and excessive or late night internet chatting or computer usage.
If you feel as though your partner is cheating or may cheat, talk to them about your feelings and fears. It’s better to be open and honest than to either be blindsided about an affair or to live with unnecessary suspicion.
Infidelity does not necessarily mean a marriage is over, but it is often a symptom of a greater underlying issue in the relationship, which may or may not be reparable. Couples counseling is typically the best chance for repairing a marriage after infidelity.
If you would like to discuss your situation one-on-one or need a referral to a qualified counselor, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 248.855.5656.
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