Have you ever worried that your spouse may be cheating on you? It’s a terrible, painful feeling. Of course you don’t want to believe it, and you may even try to look past your suspicions and explain them away. However, there are some signs that your spouse is having an affair that really shouldn’t be ignored.
Below is a list compiled by Cathy Meyer that does a good job outlining some of the biggest warning signs your spouse may be having an affair. It’s hard to explain the feelings of betrayal and hurt that are felt when these suspicions arise. And these feelings can lead to desperate and erratic behaviors. For that reason, the warning in the next paragraph is crucial to keep in mind as you’re reading.
WARNING -- as Cathy cautions, be careful not to confuse signs with proof. If you suspect something might be going on, get some professional guidance from a marriage counselor. An affair doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage, it can be an opportunity to make some needed changes that actually save it and make it better.
Warning Signs Of An Affair
If you suspect your spouse may be cheating take a look at the following signs. They're from Cathy's article, Top 9 Signs Your Spouse Is Cheating.
You have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, something is not right but you can't quite figure out what that feeling is about. Your spouse has become distant, he/she is working late on a regular basis or, maybe your spouse has moved out of the house with no explanation. You suspect there may be someone else but every time you bring it up with your spouse, he/she denies the possibility. All the signs are there but you don't have any proof. So, pay attention to the signs and your instinct but, be careful and don't confuse signs with proof.
- "I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You." Your spouse may have a deep, loving bond with you but, intense feelings of passion can override the bond with you and cause your spouse to loose sight of his/her true feelings.
- "We are just friends." If your spouse is spending more and more time with this new "friend" then there is probably more to it than mere friendship.
- A sudden need for privacy. If things the two of you used to share openly suddenly become private pay attention cause something is probably up. He/she may start password protecting computer activity. Cell phone and credit card bills may be hidden. If you ask why or attempt to find out information that used to be common knowledge between the two of you, you will be accused of snooping or trying to control your spouse. Big warning sign!
- "I need some space to figure out my feelings." Men and women who are involved with someone else will request more space, time alone or away from the family. This can be a sign that there is someone else and the spouse is trying to figure out ways to have more freedom.
- Regular work habits change. Suddenly, your partner is a workaholic. Working late, going to work at odd hours or, putting in more time than is normal on work related issues can be indications that a spouse is cheating.
- Spending a large amount of time on the computer. In today's world, with modern technology, a person looking for an affair doesn't even have to leave their home. The ease of internet chat rooms, online dating sites and secret email accounts has caused an alarming increase in emotional affairs.
- Secretive phone calls and more time spent on the phone. Emotional affairs occur primarily via the phone, especially cell phones. If you find your spouse hanging up suddenly when you enter the room or erasing the history on the cell phone and becoming defensive when asked about it, then you might want to check your phone records.
- Behavior that just doesn't add up. Not being where he/she was expected to be. Missing time they can't explain. Money that isn't accounted for. Receipts for things you don't have. Missing clothing. Clothing that does not belong to your family. Being caught in little lies about the details of the day.
- Your Own fears and suspicions. If you find yourself looking for excuses for your spouse's behavior or trying to convince yourself that they would never cheat then that is a warning sign. Your intuition is frequently one of the best indicators that something is wrong. If you suspect your spouse might be cheating on you, do some investigating and then talk to him/her about what you've found. Do it in a way that is calm and courteous. Ask for honesty. Be prepared for lies. It is a sad fact that people having affairs become excellent liars. People who never told a lie before in their lives. Trust your gut instinct but get hard, cold proof also.
What To Do If You Believe Your Spouse Is Having An Affair
First, remember to be careful not to confuse signs of cheating as proof of an affair. When you fear your partner is cheating, it can be very hard not to overreact.
Second, take some time and evaluate your feelings, trying hard to look past the anger and the hurt. Can you see how you and your spouse got to this point? There are no excuses for choosing to break vows and betray a promise, but nothing happens in a vacuum. There are always other problems in the marriage that came along beforehand and contributing to the cheating occurring
And third, be smart and get some expert, objective guidance on what to do from a professional marriage counselor before you make a mistake. If you take the right steps, this can be a great opportunity to save your marriage and make it stronger and better.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published, January 23, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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