Continuing with our study of the impacts of infidelity on marriage, in this week’s post, we’ll look at some of the key signs of cheating (signs of infidelity), that often signal a current or impending extramarital affair. They may be subtle signs, more obvious telltale signs, or slight changes in mood.
We don’t want to increase anxiety or ignite undue suspicion in anyone. We simply want to discuss how these common signs or patterns can affect physical intimacy, emotional intimacy and health, deeper connection, physical health, the stability of our family, and at times, help us see the truth of our relationship so we can move forward with the facts.
It’s important to understand that unfaithfulness of any kind, be it emotional cheating, financial cheating, and even sexual infidelity, are not guarantees of divorce. Millions of couples choose to work through their conflicts and mistakes, even one as big as adultery in a committed relationship, with the help of relationship experts, like mental health professionals, family therapists, and sex therapists, and build a relationship even stronger than the one they’d shared before the affair and tough times began.
No matter where you are in your journey, we want simply to educate, to help you understand how adultery impacts you and your family, how to spot its unfortunate signs on the horizon, and how to act decisively and with much consideration, when the time comes.
Remember, these are not always surefire signs of adultery. Human behavior is complex. What may be an obvious sign of infidelity for one person may simply be a sign of emotional or mental struggle or difficulty coping with a more trying season of life for someone else. Let’s look, though, at some key behaviors to stay aware of that may accompany a cheating partner.
Changes in Attitude
Many of these changes could be signals of emotional strain or conflicts in other relationships. Yet, they are also sometimes cues for infidelity.
- Your spouse is increasingly negative
- Your spouse has a growing desire for danger or thrill-seeking
- Your spouse displays a greater level of low self-esteem
- They pick fights more often
- They become more confused and less decisive
- They are defensive whenever you ask a direct question
- Your spouse has become increasingly lazy, not due to any other factors like outside relational strain, family conflict, or health struggles.
- Your spouse shows little to no jealousy, regardless of what you say or do
- Your spouse doesn’t prioritize important family events
- Your spouse appears bored with you and uninterested in your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
A Change in Your Sex Life
While sexual changes naturally occur in long-term relationships from season to season, especially over a long period of time, more dramatic or sudden changes often mean something more concerning.
- Your sex life and times of physical intimacy are nearly non-existent: your spouse shows almost no interest in you sexually.
- Your spouse seems increasingly bored with your sexual time together and constantly asks for new or more extreme activities.
- You discover you have a sexually transmitted disease even though you have not been an unfaithful partner.
- Your spouse shows little interest or excitement about kissing, affectionate touching, holding hands, or any kind of physical and sexual play.
Communication Changes and Dishonesty
Difficulties in communication are common in all relationships and certainly not a definite sign of adultery. However, if these behaviors are accompanied by hostility, indifference, or a consistent aversion to using loving language like “I love you,” or other endearments and encouragements, there may be underlying issues.
- Your spouse rolls their eyes and uses dismissive language with you.
- They constantly change the subject to avoid discussing certain things.
- They accuse you instead of directly addressing a present issue.
- Your spouse acts passive-aggressively toward you.
- Your spouse simply leaves the room in a fluster instead of talking.
- They barely talk or even show an interest in your day, your struggles, victories, and concerns.
- They seem distant or distracted during conversation repeatedly.
- Your spouse lies about several things.
- Their friends seem uncomfortable around you.
- They lose interest in their beliefs or faith.
- They seem unwilling to answer questions straight or have a calm and respectful conversation.
Money is often a big point of contention for couples. However, there are sometimes certain signals around financial matters that may hint at something more.
- You find strange or unexpected expenditures on your credit cards or bank cards.
- Your spouse is reluctant to discuss and plan for larger purchases like cars, trips, new home, and other investments.
- Your spouse becomes stand-offish about discussing money or purchases.
Technology is a funny thing. It can set us free or keep us in chains. A lot of cheating begins online or is perpetuated by digital communication. It’s important not to get worked up over any increase in your spouse’s technology usage.
We all need to spend more time online or on the phone during some seasons, depending on our personal projects or the needs of our friends and family. However, certain choices around technology can sometimes shine a light on other, less favorable activities.
- Your spouse spends a lot more time online, unrelated to work, creative projects, or research for a family event or purchase.
- They suddenly have more desire to protect their passwords and browsing activity from you.
- Your spouse is texting more and often tries to do so when no one is nearby.
- They text or chat during odd hours of the night or early morning.
- They turn off cloud-sharing or stop using shared devices.
- Your spouse erases their browsing history each time they use their laptop or phone.
- They find it suddenly necessary to change their passwords for no discernible security reasons.
It’s important to remember that human behavior changes a lot from day to day. Each of us have a host of reasons that might account for our behavior. Avoid giving into anxiety, suspicion, and paranoia. These only drive a wedge between you and your spouse and make things a lot worse.
Still, by understanding some of these signs, especially when your spouse or partner is exhibiting several of them at once, it may help you clue into choices that need explanation and a relationship in need of professional help and growth. Be sure to connect with an experienced therapist to begin the process of healing and reconciliation. Infidelity doesn’t have to mean divorce.
If separation or divorce becomes necessary, partner with a trusted divorce attorney to make sure you and your children find the protection and resolution you need to build a solid future.
Torrone Law helps individuals and families find resolution and peace of mind during divorce, custody, and adoption pursuits. Contact us today with your questions and to schedule a consultation, and get started protecting your future.
To learn more about infidelity, check out our frequently asked questions and answers below.
My spouse is acting differently; should I be worried about infidelity?
Not necessarily, remember that your own behavior often changes as well. Each of us experience so many changes in life and need to adapt and compensate for these shifting seasons.
Don’t give into anxiety and suspicion but approach your spouse calmly, with openness, and genuine interest. Open a dialogue about certain choices or behaviors. And definitely, seek counseling to work through communication issues.
What are some signs of infidelity?
There are many but some of them can include:
Increased phone and computer usage without a connection to projects, especially texting or chatting at odd times, late at night or early morning.
Coldness, emotional and physical distance, disinterest in you or spending time with you, apathy about intimacy, avoidance of sex, alone time, and conversation, secrecy about many aspects of life, new or strange spending habits, inability to reach your spouse at different times, increased conflict and fights, apathy toward family events or time spent with you and your kids, and an overall change toward indifference or hostility toward you.
What should I do if my spouse is cheating?
The first thing to do is not make the situation worse. It’s natural to want to lash out, take revenge and hurt your spouse in return. This will only damage your relationship further and harm your children. Instead, reach out to an experienced family and marriage counselor for help. Begin the process of healing with the help of professionals who understand how to navigate these difficult conflicts.
Also, get support from trusted friends, mentors, and family. You’ll need it during this time. However, avoid using your support system for gossip or bashing your spouse. This will only make things worse. Surround yourself with individuals who want the best for your whole family and those who want to help both of you make good decisions.