You’ve been together several months, but something doesn’t feel quite right with your partner. You start wondering if he or she might be having an affair. Is it jealousy, your imagination or just apathy that is the result of long-term complacency with each other? It can be hard to tell sometimes, but when in doubt go with your gut and look for the following behaviors that might mean your mate is having an affair.
Oddly, your partner might be having an affair if he or she is acting MORE attentive than usual to you. If you are suddenly showered with gifts and compliments in what almost seems like an inappropriate manner, then he or she might be trying to make up for guilty feelings.
Look for a sudden change in your partner’s routine. Is he or she staying out a lot longer than usual, not showing up for dinner or unaccountable at times for his or her whereabouts? If your partner suddenly alters his or her daily habits that too can be a sign of cheating.
If your partner is frequently picking fights with you, that might also mean big trouble. The emotional logic behind this is that picking a fight gives him or her to an excuse to fly out of the house and possibly into the arms of the third party. That way the cheating partner can deny guilty feelings and blame you instead. If you are not to blame, a cheater will create a reason to justify what he or she is doing to you.
Your mate might also become overly critical of you. This is part of an agenda that once again, gives them an excuse to leave or justify the affair. The guilty partner might also be overly sensitive to criticism from you as there may be a ring of truth that triggers guilty feelings that they would rather not face.
If every time you have fight your partner threatens you with ending the relationship, you might also have a cheater on your hands. Your lover feels safe with these ultimatums because they have another person as “back-up” should the two of you decide to split up.
Another sign of cheating is a consistent negative attitude towards the relationship and comments that make you feel as if you have an expiry date inked on your forehead. This might include saying such things as “I would like to travel next year.” (with no mention of a “we”) or “You know I will always love you, even if this ever ended.”
If your lover becomes withdrawn and depressed, it could be that he or she is brooding about what they have done and can’t handle the guilt. Sudden explosive displays of affection or anger can also be a bad sign, as the partner might be transferring emotional reactions from the infidelity onto you simply because you see each other more often. In other words, you may be the recipient of a mood that is not due to any of your actions at all.
If your mate becomes incommunicative and refuses to interact with you, this can also be a sign of cheating. He or she might seem cold or inconsiderate of your feelings and be less intimate with you in general. This kind of psychological distancing includes such behaviors such as locking the bathroom door when he or she has always left it open. They may also insist that they pick up their own dry cleaning or keep locked drawers. They may also insist on doing their own laundry. If he or she seems extra finicky about personal boundaries or seems to be trying to set new rules about privacy, this is also a warning sign.
Relationship experts say that if your partner’s taste in clothing, movies or music suddenly changes, than they may be trying please their new lover.
Another sign of cheating is if your partner seems to be a bit over the top when cutting up or criticizing a person that both of you know quite well. This is a common tactic used to conceal an affair that leads you believe that nothing would ever be possible between the two of them.
Perhaps the biggest indication that you might be dealing with a cheater is if they stop acting as if they are a part of your life. They may lose complete interest in family, friends or following through on mutual financial goals or plans for the future. Your mate also might be reluctant to go out of town for any reason, as that might cause a crisis in his or her other relationship.
If you do discover that your mate is cheating, you are likely to go through the five stages of grief – shock denial, anger, sadness and acceptance. There is no underestimating the enormous impact of these reactions, even if you had a gut feeling that you knew about the affair all along.
Your relationship will also probably go through three phases. The first is the reaction to the affair, the second is the decision as to what to do about it and the last is a recuperation phase (whether or not you decide to stick it out with your partner in the end.) If your partner is willing to be part of the decision and recuperation phases, it is highly recommended that you seek marriage or relationship counseling to deal with the fall-out from the infidelity.