While facing challenges within a marriage is unavoidable, there are some that present far more serious complications. Infidelity is an issue that ultimately ends many marriages and is devastating to experience. Because infidelity is typically kept a secret, it can be anxiety-inducing for those that are suspicious of their spouse. Fortunately, there are some consistent signs that can help you identify if your spouse might in fact be cheating. Below are some of the most common signs that point to infidelity in a marriage.
They Stop Sharing Things With You
Emotional intimacy is a driving force in a healthy marriage. The desire to share the ongoings of their day or even trivial anecdotes is a common occurrence when partners are actively engaged in their marriage. If regular sharing begins to fade or stops entirely, there is likely an issue taking place. This could be resentment, frustration, or potential infidelity.
If your partner is taking part in a new relationship outside of the marriage, they may be sharing their daily ongoings with this person instead. If you notice that your spouse is no longer interested in discussing topics they were once excited to converse with you about, it could be a sign that they are cheating.
They Seem Distant Or Withdrawn
Another sign that your spouse may be cheating on you is if they begin to show signs of distancing themselves. This can come in the form of either physical or emotional distance from you. Staying at work later, lack of interest in physical affection, or disinterest in conversation are all signs of a distant spouse. It’s essential to look for other signs as well, such as unexplained absences from home and uncharacteristic behavior.
They’ve Started To Dress Differently Or Pay More Attention To Their Appearance
You may have noticed your spouse ditching the old sweatpants for a more fitted pair, or spending extra time in front of the mirror. If this is happening, it could be that they’re trying to impress someone other than you. Especially if the marriage is no longer new and behavior patterns are established, this kind of change can be reason for alarm.
Although it is entirely possible that your spouse is attempting to put in more effort for a reason other than this, it is one sign that is commonly experienced in cases of infidelity. However, it’s also possible that they’re investing in their appearance because they are craving increased attention from you. This could lead back to feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem, which are equally concerning issues that need to be addressed.
They’ve Started Working Out More Often
If you see your partner making a sudden effort to go to the gym more often, it could be cause for concern. Although it may be purely for increased health, a sudden desire to work out regularly, especially in the evening, is a potential sign of infidelity. In most cases, this is likely a positive change that is fueled by a desire to be healthier. In situations like this, it is important to trust your gut and look into the change should it feel off. Especially if the gym sessions are lengthy or run late often, it could be an issue that deserves an inquiry.
Your Intimacy Is Decreasing
Intimacy is an important part of a marriage and increases feelings of connection, empathy, and passion. If you constantly avoid being intimate with your spouse, it’s ideal to confront this head-on. One way to do this is to initiate a conversation between the two of you or with your therapist.
In many cases, intimacy will decrease for a variety of non-concerning reasons. For example, you may have been too busy at work or were exhausted from taking care of kids that week. Either way, setting aside the time to be alone can help relieve some of the anxiety that comes with this decrease in affection. If you notice that intimacy is decreasing and attempt to make a change with resistance from your spouse, this is a definite cause for concern. The best way to approach the situation is to have a conversation and attempt to rule out any possible chance of infidelity.
They Get Defensive Easily
If your partner is experiencing a guilty conscience, they may try to deflect the conversation away from themselves. A common way to do this is by asking questions in response to your questions. They might also try to change the subject when you bring up their suspicious behavior.
If your partner is cheating on you and is trying to divert attention from themself, they may start pointing fingers at other people as a way of deflecting responsibility for their own actions. Placing blame on others is a telltale sign that something is not right. Even if cheating is not taking place, the lack of accountability is likely to lead to a host of other issues later on. If you attempt to ask questions and are greeted with a wall of defense, seeking therapy could be a beneficial way to confront the issue.
Your Own Feelings Are Off
While this sign is a bit more subjective, it’s still important to pay attention to your own emotional state. If you start feeling anxious or depressed and don’t know why it could be a sign that something isn’t right in your relationship. That being said, there are many other reasons aside from infidelity that can cause these feelings. If you do notice an internal shift, take some time to think about what might be causing the change and consider communicating with your therapist or a loved one regarding the matter.
If your spouse hasn’t been as affectionate with you lately, then this may be because they are having an affair. Aside from this, they may simply be unhappy in the relationship. If this is the case, then it might be time for both of you to sit down and have a conversation about what needs to change in order for both of your needs to be met.
They Have Openly Admitted To Cheating In The Past
If your spouse has candidly discussed prior cheating in relationships, it is an indicator that they may repeat the behavior. In fact, those that have engaged in infidelity before are three times more likely to repeat the behavior in future relationships. Even if a significant amount of time has passed, it is important to be vigilant if your spouse demonstrates signs of the behavior.
Your Spouse Starts Canceling Plans Regularly
If your spouse starts canceling plans and making excuses for why they can’t spend time with you, it may be a sign that they are being disloyal. They may use a relatively believable excuse like the need to work late. Although this excuse seems credible, it’s worth following up on or looking into further should it become a regular occurrence.
Your Spouse Is Secretive About Their Phone or Computer
Spouses who cheat typically communicate in some form with the person they are cheating with. Cell phones and computers are the most common method of communicating. If your spouse tries to hide their phone from you or tries to use their phone or computer in a secretive manner, this could be a sign of infidelity.
You Spouse Has Unexplained Expenses
If you notice credit card receipts for restaurants, hotels, flowers, or other unusual expenses, it could be a sign that your spouse is spending money on someone other than you.
If you’re seeing any of these warning signs in your relationship, it’s important to talk with your spouse. This is an opportunity for them to open up and be honest with you as well as a time for you to communicate your feelings or concerns. You may not like what they have to say, but at least then you’ll know where both of your heads are at so that, hopefully, things can move forward in a healthy way for both parties involved.
Therapy Can Help!
If you are struggling with relationship issues or other mental health or substance abuse issues, therapy can help. To learn more about couples therapy, family therapy, or individual therapy, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit our website at www.mhthrive.com. You can also find more intensive treatment options at New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers at www.nddtreatment.com.
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- Russell VM, Baker LR, McNulty JK. Attachment insecurity and infidelity in marriage: do studies of dating relationships really inform us about marriage? J Fam Psychol. 2013 Apr;27(2):242-51. doi: 10.1037/a0032118. PMID: 23544923; PMCID: PMC3648986.