What are the warning signs of a cheating spouse?

There are multiple factors that may lead you to believe your spouse is cheating, and the experience is often painful. Trying to gauge the validity of your concerns can be challenging. Many people who worry their spouse is cheating feel anxious and insecure, and are uncertain what to look for.

If you suspect your spouse is being dishonest with you, talking to them about your concerns is generally the best approach. In addition, you can also keep an eye out for some behaviors commonly expressed by those who are cheating, such as:

  • Their money habits change: If your spouse starts spending more money than usual, or changes their mind about making big, future-minded purchases (like a car or house) with you, this could be a sign they are spending money on someone else or are reluctant to commit to your relationship.

  • Your sex life changes: Oftentimes, cheating will affect your sex life one of two ways: either your partner suddenly has a lot of new moves, or you stop having sex altogether. While shifts like these can indicate that your partner is involved with someone else, keep in mind that they are also natural for many couples.

  • The emotional intimacy vanishes from your relationship: Do you feel like your partner has become less communicative and is no longer confiding in you or listening to your thoughts and feelings? This sometimes happens when a spouse is cheating and has stopped paying full attention to their relationship. Regardless of whether your spouse is cheating, emotional intimacy is important. If you feel you're lacking it, it's worth discussing with your spouse.

  • They are very protective of their phone: It’s normal to keep your phone close—after all, many people’s phones contain practically their entire lives. However, if your partner is very secretive about showing what’s on their screen, or gets stressed out about leaving their phone unattended for a short period of time even while at home, something more may be going on. 

  • Their friends suddenly seem uncomfortable around you: Not everyone tells their friends when they’re cheating, but if your spouse’s friends seem nervous or awkward around you out of nowhere, it could be because they know their friend is cheating. Remember that group social relationships are complicated, and there are also other factors that may contribute to seemingly out-of-the-blue awkward behavior.

  • When you try to talk about your concerns, your partner gets angry or accuses you: If your partner gets overly defensive when you raise concerns, or frequently accuses you of cheating, this may be a defense mechanism because they themselves are cheating. Furthermore, healthy discussion is an important part of a relationship, and you should be able to talk through issues with your partner without fear of anger or accusation.

While these behaviors are commonly exhibited by those who are cheating, this list is not meant to help determine whether your partner is cheating. If you have concerns about infidelity, trust both your gut and your relationship, and try talking to your spouse. You can suggest couples counseling if you want help facilitating the conversation and working through issues.

Do you know your attachment style? 

Take this free, online Attachment Styles Quiz today to find out your attachment style. Get a free, customized report too! Knowing your attachment style is the first step to understanding why you act the way you do. 

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