“To be clear: If you break the rules of sexual or emotional commitment in your relationship, whatever they may be, it is infidelity. Different relationships have different rules. You know when you’ve breached them.” Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal.
If things have been feeling a little off lately between you and your partner, perhaps you have started to wonder the most heartbreaking question for any person in a committed relationship– are they cheating on me?
According to researchers at California State University in San Bernadino, men are more likely to cheat. But, as psychologist and associate professor Kelly Campbell points out, the gender gap is closing, and closing fast. Women now have many more options than every before, including money (not to mention disposable income) and let’s face it – power. It has become clearer that men are more likely to cheat due to sexual dissatisfaction and women, emotional dissatisfaction and lack of assurance of their attractiveness. Still, despite what we know, and no matter how many studies are conducted, it doesn’t stop the scandalous affairs from happening.
Here are 10 common adultery red flags to watch out for:
1. Trust your gut
You might just sense that something is a little “off”. Things seem different and your partner feels more distant. They don’t ask for your advice any more, they have stopped letting you in on their life. You find hidden gifts that you never receive.
2. Unusual Behaviour
You might notice that your partner stops wearing their wedding ring or a piece of jewelry that you bought them. Their usual routine starts changing dramatically, they start forgetting things, and they feel distant. Your partner is constantly checking their phone or changes their phone and email passwords. Your partner might lose patience easily or become oddly nice and encourage you to get out of the house and explore more of a social life without them.
3. Work life changes
Are they starting to work longer hours and have stopped checking in when they normally would? You find out that the so-called business trip they went on last week was charged to your personal credit card. Your partner is suddenly going to more out of town meetings than normal. They no longer take your calls at their desk and have asked you to stop calling them while they’re at work.
4. Body care
Has your partner started to shower at odd times or rush back into the washroom right when they get home from work or the gym? Are they suddenly spending more time on personal grooming or changed something about their routine that they have done for the past several years? Have they started going to the gym and become preoccupied with their body image? Are they spending money on new clothes and changing their appearance to become a whole new them?
5. Do they feel awkward around you
Does it feel like they are walking on pins and needles around you? Have you noticed that your mutual friends are acting weird or being distant as well? Are your partners’ friends and co-workers very short and distant towards you like they know something you don’t know? When you are invited to social outings together does your spouse decline and tell you to go alone?
6. Birth control
You notice that your partner has changed their birth control routine. You find condoms, birth control pills or other methods that you have not been using. Have they started going to appointments and not telling you about them?
7. Electronic evidence
You notice that your partner has been very secretive checking messages on their phone and computer. You see that there are messages from people you have never heard of or the names appear as fakes. As soon as you walk near them, they close their website browser or hide their phone so that you cannot see the messages that they are reading and writing. Their internet browser shows signs of adultery websites or they routinely clear all of their browsing data to hide all of their computer history.
8. Home life feels different
The dynamics between the two of you feels much different. When you try to spark up conversation they seem distant or have no interest. They have a shorter temper with you and maybe even your children. Their tone towards you changes and they can be agitated, mean, or sarcastic. Their displays of affection are limited or non-existent. Has the car been driven more or with different seat positions? Are there any odd things lurking in the car that don’t belong to you?
9. More time with friends
Are they suddenly spending more time with friends or getting super dressed up just to “hang out” with their buddies? Do they come back wearing different clothes, hair a mess, makeup looking smudged? Do they have a new best friend all of a sudden?
Has your sex life become pretty much non-existent? Has the passion fizzled out? Has their sexual appetite changed dramatically and they become curious in things that had once been considered taboo between you? Do they do things or try to do things that are very out of their character in bed?