The truth is, few straying men come home covered in lipstick stains and reeking of another woman’s perfume. While the signs are rarely that obvious, if you’re willing to look, they’re almost always there, according to Danine Manette, private investigator and author of Ultimate Betrayal.
So how do you know whether all the Hollywood cheating scandals are making you paranoid or if your partner’s actually in the arms of another woman or man? Check out some changes in behavior that could mean they are looking for love elsewhere.
1. Sudden Changes in Appearance
If your husband or wife starts transforming into a different person, it may be more than a mid-life crisis. “A person who drastically alters his clothing style, appearance or body shape for no apparent reason may be having an affair. Perhaps the ‘other’ has suggested he grow a beard, wear their hair differently or use cologne/parfume. If they’re dressing differently for work, there may be a coworker they’re trying to impress.” Likewise, if your lifelong couch-potato spouse suddenly becomes a gym rat, it may not be you that they are trying to impress. They may be trying to look good for a new love interest or keep up physically with a younger woman. Or perhaps the ‘other’ works or works out at the gym they’re showing a sudden interest in going to,” explains Manette.
2. Attitude Towards You Dramatically Changes
Changes in their mood can point to more than just stressful times at work. “Men often get fidgety or irritable when they’re supposed to be in two places at once. If the other woman demands more of his time, he may start arguments with you so he can storm out and rendezvous with her,” says Manette. If they’re not only picking fights, but also criticizing you about appearance, eating habits or intelligence, it’s probably not about the way you chew your food or the 5 pounds you’ve gained, but really about another person. “Cheating creates a lot of internal turmoil and tension, which gets played out between the two of you. Plus, in order to cheat on someone, you have to be focused on what you don’t like about them. By making that loud and clear, they feel more justified in cheating and less guilty,” explains Jennifer Oikle, PhD, psychologist, dating coach and founder of MySoulmateSolution.com.
3. Become Distant
Emotional distance is the number-one giveaway of infidelity, because it’s hard to be emotionally invested in two people at once and to be emotionally intimate with someone while you betray their trust. Most people simply can’t handle the guilt of cheating, so they create space. Plus, distance creates a shield, protecting him or her from detection—if they doen’t say much, they’re less likely to say something incriminating. If your spouse avoids being alone with you and your conversations become purely superficial, they could be pushing you away because they’re growing closer to someone else. Likewise, if they holds back the warm and fuzzies (i.e. they stops saying ‘I love you,’ no longer holds your hand in public or barely hugs you anymore), they could be cutting off their feelings of affection for you, so they can focus on their new partner without feeling as guilty.
4. Guilty Behavior
Guilt-ridden behavior is a dead giveaway that your partner is hiding something. They may shower you with affection and attention (giving you gifts for no reason, complimenting you frequently or helping around the house more), but diamonds and doing the dishes aren’t necessarily the signs of an uncharacteristically sweet husband—they could indicate a guilty one. When a man feels guilty, he may become unusually affectionate or attentive as a way to mask his affair or relieve some of his guilt. On the other hand, some partners, this is now male and female, may avoid their partners when they have something to hide, no longer making eye contact or attempts to communicate. It’s likely that they won’t hold your gaze and engage fully with you, because they’re hiding a secret and they’re afraid you’ll see through them if you really look closely.
5. Secretive, Unusual or Unexplained Behavior
It’s not just guilty behavior that should make you worry. Anything that can be characterized as secretive, unusual or unexplained—or any behavior that has suddenly and inexplicably changed—could signify that they’re hiding something, warns Manette. “If your partner becomes elusive about their whereabouts, something’s probably going on,” says Tony DeLorenzo, owner of All State Investigations and coauthor of Warning Signs: How to Know If Your Partner Is Cheating—and What To Do About It. Other indicators that something’s amiss? The computer screen changing when you walk into the room, hushed telephone conversations or calls taken outside, strange body language when in the company of the new person at work, reluctance to take you places with them and their friends, and general unexplained behavior that feels suspicious, are all clues that your partner is straying.
6. You Never See Them Anymore
If they are suddenly never around, they may really be busy at work or they may be busy with someone else. While your partner is likely to have a wide range of plausible excuses for their new absentee status (they are working a lot of overtime, traveling for business, training for a 10K), they could just be an attempt to cover up the fact that their extracurricular activities involving ‘another’. They could be spending they’re time away from home with them. Although the ‘other’ usually accepts whatever fragment of time your partner can give them at first, they typically begin to demand more and more of their time. Conversely, they may just not want to come home because they feel guilty.
7. Frequently Unavailable or Unreachable
Are you suddenly finding it hard to get in touch with your significant other? Is their mobile phone turned off during times you normally can reach them, or do they claim not to have had any cell service for hours at a time? Or maybe they say they had business meetings all night or a work conference all weekend, so don’t call them, they’ll call you? According to DeLorenzo, if they are frequently unavailable, it may be because they are with someone else. “This is how they can spend time with the ‘other’ without having to rush home. It’s their way of making sure they don’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder constantly and answering to you.”
8. Your Gut Tells You Something Is Going On
If you think your spouse is acting strangely, hiding something or seeing someone else, don’t ignore your instincts. A woman’s intuition is the best thing we go by in our business. She knows all of her man’s aches and pains, when he is mad, happy or lonely, and when he’s there in body but not in mind. She knows when something is not right. But don’t get me wrong, there more than enough men out there which have on point intuition. In fact, it’s your instincts that will usually help you recognize the signs of an affair. There are almost always clues, because it’s a complicated thing—mentally, physically and emotionally—so it requires a lot of adjustments to pull off. These adjustments will appear as something different about your partner and they may be subtle. That’s why it’s best to trust your instinct that something’s off.
9. They Becomes a Different Person in the Sack
Both more and less interest in sex can signal infidelity. If they suddenly rebuffing your advances when they never turned you down before, they could be satisfying their sexual needs elsewhere. While many couples experience changes in their sexual activity over time, if your spouse is never interested in having sex anymore, you should consider the possibility that they are having an affair. The ‘other’ may be giving them something sexually that they aren’t getting at home, or because it’s secret and new, it’s more exciting, so they put all their energy into sex with them. Meanwhile, a sudden increase in their sexual appetite could also be the result of infidelity. Engaging in sex with a new partner can rev up hormones, increasing their overall drive. A third party may also be responsible for a sudden interest in experimenting sexually.
10. A New Man/Woman Enters the Picture
If your significant other repeatedly talks about another man or woman you’ve never met, there’s a good chance they might be their new lover—especially if, when you question them about that person, he says, “He/she is just a friend,” but their enthusiasm is just a bit too much to believe. While you may assume no person would be stupid enough to actually bring up their ‘other’ with their significant other, experts say many men and women do. Sometimes cheaters take the strategy of being half truthful, because in some ways it’s less of a heavy burden if half of the cat is out of the bag. Plus, they may be thinking about this new person so much that they can’t help talking about them.
11. They Are Overly Defensive
“Why are you asking all these questions?” “Why do you care where I was?” “I was watching the game at Mark’s or I was just having drinks with Sue! If you don’t believe me, call him/her!” If these defenses sound familiar, your significant other could be up to no good. “When your spouse becomes overly defensive in response to questions about their whereabouts or behavior, it’s a huge sign that something is not right, because otherwise, they’d laugh it off!” Meanwhile, if out of nowhere your partner accuses you of cheating, it may be because they’ve been unfaithful. Once a person sees how easy it is for them to become involved in an outside relationship, they begin to view their partner under the same moral microscope. Accusing you of infidelity is a way to deflect their own guilt and poor behavior.
Thanks for reading!