Every married couple faces ups and downs in their marriage. Finances, family matters, work stress and other life events can bring difficult times to an overworked couple. Some can seemingly weather any storm or difficulty, some call it quits at the first sign of issues. However, regardless of how a couple deals with adversity, one of the hardest times in a marriage for anyone is if one of the parties is caught having an affair. A cheating partner creates distrust, resentment, and numerous issues for everyone involved.
How often do partners cheat on each other?
According to recent numbers shared by Health Research Funding, here are some numbers about cheating:
- 60% of affairs begin at work
- 60% of all spouses engage in some form of infidelity
- 2 years is the average length of an affair
- 31% of couples stay together after it’s discovered that one partner is having an affair
Thus, cheating is not a rare occurrence for married couples. Often, we find that spouses just “feel” that something is amiss – and unfortunately, they are not always wrong.
How can you tell if you are dealing with a cheating partner?
Here are some of the signs that we often hear from clients as to why there is a suspicion that a spouse is cheating. While they do not prove an affair, they are often signs that one is taking place. A single one of these things may not be anything to worry about – for example, a new interest in the gym may just be them looking to better themselves and keep themselves healthy for their family – but a collection of them might indicate something more serious.
Furthermore, typically these refer to new behaviors. If your spouse has always kept their devices password protected for instance, it doesn’t mean they have always been cheating. The bigger concern is a change in behavior after years of doing the opposite.
Recently added or changed password(s) on electronic device(s)
Contrary to the beliefs of some, it is not mandatory that your spouse share their passwords with you. Everyone is entitled to some privacy. However, if your partner previously kept all of their devices unlocked and only just started instituting a passcode, or has changed the passwords to their devices without telling you despite previously giving you access, there might be reason to suspect a cheating spouse.
Use of electronic devices dramatically increases
Does your partner have a sudden fascination with their phone that they aren’t being open about? If they’ve joined a new online social group like a parenting or hobby group, it’s more than likely they’ll want to share details with you as they spend more time online. If they don’t seem interested in sharing details about their new online interests, it’s likely they don’t want you knowing about it. Be careful with relying fully on this – while electronic devices often leave a trail of information behind, misinterpreting a change in use patterns sometimes leads to false accusations from snooping spouses.
New interest in their appearance
Have a spouse who has always scoffed at muscles but just got a new gym membership and is suddenly heading there 7 times a week? A partner who makes fun of fashion but has suddenly started spending hundreds on clothing? If you’ve had conversations about their self esteem prior to this, it’s possible they are just trying to better themselves and improve their mental health. If it seems to have come out of the blue and, perhaps even more suspicious, they don’t seem interested in speaking to you about it, they may be undergoing this change in order to appeal to someone else.
Constantly working late or running errands
Cheating spouses will always come up with excuses to not be home. If your spouse takes 4 hours to go out for groceries and only returns with a carton of milk or is constantly working late despite previously almost always coming home right at 5, it’s a tell tale sign of an affair. While remote work has made these excuses harder to get away with, there will always be excuses to get out of the house that cheaters will use.
Increased cash withdrawals or unusual credit card activity
If you are suspicious of your spouse, keep an eye on your joint bank accounts and finances. An affair is typically expensive, especially when trying to keep it a secret, and even an especially careful partner can slip up when it comes to the paper trail that comes with increased spending.
Your spouse’s friends and co-workers are treating you differently
Sometimes the biggest sign comes from those around us. Your partner may be great at keeping a secret but it’s likely that their friends aren’t. The more people who know, the harder it becomes to keep an affair under wraps. Take note of how your partner’s friends (and even your own friends) act around the two of you. If they seem uncomfortable with you there or particularly cautious of how they answer simple questions, such as “How was girl’s night last week?” or “You guys excited for the game tonight?”, it might be more than just your spouse that’s hiding something.
Change in life and time spent together
All couples are different. Not all have sex regularly and some prefer to give each other lots of space throughout the week in order to get more out of quality time spent together. Not spending much time in the bedroom does not alone indicate you have a cheating spouse. However, if you know your spouse typically has a healthy sex drive but find they haven’t been in the mood within the past month, this is one of the most clear cut signs that an affair is going on, especially if they don’t appear to be interested in spending non-sexual quality time together.
Ignoring calls or leaving the room to take them
This is another one that is dependent on behavior. If your spouse typically answers calls right in front of you but has started leaving the room to take them, this is reason to suspect that they’re talking to someone they don’t want you knowing about. Furthermore, if they normally always answer their phone when someone calls or messages but seem apprehensive to do so with you there, there might be a reason for it. Also make sure to take note if you find that they aren’t taking your calls but will eagerly leave the room when you’re together to take calls from someone else.
Social media profile changes
Social media has its own clues when it comes to affairs. Some spouses will try to hide that they’re in a relationship by never posting pictures of their significant other or making their relationship status “single”. Some will go a step further and create a second profile in order to make their life appear however they want it to. As always, there are other reasons for wanting this kind of privacy on social media – in the case of someone who is considered a public figure for instance, they might want to go through these precautions in order to protect their family’s privacy. If your spouse has suddenly gone through and deleted your pictures from their profile without warning, there may be something more nefarious going on.
Final Takeaways on Discovering Cheating Partners
As mentioned, evidence of any of the above is not necessarily proof of an affair. There can be a truthful, innocent explanation for any of the above. However, experience tells us that the more of the above listed occurrences there are, the more likely there is an issue of infidelity.
A divorce lawyer can recommend a private investigator who can examine your situation. A divorce lawyer can also recommend counseling for you and your family. The evidence of an affair can also factor into the financial decisions that will need to be made in the divorce process. There are many signs of cheating and none of them should not be overlooked.