Adultery or cheating seems to be more common today than ever. With 50% divorce rates1 in first marriages it seems almost impossible to go through a relationship without at least some infidelity. But what is cheating? While adultery is fairly straight forward, the lines for infidelity aren’t as clear when you aren’t married. It’s important to establish ground rules as to what you and your partner consider cheating in a relationship. Not doing so allows your partner to decide for themselves what’s acceptable.
If you are afraid your significant other is cheating, there are some signs to look for to confirm your suspicion. But I do caution, if you are looking for signs of infidelity then there are some major trust issues at work and you will need to evaluate if your relationship is mutually beneficial. Even if your partner isn’t cheating it is time to start looking into couples therapy or breaking off the relationship.
1 Lack of Sexual Desire
Sometimes lack of desire comes with being in a relationship over a period of time. But if you are seeing a sudden drop in sexual activity and there are no life changing circumstances (new baby, death in the family, medical) surrounding this, it could be a bad sign.
2 Uncharacteristic Workload
Lazy people tend to always be lazy, and jobs that don’t require overtime will rarely increase hours. If your significant other is unmotivated and has a newly acquired sense of work ethic it might be time to have an open discussion about fidelity.
3 Uncommon Social Activity
Friends normally don’t call at odd hours of the night to have a chat. If your “honey” seems to be going out at odd hours or having an increase of phone conversations outside your range of hearing there might be something wrong.
4 Extreme Appearance Changes
It’s one thing to take care of yourself, it’s another to suddenly groom yourself above normal standards. Early relationships are about trying to impress a potential mate. A sudden wardrobe change and hygiene habits are definitely worth looking into.
5 Lack of Communication
Sometimes this is just because they are busy and sometimes it’s because they are busy with someone else. When they don’t answer their phone frequently and they don’t seem to talk when in your presence, something or someone else might be on their mind.
6 Increased Conflict
In a lot of cases, cheating partners will look for flaws that cause increased discord in a relationship. Arguments are normal, but a sudden onslaught of continuous fighting could mean the beginning of the end.
7 Unexpected Absences
Hollywood tends to teach us to be stalkers. While there is an acceptable amount of time where you can’t account for your lover, it’s important to realize that abnormal absenteeism is often a way of forcing independence through infidelity.
8 Lack of Appreciation
Over time, most partners learn to not appreciate each other. But sometimes this lack of appreciation turns into a lack of noticing or even resentment. If there is a sudden drop in appreciation or courting, then it might be a sign of cheating.
9 Uncommon Sexual Desire
While most people have a decrease in sexual desire, it’s not uncommon for a partner to seek an increase in sexual activity. Sometimes this is to over compensate to high infidelity, and sometimes it’s due to an increase in overall stimulation.
10 Frequent Clothing Changes
We’ve all heard of the lipstick on the collar cliché. But sometimes clothing is frequently changed to cover up smells, makeup, or even hair from another individual’s body. Another thing that tends to give men away is glittered makeup especially if you don’t wear any.
Again, sometimes these signs are just common occurrences. The most important thing is to be open and trust your partner. Do not punish with sex. Always reward positive behavior. Remember to grow as individuals first then as a couple second. If you are doing all of these things and still feel your partner is being unfaithful, it might be time to end the relationship. You should not live in a relationship of suspicion, it only causes resentment.
Lastly, if you are afraid your partner is cheating, ask yourself this; Are you the cause to this problem? Often we push our partners away. Sometimes though, it’s just because people aren’t a good fit for relationships. Don’t beat yourself up over it.