There is more than enough information out there about how to catch a cheating partner. A simple Google search will yield more than 10 million results on how to catch your unfaithful partner red handed. You will find just as many websites, social media posts and blogs dedicated to recognizing when your partner has strayed. But what if you want to recognize the problem before your partner does cheat? Many betrayed partners can look back with the benefit of hindsight and identify that something was wrong in their relationship. If you can spot the clues beforehand, however, you might be able to save your relationship or at least save yourself the pain of being blindsided by your partner’s affair. Here are eight signs that your partner is going to cheat.
They Seem Bored
Some people need constant influxes of “newness” in their lives. If your partner is one of these people, boredom can be the root cause of an affair. Boredom in a relationship is not just limited to boredom in the bedroom either. In an established relationship, excitement and passion is often replaced by certainty and comfortable stability. For most people, this is an acceptable and even welcome change. Fiery passion is enjoyable, but most people come to prefer the certainty that their partner will be there for them and their partner’s solid support. Unfortunately, for some people, the death of passion equates to the death of the relationship. They want the constant high of “will-we, won’t-we” and the intoxicating giddiness of the honeymoon phase.
If your partner seems bored, take a hard look at the relationship. If both of you are living on autopilot, your partner’s boredom might be justified. In that case, a couple’s weekend away or a date night without the children might be all that is needed to reinvigorate the relationship. If there was no apparent reason for your partner to be bored in the first place, however, it may be time to start watching out for the other woman.
They Are Deeply Invested in a New “Friend”
New friends are wonderful, and most partners in healthy relationships encourage each other to get to know new people. Most people also find no issue with partners having slightly differing sets of friends. Mutual friends are important to a relationship, but a happy husband should not feel threatened when his wife wants to have a girl’s night. Similarly, a wife should not be concerned if her husband really wants to spend a Saturday afternoon with the boys.
Regardless of whether a person is single, dating, married or divorced, they are going to be invested in their friendships and will likely have close friends of the opposite sex. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. You might need to be concerned, however, if she never stops talking about her new “friend.” If he seems more invested in his new female friend than he does in you, it might be time to be concerned about this “friend” sucking the emotional energy out of your relationship.
They Are Distant
It is frustrating and concerning when you can tell something is wrong with your partner, but they keep insisting, unconvincingly, that they are “fine.” While every relationship has its occasional exchanges of “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” and “Are you okay?” “I’m fine,” these should not be the norm.
Emotional distance is cited by cheaters as the main reason they stray. If your partner has been consistently distant recently, reach out to them, and try to reconnect with your partner. If you cannot seem to get through to them, you might need to start keeping an eye out for the mistress.
They Are Angry
It is rarely a good sign when your partner is always angry. That anger, however, could have any number of roots. There could be an obvious reason for the anger such as you crashing a brand new car when you ran a red light, or the reason could be more subtle. One of those hidden causes could be a lack of attention from you. It is not logical or rational, but human beings of all ages prefer negative attention over a lack of attention. If you have been constantly distracted by your children or working extraordinarily long hours at work, your partner might be looking to pick a fight simply to remind you that they exist.
Anger can also be born out of a feeling that their needs are not being met. These needs could be anything from a reasonable desire for time with you to the truly ludicrous. Regardless of what they are, a partner that feels their needs are not being met is likely to stray. If you absolutely cannot meet your partner’s apparent need for a weekly golf retreat, soon you might not be the only woman is his life.
They Are Apathetic
Everyone knows that one person who never seems to care about anything. You may enjoy spending time with them, but figuring out where they want to meet for lunch is like pulling teeth. Every request for input is answered with “I don’t care.” This is irksome in a friend but can be a sign of much deeper problems in a romantic relationship especially if the trait is new. You might not have anything to worry about if you have not been able to get a dinner recommendation out of him since your first date, but if he used to be Mr. Opinion and now he does not care what restaurant you go to, you may have a problem.
Apathy is not exactly the same as emotional distance, but one can easily lead to the other. Apathy about the relationship can lead to emotional distance because your partner does not care enough about the relationship to try and bridge the emotional gap. The reverse can also be true with the lack of emotional connection which can cause your partner to stop caring about the relationship. Regardless of the order in which it happens, an apathetic partner might well cheat simply because they do not care about the relationship they are leaving behind.
They Seem Guilty
The odds are that you partner knows that cheating is wrong. They know that being unfaithful is a betrayal of the highest degree. So, if they are thinking about cheating, they are likely going to feel guilty about it. This guilt could lead to a sudden increase of “just because” gifts, compliments or a seeming rebirth of the honeymoon phase.
Depending on your partner, a nagging conscience could also translate into an invisible cloud of guilt following your partner around. It may be nothing, but if your partner has suddenly started looking like a puppy that chewed up some shoes, it might not be long before you find out that you are not the only man in her life.
They Are Hiding Things
Partners do not keep serious secrets from each other. They confide in each other and share worries, fears, hopes and dreams. They lean on each other and work together. Now, “no secrets” does not mean you should feel guilty about planning a surprise party for her birthday or that you have to tell him what you bought him for Christmas. A partner who is keeping serious secrets, however, might be thinking of straying.
Little secrets can build up into big problems. If your partner is keeping things from you, she might be telling them to someone else. This can lead to an increase in emotional intimacy between your partner and her “friend” at the expense of her relationship with you. This does not mean you need to go snooping through his phone or demand to know what is really in the brightly wrapped box she hid at the back of the closet, but secrets may be a sign that you need to prepare yourself for a much larger lie.
Your Instincts Tell You Something Is Wrong
It has become a cliché to tell people to “listen to your gut,” but the advice remains because it tends to be valid. Your instincts are not always correct, and your gut is not always smarter than your head, but do not dismiss your concerns out of hand. If you feel like something is wrong with your partner but you cannot seem to put your finger on what, talk to your partner. You might end up alleviating your concerns. If they repeatedly put you off however, you might need to start bracing yourself for a much bigger fight.
Recognizing that your partner is going to cheat is difficult and can rapidly descend into paranoia. After all, she might think about straying but then decide to keep her feet on the straight and narrow. So, before you decide that one bad day means he is thinking about being unfaithful or that a weekend where she does not have a preference on dinner proves she has strayed, take a deep breath and talk to your spouse. Communication is, after all, your greatest defense against both cheating and paranoia.