Everyone has heard a dramatic story about a wife catching her husband cheating. His mistress left her shoes under the bed, and her feet are three sizes smaller than yours. He came home smelling of the wrong perfume and with the wrong color lipstick on his collar. Such affairs make for great stories on TV or amusing tales to retell when topics of conversation are running dry. In such stories, the ridiculousness of the reveal may bury the horror of the betrayal, but the pain of infidelity is still very present for the woman who caught her husband cheating. So, how can you tell if he is cheating in the first place?
Unfortunately, plenty of cheating spouses do their research. They read various bloggers’ advice on how to catch a cheating spouse and are careful not to make the classic mistakes. That said, an affair is a massive secret to hide and requires dozens of lies to keep. Those lies, however, can tip off a suspicious wife. No sane human being is a perfect liar, least of all when a person is dealing with the stress that comes from trying to hide something like an affair. If he is being unfaithful, there will be hints that something is wrong. Here are four warning signs of infidelity in men.
Changes in Electronic “Etiquette”
Some people are private about their correspondence. They do not like other people opening their mail, reading their text messages or having access to their emails. They may not mind sharing the content of their correspondence with their spouse, but they do not want their spouse to be the one actually reading the message. There is nothing wrong about this attitude as long as your husband shares important and necessary information with you, and you have access to joint documents such as checking account statements or phone bills. The problem arises when this is new behavior. If he used to ask you who texted him when he was in the shower and now hides his phone, you might need to be concerned. If he had no problem with both of you using his email account for years but now refuses to give you his new password, the odds are good he’s hiding something.
Increased Interest in His Appearance
It is always nice when your man takes care of his appearance, and it is a common misconception that men do not care about how they look. There is nothing strange about a man who starts going to the gym because he wants to lose the weight he gained from eating two dozen sugar cookies on Christmas Day. There is also nothing suspicious about a man who dyes his hair because he is embarrassed that he is going grey early. A man who cares about his appearance is not a cheater, but there may be a problem if this interest is new. If you have been trying more than once a week to get him to shave his pitifully scraggly would-be beard and he suddenly cannot stand having five o’clock shadow, he may be hiding something. If he has never cared about wearing anything but sweatpants for two weeks after Thanksgiving and now keeps going to the gym to “make sure his arms stay ripped,” it might not be you he is trying to impress.
If your husband is suddenly getting jealous of your old college friend when he has never had a problem before, you might not be the only lover in his life. Adulterers have a guilty conscience because they know that what they are doing is wrong. The cheater cannot get his guilt off his chest leaving him with a tendency to project that guilt onto his spouse. This can lead to baffling interrogations about whether or not your new coworker is really just a friend or questions about why you are still friends on Facebook with your high school ex-boyfriend. The sudden appearance of the green-eyed monster can lead to defensive confusion on your part. This confusion distracts you from any suspicions you might have about your spouse’s fidelity. Jealousy rarely arises out of the ether, so if your husband has suddenly started quizzing you about where you were and who you were with, he is probably the one hiding a dirty little secret.
Fairy Tale Marriage
A fairy tale marriage is not possible. A marriage involves two people sharing their lives, feelings, fears, dreams and space with each other. By definition, it will not be a picture perfect “happily ever after” from a fairy tale. No matter how much spouses love each other or how well they get along, there will be moments when they irritate each other. It will drive you crazy that he leaves his dirty socks on the couch or that he leaves the TV on after he has left the room. Those little frustrations are a natural part of sharing a living space with another human being. If those irritants have suddenly vanished, you may have a problem. He might not be bothering to bicker with you about those little things anymore because he does not care about the marriage. He has mentally and emotionally checked out and is investing that energy in his mistress.
No cheater can hide their affair forever. Eventually it will come out and regardless how the infidelity is revealed, an affair tears apart a person’s ability to trust. Still, knowledge is power and knowing the warning signs of an affair may make it easier for you to take back your power and, if need be, walk out the door.