Everyone has had some sort of encounter with cheating or infidelity in their life. You may have been the unfortunate one who was being cheated on, or you may have been the one who committed the betrayal. Even if you have been lucky enough to escape the specter of unfaithfulness in your own relationships, you have undoubtedly seen the damage it has done to others. You likely had friends or colleagues whose entire lives were ripped apart when they found out that their significant other had been sneaking around with someone else behind their back. No one wants to go through that, and everyone is quick to point fingers at the mistress or boyfriend. How could they even think about getting together with a married man or woman? Sometimes, however, that third party is actually just as innocent as the betrayed spouse. The other man or woman had no idea that their significant other was actually already in a relationship. This is unusual, but it does happen. So, how can you tell if you are the one she is cheating on her significant other with? Here are seven warning signs that you are the other man.
She avoids talking about the future.
Most people who are in a happy relationship have some sort of vision for the future, and they like discussing it with their significant other. This does not have to be a mental image of serious commitment such as a marriage and children, but there should be some sense that your girlfriend pictures you in her life beyond next week. It could be something as simple as debating whether or not the pie you tried your hand at making for Valentine’s Day belongs on the Thanksgiving menu. You two might discuss going on vacation together next year. Not all discussions of the future need to revolve around serious commitment and life-altering decisions. There should be some indication, however, that your girlfriend expects to still be with you in the future. If she shies away from all such conversations, it may be because she expects to have to cut you loose the moment her husband gets suspicious.
You never do mundane things together.
Admittedly, going to the grocery store together or folding the laundry as a team is not very exciting. It is, however, to be expected after having been together for some time. You may not want to spend every date doing something mundane, but if your partner is unwilling to even make a quick run up to the store to get milk with you, there may be a problem. People who have affairs are often looking for something new and exciting. They want the passion, intimacy and thrill of a new relationship without any of the boring day to day stuff. Most people who have been together for a while would not mind if their significant other wants a lazy day or asks them to help load the dishwasher after a night in. An adulterer, however, is likely to be practically allergic to such mundane activities. She has enough domesticity in her marriage already. With you, she wants excitement, not more of the same.
Phone calls and meetings are secretive.
Unless your birthday or anniversary is coming up, secrecy in a relationship should be a red flag. Partners generally should not be keeping secrets from each other. It is one thing to be sneaking around because you are planning a surprise party for your significant other. It is another to be truly hiding things from them. If your girlfriend acts like she has something to hide, it is probably because she is keeping something from you. Phone calls in a healthy relationship are held at a normal volume and at various times. No one objects when someone who works normal hours cannot talk between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., but if someone is always having conversations in a low voice like they are whispering or keeps looking warily around when you are on a date, you are either dating Jason Bourne or a cheater.
Her boundaries are strange and rigid.Everyone has boundaries, and everyone should respect those. It can be a red flag, however, when your girlfriend has boundaries that do not make any sense, and she refuses to explain them. If she is fine with kissing but balks at holding hands or insists that you always initiate any sort of physical intimacy, there might be a problem. The same is true if some topics of conversation are inexplicably off limits regardless of how long you two have been together. Most people understand if someone does not want to talk about their parents’ painful divorce, but if they refuse to discuss their bucket list, you might be looking at a red flag. A cheater may have certain lines they do not want to cross because until then, they are not really having an affair. Holding hands and snuggling on the couch might be fine, but kissing is affair territory. They obviously, however, cannot tell that to their other man, so they simply leave the boundary unexplained even when their partner wants to understand so they can avoid future issues.
You don’t know her friends.
Friends are the family you choose. As such, they are normally the first ones to be able to ferret out when you are keeping some sort of secret. When that secret is something as big as an affair, the innate detective in friends can become a serious problem. This is especially true with infidelity because many spouses have mutual friends. Some friends might be willing to cover up an affair when they only know her, but if they know both her and her husband, they are going to be far less likely to be willing to keep the secret.
Keeping a secret gets harder the more people know it. As such, introducing you to her friends makes it a thousand times more likely that one of them will slip up and mention you in front of her husband. Suddenly, she will have a lot of uncomfortable explaining to do. In order to avoid that, she may simply skip introducing you to her friends altogether.
She’s camera shy or anti-social media.
Some people do not like their picture taken. Some people do not mind having their pictures taken but hate the idea of having it plastered all over the web for anyone with an internet connection to see. Both of these are completely normal, but they can also act as a red flag. When your girlfriend is terrified of having her picture taken together with you in any capacity, it may be because she does not want there to be photographic evidence of her infidelity. The same is true of social media. It is one thing to not have a Facebook account or be uncomfortable putting the intimate details of her life out on the web. It is another thing entirely to practically panic at the idea of you mentioning her name on Facebook. One is the sign of someone who does not care for social media. The other is a potential warning that she is hiding her affair from her husband.
Your dates are scheduled at specific or odd times.
Some people are schedule fanatics. They feel the need to schedule out every moment of their lives, and they simply do not do well when their schedules are interrupted. This sort of lifestyle does not work for everyone, and those that prefer to be spontaneous are not going to mesh well with someone who rigidly schedules their entire life.
There is nothing wrong with being or dating a scheduler, but it can be a red flag when someone who is otherwise spontaneous is extremely careful about when the two of you go on a date. She may be trying to work you in around her marital obligations or make sure to only meet up with you when she knows that her husband is not going to be around. A woman who is obsessed with schedules might simply like to be organized, but she might also be sneaking around with you behind her husband’s back.
Discovering that your significant other cheated on you is devastating. Discovering that you were actually the one who was involuntarily facilitating the betrayal may be worse. You still have to deal with the sense of betrayal that comes from someone you love lying to you, but you also end up struggling with feelings of guilt and may feel like you broke up your partner’s primary relationship. Their unfaithfulness, however, is not your fault. If you truly did not know they were already in a relationship, you did nothing wrong by following your heart. All you can do is end the relationship now and move forward into the future.