Living in an age of instant communication and GPS, cheating partners have to scramble to cover up a long and winding trail that they could leave behind them. Infidelity is simultaneously easier to carry on, as well as discover about, with the advent of social media.
Modern dating and marriages have certainly come a long way in the past few decades, in step with the bounds that technology has made. What has remained the same, though, is the extent of the damage it can cause to a relationship and to the trust shared between two partners.
Infidelity is no joke, as honesty is one of the core values a relationship or marriage should be based on. There are a few telltale signs and behaviours that can act as red flags that your partner is cheating.
If you have a niggling feeling you can’t shake off that something has been off lately, read on to see for yourself if the shoe fits:
It’s quite curious, but this fluctuation in intimacy levels actually vary from one couple to another.
Your spouse or partner could seem utterly bored, or suddenly want to indulge in risk-taking behaviors. There is either a sudden drop in the intimacy shared between you two, with decreased sex, as well; or there are suddenly a lot of new things your spouse wants to try in bed, that were never on the table before.
The idea is to look out for a sudden extreme change in behaviour patterns, that can’t be chalked down to anything else going on. Yvonne Filler, who runs The Affair Clinic, London, is a special counsellor who shares that cheating individuals often become “overly affectionate” with their spouses, usually due to an increase in overall sex drive as well.
Wanting a lot more time alone, all of a sudden, could indicate that your spouse is cheating. Dating and relationship etiquette and advice expert April Masini points out that a spouse who has had several affairs might be better at navigating this tricky “time situation”. He/she might take you out and make it an early night on a date with you, because they have to go deal with a late-night issue at work, or to “meet the boys/girls”.
Compartmentalizing time in odd ways might be their way of making time for an affair, according to her, and this is one thing that you might want to consider if you think your partner is cheating.
Besides social media, technology has also permeated to online banking. In a marriage, generally, spouses tend to be pretty transparent about their finances, because there’s no need not to.
If, suddenly, there’s an extra credit card in your spouse’s name that you had no idea about, unaccountable expenses racking up your credit bill or sudden drops in your bank balance that haven’t been discussed, it’s time to ask why the budgets you both work with aren’t panning out as planned.
This is certainly a difficult discussion to have, but with the electronic trail that can be left behind today, there will be statements which are irrefutable proof that you’re with someone who is cheating.
As with banking details, passwords to phones and email accounts are often shared in a long-term relationship or marriage; it’s just a natural sign of trust and, sometimes, even of convenience.
For instance, if you need to call in for some maintenance work at home and the number is on your spouse’s phone, it should not be such a big deal for you to access it. If suddenly, you find your spouse hovering around you when you’re near their phone or digital device, it’s a definite sign that something fishy is going on.
In a healthy relationship, there needs to be a certain level of trust that privacy will not be violated, because there should be no reason to be suspicious.
This is a bit of a dead giveaway, although it might not occur to you as being indicative of a cheating partner at first.
You might find your spouse asking you where you were, and the details of what you were doing more keenly than usual, as if to zero in on something they’re missing out on.
This is pretty much reverse psychology, and it definitely manifests in the little things — a raised eyebrow because you were “too friendly” with a server at a restaurant or bar, or asking you what took you so long to get home.
Sometimes, because they are trying to keep track of the discrepancies in facts themselves, cheating partners grow suspicious, and this is a warning sign that is pretty telling.
As we have mentioned, it is relatively difficult to keep an affair under wraps today, with so many things that can function and be tracked online, from banking accounts to social media accounts.
Keeping on top of all the lies can get pretty exhausting and your partner may have been exhibiting a general increase in anxiety and confusion when recalling what they were doing at a certain time.
There might also be complete “blackouts” in their schedule suddenly, when they are completely unreachable and you have no idea where they are. Of course, people tend to get extremely busy with work sometimes, but there’s no reason to act strange about working overtime.
Ultimately, figuring out whether your partner is cheating on you is a combination of keen intuition and clever sleuth work. In long-term marriages, it is only natural that there are ups and downs and cheating can have a profound effect on your relationship, but it does not need to signal its end.
You clearly know each other well enough to realise when something is out of the ordinary, and if your suspicion persists, you should check the facts for some concrete proof before coming to any conclusions.