While there is no formula to predict affairs, these 7 signs mean you need to pay attention.
Are you suspicious that your man is cheating on you? Sifting through the data on affairs, the statistics are so wide ranging. Research and polls claim that as low as 20 percent and as high as 70 percent of people have affairs during committed relationships.
So depending on which numbers you believe, your suspicions are either highly unlikely or extremely likely.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to know if someone is cheating unless you catch him in the act (physically or electronically). People who are able to compartmentalize their lives well (and people who lie well) don’t always leave clues for you to follow.
Many affairs are never discovered. However, if you see any of these things, your relationship needs attention. Here are the 7 signs that he's cheating you need to pay attention to:
1. He becomes distant.
He’s always shared his day with you, always talked with you about his hopes and dreams, always sought time out with you. When you've been away from each other for fun or for business, you Skype, sext, and phone each other.
Now he doesn’t say much when he comes home. He has stopped talking about plans for the future. When you ask what’s up, he says nothing. He spends long periods of time being quiet.
He no longer notices when you make a change in your appearance and stops asking about what is going on in your life.
This is a sign that he has emotionally withdrawn from the relationship and is the biggest warning sign of all.
2. He has more energy and time for all other parts of his life and none for you.
You overhear him talking excitedly about a project. His weekends become full of activities that don’t involve you.
3. He is secretive.
He no longer leaves his phone lying around. He password protects his computer when he used to leave it open. He quickly closes down email programs when you enter the room. He gets a lot of phone calls that he ignores or that he says are wrong numbers.
You catch him on the phone in the middle of the night or texting at odd times (and maybe even notice a smile on his face). You catch him outside on the phone before coming into the house. He stops telling you where he's going, where he will be, and when to expect him home.
4. His behavior changes at home.
He is suddenly sleeping on the couch or in another room ‘because of snoring’ or getting home late. He becomes extra helpful with household chores.
He stops being physically affectionate, rebuffs you when you are physically affectionate or suddenly becomes more affectionate. He starts avoiding sex or introduces new sexual activities, and when you ask about where he got the inspiration is vague.
5. He spends more time and effort on his appearance.
He's showering extra, wears new cologne that you didn't buy for him, gets a new haircut or starts growing facial hair, joins the gym, and starts wearing new clothes or different clothing style.
6. He talks about people you have never heard of before, referring to their opinions, likes, and dislikes.
Often he will talk about a number of people in an effort to be casual but if you listen well, he will mention one name more often or refer to ‘a woman at work’ or ‘a man at work’. He may express changes in values.
7. Your intuition tells you something is up.
Unless you are someone who usually suspects partners of affairs or who is unduly paranoid, your intuition may be the best clue that he is stepping out on you. Your gut tells you something is wrong in the relationship.
You might dismiss it as paranoia or jealousy and then your gut tells you again and again. If this is the case, you will often find that he is actually having an affair.
If you confront him and he gets defensive and tries to shift the blame to you rather than reassuring you, this is a strong sign as well.
The worst thing about affairs is the dishonesty. It is the lying and the loss of trust that has the most corrosive impact on any relationship. Once trust is ruptured, getting it back is so difficult.
Many couples never even try to repair things following an affair. The person who has been lied to can feel humiliated, self-esteem can take a large hit ("He did this because he doesn’t think I'm attractive enough").
If you discover your partner is having an affair, get some support for yourself to help you decide what you want to do about the relationship. You can commiserate with friends and family but to get some unbiased input, consider seeing a coach or a therapist.
If you decide to try to save the relationship, agree to get some relationship therapy or coaching together. This drastically increases the chances that you will be able to not only survive the affair but created a more satisfying and stronger relationship.
If you decide to split up, it can be useful to see a coach in order to make the process less acrimonious. However, if you don't have any children, you may simply decide to end the relationship.
Dr. Lori Beth is an intimacy/sex coach and psychologist who helps individuals, couples, and polyamorous groups create their ideal last relationships. You can sign up for her newsletter and find out more about her adventures on her website and check out The A to Z of Sex podcast on iTunes. Write to her with your questions by clicking here.