It’s a horrible, lonely feeling to suspect that someone you love and trust may be cheating. No one expects to find themselves in this horrible position, and your world may feel as if it’s been turned upside down.
Some people feel deeply alone and are embarrassed to share these thoughts and take on the role of a solo detective, while others enlist the help of friends, setting elaborate traps to catch a suspected cheater.
Once the initial alarm bell sounds that your partner might not be faithful, it can quickly become a full-blown mental cacophony of anxious days and sleepless nights spent ruminating about whether or not you are being betrayed.
Still, it's hard to be sure if someone's cheating. Ultimately the answer to your question will come from confronting your partner. While it’s difficult to accept this horrible truth, often the odd behavior you’ve noticed signifies that something is truly amiss. Wild explanations don’t ring true, and when the signs point to cheating, all too often, your partner has in fact strayed.
To protect yourself, you may want to measure your partner’s behavior against a standard of what is expected in a healthy relationship. Here are some red flags that may signal that your significant other is cheating.
A Decrease in Libido
Sexuality is at the core of a healthy relationship and when there’s a sudden shift in the frequency of your encounters, chances are something is amiss. Even if the drastic decrease in your partner’s libido isn’t indicative of infidelity, it may be a manifestation of another relationship problem or a medical condition, which needs to be addressed.
Acknowledge the Technological Triggers
A cell-phone bill that has triple the number of texts from months past, hours and hours spent in front of the computer, a partner who runs to answer the phone every time it rings and then walks away for privacy — these drastic switches in your partner’s patterns indicate an increased amount of time communicating with someone, and that someone isn’t you.
A Sudden Disconnect
Even though relationships ebb and flow naturally, if you're sensing that your partner is pulling away from you, it’s often because your partner is being pulled in another direction. It indicates a problem if a person is not laughing or seeming as passionate as usual; perhaps it’s because it’s difficult to fully engage with two people at once.
More Than the Little White Lie
If you catch your partner in a harmless fib about where he/she ate lunch, you need to recognize that this may be a sign of a larger issue. Honesty and fidelity work in tandem, and when one of them falls by the wayside in a relationship, the other often follows.
They Go Off the Radar
People who call their partners at work and find them unavailable to talk at times they were previously accessible, or find that their partners are not where they said they’d be, should consider cheating on the relationship radar. Look to see if these times take on a pattern.
Most of all, trust your gut. All of us are gifted at sensing when something doesn't feel right. When there are red flags in your relationship and doubts keeping you awake at night, don’t ignore them. Usually your instinct is right.