If he’s behaving like this, it’s time for the two of you to talk…
The only thing worse than hearing partner confess that he’s been cheating on you is suspecting that your partner has been cheating on you, but not knowing for sure and having NO idea what to do about it.
He hasn’t come home with lipstick on his collar. You guys still kiss and still say “I love you.” You just know that something is off, and you feel pretty sure that if you talked to some relationship guru they would tell you to go speak with him about your fears in a direct, clear way.
Sometimes it’s hard to be so upfront, though, especially when it comes to cheating allegations.
I hate being portrayed as a stereotypically angry or “crazy” woman, and frankly, when a woman accuses a man of infidelity, his first response if typically to ask her something along the lines of, “Are you crazy??!!”
So is it any real wonder women spend so much time trying to figure out if their partner is cheating instead of simply asking him?
Once you open those doors, they stay open and there is no going back.
I’m not saying you need to stay silent about your concerns forever. Absolutely not.
If you suspect your boyfriend or husband is having an affair but you’re worried he will think you’re being paranoid if you ask him about it and you’re wrong, there are specific clues you can keep an eye out for as you decide whether or not a confrontation is warranted.
Keep in mind that even if one or more of these red flags apply to your situation, it is entirely possible he could have a reasonable explanation that has nothing to do with you, another woman, or anyone else.
But the best offense is a good defense, and if you a difficult conversation must be had, you’ll want to be prepared to rationally and calmly present him with clear examples of the behavior that has led you to suspect he is being unfaithful.
Here are eight behavioral clues that your boyfriend or husband may be cheating.
1. He changes his hygiene habits or routines.
When you have been in a relationship for a while, you get to know each other pretty well. Yes, of course, you know his favorite band and he knows your favorite perfume, but I’m talking about stuff like him knowing what time of day you generally head to the powder room for some “alone time” and you knowing how long he’s willing to wait before taking a shower when he gets home from work.
If his most basic routine suddenly changes without a clear reason you are aware of, it could be because he’s up to no good somewhere.
Does he normally only shower at the gym before work, but now suddenly jumps straight into a second one before he’ll say hello? He could be washing off the smell of sex with someone else.
Yes, it’s possible the gym shower is broken or that someone in the office brought in a foul-smelling plant and needs to get the wretched scent off of him, but if this becomes a daily thing overnight, he doesn’t freely offer a simple explanation in a manner that jibes with his typical style of communication, and you already suspect that he’s cheating, this may very well merit a conversation in which you ask him to clarify your confusion.
2. He becomes markedly less interested in having sex with you.
If he’s initiating or accepting your advances for sex less often than he used to, it could be because he is having it with someone else. There are many reasons people in a relationship start having sex less frequently or even stop having sex with each other altogether that have nothing to do with adultery, but if the change in his libido appears sudden or his manner of saying “Not tonight” comes off as harsh or abrupt, trust your gut that something is up and approach him gently for a conversation about it.
Worst case scenario, he will admit to you that he’s cheating and you’ll both have to deal with it.
Best case scenario, he’ll explain that he’s just been working too hard on a project and not getting enough sleep lately.
There are multiple possibilities in between those two extremes. Either way, when your sex life changes dramatically, it’s something to discuss before too much time passes and you find yourself discussing it ten years later in a conversation about whether or not you should break up or divorce.
3. He starts having unusual bouts of jealous.
One of the ways some men unintentionally reveal they’ve been cheating is by suddenly becoming jealous. He may be acutely aware of the shady things he’s doing and is projecting them onto you, or he could be trying to stay on the offensive by accusing you of things he knows he is guilty so that you’ll feel too defensive to question him.
No matter the psychology behind it, watch for this one closely, especially if your boyfriend isn’t typically a jealous kind of guy.
Sometimes a guilty conscience waves the biggest red flag of all. So if he’s questioning you about your work bestie, Steve, in a super weird way, he may just have something cooking in the company kitchen over at his own workplace.
4. He gets angry quickly and for seemingly no reason.
When people feel guilty about something they’ve done wrong they will sometimes flip the script and lash out in anger in an effort to distract themselves and others from their unethical behavior. It makes sense that such distractions could work in theory, but in reality, all it does is draw attention to the fact that something fishy is going on with you.
Again, as with everything here, there can and are other valid reasons people sometimes become more irritable that have no relation to betraying their partner. But again, if your partner’s having serious moods swings and you don’t know why, it’s something specific you can talk to him about it.
5. Increasing levels of secrecy.
Her: “Where were you last night?”
Her: “With whom?”
Her: “Any people I know?”
Him: “Maybe. I gotta go.”
When talking to your boyfriend or husband about his day-to-day becomes frighteningly similar to asking a teenager how their day went at school, something is up, and that something might be cheating. What other reason could a guy possibly have for keeping such mundane details of his life a secret from his partner, right?
Side note: Some men seriously LOVE keeping secrets just for the sake of it.
They love keeping stupid ones for stupid reasons and unfortunately, relationships end because of that ALL of the time.
If a man insists on keeping his own little secrets from you because he thinks that’s the only way he can “maintain his identity” or some shit, you need to RUN.
6. He starts spending more and more time with his phone.
When you first start seeing someone these days and you tend to stay even more glued to your smartphone than usual. Constant phone calls. Constant texting. Emails. Social media stalking and sharing. It’s a delicious and dizzy time! I mean, it’s sickening to anyone who has to watch as you do it, but for the people involved in the budding romance, it’s the dream of dreams.
If you notice the man in your life is spending increasing amounts of time with his phone and he’s being secretive about what he’s doing on it or about who he’s texting or talking to, there’s a chance he’s experiencing that wonderful giddiness… with someone other than you.
Red flag, ahoy!
7. He starts spending less and less time with you.
In order for a relationship to work, you have to spend time together so you can release those feel-good hormones like oxytocin.
If the guy you are in a relationship with isn’t spending as much time with you as he used to and you know it’s not because of his job or another transparent and easily understandable reason, he might be spending that extra time with another special person.
Could he be spending that time secretly toiling at an extra job so he can soon surprise you with the ring, home or vacation of your dreams?
But cheating is also a viable reason for you to consider.
8. He suddenly acquires condoms (which he does not use with you).
I don’t know the details of your life and I don’t judge anyone else’s choices, but I do know that unless you’re actively trying to have kids or you’re willing to play Russian roulette with that sucker, most hetero couples use some form of protection when they have sex.
It could be that he wears a condom every single time, though chances are (because of our patriarchal society, lol lol) that you’re probably on the pill or that you have an IUD or that you, the female in the equation, are the one responsible for some other form of birth control.
If this is, indeed, the case and yet you find even one condom in his nightstand drawer or his jacket pocket, it’s a BIG, HUGE sign that he’s taking proactive measures elsewhere in order to keep from acquiring an STI from — or a child with — the person with whom he is having an affair.
Special note: Finding condoms in weird places when the two of you don’t use condoms actually isn’t a red flag…
It’s a pre-dated, signed and hand-delivered confession.