The thought of infidelity in your relationship is never a pleasant thing, but unfortunately, it’s more common than you might hope. With as many as one in five married couples getting caught up in cheating scandals at some point, gnawing concerns are bound to arise at some point.
Even if your partner has been unfaithful to you, it’s important to remember that you have full agency over what to do next – whether that means starting fresh in your relationship and mending your connection or parting ways.
Read on to explore five of the most common signs that your partner might be cheating on you.
They change their schedule or the way they dress
Dressing up is not a sign of infidelity in itself – but it is one of the many potential indicators that something is not as it should be in your relationship, and one you’ll be able to notice without hiring a private investigator.
The way we dress is a giveaway because a sudden change in style or even the level of effort we put into our appearance can indicate an attempt to catch someone else’s eye. That said, a change of clothes alone is not enough to justify a cheating accusation, so pay attention to any sudden dramatic changes in their schedule, like longer work hours or new hobbies.
Then, turn your attention to talking and asking more questions of your partner. You might catch them out, and if you don’t, you’ll automatically rebuild some of the trust in your relationship.
Their communication is off
A loving, solid relationship is built on good communication, and most relationships start out very strong on this front. In the beginning of your relationship, your partner probably made a consistent effort to show you that they care for you through their words and actions, but lately, things might be feeling more one-sided.
If you have noticed a significant change in the way your partner speaks or behaves towards you, it could be a sign that something is not right. Communication breakdowns often show up in the form of emotionally abusive behaviours like gaslighting and stonewalling – a behaviour that involves ignoring you and shutting down attempts at conversation.
It’s not only verbal communication that can bring issues to light, either. Body language can also be a major indicator that something is not quite right between you, so pay attention to the way they act when they’re in your presence.
Lost in translation: much of the communication between partners is non-verbal (Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/a7XUtljVEMc)
They actively undermine your relationship
Just as strengthening a relationship is a conscious decision and set of actions, so is undermining it. That is, the action is deliberate even if the intent is subconscious – and it’s a fairly blatant warning sign.
If you notice your partner criticising you or the relationship, getting defensive, behaving in an unusually negative manner or making major, impulsive decisions without consulting you, these could all be construed as signs that your partner feels guilty or wants out of the relationship.
Even a sense of indifference is enough to weaken the foundation of your relationship – because, as the old saying goes, it is indifference – not hate – that opposes love.
They hide their phone
We all need our privacy, but once you’ve reached a certain level of comfort in your relationship, there shouldn’t be anything on your partner’s phone that could raise alarm bells. Still, it’s not uncommon for one partner to catch another out through incriminating texts, emails, or even sneaky cheating apps.
If your partner panics or acts defensive when you ask to borrow their phone, it’s a strong indicator that they might be up to something. Even worse than this suspicion is the knowledge that the trust in your relationship has dissolved, and if you feel this way, it could be a good time to start asking some difficult questions.
They’re not interested in sex
A strong sexual connection is the number one thing that sets a romantic partner apart from a great friend of the opposite sex, so if you’re not getting any, there could be a deeper explanation.
Of course, it’s important to examine your own feelings about sex and how you may have responded to your partner’s advances in recent times. If you’ve been open and receptive to the idea, but your partner has been closed off, it may be because they’re getting their needs met elsewhere.
Finding out that your partner is unfaithful will always be hard, but until you know for sure, all you can do is look after yourself, ask the right questions, and as long as you still love them, keep as much faith in your relationship as possible. You know what they say: you’ll see what you look for, so keep looking for love wherever you can.