You may have heard how to tell that a man is cheating, or maybe you can imagine what the signals might be … Here are the main clues you want to be acutely aware of.
Warning Signals of Infidelity
My research asked men to detail the warning signs they thought they gave their wives that hinted or told them they were close to an infidelity. I then asked them for warning signs that they were involved in infidelity.
- He Spends More Time away from Home: 55 percent said more time spent away from home was a sign that they were close to infidelity, and it went up slightly to 61 percent when they were involved in infidelity. What’s quite fascinating is that the majority of the men started spending more time away from home before they cheated. This warning sign and the ones below indicate not only that your husband is cheating but are also a precursor to his cheating. If you can catch the signs in time you might avoid the pain of infidelity and be able to repair your relationship. It’s equally telling that during the affair 61 percent of the men spent more time away from home. Sometimes men will tell their wives to trust them because” I could cheat during my regular day if I wanted to.” Although it’s true that you can’t possibly keep tabs on your husband’s whereabouts during the workday, it still seems that cheating men find extra time to slip away from home, and not just during work hours. When you start to notice that your husband is spending less time at home, watch out and find out what’s going on with him. It’s worth discussing and trying to get him to articulate any dissatisfaction he may have in his life that causes him to want to spend less time at home or what new development has caused this sudden wanderlust. Remember, it’s not proof that he’s cheating, but it’s pretty clear that he’s close, and there should be no waiting on talking about changes to make your marriage better quickly …
- You Have Sex Infrequently: The number two signal isn’t surprising although the numbers are: thirty – four percent of men reported diminished sexual activity as a sign they were close to infidelity, and it rose 43 percent once the infidelity was under way. Again, it’s noteworthy that 34 percent saw diminished sexual activity as a warning sign before any infidelity, telling you again that you can catch some of these signals before an affair or even unhappiness sets in. I did find it curious that only 43 percent said it was a signal of actual infidelity. You’d think there’d be a higher number if they’re already having sex outside the marriage. It could be that they weren’t having so much sex before, so it wasn’t much of a change once the infidelity began … 57 percent of cheating men will cheat and yet not have less sex with their wives, although the usual frequency could be once every couple of months in many struggling marriages. However, diminished sexual activity was still a large number, telling us that maintaining sexual consistency and frequency is essential for a healthy marriage.
- He Avoids Contact with You: The next signal was” avoidance of contact (cell phone calls),” at 29 percent and dipping slightly to 24 percent once the infidelity began. The contact you have with your husband during the day, even if it is about the ordinary business of life, still helps you develop a general awareness of each other. His avoidance of your calls or desire not to spend time with you points to a desire to disconnect, whether he is conscious of it or not. Stay connected with little calls to say,” Hi, I love you” and “How is your day going?”
- He Criticizes You More: “More criticism of wife” scored 25 percent but dipped to 19 percent once the infidelity began.Stephanie didn’t understand what was going on.” He used to love my cooking. My mother was Italian and he’d be proud of my ethnic dishes. All of a sudden, he was tired of my food and wanted me to’mix it up’a bit. I was insulted but I tried other things and he seemed okay. But then he started on me for how I was spending the money. Ever since we were married I took care of the finances because I have an educational background in finance. Now he was questioning me and looking over my shoulder. Suddenly, he didn’t like the way I was putting away our savings, and we had a huge fight over all of the changes he demanded.” Six months later Stephanie discovered her husband was cheating and funneling money to help out his mistress.
- He Starts More Fights with You: 20 percent said they started more fights with their wives. Notice that criticizing their wives and starting more fights can be seen as very similar signals. Put them together and you have a large portion of men who were more harassing to their wives. Most cheating men spent more time away from home, avoided contact, and had less sex with their wives. These signals represented in changes in behaviors (and remember, they’re only significant if there are changes in these areas) seem to indicate that the warning signals will be about your husband disconnecting from you. When you feel your husband has changed into a person who is disconnected from you, it’s a sign of impending danger to your marriage.
Listen Closely—He May Tell You about the Other Woman
One final note is not something in my research, but a signal I’ve noticed many times in my work. Often, your husband will begin talking more and more about a woman, usually a colleague in the office or organizational board. He’ll tell you they had lunch or ran into each other somewhere else and that her family went to such and such a place for vacation and her kids loved it. Your husband thinks you guys should go there for your next vacation. Since he hasn’t had sex with her he’s not hiding the relationship with her. But as he becomes friendlier you need to remember that most cheating occurs with friends, not one – night stands just for sex. So your husband might be telling you about his potential mistress straight to your face. He may even want you to meet her. Beware of admiring comments and begin to consider what needs to happen in your marriage so that your husband seems as excited to hear your ideas as those of his newfound friend.
(From pages 43-48 of
The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It
by M. Gary Neuman)