When it comes to your partner cheating, I don’t believe there are any definitive clues. He could be working late, or he could be cheating late. He could be dressing up for you — or his mistress. That’s what makes this type of thing so confusing and hurtful. When you trust your spouse, you trust his explanations. But there are always certain things that get our antennae up. They don’t seem to change much over the years, though with the advent of technology, those little hints now seem to involve a lot more cellphones and social media and a lot less lipstick on the collar (unless you’re President Obama). Here are 10 classic signs your guy (or your woman) might be cheating.
1. He starts dressing better. According to divorce lawyer Marilyn Stowe, this is still a sign you should look out for. Did he suddenly morph from flannel and dirty boots to smart suits and shiny loafers? I’d add in wearing cologne all of a sudden, or changing the cologne he always wears to something new. Could be a sign the mistress gave him a bottle that she likes better.
2. Guarding the cellphone. This is one I’ve heard a lot in my girlfriend circles — he suddenly starts sleeping with the cellphone by his bedside, or bringing it into the shower with him. He may turn it off when you’re together and say he doesn’t want to be disturbed while he’s with you — but he really doesn’t want to risk her texting or calling while you’re there. If he won’t even let you touch his phone, sumpthin’ up.
3. Password protecting everything. In this day and age, it’s prudent to password protect your phone, but it can also be a sign if he suddenly starts doing it when he never cared before. Or he refuses to give you the password.
4. He takes out new credit cards in his name. According to Stowe, this is a sign that he’s spending money on the new flame — especially if the bills go to another address or he has them delivered online only.
5. He begins making hurtful remarks about you. Picking fights all of a sudden is a classic ploy — this way if he ever gets caught, he can blame it on you and say you two were always fighting!
6. He begins to drop a female name into his conversations. I’ve heard this one before, that a guy having an affair will start bringing up a certain woman all of the time. Apparently it gives him an adrenaline rush to feel like he can talk about her and get away with it. I’d also add avoiding talking about a certain woman — say he starts working on a project with a woman but he NEVER mentions her. That’s weird if he’s spending a lot of time with her.
7. Talking about how “ugly” or “horrible” a certain woman is. This is one I’ve seen a few times — a guy tries to cover up his attraction to a certain woman by slagging her off every chance he gets.
8. He suggests separate holidays. According to Stowe, this is a clear sign he wants you out of town.
9. Doesn’t want sex. He may not reject you, but he’ll go along with your rejections where he may have previously fought them. Now it’s like, “Sure, let’s watch a movie instead. Noooo problem.”
10. Social media. I’m simply amazed at how many men forget that their wife or girlfriend is on their Facebook and yet they will flirt or even “check in” with another woman also on his Facebook. Must think women are blind!
While these are fairly “classic” signs, I’ve also seen and experienced the complete opposite. I know one husband who was doing basically all of the above — but after much investigating, his wife couldn’t find any evidence of him having an affair. And I’ve been in a situation where a guy was doing none of the above — but was.
Such is life. It’s always a conundrum.