Of all of the terrible things to do to someone you love, cheating is one of the worst. It destroys trust, destroys self-esteem, and (more often than not) destroys the relationship. The statistics don't lie. According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 69% of relationships fall apart after one or both people cheat. The statistics also show that more than half of both men and women will cheat, either emotionally or physically, at least once in their lives. That means that cheating is both a traumatic and widespread scourge.
While there aren't too many ways to prevent cheating, there are ways to detect it. And, like most dreadful diseases, cheating is easiest to take care of when caught early. As always, your friendly neighborhood Mystery Man is concerned for your health and emotional well-being. So I'm going to give you five signs to look for so that you can detect cheating when it starts. Not that I want you all to turn into super-sleuths and start tracking your boyfriend's or husband's every move, but if you have a gut instinct that something is amiss, look at the list below and see what lines up:
Five Signs That Your Boyfriend or Husband Is Cheating On You
Sudden Changes In Schedule - People don't generally change their habits for no reason. If your boyfriend has been getting home at 6 p.m. every day for years, but is now suddenly out until 9 p.m. two nights a week, there's a cause. Perhaps he's working late, but perhaps he isn't. If you're concerned, you should ask. Hopefully your boyfriend has a perfectly valid and reasonable excuse - working on a new project, training a new co-worker, etc. But if there is no excuse ("I dunno, just working a lot"), there might be a cause for concern. Don't be afraid to get an explanation about new work hours or new late night hobbies. You're not holding your man hostage, you just want to know that everything's ok.
Leaving The Room When Talking/Texting - In this new and magical digital age, we live by our smartphones. So your boyfriend's or husband's behavior around his iPhone or Android is going to be very telling. If he has started leaving the room when the phone rings, or leaps for the phone whenever a text comes in (especially if he hasn't before), try to figure out why. Ask him to borrow his phone when you're both sitting on the couch. Tell him you want to look something up online. If he is suddenly apprehensive to give it to you, perhaps he's got something to hide.
Decline In Intimacy - The dangerous passion of a secret affair is both emotionally and physically draining. People who are cheating often have very little energy left in the tank for intimacy at home after they're out being intimate with someone else. If you've noticed a sudden lack of enthusiasm from your partner, especially combined with some other signs, you have a right to be curious or concerned. It might be as straightforward as a minor health issue, or maybe he's got a lot on his mind. But it could always be something else. And that "something else" isn't usually good news.
More Fighting Than Usual - Cheating puts people on edge and makes them defensive. They are leading a double life, after all, and double lives make folks irritable. So if your boyfriend or husband has suddenly started snapping at you, or arguing over seemingly trivial issues, it could be due to cheating-related emotional stress.
Inexplicable Emotional Swings - Outside of the fighting mentioned above, there are other emotional/behavioral changes you should keep an eye out for. If he oscillates between crushing sadness and sudden nervousness and unreasonable happiness without any apparent triggers, it could be the result of things going on in his "other life." If he gets an e-mail, gets instantly angry over it, and then refuses to talk about it (or, similarly, gets a text message and suddenly becomes quietly excited), you might have a reason to worry.
As I've said before, there is no reason to start suddenly suspecting your man after reading this. Trust your instincts. If everything seems to be going very well, it probably is. But if your intuition is telling you otherwise and you can't explain it, then look for those five signs. It's detective work that might lead to a sad discovery. But when it comes to cheating, the less time you spent getting cheated on, the easier it will be to heal.