His last flimsy excuse to break your date was just too much. He’s sick an awful lot lately, breaking dates with you – or you spot him somewhere when he’s supposed to be somewhere else. And with another girl.
Are these signs pointing to infidelity?
You just don’t want to see it, but the evidence is there in your gut. To be honest, you’ve probably already gathered enough evidence on your own, using your own intuition or common sense, that, deep inside, you know.
What you’re looking for now is for someone to help you dismiss what you know, so life can go on as usual – or to prove it and move on to a better relationship. It just hurts too much to think he could really, actually be cheating on you.
Just remember — If you do prove he’s stepping out on you, you’ll have do something. Not a big drama, screaming, accusations and throwing things (unless you really want to burn that bridge forever!) but by talking with him, finding out if it’s worth working things out or better to simply move on.
Which is not to say moving on would be easy. Not if you have grown to really care about him. Besides, knowing he’s giving his love and his body to another girl is a tremendous blow to your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Going back to being ‘just friends’ in unlikely, so a break will have to be a clean one.
Here are some pointers to help you determine if the man you love is cheating on you.
1. Emotional withdrawal
2. Sudden, prolific (guilty) gift giving
3. Sudden sharing of interests and activities he didn’t use to do with you (guilt)
4. Doesn’t like you seeing what’s in his briefcase or wallet anymore/secrecy in general
5. Abrupt halt to sex – or sudden increased demand
6. Unexplained date-breaking, frequent illnesses you can’t account for that magically appear and disappear as needed
8. Forgetting your birthday, Valentine’s Day or Christmas present
9. Hushed phone calls, hang-ups, defensiveness if you question who was on the phone
10. Seems to find fault with you over nothing
11. Phone calls to you increase, stop or he doesn’t answer or return calls like he used to
12. Unexplained changes in his personal appearance
13. New interests that he either pushes on you or excludes you from
14. Unexplained birth control devices you’re not using (i.e. condoms if you’ve been on the pill, for instance)
15. Withdrawal from your emotional life, not asking how you are or how things are at the office
16. Getting an STD
17. Finding sudden fault with you/ things about you
Have you heard enough?
It hurts. I’m sorry. But you already know, deep inside. We all try to fool ourselves when the evidence we see is just too painful to face, but that doesn’t change the facts.
If it looks like a gorilla, smells like a gorilla and sounds like a gorilla, guess what? Unless you’re living together, the best route, after talking things over, may be to just move on. Don’t give this, or him, more power than it deserves.
What you need to do is face it. Address it, not with wild angry accusations or guilt, but with as level a head as you can.
Seek therapy, counseling; decide what your personal boundaries and tolerances are, and when the pain outweighs the benefit of hanging on.
If you’re young, you have a lifetime ahead to find the right match. Even if you’re older, it’s still probably better to let go and allow emotional and psychic space for someone new to enter your life – even if it feels like time is running out and you have no other options.
Chances are, a life free from the pain of betrayal is worth more than the charade of the relationship fantasy that he’s effectively killed.
In any event, seek out a close friend or therapist. You’ll need to talk, to cry, to throw things, withdraw to lick your wounds. Then you’ll need your friendss to help you move on.
Don’t hang on to the pain forever. Don’t give him that much power.
Of course, many relationships do recover from infidelity; perhaps scathed and battered, but alive. Sometimes we take what we can get.
Other times we do best to stop the cycle, throw it all overboard and start over, alone, or with someone new.
Besides, maybe there’s someone much better for you, who you can love even more completely, waiting just around the corner.
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