Your intuition nags at you, telling you something’s wrong. You find unexplained charges on your Visa bill of jewelry or gifts hidden away that vanish – but are never given to you.
Are these signs that he’s being unfaithful to you?
While you know it in your heart, your mind needs convincing to accept or confront it. 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 the awful truth.
What you’re hoping now is that someone will help you dismiss what you know so you can stay, or prove you’re right, so you can file.
If you do prove he’s being a cad, you’ll have some decisions to make.
Divorce, counseling or reconciliation (forgive and take him back, no matter the emotional cost) are all painful, no-win situations. There is no happy ending here, except to learn that you’ve been misreading things and your marriage is intact and as secure as ever.
Even lack of action is making a choice. Ignoring the problem really is one option, or pulling out all the stops to try and win him back — if staying in your marriage is that important to you.
But you have come here because you need something, so here are some pretty substantial ‘red flags’ that the man you love is stepping out on you.
• Emotional intimacy vanishes, or is replaced by phony over-attentiveness
• Stops calling you at lunch or calls more than usual.
• Sudden, unexplained (guilty) gift giving
• Sudden sharing of interests and activities he didn’t use to do with you (guilt)
• Secrecy – and territoriality (of his briefcase, mail etc.)
• He no longer wants sex – or suddenly wants it more and wilder/differently
• Unexplained absences
• Mysterious charges on your Master Card
• Overnight bag packed and stashed and ready under the bed, in the closet or in the trunk of his car
• Suspicious calls or behavior regarding calls, hushed low voice, defensiveness, hanging up when you walk in.
• Picking fights
• New email or cell accounts
• Renewed interest in his personal appearance, new cologne
• New favorite show, music, hobby, hang-out, food
• Unexplained birth control devices you’re not using (i.e. condoms if you’ve had a hysterectomy, for instance)
• More frequent, longer or oddly-timed shopping trips
• Withdrawal from your family life
• Getting an STD
• Sudden, open dissatisfaction with your looks/dress/cooking/housecleaning/sexual style, etc.
• Change in alcohol consumption
• Lots of late hours at the office with no increase in take-home pay
• Eagerness to embark on business trips, especially when he used to hate to leave you
• Time spent carefully evaluating a gift item that seems out of the ordinary – or doesn’t make sense — and that never appears under your tree.
• Doesn’t show up for or bring presents on special occasions/holidays
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 you think he’s cheating on you, more than likely he is, and fooling yourself by denying it or turning it into a game of skullduggery only serves to prolong the pain, divert your attention or stall the inevitable.
You’ll need to take the tough road and face this head on. That doesn’t mean an ugly confrontation; perhaps a professional can help get the two of talking constructively.
But don’t stick your head in the sand unless the sanctity of your marriage isn’t a priority in your life. Your love and trust is too important to throw away, and many marriages can be saved through counseling.
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