Ladies, few things in life feel worse than the nagging suspicion that your husband is cheating on you………other than to find out that’s actually the case.
There are a ton of little telltale signs that you may be able to spot that will start your womanly radar ticking.
Some of your man’s actions may end up being innocent enough, but at other times, where there’s smoke, there could be infidelity fire.
Cheating can be in the mind only, purely emotional, or physical, or a combination of all three.
Just like every marriage is different, so too is every case of cheating.
We won’t quote statistics, but studies show that a lot of men (and women for that matter) do contemplate cheating in some way at some point. It’s one way to explain why the nation’s divorce rate currently hovers at around 50 percent.
So, no matter what your degree of suspicion is when it comes to your husband and what’s in his mind, there are a number of things to keep an eye out for.
Don’t take them as gospel by themselves that cheating is going on, but if you see a lot of what follows in your marriage, it may be time for the “we need to talk” intervention.
Here are some things to be on the lookout for…
Signs Your Husband is Cheating on You
1 | He lies about things that don’t even really matter.
If you can’t trust him to tell you the truth about the little things, it may be a sign that you can’t trust him to tell you the truth about the big things. It may be a stretch to think that “I did feed the dog” when he really didn’t, and “I was out with Bob” when he was really out with Ashley last night are the same things, but they do signal the same kind of thinking.
2 | He’s playing cell phone defense.
Certain rules govern every marriage and the privacy that each person can expect when it comes to their electronics. But if there’s a big change in the rules and especially in the level of secrecy he demands that wasn’t there before, then guess what? He may have something to hide.
3 | He sucks at getting back to you when he’s out with other people.
This really only applies if he’s been good about it in the past, but he’s doing a lousy job of being responsive now. If he’s always sucked, then that’s just who he is. If he’s just started doing it lately, then he’s maybe got something to hide.
4 | He’s hanging out with a new crowd when you’re not around.
New people mean less of a chance to use friends to check up on him, like who are the male and female friends he’s out and about with. Social circles change, but change can also mean he’s found someone new and interesting that he doesn’t want you to know about.
5 | Is he dropping one particular female’s name into your conversations?
Subconsciously, he may be laying his cards on the table. It may be nothing more than an infatuation, but it could also be something more. Taking a lot about another woman could be just like showing you’re holding an ace in your hand at the poker table.
6 | The best defense is a good offense.
Has he accused you of cheating for no good reason? He may be trying to put you back on your heels to distract away from his own diddlings. It’s a form of gaslighting by taking the focus off of themselves and on to you. You can’t focus on his misdeeds if you’re trying to defend your own harmless actions.
7 | He tells you he’s hanging out with his buddies to watch the game, but when he gets home, he can’t even tell you who won.
Any guy stupid enough to not have his story straight deserves to get busted. He may have been playing the game instead of watching it. Don’t confront him, but look for subtle clues he wasn’t with his crew when he said he was.
8 | He looks way better than normal.
Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis or simply trying to make a change for the better in his life. Or he could have a new girlfriend on the side. When you’re looking to attract someone, looking better is one of the tools in your toolbox. By itself, it may be harmless, but if there are other behaviors that happen along with this change, then beware. Wearing cologne when he hasn’t done so in the past is another great tell that something is up.
9 | Regular work habits aren’t so regular anymore.
He may have a perfectly legitimate reason, such as entertaining clients, or getting ready for a big presentation, but if his reasons are vague and wishy-washy, your defense mechanisms should kick into play, just a bit.
10 | He changes the passwords on your shared media accounts.
If he’s setting up his own independent accounts, and you’re not aware or you’re not getting access like you used to do, then that’s another red flag that something, or someone, is up.
11 | What are those charges on the credit card?
If you monitor your monthly credit card statements and you start to see things pop up that you don’t recognize, they may be harmless, or they could be signs of monkey business that’s afoot. If you can’t match up the expense with the story, that’s a problem. Also, if he’s now paying in cash for things that used to be charged, that’s a money monkey business concern as well.
12 | The thrill (in the bedroom) is gone.
When sexual attraction fades, it normally does so gradually. If the brakes are put on your love life like they’re stopping a runaway train, then guess who may be getting his booty call elsewhere. Spouses go through periods of stress and extreme business, so it may be attributable to outside forces, but then again, it may not.
13 | When his phone rings, he sees who it is and doesn’t answer it.
We all do it, but if it becomes habit, or worse yet, he ducks into a private place to make a return call, it could be a signal that he wants his privacy because he’s hiding something from you. Don’t let your mind run too wild, but if it happens with alarming regularity, just note it and quietly see if you can find out what’s going on.
14 | Cheat on me once, shame on you. Cheat on me twice, shame on me.
A spouse who has cheated in the past and gotten caught is more likely to think they can get away by doing a better job of cheating the second time around. If your spouse has a history of cheating, and you suspect cheating is happening again, it may be time to make that spouse a part of your history instead.
15 | His friends are acting differently toward you.
He may be doing a great job at covering his infidelity tracks, but somewhere in his buddy ecosystem there will be a weak link. If you sense that the conversations or the interactions with his buddies are different for no apparent reason, it may be because they already know what you may already suspect.
16 | Is he headhunting more these days?
If he’s trying to pick a fight, it may mean he’s trying to drive a wedge in between you so it will justify his cheating ways. It’s a common way for guys who can use it as an excuse to say that your fighting drove him into the arms of another.
17 | He wants you to stop doing nice things for him.
Sometimes known as the Catholic guilt syndrome. If you’re being kind and considerate, as relationships should be, it could be revving up the conflict in him if he’s thinking about cheating or already doing so.
18 | He’s always hated country music, but all of sudden he likes it now.
You can really insert any kind of genre here, so apologies to all you country music fans. The point is, he may be getting turned on to music that he never liked because his new “friend” likes that kind of music and he’s just trying to curry favor with her.
19 | You go to New York for vacation, and he’s going to Cabo.
Separate vacations are sometimes healthy in a relationship, but at other times they are oh so not. If you can’t agree or compromise on vacations, it could be an indicator that you’re growing apart or that he’s “accidentally on purpose” hooking up with someone new in a land, far, far away from witnessing eyes.
20 | You don’t argue about what’s on TV or who’s in control of the remote.
That’s because he’s retreated to his den, or a man cave, or simply is preoccupied with other things like playing on a laptop while you’re tuned in to the Bachelorette or The Hills. Two televisions and two remotes have definitely solved more fights than they have started, but private channel surfing may also be an indicator that intimacy has also left the room or changed channels as well.
21 | Instead of fighting too much, you don’t fight at all anymore.
The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. If you’re getting your way all the time, and he’s giving in on things that are normally a battle (i.e., Taco Bell vs. Olive Garden), then somebody may have already called for the check on your relationship. A lively and spirited discussion about what to do that involves both of you is actually part of a healthy marriage. Rolling over may be a sign that your marriage is in trouble.
22 | You confront your man about cheating and he just babbles his way out of it.
At times a full frontal assault is a great tactical move, especially if you have other suspicions already in play. Catching your man off guard could cause them to turn stupid in trying to explain their actions. But some men are really good at pulling off a deception as well. Only you’ll know for sure by how well you know how your man acted in other similar situations in the past.
23 | Finding condoms in your husband’s stuff when you haven’t used condoms for years.
Okay, this one is kind of obvious. Busted, next!
24 | Mr. Reliable has become Mr. Forgetful.
Has he always been good at remembering birthdays, anniversaries and so forth? Did he used to buy great presents that were thoughtful and spot on? Did you get a vacuum cleaner for your last big present? Or did you get just a card and an apology two days later? He may physically be there, but he may have also mentally checked out on you. There are so many days throughout the course of the year for him to screw up. The smart guy who’s still engaged in a meaningful relationship still won’t get every last one of them right, but he’ll come a lot closer than the guy who’s mentally moved on.
25 | He keeps his Kik, Skype, Viber, or WhatsApp accounts private.
Instant Messages are the new email, and because they’re more private than regular SMS and Text messages, it’s fairly easy for your husband to cheat on you without your knowledge. While you shouldn’t expect to read his messages on his phone any more than he should expect you to read yours, there’s nothing wrong with glancing at his screen from time to time. If he’s hiding his IMs, chances are he’s hiding more than just a message.
26 | He avoids family or other social events.
If he’s cheating on you, it may not yet be physical, but avoiding family contact could be a sign that it’s at least emotional, especially if he’s enjoyed gatherings in the past. Again, outside pressure can change dynamics, but when those are not present, it may be a sign that he’s investing in someone else.
27 | He openly disrespects you in public and in front of friends.
Not cool under any circumstances, but especially if he’s trying to send a signal to your larger social circle. Embarrassing you in public is a form of putting you down, and it happens all the time, and even more so when you’re married to a misfiring practical joker. But it could also mean he’s planting seeds of a relationship insurrection that could grow into a full-blown break up later on.
28 | Your husband has turned into a moody Judy.
One minute he’s up and excited about things, but the next moment he’s down and depressed, specifically because he’s got to spend time with you. If he’s happier away from you, that’s a tell. He may do what’s required to keep a relationship running semi-smoothly, but invariably, relationship problems will bubble up due to him and his “wear it on his sleeve” emotional demeanor.
29 | His 30-minute trip to the Home Depot becomes a 3-hour “where the heck were you?” drama.
Granted, some guys get distracted by shiny objects and some guys just need alone time to recharge and do their own thing, but if it routinely takes him a couple of hours to buy some nails without further explanation on multiple occasions, then Houston, we have a problem.
30 | He starts arguments as an excuse to leave the house.
Going to Home Depot when everything is cool is one thing, but if he uses the incendiary excuse of starting an argument as a way to bail on a regular basis, then there’s trouble afoot. It can leave a spouse wondering what they did wrong or genuinely angry at the man because they know they didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes, it can be a simple as a man blowing off steam because of all the pressures in his life. At other times, blowing off steam is actually creating a smokescreen for less than honorable intentions.
31 | He stops talking about the future and your lives together down the road.
That talk is sometimes replaced by “what if we were to go our separate ways” as a means of floating a trial separation balloon. It could be because there’s someone else in that balloon already or just a general unhappiness that he is trying to resolve, even if it means breaking up.
32 | You stop hearing from his mamma as much as you used to.
If he hasn’t broken the news to you, he may have broken the news to his mom, his brother, his sister or any other close family member. If you get a sense that they’ve recoiled, it may be because they know some kind of change is about to happen. Switching relationship gears does not happen in a vacuum. It takes a village, or in this case, a family.
33 | You find a secret bank account.
This one hurts, especially if you’ve been struggling to make ends meet with kids braces, soccer lessons, summer camps and the like. Regardless of whether there’s an affair involved or not, this is a basic breach of the marital trust and you need to have a serious talk with your husband about why and how long this has been going on. Keep in mind the key word here is “secret.” Couples routinely have separate accounts, and that’s fine as long as everything remains above board.
34 | He doesn’t pass the smell test, literally.
If he comes home on a regular basis with scents that are unfamiliar to you, your nose may be able to tell you something that he is not. It’s one thing to come home covered in Dior after an office Christmas party, but quite another to come home smelling that way on Taco Tuesday. Note things with your nose. Bonus points in a bad way if he comes home with make-up on his shirts, more than once or twice in a several month span. Some people are huggers, and some people are just buggers.
35 | “You just don’t appreciate me.”
If a husband does not feel his efforts contributing to a relationship are being noticed and acknowledged by his partner, he could easily go elsewhere for validation. This will hold true if another woman already praises him on a regular basis, either at work or in your social circle. “She’s nice,” can be the start of “I wonder what life would be like with her,” and then you’re all sliding down a slippery slope.
36 | “I” is the new “us.”
Little verbal cues can signal the start of a breakup and a drift to a new relationship that may have already started. When a husband starts using phrases like, “I want to go here for dinner,” instead of “maybe we could go here for dinner,” it’s a small but important shift in becoming more self-centered and making sure their needs are met in all areas of their lives and loves.
37 | He overcompensates.
Guilty feet have got no rhythm and so it is that guilty men will overplay their hands, either by heaping praise on you out of the blue, or bashing other women who don’t deserve it. It’s all a game to ease his conscience while working to lull you into a sense of false security.
38 | When all else fails, trust your gut.
Deep down you may already really know what’s going on. You have been with your husband for years. You know his vibes. You know his patterns and the way he normally acts. If that feels off for any reason, start watching for other signs to confirm what’s going on.
The bottom line is that not all of these behaviors automatically mean your man is guilty of anything. But at other times, they’re gateway behaviors that could spell a real problem in your marriage.
(If all this sounds familiar, here are some great tips for how to save your failing marriage.)
Don’t be too judgy or paranoid upfront, but if you suspect something is amiss, you owe it to yourself to be a careful observer and ultimately have a conversation with your husband if push comes to shove.
What to do if your husband is cheating
Before doing anything else, you need to decide if you want to save your marriage. Are you ready to throw in the towel or is your marriage worth fighting for?
Give yourself some time to process. I urge you to speak with a therapist who can help you sort through your emotions and guide you on what steps to take next.
If you don’t already have a therapist you like, online therapy is a great option to consider. BetterHelp lets you choose from thousands of licensed, accredited therapists with prices starting at $40/week for unlimited counseling. You can connect with your therapist from anywhere via phone, text, email or video sessions. They also offer couples counseling.
Looking for more great tips? Here are a few of our favorite resources: