When it comes to relationships, infidelity, or being unfaithful to your partner, is the ultimate betrayal. Once an outside relationship is discovered or confessed, the consequences can be devastating.
While it is commonly cited as one of the top reasons to separate, some surveys have revealed that about 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men have engaged in intercourse with someone other than their partner. Some surveys have indicated that the numbers are actually much closer together, perhaps even the same. In addition, cheating can happen without sexual intercourse, through emotional and other sex acts, and if you count these, the percentages are even higher.
If you feel that your partner may be cheating on you, the best thing to do is to talk to them. It is difficult to do so without sounding accusatory but if you approach the subject with a hot head, they might not be completely open with you. Browse through the signs below and collect your thoughts before starting that conversation. It is more useful if you avoid asking pointed questions. Be clear about your thoughts but give them room to answer.
They've grown distant, perhaps even cold.
Don’t jump the gun with this one. Just because a partner withdraws from a relationship doesn’t means that they’re cheating. They might, however, feel like they’re not getting something from the relationship, which can range anywhere from intellectual to sexual stimulation.
If your partner’s attitude has dramatically changed, pour more love and support into the relationship, and this might even be space for some people, and see how they respond. Show them that you value and respect their wants and needs.
You should also ask them directly if there’s something in the relationship that they feel is missing.
You 'just have a feeling.'
We’re going to assume that you’re perfectly level headed so this may not apply if you and your partner already have trust issues.
If you ‘just have a feeling’ that your partner is seeing someone else, look into it. We don’t mean follow them around or accuse them from left field. We mean for you to look into the feeling. Don’t let it build up and torment you. Talk about it with your partner.
They have a history.
Is it possible to trust someone that’s cheated before on you or on a former love? The short answer is that it depends on the person.
We can’t tell you how to live your life but if you are dating someone who says they love you and has shown sincere remorse for a past infidelity, then you’ll just have to trust them. It can be helpful to understand the person’s reasons for cheating and to learn whether or not they actually feel sorry about it, but if you bring it up every waking moment, it’ll further damage your relationship. With that said, if you still feel hurt, you should allow yourself some time to heal.
If your partner is generally dishonest, the decision to stay or go may be more difficult. In this case, we would say to trust your gut feeling.
They might flood you with questions regarding your own faithfulness.
This one isn’t so common but there are some cheaters out there that try to manipulate the situation by turning the attention on you. In their minds, if they find reason to believe that you are being unfaithful, it justifies their actions, relieving them of any guilt they might have felt. Yes, this sounds crazy, but it happens.
Artis Pupins / Flickr
Your sex life has gone AWOL.
The truth is that many couples face a dry spell at some point in their relationship. If your partner claims that everything is fine at home and work but refuses intimacy, be open about your sexual needs. Of course, you should never force yourself on them, this is wrong and illegal, but if they are withholding intimacy, they probably have a reason that they’re not sharing you. Be patient, too, as it takes some people longer to open up than others.
When you ask them questions, they give you vague responses.
If your partner gives you vague details about their whereabouts or outright lies, this is a telltale sign. Unless they’re secretly buying you a present, they shouldn’t have any problems letting you know what they’re up to. It’s easy to tell when someone is making something up through their choice of words and eye contact unless they’re particularly adept at lying.
They treat plans as though they are options.
Are they constantly late or forgetting important plans and dates that they would normally remember? Their mind may be somewhere else.
Try to find out if they are stressed about something. You never know what it might be. If they give you a good reason, find ways to support them. If they continue their hurtful behavior, something suspicious might be happening.
Remember that these are just signs, not proof that your partner is unfaithful. It is important to build trust at the beginning and throughout your relationship. You can do this not only by being honest but by being forgiving. If your partner sees you as an unforgiving person, they might fear telling you the truth about their mistakes.