Sometimes you have a gut feeling that something is wrong in your relationship. While that instinct may not be enough to know whether your spouse is cheating on you, it may be enough to start looking for proof.
At Sutherland Law Firm, we handle many cases involving cheating spouses for clients in New Mexico. We know what to look for, and we’re here to share these red flags with you so you can get confirmation about whether your spouse is cheating on you.
Here are 10 signs your spouse is having an affair.
Smart phones and other devices make it easier than ever to start or maintain an affair. When you think your partner is cheating, their phone is one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence.
A couple of questions to ask yourself:
- Are there deleted texts or contacts?
- Is your spouse overprotective of their phone and other devices?
- Is there a suspiciously labeled contact that could in fact be someone else?
If the answer is yes to any of these, it could point to signs of an affair. If your spouse spends more time engaging with their phone than with you, it can be a sign that they’d rather spend time with someone else. Even if it’s not an affair, it’s probably an issue you should discuss.
While we don’t recommend sneaking into their phone as a first resort, you may want to ask them who they’re talking to, if you feel safe doing so. If your spouse gets defensive or tries to hide their messages from you, that could be a sign that your spouse is cheating.
Cheating and Avoidance
Most people—even those who don’t like talking on the phone—make a point to answer when their spouse calls. If they’re cheating, they may not answer phone calls or will call you back later, after leaving their lover.
If you often call and your partner doesn’t answer, that may be a sign your spouse is cheating. Of course, they may just be bad at picking up the phone! Consider the timing of your calls. For instance, if you know your spouse often spends the day in meetings, their phone may be silent or off. But if it’s evening and they should be home or didn’t communicate plans, it could be a sign.
Continued excuses about why they couldn’t pick up may mean they’re not telling you the truth. If they say they were with someone you know and trust, try talking to that person to make sure their story adds up.
Avoidance can come in other forms, too. Many cheating spouses will try to avoid the problem by gaslighting. It’s a way to distract you from the issue and force you to defend yourself when, in reality, they are projecting their situation onto you.
Ask if Your Spouse is Cheating
While approaching your spouse is the most honest way to find out if they’re cheating, it’s not always the best one. You may not be in a safe position to talk to them about it, especially since bringing up this topic can cause emotions to run high and provoke unwanted responses. This is especially true if you are in a domestic abuse situation. Please get help by contacting 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or going to your nearest shelter if you can.
Many cheating spouses will get angry or defensive if you ask simple questions like “where did you go this afternoon?” or “who were you talking to?” They may yell, tell you you’re prying, and double-down on protective measures (like deleting texts or not answering your calls).
Still, if you can do so safely, just ask. It’s often a huge relief for both parties when the opportunity to come clean is offered.
Changes in Sex Life
If your spouse stops wanting to have sex seemingly without reason, they may be having it with someone else. They may also want to do different things in bed—and get upset if you don’t want to.
Pay attention to your spouse’s attitude toward you during sex. Are they as romantic as before? Do they focus on the physical aspects alone? Do they treat you well in bed?
These types of changes may be cause for concern if your spouse isn’t as concerned with your pleasure as they are with their own. They may not want to touch you as much as before, or they refuse to do things you used to enjoy.
Not all changes in your sex life have to do with a cheating spouse, so it’s best to rule out other factors first. Stress, medication, illness and big life changes can affect libido. Consider whether the change in your sexual activity coincides with any of these.
Changes in Habits
Have you ever watched a film where a woman smells a strange perfume on her husband or see his white-collar smudged with red lipstick? There’s some truth to that.
Take note if your spouse comes home smelling different than when they left. For example, if you hug them before they leave and they smell like vanilla, then they return smelling like musky cologne, it can raise concerns.
The same thing applies to shampoo or soap scents. If you know the smell of your spouse’s shampoo and they come home smelling freshly showered—and you know they weren’t at the gym—it can be a sign that they were with someone else.
New Clothing and Lingerie
It’s not just women who buy fancy lingerie to please the person they’re with, and sometimes it is just about new clothes and underwear. But, if you notice your spouse doesn’t dress up or look nice for you when they used to, you might wonder why. Do they wear their best button-down to evening work meetings but wear a t-shirt with holes on your dates?
When it comes to lingerie, your spouse may say they were saving it for you, as a surprise or for a special occasion. However, consider your relationship before now. Did you express interest in seeing your spouse in lingerie? Have they worn it before? If so, did your spouse show it to you when they wore it?
As with changing sexual habits, new lingerie alone may not be a cause to suspect cheating. It’s not unheard of for a spouse to genuinely want to surprise their significant other with lingerie. Consider whether any other aspects of your spouse’s behavior seem suspicious first.
While fewer people communicate via email than they did even ten years ago, some cheating spouses will create secret accounts to talk with someone else. Maybe your spouse accidentally sends you an email from this account. Or perhaps you look over their shoulder and see it on their laptop by chance.
Whatever the case, an email account that you’ve never heard of can be a sign that things don’t fit together. It doesn’t have to be a secret account, either. It could be as simple as changing the password to an account you previously knew about or could access.
Regardless, the most significant factor is their behavior surrounding the account. Do they respond with defensive or protective language or actions when you ask about it? Do they turn their laptop or phone away from you when they use it? These types of habits can mean there’s something there they don’t want you to see.
More people use social media now than ever, and it can be one of the most visible spaces for recognizing an affair. How does your spouse act when they browse social media? And how do their accounts look?
Do you tag your partner in your Facebook posts, but she acts like you don’t exist in online spaces? Do you post photos of you both on Instagram, but he doesn’t? Is he taking pictures with other people in his life and including them in his social media posts?
Some of these behaviors may be as simple as wanting to keep your life together private. For example, if your partner doesn’t tag or post photos of you, but they also don’t tag or post pictures of family or other friends, it’s less likely that this is a sign of cheating.
If you have a hunch that something isn’t adding up, search your spouse online, whether on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another social media site. They may have another account they’re not telling you about, or you may find pictures of them on someone else’s account.
Have you noticed funds missing from a joint bank account? Has your spouse stopped telling you when they take money out of your shared account? These can be clues that your spouse is spending money on something they’re hiding.
If you ask how they’re spending your shared funds, note what they say they spent it on. If she says that the auto mechanic found a few extra things that needed fixing, check your car to see if it’s true. If he said he needed new clothes, check the closet or the hamper.
Cheating spouses will often make excuses for how they spend money, and they may do it in a way that’s hard to detect. If they usually use a credit or debit card, they may start taking cash out of the bank and using that to buy things related to their affair.
Lying is the core of any affair. It’s involved with every other item on this list—whether it’s where your spouse goes, how they spend money, or who they’re texting.
No matter how long the affair goes on, things will stop making sense. They’ll refuse to show you proof of where they were or what they did because they know they’ve been dishonest. They may go to great lengths to avoid the consequences of their actions.
Eventually, you will uncover the things that don’t make sense, and their responses to your questions will tell you what you need to know. At that point, you can decide how to proceed in your situation.
Sutherland Law Firm Represents You
While not everyone chooses to divorce, many are not able to live with their spouse after learning they have cheated. Sutherland Law Firm serves clients in the Albuquerque and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Our experienced divorce lawyers can guide you through the divorce or separation process with our expertise and compassion. We understand the mixed feelings that come with learning that your spouse is having an affair, and we can represent you the way you deserve.
Contact us today at 575-205-1328 to find out how we can help you.