With the sh*tstorm that was just released in the form of the 36 million names from the hacked Ashley Madison website, it got me thinking a lot about cheating. It is estimated that 30-60% (some research shows 70%!) of spouses will cheat on their wife/husband. That number is insane! And though, even after having it happen to me three times (Thanks, ex-husband), I still am in shock that it happened to me at all.
The biggest thing I learned is that you need to learn to trust your intuition. Intuition is a funny thing. Sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we heed it, and most times we just chalk it up to being paranoid. But ladies, if you get that feeling (and there’s no way to describe it besides with an italic *that*) that something might be up, listen to it. Not in that insecure, paranoid, crazy way, but really slow down and assess – is this a valid feeling? Meditate on it. Don’t go texting all your girlfriends or your mother to talk about it just yet. Really stop and listen. Look for signs (which I will cover below).
My Story: Ignoring My Intuition
The first two times he cheated on me, I was blindsided. I was young, naive and really, really sheltered. They shattered me. After the second time, I began to learn how to trust my instincts and voice my concerns. About a year and a half before I left my ex-husband, I told him I no longer felt comfortable with our babysitter. She had been a close friend and for some reason, I just didn’t feel right with her anymore. My ex told me I was just being insecure and acted annoyed about it. He made me feel like I didn’t trust him. Well, DUH. (I found out later that shortly after that, they started their affair right after that).
Then I started noticing that things didn’t add up, but things he would explain away. Looking back, the signs were clear as day, but there’s a part of you that never wants to believe it. The other part doesn’t want to look like a crazy, controlling, and insecure wife. You’d think after three times, I’d have learned a thing or two, but trust me when I say, some people are really, really good at lying (or “compartmentalizing” as my ex would put it) and hiding bad behavior.
Eighteen months after my initial gut feeling (which I ignored over and over again), I stumbled on definitive proof that he indeed was cheating on me with the former babysitter. Through it all, I have picked up a few signs that to look for if you think he might be cheating on you or engaging in an inappropriate behavior with someone. One or two of these signs by themselves may just be coincidence or it could be more, which is why you need to use your intuition to help guide you. I’ve experienced most of the 8 signs below, and with some help from other divorced lady friends, this is what we came up with.
8 Signs That He’s Cheating On You
Sign #1: He Changes The Password on His Phone (and Won’t Tell You What It Is)
This is a pretty big red flag. If he has nothing to hide from you, then why would he keep the password a secret? Also, turning his phone locator off to “save on battery life.” Suspicious.
Sign #2: His Text Messages/Phone Minutes Significantly Increase
About 2 months before I found out and left my ex, I happened to look at our phone bill. I’m pretty much addicted to my phone and am constantly on it (I know it’s a problem). But when I looked at the amount of text messages I sent (about 5,000 per month) vs. how much he sent (15,000+), it just didn’t make sense. When I questioned him about it, he mumbled something about having a lot of work messages and changed the subject.
One friend said her ex told her, “My phone ran out of memory, so I had to delete my messages.”
Sign #3: His Time Doesn’t Add Up, or He Cannot Be Reached
Back then, I had the bad habit of wanting dessert about 9 pm every night. He’d helpfully offer to go grab me what I wanted, but when he did, it would take much longer than necessary; a 30 minute trip would take him 1.5-2 hours, and he would have no real explanation as to why it took so long. Often, he’d go to “work” but wouldn’t answer his phone or text back for long periods of time and would say he was in a meeting. He’d also go play golf or go to the batting cages with a friend and be gone all day and unreachable.
Sign #4: He Picks Fights With You For No Reason
When my ex was cheating on me (the second time), he was consumed with guilt. This would cause him to have mood swings and take it out on me by picking horrible fights. He would also get defensive very quickly whenever I would ask him seemingly innocent questions.
Sign #5: He Starts Hiding Financial Info From You
I managed all the money in our relationship, and my ex would suddenly appear with hundred dollar bills. When I asked where he got those, he would make up something about having saved it. He actually was keeping the money he was supposed to be depositing into another account.
Sign #6: He Loses Weight, Changes His Physical Appearance
A tell-tale sign that he is cheating is a sudden change in his physical appearance. He begins to show more interest in working out and getting in shape. He may pay more attention to grooming or get new clothes. One friend said her ex “smelled different.” A tell-tale sign is traces of lingering perfume in the car or on his clothes.
Sign #7: He’s No Longer Interested In Sex With You or Your Sex Life Changes
It can go either way. Either he loses interest, or he wants it much more often. Also, there may be a change in technique – so to speak – or a deviation from the norm.
Sign #8: He Accuses You of Cheating
Cheating men will project on you. They may become suspicious, checking your phone, consumed with jealousy, accusing you of cheating. Since they are cheating, they start thinking that perhaps you are cheating as well. Logical, no?
As I mentioned above, these things in and of themselves may be innocent coincidences and again, you must defer to your intuition. I ignored mine too many times for way too long. One night I found solid proof and that was that; I filed for divorce the next day. Sadly, many men will lie through their teeth unless you have definitive proof.
What are other signs of cheating that you’ve experienced? Comment below.