It’s an all-too-familiar scenario, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. If you think your spouse is cheating on you, the fear and anxiety can be overwhelming. But there are a few steps you can take to try and get to the bottom of things.
Signs of Cheating
When you suspect your spouse may be having an affair, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help you assess the situation, consider some signs that may indicate a cheating partner.
Physical signs include nervous body language, such as increased fidgeting or avoidance of physical contact; clothing changes, such as wearing more makeup or cologne; and unexplained absences.
Emotional and behavioral signs of cheating can include unusual secrecy with their phone or other personal devices; being evasive when asked questions related to who they are talking to; and suddenly becoming more attentive to personal appearances, such as going to the gym more often or buying new clothes.
Generally speaking, if your partner displays any of these behaviors out of the blue — with no explanation — it can be worth further investigating. Communication is key here, so don’t hesitate to bring up problems in the relationship that could be resolved before ever considering there could be something else going on.
Talk to your Spouse
It can be difficult and uncomfortable to bring up these topics when your suspicions are genuine, but it is essential to get to the bottom of the situation as soon as possible. Your spouse may be open to talking about it and being honest with you, or they might become defensive and deny it. Either way, the conversation should happen so that you can move forward.
Oftentimes, having an honest conversation with your spouse can provide the clarity you need to understand their behavior and get to the root of any issues. Begin the conversation by expressing your feelings in a non-accusatory way and make sure to listen carefully to their response. It’s important to remember that your suspicions do not constitute proof of any wrongdoing; refrain from making judgments until you’ve heard all the facts.
Listen for any inconsistencies in their story, be mindful of body language, and pay attention to clues that may indicate deception. Some red flags may include avoiding direct eye contact, sudden changes in behavior or body posture, or speaking more quickly than usual without taking a breath in between sentences. If your spouse is being untruthful, they might become defensive or angry with you as soon as you begin questioning them about certain activities or interactions.
If there is evidence that manipulation is at play, consider asking them pointed questions while remaining calm and unemotional. You may even consider ending the conversation when it’s clear that the truth isn’t being shared and revisit the issue at another time when your spouse has had time to reflect on their actions or words. Preparation is key; have all relevant documents ready (texts, emails, etc.), write down what you want to ask ahead of time, and practice sticking to predetermined boundaries so that emotions don’t override logic during this crucial conversation with your partner.
Private investigators have the expertise, experience, and tools necessary to investigate your situation and provide conclusive evidence of what may be happening on the side.
When selecting an investigator, it is important to research their credentials as well as gather references from other clients. A qualified private investigator will be able to conduct discreet investigations while preserving proof in a way that can be used in court if necessary. They should also have a background in computer forensics so that they can properly obtain any digital evidence such as emails, texts, or video surveillance that may exist. Additionally, an experienced investigator will be familiar with criminal defense laws so they can ensure any evidence provided is admissible in court or arbitration proceedings if need be.
Hiring a private detective may not be ideal for everyone and many experts caution talking to your spouse first before seeking professional help as this could bring about an answer quicker and potentially improve communication between the two of you going forward. However, if you’ve exhausted all other avenues without resolution or answers, it never hurts to hire a professional to get definitive proof about what may or may not be going on in your relationship.
Seeking Professional Help
The first step is to contact a licensed marriage counselor or certified psychologist who specializes in issues of marital fidelity and infidelity. A skilled professional can talk you through the various signs and offer critical insight into what they may mean. If the cheating spouse refuses to counsel, that too suggests potential infidelity on their part and provides an indication of how serious the situation may be.
In any case, the therapist will help you in formulating a strategy for gathering additional evidence about your partner’s actions. They may suggest techniques including using GPS trackers, cell phone surveillance apps, or tapping into social networking accounts. If you choose to utilize such tools, be sure that your partner is aware of this so as not to infringe on their privacy rights as well as legalities related thereto. Moreover, information gathered via such surveillance should only be used for creating a dialogue within a therapeutic environment – never as leverage or evidence in court proceedings.
Protecting Yourself Financially
It is important to protect your financial situation if you suspect your spouse may be engaging in infidelity. Under the law, all marital assets are subject to division upon dissolution of a marriage. For this reason, it is important to take measures that will prevent your spouse from misusing marital assets. Such measures might include:
- Monitoring account activity and assets. Carefully examine bank and credit card statements for evidence of unusual spending or transactions, such as cash withdrawals, accounting fees related to establishing a new business, or large purchases unrelated to family needs. Additionally, you should know the current value of all marital assets – this includes real estate, investments, and vehicles – and should keep track of any suspicious activity related to them.
- Documenting communications. In the event that your suspicions increase or further proof of infidelity is needed in order to prove a basis for financial relief upon divorce, it’s critical that you document any communication related to conversations or activities that could support your charge of adultery. Such documentation may be digital (emails/texts) or physical (diaries/letters).
- Refraining from joint accounts with a spouse. If possible and practical given the specific situation, avoid joint ownership over significant accounts so as not to expose yourself to unanticipated debt obligations caused by a cheating partner’s deceptive practices or fraudulent activities.
Should both parties decide to work towards rebuilding their relationship following infidelity, it will require commitment from both parties involved. The challenges should not be underestimated but there are measures that can be taken to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met throughout the healing process:
-Set achievable goals together — Many couples find that revisiting their marriage vows helps them stay focused on why they wanted to make the relationship work in the first place
-Engage in couples therapy – It may be beneficial for both parties involved to seek therapeutic guidance from a qualified individual who can establish ground rules for communication-specific goals moving forward from meetings
-Respect each other’s feelings – This means allowing space when requested allowing enough time back together after each space period – try starting off slow by having dinner ask sharing stories before jumping into a more intimate activity
Taking Care of Your Children
If you have children, your priority should be their well-being both emotionally and physically. It’s an unwanted situation to have to worry if your spouse is cheating while you need to care for your children day in and day out.
Make sure that they know that whatever is going on between you and their other parent does not change the fact that they are loved. Reassure them that you will always be there for them no matter what happens.
Get help from friends or family– this may be a difficult period for everyone in the household, so accepting support from family, close friends or specialized child therapy services can help you all get through this difficult time together.
If you are feeling suspicious about your spouse’s activities, there are a few things you can do to try and determine if they are cheating on you. One way is to ask them direct questions about their whereabouts and what they were doing during certain times. Another is to look for any kind of indication that their behavior has changed recently – this could include new clothes, new friends, or sudden changes in spending habits. If these steps don’t provide enough evidence to convince you that your spouse is cheating, it may be time to consider seeking outside help. A professional detective or private investigator can help guide you through the process of gathering evidence and determining whether or not your suspicions are warranted.