What's In This Article
Monogamy is often the norm within many relationships, and it is widely known as the belief that one person should remain faithful and romantic with another individual and nobody else.
While some cultures have seen a move away from the traditional relationship dynamic, monogamous relationships are still largely the norm. This can make it easier to set clear boundaries and understand how to be loyal to your partner without practicing infidelity.
Boundaries are something that are highly important in establishing trust and respect within any partnership.
Being able to have the discussion about how you can feel valued and comfortable can make your marriage or relationship last a lot longer and happier in the long run. Openly discussing boundaries can also be significant when it comes to creating trust.
Depending on your situation, there are a lot of reasons why someone might be cheating. It can be more of a cry for help or sign of desperation in some cases, while others might have more narcissistic traits.
Whatever their reasoning, it does not take away the feeling of self-doubt and shame that can come with having a cheating husband. It’s important to avoid blaming yourself, and try to consider all of the potential outcomes of your actions.
Cheating can be defined as acts of infidelity that have been done with another person without your consent. However, the definition can vary depending on what you would class as intimate within your relationship.
That is why it can be hard to tell when your husband is cheating, and to find the right amount of proof. This guide has some of the most common signs that he might be cheating, and some tips about what your next steps should be.
What Is Considered Cheating?
While the traditional definition of cheating is considered to be sleeping with someone else, there are other ways in which someone can cheat. It really depends on what you would class as intimate behavior and what you would personally class as cheating.
Something that is key when it comes to defining cheating is the role of consent. Of course, some relationships might enjoy less monogamous labels on their relationship, which is why cheating is often hard to define.
When someone wants to explore their desires outside of your relationship, and acts on it without discussing it with you or seeking consent, it is classed as cheating.
The most common definition of cheating is an act involving a third party that violates the boundaries of a relationship, and causes tension that can lead to a lack of trust between partners.
However, with the move towards the modern era, a lot more people are questioning things that would have been unheard of in the past. For example, liking or commenting on another girl’s posts on social media can be seen by some as a violation of their intimacy and threatening the boundaries of their relationship.
Other people question their husband’s loyalty when they have too many friends of the opposite sex, or even if they spend more time out of the house.
It is definitely worth having a conversation with your partner about what you believe your boundaries are and whether you feel as if they have violated these in some way in the past. Try to be open about how much trust you have and how you can build this up, in order to function together as well as possible.
It is also worth asking your partner about setting up some boundaries and what they would class as cheating. Generally, if someone is asking if a certain behavior or thing counts as cheating, then it usually is. It is more about the feeling that your partner has taken advantage of your trust rather than the act itself.
Why Do Men Cheat?
While it isn’t always men who cheat, the majority of cases tend to be when a male partner in a relationship has been intimate in some way with another person. Nowadays, men tend to be more communicative, and it is easier for them to express how they feel in a relationship.
However, for someone who struggles to make sense of their feelings might find it difficult to communicate this. This is why cheating can often be seen as a cry for help. Some of the most common reasons why someone might cheat have been discussed below.
They Are Looking For A Way Out Of Your Relationship
Your partner might be trying to either show that they are unhappy in the current relationship, or that they do not want to be intimate with you anymore.
In a sense, cheating is a way to avoid confronting the issue or having a difficult conversation about ending the marriage or relationship. However, that does not make it any easier in the long run, as it usually makes the need for a difficult conversation even more pressing.
They Are Looking For A Connection Elsewhere
This can be in a number of ways, and a lot of adults go through some level of identity questioning when they have been married or in a stable relationship for many years. Another factor that can fuel cheating is searching for an emotional connection with someone else.
Studies have shown that men typically have less effective social support networks, which might be why they will allow themselves to have an intimate friendship with a co-worker.
They Have Narcissistic Traits
This is usually someone who has very little regard for the consequences of their actions, or their partner’s feelings. While this personality trait is usually noticed during the first few months of dating, it can emerge after several years of marriage.
This can occur when someone has experienced life-changing events that might have altered their ways of thinking.
This is especially true for someone who is not as in touch with their emotions or feelings, because they might not understand certain urges or how to effectively communicate.
Again, in order to avoid having a difficult conversation about how they did not like what you did or said, they might cheat as a strange way of communicating.
Struggling With Abuse Or Mental Health
This is a more common reason for impulsive behavior than you might think. If your partner has a history of substance abuse or excessive drinking, then they might feel like they have less control over their actions than others.
If your partner has spent time with the military, they might be having difficulty with processing their emotions due to a traumatic event. Seeking counseling can often help tackle this, however it can be another reason for cheating if it is left over time.
Substance abuse can create a more impulsive person who is less likely to think about the consequences of their actions, which can also lead to cheating.
Again, your husband or partner might be trying to gain your attention in a strange way by cheating. This is often the case if they have showed little effort to hide it, as they might subconsciously want you to find out so that you have the inevitable conversation about it.
Self-esteem and feeling attractive to their partner can be something that a lot of men struggle with. They might be seeking validation elsewhere or begin to use cheating to build up their self-confidence.
25 Cheating Signs You’re Not Aware Of (Yet!)
If you suspect that there is something more significant going on, and want to know what to look out for, then we’ve got you covered. While each relationship is different, try to look for any subtle changes in their behavior and whether they seem more reserved or even private over time.
1. The Intimacy Has Waned Off
This can be the most challenging part of the process, and it takes a while to realize that your relationship might have changed. The most obvious form of intimacy is sex, but others include being able to have deeper conversations, and physical intimacy like cuddling or even holding hands.
If your husband has less or no interest in some of the things that you used to do together, then it might be a sign that there is something else going on.
Read More: 21 Signs Your Man Is Not Satisfied Sexually
2. He Is Protective Of His Phone
This might seem like an obvious factor, but a lot of men will not be as subtle about cheating as you might have imagined. If you have noticed that your husband or partner has suddenly become more protective of his phone, then it might be an indication that he has something to hide.
Of course, a lot of people are protective of their phone because it is a pricey piece of technology that can do a lot of things. However, it can be a sign that there is something wrong with your relationship if your partner is trying to stop you from going through their phone in more of a defensive manner.
3. He Takes His Phone Everywhere
This is another sign that he might be hiding something, and if you find that he doesn’t leave it to eat, shower, or use the bathroom then it can mean that there’s something wrong.
This is often the case for someone who messages a lot of people or who doesn’t want you to find something on their phone. Not only does this reduce some of the trust within your relationship, but it can even make you doubt yourself and wonder what you have done wrong.
4. He Starts Talking Often About A New Person He Has Met
While this can be a completely innocent new friendship that your husband might have made, it could easily become something more sinister and evolve into a deeper emotional connection with someone who isn’t you.
Try to look out for the red flags and keep your eyes wide open for any signs of change.
5. He Shifts The Blame On You/Accuses You Of Cheating
Reverse psychology can be something done by partners who tend to get jealous easily. It is seen as an unusual defense mechanism and is often seen in men who are more over-protective of their partners.
Deeper fears of abandonment and attachment issues are often the cause for this, and cheating is seen as a way of taking control over the situation by these individuals.
6. He Frequently Buys You Gifts
Unless your husband is someone who enjoys giving you lots of gifts regularly, this can be a sign that he is being unfaithful because they are trying to deflect the attention away from them.
Another reason why someone who is having an affair might buy you a lot of gifts is a way of compensating for the guilt they might be feeling.
Read More: 13 Types of Affairs
7. He Is Taking Care Of Himself
Having a new reason to look good naked can make your husband want to work on his body and exercise more.
If he is suddenly aware of how many calories he eats or spending longer periods of time working out, then it might be a sign that he is cheating.
8. Blunt Conversations
Some men don’t have the best way with words, but most husbands will engage in conversations at the end of the day with their partners. Being less communicative and verbal is a sign that he is hiding something, and does not want to risk accidentally blurting it out.
This can result in more rigid, one word answers.
9. Texting Someone Else But Will Not Say Who
This is a similar sign as them being on their phone a lot and being more protective of it, but if you see your partner typing messages on their phone or even smiling at his messages, then it might mean that there is someone else.
Try to ask about who he is texting, and if he doesn’t give you a straight answer, then there is a chance that he is having an affair.
10. He Spends A Lot More Money
A lot of married couples tend to use joint bank accounts, which make it easier to pay bills on time and save for vacations. However, if your husband is dipping into your savings more often without telling you, or if he uses his personal account more often, then it might be a sign that he is having an affair.
Try to see if he can show you where he has been spending the money if you are ready for a confrontation or excuse.
11. He Picks Fights/Is Easily Agitated
Your husband may have begun to see someone else, which will have the glow of a new relationship. This can make him more likely to pick apart your relationship and start petty fights over small things.
12. His Routine Has Changed
Whether he exercises more, or spends more time out of the house making excuses for where he has been, a change in your husband’s regular routine can be a sign that he is having an affair.
13. Interested In Different Things/Hobbies
If he has found a new significant other, or has been seeing someone else, then it is likely that your husband will have new interests or hobbies that they share.
This can be one of the most frustrating things about the process, because you might find your husband suddenly taking an interest in the opera or Indian food when you have spent years trying to encourage this.
14. He Is Insecure
This might seem like a contrasting point to the previous ones about a change in attitude, but depending on your husband’s personality, he might become more insecure about his looks or success.
A new relationship or affair can be exciting because it is risky and fresh, but it lacks the security and consistency of a marriage. If your husband starts acting a little strange or doubting himself, then it could be a sign that he is trying to be more desirable to someone else.
15. His Friends' Attitudes Have Changed Towards You
If your husband has told his friend circle about his affair, then the guilt can present itself in the form of excessive friendliness from them.
It could be a sign that there is something going on that they know about, and that you should try to get to the bottom of.
16. Shows His Dislike Of Other People More Frequently
This is a common form of overcompensating, and you might find that your husband suddenly has the need to tell you how unattractive certain people are.
He might openly have an opinion about another person’s appearance or personality and be a little too expressive about telling you. He might be trying to make you feel more secure or trying to cover his own mishaps.
17. Becoming More Unreliable
If you notice your husband become less reliable, then it could be a sign that you are no longer his priority. It is one of the biggest red flags and shows a lack of care about your relationship.
This can be accompanied by a lack of clear communication, and he might be less predictable or open about when to expect him back at the end of the day.
18. Lying About Small Things
Your husband might be trying to deflect the blame or make his lies seem smaller than they actually are by integrating smaller lies into your conversations.
It might be a sign that he is covering something up and isn’t being as open as he once was.
19. Liking A Specific Person’s Social Media Posts
This alone might not be a red flag, but if your husband is liking or even commenting on everything that a specific person posts, then it can be a sign that he likes them a little more than a friend.
As a way of getting validation, a lot of men will go out of their way to show the person that they are having an affair with excessive levels of attention and praise.
20. Tries To Get You To Stop Doing Thoughtful Things For Him
Seeing that you still care for him when he is having an affair can make your husband feel more guilty about his actions.
If you try to do something nice for him that is met with an unusual response, then it might be a sign that he is hiding something that he feels guilty about.
21. He Stops Talking To You
This can be a way to remove a level of the guilt, and prevent the lies from slipping up. It is also a sign that your husband might have found someone else to have the meaningful, intimate conversations with that you once had.
22. Starts Talking To You About His “Friend’s” Cheating Habits
It is surprising how many men will try to pose hypothetical situations about a cheater to their partner to see what their reaction would be. For example, they mention how their friend went online to website that allows married people to have affairs and has hooked up with a few women.
Of course, not every hypothetical cheating habit is real, but try to stay on your toes and listen for something that seems a little too close to home. He might be trying to see how you would respond to a cheater in this given situation.
23. Spending More Time At Work
While this is most commonly used as a cover-up to see someone, others will actually spend more time at the office to avoid the guilt that they feel when they go home at the end of the day.
He might be trying to keep himself occupied to avoid having to spend more time with his spouse.
24. He Gaslights You
This is the phrase given to when someone makes you seem like you are acting crazy or irrational, when they are actually the ones who are out of line. It is a commonly recognized technique known as deflection, and can be a way to justify his own behaviors.
People who have tried to confront their husbands about their affairs have been met with them being accused of jealousy, and for not trusting him.
25. Appearance/Wardrobe Has Changed
Your husband might be trying to impress someone else with a new look, or even feel like a different person, by changing up his appearance. There is a chance that he might be experiencing some kind of personal crisis, or even feelings of guilt that he is trying to take the notice away from with new clothes.
He might be styling himself or dressing differently to accompany his new persona that he could have adopted. Another reason why a new look can be a sign of cheating is if he puts more effort into his appearance and then says he is just going to see friends or to work. He might be trying to impress someone else.
Next Steps: What To Do If Your Husband Cheats
Of course, the first step is to confront them about cheating and try to get to the root of their behavior patterns. If they are going through a difficult time, such as realizing their sexuality or suffering from PTSD.
Depending on how long you have been together and what you feel is right, it is important to be clear about your next steps and make a plan on how you want to move on.
Give Yourself Time To Process The Situation And Heal
Try to avoid acting on anger, and let the dust settle a little before making more drastic changes. If you have children, it is worth taking the time to carefully consider your options before acting.
Time helps heal a lot of things, and it can allow you to achieve a clearer perspective and decide where your priorities lie.
Talk To Your Partner And Understand Why
Ask as many questions as you need and try to understand what happened. If they are willing to put the work back into your marriage, then talking about why this happened, can allow you both to heal and move on from it.
Try to avoid interrupting them during this conversation and ask about how the affair happened, being as open and honest as possible.
While the most common form of response is aggression and often violence, it will not help you to understand how this happened and what led your partner to the affair.
If you want to work on your marriage and build up the trust again, then it is worth sitting with them and talking about everything that happened openly.
Surround Yourself With Family And Friends
Something that helps a lot of people going through difficult times is to remind themselves of the love that they have in their lives. That can be by spending time with family or friends, and trying to distract yourself. It can be a great way to gain some perspective and allow you to make the best decision.
Additionally, you could tell some of your closest friends about what has happened and ask what you should do.
Read More: 11 Signs He Will Cheat Again
Seek Professional Help
If you decide to work on the relationship, then you should consider attending counselling or therapy in order to both heal and rebuild the trust that you once had. This will make way for intimacy over time, as well as improved communication ability.
A lot of couples or marriages see their fair share of conflicts, and some will choose to work on their partnership to protect their children.
Avoid Blaming Yourself
It might be easy to ask yourself what you did wrong, and how your partner was led to the affair. This shouldn’t be your stance because it can lead to a reduced self-esteem and build on the lack of trust that already exists between you and your husband.
You are not responsible for his choices, and remaining faithful and loyal is not a fault.
Depending on the situation and the type of relationship or marriage you have, seeing that your partner is cheating can be a sign that they are going through some kind of crisis.
Try to show that you are there for them, and that there are options to get through this if they want to save the marriage or relationship.
Something that is important to note is that there are a lot of reasons why someone might have an affair, and none of those are ever your fault personally. Try to stay true to yourself and seek as much support from your friends and family as possible during rough times.
Figuring out how your marriage went wrong and what made them think that they should have an affair is essential for rebuilding the relationship and gaining the trust that you once had.
Some of the signs of a cheating husband are spending money more, becoming more unreliable, and changing his routine. If he is going through some level of change, then it might be a sign that his priorities are too.
However, some of these signs alone are not necessarily signs of infidelity, and it is worth asking a close friend for advice before confronting him. It’s important that you know your worth and can take an objective standpoint in order to determine if he is having an affair.
Of course, some of the signs can present themselves in different forms. These include how open and communicative your husband regularly is, compared with how his behavior may have changed lately.
Try to use his previous ways as the baseline, and compare based on that rather than other factors.
Cheating is a broad term, and can refer to the act of having an affair with someone or more of a passionate relationship. Some people find it harder to deal with a husband who has found an emotional connection and new level of intimacy with someone else, whereas others can be extremely upset to find that their marriage lacks the passion that there once was.
Of course, no option is better, and it is simply worth noting how there can be different forms of infidelity to be aware of. This can help you to spot the signs that might differ between the different forms of connection.
Depending on their stance and what you want to do, there are a few options for your marriage. If you are both still in love with each other, or want to make it work for your children, then you might want to consider counselling.
This can help you to set clear boundaries and have the right conversations about what you need at any time.
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