First of all, most wives are not looking for signs of a cheating husband. Most of us are busy with family and life in general. We’re not even thinking about tell-tale signs that our husband is cheating. We’re focused on helping him, getting kids to practice, making sure homework is done, working and making sure we’re there for the people we love.
The last thing most of us are thinking about is that “my husband is cheating.”
Before I found out my husband was cheating …
Somewhere after 30 years of a great marriage and four amazing kids and more than enough of everything, I started getting an uneasy feeling that something wasn’t quite right with my husband.
I couldn’t put my finger on anything specific at first. I asked if everything was alright. He assured me everything was good.
I had always thought he was too busy at work and taking on too many extra obligations, but he thrived on being in prominent roles and always going the extra mile. He worked harder and longer than anyone else. He loved being the top producer. But I never even thought about the idea that he might be cheating.
He was often “on call,” had weird hours and was sometimes called out in the middle of the night. I had grown accustomed to that, and I never once doubted that he was where he said he was.
Instead, I thought that his increasingly unusual behaviors might be:
- A midlife crisis
- Low testosterone
- Burnout or boredom
- Physical or financial worries
But I never worried that my husband was falling more and more in love with another woman.
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Most of our husbands don’t leave signs of cheating like lipstick on his collar, her perfume on his clothes, condoms in his billfold or other obvious signs. But if we look back, there is usually some gut feeling, or fleeting worry about what’s going on with him.
Following are some of the very earliest signs of a cheating husband:
1. One of the first signs of a cheating husband is that he seems less satisfied with being at home. He’s edgy or antsy or disengaged.
2. He starts being impatient or irritated for nothing, really. I always liked getting up early and fixing some simple, healthy breakfast for my family. Suddenly, he seemed to be in a hurry every morning … and was irritated with me if there was any delay at all.
I noticed it, but at the time, I didn’t really think much of it.
3. He volunteers to do errands that he had never done before … running to the grocery store. Going to get the car washed. Spending extra time in the yard.
My husband was giving some of those signs, but at the time, I had no reason to suspect that he was cheating.
Other more concrete signs your husband is cheating:
5. He’s drinking more. When we went to dinner with friends, we all might have a drink or a glass of wine. He would have a cocktail or two and a couple glasses of wine and then would want a drink after dinner. His drinking got progressively worse the longer the cheating went on.
6. He doesn’t seem as interested in sex. Our sex life was always good. Before the cheating discovery, he didn’t seem as interested. I thought it might be my middle-aged body or his testosterone levels, or just the routine of it all after 30 years. I tried spicing things up. Sending a sexy note, inviting him to a “nooner” or some “afternoon delights” etc. He participated, but didn’t seem to be that excited about any of it.
7. He’s suddenly interested in new things that are not like him. He was never that interested in spiritual things. Before I discovered his cheating, I found a little book about Buddhism on his desk. The book had sentences underlined about how we need to let go of our attachment to things and people and relationships. According to the book, being attached brought pain and discontentment. Not being attached brought freedom and peace. When I asked about it, he said he got the book from one of his co-workers at work. “You would really like her. She is a very spiritual person,” he said.
Note: (No! I would not really like her! I didn’t know it then, but this “very spiritual” person was having a tawdry, cheap, embarrassing kind of affair with my husband, even though she had a good husband and two boys at home!)
8. He whispers into his phone or goes into another room to talk or use his computer. Often when we ask a cheating husband who they are talking to, he lies.
Finding Out Your Husband Is Cheating On You
When enough of these early signs of possible cheating showed up, I then became my own Private Detective Agency. Note: Do not do this!
He continued to lie to me about his cheating. After a while, I knew he was lying. He kept denying it. Infuriated, I did some really stupid stuff and found all kinds of heartache.
If we think our husband might be cheating on us, we become obsessed. The trouble is, I discovered all kinds of heartbreaking things: romantic notes, cards or messages that are from someone who isn’t me, or receipts from jewelry stores for gifts I didn’t get.
I found out that he had made hundreds and hundreds of calls every week to certain numbers that I later found were connected to the other woman.
I found out she followed us during our family biking trip. She was with him when he was supposed to be at professional meetings. She was in our house and most likely in our bed when I was out of town. She was lying to and cheating on her husband just like my husband was lying to and cheating on me.
In my pursuit of the truth about the woman my husband was cheating with, I did ridiculous things. Once, in the middle of the night, I went to his apartment and found myself looking through the bushes to see if her car was there.
I waited in the parking lot after work to see if they met after work. I followed him after he left his workplace at lunch to see if they were meeting up. I became a stalker.
I found out where she lived and drove by her house. I confronted her at work.
Do not do these things even if you think your husband is cheating on you! It turns you into someone you don’t want to be. It’s embarrassing and brings heartache magnified a thousand times.
The last straw:
When I discovered a card with a smarmy picture of a little boy and little girl on a swingset, cheeks touching, my chest felt like I had been stabbed with a knife. There was a handwritten note inside with intimate details from another woman. I remember standing there in the garage reading and re-reading the card … suddenly realizing that all those little things I had noticed, but hadn’t connected, meant that without any doubt, my husband was cheating and having an emotional and/or physical affair with another woman.
A cheating husband almost always lies about it.
Not only had he been cheating on me, but just as painful, he had also been lying to my face, over and over again, too. Why didn’t he have the guts to say to me, “This marriage isn’t working for me, let’s talk to someone and see if we can fix this.”
Here is a summary of just a few of the signs of a cheating husband:
Changes In Mood or Behavior
- He treats you differently such as buying you unexpected presents (cheating husband guilt!)
- He seems to find fault with things that never seemed to bother him before
- He’s less interested in physical intimacy, or wants to try new positions or techniques
- He starts being interested in things that he’s never been interested in before
- He doesn’t want you to see the bills or phone records
- He’s late to kid’s events or he takes the kids to stuff by himself (the movies, skiing, other events where he then meets up with her and her kids).
Signs He’s Cheating Online
- He spends more time online.
- He spends more time on his phone
- He changes his passwords
- He’s very protective of his devices.
- He goes into another room to talk on his phone or work on his computer.
Signs He’s Cheating At Work
- His work schedule changes
- He’s working extra hours
- He is always gone from work over the lunch hour
- He doesn’t come home at the usual time and lies about it
- His co-workers start acting strange if you stop by his workplace because they are usually aware of the affair.
Physical vs. Emotional Affair
When your husband is cheating by having an emotional affair, he is more likely to talk about the person he is having the affair with. He talks about her with enthusiasm and admiration.
If the cheating has turned into a physical affair (often the case) he rarely talks about her. The two of them have a secret that you aren’t allowed to share. She knows everything about you, but you know nothing about her.
Both emotional and physical cheating are detrimental to your relationship with your spouse. They both break the trust needed for strong, flourishing relationships. But once an affair crosses the line from emotional to physical, there is a continued betrayal of his promises to love, honor and cherish only you.
When he shares himself in ways that he knows will break your heart, and maybe destroy your marriage, he has taken a step that is very difficult to repair. It’s not impossible, but most of the time, men who are having an affair are not willing to do the work necessary to fix his relationship with his wife. He usually goes forward with his affair partner, who is telling him how wonderful he is.
If your husband has been cheating or you or you suspect he is cheating and he isn’t willing to talk about and fix the issues, it might be time to at least think about your options. Relationships can be repaired, but it takes hard work and time … something most men who cheat aren’t willing to do.
If your husband has been cheating, you can set up a time to talk with me, and we can discuss the three things that have to happen for a reconciliation after cheating to happen. Here is a link to set up a free conversation with me.
Our RADiCAL MasterPlan helps you grieve, heal and then start rebuilding your life if your husband is not willing to do what’s necessary to fix your marriage after cheating with another woman.
We can help.
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