Cheating On A Spouse: Why Do They Do And How To Confront Your Partner

Cheating On A Spouse

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Katie felt that something was amiss in her relationship. She suspected that her husband was hiding something from her, but could not envisage that he would cheat on her. And when she learned about it, her world fell apart; she felt betrayed, cheated and used.

Cheating or infidelity is one of the devastating things to happen in a marriage. The moment you know about it, your life crashes, leaving behind just bitterness and nothing else.

In this post, MomJunction talks about the signs of a cheating spouse, confronting them, and getting over the episode. First, let’s know why people cheat.

Why Do People Cheat On Their Spouses?

You might be the culprit or the victim of cheating. Either way, knowing the reasons for cheating could help you make efforts to come out of the situation.

Here are some instances that set the premise for cheating:

  1. Opportunity: Sometimes, situations give the person an opportunity to cheat and give in to the temptation. They might meet a new friend online or it could be their colleague or neighbor or just anybody, who is willing to foster a relationship that is beyond friendship.
  1. Validation: Some people like to be validated all the time due to their inadequacies and insecurities. They need appreciation and compliments to feel good. When they get that validation from an outsider, it could lead to an affair.
  1. Sexual incompatibility: Sex is one of the important means of connection between couples. When the spouse lacks interest in it or can’t provide the pleasure, it could make a person look for it outside.
  1. Sharing personal feelings: When a person begins sharing their personal feelings to somebody from the opposite sex, they gradually become closer and get attracted. Unknowingly, they start liking the person and it could result in cheating the spouse.
  1. Physical attraction: It can start off as an attraction or a mutual liking for each other and eventually turn into a compulsive affair.

[ Read: Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair ]

  1. Unhappy marriage: If a person has a troubled marriage already, an affair helps them escape into a seemingly pleasanter world.
  1. Insecurity: If the person feels insecure of their spouse due to the latter’s better career, looks, wealth or something else, an extramarital affair could be a means to make them feel superior.
  1. Feeling neglected: When a person feels constantly neglected by their spouse, they get drawn to somebody who pays them attention, listens to them and understands them. They would want to spend time with such person.
  1. Crave variety: Some people get bored in their relationship and crave for variety and new things, so they try having an affair and get headlong into it even before they realize.
  1. Serial cheater: Once a cheater, always a cheater. Some people have an inherent nature to cheat; it’s just their personality type.
  1. Mental conditions: If the person has an episode of chronic mental illness or is under the influence of substance abuse, infidelity could be on the cards.

Many such cases begin just as a temporary fling and without any serious intentions. But it may not take much time for them to become a habit. And this habit of cheating can be identified by its signs.

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Signs Of A Cheating Spouse

If you suspect something wrong in your relationship and feel that your spouse isn’t the way they used to be, look out for the signs of cheating.

Signs Of A Cheating Spouse

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  1. Change in behavior: People who cheat feel guilty. So they try to make up for that by criticizing you, quarreling often, avoiding conversations, and not spending time with you. The quality of your relationship reduces significantly.
  1. Changes passwords frequently: If you find your spouse changing email, mobile or Facebook passwords frequently, it might mean that they are hiding an affair.
  1. Protects their mobile phone: They guard their cell phone like a lion, and might always put it on silent mode. They will not answer the calls when you are around or talk in your presence.
  1. Spends extra time on the laptop: Unfortunately, the latest technology has made chatting, dating, and private email accounts so readily available that an affair is just a click away. If you find your spouse spending more time online, it can be a red flag in your relationship.
  1. Hides things: There is nothing to hide in a marriage. But when your spouse starts keeping secrets, doesn’t let you check their bags or makes sudden plans to go out of town, take a cue from it.

[ Read: Boundaries In Marriage ]

  1. Increased or reduced intimacy and sex: There can be two extreme cases. Your spouse might either not show any interest in you or is increasingly interested in having sex with you. They might do new things, which they haven’t tried before.
  1. Deletes the calls and browsing history: When your spouse doesn’t want you to know about their call records and what they spend time on, they will delete their call records, texts, and browsing history.
  1. Takes extra care of their appearance: If you think your spouse is taking extra time and interest to look good, there can be more to it. They make efforts to look nicer, start exercising daily, visit the salon often, and may buy new cosmetics too.
  1. Showers you with gifts: They will gift you for no reason. Their guilty feeling can take over them, and they are likely to address it by showering expensive gifts on you.
  1. Displays unusual behavior: They spend more time away from home and are disinterested in the family get-togethers or parties or in going out with you. They are bored with you, the children, and job and dissatisfied with life.
  1. Increased expenditure: Their credit card statement shows excessive spending – hotel expenses, restaurant bills, gifts, and other unusual things.
  1. Hardly communicates with you: Communication is poor or non-existent. They stop confiding in you and sharing stuff with you. They won’t even give you the chance to fight with them.
  1. Your gut feeling: If you feel that something is fishy or your instinct is telling you that something’s wrong in your relationship, then it is highly likely that your partner is unfaithful to you.

You will be devastated on learning about the affair and you would want to ask them why they did that to you. But your partner might just deny that there is anything. Therefore, catch them with proof.

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How To Catch A Cheating Partner?

Confront your spouse in such a way that they can’t bluff you. However, it’s not easy to catch your spouse red-handed. Here are some ways to catch a cheating partner:

    1. Browse the call/app history: Your spouse can be smart enough to delete the call history, but most of them do not think about deleting the app history. You can go through their app history to track their activities.
  1. Initials magic: Key in the initials of the suspected person in your spouse’s inbox, if there’s anything brewing, you can see it all in the emails.
  1. Record the calls: If your spouse’s work involves frequent travel and you feel it entails more than work, then you can install a recording app on their mobile. The app will work without your spouse knowing anything about it.
  1. Make a surprise visit to their workplace: Once in a while, visit their workplace unannounced, without giving them the feeling that you are spying on them. If there is nothing to hide, they will welcome you. But if they are cheating, they might get irritated and angry at you.
  1. Observe their sleeping patterns: Sleeping habits of a cheating partner change drastically. They may sleep late at night or wake up early in the morning on the pretext of work. They might check messages or talk secretly over the phone during nights. Pretend as if you are sleeping and watch what they are up to.
  1. Facebook posts: Check out their Twitter and Facebook posts and see where they are checking in, and who is frequently figuring in their chats.
  1. Impromptu sex: When your spouse comes home late, try having sex with them. If they avoid it, the chances are they are tired after spending time with the other person.
  1. Follow them after a fight: People who cheat their partners use ‘fight’ as a strategy to get out of the house and meet the other person. If your partner is doing that, follow them on the pretext of apologizing.
  1. Track the expenditure: Check their credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, fuel bills, and other miscellaneous expenses and see where they are spending all the money.
  1. Track the movements: Install a tracker on your spouse’s phone so that you can be sure where they go apart from workplace. You can install the GPS in their car to track the movements.

After you have gathered enough proofs about your spouse’s cheating, you would want to confront them then and there. Don’t be in a haste but plan it well.

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[ Read: Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Husband ]

How To Confront A Cheating Spouse

How To Confront A Cheating Spouse

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Cheating is a breach of trust and you just hope it didn’t happen. You will find it hard to confront but you need to do it. Here are the steps to confront your partner:

1. Gather the proofs:

If you don’t have solid proof, your partner will defend themselves and deny the affair. Gather everything that you find suspicious. For example, some outstation hotel bills in your spouse’s bag or a friend who has seen your spouse with someone else more than once. When you have the evidence, you are much more confident to confront them.

2. Plan how you are going to confront:

If you want your spouse to accept your claims, then you should plan your confrontation.

  • Set up a time and place for talking. Weekends should be the right time.
  • Don’t let anything distract you during the talk. If you have children, wait until they are asleep or away playing or studying.
  • Choose the words you want to use, and the sentences you want to begin with.

3. Reflect on what you want from your partner:

Before you confront, have clarity on your thoughts and expectations from them.

  • Do you want your spouse to explain their affair?
  • Do you want to know what made them cheat — is something lacking in your relationship or were they tempted or trapped into it?
  • Do you want your spouse to accept their mistake?
  • Do you want to forgive them and reconcile?
  • Do you want to move out of the relationship?

[ Read: How To Resolve Relationship Problems ]

4. Pen your feelings:

It’s very likely for you to get emotional during the confrontation and miss out on important points you may want to ask. Hence, write down whatever you want to ask:

  • What are your feelings at the moment?
  • How are you going to put it across to your spouse?
  • What is the outcome that you want after the confrontation?

5. Ask questions gently but in a probing manner:

Instead of blaming or accusing them, begin slowly and confront them effectively. You can begin with questions such as:

  • What is taking you long at office?
  • What made you change your hairstyle?
  • Who do you text so regularly?

6. Remain calm:

Stay calm to extract something constructive from the confrontation.

  • Take a deep breath before you confront.
  • Don’t get emotional; that can prevent you from having a stable conversation.
  • Deal with the situation and put your emotions in check.

7. Don’t have any expectations:

If you build up expectations that your partner would accept their wrongdoing, apologize to you and promise to come back to you, you might get disappointed. Have an open mind and be ready to accept the bitter truth.

Imagine your spouse has accepted their affair and pleaded with you to give a second chance. What would you do?

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Should You Give Your Cheating Spouse A Second Chance?

It depends on the circumstances. You should not give a chance if:

  • The affair was with an ex-partner and lasted for a long time.
  • Your partner is not sorry about what they did.
  • This is not the first time they cheated you.
  • Cheating is their behavior pattern.

You may want to give them a chance, if:

  • They have always been honest with you and this is the first time they cheated you.
  • You still have feelings for them and they too love you like ever.
  • Your partner has been tricked or instigated into having an affair.

[ Read: How To Fix A Broken Relationship ]

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Don’t feel devastated when you come to know that your spouse is cheating on you. Most importantly, don’t blame yourself for what has happened. You are not responsible for what your partner has done, no matter how they try to blame you.

If you think they will mend their ways, give them a chance. But if you think otherwise, walk out of the relationship because there is life beyond them.

Have any experience to share? Let us know about it in the comment section below.

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