Signs of an
Affair: What to Do if You Find Them in Your Love
Relationship or Marriage
By Susie and Otto Collins
Does your spouse or partner seem to be acting suspiciously
lately? Maybe you're worried that he or she is having an
You don't want to be jealous or over-react if there's
nothing going on, but you also don't want to be caught
blind-sided by later finding out that your mate has been
What are the signs of an affair and what are advisable
actions to take if you find them in your relationship or
"Is she cheating on me?" Rick can't believe that he's even
having these thoughts about Jenna, his wife of 8 years.
Rick and Jenna were once so in love and inseparable. They
couldn't seem to get enough of one another whether they were
hiking, discussing a good book or making love.
But for the past few months Rick has noticed a distance form
and grow between the two of them.
He's fearful that somehow he drove her away and now she's
having an affair. Rick is so worried that Jenna is cheating
that he's become withdrawn.
His main focus now seems to be looking out for signs that
she actually is having an affair. Jenna is also closing down
more and more and becoming increasingly defensive.
If you find yourself walking the fine line between
jealousy and naivete when it comes to concerns you have
about signals you think you're getting from your partner,
you're probably unhappy and unsettled.
A part of you might want to just have it out and learn once
and for all if your partner is indeed having an affair.
Another part of you might fear the honest answer you'd
And perhaps yet another part of you worries that you'll
create more distance between you and your mate if you
wrongly accuse him or her of cheating.
It might feel like a no-win situation.
What are the signs of an affair?
First of all, we recommend that you take a deep breath and
pay close attention to what you think you're seeing and also
to what you're thinking. Whatever happens next in your
relationship, you will be most served by handling it in as
calm and centered way as you can.
We're going to list some possible signs of an affair for you
to consider. Please note: NONE of these automatically
indicate that your partner is cheating.
These signs might mean something completely
different than what you assume them to mean. At the same
time, these signs might be the wake up call you need to take
a closer look at your relationship and to get more
information and clarity about what's really going on.
*You feel like the connection between the two of you is weak
*Your partner is behaving in an extremely different
manner than he or she did before without any explanation
about why the changes have happened.
*Your mate is especially vague about the details of where
and with whom he or she has been.
*You notice that all of a sudden your partner is
secretive when on the phone or internet.
*Neutral questions that you might ask your mate about his or
her day are met with unusual defensiveness.
*You get the feeling that your partner is withdrawing from
Perhaps the most accurate warning signal for you to look at
is the feeling that there is a withdrawal by either your
partner or yourself or a weakening connection. Many of the
other signs are subjective and apt to be misreadings.
When you feel disconnection, take notice.
Again, just because you feel disconnected from your partner
doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is having an affair.
On the other hand, when distance is coupled with many of
these other signals, it might be time for you to gain more
clarity about what you're observing.
What do I do about my suspicions?
Not only does Rick feel distance between himself and Jenna,
he also thinks he sees other signs of a possible affair as
well. Jenna seems defensive when he asks any question-- no
matter how benign it is.
She has also started to leave the room to take calls on her
cell phone. Rick is feeling really frustrated and is ready
to confront Jenna.
So how do you know when it's time to confront your mate
about a possible affair?
We recommend that you stop yourself before charging into a
room launching allegations in almost all cases. No matter
how sure you are that your mate is cheating, we advise you
to try to be as calm as possible.
Get very clear within yourself about what you want. Is
finding out the truth the most important thing for you? Is
opening up communication so that you can possibly re-connect
with your partner most important?
There are no "right" answers here. It can be very helpful
for you to know or remind yourself about what your objective
is and then keep yourself pointed in that direction as you
communicate or take other action.
Rick decides that it is his priority to open up the lines of
communication with Jenna and to see if she is willing to
re-connect with him. Ultimately, he wants to move closer to
her but he also needs to know if this is as important to her
as it is to him.
He thinks carefully about what he wants to say and how he
wants to say it and plans to talk with her that evening.
You can make specific requests of your partner that can help
move you closer together. For example, Rick might ask Jenna
if she's willing to read a book about communication in
relationships with him and talk about it.
Making a general request to see if your partner is willing
to take steps to bolster trust as well as connection may
also be helpful.
You can also choose to be honest and blunt by sharing that
you are concerned that your partner is having an affair. In
almost every case, we suggest that if you make this choice,
share how you are feeling and what you are suspecting rather
than making a flat-out accusation.
Ask for more information to help resolve the questions you
might be having about your mate's behavior.
There are no absolute guarantees that infidelity won't
happen in a relationship. Especially when distance forms and
grows, the discontent and unmet needs can lead one or both
people to cheat.
Be clear within yourself about what your objective is when
you begin to wonder if your partner is having an affair.
Keep tuning in to your feelings and your gut when deciding
what step to take next.