Red Flags that Point to an Affair
Is your spouse having an affair? What do you do when the admonition “love one another” is misinterpreted to mean “love another one”? Often, it is the other spouse who is the last to know. However, in hindsight, he or she can recall telltale signs that point to an affair.
Seeing the red flags can help you confront the situation sooner rather than later. It can give you the opportunity to try to rebuild the marriage before the situation makes a turn for the worse – where the affair gets past the point of no return, where it’s too late for marriage counseling Utah to help. For instance, the cheating spouse decides to leave the marriage or the affair resulted in pregnancy.
Here are some warning signs that indicate that your mate may be unfaithful:
– Unexplained and drastic changes in behavior. Your partner starts lavishing you with gifts – perhaps as a way of assuaging guilty feelings? She starts putting on makeup and dressing up more than the usual. He starts putting on cologne. She acquires this new taste for music.
– Changes in temper. You may notice him or her acting “weird” – being uncomfortable when you do something nice for him or her, or being quick tempered and quick to pick fights with you. Often, the fight escalates into threats about ending the relationship. Managing an affair can be very stressful and this can be made evident by mood swings. At one point they may seem exhilarated and at another they may seem depressed and moody.
– Change in communication patterns. Your spouse may avoid communicating and interacting with you, often for fear of saying the wrong things. He or she may even act coldly or rudely towards you. He or she may avoid eye contact and have excuses to avoid spending time alone with you. For instance, he or she may extend activities at night to avoid getting into bed with you.
– Changes in sexual interest. One sign is that there is a change in the level of sexual contact between you. It may go both ways. The cheating spouse may avoid having sex because of guilty feelings. It may also be the opposite, where the spouse seems to have revitalized sexual energy that it spills over to your relationship.
– Discrepancies in finances. If your bank account has unexplained withdrawals or your credit card billing has entries you don’t know about, this may be a cause for you to look deeper. Also, if a spouse suddenly becomes concerned about how money is spent or saved or suddenly suggests having separate bank and credit card accounts.
– Increased work hours or frequency of travel. Is your spouse traveling for work or business more often than before? Is he or she taking larger blocks of time for work, calling about required overtime or deadlines to be met? Is he or she hesitant to take you up on your offer to accompany him or her during business trips? It may also be that your spouse suddenly has a lot of errands that he or she didn’t have – such as more trips to the dry cleaners or to the supermarket.
– Engaging in secretive behavior. Suddenly, your spouse becomes very particular about privacy. He or she abruptly turns the computer off when you’re around. He answers telephone calls in the bathroom and insists that you don’t answer his phone calls. She changes her email password when she previously did not feel the need to. These may be clues that point to a straying partner.
The next step would be to decide what to do about your suspicions. It is up to you to decide whether to confront your spouse about it. The aftermath may require you to work harder at your marriage by going into Provo couples therapy to help both you and your spouse deal with issues underlying the possible act of infidelity.
If you are willing to work towards protecting your marriage or need to heal from the devastation brought about by infidelity, you can consider getting help from an experienced marriage counselor. Dr. Triston Morgan of Provo, Utah, provides marriage and family therapy to help couples and their children recover from the pain of infidelity. Dr. Morgan is also PREPARE/ENRICH certified.