“Is my spouse cheating on me?”
For most any married man or woman, cheating may be one of the top fears they have experienced at least once during their marriage. Cheating is not gender specific. Last July, this issue was front and center at a global level with the news of the Ashley Madison website being hacked, and it has not gone away. Cheating is not something married men and women want to think about. However, in today’s day and age of the internet explosion and social media, temptation is at an all new high. It’s a daily battle regardless how faithful you think you or your partner are to your marriage.
Cheating is no longer just about the opposite sex. Cheating can be with the same gender. Cheating can be with porn, massage parlors, strip clubs, Craig’s List’s back page ads, 800 numbers, sexting, texting, prostitutes, etc. No partner could ever compete with all that. Cheating is not always a physical affair. Cheating can also be an emotional affair, which can be just as damaging as when you discover a physical affair.
The “other woman” or “other man” can be found at a variety of venues: your partner’s place of employment or through a hobby or activity. These things may take up your partner’s time and distract them from being emotionally present or enjoying quality time or intimacy with you. Cheating can be found through video gaming, not only playing the game but also with the relationships that are built with other players and team members with 24/7 access. I have had clients with video game addictions who cheated on their partner with people they met through gaming. Clients can sexually glue themselves to the sexy human or animal avatars found in a video game. I have also had clients leave their partner after having an affair with their old high school flame who they reconnected with on social media. Cheating can take on a whole new meaning today.
If you think your partner might be cheating on you, here are some warning signs to consider.
- Anger or Defensiveness – When you lovingly confront your partner about the possibility of them being unfaithful, they become irritated, annoyed, angry or even shut down in silence. They may become defensive and try to flip the question on you. They may be sarcastic and belittling in an attempt to shame you for thinking such things. They walk away refusing to answer your questions. They are easily insulted by the topic. They refuse to take a polygraph and are offended that you had the audacity to even ask. They may also show signs of narcissism.
- Disinterest in You or the Pursuit of a Relationship with You – You may have noticed that your partner is no longer pursing you with touch, quality time, intimate conversations or sex. They have little to no desire to be around you. They may have taken up new hobbies or activities that consume a great deal of unscheduled time. However, if you are married to an intimacy anorexic, they are most likely not physically unfaithful but may have issues of pornography and masturbation.
- Inaccessible Phone that is Always in their Possession – You may have noticed that they never allow their phone to leave their side. Their phone may be locked and password protected, and they are unwilling to share the password with you.
- Odd Behaviors and Your Intuition – You may have noticed odd behaviors that don’t line up with their words. They are saying one thing, but their behaviors don’t match up. Your intuition is telling you these things are in conflict and don’t make sense. If this continues, trust your intuition and your feelings. Do some research on their phone bill and see if there are reoccurring numbers,
800 numbers or unexplained text messaging. If possible, look at their computer search history and online activity.
- Unaccountable Money – They may not be able to explain missing funds or cash that is unaccounted for. They may have a safety deposit box, cash or checking, credit card, investment or savings accounts that you are unaware of.
If you discover these things, such as credit card statements with unexplained small or large purchases to online stores, clubs, bars, gift or flower shops, hotels, car rentals, disposable phones, etc., you may want to research further.
- Unaccountable Social Media and Email Accounts – They may have personal or professional online social media or email accounts that you are not aware of in order to hide their cheating activities.
- Unaccountable Time or Schedule – There may be missing hours in the day that they cannot explain where they were, what they were doing or who they were with. They have no time or dated receipts as evidence to their whereabouts. If your partner travels for work or is running their own business, it never hurts to ask for a full detailed hourly schedule of their trip or have access to their work schedule so that you can reach them at any time. It doesn’t hurt for them to have the same access to your schedule as well.
If your partner is displaying one or all of these warning signs, do not panic. There is hope! You are worth the time and worthy to know the truth. Call our office for a free consultation and assessment today.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.