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How-to Know if Your Spouse Is Cheating on You

by Karin Gonzalez

Even though infidelity is a centuries-old problem, monogamy is still an ideal that many couples strive for in their marriages. A 2012 study by the Associated Press reported that in 41 percent of marriages, one or both spouses admit to being either sexually or emotionally unfaithful. The quicker you can identify a cheating spouse, the faster you can resolve these issues in your marriage.

Increasingly Argumentative

In her article, the "Warning Signs of Infidelity," Dr. Betty Phillips says that one sign of cheating is when your spouse become progressively defensive or critical of you. He may be trying to hide a lie or is falling for someone else and is pushing you away. Highlighting all of the characteristics that he does not like about you helps him rationalize cheating on you. In his article, "How to Tell if Someone Is Lying," Dr. Matt Moody states that defensiveness, anger and argumentativeness are often indicators of infidelity.

Tense or Depressed

Psychologist Dr. Ella Lasky reports that your spouse may seem more on edge, with an exaggerated alert response. Characteristics of a tense spouse include an apparent unease when you use her phone or computer or ask her for her login information. Depression is also likely as the cheating spouse may be dealing with feelings of guilt, confusion and indecision regarding the affair. She could seem irritable, sad, short-tempered and angry for no apparent reason.

Sudden Changes

Your spouse may suddenly show concern for his appearance, such as wanting to lose weight or shaving new areas of his body. In her article, "10 Signs of a Cheating Spouse," divorce consultant Dr. Reeta Sommer says that the changes in behavior could also be new hobbies or interests, such as salsa dancing or playing chess, that are notably inconsistent with his usual interests. You may hear him use new phrases or sayings and wonder where they came from. Or he may begin to listen to a new genre of music, such as Country and Western, music that his lover prefers.

Increasingly Private

In her article, "10 Signs of a Cheating Spouse," Dr. Reeta Sommer says you may notice your spouse leaving the room to call or text her lover. She adds that your wife may begin taking showers immediately upon returning home from work. She may put passwords on her phone or computer to lock the access. These methods are all measures to attempt to increase privacy and hide the affair.

Becoming Distant

In an article about infidelity, "The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy" claims that many extramarital affairs stem from platonic friendships that turned into something more intimate. If he has a friend of the opposite sex at work, for example, and feels more comfortable speaking to her than his own wife, he will start becoming more distant and stop communicating with his wife. Sometimes he will begin complaining to this "friend" about his wife or kids. This kind of relationship is termed an emotional affair, and it is usually more hurtful to the partner than a sexual affair.

About the Author

Based in Miami, Karin Gonzalez has been practicing family therapy as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for four years. Using her experience in the therapeutic field as a foundation, Gonzalez has been writing parenting articles for websites, blogs and magazines since February of 2014. Gonzalez as a Bachelor of Art in sociology from University of Florida and a master's degree in social work from University of Central Florida.

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