Too many relationships fail because of infidelity.
It is painful to admit you suspect your partner might be cheating on you. Removing doubt is essential if you want your relationship to last. Unless you are involved with an out and out sociopath – your partner will exhibit signs of guilt if they are doing something they know would hurt you. It is important to know if you are overreacting due to your own insecurities, or if there is cause for alarm. Below are a few steps you can follow if you fear partner may be involved with someone else.
1.Ask if you satisfy them erotically.
This may sound forward, or seriously challenge your comfort zone, but a mutually satisfying sexual relationship is a cornerstone in any successful relationship. If your relationship is still so new that you haven’t taken that step yet, you can still talk about how they view that possibility. If they are erotically involved with someone else, they will probably act defensively. If they are only thinking about it, you can bring their thoughts back to you.
2. Be observant and curious.
Relationships are based on sharing and trust. If your partner is committed, they shouldn’t mind telling you who they were on the phone with. If you are married or living together and have common accounts, you should also have access to statements even if your significant other is the financial ‘mastermind’. Unusual telephone activity or credit card charges can alert you to the possibility of an affair brewing.
3. Investigate clues before confrontation.
The cliché of a phone number written in lipstick is probably less common than movies would have us think. But a number scribbled on a cocktail napkin or coaster, or a receipt from a restaurant or hotel you haven’t been to together can alert you. If you find something follow it up. If it is a phone number, call pretending to confirm a delivery order, claim you can’t read the name or address and see what they tell you. If it is a receipt, look at the date/time stamp on it and think about where your partner told you they were then.
4. Observe their browsing and mobile habits.
If they suddenly spend more time online or texting, find reasons to pass by doing chores or bring them something to eat or drink. If they make efforts to hide what they are doing: e.g. they cover their phone or minimize whatever they were looking at on their laptop, that is a good indication they may be up to something. The sort of agitation someone exhibits when they have a guilty conscience is very different from the excited energy of somebody planning your surprise vacation.
5. Monitor their online activity.
If you both use a device, it isn’t difficult to check the browser history. If your partner is tech savvy enough to clear the browser history and downloads/temporary files before they log out, that alone may be alerting you that they have activity they don’t want you to see. Key logger software can reveal their activity, but if you don’t have access to the devices they use then use a professional service to find dating/hookup sites or platforms they have active accounts on.
ASK YOUR GUT THESE QUESTIONS:
- Do you believe the relationship has a realistic future?
- Do you sense the relationship is at risk?
- Are you willing to work at saving it?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then it is time to take action and put your mind at ease. Engage your partner in actively building the foundations of a solid relationship, together. Or, accept the fact that you may be expecting more from the relationship than your partner is emotionally willing or able to give. Relationships require both partners’ participation. If it doesn’t work out that is not your individual failure or responsibility. You have the right and responsibility to protect yourself from heartache, and seek the loving and honest relationship you deserve.