For most people who cheat on their spouses or romantic partners, the affair does not occur out of the blue. There are usually warning signs that individuals are unhappy or uneasy in their relationships and may be open to, or even actively looking for, emotional and/or sexual relationships outside of their primary relationships.
Recognizing these early warning signs can help partners prevent or put an early stop to unfaithful behavior and perhaps save a relationship that would otherwise spiral out of control.
Warning Signs To Look For To Prevent Infidelity
Changes In Appearance Or Renewed Interest In Appearance
After many years together, couples come to know the best and worst of each other appearance-wise. They may still enjoy dressing up for special occasions, but they no longer feel pressure to go to great lengths to impress their partners on a daily basis.
If someone with a typically relaxed attitude toward personal appearance suddenly begins to put in the extra effort, it may be a sign that he or she is hoping to attract someone else. Signs of a straying eye include the resumption of old habits, such as wearing heels, putting on makeup or working out regularly. It may also include more drastic changes in appearance, such as a new hairstyle, Botox to remove wrinkles or even plastic surgery.
Even fairly happy relationships can suffer from a lack of variety and excitement. This kind of behavior may really be about the need for a bit of spice, and constructive confrontation can help couples find ways to add that spice at home.
Secretive, Sneaking Behavior
If your partner has begun a relationship that may become or has already become inappropriate, she is going to work hard to conceal that fact. She may begin taking more phone calls in private, being more protective of her phone, laptop or other devices, spending more time online than she used to and spending much more time out of the house on nights or weekends.
Early confrontations give couples the best chance of working things out and saving the relationships. If the secretive behavior has progressed to a full-on affair, the betrayed partner may not be willing to try to patch things up. If you are able to intervene before your partner’s behavior has truly crossed the line, it can give the relationship a better chance.
Constant Arguments And Criticism
Someone who is preparing to be unfaithful in her relationship will often try to convince herself that it is her partner’s fault. She may become highly critical and pick frequent fights while accusing her partner of being argumentative.
She may begin to criticize her partner’s appearance and habits as though she is trying to convince herself that these factors justify her infidelity. This sort of behavior can be emotionally abusive and could be a red flag about more than cheating. If she is willing to have open discussions and to translate her unconstructive criticism into constructive concerns over the state of the relationship, that relationship has a good chance of surviving. If she is unwilling to engage and continues to resort only to criticism and manipulation, the best solution is probably to get out now.
Open Statements Of Unhappiness
One of the clearest warning signs of impending infidelity is open statements of relationship dissatisfaction that go unaddressed. Many partners may say frankly that they are unhappy, that they believe something is wrong with the relationship.
This would seem to be the easiest sort of situation to confront openly, but it is amazing how often these statements are dismissed or ignored. You may feel that denying the problem and insisting that things are fine will help the trouble to pass, but the truth is that unhappiness that is not acknowledged and discussed openly can often lead to cheating.
Counseling To Help Rebuild The Relationship
Your happiness is important and so is your partner’s. Many times counseling is needed to understand one another, meet each other’s needs and rebuild the relationship. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help together.