No doubt, being in love, especially when it is reciprocal, comes with some good feeling. But one of the many things that truncate such pleasure or harmonious relationships is cheating, and both men and women have been found to be guilty of it.
Largely, cheating is regarded as a betrayal of trust and findings have shown that men hardly ever forgive a cheating partner, even if they are also guilty of the act.
According to previous studies, men cheat for adventure, ego, unsatisfactory sexual experience in their marriage, frustration, revenge and deceit while women cheat due mainly to lack of affection from their partner, sexual dissatisfaction, revenge, boredom and peer pressure.
However, in order not to be caught unawares, there are signals that show that a partner is having an affair. It should equally be noted that each of these signals might not be a complete indicator of infidelity – some can, actually – but a combination of one or more could be. Some of these signals include:
They are suddenly protective of their phones:
Protecting one’s phone, maybe with a password, is never a bad idea. In fact, it is encouraged so that if it is stolen or misplaced, such thieves or anyone who lays hands on it does not have access to confidential information stored on the phone. Regardless, however, people who cheat are usually protective of their phones excessively or they take offence when their partner touches their phone. For the sake of trust, there are couples who tell their partners their password, but with a caveat not to be intrusive or meddlesome. But in such a situation, where the man or woman suddenly changes their password, when there was no breach of the caveat or any reasonable explanation, such persons might be hiding some things. And for those who were not used to putting password on their phones, if they start suddenly and are overprotective of the phones, it might be a signal. In addition, changing passwords from time to time might as well be a signal.
Making secret calls and not disclosing caller’s identity:
Funny as it might be, it is not uncommon for people who have things to hide to go to the bathroom, sometimes putting on the shower or tap to create some distraction; sneaking out of bed in the midnight to the visitor’s room or staircase to make calls or whispering over the phone while making calls or ending the call upon sighting the partner. In such cases, when asked who they were on the phone with, the common responses are ‘Oh! Don’t worry, it’s nothing important’ or ‘it’s a wrong number’ or ‘no one of importance.’ According to findings, these are signals that the person might be having an affair, and of course they want to keep it a secret.
When they delete their chat history:
The advent of chatting apps has somewhat made cheating easier, arguably. Thus, it could be a source of concern when a partner repeatedly clears the chat or message conversation with a person, especially before allowing their partner to touch the phone. That could be a signal, in addition to when a partner always rushes to answer their calls, avoid being subjected to questioning by their partners.
Sudden changes in appearance or preferences:
This factor could appear harmless, but according to some experts, a sudden change in looks, clothing style, or new styles aimed at impressing someone could suggest that it’s all beyond looking good and that an affair might be lurking around. A private investigator and author of Ultimate Betrayal, which is a guide to recognising, uncovering, and dealing with a cheating partner, Danine Manette, told Woman’sDay, “A man who drastically alters his clothing style, appearance or body shape for no apparent reason may be having an affair. Perhaps the other woman has suggested he grows beard, wears his hair differently or use a particular cologne. If he’s dressing differently for work unlike before, there may be a co-worker he’s trying to impress.”
Unusual hostile attitude:
While this is not a complete indicator of infidelity, experts say that people, especially men, cheating could be anxious or unsettled and look for every opportunity to create conflict and even leave the house, presumably out of anger, all being a ploy to go and spend time with the other lover outside. Manette added that if the partner suddenly gets angry or is irritated by the things that appealed to them before, like partner’s eating habit, dressing style, manner of speech and sex style, it could also be a signal. A professor of psychology, Toba Elegbeleye, said, “Complaint is another way of knowing that something extraneous has entered into the marriage, especially when your partner begins to complain about what he or she had not been complaining about before.”
They create some distance:
This is possibly a signal when a partner deliberately, or for no definite reason, creates some distance. Apart from now having more space to interact with their second lover, such persons would likely have less conversation with their partner and so would be free from any slip that could indict them during conversation. According to some marriage counsellors, if they stop spending time with you, or stop showing affection in public, it could also be a signal. Manette said, “He could be spending the time away from home with her. Although the other woman usually accepts whatever fragment of time the man can give her at first, she typically begins to demand more and more of his time. Conversely, he may just not want to come home because he feels guilty.”
When they become unusually caring:
Reasonably, one of the things guilt does is to compel people to be evasive or more affectionate to the person offended. Manette said, “When a man feels guilty, he may become unusually affectionate or attentive as a way to mask his affair or relieve some of his guilt.”
They refuse to disclose their location: This is another way people mask their extra-marital affairs. Knowing that disclosing where they are, especially if they are not meant to be there, could attract some suspicion, they tend to stammer or think twice before giving a response, and they could lie outright.
They are strangely unreachable:
Whether they need to spend some time with their girlfriend or not to sound suspicious on the phone, cheating persons are wont to switch off their phones or put it in ‘flight mode’ so they would be unreachable. The lies that follow such could be low battery or poor network. When this happens from time to time, especially when they are reasonably expected to be reachable, it could be a signal. Also, if such persons become fidgety or are incoherent on the phone as to what they had been up to, it could be a signal that they could be having an affair. Elegbeleye said, “When there is a measure of absenteeism, it could be a signal. When you expect them to be home at a particular time and their phones are off, if it keeps happening like that, it could be a signal. When a marriage is contracted, both partners would settle into a routine; there would be some pattern of living that is known to both of you. So, when the routine is rudely abdicated or interrupted without verifiable reasons, then there could be a problem.
Less interest in sex:
Apart from fatigue from the work place, which is quite understandable, a man or woman who is having an affair, especially a romantic relationship, may not be disposed to sexual moves from the partner, simply because that need has been taken care of elsewhere or sex with them has become boring, unless there is a medical condition or any mutual understanding why one party may want to abstain from sex. Elegbeleye said refusal or shying away from having intimate relationship with a partner could be a signal. He said, “It may be sex or something both of you are used to doing together before but the partner now comes up with excuses. It’s a wrong signal that all is not well.”
Constant reference to a new ‘friend’:
When married persons repeatedly talk about someone of the opposite sex, whether by reflex or it is done deliberately, the partner might have something to worry about, because such silent or subtle affection could spiral into something romantic over time. Thus, such could be a signal as well.
Meanwhile, Elegbeleye said beyond seeing the signals, it would be wrong to confront a partner based on that, without concrete evidence.
He said, “Do not confront the person until you have your facts, so you don’t end up throwing wild allegations. In other words, after seeing those signals, do your investigation to have concrete evidence, because to accuse a partner of infidelity, your evidence on you must be concrete. It’s not enough to say he’s cheating because he now comes back late, unlike before.”