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10 telling signs that your spouse may be having an affair

If you suspect that your spouse is having an affair and want to address the issue to salvage your marriage, don’t be rash.

Lipstick marks on his collar. The smell of strange perfume on his clothes. One side of a pair of earrings mysteriously appearing on the car seat. These are the classic signs of a cheating husband that we’ve come to learn of from one too many soap operas.

However, men aren’t the only ones susceptible to extramarital affairs. Most affairs start innocently enough with a seemingly harmless attraction to another party, and both men and women often find themselves blindsided when it’s too late.

So, what are the telltale signs of an extramarital affair? Why do unfaithful spouses act a certain way? What should you do if you suspect that your spouse has an extramarital affair? Here are 10 warning signs of an extramarital affair:

  1. Increasingly longer work hours – An unfaithful partner tends to meet with the third-party late into the night under the guise of having late-night work engagements.
  2. Possessiveness over mobile phone – It is common for an unfaithful spouse to be possessive of his or her mobile phone out of fear of their spouse stumbling upon a text message or call from the third-party. For that reason, they also tend to set new passwords on their mobile devices and clear their phone or computer’s browser history.
  3. Secretive and mysterious behaviour – When trying to hide an extramarital affair, unfaithful partners tend to lie or become increasingly secretive about the people they meet and their daily schedule for fear of being found out. They also tend to display unusual or unexplained behaviours such as leaving the house to take long calls or refusing to use their favourite perfume which they previously used daily.
  4. New hobbies – A new hobby, especially one which contributes to better health is great! However, if your spouse has taken up a new hobby or interest that keeps him or her away from the house for a length of time, and seems to be deliberately excluding you from it, that may be a red flag.
  5. Change in attitude – Unfaithful spouses may suddenly become more short-tempered or snappy with their family members. He or she may also display a drastic change in attitude towards their spouses such as criticising them, constantly appearing moody and becoming colder and more distant.
  6. Stops posting about family on social media – Unfaithful spouses may stop posting family updates or photos on their social media pages to prevent the third-party from getting upset.
  7. Sudden attention to physical appearance – People having extramarital affairs tend to become more conscious of their appearance. They may pay more attention to how their hair or make-up looks, or may shop for more stylish clothing like when they were first dating their spouses before marriage.
  8. Increasingly unreachable – It is reasonable for people to be unreachable at times due to work meetings or when one is focusing on certain tasks like driving. However, it is not normal for a married couple to be frequently out of touch and unreachable for long periods of time. After all, it only takes seconds or a couple of minutes to reply a text message.
  9. Avoidance of sexual intimacy – An unfaithful spouse may avoid sexual intimacy with their wife or husband due to a higher sexual interest in the third-party. Avoiding sex with the spouse may also be out of guilt and ironically, not wanting to “cheat” on the third-party.
  10. Unexplained expenses – Credit card charges for hotel rooms or spa sessions and unknown gifts such as jewellery or lingerie are telling signs or a possible affair.

If you suspect that your spouse is having an affair and want to address the issue to salvage your marriage, do not to be rash. Handle the situation delicately and avoid head-on confrontations or pointing fingers especially even before your suspicions have been confirmed.

Extramarital affairs don’t just happen overnight. They often stem from overall marital dissatisfaction and existing marital issues such as a lack of openness or communication.

At this point, it is crucial that couples try to be open to sharing and be willing to listen. As you approach your spouse, avoid any accusations or raising your voice. Instead, share how his or her behaviour has been affecting you and how you feel about your marriage. Encourage your spouse to share his or her thoughts too and seek to understand each other.

You may also choose to speak with a professional counsellor for advice and to discover the issues which may be affecting your marriage. In addition, a counsellor would be able to help facilitate deeper conversations and sharing between you and your spouse which would aid in a higher chance of reconciliation.


** The above article has been reproduced with permission by TOUCH Community Services. TOUCH Family offers counselling services under TOUCH Family Life, as well as regular family life education talks, workshops and courses.





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