A moment of temptation could break years of trust and destroy relationships in an instant.
But how do we detect signs of a cheating husband?
The facts & figures
Cheating is surprisingly common: over 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they have cheated on their spouse during their marriage.
That’s about 1 in every 5 men and 1 in every 10 women.
Even science and evolution has shown that men do in fact, cheat more than women.
Regardless of whether men are biologically hardwired to “plant as many seeds as they can” or not, cheating leaves behind a destructive, emotional mess for all parties involved.
What counts as cheating, exactly?
It also doesn’t help that the lines are blurred, either—cheating isn’t as clear-cut as we would like it to be.
According to sex therapist and author Tammy Nelson, there are only really two types of cheating, namely:
- Cheating as a way to end a relationship without confronting other issues
- Cheating to fill a void in a marriage that has lost its “spark”z
If your partner cheats, it may not be that they have fallen out of love with you; they may be trying to fulfill a desire that they believe can be satisfied by someone else.
And cheating doesn’t always to have to about sex: a study by psychotherapist Gary Neuman revealed that 92% of men said that cheating wasn’t primarily about sex or even about the appearance of the third party.
This means cheating can either be a physical or emotional affair.
In essence, cheating is when one partner decides to cross the line by betraying the other partner’s trust and promise of maintaining emotional and sexual exclusivity with them.
What this “line” is will differ between every couple, and it’s really up to both parties to decide.
It can range from sex to watching porn or spending time with someone of the opposite gender.
The point is, each individual has different standards and expectations of what they consider as cheating.
If you suspect that infidelity is at play, here are 8 signs of a cheating husband that can help you to decide if you should be worried about his behavior or not.
1. He’s never at home.
Do you hardly see your husband around anymore?
Perhaps he’s staying out late more than usual, quoting reasons like having “too much work” or “hanging out with the dudes”.
Either way, he always seems to have an excuse for not heading home and having dinner with you (or spending more time with the kids).
He could be telling the truth, but if it’s a recent occurrence or has been happening way too frequently, talk to him about it to find out more.
For all you know, he could be acting differently because of other reasons like work stress or family matters—don’t automatically assume the worst.
2. He feels emotionally distant.
Has he stopped asking you about how your day went?
It can be painful to realize that your husband is no longer interested in hearing about your life, even though you used to share every tiny little detail with each other.
Conversations may have dropped to a minimum, except when it’s about the kids or household chores.
Even when you do talk, it’s clear that they are disengaged and indifferent to what you’re saying.
If you’re noticing that he’s becoming emotionally distant and unavailable, try having an open discussion to raise your concerns.
3. He gets overly defensive when you ask questions.
Being defensive is a typical reaction that happens when you feel personally attacked.
If your husband doesn’t usually get defensive but flares up the moment you ask him where he’s been, he may be hiding something.
However, if he feels like you’re interrogating him, this defensiveness could also be a sign of frustration at the lack of trust in your marriage.
Make sure you’re not blindly accusing him of having an affair; if you’re worried about something, bring it up in a peaceful and objective way first.
4. There’s little to no intimacy anymore.
He used to shower you with hugs and kisses all day, and sex was a weekly affair filled with passion and romance.
Now, it feels like he’s stopped desiring you in any physical way.
There’s also a lack of emotional intimacy, where your husband no longer confides in you about his troubles.
While it’s natural for sparks to fade in and outside of the bedroom in a long-term marriage, you should also consider cheating as a possible reason if it’s combined with a lack of emotional intimacy.
It’s wise to address these issues earlier on to prevent misunderstandings.
Remember, a healthy relationship is about being transparent with each other; if he refuses to have an open and honest conversation, that’s a huge red flag.
5. He suddenly has a new interest or hobby.
Has your husband suddenly dedicated himself to a random new hobby, even if it were the last thing you’d expect him to be interested in?
When you ask him about it, does he try to brush it off and give you vague answers?
If you’ve said yes to both questions, there’s a possibility that he has someone in his life that he might be trying to impress.
Don’t jump to conclusions, though—let him know that you’re asking because you care about him.
If he still refuses to open up about it, look out for other signs.
6. He accuses you of being “crazy”.
It’s not rare for emotional manipulation to take place in relationships.
Your husband could be trying to make you feel guilty for even doubting him in the first place (even though you have good reason to).
This is a common way of deflecting and avoiding any suspicion to minimize potential conflict.
If your husband downplays or diminishes your feelings and emotions by claiming that you’re just “imagining things” all the time, that only makes his actions more suspicious.
7. There’s a sudden change in his appearance.
If your husband has drastically changed his appearance for no good reason (like the way he dresses, his hairstyle or watching his weight), there could be a reason for it.
Remember when you both first started dating and wanted to look your best for each other?
This time, it might not be you he’s trying to impress.
If he doesn’t change his appearance at home or when he’s out with you but does it the minute he’s heading out for a social or work event, this should ring some alarm bells.
8. Your gut is telling you something’s up.
When all else fails, follow your gut.
Perhaps your relationship was already starting to fall apart. Maybe something about your man that just seems off.
You owe it to yourself to figure out what’s going on.
As much as you would rather avoid confrontation, remember that the longer you drag it out, the worse the consequences for you and everyone else involved.
You deserve to have a partner who is equally committed to your marriage and who cares about your mental and emotional well being.
Have you experienced any of the signs above?
If you’ve experienced one or more of the 8 warning signs above, be candid about how you feel—initiate a frank conversation with your husband about his actions and behavior.
It’s entirely possible that there could be deeper underlying issues in the relationship, so remain objective and don’t be quick to push all the blame on him.
What to do if he admits to cheating
If your husband admits to the affair, it’s important to rethink and reassess your relationship for what it truly is.
Does this person deserve your love, effort and time? At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide who to keep around in your life.
There is absolutely no shame in turning to marriage counseling or therapy; in fact, it only means you’re both on the same page in wanting to work things out.
If you find yourself unable to forgive or trust your partner again, you should consider moving on.
A divorce might seem like the “messy” option, but it also means that you love yourself enough to walk away from something that will only bring you more misery down the road.
If you have children, think about what staying in an unhappy marriage for the rest of your life is teaching them about love.
A relationship should not be an obligation, but a choice that is made every single day to put your partner’s well-being as a priority.
Remember: being cheated on is never your fault.
You are not responsible for your partner’s actions, and if he claims that you are, that’s more than enough reason to walk away.
Learn to stand up for and love yourself—recognize when it’s time to pack your bags and leave.