unhappy cheating couple considering a divorce attorney image

(Divorce Attorney Reveals 5 Steps and 6 Missteps: The Tell-Tale Signs of a Cheating Spouse)

Morgan Divorce Law Firm in Orlando, Florida is comprised of experienced attorneys, handling all expects of marriage dissolution. We’ve encountered the many ways in which relationships can be damaged beyond repair.

Are you asking yourself any of these questions?

  • How to find out if my spouse is cheating?

  • How to tell if your spouse is cheating?

  • How to tell if my husband is cheating?

  • How to tell if my wife is cheating?

  • How do I tell if my wife is cheating on me?

It’s brutal honesty time:

It’s very easy to snoop into your spouse’s life these days. If you suspect infidelity on the part of your husband or wife, there are a ton of snooping tools at your disposal.

 

But should you?

That’s the hard question you should be asking yourself. Is snooping the healthiest move for you? Will it help your relationship? Are there better ways to deal with your suspicions?

If you could ask yourself only one probing follow-up, it might be this:

Do I have any evidence to back this up, or is it only a gut feeling? Am I being overly paranoid or jealous? 

If you aren’t sure, you should tread lightly, as you don’t wish to endanger the relationship by bringing unsupported accusations. The surest way to create mistrust is to be mistrustful.  Your own insecurities will have an impact on your marriage.

Of course, it’s always possible that you are right. Assuming your gut is on point, or that you do have solid evidence, there are steps you can take.

In this article, let’s go over different ways to deal with this dark time – including some we do not recommend.

First: what are the signs that your spouse might be cheating?

If your husband or wife is being unfaithful, you’ll probably see a few changes. We cannot stress enough that the following list is meant as a point for conversation and should in no way be considered evidence of infidelity.

Communication will be a recurring theme in this article, and the following signs that your husband or wife may be unfaithful are meant to provoke a discussion, not encourage you to do anything drastic.

  1. A sudden improvement in their appearance might be a sign that your spouse is trying to impress someone. [1] Before you raise the alarms, though, compare this against other evidence.

    Perhaps they’re just trying to change their life, or perhaps they’re trying to impress you. But if a person who likes to dress down starts dressing up, or starts wearing sexy clothes to work, you’re not crazy for taking notice.

  2. Secretive behavior, especially on their phone or computer can be worrying. If your spouse starts clearing their browser history or adds passwords to devices that used to be unlocked, it’s probably not a great sign. (Of course, I could write a whole post on why it is okay to lock your phone, too!) Opinions vary on whether you should have permission to review your spouse’s phone activity.

  3. Significant increase or decrease in sexual activity in the relationship can be a sign that your partner is focusing on someone else, which causes changes in how they approach intimacy with you.

  4. Unexplained schedule changes, particularly if you’ve asked for an explanation, are a sign that you should be asking your husband or wife a few pointed questions. Your spouse working late frequently when they never had to before could be a warning sign.

  5. If your spouse is cheating, you might be the last to know. Sometimes, your spouse’s friends already know they’re cheating on you, and it makes them act uncomfortable around you. [2] If your relationship with your spouse’s friends changes, ask yourself why.

What NOT to Do If You Think Your Spouse Is Cheating

Do you know what most people in your shoes do?

Sure you do. They snoop. And in some cases that can be a terrible idea. We have to address those behaviors – they’re the elephant in the room – but we do not have to condone them.

It is advisable instead to communicate and be straightforward about your concerns rather than following the urge to snoop.

  1. It’s a sign you can’t trust yourself. Yes, yourself. You’ll find yourself disagreeing here, and thinking, “No, it’s them I don’t trust,” but, according to experts, it may say more about you.

    It could be you feeling that you aren’t enough. You’re searching for one of two things: confirmation that you’re insufficient to keep your spouse satisfied, or validation that you are. In either case, it’s not good.

  2. It leads to more destructive behaviors. Snooping leads to stalking. That may seem like a pretty big leap but it can happen. First, it’s phone and email snooping, then it’s subtle drive-bys at their job. It will do nothing to help the situation or your relationship – and it does a lot to hurt your self-esteem and your chances to get your relationship back on track. [3]

  3. Snooping rarely leads to a positive outcome. Fundamentally, at its core it can lead to bad things. You will either:

    1. Find something incriminating, in which case you will be hurt – and you will also have given them a way to fight back if and when you confront them about what you’ve found.

    2. You don’t find anything, and your lack of trust in yourself will inevitably cause you to wonder if you’re just missing the obvious. Then you’ll want to dig harder, to see if they’re just good at hiding the evidence.

      Eventually, you’ll find something to be angry about, even if it isn’t what you expected.

  4. It makes you the villain. All that doubt and insecurity comes with a downside you might not have considered. If you succumb to those dark feelings, whether you do or don’t find evidence of infidelity, you’re eroding the foundation of your relationship.

    Suddenly, you are as untrustworthy as you’ve imagined your partner might be.

  5. It is not justifiable, even if you find evidence. Sure, if you find something, you might feel, for a moment, like you’ve justified your own behavior. You haven’t.

  6. Misunderstandings happen. Perhaps you’ll read something suspicious, and when you confront your husband or wife about it, they have a perfectly reasonable explanation

    Perhaps you’ll take something out of context or overreact to something that turns out not to be so big a deal. The relationship will crack under the strain of your breach of trust, whether or not your partner is understanding.

Divorce attorney Orlando woman upset over cheating spouse image

More Toxic Reactions to Suspicion

In my work here in Orlando, Florida, I’ve seen many versions of this story, and some of it is going to sound outlandish – but trust me when I say that someone reading this will have tried some of these tactics, even if you haven’t.

I do not condone the following behaviors in any way, and explicitly recommend against them.

I’ve seen suspicious husbands and wives:

  • Put a GPS tracker on their spouse’s car, or a tracking app on their phone.
  • Install an app that allows texts and calls to be read on a different device.
  • Hire private investigators at exorbitant fees to literally stalk their spouse.
  • Hunt through their phone, email, social media, any all digital interactions.
  • Quiz their spouse’s close friends, even engaging in questions designed to entrap.
  • Stalk not only their husband or wife, but also the person they suspect their partner is being unfaithful with.

These are unhealthy behaviors, and if you’re engaging in them, there’s a fairly good chance that your marriage is on life support, if not outright doomed. At that point, this behavior will impact you negatively if you do indeed separate from your partner.

That is especially true in the case of a contested divorce – because your spouse’s lawyer could use your actions against you in court.

We would do the same if your spouse had done those things to you, and you’d come to us for help. Don’t be the bad guy.

Healthy Ways to Handle the Suspicion That Your Spouse is Cheating

Is he cheating?

Is she with someone else while I’m at work?

If you’re asking questions like this, you’re sensing something is out of place. Often, you’re right about that – even if it’s not infidelity. It could be outside stress, something work-related.

It could be that the relationship is suffering, but they aren’t cheating, just withdrawing emotionally. Either way, you can move forward without employing soap-opera tactics like those discussed above.

  1. Get clarity on how you feel. Self-examination is going to be your friend here. You have to take time to understand yourself. How will you react if there is an affair going on? How will you feel if you are wrong? More importantly: how do you feel about your relationship? Are you happy?

  2. Talk to them. Communication. There is no substitute for it. Your first step has to be to go to the person you once vowed to grow old with and tell them how you’re feeling.

    Try to control your anger and suspicion and go into it as gently and honestly as you can. Speak to your spouse from the heart, respectfully, and give them a chance to respond. Keep your ears, heart, and mind open.

  3. Keep an eye on them when they respond. You know your spouse. You married them. Are you good at knowing when they’re being dishonest? Here is where instinct will help you. Some key behaviors to watch for include:

    • Vehement, overly angry denials.
    • Posturing or seeking to turn the tables on you.
    • Looking aside, looking ashamed, fighting internal turmoil.

    All of these could be signs that you were right. None of them are proof.

  4. Present your case. We’re lawyers. We believe in evidence. If you have evidence, talk about it. We hope you didn’t snoop, but sometimes, evidence just turns up. Credit card statements, phone bills, articles of clothing you don’t recognize, testimony from someone outside of the marriage.

    Often, there are divorce cases where the third party played a role in revealing the infidelity. Whatever evidence you do have, present it, and again: try to do so as respectfully as you can, without letting things descend into unproductive anger.

    If you can’t do that, you and your spouse should consult a therapist or counselor.

  5. Practice self-care. I think this is a message that is too often missed. You are going through a traumatic time right now, and it’s important that you do what you can to minimize the damage.

    You have to set physical and emotional boundaries with your spouse, for your own safety and peace of mind. If it turns out he or she has been unfaithful to you, you should seek STD testing immediately.

    You might also ask the cheating partner to leave temporarily while you two figure out what will happen next. You deserve time to process this, and they should be willing to temporarily relocate while you do.

    There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend deciding what to do after you’ve been cheated on. It will be good for both of you to take a step back, give each other space, and reassess your lives.

    Perhaps your spouse will try to prove their commitment to you. Perhaps you’ll discover that you’re actually ready to move on alone.

    Perhaps knowing that he or she would treat you so poorly is enough to change the way you feel about them forever. Only you can figure that out.

Cheating isn’t always the end in a relationship.

With counseling, couples who’ve hit this roadblock can (and do) recover and go on to live happy, healthy lives together. Think about what prompted you both to get married. Are those feelings still alive?

Is it worth going through the excruciation of therapy to find those feelings again?

See my related article 5 Reasons Why Cheating Might Not be the Death of Your Marriage.

I also encourage you to remember that divorce is the end of a marriage, not the end of your life. If you’re being cheated on, you don’t have to stay in the marriage.

You can choose to walk away, and if you do, we at Morgan Divorce Law Firm will give you the tools and support you need.

Contact Morgan Divorce Law Firm, Orlando Divorce and Family Law Attorneys

If you have questions about divorce or your relationship, please reach out to us. It would be our honor to help you in any way you might need. Email us here or call today.

Citations

[1] 4 Dead Giveaways That Your Partner Is Cheating on You

Sheiresa Ngo – December 26, 2016 www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/signs-partner-cheating-2.html/

[2] Should you Snitch on your Cheating Friend? eharmony Staff MAY 26, 2008 – www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/about-you/should-you-snitch-on-your-cheating-friend/

[3] 15 Relationship Experts Explain Why Snooping Is A Terrible Idea; By BIBI DEITZ – April 18, 2016 www.bustle.com/articles/154363-15-relationship-experts-explain-why-snooping-is-a-terrible-idea