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Betrayed Spouse 101

Suspicions and Strategies

So you think your husband/wife/significant other is having an affair? Or you KNOW they are, and you just want the facts. Where do you start? Here are a few suggestions...

1. Behavior Changes - Have his/her grooming habits changed? Are they trying to lose weight all of a sudden? Taking more care with their appearance? Is he wearing cologne when he never does? Is she wearing nail polish when she never does? Is his/her car suddenly immaculate, when they aren't normally nuts about keeping it clean? (Many cheaters keep the car clean because they're always cleaning it out to make sure there is no evidence). Have they suddenly joined a gym or started working out/jogging/whatever and now pack a 'gym bag' with toilet articles and extra clothes to go to work with them? This is a BIG one - you always shower after working out, so its a perfect excuse for a cheater. Did you get a less than enthusiastic response when you offered to work out with them? Try it, if you haven't. How about changes in sexual habits? Not necessarily a lack thereof, either. Yes, some cheaters have less sex with their spouses (guess they're too tuckered out, poor dears) but some actually get energized by the 'high' of having an affair, or their guilty conscience kicks in and they feel that they have to 'make it up' to their spouse sexually. Either way, if there's a LOT more, a LOT less, or he/she introduces some new, funky positions that you've never seen before, it could be a red flag. Here's a good one, if your spouse is a business traveler: have they told you that you can't see them off/pick them up at the airport? Could be that they have a traveling companion you don't know about. Be aware of emotional changes as well. Are they 'shutting you out' a lot more than usual? Distant? Short-tempered? Finding fault with you a lot more often than usual? Its possible to love two people at once, but its VERY difficult to be 'in love' with both - to keep that happy, skyrocketing, butterflies in your stomach feeling for both. One relationship tends to pale in short-term comparison (notice I said 'short-term'...). Its likely you aren't getting their full attention because the attention is focused elsewhere.

2. Lifestyle Changes - Has your spouse suddenly taken up a new hobby? Do they suddenly like to listen to a new type of music? BIG TIPOFF - Have they suddenly fixated on ONE song - especially a love song? (This happens more with female cheaters than male, but I'd look for it either way). Another thing I would look for is 'personalized' CD's or tapes. You know, compilations of songs that someone has to personally make (not necessarily loves songs, either). Unless your spouse has a friend that has done this for them before, or does it for themselves on a regular basis, finding one of these means somebody else has decided to 'personalize' some music for their listening pleasure. You would be amazed at how many times I've heard of that one being done. Pay attention to things like television habits, reading habits, etc. If you notice a dramatic change, it may be because their new 'partner' has introduced them to the new experience, be it a hobby or a TV show.

3. Time Unaccounted For - Where was he? He doesn't normally walk the dog for hours. Funny, the coworker she said she stayed late with at work just mentioned that she saw a movie that night.... Pay attention to his/her TIME. Are there a lot of unexplained absences? Working late a lot? Out to lunch all the time when they normally eat at their desk? Are they taking more business trips with weekend stays tacked on? Spending a lot of time over at a friend's house (particularly one that you KNOW would cover for them)? I don't know about you, but if he said he was going to the corner grocery store for milk, and it takes him over an hour to do it, I'd be just a bit suspicious. Another good source is their paycheck stub. All paystubs list whether or not any sick time or vacation time was taken in that pay period. I know of one Betrayed Spouse who busted her husband on this when she kept finding sick days on his paystub - sick days that he didn't spend at home.

4. Supermodel or Supercheat? - Does your spouse suddenly have an urge to go rummaging through your box of photos for that picture of them at Aunt Sadie's wedding last year? You know, the one where they were all dressed up? Did you find a series of digital pictures in the camera or on the computer that your spouse took of themself? When you're involved in a secret relationship, you LOVE to have something tangible, like a picture of your amore to bring out and gawk at every now and then. If the affair is a cyber affair, this is PARTICULARLY applicable. If I had been paying attention then, my husband would have blown his cover big time on our vacation that year. Suddenly this man who HATES having his picture taken was handing me the camera every 10 minutes and posing for me. I thought it was bizarre, even commented on it. But I never figured he wanted a picture to give to his girlfriend. DUH.

5. The Telephone - Are you experiencing repeated telephone hangups? If you have caller ID, has there been one certain number showing up in the call log over and over? Does your spouse end a telephone conversation when you walk in the room? I vividly remember my husband pulling into the driveway once, talking on his cellphone. Instead of getting out of the car while talking (like he normally would) he finished his conversation in the car, with the doors closed. When I asked who it was, he wouldn't meet my eyes and replied quickly "it was work" before he rushed into the house. Just remember the old adage: People with nothing to hide, hide nothing. And here's an odd one, but a good one to look for - has your spouse made the decision to change your home phone number? They usually tell you they're getting too many telemarketers, there was a 'problem' with the old number, they have a crank caller, whatever. The reason for this could be (a) they broke up with their Other Woman/Man and are afraid she/he will call you and spill the beans or (b) they are involved with someone who is ALSO married and that Other Woman/Man's spouse is now suspicious and has discovered your phone number a few too many times on their phone bill. If your spouse suddenly announces the need to change the phone number and you have other warning signs, I'd check into their reasons for doing it.

6. New/Overused cellphone/pager -Did your spouse suddenly get a cellphone when they've never had one before? Or get a new one? A second one? Did they suddenly get a pager? Cheaters have to be able to contact each other without using the home phone too much, and these mobile devices are perfect. Many times they'll get a second cellphone and 'hide' it, having the bills sent to their workplace or to the Other Woman/Man's house. If your spouse suddenly gets (or you find) a second phone/pager, which the cheater claims is for 'work' and then they use it frequently outside of normal working hours, you may want to do some checking, especially if they have the phone password protected (cannot be operated without a password). Does that cellphone go everywhere with your spouse - even on a trip to the corner mini mart? Have the cellphone bills suddenly disappeared before you can see them or has your spouse requested non-detailed billing (with no breakdown of numbers called)?

7. Spending lot of time on the computer - and if they are, do they have one of those 'magic' computers? You know the kind, they seem to shut down or minimize windows all on their own when a spouse walks into the room. They take the user to all kinds of porn or dating websites when they didn't PLAN on going there. Or better yet, it records in the history folder that they visited those websites when they're positive they didn't. PUH-LEEZ. Try this test. If you both have separate email addresses with your ISP, log on and check YOUR email. Then ask casually over your shoulder if your spouse would like you to pop in and check THEIR email, since you're there. You can let them know if there's anything besides spam there. If they get defensive, or tell you THEY want to do it (but won't do it in front of you), it may be a red flag. A spouse with nothing to hide will either say OK, or jump into the chair with you right behind them and check it themselves, not worrying about you being there.

8. What are Others Saying? - Cheaters don't realize how much everyone around them can incriminate them. Unless they are consistently meeting their Other Woman/Man in an underground bunker and traveling by armored car between 2-3am, the odds are SOMEONE has seen them together. Your friends and acquaintences may not have the nerve to actually TELL you your spouse is playing games, but they'll often drop hints. Listen for them. Pay them heed, and gather your evidence. Even friends and coworkers who DON'T know anything is going on can give you information. For instance, after my husband supposedly STOPPED talking to his Other Woman (he swore to me they would only have brief, professional conversation at work and ONLY if absolutely necessary), I KNEW he was still talking to her on a personal level in part due to his coworker's innocent remarks. How many times did I call there and hear "Oh, he's in an office behind a closed door talking to XXXXX" or "He and XXXXX are taking a working lunch." Those people only saw two managers interacting with each other, and thought nothing of letting me know his wherabouts.

9. Needing Some 'Space' - If your spouse suddenly decides to move out - whether to their own place or in with a buddy, if they suddenly need 'space' to 'figure things out', I would question it. It rare that a spouse, even an unhappy one will leave the home unless (a)they're separating in anticipation of a divorce or (b)they've got a reason to want a life that is private from you. Unless you and your spouse are BOTH moving toward divorce and have discussed legal separation, 'needing some space' can mean 'needing someplace I can go to where you can't see what I'm doing', or even more appropriately 'needing a place of my own where I can carry on with my lover while leaving you at home as my own private insurance policy in case the new scenario doesn't work out'.

The clues are out there - just put that radar up and you'll get them, I assure you. Now that you have the signals, lets dig for the PROOF .