“It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.” – Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
There are many possible life events for which the human heart is not prepared: death of a loved one; being diagnosed with cancer; falling victim to a mental illness…and so on. The simple yet complex reason for this unpreparedness is that we become so accustomed to a certain way of life. When that life is complicated by a formidable and enigmatic obstruction, we tend to search desperately for answers. Many may even lose hope. Hopefully, we find the wherewithal to search for answers and a solution.
Infidelity is one of those “possible life events” that we are unprepared for. Unfaithfulness is particularly hurtful because the victim – in many cases – has given their love, heart and soul to another human being; all while expecting the same in return. One of the most commonly cited axioms in the medical community is: “prevention is the best cure.” This axiom can be applied to those cohabitating with potential cheaters. Why suffer the consequences when they can be prevented in the first place?
Relationships can be extraordinarily complex. Combined with the individualistic peccadilloes that each and every one of us possesses, precaution is a warranted measure when approaching someone with a (real or imaginary) predilection for infidelity.
In this piece, we present 10 signs of a potential cheater. As with any behavior, it can be difficult to decipher the intentions behind it. Relatedly, the more “symptoms” that are present, the likelier it is that a real problem exists.
That said, here are 10 signs of a potential cheater:
1. They’re emotionally distant
For the victim, this is pretty easy to observe but extraordinarily difficult to accept. Emotional detachment from someone you love is like a punch to the heart. Unfortunately, this disconnection is too often a prelude to relationship deterioration. For a potential cheater, it’s easier to distance oneself emotionally from someone than to confront the real problem. It’s a cowardly act, in many ways.
2. Lack of sex or intimacy
When two people are in love with one another, it is natural for intimacy and/or sex to take place. In the event that the other person shows no interest in either, it may be a sign of infidelity. This is especially true if no prior issues existed in this area. If nothing else, this behavior is indicative of some type of emotional or physical disconnect. Regardless, given the importance of physical connection in a relationship, a serious discussion is in order.
3. The need for “privacy”
This is not to disregard the reality that every person – in a relationship or otherwise – requires a period of “me time,” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, when the other half constantly says things like “I need to be alone,” “Just let me be,” “I need some time to think,” etc. on an all-too-frequent basis, there is almost certainly some type of problem.
4. A sudden defensive attitude
It’s normal for two people in a serious relationship to understand the differences between each other’s personalities. Flaws are generally understood and subsequently accepted. It is peculiar, then, for one half to suddenly become defensive regarding any observable shift in behavior. Rational dialogue is a necessity for any relationship; if this becomes a problem, then there’s likely some type of issue.
5. Irregular financial habits
Two people involved in a serious relationship understand the importance of monetary resources. Usually, any outgoing money is acknowledged and accounted for. If your partner, all of a sudden, drifts from this mutual understanding and engages in “splurges” for which they cannot account for, it may indeed be a sign of detachment at best – and infidelity, at worst.
6. Becoming “fashion-conscious”
We all want to look our best for various reasons; most commonly, to look respectable and professional. However, an abrupt change in appearance without explanation is uncommon, especially for those who have shown little interest in the past. Those in a midlife crisis often cite a change in fashion as a sort of “motivation” to look younger and more presentable. Of course, the desire to appear more attractive to the opposite sex is a very real possibility.
7. They ignore your “inner circle”
One telltale sign of a cheater is a sudden disconnect from your circle of friends. It seems strange and may be a forewarning of some relationship problem. For cheaters, it is much easier and convenient to separate from those close to you than to be upfront about their true feelings. This is even more conspicuous if your other half and social circle were close at one point in time.
8. They guard their phone/computer/etc.
Nobody likes having their phone tampered with. In a serious relationship or marriage, however, it isn’t strange to meddle around with your partner’s phone. Really, it’s not that big of a deal…unless they either have something to hide, or are simply in a bad mood. If your significant other suddenly and atypically objects to what was at one time not an issue, then it may warrant additional caution.
9. They’re always excessively late
Anyone in a committed relationship will tell you that a schedule is paramount to making things work. This is especially true if someone is married, has kids, or other obligations for which they are responsible for. A sudden abdication of responsible behavior is strange, particularly if that person cannot account for such conduct.
10. “Something came up at work”
Things happen at work. Sometimes, we’re asked to go “above and beyond” in order to do our jobs. Similar to many other things on this list, context is key. If your partner cannot explain the rationale behind such requests, then something is amiss. Having to work is a common and convenient excuse because it is so commonplace. That said, your partner should be able to fill you in.