This article is being written on October 15, but I am scheduling it for publication post my return from California for two reasons: (1) I have a sense that I will not be much in the mood to write anything upon my return; and, (2) especially not about this matter.
Over the course of the last little while, and due to my recent posts about cheating and what have you, conversations about suspicions keep coming to the fore. Most notably, the question which keeps arising like some disgraceful phoenix clown is: How do I know?
Precursor is that there are some genuinely crazy people who are, by nature, extremely suspicious. If you make it through this article and none of the below behaviours are being displayed by your partner but you are still suspicious? You may be a crazy person and you may wish to seek therapy.
In addition to this precursor, let’s just get one thing out of the way — living in a state of suspicion is a f/cking nightmare. It is going to kill you one way or another because what it will turn into, if it goes on for too long, is a slow but very real and very steady chipping away of your sense of self and your sense of worth. I can guarantee you that if you currently reside within this state, your self-esteem and self-confidence has been flattened.
Why? Because within these situations, it is only human to first ask: Why am I not good enough? and this question, it is the death of you.
So then, what are the tells? Quick and dirty, they are exactly what you suspect (see what I did there?) them to be and they are not only one or two of the following items (they can be), but rather they are a combination of the below. What you’re looking for is a comprehensive shift in the person before you.
– The behaviour of your partner fundamentally changes. Meaning, if you had a pattern or a routine to which you had grown accustomed, your partner shifts this routine. You’ll notice it immediately because it is not little, but rather it is piercing. What they’re really doing is they’re detaching from you. They are actively placing distance between you and them, whether you are ready to see it or not. Cowards.
– Your partner is less affectionate and less responsive (if a man is cheating, there is often more sex; with women cheating, there is often less sex). Alternatively, they may pick fights with you or completely avoid you. Either way, the message is that they are not interested in communicating with you (probably because they’re communicating with someone else).
– Speaking of, they will hide communications from you. Specifically, their laptops and their smartphones. Someone once said to me “…but sometimes for work you have to hide things…” and, frankly, no. No you don’t. You never have to hide things. Not unless you work for CSIS or the FSB or the CIA or even NATO. If your partner is closing screens when you walk into the room, or they’re hiding their laptop, or they’re hiding their smartphone from you? You need to open your eyes a little more widely.
– They will start to take better care of how they appear. Not surprisingly, most affairs happen in the places where people spend the greatest amount of time outside of the home — the workplace. If your man starts buying new clothes, taking better care of himself, spending longer nights at the office, vanishing at lunch hours, not returning your calls in the same manner that he used to? If your woman starts doing these same things? And in combination with several of the other items here listed? You may wish to ask yourself if there is something to which you have turned a blind eye.
– As already mentioned above, more often than not, there will be less sex. This one is really self-evident and self-explanatory. Their bodies are being used elsewhere, and they are — essentially — not interested in yours. They don’t want you touching them and they don’t want you around them physically. Simple.
– They will deflect. This one is brutal because it will make you feel like a shit, and that is exactly their intention. In a healthy relationship, if someone says to their piece that they are feeling sad or alone or they feel like something is wrong, the partner will and should engage. In an unhealthy relationship, they will put this on you. Instead of saying ‘let’s talk about this and tell me what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking so that I can address these things because I love you and I don’t want you to hurt,’ they will say ‘this isn’t about me…it’s about you and your feelings, so just deal with it and please leave me alone.’ Brutal, I know.
Sidebar: I once had someone think that I closed a computer screen too fast and within hours, he had raised the point that something didn’t feel right and he didn’t feel good. Do you know what I did, because I had nothing to hide? I engaged him, we talked about his feelings, and then I gave him my password to my email account. On the spot. Without taking time to delete any messages. This? This is the behaviour of someone who does not have anything to hide.
– Finally, you will know. In your gut and in your heart, you will know. You always knew. The question is whether or not you choose to do something about it.
If you require further resources then you should start here:
There has been a massive influx of Know-It-All questions pertaining to cheating and infidelity. Reading and answering them, as was clearly illustrated in the last article Know-It-All: Karma sees you, baby, has taken a toll on me. For this reason, please note that I am placing a pause on writing about these matters for a while, because they make me feel dirty.