How To Tell If He's Cheating On You

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I know, I know, this topic has been done to death, but I’m not talking about that tell-tale lipstick stain on his collar (has anyone ever actually seen this? I think it’s an urban legend, personally, like Big Foot). Nope, I’m talking about those other signs we see and the best signaling device we have: our hearts (women’s intuition, gut feeling, instinct, call it what you will).

Cheating takes two things (well, not counting the physical bits and pieces of the parties involved): time and money. So if your honey is suddenly working late (yep, tired excuse, but tried and true) and there’s not a corresponding bump in pay, you may be correct in wondering what is bumping what. Is he spending more time with “friends”? Going out of town on “business”? Actually, any change in the routine is not likely a good sign. Oh sure, in the movies, he’s sneaking about learning your family tree or scouring antique shops for that brooch that reminds you of your beloved granny, but in real life? Hmph. Not so much.

And just where did all that money go? Rifling wallets for receipts, thankfully, is a thing of the past; just log on to your bank account, and look at where that money’s going. Jewelry and sex shop purchases? But you’ve been gifted with no new teddy or furry handcuffs? Something’s afoot. Tell me again why you need that second cell phone, Schnookums? Lunch and dinner charges doubled? Not a good sign. Other things that might suddenly pry your honey’s miserly fingers free from their death grip on household finances are self-improvements that come out of the blue. Now if his best friend drops dead of a heart attack, and he begins to take interest in his health, joins a gym, etc., that’s one thing. However, if he’s been a slovenly (if lovable) slob for years and suddenly he’s primping and preening, buying new clothes (particularly if *you* didn’t pick them out), working out, etc., I say wonder. And wonder hard.

Okay, cheating actually takes three things (still not counting those bits and pieces, except as the parts equal the whole): a partner. One of the “best” places for married and attached men to find sex easily is on Craig’s List. Going on there is not for the faint of heart, either, you’ll be barraged by gross and quite lewd ads by gross and quite lewd lads eager to find sex. Men apparently think that their penis is unrecognizable because this is the thing that is most often posted by randy rovers. They are afraid to post their face because what if wifey happens upon it? I find this rather remarkable given that most men seem to prize their penis as unique and quite fabulous, but they simultaneously think that posting a close up of it will maintain their anonymity. I’m waiting for some enterprising woman to devise an online penis gallery of publicly posted peni. Women can browse through like a police line up . . . oh my god, that’s my husband!

Prowling cheaters don’t need to rely on Craig’s List of course, and any single woman who has joined a dating site can well attest to the fact that they are crawling with prowling marrieds. Work is another likely hunting ground, but men aren’t that picky, it seems, in their choice of illicit partners, so watch out for that cute kid at the gas station and the neighbor whose hubby travels a lot.

A note on the role of the woman sexing up your guy: she didn’t make a commitment to you, he did. He’s the rat dog, not her. She may not even know he’s married. And even if she does, she’s not married to you, he is. Of course, if she’s your best friend, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, et al, that’s a problem of a different sort, but he’s still at fault, too.

Oops, cheating really actually takes four things (get those bits and pieces out of here, will ya?): attention. He’s not taking your calls as he once did, or he’s breathless and hurried during conversations. He gets a dreamy expression on his face while you’re eating leftover meatloaf (unless he’s a real fan of meatloaf, chances are he’s not thinking about you). He’s online all the time, and he doesn’t work in a profession that demands this (and if he does, the hours he spends online have increased; see above on time).

And of course there’s the usual laundry list: he comes home smelling all clean and Irish Spring fresh when he claims he’s been sitting in a hot car for hours (and your dainty skin can only take Ivory, so that’s all you buy for your home); his attitude toward you changes dramatically (he’s snippy and distant and dissatisfied or he’s loving and horny and comes home bearing gifts); hang up calls; he’s suddenly using phrases and slang that he’s never used before (he’s picking that up somewhere); he’s taken up new interests in music or movies or games (or whatever); general sneakiness; women’s jewelry, underwear, or even hair found in the car or on his person (some women find other women’s panties in their marital bed, this is not good and probably indicates some sort of cheating); he calls you by someone else’s name (and it doesn’t have to be during sex, either, see above on attention); cat hairs pepper his slacks and jacket, and you don’t have a cat. In fact, you’re allergic to cats; and the number one sign that your man is cheating . . . you just know it. Trust that.

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8 thoughts on “How To Tell If He's Cheating On You

  1. The problem is you just know it, but you don’t want to believe in it. You even find an excuse for him, while he doesn’t see it as your kindness but calls it your weakness

  2. What is your motivation to write this generalization?
    I’m certainly not approving of that behavior but it still takes two to tango and you too quickly write off the other woman as innocent. In todays world a roll reversal is quite probable. Are you still going to put all the blame on the man?
    Any of the things you mention can have a legitimate reason for happening. Enough little things can make one suspect and to want to look into it further. But none are enough in themselves to convict. And if the accused is found innocent how can you repair the relationship that may be permanently damaged from your accusations. These are murky waters and should be navigated carefully and without prejudice.

  3. Murky indeed. I don’t know if I necessarily believe in the notion that we must be with one person for the rest of our lifetime. Friendships certainly run their course, I think relationships do so as well? Mostly all animal species move on to other partners… we are animals as well, why should it be any different? Is a lifetime too much of a promise to keep? Society defines the norm, defines what is expected of us… what if “to death do us part” is too much to expect?

    Society defines that norm because the result would be utter chaos… Soddom and Gomorrah. Infidelity breeds disease, jealousy, physical harm, illegitimate children, on and on.

    But there are polygamists who make it work, who take care of one another. And those who believe statutory rape is an ok practice amongst their group.

    What about these sheiks with their harems? Biblical stories of Jacob and his 12 wives, an unmarried woman becoming impregnated with our Saviour? There is so much contradiction… what IS right??

  4. Too true, Khanh, too true! (and so nice to see you, too :))

    Hey Heyman, to answer your question, yes, if a woman is cheating on her husband, she is the one to blame, period. She made the commitment to him. It takes two to tango, but when I enter a relationship and make a commitment, the onus is on me and only me to keep that commitment (except in instances of rape, of course). Murky or not, men cheat, and these are some of the signs that I’ve seen personally. You are right, though, that some of them could be perfectly innocent, the bottom line is in the knowing, and I think we do know. But as Khanh points out, we may not want to.

    If there is an open relationship of any kind, Wendy, then there is no cheating. I’m talking about someone who is in a monogamous relationship, not someone engaging in polygamy or a hedonistic lifestyle. That’s a choice, and I think that people can make that for themselves, but they can’t make that for someone else. There are plenty of people who don’t mind if their mates cheat; I’m not one of them, so it’s not right for me.

  5. The real issue seems to be not whether monogamy is right, wrong or indifferent but rather what is the value of commitment by the marriage vow. To me either you are or you aren’t committed. The cheater is wrong.

  6. Heyman, I don’t disagree with you… cheating is wrong. I just don’t know if I agree that a lifelong commitment is possible. I mean, what else on earth do you make a commitment to for your entire life? Not your job, not your children, not your friends, not your govermnent… yet we are expected to make a pledge our entire life to one person?

    I truly believe that if cheating occurs, there is a reason behind it. And that reason is that the person no longer feels committed to the relationship for whatever reason.

    Disappointment happens in every aspect of our lives. In our jobs we look to find other employment, with friends we look for others, we may get tired of where we live and move, we don’t like a particular establishment we frequent so we find someplace else… I just don’t know if total and utter commitment for an entire lifetime is possible with anything?!

  7. That’s a topic for another blog, Heyman! (ooh, now that’s an idea)

    Wendy, that’s a blog topic if ever I heard one; you should so write about the realistic aspects of monogamy. For some people, it’s truly impossible for a host of reasons, while for others anything less is . . . well, less. You are too funny, too, on the way that we (humans) tend to always be on the lookout for something better and in all areas of our lives, so why not mates? (gah! can’t believe I just said that)

  8. I’m a “soon to be” divorcee. I was truly in love with and devoted to the man I married. And at the time I made my vows, I truly did believe in them and believed in making a lifetime commitment; I was 24, he was 30. I was commited to the man I married at that time, and he to me. 20 years passed and we had our 2 children and in that time, many changes occurred in us, in our personalities, in our personal goals and expectations… over time, we weren’t the same people who we married, I no longer wanted to be commited to this person who had changed. So, did I quit? Did reneg on my vows? Maybe it’s my denial, but I don’t believe so. My son is a rather religious person and reminds us that we mad a promise to God… do I still love, honor and cherish him? Yes, I do. I just cannot be his wife.

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