Though men bear the brunt of most cheating accusations, the truth is that the number of women who have reported being unfaithful has increased by 40 percent since 1990, according to Esther Perel, a psychoanalyst and author of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Yes, women are just as guilty of cheating—but unlike their male counterparts, they’re so good at maintaining a double-life that often times it’s almost impossible to tell an adulterous wife and a faithful one apart.
So if women can cover their tracks so well, then how are you supposed to tell whether your wife is cheating on you? Well, if you’re reading this article, then it’s safe to say that you already have your suspicions—but before you make any confrontations or come to any conclusions, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the subtle signs your wife is cheating on you and watch out for them in your relationship. So read on, and for more marriage advice, don’t miss the 40 Secrets of Couples Who’ve Been Married 40 Years.
She calls you by another name in bed.
Everyone has a Freudian slip every now and again, but this is one you’ll want to pay close attention to. If your wife keeps accidentally calling you another name in bed, it could mean that she’s either wishing you were someone else or is sleeping with someone else on the side, according to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and relationship expert at self-help website TONE Networks.
She doesn’t want you to do the laundry.
No wife will tell her husband not to do the laundry unless she has an ulterior motive. Often times, this odd request is directly related to infidelity, as the laundry could be hiding hidden signs of an affair (like receipts in pockets for romantic dinners you didn’t attend or a potential whiff of fragrance that isn’t yours). And if this describes your life, well, you may want to watch out for the 30 Things People Will Say if They Want to Cheat.
She doesn’t post pictures of you anymore.
If your wife is scrubbing her social media clean of any evidence of your relationship, it could be a sign that she’s actively hiding it in order to make herself look available, according to Bethany Ricciardi, a sex and relationship expert with adult website TooTimid. And that’s not the only thing you have to worry about online: Here are 20 Ways Social Media Stresses Us Out.
Her phone is always on silent.
If your wife is using her phone to communicate with her lover, then she is going to be sure to keep it on silent so as to avoid any questions about calls or texts. Think about it this way: You’re much less likely to be suspicious of your wife silencing her phone than you are of her ignoring it when it’s ringing off the hook.
She’s treating you more like a friend than a lover.
“If your interactions with your partner become less romantic and flirty, it’s a red flag,” says Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and dating coach. If you notice your wife no longer using words like “honey” or “babe” in conversation, for instance, Bennett notes that this may be because your wife is slowing pushing you back into the friend zone. And for ways to turn a fizzling relationship into a fiery one, try these 40 Best Date Ideas If You’re Over 40.
She’s staying late at work—often.
Be careful if your wife is allegedly spending extra hours at the office. Women will regularly tell their husbands that they’re working late as a cover-up for their adulterous after-hours affairs. And even if your partner is actually staying late at the office out of the blue, there still might be cause for concern, as it’s possible that she’s only staying longer to be closer to a coworker with whom she’s romantically involved.
She changed her passwords.
Most couples who have made it to the point of marriage trust one another enough to share passwords for personal accounts. So if out of nowhere your wife changes her passwords with some excuse about getting hacked, then it’s possible that there’s something on her accounts that she doesn’t want you to see (like sensual messages to people who aren’t you).
She’s overly curious about your whereabouts.
Women who are cheating need to know where their partners are at all times in order to plan their scandalous escapades accordingly. Otherwise, they run the risk of having their husbands walk in on them, ruining the charade they’ve worked so hard to build. And for tales on how the less fair gender has been caught, don’t miss these 17 Dumb Ways Men Have Been Busted Cheating.
She’s working out more.
“If your wife is cheating, she may take on an intensive workout regimen, though not in a New Year’s resolution type of way,” says Dr. Durvasula. Of course, if your wife has been talking about losing weight for months and is finally sticking to a strict regimen, this isn’t cause for concern. But if her interest in her appearance comes seemingly out of nowhere, it could be because she has someone new to impress.
She’s less upfront.
“When a relationship isn’t working out, you might find your partner is sharing less and less with you,” explains Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C, director of the Baltimore Therapy Center. “Sharing is a sign of closeness and connection—and when that deteriorates, it’s a sign that you are becoming more disconnected instead. Certainly if someone is cheating, you’re likely to get a lot of silence and obfuscation about what they’re actually doing with their time.”
She’s going into excessive detail about her excursions.
At the beginning of your marriage, you’d ask your wife about her day and she’d give you a pretty basic answer about work (or maybe the morning pilates class). Now, however, when you ask your wife about how her day went, she goes into overwhelming detail about what she ate for lunch, whom she talked to at work, and all the new projects she’s been assigned to. If it sounds like your wife is oversharing details to corroborate her story, chances are, she is.
She accuses you of cheating.
Ironically enough, an easy way to tell whether your wife is being loyal is by how often she accuses you of infidelity. People who are cheating on their significant others will project their guilt onto them, often in the form of the blame game. “These accusations are often a sign of self-guilt, and it also will put the blame on you, causing you to be on the defense and distracted from their actions,” says Ricciardi. “It’s quite manipulative… because they get so upset during the conversation, you start to think they hate cheating and would never do it to you, when in reality they might have [done it] already.”
Her relationship status disappeared.
If you click on your wife’s Facebook profile and notice that her relationship status has either changed or is just nowhere to be found, then it may be time to consider that the relationship is far from rock solid. Many women who are cheating use this tactic to signal to potential partners that they’re open to new relationships—good news for your wife’s Facebook friend list, but bad news for you. And for more ways on how people use the internet for infidelity, brush up on the 20 Social Media Habits That Are Technically Cheating.
She’s avoiding your friends.
Any woman hiding a secret as big as infidelity is going to distance herself as much as possible from her spouse and their inner circle. The more she hangs around the group, the more she risks slipping up and accidentally revealing something about her affair. Plus, if a woman is getting ready to leave her marriage for another man, she is going to want to work on creating a life that doesn’t involve her spouse or any of their friends and family.
She’s avoiding specific restaurants.
You suggest trying a new restaurant for date night, but instead of getting excited at the prospect of switching things up, your wife gets nervous and suggests staying in and cooking instead. What gives? According to Laura F. Dabney, MD, a psychotherapist and marriage expert, this could be because her and her new lover frequent the very restaurant you suggested, and she doesn’t want to risk getting recognized by the waitstaff.
She’s giving you gifts for no reason.
We all love getting presents from our significant others—but if your wife is gifting you expensive watches and Hamilton tickets out of the blue, she could just be trying to ease her own conscience. “It’s commonly known that gift-giving is a way to butter someone up when you’re feeling guilty about something,” explains Charlotte Rivers, a relationship expert. “So what could your wife be guilty of? Most likely: cheating.” And for more ways to spot trouble at home, read up on the 20 Subtle Signs You’re in a Bad Marriage and Don’t Know It.
She’s asking to try new things in the bedroom.
You probably don’t think twice when your wife asks to try new positions in the bedroom, but these new moves could be cause for concern. According to Don-David Lusterman, Ph.D., author of Infidelity: A Survival Guide, your wife has to be learning these new tricks from someone, and if that person isn’t you, then it’s more than likely that she is getting her inspiration from another man.
She says she’s unhappy.
Listen to your wife when she tells you that she’s not happy. According to a poll of 544 cheating adults by the National Opinion Research Center, women who said they were “not too happy” in their marriages were almost four times more likely to cheat compared to women who described themselves as “very happy” in their marriages. Plus, nearly half of the women polled believed that an affair is acceptable if the marriage is unhappy. If you need help correcting course, start with the 50 Relationship Quotes to Reignite Your Love.
She’s paying more attention to her appearance.
It’s nice to imagine that your wife is gussying up to re-spark the fire in your relationship, but if you’ve been having problems for a while, then that’s probably just wishful thinking. The more likely scenario is that your significant other has found someone else to court and wants to look good during the delicate, beginning stages of this new relationship.
“If your partner previously cared little about her appearance but has made big changes out of the blue—like buying new clothes or wearing makeup more often—it could indicate an effort to impress another person,” says Bennett. And if you want to spruce up your appearance, try these 15 Genius Tricks for Appearing More Attractive.
She’s ignoring you.
A cheater might be able to keep up the charade of a happy marriage (at least for a while), but it’s much more difficult for them to erase thoughts of their lover, even when they’re with their significant other. “It’s not a good sign when you’re talking about the back deck wood rot and your wife has a dreamy look in her eyes,” says Dabney. “This probably means that instead of paying attention to you, she’s thinking about her new flame.”
You’re spending more time apart.
According to a study conducted by David C. Atkins, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Travis Research Institute, one of the early warning signs of an affair is spending ample time apart. Evidently, the husbands of women who cheated noted that they didn’t think they needed to put in as much effort after tying the knot, which led to their wives wandering off with someone who was willing to pick up the slack.
She talks about cheating… a lot.
Your wife might not come out and tell you directly that she’s having an affair, but if you know how to read between the lines, her words could be an indication that something not-so-kosher is happening behind the scenes. As thoughts of infidelity will certainly cloud her mind, she might say things like “What are your thoughts on an open relationship?” or “Did I tell you that Tina at work is cheating on her husband?” And while these aren’t upfront admissions of wrongdoings, they are signs that your wife has other people on the mind.
She gets mad at you about everything.
Even people who love one another are going to fight sometimes, but usually those fights are over something that’s actually important. Partners who are mostly checked out of their relationship, however, might find that every little thing their significant other does is beyond abhorrent, leading to little fights that make no sense to the partner on the receiving end of the scrutiny. “[When my partner was cheating on me], everything I did was wrong or awful or stupid and I was the crazy one,” wrote one Reddit user. And for ways to rekindle a dying romance, try the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.
She insists on taking solo trips.
Normally, you and your wife go grocery shopping together every Sunday, but recently she’s been making excuses as to why she needs to go alone. Maybe one day it’s something about getting her nails done and another it’s something about meeting a friend for lunch—but whatever it is, it doesn’t involve you whatsoever. If you’re suspicious of your wife’s whereabouts during these solo trips, simply insist on tagging along one day to see what your wife is actually up to.
She’s getting mysterious phone calls.
Sure, those mysterious phone calls could be spam—but if they were just solicitors like your wife claims, then why does she keep answering them and going outside to talk?
She’s grooming more.
If your wife is going to the salon to get her eyebrows and bikini line cleaned up all of a sudden, then it might be worth considering that she’s not doing this for your benefit. Women aren’t going to just start caring about their appearance out of nowhere—usually there’s a reason, and more often than not, that reason is a new romantic interest.
She’s not flirting via text.
“If your wife’s messages have lost that loving touch, then her attention might be going toward someone else,” says Justin Lavelle, chief communications director at background search website PeopleLooker.com. “Most women want to make their man feel special and loved, so if conversations don’t feel the same as they did when you started dating, it could be a sign that she’s lost her interest in you.”
She’s not confiding in you.
A good spouse is your lover, your best friend, and your go-to confidante in both the good times and the bad. So if you find that your wife is confiding in you less and less, it likely means that she has replaced you with someone else—and not just in the confidante department. And to avoid making your bad relationship worse, never use any of these 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.
She suddenly has an STD.
If you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and your wife somehow gets one, it’s safe to assume that she got it by hooking up with someone else. “There are some big ticket physical ways to tell if someone is cheating, like if they get a sexually transmitted infection and you don’t have one,” says Ramani.
She’s hanging out with her single friends more.
Misery loves company—so if your wife is seriously considering cheating on you (or already has), then she’s going to want her single pals by her side, not her bogged-down friends who are going to lecture her ear off about the sanctity of marriage.
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