It seems like every other week another bigwig is torn apart on the national stage after being caught red-handed having what I like to call "sideage." The list is infinitely long and no one seems exempt no matter how gorgeous, intelligent or rich. Tiger Woods, General Petraeus, Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, Kristen Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Meg Ryan and Leann Rimes -- to name a few.
It is amazing to me how many people ignore the telltale signs only to learn that the person they shared a bed, their body and innermost dreams and secrets with has instantaneously become a "frenemy." I cannot tell you how many of my friends and clients wish they paid attention to the cheating red flags and ended the relationship sooner. After all, it is far more satisfying to discover the indiscretion yourself and devise an exit plan than to be caught off guard, deceived and dumped.
But since we obviously do not live in a perfect world (far from it!) and you are probably overwhelmed with everyday stresses, allow me to assist you in decoding the most common signs of a cheater. Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to determine whether or not you need to take steps to improve your life.
1. The Blame Game
Psychological projection is a really strange human behavior in which a person ascribes flaws to others that they deny possessing. As a result of this twisted reverse psychology, projection also happens to be a great indicator of cheating in a relationship.
For example, if your significant other is all of the sudden accusing you of sneaking around or being untrustworthy, it is probably because they are being deceitful themselves and are paranoid that you will do the same. Make sense?
2. Laying It On Thick
One way cheaters love to hide their lies is to shower those they are lying to with sweet, buttery love and affection. But underneath that unusually gooey-love exterior is oftentimes a hard, cheating core.
So if you have been noticing an extra influx of exceedingly sweet affection and thoughtful gifts, you might want to be a little cautious.
3. Social or Work Patterns Have Suddenly Changed
If he or she seems to be working unusually long hours, hanging out more with friends, or harder to get a hold of with unusually long, drawn-out explanations for such patterns, it may be a sign. And if you pay close enough attention, you might even start to notice the absences are taking on a pattern.
Most people who are in the midst of secret relationships will often start altering their schedules to match those of their elicit lovers and will unknowingly start forming routines for such trysts. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any kind of repetitions in odd behaviors coupled with incredulous explanations.
4. What? No Kiss?
If you notice that your usually smiley, touchy-feely, spouse is now coming home at the end of the day without giving you your usual "welcome home" kiss, he might have already been giving a little somethin' somethin' to somebody else right before.
Emotional disconnect can often be one of the most painful signs of cheating to handle. Where there was once passion and camaraderie, there is now a deafening silence that is unbearable and hurtful. If you find yourself in this situation, consider doing some detective work on your own. Voicemail, computer spyware, Skype, social media, credit card statements, bank statements and emails are a great starting point.
Oh, the joys of modern-day technology. By gracing humankind with a whole new avenue through which people can cheat on each other (just check out AshleyMadison.com and sugarsugar.com), the opportunities for him or her to be fooling around with someone else via technology are endless.
My advice? If that little voice inside your head is telling you that he's acting suspicious around mobile devices and goes to unusual lengths to hide it from you, then you have reason to investigate further. What is the worst thing that could happen? You are wrong.
6. What's Wrong, Honey? Cat Got Your Tongue?
People have trouble keeping their lies straight when they are busy weaving tangled webs of deceit. If you notice that your significant other is starting to backtrack on where he has been or who he told you he was spending time with, then you need to brace yourself for the fact that he is most likely lying to you.
And if you do happen to come across actual proof that he has been lying to you about his whereabouts... RUN. The lies will only become bigger if you stick around.
7. Ditching Flannels For Lingerie? Red Flag
If your woman used to lie around the house in sweats and sleep in granny flannels and has suddenly taken a keen interest in her designer wardrobe and physique, then something is definitely brewing.
The truth is simple, when one half of a couple is thinking about leaving the other, they suddenly become interested in things like losing weight, dressing nicely, grooming, etc. because they are preparing themselves for the dating market or, worse yet... a new boy toy lover.
Should your partner make any kind of major lifestyle change, whether it is in eating habits or in attire, beware.
8. Gut Check
It is so strange to me how many people these days refuse to listen to their natural intuition. What could be more reliable than our own deep-rooted, innate sensibilities? This is why I always say that if you just can't shake the feeling that something is awry, then it probably is. Our intuitions don't lie. People do. Period.