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Cheating In Relationships:
Should You Be Worried?
heating in relationships is far more often suspected than proven. Why? Because it's difficult to determine conclusively.
- If you walk in on her and someone else in bed together, that's conclusive proof.
- And if you suddenly come down with a venereal disease and you haven't strayed, then that's also pretty much a slam dunk.
Fighting can be a
symptom of cheating
But rarely will life deliver you such clarity in matters involving her fidelity. For example, unless you catch her red-handed, she won't admit it. Instead, she'll "cause a drama" to punish you for raising the topic and to lessen the chance that you raise that issue again the next time.
"I can't believe you don't trust me! How can you think so low of me? Are you calling me a slut? If that's all you think of me, them maybe you and I shouldn't be together any more! Maybe I should just find someone new who isn't insanely jealous!"
Let's examine that response:
- She gets agitated, yells and screams. Why? Because most guys just don't know how to handle "drama" (i.e. screaming women), and therefore they'll simply cave in. (You may have seen a similar dynamic when insecure parents let their toddler get his way when he throws a temper tantrum in the supermarket).
- She makes you the bad guy for impugning her virtue and also for being "insanely jealous", thereby deflecting the discussion away from the topic of her possibly having cheated on you.
- She threatens to leave you (translation = cut you off from sex) for having made the accusation. Most shy guys will almost always back down in response to this tactic, as they don't want to take the risk that it might be months or even years before they can get another woman into bed.
“… as they sometimes say in football, 'the best defense is a good offense'
As they sometimes say in football, "the best defense is a good offense".
And that will be her tactic: to turn on you. But notice what she did not say: "I didn't cheat on you".
It's enough to cause a drama and threaten to cut off sexual access to you (and to give it to someone else). She need not actually deny that she cheated.
It's the same tactic that politicians are fond of when they're accused of doing something dastardly and they don't yet know whether the other side can actually prove it:
"I will not dignify such an outrageous accusation with an answer!"
But what are some examples
of circumstantial evidence which
point to cheating in relationships?
The most common one is sudden changes in her, especially those involving sex. If you previously had been having sex every couple of days and all of a sudden she starts coming up with lame excuses to avoid sex night after night, that often (but not always) means that she's started fooling around with someone new.
This can involve:
- The classic tactic of her "getting headaches at bedtime"
- Her being "too tired" for sex after her exhausting day at the office, or
- She picks a fight (causes drama) not long before bedtime each evening.
But one way or another, you'll go many days without having sex.
Signs of a woman
If you've been together for a long time, the frequency of having sex will tend to decline over time anyway, even in the complete absence of cheating by either party (chalk it up to boredom). So getting it less often is not the red flag here
it's the sudden reduction in sexual frequency that's the more telling clue.
But other sudden changes can also be signs that she's either cheating or is planning to do so soon. Has she suddenly started working out? Has she suddenly changed her look significantly? Have her hours suddenly changed significantly?
Any of those can be red flags. But none of them proves for certain that she's cheated on you (nor will she admit it if she has cheated on you). They just raise suspicions.
So what's a fellow to do when he becomes suspicious of cheating in relationships? Hire a private investigator to follow her? Check her phone messages and go through her purse when she's in the shower? Put a key logger on her computer?
Our advice is to do
none of those things
All you can be certain of is how she treats you when you and she are together. If she treats you well, keep her and don't interrogate her about what she does when you're not around. But if she treats you badly, exit the relationship.
For example, if she starts picking a fight every night just before bedtime (to get out of having sex with you), it doesn't really matter whether she's doing someone else or not. What matters is that she's treating you badly. And that's as much as you need to know to make the right decision.
“… what matters is that she's treating you badly …”
So ultimately there's no benefit (and ample detriment) to worrying about cheating in relationships. So focus instead on how well she treats you and how much you actually enjoy being with her. If she passes that test, then don't sweat the small stuff.
And in the grand scheme of things, cheating in relationships really is small stuff. Focus on the fun and not the downside.
If you're looking to learn more about lying or cheating in relationships or for advice on other aspects of your relationships, please continue to our main
Relationship Advice For Men page.