Unemployment puts strain on a marriage and can make a man feel vulnerable, especially if the job was important to him and defined his identity. When a man doesn't feel so good about himself, he may boost his self-esteem through an affair.
You're watching TV; he's on the computer. You go to bed; he stays up late. You're in the same house but not really together. If a man is organizing his life to spend less time with you, it doesn't really matter whether he has met someone. Behavior like this signals a distance that becomes a breeding ground for infidelity.
Perhaps he doesn't cuddle with you in bed anymore. Or he comes to bed fully dressed when he once slept nude. These are all ways of disconnecting and may indicate he is getting his intimacy somewhere else.
Check his computer's browser history once in a while to see where he's been. A new and secretive email account would be a red flag. A new email account doesn't necessarily mean your significant other is having an affair; but it becomes more likely if he is not willing to share the content of the account with you.
Lastly, beware of new cell phone habits. For example, he suddenly gets a new phone with a password lock. Or perhaps now he keeps his cell phone in his pocket when in the past he would leave it on the counter. Or maybe he used to make calls and send texts while you were around, but now excuses himself each time the phone rings.
If your suspicions have been confirmed - and it turns out he is (or has been) cheating, we turned to some experts for advice on how to deal.
65 percent of unfaithful couples end up remaining together.
The first step in dealing with infidelity is to recognize whether your relationship should be salvaged, explains relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle. "65 percent of unfaithful couples end up remaining together," she says, adding that with the right help, their relationships can become stronger than they ever were. But getting there requires commitment and help from a therapist. Though devastating, Carle explains that cheating can actually be a blessing in disguise. "I contend that cheating is the best thing to happen to a shaky relationship because finally, a couple will be shaken enough to decide either to mend their love or end their love," she says.
Dr. Sharon Rivkin, MA, MFT and author of Breaking the Argument Cycle: How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy, also advocates getting professional help (if you've decided to remain in the relationship), but also suggests looking at the patterns of behavior and argument frequency that set the relationship up for an affair in the first place. "When you start getting to the root of the affair, clarity sets in, and you can decide if you want to stay or leave. But until you really address these questions, it could happen again," she says.
Ultimately, how you deal with a cheating partner is up to you, but do something - don't just let the situation hang in the air without resolution of some kind.
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