As a prominent Chicago divorce and custody attorney, the topic of infidelity is always arising lately due primarily to the accessibility of social media and dating apps.  As a result, the growing number of men and women in this country who have been caught cheating has exponentially increased.

In this article, I will break down the key signs that will help you recognize the signs of a cheating significant other. Once you discover cheating, it is essential that you meet with an attorney to determine your rights and protect your assets and family. This step is crucial even if you have determined that you want to attend marriage counseling, try to save your marriage and work on your relationship. As you already know, it is better to be safe than sorry.

After all, red flags are a blessing in disguise. They are a neon signal to your logical mind that something is amiss. It is an opportunity to prepare and strategize. Even if you decide not to leave at this particular juncture, knowing your rights is the first step to reclaiming your independence and self-esteem.

Here are some red flags…

  1. The Blame Game

    Psychological projection is a really strange human behavior in which a person ascribes flaws to others that they deny possessing themselves. 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 untrustworthy themselves and are paranoid that you will do the same. Make sense?

    So here’s the bottom line: sometimes what our spouses accuse us of doing (even though it is totally false), is actually a guilty conscience reflecting itself onto others.  So beware the one who blames, for he or she is probably up to no good.

  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 from your spouse, you might want to be a little cautious. After all, as the saying goes, players only love you when they’re playing.

  3. He or She’s Always Out and About…But Not With You

    If he or she seems to be working unusually long hours, hanging out more with friends, or is just harder to get a hold of when he or she is out of the house, then he or she could be cheating. And if you pay close enough attention, you might even start to notice that unusual 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 to meet up with each other. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any kind of repetitions in odd behaviors when it comes to your guy leaving the house and don’t let him or her think that their lack of presence is going unnoticed!

  4. What? No Kiss?

     It is no big secret that after being in a relationship for a while, emotions and affection have waned. And for some, they only have so much emotion to give in a day before they just completely run out and plop in front of the TV for some alone time. So 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 or she 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 deal with. 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 with your spouse, try talking about it. If he or she won’t talk, you may want to start doing some detective work on your own.

  5. iCheat

    Oh, the joys of modern-day technology. By gracing humankind with a whole new avenue through which we can cheat on each other (just check out AshleyMadison.com—ew), mobile devices have also cursed those of us who aren’t cheating with a whole new set of problems to worry about.

    If your spouse is suddenly skittish about his or her cell-phone or sneaky with his laptop, that is not a good sign. Between e-mails, texting, and Skype, the opportunities 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 or she’s acting suspicious around his mobile devices for a reason, then go through them when he’s not looking. I know, I know, it’s dishonest and sneaky to look through someone else’s personal belongings, blah blah blah. But come on, you know that if there is something going on behind your back that there will most likely be evidence of it in there. So look.

  6. What’s Wrong, Honey? Cat Got Your Tongue?
  7. 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 or she has been or who he or she told you he or she was spending time with, then you need to brace yourself for the fact that he/she 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/her whereabouts…RUN. The lies will only become bigger and more messed up if you stick around. Have some dignity and get the hell away from the crazy, cheating, liar you are tying yourself to.

  8. Fresh duds? New Hair? Red Flag

    If your spouse who used to barely give himself/herself a second look in the mirror and never gave a thought to if he/she walked out of the house with mismatched socks has suddenly taken a keen interest in his 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, plastic surgery, grooming themselves more frequently, etc because they are preparing themselves for the dating market.

    Should your partner make any kind of major lifestyle change, whether it is in eating habits or in attire, beware and don’t let it go unnoticed! Ask “Why the sudden change?” and show him or her that you are not as obtuse as they may think.

  9. 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 fishy is up with your spouse, then there probably is something fishy. Our intuitions don’t lie. People do. Period.

    If you’re your spidey sense is going off after reading this article, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to determine your legal rights and find out pragmatic ways to protect yourself, your children and your money. Contact our Divorce law firm, Corri Fetman & Associates, Ltd. at (312) 341-0900 or use our contact form to book a free 10 minute consultation. Our firm practices divorce, matrimonial, custody and family law in Cook County, DuPage County and Winnebago County.