Has Your Marriage Sprung a Leak?
So, you meet Mr. Wonderful, get swept away by his charm and charisma and enjoy a whirlwind courtship filled with love and passion. You profess your undying love and affection for each other, decide to move your relationship to the next level and tie the proverbial knot. Then you see signs that the proverbial knot wasn’t properly “dressed”. Anyone who was a boy scout, sails, rock climbs or who has a general concern about being able to restrain serial killers (hey, you can never be too safe) knows that an improperly “dressed” knot can lead to excessive stress and rubbing, which will gradually cause the knot to weaken and fail or slip, if you will. After committing to a life and building a family with said, Mr. Wonderful, you can’t imagine that your loving and devoted husband who you thought was secured with a double fisherman knot, was really only bound with a shoddy slipknot, but should probably have been secured with a constrictor knot which will never slip and needs to be cut to loosen it. For those who I’ve lost in the figurative language… you think your husband is cheating!
Looking for signs of an affair is complicated, and no clues or signs are foolproof, but there are some that should definitely make you raise an eyebrow and if many signs are present, you should probably pay really close attention because you may either want to batten down the hatches (tighten up your marriage) or abandon ship. Here are a few hints that your relationship may have sprung a leak in the ballast tank:
He’s suddenly paying more attention to personal grooming and dressing better: If your husband who normally rocks a five-o’clock shadow all weekend long and chills in sweats or basketball shorts is suddenly waging an obsessive, all-out war against unwanted facial hair and taking your daughter to dance class wearing a sports jacket… your hackles should be raised! Your bowline knot may not be properly dressed. If your hubby has all of a sudden turned into a new millennium man, gotten a new haircut and has his shoes shined every time he wears them, you may be quite thrilled that he’s finally listening to your style advice but be mindful that he could be trying to impress someone other than you.
He’s has a new favorite clothing item: When you and your husband first started dating, you thought it was adorable that he often wore a particular cashmere sweater for you simply because you told him you loved the way it accented his broad shoulders and that the color brought out the color of his eyes. If he has a new fav sweater or new pair of shoes that has nothing to do with your date nights, it could be something that a girlfriend has bought him. Of course, none of these sign may mean anything, other than he’s turned over a new leaf, but the clues could be piling up and you may need to pay closer attention because your grinner knot may not be properly dressed.
The details are fuzzy: Your husband is suddenly prone to hanging out after work with random “guys” or random “people from work” who have no names. Your husband who can remember his seat number from the Super Bowl XXI Giants vs. Broncos game in 1987 but is is amazingly having a hard time remembering where he and “the fellas” stopped for dinner last night your square knot is definitely slipping! Getting details should not be like pulling teeth and this is almost certainly a sign that he’s being dishonest, especially if the details keep changing every time you ask.
He is being clandestine: If your dude starts leaving the room to take calls or letting calls go to voicemail instead of answering them in front of you and the phone is locked whereas it wasn’t before… there is a problem. If your guy fabricates an excuse why you should have separate cell phone accounts or has asked for a de-itemized bill on a joint account… there is a problem. If you mysteriously get de-friended from Facebook or he changes all his email passwords, he may be hiding an affair. If you find yourself wondering why he is so secretive, then you may need to start asking questions because it appears that your anchor bend knot is definitely slipping.
He’s restless and preoccupied: You and your husband used to be attached at the hip but now he has no interest in going out and doing things with you. Date nights keep getting rescheduled or straight up cancelled and he seems restless and preoccupied at home and leaves suddenly to “take care of something” at random intervals. Your husband is showing classic signs of thinking of his new fling. Your timber hitch knot has been improperly dressed for a long time and it’s slipped for sure. Of course his behavior could be related to stress at work but it could very well be related to an affair.
He’s withdrawing and the sex is different: Does your husband still hold your hand? Does he initiate physical contact between you? Does he retreat when you initiate contact? If the answer to these simple questions is yes, then you need to batten down the hatches, a storm is brewing! He may have withdrawn emotionally as well, retreating from conversations and leaving you feeling like you can’t connect with him anymore. If you’re still having sex, it may be briefer and less fulfilling OR his new fling may have him feeling like a sexier, turned- up version of himself and he may be more adventurous and passionate in bed! Perhaps he’s learned a new trick or two! Ok, Cookie, once you get past your husband’s new prowess and uncurl your toes, you may want to question where or from whom he has been receiving instruction. By this time your relationship may be, sadly, adrift at sea.
Stem to stern check: None of these clues or hints are definitive proof that your husband is cheating. But I always say that a woman’s intuition (and a little creative research) is an amazing tool! If you vibe that there is a problem with infidelity it is very likely that your instincts are absolutely correct, right on point and dead on. (If you don’t trust your instincts a good private investigator is an amazing tool as well.) Finding out that your spouse is cheating is painful and way difficult but imagine how much worse it would be if you were totally unaware of the situation. Mind you, not every man behaves the same way when he cheats and there is no strict formula to this and you may be able to salvage your marriage if you move swiftly… and of course if reconciling after an affair is something that you can live with. Furthermore, I have no answers, as every relationship is different and exists on its own set of standards, expectations and criteria. It is up to you to make decisions that you can live with.