Husbands are more often suspected of cheating than wives, yet a surprising number of women have affairs. If you’re wondering if your wife is having an affair, you are not alone.
Here are several signs of a cheating wife, plus a short “infidelity quiz” that helps husbands objectively assess their wives’ behavior. I found the quiz on the Focus on the Family website; the link is below.
One of the most important clues your wife may be having an affair is how “clean” she is when she comes home. In 11 Common Signs of Cheating – Wisdom After the Affair, I describe how I thought the most common indication was when a cheating spouse came home smelling of a fresh shower, soap, and shampoo. After all, most cheaters clean up afterwards, right? Wrong. According to one book, some cheating wives and husbands will go home smelling unusual, such as of incense, mildew, grass, mouthwash.
Is your wife having an affair? The best way to find out is to talk to her. You don’t need to hire a private detective or look through her phone, unless you’re certain she’s lying to you. What makes you think she’s cheating on your marriage? Talk to her about your feelings, thoughts, and gut instincts.
And, don’t give up hope in your marriage! Yes, learning how to rebuild trust after an affair is hard work. And even if you decide you want to recommit to each other, there are no guarantees it’ll work out. When Yoko Ono said “marriage is a gamble,” she wasn’t kidding!
You can marry someone you think is perfectly suited to you…but people change. I bet you never thought you’d be asking if your wife is having an affair, or looking for signs of cheating. But, for better or worse, nothing stays the same. Not your marriage, not your wife, and not even you.
5 Signs Your Wife Might Be Cheating
I can’t tell you if your wife is having an affair, but I can share these signs of cheating. I found them from a variety of places: newspapers, magazines, blogs, and my own experience. I hope you find this helpful. It probably won’t answer all your questions – nor will it give you a definitive answer about whether your wife is having a relationship with another man, but it might at the very least show you that you’re not alone.
1. Emotional distance
Probably the biggest sign of cheating is emotional coldness, distance, and isolation. Women generally like to connect and talk to their partners. If your wife is distant emotionally, then she probably doesn’t feel connected to you. And if she doesn’t feel connected to you – her husband – then she may be filling her relationship needs with another man.
2. Secretive, unusual or unexplained behavior
This sign of an affair is to help wives know if their husbands are cheating, but it could equally apply to men who think their wives are having an affair:
“Anything that can be characterized as secretive, unusual or unexplained—or any behavior that has suddenly and inexplicably changed—could signify that he’s hiding something. “If your partner becomes elusive about his whereabouts, something’s probably going on,” says Tony DeLorenzo, owner of All State Investigations and coauthor of Warning Signs: How to Know If Your Partner Is Cheating—and What To Do About It.
Other indicators that something’s amiss? “The computer screen changing when you walk into the room, hushed telephone conversations or calls taken outside, strange body language when in the company of the new gal at work, reluctance to take you places with him and his friends, and general unexplained behavior that feels suspicious, are all clues that your partner is straying.” – from Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair.
3. Lack of physical intimacy
This could be a sign your wife is having an affair. But, sometimes women don’t feel like being physically intimate for a wide variety of reasons: hormones, self-esteem, work stress, family responsibilities, depression, menopause, emotional disconnection, etc. I wouldn’t list lack of sex as the number one sign of cheating – but it really depends on your marriage.
4. Your reason for asking, “is my wife having an affair?”
Perhaps one of the most telling signs of cheating is your own gut instincts. Why are you asking if your wife is having an affair? You may be picking up on signs, clues, and hints in her behavior, words, and actions. It’s possible that you already know if she’s cheating on you with another man…but you don’t want to admit it.
5. An obsessive need for privacy
This sign of cheating is from Anne Bercht, author of My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me:
“Another sign of infidelity was an obsessive need for ‘private ness’ and staying up late at night to work on the computer. When confronted with his excessive late night hours in front of the monitor, one cheater responded “it’s none of your business. I’m entitled to my privacy.” This is a typical response of an unfaithful spouse. Unfortunately the internet has opened up a whole new way to infidelity.
When your spouse suddenly needs a private email or bank account (which they become highly defensive about maintaining) there is a good chance that they are hiding something, and that something is probably marital infidelity. Hiding credit card statements and phone bills are also among the signs of infidelity.”
A Short Infidelity Quiz
If your wife does several or all of these behaviors, your marriage may be in danger of an affair:
- Avoids eye contact with you.
- Talks continually about the unknowns of the future.
- Shows an increased disinterest in the topic of sex.
- Makes excuses for not spending time alone with you.
- Acts unusually guilty when you do something nice for him/her.
- Quits complimenting you on your physical attractiveness.
- Stops saying, “I love you” and even acts rudely to you.
- Starts buying you gifts to ease his or her guilt.
This infidelity quiz was from Warning Signs of an Affair, on the Focus on the Family website.
Now you tell me: is your wife having an affair? It’s important to remember that none of these signs of cheating is absolute evidence your wife is involved with another man. What’s the best way to know for sure? Ask your wife if she’s having an affair. Read books, such as Surviving an Affair below, about what people say when they’re denying that they’re cheating in marriage. Talk to a marriage counselor, get help with your next steps.
If you’re still wondering if your wife is having an affair, read 9 Ways to Know if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating.
Surviving an Affair
In Surviving an Affair, Willard F. Jr. Harley and Jennifer Harley Chalmers describe the most common types of affairs, the reasons they begin and end, the best way to end cheating in marriage, and how to restore a relationship after an affair.
Most importantly, they’ll help you survive the pain of finding out your wife is cheating. These authors offer step-by-step guidance through infidelity, to help minimize suffering and offer hope for rebuilding a loving and trusting relationship.
How do are you doing? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. You may find it helpful to share your experience; writing can be a great way to untangle your feelings and figure out how to proceed.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.