Afraid your husband is cheating on you?
It’s a terrible feeling, but you’re not alone.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 16 signs that your husband has been cheating on you.
In fact, if you suspect your husband is feeling guilty about cheating on you, then you’ll be able to finally get to the truth after you read this post.
I hope for your sake you’re proven wrong.
First, is cheater’s guilt real?
Cheater’s guilt is a real thing.
Despite what you might think, most episodes of cheating are not pre-meditated and planned out as a secret rendezvous at a cheap motel off the highway.
Most people find themselves cheating on their partners in throws of passion and moments of weakness.
It happens every day with people in the workplace, with friends of your family, and ex-lovers.
Circumstances can be such that we find ourselves spending time with certain people more than we anticipated or thought.
When that happens, it creates a situation when people need one another to feel like they can carry on and cheating can be the result of that.
If you’ve ever heard of a woman’s best friend sleeping with her husband, it’s because the circumstance and closeness of the situation made it possible for that to happen.
But it’s nobody’s fault – not all the time.
Sometimes, these things really do just happen and people feel tremendously guilty about it.
While cheating can tear friendships and relationships apart, more often than not, it’s a one-time thing that can be forgiven and forgotten – eventually.
There’s a difference between an indiscretion and a long-term relationship that is developing outside of your marriage or long-term partnership.
If you think he’s cheated once and feels horrible about it, that’s very different than thinking he’s got another family down the road that he looks after on weekends.
And while it’s undoubtedly a terrible feeling to know that your husband cheated on you, if he’s showing guilt about his actions then that’s at least somewhat positive.
Remember: Guilt is an important emotion that protects our relationships.
According to psychologist Guy Winch in Psychology Today, “guilt primarily occurs in interpersonal contexts” and is considered a “pro-social” emotion because “it helps main good relations with others.”
So yes, what your husband did was wrong, but if your relationship is to overcome cheating then it’s imperative that your husband feels guilty about his actions.
Either way, here’s how you can tell if what he’s going through is cheater’s guilt or something else.
16 surefire signs of husband cheating guilt
1. He’s down in the dumps and full of self-loathing
Is your husband usually on the up-and-up? Loves to go out and have fun?
But lately, he’s down in the dumps and can barely muster a smile in front of you?
According to psychologist Guy Winch in Psychology Today, “even mild guilt can make you hesitant to embrace the joys of life.”
In fact, guilty feelings can become so strong that some people have a psychological tendency to self-punish to ward off feelings of guilt.
In one study, students who were made to feel guilty for depriving another student of lottery tickets (only worth a few dollars) were willing to give themselves electric shocks to signal their remorse.
Guilt is a pretty powerful emotion, right?
If he is feeling down and doesn’t seem to be able to bask in the joys of life like he used to, then his guilt might be the reason why.
If you think something has happened and you suspect that his new behavior is guilt, it’s best to talk to him about it and ask him what’s really going on.
As hard as it may be, try not to accuse him of anything. Let him tell you on his own terms.
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2. He’s totally distant and checked out
Barring any major meltdown at work or with his family, there’s no need for him to suddenly pull away from you and ignore you.
He might be trying to be present, but you can see the distance in his eyes and he hasn’t touched you in weeks.
While there are lots of mental health reasons why that might be happening and that’s a conversation to have for sure, there is also a good chance that it’s circumstantial and he’s trying to hide something from you because he feels guilty.
He pulls away to keep himself from saying it out loud.
According to Guy Winch, guilt can make you avoid the person you’ve wronged.
In fact, it can even extend to “more distantly related people and to locations and things”.
For example, he may avoid a particular restaurant if that is where he met the girl he cheated on you with.
Click here to watch an excellent free video with tips on how to deal with a husband who is pulling away (and much more — it’s well worth watching).
The video was created by Brad Browning, a leading relationship expert. Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving relationships, especially marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.
3. He’s paying more attention to you
Another really interesting sign that your guy is cheating on you is one that is far more obvious than being ignored: he’s paying more attention to you.
According to relationship therapist Tracy Ross, this is a common sign of a partner who has a “guilty conscience”:
“They may be considerate or thoughtful in ways that aren’t usually the case, such as doing chores, planning date nights, buying small gifts…”
The key here is to look for behaviors that aren’t usually typical for your husband.
If your husband won’t stop giving you the attention and showering you with affection when he hardly ever used to, then that may point to your husband feeling guilty.
Guys who cheat don’t always go on to become long-term cheaters; some guys do it once and then realize they’ve made a horrible mistake.
If that has happened, he’s going to do the opposite of ignoring you and he’s going to show you just how much he loves you and wants you in his life.
4. He is gaslighting you
Do you feel like you can’t get a straight answer out of this mouth? Does it seem as if he is almost trying to confuse you?
This is actually known as gaslighting, which is a common manipulation tactic.
For example, your husband comes home late at night, and you ask him why.
He knows he was doing something you wouldn’t like and is thus reluctant to admit it.
Maybe he was out cheating, drinking, gambling, or any number of things.
Your husband now finds himself stuck in a situation he wasn’t prepared to face.
So he feels that the easiest way out of it is to find fault in you.
So he asks: “Why are you still awake? Do you not trust me?”, or he can also ask, “Why do I always have to be so punctual in this relationship? Why are you so uptight?”
Suddenly the situation is reversed. Your husband now feels empowered by his own fictional victimized role in the relationship.
He pushes his accusations: your paranoia, your lack of trust, your uptightness.
The initial conflict – him being late with no explanation – becomes overshadowed and eventually forgotten, because his accusations are now a greater issue.
Recommended reading: Gaslighting in relationships: How to tell if you’re being gaslit
5. He points out your shortcomings
This is similar to gaslighting. Your husband may do whatever they can to make you the bad egg in this relationship.
Therefore, he might pick fights and find ways in which you’re not acting like a supportive wife.
Again, this is just a smokescreen, to divert attention from what they are doing to what you are doing.
After all, if you’re the one who is causing the majority of the problems in the relationship, then the conversation can’t turn to their cheating ways.
If you’re seeing this symptom, as well as some of the others in this article, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your husband is cheating. However, you do need to start taking action to stop the degradation of your marriage.
Watch this video to learn about 3 techniques that will help you repair your relationship (even if your husband isn’t interested at the moment).
6. He’s disappearing without explanation
If your guy starts coming home late from work or isn’t coming home at all and suddenly needs to travel for a job he’s never traveled for before, it could be a major sign that he’s cheating on you and attracted to someone else.
When things become so elaborate that he has to create stories to get out of the house to be with his mistress (or mister!) then it’s beyond the point of repair for most couples.
Not only is he cheating on you, which could be explained away if it was just an accident that happened once (and yes, people do describe it like that), but he is now concocting an elaborate set of lies to keep you off his trail.
That’s hurtful and creates an even bigger mess than the cheating itself.
7. He is suddenly moody without explanation or apology.
If they’re hiding something, they might not be hiding it all that well.
Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, that unexplained mood swings could be a sign of cheating.
Sometimes people are really bad at keeping their secrets hidden and they’ll try to pin a lot of guilt on you and point out all the things you are doing wrong to take the light off of them.
By guilt-tripping you, not only are they avoiding the guilt their own guilt, but they have reversed a situation to somehow be all your fault.
Guilt-tripping is a powerful weapon, but it also prevents overcoming the real problem (the fact that your husband is cheating and probably feels guilty about it).
According to Health Line, “guilt-tripping prevents healthy communication and conflict resolution, and often provokes feelings of resentment and frustration.”
However, it’s important to note that they may just be having a bad day, but if you can’t find any reason for their sudden change in emotion, then it might be time to start thinking.
8. You think he’s cheating
Now I’m not saying that intuition is the obvious writing on the wall, but it does tell you something.
If your intuition is telling you that your partner is cheating, it might not be right, but it does still mean that something is going on in your relationship that you’re not entirely happy about.
Gut feelings exist for a reason. Perhaps your husband isn’t cheating, but there is something he is not being 100% honest about.
You should trust your gut and confront him about your suspicions and ask him what’s going on.
Easier said than done, of course, but most women who think their partners are cheating on them are usually onto something.
9. There’s no intimacy
If it’s been three months since you’ve rolled around in the hay, something could be wrong.
Keep in mind that couples grow through dry spells, but if he or she is not even showing interest in you and nothing has really happened to cause the distance between you, cheating might be a reason why this has happened.
They don’t need anything from you because they are having their needs satisfied by someone else.
On the flip side, it could also turn the other way round where they are paying you more attention in bed, according to Paul Coleman, PsyD, in Prevention:
“Guilt-ridden people may increase lovemaking at home…Some will do so to cover their tracks. But some may do so to satisfy a partner so that the partner will not be seeking sex at a later time when the cheater knows he or she won’t be available.”
Changes in your sex life aren’t a conclusive sign of cheating – these things can ebb and flow throughout a relationship.
If you want some help in spicing things up between the sheets with your husband, check out this video by Felicity Keith.
Felicity is a 42-year old soccer mum who struggled for a long time with low self-esteem between the sheets. This drove her to seek out answers.
Coined by her fans as a ‘suburban Carrie Bradshaw’, Felicity Keith is now a global relationship coach in demand.
She teaches women how to seize control of their relationship by capturing their husband’s mind and imagination.
10. They are hiding things from you on their phone.
If he seems to panic when you pick up their phone or laptop and are suddenly trying to control what you can and can’t do on their phone, something is wrong.
“They could be trying to avoid receiving any questionable calls or texts in your presence.”
If you have been in a relationship for any length of time, you’ve had access to emails, texts, contact lists, or more and if they are pulling back from that access, it might be because there are suddenly new names and numbers in those contact lists.
If you notice that your husband is deleting texts and constantly clearing his browsing history, then that may not be a good sign.
Does your partner take their phone with them even to the bathroom?
While we all deserve privacy, if you ask to use their phone and they say no, Psychologist Robert Weiss says that this is a problem:
“Honestly, what could possibly be there – other than information about your surprise birthday – that they would want to keep secret?”
11. He’s suddenly taking a lot of showers
Unless he’s been hitting the gym more often and needs a shower, he’s trying to wash off the cheating: literally and figuratively.
Cheaters have a lot of guilt and want to cleanse themselves of that guilt as quickly as possible.
According to Dr. Phillips in Bustle, you may also want to have a look for a change in their grooming habits:
“If your partner comes home and jumps right into a long shower, they may be washing away any evidence of cheating.”
Even if he is in love with this other person, he doesn’t want to hurt you and will do what he can to keep that secret from you.
Little does he know, it’s hurting you anyway and the truth is always better than a watered-down lie.
12. He’s accusing you of cheating on him
Now, this is a tricky one because some people can’t handle their own shit and drama.
If he’s suddenly accusing you of cheating on him without any rhyme or reason, it could be that he’s projecting his own guilt onto you.
This is known as guilt-tripping, which we mentioned above, but in this case, he’s projecting his exact guilt onto you.
People do this more often than we realize and yell and scream at us for things they did.
Gaslighting is a common approach here and if you catch him cheating he might try to turn things around and tell you it’s all your fault he strayed in the first place.
According to Guy Winch in Psychology Today:
“Guilt trips involve efforts to control another person’s behavior by inducing guilt and other negative emotions in them. As such, they are clear attempts at manipulation and coercion.”
Keep your wits about you and watch for some of these signs to help guide your conversation.
13. He suddenly gives a crap about his appearance
If he’s been wearing joggers around the house for years after work and suddenly gets cleaned up and dressed up on the way out the door to meet some friends after work, he might be cheating.
When guys find a new love interest, they want to look their best so others will pay attention to them.
Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-owner of Double Trust Dating, says that if your partner has had the same haircut for a long time but suddenly has a bold new haircut “this could indicate an effort to impress another person.”
He might even turn it on you and tell you that you should dress up more and that you should do something with your hair as a way to mask what he’s doing.
After all, he feels guilty about his sudden change in behavior and he needs to find a reason for why he is doing what he is doing.
But he really means to keep you from finding out what he’s been up to.
QUIZ: Is he pulling away? Find out exactly where you stand with your man with our new “is he pulling away” quiz. Check it out here.
14. He’s got a wandering eye
Now, while there is lots you can do to help jazz up your sex life, there is not much you can do to control his wandering eye problem.
If your husband seems to pay more attention to other women, or talks about other women a lot or seems to be invested in what other women are doing and doesn’t give you the time of day, something’s up.
Of course, your first instinct is to think he’s cheating, but it might be that he’s not interested in the relationship anymore or wants something more exciting in his life.
Marriage gets old really fast – something a lot of people don’t talk about – and if you feel him pulling away from you, it might be a good idea to talk about it before it turns into something you can’t come back from.
15. He’s not home anymore
If you find that he’s taking on more work, coming home later, leaving for work earlier and not checking in throughout the day, it could be a sign that he’s distancing himself from you.
Men (and women) do this to make it easier to walk away when the time comes.
If they carry on like everything is fine, then things may go on like that for a while, but if he’s preparing to leave or cheat, he’ll start to put distance between you and him.
The irony is that he’s doing that so he doesn’t hurt you as much, even though the distance can hurt more than the ultimate outcome that it leads to if uncorrected.
If you’ve decided you want to try to save your marriage, talk to him about it.
These are tough conversations, no doubt, but the good thing that comes from them is that you’ll have your answers and can stop worrying about what might happen.
16. He’s not trying
At this point, he’s basically a bump on a log (ass on the couch), flipping through the channels and waiting for dinner to be ready.
He doesn’t ask you about your day or listens attentively when you talk. He is going through the motions and you feel taken for granted and unloved.
Whether or not he means to hurt you this way is not the point: if he was invested in the relationship, he would do more to show you.
And if this is just the way he is, you need to decide if that is enough for you.
In many cases, women stay with men out of habit, not love, so before you go pointing fingers at him for not loving you anymore, make sure you actually care what happens in this relationship too.
- How to tell if your partner is cheating: 28 signs most people miss
- How to forgive a cheater: Everything you need to know
- How to get over being cheated on: 13 no bullsh*t steps
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