Just because your wife or girlfriend gets a new haircut, goes away for a work conference or forgets to do something for you, doesn't mean she's cheating. But if she acts emotionally distant, seems less interested in you and doesn't want to make plans for the future, it might be time to look closely at your relationship. Here are 12 signs she might be having an affair...
1. She buys new lingerie (but never wears it)
When you first got together, she was always buying new clothes and getting her hair done. As the years went by, she stopped paying so much attention to her appearance – until now. If you find sexy lingerie in her underwear drawer (which she's never worn for you), it could be that she's dressing to impress someone else.
2. She has a friend in need
Your wife has always been close to her friends, but now there's someone in her life who desperately needs her. She'll do whatever it takes to cheer up this friend - that includes overnight spa breaks, long phone conversations late at night and text marathons. If the friend seems perfectly fine to you, you'll be told that she's just "putting on a brave face."
Her phone battery died. She was out of network coverage. She's not allowed to take calls in the office. If your partner is suddenly hard to reach, it may be because she's otherwise engaged.
4. She won't share her passwords
Once upon a time, you were her go-to man for IT support. Now if there's a problem, you're not allowed near the computer. Ask for her password and she won't give it – or she'll tell you and change it the second you leave the room.
5. She's going to another overnight conference
You know her career is important to her, but does she really need to discuss her latest work venture over dinner, or go to another overnight conference? If your partner is suddenly working long hours, or is spending more money on work-related drinks and meals out (that don't include you), you may want to question the nature of her latest "project".
6. Other people are asking questions
A cuckold is often the last to know. If your family or friends look at you sympathetically or start asking strange questions about your wife's whereabouts, they could be trying to tell you something.
7. She's suddenly forgetful
Your wife is someone to rely on. She knows what you like and how to make you happy – whether that's buying your favourite food from the supermarket or collecting your dry cleaning. Suddenly, she's not doing little things for you anymore. Why? She forgot. Presuming your wife doesn't have dementia, perhaps she's forgotten about you because she's thinking about another man.
8. She's being overly nice
Conversely, be wary of a partner who is uncharacteristically nice. Hopefully she just loves you (and you're a suspicious, jealous idiot) but being overly-thoughtful could signal a guilty conscious.
9. She can't stop talking about a new man
Your wife can't stop talking about a work colleague or neighbour – and then one day, she never mentions his name again. Maybe she's forgotten about him, or maybe things have moved to a new level between them, and she won't say his name to avoid arousing suspicion.
10. She accuses you of cheating
Revenge affairs are not uncommon. If you've been unfaithful (or she thinks you have) she may be looking to 'settle the score' out of hurt. If you ask about her whereabouts or question her feelings for you, she might accuse you as a way to deflect attention from herself.
11. She's stopped making plans
She was always the one arranging the holidays and social get-togethers - but now you can't pin her down to anything. Has she stopped making plans, or do her plans just no longer include you?
12. You've got a gut feeling
It's not just women who have a sixth sense. If you feel that something is wrong, but can't put your finger on any one thing, it could be your subconscious picking up on a myriad of subtle clues. Question your intuition, yes, but don't ignore it.
Three books that may help to improve your relationship:
Affair Recovery: Scientifically Proven Methods to Help you Heal, £3.88 Kindle Edition
Chatting or Cheating, £13.50
Relate - After The Affair: How to build trust and love again, £12.99