Relationships are a difficult aspect of life to maintain and keep healthy. Although there may be difficulties at home people tend to work them out by talking, going to therapy or counseling. Not always the case as people do tend to step out on their lovers quite a lot.
Suspicions of an affair are just that, suspicions. There will not be proof easily found as the cheater will hide what they are doing, but there are signs you can pay attention to that will uncover the truth.
- Physical and emotional signs, your partner is up to no good.
- Adultery Law, Maryland considers this a ground for divorce or separation.
- How is adultery used to separate or divorce in Maryland?
Top 10 Signs You Are Dealing with a Cheater
There are behavior and attitude changes that can occur when a lover is stepping out. Some are more subtle, while others are blatant.
- Looking Good – Up to No Good?
- Secret Texts, Phone Calls, or Computer Use
- Off the Grid for Extended Periods of Time
- Changes to Your Sex Life
- Hostile Towards You and the Relationship
- Sudden Changes in Schedule
- Friends Treat You Oddly or Differently
- Unfamiliar Expenses Popping Up
- Dim Emotional Intimacy
- Confrontation Leads to Deflection
Cheater Sign #1. Looking Good – Up to No Good?
Is your spouse starting to exercise, eat healthy, and dressing nicer without asking for affirmation from you?
An improved appearance or showing more concern about their looks is possibly a sign they are trying to be more attractive to an affair partner.
Exchanging sweatpants and a hoodie for dressed to impressed or even getting a new haircut are all subtle signs that someone might be up to no good.
Cheater Sign #2. Secret Texts, Phone Calls, or Computer Use
Have phone and computer use become more frequent? Do they guard them as if their lives depended on it? Is the next gift-giving occasion several months away?
If so, there’s a good chance that bad behavior is happening outside of the relationship. Keep an eye out for new passwords on phones or computers, erased texts and browser history, or for weird possessive behavior of their personal electronics.
Honestly, what could possibly be on those devices that they don’t want anyone to see?
Cheater Sign #3. Off the Grid for Extended Periods of Time
Cannot get a hold of your significant other on the phone? Will not answer texts until hours later?
Of course, it could be a legitimate reason. After all, people find themselves in a meetings or unexpectedly driving, and so can’t text or call.
However, when that starts happening on a more regular basis, they’re either being worked to death by a boss with terrible time management skills … or something else is up.
Cheater Sign #4. Changes to Your Sex Life
Having more or less sex? New tricks being brought into the bedroom? These can be typical signals of infidelity.
And yes, both scenarios can indicate cheating!
- Decreased sex drive could be because they are focused on someone else.
- An increased sex drive could be a sign they are covering up for cheating.
Also, though it might be a nice surprise to suddenly be trying out new things, they may just be new to you.
Cheater Sign #5. Hostile Towards You and the Relationship
Has your spouse said they are no longer attracted to you, or that your looks have faded? Are they blaming you for not appreciating them? Or saying you are not “adventurous” enough in the bedroom?
Cheaters often need to rationalize what they are doing so not to feel guilt, blaming the other for any problems.
But, that rationalization often turns into outward expressions of resentment and anger. In this situation, it really isn’t you – it’s their own cheating that’s driving the sudden animosity.
Cheater Sign #6. Sudden Change in Schedule
Working late more often than they used to? Sudden business trips? Long list of excuses for being late? (“Got a flat tire,” “Dead battery,” “Traffic jams everywhere,” or “At the gym.”)
Maybe they forget to grab the kids like always, or they skipped out on your important dinner date to celebrate that big promotion.
Abrupt changes to your spouse’s routine schedule can be red flags of an affair, especially if those changes affect the time you both spend together as a couple or family.
Cheater Sign #7. Friends Treat You Oddly or Different
Are you getting strange looks from their friends? Are they holding group chats without you? Is everybody being, well, too nice? Typically, the person being cheated on is the last to find out.
A significant other’s friends often know about the affair from the start. When that information makes them uncomfortable, they begin acting or treating you differently than before.
Cheater Sign #8. Unfamiliar Expenses Popping Up
Has money suddenly evaporated from joint accounts? Retirement and savings accounts shrinking inexplicably? Seeing way more cash transactions or random corner store purchases?
Cheating costs money. Gifts, trips, dinners out, and hotel rooms can add up quickly.
When you notice money missing and their explanation sounds fishy, trust your instincts – especially if the money is going to places you rarely frequent or have never gone to. (A caveat here is gift-giving occasions such as your birthday or an anniversary. Check the calendar before you let your suspicions run too far!)
Cheater Sign #9. Dim Emotional Intimacy
Has your spouse stopped telling you about their day? Are they no longer sharing their hopes and dreams of the future?
Long term couples bond to each other through a process called “emotional intimacy.” When couples share secrets, desires, and other important parts of our lives with each other, the process connects and bonds them together.
So, when your lover is no longer emotionally available or intimate, it could be a sign that their attention is elsewhere – potentially on the affair partner.
Cheater Sign #10. Confrontation Leads to Deflection
If you’ve confronted your spouse with their suspicions, then listen closely for their response. If they start to list off everything that you have “failed” to do, or otherwise start trying to put you on the defense, then you may have your answer.
Adulterers tend to go to great lengths to make you feel like the problem. They might try deflecting their blame and guilt on you.
Like we said before, trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you that your spouse is cheating, then it’s worth investigating.
Do not ignore that sense!
Adultery is a Grounds for Divorce
Beyond any moral issues with the practice, Maryland considers adultery to be a crime against marriage. (Admittedly, it’s a misdemeanor crime that carries a $10 fine and is rarely prosecuted in modern times, but still!)
More relevantly, in Maryland, an affair is legal “grounds” to terminate the marriage.
However, you cannot just make a claim of adultery and use that to end the marriage. You’ll need to prove that it happened.
In Maryland, proof of adultery requires two things:
- Showing that the accused had the “disposition” – the desire – to cheat; and
- The “opportunity” to act on that disposition.
Proof can be pictures, text messages, emails, witness testimony, or even (legally obtained) recordings demonstrating both disposition and opportunity.
How can a Family Lawyer use Adultery as a Grounds for Divorce?
In our state, absolute divorce means the total termination of the legally binding marriage. In the eyes of Maryland courts, after absolute divorce, each party is free to see other people and remarry.
In addition, adultery can be used as a reason for filing an at-fault divorce. Fault divorces typically weigh the divorce decree in favor of the injured party – in this case, the one who was cheated on.
After all, the court’s final divorce decree will be the last word in dividing finances, assets, or child custody. In that case, you don’t want to be the one who’s legally found to be at fault for causing the dissolution of the marriage.
Finally, a family lawyer can use adultery to their client’s advantage while negotiating a Marriage Settlement Agreement, or MSA.
If both parties willingly want to end the relationship, then an MSA can help everyone save some money and come to a more agreeable outcome than an at-fault divorce. (It helps that the lawyer for the injured party can leverage the proof of adultery to ensure that the MSA proceeds smoothly. That’s because if the two parties can’t agree during an MSA mediation, then the next step is court – and the court may come down harder on the cheater than anything negotiated in private!)
Having a good family lawyer on your side can help you come up with the right strategy to handle an adulterous affair. The Law Office of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, LLC offers free initial consultations at your convenience, so let us know how we can help guide you through an emotional time.