There comes a time in some relationships where suspicions arise, and one partner begins to feel that maybe, just maybe they are being cheated on.
The commonness of this worry seems logical given how cheating is a prevalent societal ill, a relationship/marriage issue so common that even the best boyfriends and most devoted girlfriends have sometimes been found guilty of.
So if you ever find yourself suspecting your partner of cheating on you or getting close to doing so, what and what are the next steps to take?
Why are you suspicious?
The very first phase is to sit yourself down and ask what the reasons for your suspicions are. What makes you think your partner is cheating on you?
This could be the difference between overreacting and nipping potential affairs in the bud. It is always best if you assess the situation from all possible angles instead of acting rashly.
If your partner is aloof, acting weird, returning home later than normal from work, avoiding sex and all that, you could be tempted into a quick suspicion that they’re having an affair. However, while all these signs could give up a cheating partner, they are not always signs of cheating and extra-marital paroles.
What if their aloofness is a result of personal professional/personal struggles they don’t want to involve you in… yet. What if the weirdness is a sign of their unhappiness over something you did wrong but refused to acknowledge or apologise for? You get the picture now, right?
Point is, do not be too quick to conjure inexistent or unsubstantial evidence of cheating, when all your partner probably needs at that point is for you to be there for them.
Talk to your partner
At some point in all this suspicion build-up, you will have to confront your partner and have a conversation about all the things you are worried about.
If it’s giving you reasons to suspect that you’re being cheated on, then you better discuss it. That late arrivals, the sneaky phone colleague whose name always comes up in their speech and all that, you need to ask questions, talk about how uncomfortable all these make you.
This conversation will be better if the tone you use is not judgmental or accusatory.
Don’t accuse till you have evidence
You do not want to accuse your partner until you have evidence to back those claims. Coming on too strongly with accusations will only get you a denial, and if it’s true they’re cheating, they’ll become more careful, guarded and you may never catch them anymore.
ALSO READ: Why women forgive cheating more than men
Who do you speak to?
If you do have genuine reasons to suspect cheating on your partner’s part – they quietly and regularly receive phone calls at odd times, they’ve become more protective of mobile devices, a colleague’s name uncomfortably keeps popping up in their talks, etc – then the next thing you may want to consider is talking to someone. But who exactly are you supposed to speak to?
Note that you do not have to tell anyone. But if you feel you cannot handle it alone then it’s cool to confide in someone, so far the person can assess the situation from a dispassionate point of view.
Your temperamental friend who has a colourful track record of ill-judgements and rashness is probably not the person to talk to here. Counsellors, trusted friends, and older people who can keep secrets and have proven wise at previous times are options to consider.
Stick or twist?
What if it turns out that your partner is actually cheating on you, what would you do? Stick with them or twist?
Would you break up without a chance for redemption or you may try to give them another chance depending on the circumstances surrounding the affair?
You will need to consider this early too, so your mind is made up on what step you are going to take if your suspicions become confirmed.