The Cheating Heart: How to Figure Out if Your Spouse is Cheating
Finding evidence of cheating. Part 1 of a 3 part monthly series on Cheating and Tennessee divorce.
Catching the Cheating Spouse in Tennessee: When Divorce May Be Coming
As family lawyers, we like to think we’re pretty good at identifying spouses who have been cheating in their marriages. After all, we do this for a living every day, and it’s easy to see patterns emerge. While no one wants to believe that his or her spouse is cheating on them, there are certain red flags that will give you a good indication whether your spouse is cheating.
For the sake of clarity, the spouse will be referred to as “he” or “him” but statistics show that nearly as many women cheat as men.
Statistics regarding cheating are all over the map and thus are not completely reliable. One study suggests that 70 percent of married men have affairs while 50 to 60 percent of married women have affairs. Another study disagrees with that completely and states that 10 to 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have affairs. Whichever study you believe, one thing is clear — most of the men and women who cheat will not admit to their affair. In one study, only six percent of men and women will admit to their affair. Curiously, women appear to be better at hiding it. In any event, one study shows that approximately 17 percent of divorces are based on infidelity, while another study shows that 50 percent of divorces are based on infidelity. Because many people do not own up to their philandering ways, it is difficult to get an exact statistic about the percentage of divorces which occur from cheating or even the overall percentage of people who are cheating.
Playing amateur detective will give you clues about cheating in your marriage
The rest of this article will be devoted to helping you decide whether your spouse is cheating and how to look for clues which might lead to this conclusion. If you don’t want to know whether he’s cheating, that’s another story altogether. It’s your decision whether to find out what’s going on or to turn a blind eye to it. Keep in mind, though, if there is cheating in your marriage it probably won’t stop unless you confront it.
When looking for clues, start looking for a change in behavior. Here are changes in behavior that are common in people who are in an affair or are contemplating one:
- He stays at the office longer than usual.
- He stays away from home more than usual, claiming he’s going to the bar, to a friend’s house, to do a few errands, and the like.
- Your calls often go to voicemail while he is emotionally withdrawing from the marriage.
- Sex between the two of you may be less frequent.
- Suddenly he’s working out and trying to look great, even though you may have been after him for years to do something about that spare tire.
- His glasses? Gone. He’s gotten contacts or even Lasik surgery.
- A new wardrobe is a distinct possibility.
- He’s making new meals for the family to try. One can only wonder where he learned these.
- He’s taking his cell phone with him everywhere, including into the bathroom. At times, he may be on the phone in the wee hours of the morning and yes, out of earshot such as in the bathroom.
- He’s spending more time out with the “guys.” The “guys” could really turn out to be just the “guys” but if there are other changes, such as those listed here, it’s probably not the “guys” he’s spending time with.
- He books trips by himself to go away or to “think” and he’s booking them more often. You are not invited.
- He makes plans to go to a spa for a week to lose that weight. He comes back, not an ounce is lost and, in fact, he may have even put on a few pounds.
- He may claim he’s hungry late at night and goes out once or several times a week. His appetite is not necessarily for food.
- He has new habits or preferences that came from out of the blue. You have no idea where he got these habits or preferences.
- Suddenly it seems like you don’t know your spouse anymore. The worst of it is, at this point, you probably don’t.
- You try to deny that anything has changed between you, but a little voice in your head keeps telling you (or your friends and family keep telling you) that there’s something going on. Maybe it’s time to listen to that voice or to the voices of your friends and family.
- Your girlfriend spotted him at the mall with someone who wasn’t you and she swears they looked awfully chummy. Instead of calling her a liar, listen to what she has to say and then you can decide what to do with that information.
- Money from different funds (bank accounts, lines of credit) is disappearing faster than usual and you don’t know where it’s going.
- He’s away on a business trip and calls more than usual. That’s usually guilt talking. You think that as long as he’s calling you, he can’t be doing anything wrong, but that would be incorrect.
- He’s spending more time on the computer. You have no idea what he’s doing, but he may be up late claiming to be doing something innocent, like doing work-related projects or reading the news. If it’s extremely frequent, it’s usually chat rooms or talking with someone specific or even signing onto a dating site. Many wives have seen photos of their husbands on dating sites.
- He’s got a new haircut or, even better, hair transplants, plugs, and more or less facial hair than before. He’s changing his appearance.
- He’s buying you more presents or flowers than usual. That’s guilt talking.
- He enjoys the show Cheaters and often watches it.
- Any combination of the above. If there are more than a few of these, there’s a good chance that he’s being unfaithful.
What can you do to get concrete evidence about his cheating?
If you want to get concrete evidence that your spouse is cheating, there are a few things you can do. The first is the most obvious — hire a private ivestigator. They are paid to find out where your spouse has been and what he’s been up to. They are not always successful, but many times they are. And, your experienced family lawyer can help refer you to a professional who knows Tennessee and federal law on this sort of investigation.
Another method you may consider is to get a GPS magnet. Don’t. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a crime in Tennessee. To find out more about the GPS magnet and the issues about using this in Tennessee, please refer to GPS Devices For Spying in Tennessee Divorces.
Using any of these methods outlined below, including the use of a detective, is a sure sign that you no longer trust your spouse. Perhaps he has given you many reasons not to, but he may be the type of spouse who wants to be caught. A spouse who has overwhelming feelings of guilt may actually leave things lying around so you can find out what he’s been doing.
When alone, check the cell phone bill. Are there calls on there you don’t recognize? You can try using an Internet reverse-phone directory look-up to find out where the phone number is located. What is the length of those phone calls and at what hour were those made? Were they incoming, outgoing, or both, and were they at strange hours or at times when he claimed he was doing something else (i.e. a phone call lasting an hour when he was supposed to be at a football game)?
You may be tempted to check his emails if you know his password or if you think you can guess it. This also may be a crime in Tennessee. Please refer to Hacking Computers, E-mail Accounts and Phones — A Big TN Divorce No-No for more information about checking emails and other personal things, especially if don’t have access to his password. Even if you have his password, you could be breaking the law or be guilty of invasion of privacy.
There are other things you can do. Check his desk, night table or his home office. Check his workspace near the computer. If he has a pocket diary, check in there for other signs that he’s been lying to you.
None of these options are fun; they may lead to an answer that you have to be prepared to accept if you’re going to follow through with any of these. If you do use these clues and/or decide to do some private snooping, at least you will probably get to the bottom of what you think is going on. The next step is by no means predictable — will the marriage continue, will it end, or will you be able to work things out? Many marriages with infidelity issues have been saved through counseling.
- How to Catch a Cheating Spouse: Interview with Memphis Divorce Lawyer Miles Mason, Sr.
- Memphis Tennessee Marriage & Divorce Counselors & Therapists Directory
- How Much Can An Extramarital Affair Cost Under Tennessee Divorce Laws?
- 10 Infidelity Signs: Memphis Divorce Lawyer Shares Possible Signs of Cheating
- Electronic Spying in Tennessee Divorce Laws
- Your First Steps: 7 Steps Planning Your Tennessee Divorce
The Miles Mason Family Law Group handles Tennessee divorce, child support, alimony, child custody, and parent relocation. Miles Mason, Sr. authored The Tennessee Divorce Client’s Handbook: What Every Divorcing Spouse Needs to Know, available on Amazon and Kindle.. A Memphis divorce lawyer from the Miles Mason Family Law Group can help. To schedule your confidential consultation, call us today at (901) 683-1850.