Why It’s Important to Know if Your Spouse is Cheating

avoid cheatingLinda and I had a fun, productive, long weekend together and quite frankly neither one us felt much like putting together a blog post for today. 

I think we were to the point last night that our mind said one thing, but our bodies said quite another.  Frankly, we were both just plain tuckered out to even think about writing anything.

So this morning I popped open one of the books on affairs that we own called “The Truth About Cheating” by M. Gary Neuman.  To be honest, I didn’t even realize we owned it, but as I read through it I found quite a bit of interesting and useful information.

For instance, in his research Neuman has determined that the majority of men who have affairs do so because of emotional dissatisfaction in their marriages.  This is quite contrary to a lot of the information that you see on the internet that always seems to state that sex is the underlying reason for why men cheat.

This book actually deals with the subject of why men cheat and how to prevent it, but much of the information I feel can be used in instances where the wife is the cheater as well.

The part of the book I want to share today revolves around an aspect of cheating that probably every betrayed spouse has witnessed, and that is lying.

Neuman thinks that most people miss a very important issue with lying and that is that after an affair, it continues for a bit, and it’s during this time that the ability to repair the relationship diminishes.

Basically, what he’s saying is that if you want to save your marriage, then stop the lying, come clean and stop putting your spouse through all the confusion and torture of trying to figure out what’s going on.

It’s the lying that causes the betrayed to feel as though they can never trust their spouse again.  They worry not only about saving the marriage and healing from the affair, but also if they can trust that their spouse won’t cheat again and lie about it again.

Neuman sums it up nicely with these words: 

If a husband  hasn’t lied to his wife and they’re able to work things out, she’ll be able to trust that if she ever asks him when she finds him pushing the marital boundaries in any ways, he’ll be honest with her.  Believe it or not, that can make all the difference in whether a wife will ever feel good about her marriage again.

He goes on to say however, that there is a 93% chance that a cheater isn’t going to tell their spouse, and an 81% chance they won’t tell even after being questioned about it. 

Obviously, these statistics reflect just how rare it is for the betrayed spouse to receive a truthful admission of guilt when being cheated on, thus making relationship repair the tremendously difficult task that it is for most who have experienced infidelity.

Neuman states though that it is a bad idea to keep badgering the cheater until he cracks, because the lies will only continue and intensify, which causes you to move further away from being able to save your marriage.

Instead, he advises the betrayed spouse to take action.  Become an amateur detective and check the cell phone bills and emails, review the computer history, ask friends, relatives and co-workers if they’ve seen or heard anything suspicious.  You may even need to hire a private investigator. 

Basically, do what you think you need to do for your own sake, and that of your marriage.

 

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19 Responses to Why It’s Important to Know if Your Spouse is Cheating

  1. Roller coaster rider August 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Interesting. We just spent a very painful weekend, and last evening I was just trying to prepare myself for a second D-Day. A horrible way to feel after what should have been a romantic, ecstatic celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary. My H reserved a cabin in a resort next to a beautiful creek, bought me gorgeous flowers, and we sat eating a delicious breakfast while listening to beautiful, live music in the garden…perfectly lovely and SAD as my H was so very depressed that this is where we are now, all due to his cheating during the past year. It ended on a much better note, given the card he made me where he expressed hope in God and His grace for not just restoration and renewal, but a brand new relationship. I want to trust and I can, by God’s grace.

    • Doug August 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      RCR, it sounds as though you had all the makings of a very nice weekend. I’m happy that it ended on a hopeful note.

  2. Roller coaster rider August 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    What I really wanted to add as I think about the things you posted from this book today is that I am feeling ready to move out of the not trusting into really believing my husband wants me and only me. I am tired of feeling crazy and hyper vigilant; it’s time to move on. If there’s something I should know about, it will be revealed. I don’t want to be with someone I can’t trust but a lot of that comes from my own sense of security, or lack of it and I am not going to live in bondage to all the “what ifs.”

    • Kristine August 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

      RCR, I have seem to reach a new place too this past week. I’m over a year out from D-Day and a year and a few weeks from our reconciliation and I’m just ready to LET IT ALL GO. Leave the past in the past. I’m tired of the past robbing me of my present. I’m tired of my own mood swings. It’s time for me to bury the past, like it says in the bible, “forget the former things do not dwell on the past…” I feel I’m there.

      My issues weren’t trust after a few months. I realized my husband early on was so broken up over what he did that I didn’t need to make him feel guilty, he brought enough of that on himself. I also didn’t need to NOT trust him because he bent over backwards to let me know where he was and when. He’d send me photos to prove where he was every time, even something as simple as getting groceries. He’d check in on facebook, ask me if I wanted to call the main number to check if I was there. Would let me know if he was leaving somewhere. I had ONE weird moment a few months ago when I came home and he wasn’t here. He had went to the store to get light bulbs and didn’t text me to tell me he was leaving. I wouldn’t even expect him to but when I got home and didn’t see his car a jolt went off. He pulled up a few minutes later and he could see the look on my face and knew. He said he felt bad for not mentioning it but I felt bad for my mind immediately going there. Other than that, I’ve never not had a trust issue.

      Sex has also never been an issue. I can’t explain why but when he was gone, I had a greater love build up for my husband. I was hurt but I was also having the love for my spouse be re-ignited through my prayers. When he reached out to have a date, the new butterflies and sparks were there that were there when we dated. Sparks were FLYING and off the charts.

      My issue was the pain. The trying to wrap my head around everything still, accepting the things he said and did that hurt me so badly. You know what though? I’m tired of traveling down this same road over and over. I’ve worn a deep path going over this path repeatedly. Granted, it’s part of the process but I think I’m really ready for a new part of the process. I don’t want what was done and what my husband has shown in so many ways he’s sorry and regrets it all to hinder TODAY. I’m ready to enjoy my husband. I’m ready for that glimmer to return to my eyes. Lord knows it’s in my heart already and I can’t deny that there is something new that God is doing here. I don’t want to miss any of it.

  3. mona lisa August 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I have told my husband…it is not the truth that I can’t handle (details about the affair) but it is the LIES that I have a hard time handling. I believe the ugly truth is always better than a beautiful lie.

  4. roller coaster rider August 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    You are SO right about this…and it’s exactly what I’ve been telling my husband, too. If you want to be single, or in another relationship or maybe you just don’t want to be with me…please just tell me the truth!!

  5. Paula August 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Amen to that, we never had any secrets, and there were never any lies before this, or were there? One lie leads the person who is lied to to question the honesty in the past, that’s why the truth is so important. As my mother used to tell us when particularly tired or frustrated with someone who had misled her, “I’d rather a thief than a liar,” I’m not sure she really meant it, but I get that saying now. What about both, he stole my heart and then didn’t treat it with the delicacy it required.

    Kristine, I so admire what you say, but HOW are you just going to change tack, and put it behind you? I agree with you so much, I just can’t shake the intense pain, with him, or without him, much as I am desperate to do so, much as I have tried so many ways of “re-training my brain” even, in desperation, hypnotherapy – it just keeps returning to the stupid, default position of pain, and then not allowing myself to trust, and I’m exhausted and miserable, especially with the frustration of knowing what I need to do, and doing it, but it not making any difference to how I feel and think. I just want to feel some joy again, it’s been a very long time, and I don’t fully understand it, because the first 5 or so months were pretty good, yes, pain, but joy and pleasure also, I couldn’t ever envisage myself in this position, I was actually okay, and using the info and the “mistakes” to make things better. I am sick of not being me, and making my OH feel like shit, much as I now actively hide the pain, he says he can still see it in my eyes, and he says I have lost my sparkle, which was very shiny before this, and he feels appalling and blames himself (rightly, but how long should he have to feel like that for? Not this bad forever, that’s for sure, I don’t want to do that to him) I’ve shut myself away from my friends to quite a degree for the last 12 months because I don’t want to bore them, or bring them down, I pretend to be bright and cheerful when they call or text, but it’s all an act to spare their feelings.

    Our youngest daughter has just been selected to represent our region (similar to state) for her age group in hockey (field) and I should be thrilled for her, but I am just trying to get through the commitments, amongst those of our son who plays a lot of sport and at only 14 is off to national tournament for high school 1st XIs, for the same sport next week. I start (off-farm – I work fulltime on farm usually) work again in a couple of weeks, have agreed to a 6 month contract, and am feeling rather stressed about it, and haven’t even started yet, this is not me. Just trying to hang in there til new counselling at the end of next week, and I know that won’t “fix” me instantly either.

    I work and work and work at this, and it’s not any better, I’m just tired this week…

    • Kristine August 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

      Paula,
      how far out are you from D-Day and reconciliation? I don’t think this is feasible early on. it certainly wasn’t for me. I’m just at this place though where this road of pain I keep traveling on is worn and tired. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of me ON IT. I can’t change it happened, I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and focus on the NOW, the present. When I don’t and I let the pain overtake me, it’s like I miss EVERYTHING my husband is doing daily to prove himself worthy again. I lose sight of all the progress that’s been made and all the things he has said and done to show he’s sorry and remorseful. I’m just tired of clinging to the old. I’m ready to MOVE ON.

      I’m speaking for me, though, not where anyone else should be. I’m just ready. I don’t think there’s a time frame for when people should arrive here, it’s just where I am right now. I’m a year and almost 5m out from D day and a little over a year from our reconciliation (my husband moved out for a short time). Someone else could be even further out from here and not be at this place. it’s ok, we all have our own time frames for healing.

      I’m not sure where your faith is but my faith has played a big part in there not even being a DIVORCE because when I found out about my husband’s adultery, my natural gut reaction was to LEAVE, kick him to the curb and ROLL OUT! It was when he moved out that God got a hold of me and told me my marriage would be restored. I clung to that, I clung to the promises He gave me and my faith grew by leaps and bounds. I’m returning to that again and letting God lead me to my healing. Instead of asking GOD to take away my pain I’m now asking God to use my pain.

      I just received this in my devotional today:
      Learn to dance again with your maker and let go of the old ways and habits, and enter into the new thing that Abba Father is doing in your life….be free today from the strongholds of the past as you move forward day by day to your whole new future in Yeshua…Isaiah 43:18-19″ Behold I do a New Thing!!!”

      That’s the very thing I heard God whisper to me when my husband came back, “through your pain I’m doing a new thing” and He is! I’m going to focus on that new thing and not miss one single breath of it 🙂 I pray you find your way through it 🙂

  6. mil August 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Here, here. I am now more than 3 years post D-day mark 1 and about 2 and a half years post D-day mark 2 with the same woman. My H got a secret mobile phone to continue after the first discovery of love and sex texts on his proper phone but maintains to this day that the secret phone was purely work related and general chatty texts. How am I expected to believe that???
    I said if it was all so innocent why didn’t he use his proper phone and show me the texts and let me see his bills to confirm non had been deleted. He says I would have gone mad knowing they were still in contact of any sort but this contradicts the many times he told me that any contact between them after D-day mark 1 was for business only. I read their emails and they were indeed about work apart from a smutty animated joke he sent her but he says it was ‘just a joke that would amuse her’. The way I discovered the secret phone was because he forwarded another sexy joke (which he had sent me and really made me laugh) from his proper mobile to his secret one (so her number wouldn’t appear on his proper phone bill) to then send to her and I rang the mystery number and he answered and had to come clean. His answers never add up and when the going gets tough he either walks out uses avoidance tactics.
    I am actually getting more and more obsessive in the pursuit of something that sounds feasible enough to be the truth. Obviously I don’t want to hear him say he loved her which he always denies, saying it was just a game. Virtually every day now I start an argument with my constant need for answers that ‘suit me’ as he put it. He says I have built things up out of all proportion and won’t believe him so what’s the point.
    He is trying and trying as hard as he can to show me how he adores me but I can’t get past all this.
    But then if he told me something bad enough for me to actually believe it was at last the truth what would I do then?
    He offered to take a lie detector test right from the start and still says he will if I want. Does anyone know the accuracy of them?

  7. mil August 17, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    Paula, I know exactly what you mean by being OK for the first 5 months or so. I think it’s because we are so gutted by what we have found out and it jolts us into realising what we nearly lost (true in my case as I was complacent and unloving) that we cling on to hope of a new start etc. and want everything to be lovey dovey again.
    Then when reality kicks in and we analyse things more and (again in my case) other things come to light or we think of new questions, we start being more down to earth and that renewed euphoria starts to wear off again.
    I suppose it’s a bit like any new relationship, you start off looking through rose tinted specs then normality kicks in. I would also very much liken it to a bereavement, at first you are numb with shock and disbelief that someone you love dearly has gone and are busy sorting things out and trying to get your life back on track. As time goes on you gradually get back to ‘normal’ but it will never be the same normal you knew before you lost that person.
    I am fortunate that at the age of 57 that I still have both my parents and close family so I have yet to experience that intense bereavement, however I am dreading to even imagine what it’s like if it’s worse than what I have suffered from my H’s EA.

    • Paula August 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      Mil and Kristine

      It’s 2 years and 3 months post D Day for me. I have had periods of clarity and hope, but lately, probably the last 6 months or so (who’s counting anymore, lol!) has been misery, and I’m not really sure why. I have had sad things happen in my life, most notably a rape and the sudden and unexpected death of my beloved mother at just 55, and Mil, I can tell you, it was very sad, but there is a finality in death, you can’t revisit the past in the way this seems to keep looping in my head. Even the rape, it was done to me, it was sad, I lost my innocence, both figuratively, and literally, but I couldn’t change it, and I moved on in a really healthy manner from both of these (and other) sad and tragic events, why not this? I have had psychologists, meds, counselling, and I’m not any better, in fact, I’m worse now than at the beginning. Kristine, I don’t wish to offend, I admire your ability to put your faith in something you can’t see, but I just can’t do the God thing, it’s not in me, but I know it helps a lot of people, and bless you for your faith. I thought I was going to get through this, we’ve separated twice to give some breathing space, collect my thoughts, make some decisions, etc. It helped, but I know I am no better without him than I am with him. My very core is ripped apart, and I don’t know why I’m not healing, why I seem to be “wallowing” in this state of complete misery. I’ve read and read, and reached out for help, but nothing works. I “know” so much stuff, I try to look after me, but it’s not bloody working! That’s why I want to know HOW to let it go, it won’t leave me, I’m exhausted, haven’t slept properly in all this time, nightmares, even when on meds (they made me feel disgusting and I put some of the weight I worked so hard to lose straight back on, which made me more miserable.) This is the question I have been asking all of these “professionals,” “what is wrong with me?” I had a great relationship, unlike many here who knew there was something wrong, we had hit a tough patch, but it didn’t seem like it was that terrible or unfixable. He abandoned me when I needed him most and I am still bereft and lost and alone.

  8. mona lisa August 17, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    A motivator for me to try and change my attitude toward this is the fact that my physical health could very well be effected by all the mental stress that I have endured for 17 months. My dr says that some diseases and a lot of health problems are a direct result of extended stress. I want to be around for a long time to enjoy my grandchildren, so I have used this as an incentive. I have always been a happy person, and I hate the animal I have been since all this nonsense took place. Unfortunately the affair has forever changed my view about certain things, BUT I have decided to take care of ME.

  9. Melanie August 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Everything my husband told me on Dday was a lie. He told me it was a one time thing , that he didnt even know her name and that he realized it was wrong and that it was already over. Three months later was Dday #2. I discovered the affair was still going on after installing a key logger on his computer. That was exactly a year ago. He did end things with the OW after that and finally came clean and told me everything. We are still on the roller coaster and have some really good days and some really bad days. I just cant get over the thought that he might still be lying to me. Kristine how do you do it ? How do you stop the negative thoughts from invading your mind. I want so badly to just put it all behind me but those dang negative thoughts just keep creeping back in.

  10. RecoveringMommy August 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    I guess this really isn’t related to the topic. Sorry. I find myself being all over the place these days. One day I’m happy, the next I shut down from depression. I’m so tired of feeling “crazy.” Why do we do the things we do? Do we really want answers to all the questions bouncing around in our head?

    I was playing around of Facebook today, which is how I discovered my H’s EA 16 months ago. Periodically, with his knowledge, I check his email and Facebook accounts. I haven’t done so in a while, but something nudged me to check today. Same exact nudge I felt on April 29, 2010. I admit it creeped me out a little. Anyways, I went to his archived messages on Facebook and found all the messages exchanged between him and the OW. I’ve seen her messages to him before as it was finding them that led me to discovery. But this was the first time I’ve ever saw what all my H said to her. I feel like I could just die! The wound that was almost healed was painfully ripped open. It’s like I’m reliving the pain all over again. I broke into a panic attack sitting at my desk at work. I’ve lost any appetite for food and I’m physically sick. The same exact way my body reacted on D-day. Why do we do this to ourselves? I knew this would be painful but I absolutely could not help myself. It’s like when you’re in elementary and your teacher asks you to deliver a note to someone. You know you shouldn’t look but you just can’t help yourself.

    I really believe my H has moved past his feelings for the OW, but how can I ever know for sure? Unfortunately, I know I cannot. And knowing that I can’t absolutely makes me feel enraged. I’m a very OCD person and I have to fully understand things in general. I’m not a take it on faith kind of person. I have never been able to accept things “just because.” It kills me that this most important thing for me to understand is something I never will.

    Sorry for the random, self pity post. I just needed to vent a little and I know everyone on here can relate to some degree. My dear friend I normally confide this things in is moving 3 states away tomorrow and I don’t want her worried about me when she should be worried about the move.

  11. Tracey August 20, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    What upsets me about researching why men cheat, is the supposed answer that men aren’t meant to be monogamous. That they were “wired” to spread their seeds and seek many partners.

    Marriage has been an institution of our society for thousands of years. Surely not all men felt the urge to be with more than one woman?

    My husband tried to state this and referred to animal species where they don’t mate for life as an excuse for his infidelity.

    Is it really that hard for men to make a commitment to one woman and keep it for life?

  12. Paula August 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Tracey, I do believe in the evolutionary thing, but I also understand that life is about a lot of scanning your “needs” and “wants” and differentiating between them, eg “I’m starving, I NEED that burger” – I doubt you’re STARVING, you want that burger. I also think that if someone marries, or is in a long-term monogomous relationship, then why did they ever enter into it if they can’t “keep it in their pants?” It’s not like it’s a grey area.

    Oh, and believe it or not women cheat, and are tempted to cheat too, so where does that leave the evolutionary theory then?

  13. Going Crazy February 7, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    I have yet to hear the truth from my husband but I suspect he is having or had an affair. We have been together for 17 years, married for 10 and have two beautiful daughters, 6 and 8. He moved out just over two months ago stating we are broken and can’t be fixed. He tells me he doesn’t love me anymore and that we’ve grown apart. However, he spends more time at our home now than he did before he moved out. He comes over every morning and most evenings during the week and spends a good portion of Saturday and Sunday at home. We watch movies, run errands, go skiing, have nice family dinners. He says he is here for the kids. He is also helping out more with child care and household chores. Prior to his leaving there was an ever increasing lack of his participation in these activities, over the span of years. I am trying to understand his motivation to be a more involved dad and for helping out in general, and spending most of his spare time at home, yet have no interest in working on our marriage. I’ve been told he’s doing this for himself, to help ease his guilt.

    I know he feels guilt for being a poor father and husband, he feels like he’s failed in his career, we have huge financial debt. I’ve been a stay at home mom since the second child was born and now am returning to work. He has withdrawn from all his family members over the last year or so and has lost his best friend in severing the ties of their business partnership. They built their business about a decade ago but the last 3 years have been increasingly stressful with their company and relationship. At the same time that he bought out his partner, he left me and turned 40. He thought he was depressed last year but never sought help. I am certain that he is now, having many of the symptoms, but now he denies it. Given all these events in his life he is still refusing to seek professional help.

    Our relationship was definitely disconnected but I assumed (as he told me) it was due to the ever increasing stress of his work. I was blind sided when he left but am even more hurt that he has no interest in working on our marriage. He is not concerned about the kids, saying they will cope fine. We can’t afford two places. I still love him and he knows I’d do anything to make our marriage work. I’ve done tons of self improvement and have changed my attitude towards him (I know I was resentful of the lack of his presence in our family for years) and have learned so much about relationships and put all that towards our interactions.

    I believe his reasons for not wanting to work on our marriage (not in love, grown apart) are just excuses. I really feel I have not heard the truth and because of that I can’t sleep (average 3-4 hours per night), have lost 20 pounds (I was a healthy weight prior and am now underweight), and am finding it very stressful to return to work (I’m a healthcare professional and have to get re-licensed and basically feel like a full time student trying to relearn so much info).

    Not sure what to do at this point. In the first few days of his leaving I asked him about three times if there was someone else and he said no. But none of this makes sense and all the signs are pointing to it. How do I get the truth?

  14. Gizfield February 7, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Crazy, he isn’t working on your marriage cause he has absolutely no motivation to do so. Hes getting all the benefits so why should he? I have a daughter myself so I know it thrills you to see him finally pay attention to the kids. Use this to your advantage and let him know that if he doesn’t make some effort and soon, his life will change very dramatically. Let him experience life as a Single Dad. Dont let him stroll in and out as he pleases. A month of being out of the house turned my husband into a different man.

  15. Going crazy February 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Gizfield – can you please tell me more? What kind of child arrangements did you make with your husband? Did you reconcile your marriage? Everyone around me says to move on but I love him and will do whatever I can to save our marriage. But he is certain that he won’t come back.

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