From the bedroom to the courtroom: Adultery and divorce 

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Being cheated on by an unfaithful spouse can be a devastatingly heartbreaking experience. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if a spouse is being unfaithful until conclusive evidence is obtained. However, long before adultery is confirmed, your instincts may indicate that something is wrong. 

Infidelity remains the number one reason why relationships end. According to data from the General Social Survey (GSS), over 12% of Americans (10% of men and 13% of women) have been intimate with someone other than their spouse while married.

7 signs that may indicate your spouse may be unfaithful

Although there is no checklist to confirm adultery, the following is a list of common signs that point towards unfaithfulness:

  • Emotional distance: When a partner grows cold or seems to not be emotionally available or intimate, it can be a strong indication that their affection is going elsewhere.
  • Hostility: When ambivalence and disinterest turn into hostility, it may be a sign that an overly defensive partner may be wrestling with issues of guilt.
  • Being unreachable: When a partner is unfaithful there may be times when they are unreachable by phone, text or email.
  • New schedules: If your spouse has sudden schedule changes that require time away from home, it could indicate that they have new interests. Excuses for tardiness, absences and travel may be an attempt at an alibi.
  • Unexplained expenses: Infidelity often comes with expenses that are hard to explain. In addition to suspicious charges, unfaithful partners often open new accounts or credit cards.
  • Secretiveness: Changing passwords, late-night phone calls, deleted messages and suspicious computer use can be signs that adultery is taking place.
  • Improved appearance: Cheating spouses often lose weight, buy new clothes, suddenly add perfume or cologne and generally make improvements in their overall appearance.

If your marriage is on the edge, it may be time to find out more about your rights and options in a divorce. Knowing what might happen if your fears are confirmed may take some of the stress off your shoulders. 

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