The Warning Signs of Infidelity
- Thursday, December 10, 2009
Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
~ Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Kate found out her husband was having an affair the same week he asked her for a divorce -- she didn't see it coming. She told me, "My 'gut' was telling me that things weren't quite right, but Bob had convinced me that I was just paranoid and insecure. I had no idea he was such a good liar. He talked me out of my suspicions."
I asked her, "Could you make a list of his unusual behaviors? New actions that weren't necessarily bad -- just odd. But now, looking back, you see them as signs that he was having an affair?"
Here is Kate's top-ten list:
1. About six months ago, he started working longer hours and having more "client dinners."
2. When he was home, he would seem restless and often claim he had "work" to do, so he spent a lot of time in the den -- with the door closed.
3. He started some new patterns that I thought were wonderful. He took the dog for long walks, and offered to run errands for me in the evenings. If I commented that I wished I had some cookies for the kids' lunches, he'd say, "I'll be happy to go to the store for you." I found out later that he'd call his mistress on his cell phone while he was walking or running errands.
4. He gave me a goofy, silly card for my birthday instead of his usual romantic, sentimental one, and he only signed his name -- not Love, Bob.
5. Our sex life lost its sizzle. On the rare occasions when we did make love, it felt awkwardly cold -- just a physical act, not an emotional connection. I think he may have felt as if he was being unfaithful to his girlfriend by sleeping with me.
6. He started referring to a person at work named Pierce. He would tell me how funny and talented Pierce was. That was his mistress's last name!
7. He started to skip desserts and be very careful about what he ate -- he lost weight and started exercising.
8. He dyed his hair -- to cover the gray. "She" is twelve years younger than he is.
9. He seemed more short-tempered. Things that didn't usually bother him suddenly did. He was especially impatient with the children.
10. After I saw the way he reacted to "her" at a company party, I asked him if there was something between them, and he lied to my face. Looking back, I know he lied to me about credit card and cell phone bills, and that most of the new clients he'd been taking to dinner were not clients at all.
Kate summed it all up: "I wish I'd been more alert. I just didn't put all the pieces together until it was too late."
When Secret Service agents guard the President, they continually scan the crowd. They're looking for unusual movements or odd behaviors that may be an indication of danger. The agents have studied how innocent people usually behave, so they can spot a person who's acting "guilty." We can apply some of these lessons to guarding our marriages.
These warning signs may indicate an affair:
1. Changing eating and sleeping patterns;
2. Wearing a different style of clothes;
3. Starting arguments or becoming very passive;
4. Working longer or different hours;
5. Pulling away from church and extended family;
6. Taking more showers than usual;
7. Comparing his or her spouse to other people;
8. Hiding credit card charges and cash withdrawals
9. Taking off his or her wedding ring.
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