'I caught my partner of 15 years cheating. These are 10 signs yours might be too.'

Listen to this story being read by Jessica Kingston, here.

I have recently survived, and I don't say survived lightly, living with my husband while he had an affair.

I must have asked a hundred times if he was having an affair. Heck, even our marriage counsellor asked a few times, "Are you sure you haven't made another connection with someone else?"

Every time, it was the same response. "No, I am not having an affair. I don't have time for an affair." And then towards the very end, "Of course you would invent an affair, you couldn’t believe I just don't want you anymore."

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Introducing my husband and partner of 15 years, the father of my children. 

Now, I am a strong, capable, and intelligent woman and when I read over the below, I don't feel shame; I feel sad for that woman, me. That the person she loved and trusted the most broke her down. I put up with it, believing the many, many excuses, until I didn't. 

Here are the 10 signs that your partner is definitely cheating on you.


1. They start going to the gym, like a lot. Now this one on its own could just be a health kick, but when combined with any of the below, it requires further investigation.

2. Suddenly the old daggy undies get an update. 

3. Not only underwear, but clothes, shoes, and any big shift in outward appearance can be a big red flag.

4. The mobile phone requires its own summary, including:

  • They are constantly on it. They have never been a big texter before, but suddenly WhatsApp has become their new life line.
  • The phone is suddenly stuck to them like glue; taking it to every room, never leaving it out of their sight.
  • Their notifications settings change. First, the 'preview' was removed, where only a name would appear and no preview to the content of the message.
  • There was also the moment he turned off the 'last online' function on WhatsApp so you couldn't tell when they were last awake/using it.
  • Then came the time I would hear a vibration in the night and look at his phone and nothing would appear. He removed any visibility of a message notification. It took two weeks of him lying that anyone was messaging until I sent a trial WhatsApp message from my phone, and surprise! Nothing appeared on the screen.
  • Passwords. Now, I was never privy to his phone password, but he knew mine. If you don't have anything to hide, why hide it?

5. They have snored their head off for years, especially with alcohol, then suddenly the snoring gets better and gradually, it stops. When you ask about the snoring, a throwaway comment, "Oh, I had laser surgery on my throat" casually gets dropped into the conversation. Thousands of dollars spent on something to improve not my sleep but hers with no consultation with your actual wife.

6. They start cutting themselves out of your friendship group activities and avoid your mutual friends. Suddenly, there is a HUGE increase in "work events", "work travel", or drinks with "work people" and they start coming home later and later. 

7. Not answering their phone while they are out, like ever.

8. They come home smelling like perfume. And there is always a story for each of these numbered reasons, always. Mine was, "I forgot my deodorant at work so after the gym, I sprayed toilet spray on my clothes". She must have been told to skip perfume after this one, because it only happened once. 


9. Here is my favourite and possibly the one that will require the most amount of therapy. Suddenly, they don't want to touch you, be touched by you, or have sex with you. And when you initiate it, they say, "I feel violated". Say what? If you have been having sex with the same person for years and they suddenly don't want to have sex with you, it's because they want to be faithful. To their mistress. Like I said, lots of therapy is required on that one. 

10. When they no longer show interest in your life or sharing their life with you. Suddenly, you feel like the third wheel in your own relationship. You can't see the third wheel, but you feel her. Because you feel a shift in him. They no longer start to feel like your person.

When all the above starts mounting up and you start asking questions (and to my credit, I did very early on), if they are in fact cheating, you will get everything thrown back at you.

You see, the best way to make a strong and intelligent person doubt their own instincts is to tell them that everything is their fault. 

My therapist at the time said to me, "Often when people are in the midst of an affair, a way to deflect the guilt they are experiencing is to shift the blame to the person they are cheating on." They need a villain. 

So everything my ex was doing to me, I was told I was doing to him. Then gradually you break, and if you love them and want desperately to keep your family together, you start to believe the problem really is you. 


And you go on a 'self improvement please don't leave me and choose me' spree (which I have now learnt is the bargaining/pleading stage of grief). It doesn't make us weak. It means we are a good person, and they are not. 

So, did he have a come to Jesus moment and finally admit it?

Absolutely not. I hired a private investigator and got video surveillance footage of them. You can Google one and access them very easily. It's a booming business, unfortunately. But it also takes money.

This was gifted to me by a loved one, who was so devastated that the once carefree and fierce woman they knew had become a broken, sleep deprived shell of a person. I needed a lifeline.

And getting that PI was my lifeline. I got the power back, got him out, and most importantly, I got me back. I no longer make myself smaller, I no longer live in a sleepless anxiety spiral, and I feel free. 

It's called 'living grief' when a marriage ends. I am happy to report I am very much at the acceptance stage, with sometimes a little sprinkle of anger. 

So my parting words of wisdom after surviving the worst thing I have ever lived through? Trust your gut and don't let the gaslighting win. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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