Don’t make the same mistakes as me.
By Patty Blue Hayes for YourTango.
At 2:30AM, sitting in a rental car outside a bar my husband said, “I don’t think we should be married anymore.”
An hour earlier, I’d grabbed his phone, curious as to whom he kept texting all night. He told me about two casual sex partners he’d had in the past six months, but my mind raced backwards in time to calculate the exact time he began his infidelity.
It was two years. After reading back in my journals (a real one; not like the one in the movie Gone Girl), I created a map back to the turning point. A cheater will manipulate situations and lie to cover their tracks. In my case, with my self-esteem already in the toilet, I was easy prey to believe his lies and question my gut instincts. Never question your instinct; it’s always right.
Here are 6 signs I missed while he was cheating:
1. He was manscaping and getting buff.
Yes, it’s nice for a man to groom himself, but when he starts shaving and trimming down more than he’s ever done in the past, it’s something to question. Is he more enamored with his own body than yours when you stand next to him in front of the bathroom mirror? That’s a big red flag.
My ex even had me shave the back of his neck and trim the errant patches on his mid-back, and little did I know I was grooming him for his sex partners.
Of course, physical fitness is healthy, but when it becomes obsessive and he keeps showing off his abs and biceps, take that as a warning sign that could lead to him to become more enthralled with his own body than his commitment to your marriage.
It got to the point where my husband would prefer to work out and come home at 10 pm, rather than have dinner with me at home. He resisted my requests and told me I didn’t understand or appreciate how hard he was working to provide for us. I wanted to be a supportive wife, so I backed off my needs for quality time with him.
2. He stops inviting you out to business events.
Is he out several nights a week meeting with clients, vendors, agencies and people from his department or team? Have you been excluded from the social gatherings, and then learn other spouses had attended? This is a pretty good indication that he’s up to something. It may not be quite infidelity, but he’s flirting with it, as well as some woman who “understands” how hard he works.
My husband told me he didn’t want me around at business parties because he felt inhibited around me and responsible for me. In the past, he’d stand close to me when I was welcome at business functions. The important thing is to look for changes in what had been the norm.
In the last two years of my marriage I had no self-esteem, so I tolerated his behaviour and believed his lies. Spare yourself the torture I describe in my book, Wine, Sex & Suicide: My Near Death Divorce. Have a backbone and stand up for yourself, starting now.