How can you tell that your spouse may be cheating?

By Elizabeth Smith Owen
Attorney at Law

It’s the one thing you don’t want to find out – that your spouse is cheating.

At the same time, if your life is about to be turned upside-down, you might prefer to have some warning.

About a third of the time, infidelity leads to divorce. But even when it doesn’t, it likely means you have a major challenge to work through if you want your marriage to continue. Fundamental assumptions about your life, your world, may need to be re-evaluated.

So what are the warning signs that your spouse has found someone else? After many years of experience practicing family law, here are some we have heard about:

  • There is considerably less intimacy or connection in your relationship. If you used to share everything and your spouse seems emotionally distant, it could indicate an affair – especially if there is an unexplained lack of interest in physical intimacy.
  • Your spouse seems to be picking fights with you more often and seems resentful of you. Or – and this may seem contradictory – your partner suddenly doesn’t seem to care enough to bother arguing with you. Either way, a sudden change in how you get along with your spouse can be indicative.
  • Your spouse is dressing better, showing a sudden interest in making a good appearance. If he or she never looked that good before when going out the door, maybe it’s for someone else.
  • You notice charges on credit card and bank statements that don’t make sense or seem out of character for your spouse. And we’re not just talking about an invoice from a hotel. Any significant change in spending that occurs without your knowledge could be problematic.
  • Your spouse seems more secretive and may begin changing passwords on a personal phone or other electronic device. In a person who has always told you everything before, this could be a giveaway.
  • Your spouse seems more interested than usual in social media, and he or she begins using social media as a primary means of communication with friends.
  • You notice your spouse is using two phones to communicate, perhaps an old phone that you didn’t think was operational anymore.
  • There is a sudden change in your spouse’s social behavior. You may perceive a new group of friends – or a sudden need to “go out.”

I don’t want you seeing betrayal in every little thing your spouse does. There can be an innocent explanation for almost anything. But experience has shown that these can be common indicators of an affair.

If you find yourself faced with infidelity or you suspect it, you will have difficult questions to confront and try to answer, ones that will affect the rest of your life.

If you need legal guidance as you try to sort through these difficult issues, please consult the Family Law team at Morton & Gettys. We help people facing such issues every day. We can provide professional clarity in a situation fraught with emotion and advocate your interests for the best course forward.

Elizabeth Smith Owen is a partner with Morton & Gettys Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC. She can be reached at (803) 366-3388 or

Information or interaction on this page should not be construed as establishing a client-attorney relationship or as legal advice. For advice about your specific situation, please consult one of our attorneys.