Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been all over the news lately about their divorce. There have been numerous reasons cited for the divorce. Everything from drug abuse to physical abuse to affairs. Both have been married AND divorced more than once. In this and the previous divorces, cheating was mentioned as a reason for the breakup. One says it’s vicious rumors, the other swears there was an affair. So, how can you tell if you have a cheating spouse?
Look for Signs of Evidence
Cell phones and texting are without a doubt one of the easiest ways to communicate with someone in an affair these days. But frequent phone or text use in and of itself does not indicate anything inappropriate. Many adults now stay on their cell phones throughout the day and evening. Smart phones have games, apps and social networks to communicate with friends. Those in business find it difficult to “turn off” their work after 5. They often answer emails, texts and calls late into the evening. Business owners now have apps that allow for working nearly 24/7.
So with all of these electronic tools, how is one to notice a pattern of a cheating spouse? Here are some tips:
- Look for changes in your spouse’s phone behavior. Has your spouse suddenly becomes protective of the phone? Did your spouse suddenly begin using a pass code on their phone that is not work related? Does he/she need to be out of earshot for certain phone calls – again, not work related? Are there all of a sudden calls that are “wrong number” or “nobody”?
- Unexplained meetings are another sign to watch. Does your spouse receive a call while you are together and suddenly find a reason to run to the store? Is this behavior new? Is your spouse’s errand taking a lot longer than it should? Does he/she suddenly want to take business trips without you? Are you finding it much harder to contact your spouse than you once did?
Do Not Jump to Conclusions
Before you hang your spouse out to dry for cheating when he/she may have a very good reason for the excessive texting (could be work related) or the delayed time it takes to get home some evenings (could be working late to earn extra money for a vacation as a surprise), make sure you watch carefully, open up and talk to him or her (if appropriate) and talk to an attorney if needed. Also, be sure that you look at ALL of these things together – not just one of them before you conclude your spouse is unfaithful.
Do not take matters into your own hands.
It’s fun to read articles about couples like Brad and Angelina. But keep in mind, we really do not know what happened behind closed doors. We also do not know who is wrong, who is right and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle; it usually does. They also have agents to handle things for them. Agents to spin stories and agents to handle situations. If you do find out your spouse is cheating, step back, take a deep breath and hire an attorney to map out your best course of action if you decide to leave.
Why Should You Discuss With an Attorney?
One of the worst things I hear in my practice are people listening to their friends and family who mean well, but unfortunately, give bad advice. Friends and family want the best for you but sometimes that spills over into anger for the spouse, even if he/she has done nothing wrong. If you do have a cheating spouse, friends and family may see patterns that you are cannot see. They may know things that they are not willing to share for fear of hurting you. However, because of their love for you, they usually do not have the same love for your spouse that you carry.
An attorney will be your advocate but will be objective with the facts you share. You can rest assured that you can bring your concerns to an experienced family attorney and she will discuss the options with you without judgement or condemnation. If your spouse is dangerous, she will guide you properly on the best course of action for you and your family. If your spouse is cheating, she will guide you on the best course of action regarding a divorce if that is what you decide. If you want to stay in your marriage, she can also guide you to some experts who may help in counseling. All of these things will be in confidence and all of these things will be to assist you within the confines of the law.
If you are in a situation where you need to discuss your options regarding your marriage or other related issue, contact me directly.