When cheating, most men begin to mistreat their significant other in little ways. She may notice that he starts talking to her in negative nasty ways, or accuses HER of cheating (out of guilt I suppose). Some men become overtly disrespectful and stay out all night, stay gone for days at a time, or become verbally or physically abusive.
Confused women who wonder how love could have gone so wrong sometimes become depressed. Some end up in clinics on antidepressants because they don't know how to express their anger in healthy ways without feeling they are risking losing their man even more.
Some don't want to throw away years of investment in their union or take actions which they feel would make them responsible for a divorce, the destruction of their family and the ruination of their children's lives. So they choose to stay and resignedly accept their man's cheating. Some women are so devastated by the hurt and so angry that they end the relationship or marriage on the spot.
Often though, they are sorry later that they didn't try to work it out utilizing couples counseling.
Some men cheat once and never do again. Those marriages can probably be saved. Others are habitual philanders with no intention of being committed and married on a spiritual level. To these men, marriage is merely a social convenience, something that one does to appease ones family or to appear respectable to superiors on the job. What kind of marriage is that, really?
With infidelity, it is difficult to find the middle ground between denial and overreaction. But to me, trust is one of the most important ingredients in marriage. When infidelity or even the suspicion of infidelity rears its ugly head, the trust is violated.
Infidelity is a sign of something being wrong.
Admittedly, some men are womanizers and what is wrong with them is that they have issues with commitment and intimacy that they refuse to deal with and escape into a fantasy relationship with another women time after time. Other men though are seeking something they feel is missing in their primary relationship - understanding, excitement in bed, a woman that is challenging to them, etc.
Women often want to know how they can verify their suspicions and find out if their man is cheating. Here is a short list of the most common things that often point to a cheating man:
* When he no longer wants to have sex with you.
* When he gets mysterious phone calls and/or discourages you from ever looking at his cell phone.
* When he breaks dates, stands you up, shows up hours late with no reasonable explanation.
* When he starts to dress differently and/or does or requests wildly different things in bed.
* When he begins to talk to you or treat you abusively all of a sudden.
* When his established routine changes with no plausible reason.
* When he becomes suddenly forgetful and you have to tell him everything 3 times!
If you are confident that he is cheating, confront him immediately. Don't wait until you catch him in the act with his drawers down! Don't pretend you don't know what is going on either. The longer you wait, the longer he will keep it up and think that what he is doing is okay.
The other danger is that he will become emotionally attached to this woman, and enjoy getting the secondary adolescent thrill of getting away with something. This thrill is often what keeps men cheating again and again. It's somewhat addictive.
Men who cheat always say "if she had done something about it - gotten my parents or the priest on my back, or threatened me with divorce or disgrace or something before I got so good at lying to her, I would have stopped."
So think hard about what you will do if you find out your man is definitely cheating. Some of the things listed above could also indicate drug use, so you need to know for sure what you are dealing with, then map out a plan of action that may have to include a temporary separation or even a breakup or divorce.
But if you are too afraid to do anything to confront your man or fight for your relationship or marriage, then girlfriend you will just not say anything and just go along with the program until he gets tired of either her, or you.
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm PST.