How to catch a love rat
Of course, betrayals of the heart don’t just happen in celebland. Research suggests a shocking 30% of men cheat on their partners at some point.
But how can you tell if your man is straying? Arm yourself with this valuable information about the signs to watch out for...
The gift of intuition
If you’re suspicious but you can’t put your finger on specifics, your intuition is at work. Think of it as your sixth sense picking up a general vibe that something is different.
Author Allan Pease says: “When a person gets a new love interest on the side, the increased hormonal activity in the brain causes behavioral changes. These may include subtle changes to habits or creating new habits.”
Unless you have a history of jealousy you should trust this instinct. However, it could be something other than infidelity troubling him, so use intuition as a guide while considering other signs.
We are naturally tuned in to our partner’s way of speaking. So a good starting point is to listen very carefully to what he says.
He may mention going to new places for lunch, or drop an unfamiliar woman’s name into conversations.
Cheats will mention their secret lover as a reverse-psychology ploy to make their behavior sound innocent.
As he’s speaking, listen for the overload of detail. You’ll know from his normal speech patterns if suddenly he gives all sorts of information he wouldn’t normally when describing his day. Retain as much detail as possible as cheaters are often caught because they contradict their stories – they can’t remember the details they’ve given.
The voice speaks the truth
You’ll be used to the normal way he sounds compared to under pressure. Listen for vocal changes, including attempts to keep his voice stable. Some men develop a monotone when lying. Vocal chords constrict under pressure, so be aware of a rising pitch.
Have a big conversation
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You’re probably dying to have a go at him but that will fail to get the right response. Instead, plan your big “chat” and challenge him when he least expects it.
Timing is everything and body language expert Judi James says: “Liars tend to perform at their worst when accused out of the blue.
“Never make accusations over the phone and always ensure he’s facing you.”
If they ask you questions about why you are challenging them, it may signal that they’re trying to deflect attention away from themselves.
Judi notes: “A practiced liar may not squirm in their chair but watch for other signs of anxiety such as tell-tale foot or finger tapping or hand wringing as they answer your questions. Lying places the brain under pressure.
“The liar will have to suppress an honest response before acting out their ‘lie response’.
“Under pressure we tend to overact, and often gesticulate too much – the body language version of verbal diarrhoea.
“Knowing your partner well you should spot differences in behavior, which suggests lying.”
Research finds a liar might make eye contact for longer than is natural so beware of the “puppy dog eyes” look from him.
Notice whether he covers his mouth when he is speaking or crosses his arms over his chest when he answers – these are both defensive gestures.
There are many other key signs of cheating, such as an unexplained interest in updating his wardrobe, styling his hair and getting fitter. When first in love/lust you want to look your best. It’s no different for a man having an affair.
Or he might suddenly take an interest in learning a new hobby when previously he wasn’t interested.
Their behavior may change despite them wanting things to appear the same. Pease says: “Look for changes in behavior that have been part of your life as a couple, like if a man starts doing his own washing, or locks drawers.
“Don’t ignore changes in sexual behavior, such as subtle changes in regularity or style of doing the horizontal hula – they want to try things they’ve never done with you before.”
They may try justifying coming home late with excuses of new working hours. And technology has also changed our relationships and can provide clues.
Pease adds: “Your partner starts preferring to email you rather than ring. And when they ring conversations are kept short, end abruptly, or they use a barely audible voice – all signs that someone else may be present.
“Or they start constantly going online, checking emails, and if you approach suddenly close the computer window. Also his phone is never left lying around anymore and their computer or phone has new passwords.”
When you do challenge him, Judi warns: “It’s possible to take a false reading, known as the Othello Error.
“This is where a partner can look, sound and act in a way that suggests guilt when they’re merely showing the symptoms of someone that’s innocent but having problems being accused.”
Make sure you weigh the evidence up before deciding if he’s a cheat or behaving differently due to a reason like stress at work.
If you decide you believe him it might be wise to consider counseling since trust may now be fragile.
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