Affairs and infidelity can happen for a variety of reasons, and in a variety of ways.
Most start with problems at home, when unmet needs or a missing emotional connection causes one member of a marriage to seek those things out elsewhere – even if they aren’t acutely aware that they are doing so.
Because affairs are so often rooted in seeking connection, one area they tend to crop up is the workplace. These are people you spend a significant amount of your time with, and if someone is (consciously or not) seeking connection, a coworker is a likely candidate to provide it.
This isn’t at all to say the behavior is acceptable – of course it isn’t! But if we can understand how affairs begin, we can also understand more about how to avoid the conditions that help them transpire.
Today, however, we’re going to look at some suspicious signs that there might be an affair going on in your spouse’s workplace. Here are four red flags that your husband might be cheating on you with someone at work:
1. Change In Attitude
One of the most telltale signs of any affair is a change in attitude when any part that might be “discovered” comes up in conversation. For this scenario, it could just be talking about work, talking about a specific coworker or event, or just the conversation turning toward how he feels about his coworkers.
If your husband has something to hide, he’ll likely tense up or try to change the subject. It might be a tiny reaction, but it’s a reaction nonetheless.
Similarly, if they go out of their way to avoid mentioning a specific person, but any other coworkers’ names come up frequently, that can also be a warning sign that something else is going on.
2. Frequent Travel
If your husband is taking more and more business trips, but not being terribly specific about what they’re for or what he’s doing while he’s away, you might have a big problem.
Just traveling for business doesn’t mean he’s cheating on you, but if he goes quiet the whole trip, won’t return your calls, or is extremely vague about what he did while he was away, you may very well have cause for concern.
Business trips, conferences, tradeshows, and the like can also feel like mini vacations, meaning that people attending might have more free time, feel disconnected from home, and feel more “free” to participate in behavior that could rip their marriages apart. Unfortunately, these kinds of trips can present the opportunity to pursue or act on feelings they may have for a coworker.
3. Longer Hours
For affairs in the workplace, “working late” is about the most common excuse/cover up there is – especially if they can’t provide a legitimate reason for doing so.
Depending on the industry, it’s no uncommon for hours to change or big projects to require some extra time “on the clock,” but if they’ve kept regular hours for years, and are now suddenly coming home later on a regular basis, there may be something suspicious afoot.
Again, this isn’t a sure-fire indication that your husband is cheating, but definitely a situation to be wary of. If it’s a new job or he was just recently promoted, it might be completely innocent, but if no changes (other than more time away from home) are apparent, you have every right to worry.
4. Reduced Communication
This can be in an indicator of infidelity or an emotional affair no matter what the circumstances – coworkers or otherwise. If your husband seems to be confiding in you less, sharing less of his day-to-day experiences, or just being noticeably more reserved in his communication, it could be an indication that he’s got someone else to share himself with.
As we mentioned earlier, even the most physically based affairs usually begin because the cheating spouse finds an emotional connection outside of the marriage. Even if this connection is imagined, temporary, or a placeholder for other problems, they are still leaning on this other person for emotional support – which means they are less likely to seek it out from you.
If this sounds all too familiar, it might be time to have a serious discussion with your husband.
Affairs are devastating. No one will dispute the emotional hardship that comes with such a breach of trust. You can, however, rebuild a marriage in the wake of an affair if you’re willing to take an honest look at the relationship, find the flaws you both helped to create, and agree to move forward with a “new” marriage.
You can find tips and helpful information about overcoming affairs throughout this blog, as well as in our video courses. If you suspect your husband is cheating with a coworker, it doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage! Confront him about his behavior, get painfully honest with each other, and starting working toward a healthier relationship.
Don’t let these warning signs go by unaddressed. Stop the problems and start creating solutions right away.