LoveToKnow was given the opportunity to review a newly released infidelity book, The Cheat Sheet. Relationship experts, Rea Frey and Stephany Alexander, are the authors and they have created a clue-by-clue guide on how to find out if he is cheating. In this exclusive LTK interview, they have shared some of those clues with you to help either put your fears of infidelity to rest or prove them true and know what to do.
Is Your Lover Cheating?
LoveToKnow (LTK): What are the top five signs that a lover is cheating?
Cheat Sheet Authors (CSA): The number one clue not to be overlooked? Women's intuition. We usually know when something is going on. That being said, it's important to pay attention to the following signs:
- Partner brings a new, random person up in conversation all the time.
- Partner becomes increasingly private about cell phone usage and computer time (such as hiding screen when texting and spending more time on the computer or changing the screen display when you enter the room). He might also refrain from answering the phone around you, turn the ringer off or take longer than usual to call you back.
- Behavioral changes (such as getting more defensive, pulling away emotionally or physically, wanting less sex or more sex)
- Takes sudden business trips or stays away for unexplained amounts of time
- Unaccounted for hairs/perfume/cigarette smoke on clothing
LTK: What are some tips for proving that a partner is cheating?
CSA: It's important to make sure that you're not mistaking your own past relationship baggage (if you're been cheated on before) for a false accusation. Make sure you have a valid reason to believe your partner is cheating, and then you can do the following:
- Obtain cell phone records. Watch his cell phone behavior. Does he always turn off his cell phone when he's with you because he doesn't want any incoming calls from the "other" woman? Do your calls go straight to his voicemail a little too often? If you have access to his cell phone, check it for repetitive unknown numbers and suspicious text messages. If you have access to his cell phone bill, note repeated calls.
- Pay attention to unaccounted for time (this is time when your partner is away from you, doing "other" things such as business lunches or trips, going to the gym, etc.) Is he spending time with, or talking a lot about, someone new? People usually cheat when they are not with their spouse, so start noticing his daily habits.
- Follow the cheater in question during these unaccounted for amounts of time. If he says he has to work late, show up unexpectedly to bring him a gift to reward him for working so hard. If you don't live with him, drive by his house to see if he's home when he is supposed to be. You can also take this a step further and set a trap. Ninety-nine percent of the time, people will cheat when their partner is out of town or when they are traveling. Tell your partner you are leaving for the weekend and then wait and watch. If he doesn't come home all night, he could be at another woman's house or at a hotel.
- Check computer history. Does he have multiple email accounts or a free email account you don't know about? If you suspect your partner is involved in an affair, you can install a keystroke logger, which logs every keystroke. Check his Internet web browser history (cache) for unusual websites he may be surfing.
- Check your home for clues, such as hairs, bobby pins, rubber bands, receipts, condoms in trashcans, etc.
- Place a tape recorder in the car, in an office, or under the bed to see if your partner is doing anything out of the ordinary. Place a GPS tracking device in the car. They are usually no larger than a pack of gum and will track anywhere an automobile goes. Double check with your local and state laws before doing this.
- Check his spending habits. If you have access to his bank or credit card statements, check them for unusual transactions. Pay attention to any strange ATM withdrawals or unexplained travel and business expenses. If he claims to be working late, check paycheck stubs to verify overtime.
Once Infidelity Is Proven
LTK: What is typically the first reaction a betrayed person has when faced with the reality of becoming a victim of infidelity?
CSA: They are hurt, devastated, outraged and often feel revengeful. Suddenly, your entire relationship becomes a lie - and people often reduce their entire relationships to the cheating fiasco. The betrayed person can also feel like they are lacking in some area - that they caused this to happen. It's important to realize cheating is usually symptomatic of something else missing in the relationship. If you want to salvage your partnership, this is a good time to really examine your union and learn to recreate the trust and boundaries between the two of you.
LTK: What is the first step when someone discovers her partner has cheated on her?
- It's important to know how you both feel about infidelity. Is this a deal breaker? Can you live with knowing your partner has been unfaithful? Is breaking this vow worse than breaking any of the other vows? Really take time to figure this out (emotions aside).
- Once you know what you are going to do, assess the situation. If you are going to stay together, figure out what you need to know to move on.
- If you know you are going to break up, figure out the logistics of breaking up. Are you married? Do you have kids? What will be involved in separating your lives? Will you need a lawyer? A mediator? How will you divide the finances and responsibilities?
- Try and distance yourself from the emotional aspect of the situation and look at the logistics. Approach this like a problem-solver.
- Make copies of all important documents so if you do decide to part, you will be armed with the necessary information to begin your separation.
LTK: How does someone who has cheated typically react when accused?
CSA: He may get very defensive. No one likes to get caught. He could also throw the accusation back at you or make you feel incredibly guilty or even crazy to accuse him. Many cheaters have valid excuses for their behavior and make you doubt your intuition. This is why it's important not to accuse someone until you have gathered evidence. Cheaters often use something called "blame-switching" techniques to take the focus off what they may have done to put it on your faults. Cheaters may also look you in the eye, lie, and even cry in order to deny any wrongdoings. However, it's really not hard to catch a cheater. You just have to be patient and know where to look.
LTK: How should the betrayed partner respond to the denials of cheating from her mate?
CSA: Stay calm. It's easy to start doubting yourself or lose it if someone is denying these accusations, but your gut instinct is rarely wrong. However, obtaining concrete evidence is the only way to refute these denials and prove that you are right. If you can't prove infidelity and your partner continuously denies cheating, you have to decide how to move forward. You can't leave in paranoia, so figure out how you feel about infidelity. Is this a deal breaker? Can you move on? Do you want to? You have to pay attention to your wants and needs and realize cheating isn't always indicative of how someone feels about you.
It's also important to have this discussion in a private setting. Discussing infidelity in public or in front of children does not give you the privacy needed to discuss such a serious topic.
About the Book
LTK: How can the book, The Cheat Sheet, help people who are faced with infidelity? Who will it help?
CSA: This book will help anyone in a relationship. It's not just about infidelity. It's about pinpointing those issues before you get to an affair. It's about affair-proofing your relationship. It's about moving on, with or without your partner. It's about dealing with the aftermath. It's about learning to look for clues and knowing your limits. The Cheat Sheet provides each reader with the tools to make his/her own decision.
LTK: You've included many passages of real life affair stories, how do you think they help individuals dealing with an affair?
CSA: Infidelity can happen to anyone at any time. There's not just "one" type of person who cheats. Everyone is capable of infidelity. It's easy to judge a cheater - to write him/her off as a bad person, but it's not that simple. There are cheating stories from all walks of life: married, single, straight, gay, religious, teenagers. You name it, they've cheated. It's a prevalent issue in today's society. Around half of men and women in committed relationships are slated to cheat, so it's important to pinpoint why this happens to protect your union from infidelity. I think these stories are relatable - no matter who you are.
LTK Review of The Cheat Sheet
With infidelity rates rising throughout the world for men and women, this book should be on everyone's bookshelf. The clues should be kept in the back of everyone's mind as well as the tricks to discovering if someone is unfaithful. As the authors have mentioned, infidelity isn't reserved for one type of person, so don't discount yourself as a possible victim.
Since the book does focus on every person in a cheating relationship, there may be some sections that may upset some readers, such as the viewpoints of the mistress. However, you can easily skip these sections that stir up uncomfortable feelings and gain a tremendous amount of information and support.