Is my husband cheating on me?

What you need to know:

Lately though, my husband started taking a lot of energy drinks, which I ignored thinking he was just feeling tired. Then, he started taking sex enhancement drugs.

My husband and I have been married a while and we are at that stage in our marriage where our sex life has gone a bit stale. We love each other very much but sexual intercourse just isn’t a priority at the moment. We will always find ourselves just doing something else instead, such as just cuddling in front of the TV and watching a movie. Lately though, my husband started taking a lot of energy drinks, which I ignored thinking he was just feeling tired. Then, he started taking sex enhancement drugs. While he has not mentioned anything about them, he also makes no effort to hide the fact that he is using the sexual enhancers. I am torn between thinking he is showing efforts to revive our sex life or that he is getting sex from somewhere else thus the enhancement. Should I worry?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

It is hard on a spouse when they suspect they are being cheated on. So difficult, in fact, that very few relationships can survive it. So, what do you do when you fear that your partner is having an affair?

Accusing and blowing things up into an argument will not solve anything. Keeping the feelings and fears inside and letting them eat you alive is not the answer either. There is also the issue of your spouse not admitting to anything anyway. How then, do you decide what to believe?

The first sign of a cheating spouse is often your own intuition. It is likely that you will begin feeling that “something is different” long before any evidence presents itself.

These signals could be blaring, such as constant bad moods or an unwillingness to spend time with you anymore, or subtler, such as seemingly distant, less interest in conversation, or more time spent away from home.

Of course, just because you feel that your spouse is exhibiting some of these behaviours does not automatically mean that they are being unfaithful.

More than likely, you are going to want to confront your spouse about your fears. Asking vague or tentative questions almost certainly guarantees you a denial, even if the spouse is guilty. Asking a direct question is a much better option, but knowing when and how to ask it is just as important.

Broach the subject when you know you will not be interrupted by any distractions. Tell him or her that you have a question and you want them to answer honestly.

Let them know that the truthful answer does not necessarily mean the end of your relationship (assuming you are willing to work through this), but that if you find out down the road that they lied you do not believe your relationship could survive that. And then ask.

If you feel that your spouse still is not giving you an honest answer, then it is time to decide what to do next.

All relationships are built on trust. If your spouse has denied wrongdoing, then you should trust that they are telling the truth and move on.

It is also important to talk to a neutral party such as a counsellor, who will guide you on how to build this trust and live in harmony once again.

Reader advice

Talk to your husband

Joseph Mukasa. Pushing those emotions to the side, at least for a while, can help you get to the bottom of things. Get it out in the open, and talk to your spouse about your suspicions. You may not get a firm confirmation that your spouse is cheating right away. In fact, it is much more likely to be an automatic denial. But opening the dialogue will at least start the process of releasing the pressure that your suspicions have built up inside you. 

Look him in the face

Jane Musoke. It is important to sit down across from your partner, look him in the eye, and tell him what you know or think. Try to do it calmly and watch his expression carefully. It takes an amazing actor to deny an affair when their spouse puts it so calmly and clearly. And that is why you will want to look him in the face and read his reaction, because it might just be a fleeting one.

Talk to a trusted friend

June Woods. As much as you would like to keep your suspicions under wraps, the feeling that you have will infinitely get heavier. As such, try talking to a friend you trust, especially somebody who has had the experience of having been cheated on by a partner. Doing so, at the very least, will help get some things off your chest and will help you think clearer about your situation and how to move forward.

Why are you suspicious?

Jacinta Mukisa. The very first phase is to sit yourself down and ask what the reasons for your suspicions are. What makes you think your partner is cheating on you? This could be the difference between overreacting and nipping potential affairs in the bud. It is always best if you assess the situation from all possible angles instead of acting rashly. Point is, do not be too quick to conjure inexistent or unsubstantial evidence of cheating, when all your partner probably needs at that point is for you to be there for them.

As yourself some queries

David Hansen. What if it turns out that your partner is actually cheating on you, what would you do? Stick with them or walk away? Would you break up without a chance for redemption or you may try to give them another chance depending on the circumstances surrounding the affair? You will need to consider this early too, so your mind is made up on what step you are going to take if your suspicions become confirmed.

Communication is key

Martin Ssebyala. I think the best thing is to be open to him about your fears. You seem to be a good couple but doubts and silence will kill the good marriage you have. It is a waste of time asking us when the right person is before you. Communicate well to the right person not social media.

Midlife crisis?

Deo Kizito. There is something called a midlife crisis and to me, this is what your husband is going through. Since you are able to talk freely, please do not let this fester. It also seems like he is not hiding anything from you. Therefore, talk to each other.

Evelyn is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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