Is She Cheating On You?
Happy to be sharing this informative and insightful article/interview about the rise in female cheating and what guys should do about it written by Madeline Haller for Men’s Health Magazine. It was pleasure and privilege to have participated and contributed my “Chatting or Cheating” 4 step confrontation plan into the mix. Enjoy.
It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your girlfriend is?
She may be out with another man. According to research from the Archives of Sexual Behavior, women are almost just as guilty as men when it comes to committing infidelity—in fact, they’re cheating more than ever.
Researchers asked more than 900 men and women to fill out an online survey about whether or not they’ve cheated on their partners, and why they did it. The results: 19 percent of women admitted to straying outside their relationship—up 5 percent from the National Science Foundation’s General Social Survey in 2010. (Not that men were any better: 23 percent of men reported cheating, up 4 percent since 2010.)
“Although the rising statistics for women are worrisome, they’re not really all that surprising,” says Sheri Meyers, Psy.D., a marriage and family therapist and author of Chatting or Cheating.
Meyers lists loneliness, disconnection, boredom, and a lack of communication among the top reasons people choose to cheat, so if your own relationship’s on shaky ground, your partner may be trying to fill those emotional voids with someone else. (See 6 More Signs She’s Thinking of Cheating.)
Suspect she’s sleeping around? Follow this four-step plan to find out for sure—without wrecking your relationship if you’re wrong.
1. Keep Your Eyes Open
First, analyze her behavior and be on the lookout for some of the common signs that point to infidelity, says Meyers. Does she seem less eager to be around you? Is she more secretive than she used to be (i.e. a locked cell phone and a new password to her laptop)? Has she put more effort into her looks lately? “The biggest red flag is her lack of interest in spending time with you,” Meyers says.
2. Collect the Evidence—If You Can
Prior to confronting her, you need to have proof and/or a legitimate reason for asking her if she’s cheating, says Meyers. The easiest “in” is obviously some form of suspect communication, like mysterious texts or emails. But if she keeps most of her communication outlets locked, getting that content may be difficult. Plan B: Scope her Facebook feed. Twenty-four percent of Facebook-flirters used the social network to flirt with someone other than his or her partner, as we reported in How Facebook Has Changed Sex. And 29 percent said that a wall post or Facebook photo has gotten them in trouble with their significant other. Don’t recognize a name that keeps popping up on her page? There’s another red flag.
3. Prepare Your Plan
When you’re getting ready to drop the bomb, make sure you do it in a private place, and on a day that’s wide open, suggests Meyers. (It could take a while—and get a little messy.) “Often when people are confronted with this topic, they automatically get scared, deny the accusations, and somehow turn the scenario around on you,” says Meyers. That’s why it’s crucial to enter the conversation knowing what you’re going to say, and how to handle every rebuttal she’ll throw at you.
4. Choose Your Words Wisely
It’s time to approach her. Meyers suggests sticking to the following mantra: conversation, not confrontation. If you don’t have any physical proof that she’s cheated on you, there’s a fair chance that your relationship just needs work, she says. So if you flat out accuse her of being a bad person, you might never recover from that blow.
Instead, start off by telling her you don’t want to lose her, but explain that something seems up and it needs to be addressed. Rather than saying, “I think you’ve been hooking up with someone else,” tell her it appears as if she’s lost interest in the relationship, and ask her if there’s someone else she’d prefer spending her time with. “Give her some space to talk, and allow her to respond,” says Meyers. But once she’s done, follow up with the examples that have lead you to suspect her straying in the first place. If she confirms your suspicions, it’s time to let her go—with tact.
Written by Madeline Haller for Men’s Health Magazine
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