By By Shane Kulman
I suspect my partner is cheating on me, but I don’t have concrete proof. What should I do? We live together, it’s been eight years together and five living together. I watch his kids and we are very close. Sometimes he sleeps on the couch or will not respond to texts often. When I ask him about where he was, he gets immediately annoyed. Ugh, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, he has never been a great communicator, and I feel stuck. Can you help me?
Dear Suspicious Sally,
Oy vey. Good for you for asking, I hear the pain and discomfort here. Before taking any action, take some time to reflect on your feelings and gather your thoughts. Are there specific behaviors or signs that have led you to suspect infidelity? Ensure your concerns are not solely based on insecurity or unfounded suspicions, this could mean including a friend or a paid support to really listen to you. A friend or trusted source should not be a DRAMA maniac.
Even if he is not a great communicator, you do deserve to be heard and feel safe to express yourself. Having an open and honest conversation with your partner is something you both deserve. Express your feelings and concerns without accusing them of cheating. Use “I” statements to describe how their actions or changes in behavior have made you feel. For example, say, “I feel worried and distant from you, and I want us to feel closer.” Sharing about yourself and what you want for both of you is simple.
Give your partner an opportunity to respond. They may have valid reasons for their behavior that you’re not aware of. Keep in mind that there might be other stressors in his life causing these changes. REALLY LISTEN. So many couples I’ve worked with, and those seeking partnership, do not know how to actively listen. It can make a person squirm, but taking breaths and giving him space to express, may show you he IS a better communicator than you think. And if you don’t like what you hear, it’s especially important to listen, so then you can consider what actions to take.
AND while it’s essential to communicate openly and honestly, trust your instincts. If your partner’s behavior continues to be suspicious and you genuinely believe they are being unfaithful, you may need to make some tough decisions about the future of your relationship.
At the end of the day, how you proceed should depend on the outcome of your discussions and your own comfort level with the situation. Trust and open communication are vital in any relationship and addressing concerns together can either strengthen your bond or help you make choices that are in the best interest of both of you.
This can make you a stronger couple. Being fully revealing is for the brave and, you wrote me, so give yourself permission to be fully honest, and mature and all grown up. No more sleuthing. Trust him until proven not to.
If you have a question for Shane, email her at email@example.com