I Suspect Cheating, but is that the Real Problem?

Given the nature of this website, it should come as no surprise that we get hundreds of questions a month from people who suspect their partners of cheating.

Often these questions start the same way—with a description of a spouse’s behavior accompanied by the following question: Do you think my spouse is cheating on me?

While many of these questions describe rather innocent and harmless behavior (see is my spouse cheating), more often than not, the behavior mentioned involves something more troubling such as the following:

My husband or wife...

  • Ignores me…
  • Is indifferent to my needs…
  • Never listens to me…
  • Is very negative and hostile toward me…
  • Takes me for granted…
  • Never shows me any affection…
  • Belittles me in public…
  • Makes me feel unimportant…
  • Is rude and inconsiderate…
  • Constantly criticizes me…
  • Is emotionally and verbally abusive…
  • Never takes my feelings into account…
  • Does not try to understand my point of view…

Again, the primary concern people express is not with the behavior at hand, but with the possibility that their spouse might be cheating.

Perhaps this is to be expected, given our focus on lying and infidelity.

Nevertheless, it does raise some concerns. People seem to be more concerned with issues of potential infidelity rather than being concerned with the real problems they face.

Relationships are meant to add value to life. Relationships work best when they are based on love, respect, consideration and when they provide companionship and unconditional support (see healthy relationships).

When negativity, indifference, and the lack of concern enter into a relationship, it defeats the purpose of people being together (see relationship worth saving).

The issues mentioned above are problematic in their own right. If these types of issues are left unchecked, such negative behaviors can have a devastating impact on one’s sense of well-being.

In such situations, our advice is always the same: Try to focus on the problems you know about, rather than worry about additional problems.

Focusing on the issue of infidelity may actually serve as an escape from dealing with these difficult issues.

And it is easy to understand why people may want to avoid dealing with such issues: These types of problems are not easy to resolve.

For help dealing with these types of relationship issues, please see the resources listed on our recovery and repair page.

Related Information:

See more common questions.

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If you are dealing with a specific problem, please see ask an expert.

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