Relationships can be tough work. Even when you're both fully committed, things aren't always easy. Whether you're having an off day or you're beginning to feel distant from your partner, feeling neglected by your partner can put stress on your relationship. But where is the line drawn? How do figure out if it's truly neglect you're feeling, or if your partner has found attention somewhere new? The signs your spouse is attracted to another person aren't always easy to see. And to be honest, sometimes it's easier to ignore the signs completely.
In order to keep your relationship in a healthy place, however, you're going to have to acknowledge the signs sooner or later. And sooner is always better. So rather than retreating and wallowing, start paying attention. Look out for the warning signs, but be gentle in your approach to your partner. There's a fine line between fishing for the signs of straying and accusing your partner of something that may be in your head. After all, finding someone else attractive is not a cardinal sin. But assuring that your partner won't act on that attraction and creating a space for open conversation about your relationship is important in order to keep moving forward in your relationship. So to stay ahead of the heartbreak, look out for these common signs that your partner finds someone else attractive.
1. They Avoid Contact With You
The beginning of the end is often triggered by an emotional withdrawal from your partner. Family counselor M. Gary Neuman told Today that contact helps you and your SO "develop a general awareness of each other." That avoidance? It's no coincidence." His avoidance of your calls or desire not to spend time with you points to a desire to disconnect, whether he is conscious of it or not," Newman said.
2. They Become Secretive
If your partner is suddenly hiding text messages, taking private calls, and sneaking around? There's a good chance there's a reason behind it. "It’s worth discussing and trying to get him to articulate any dissatisfaction he may have in his life," Neuman told Today.
3. They Compare You To Another Person
When your partner starts comparing you to his new friend at the office, let that be a siren call for you to get to the bottom of what's going on. "Often, your husband will begin talking more and more about a woman, usually a colleague in the office or organizational board. He’ll tell you they had lunch or ran into each other somewhere else and that her family went to such and such a place for vacation and her kids loved it. Your husband thinks you guys should go there for your next vacation. Since he hasn’t had sex with her he’s not hiding the relationship with her," said Neuman. Warning signs, anyone? "Your husband might be telling you about his potential mistress straight to your face. He may even want you to meet her."
4. They Start Getting Defensive
Psychologist and dating coach Jennifer Oikle told Woman's Day that, "when a man becomes overly defensive in response to questions about his whereabouts or behavior, it's a huge sign that something is not right." If your partner returns your questions with more questions, it might be a sign that he's feeling guilty about being attracted to someone else.
5. They've Been Putting More Effort Into Themselves
New haircut? Looking noticeably spiffier on the way to the office? What's caused this sudden surge in self-care? Of course, it's not always a bad thing when your spouse takes an interest in putting themselves together — but getting to the root of why it's happening should be a top priority, so you can rule out any possible new attractions as the source. "Now he's taking action on his own - and alarm bells are ringing," divorce lawyer Marilyn Stowe told Daily Mail.
6. They've Started Spending Less Time With You
According Neuman, 55 percent of men spent more time away from home before they even started cheating on their spouse. "What’s quite fascinating is that the majority of the men started spending more time away from home before they cheated. This warning sign and the ones below indicate not only that your husband is cheating but are also a precursor to his cheating." When you start noticing your husband spending less time with you? Address it.
7. They've Started Picking At You
Whether it's your cooking, your looks, your attitude, your spouse has started picking at everything about you — this is likely because they've found an attraction to someone new. When you've got a new shiny toy, your old toy becomes a lot less appealing, doesn't it?
If you're noticing any of these signs happening in your marriage, don't lose hope. Take action. Repairing your relationship is much easier before things get out of hand, and when an attraction is still an attraction, and nothing more.