Change in tech habits
If your spouse no longer texts you very often and is suddenly glued to their phone or spends more time browsing on social media than they used to, something might be up, said Greer.
And if they start dodging details about who they’re keeping in touch with, this could be a subtle admission of guilt, she added.
“In some instances, your spouse knows what they’re doing isn’t quite right and that you’d understandably feel jealous, so they avoid and evade, thinking that what you don’t know won’t hurt you.”
Reduced sex life
Greer suggested that when a person is having an emotional affair that hasn’t yet turned physical, the frequency of sex with their partner can actually increase.
“When there’s an uptick in emotional intimacy with someone new, the level of sexual interest in one’s current partner takes a nosedive,” she added.
Distance or detachment
If someone is scoring attention and emotional support from someone else, they might stop discussing the intricacies of their life with their partner, Greer said, adding that since people have limited emotional energy to go round, their attention tends to go where they are most drawn.
“Over time, this can also lead to physical detachment. If your partner is spending the time they previously spent with you on someone else, that is an immediate warning sign that needs to be addressed,” she added.
In addition to pulling away, your spouse may start praising their new obsession and criticising you. For instance, a man may start throwing shade about his wife’s cooking skills or dress sense, even though these aspects never bothered him before.
Greer added, “This is an especially dangerous territory because your partner may be unconsciously sizing you up, comparing you to a fantasy version of the other person and idealising what it might be like to be with them.”
They drop your name constantly
“We mention friends from time to time, but a constant name drop is disrespectful and inappropriate,” Greer said. “It’s basically an invitation for you to call your spouse on it. And when you do, take note of their reaction. If they’re super-defensive and reiterate that there’s nothing going on multiple times, or they’re super-forceful about wanting you to believe them, it might be time to take stock of their loyalty.”
They argue with you differently
If you’re hearing new and surprising comments from your spouse in response to disagreements you’ve been having for a long time, it could be a sign that they’ve been spilling on your relationship issues with them, and then absorbing their commentary — unlike before. Your spouse might be doing this to quickly allow you to say what you want to say so they could go back to the new thing or person that they’re giving attention.
You’re feeling like third party in your relationship
Let’s say you’re at a party with your partner and their friend shows up. If your spouse immediately leaves you alone to tend to the needs of their friend, that’s the big red flag, according to Greer.
“If you start to feel like you’re not number one and that everything significant isn’t being shared with you first, you may not be on solid ground in your relationship,” she added.