Your gut often tells you there's something gone awry. "Women have a kind of intuition to identify behavior that's even a bit unusual," Weiner says - but you can't be sure without more indisputable proof. To collect the evidence, Weiner says to be sneaky if need be, suggesting you check pockets, listen to phone messages, and even take a close look at credit card statements.
Experts say these additional hints can help catch a drifter:
- Some bills aren't coming to your house anymore - your spouse has likely diverted them to a work e-mail or P.O. box so credit card and phone charges won't give the affair away.
- Your significant other is going through cash much more quickly than usual, or withdrawing money from a strange location (check any ATM receipts you can find).
- Excessive mileage is appearing on the car's odometer - your mate says s/he's just going to work and back home, but that's not a 42-mile round trip!
- Your spouse has new tastes in music - used to hate country, but now can't stop two-stepping? - or is working out and placing more emphasis on clothes and general appearance.
- Your spouse has taken to using new catch phrases and has opinions that are unusual for him or her.
- Your spouse's sleep patterns have changed, i.e., your mate's experiencing nightmares, sleep-talking (speaking another's name?), or exhibits unusual restlessness and exhaustion.
- You're noticing other, classic clues - lipstick on the collar, hang-ups or hushed conversations on the phone, or unfamiliar scents on clothing, for example.
If you're seeing these types of signs, keep a journal to remember all the clues, and to get a private detective up to speed if it ever comes to that. Write down the time of your entries so they'll point to any patterns, and keep them as impartial as possible, recommends Paul Dank, owner of the Michigan-based private detective agency Advanced Surveillance Group. P.I. Dank's sample journal entry: "He came home. He didn't have his tie. He said he left it at work."