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How do you tell if a spouse is cheating, leaving or just stressed?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | divorce

You can’t put your finger on exactly what’s wrong, but things definitely aren’t right in your marriage. 

Your relationship with your spouse has somehow become cordial but not warm. There doesn’t seem to be any heartfelt moments or deep communication between you anymore. Plus, your spouse is spending more and more time alone – and you’re not even sure where they’re going. 

Is your spouse cheating? Are they planning to leave? Could this just be stress? Frankly, all three situations can provoke the same kind of behavior, so trying to guess can make you crazy. Here’s what to do instead: 

Talk to your spouse about what you feel 

The world is incredibly complicated right now, and a lot of people are feeling burned out, depressed or very stressed. All of your spouse’s behaviors could be related to a mental health problem that they’re trying to handle on their own or hide. 

You owe it to yourself (and your spouse) to find out what’s going on. Start by telling your spouse what you’ve noticed and then – bluntly – asking if they’re struggling emotionally with something or simply unhappy in the marriage. 

Listen carefully to their responses 

If your spouse has been trying to shoulder a mental health burden all alone, you need to know so you can offer your support. If they’re unhappy in the marriage or having an affair, then you also need – and deserve – to know. 

If your marriage is in trouble, ask if your spouse is already halfway out the door or if there’s room for possible repair and reconciliation. Are they willing to try marital counseling? Or, have they started making plans for life without you? 

Watch what they do after the conversation 

You can probably tell if your spouse is being wholly honest with you. If they are unhappy in the marriage, decisions need to be made. If they insist it’s just fatigue or stress, but you’re still not sure, look for other signs of marital trouble.