The coronavirus pandemic, and the lockdown that many people have endured, have meant massive changes to the way we live our lives. Even as the lockdowns end and people start to return to some sense of ‘normality’, things are certainly going to be difficult for a long time.
People have changed, and relationships have changed too – but sometimes they were already in the process of changing before the COVID-19 pandemic took a hold. Indeed, it is a sad fact that many people will have had a partner cheating on them before lockdown without being aware of it.
With people being asked to stay at home as much as possible, affairs may have petered out. But they may also have started up or began anew, if someone started to get a little restless in an unhappy relationship. But how do you know if your partner is starting or maintaining an affair when they’re now spending more time at home than ever before?
The opportunities for after-work liaisons or meetings with ‘friends’ have disappeared, so cheaters have had to get more creative. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the major signs that show your partner may be cheating on you even while lockdown has caused us all to change how we live.
Remember, don’t panic – in most cases your partner won’t be cheating. We investigate partners all the time, and often it’s just a misunderstanding or a partner planning a special surprise.
More visits out than needed
We’ve all been asked, as a nation, to limit the number of times that we leave the house. Some trips to supermarkets have been essential of course, and as the restrictions have lifted, we’ve seen more people returning to pubs, restaurants and other forms of socialising in a bid to revive the economy.
But was your partner insisting that they always do the grocery shops, and did you seem to run out of items sooner than you’d expected, resulting in more trips to the store than you would normally make? As restrictions have started to be relaxed, has your partner seemed keener than ever to get out and about and see friends?
Consider whether they were being honest. Could it be that instead they were rendezvousing with someone romantically, even for a brief get-together, to keep a flame alive whilst you were at home being careful and following the rules? Has every trip really been essential? More trips on their own are hardly sufficient evidence to prove cheating but it could be one part of a broader story.
Hiding their phone, or their laptop
During lockdown, online communication has become the absolute norm. While we’re always capable as a nation with chatting, it has replaced in-person socialising as the go-to way of communicating. WhatsApp, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have replaced trips to the pub, meetings and other interactions completely.
So, if your partner was cheating on you, the likelihood is they are keeping that relationship going via their phone or their laptop. Does your partner tend to avoid using their phone in front of you? Have they recently added a passcode to their mobile to stop you seeing it? Even subtle signs like angling their laptop screen away from you when you’re next to each other on the sofa could be a sign that they are hiding something.
That ‘something’ may not be an illicit relationship. It could be that they’ve found a perfect gift for your birthday, or they’re laughing at something immature sent to them by your friends that you wouldn’t appreciate. Yet again, it could be a sign of something more. A good way to check is to ask to see their phone – it doesn’t have to be for anything serious, but maybe you just want to borrow it. You don’t need to snoop, but instead just watch their reaction – do they spend a few minutes fiddling with it before they hand it over? Could they be closing conversations, muting notifications and more to ensure you don’t see anything you aren’t supposed to?
More time avoiding you
Even when confined to the same four walls, there’s nothing to say that you’ll suddenly be spending every waking hour with your partner. Many couples have set up separate home offices, for example, to allow them to attend online meetings without causing a disturbance.
Just keep an eye on how long your partner does lock themselves away. Are they sticking to their normal 8 hours, or are they hiding for longer? It may just be that they’re struggling to keep up – working from home is generally seen as harder. But they might instead be using that time to have chats, exchange photos or video calls all out of earshot.
Unexplained expenses on your joint account
Often, when a partner has a long-term affair going on, they will see it as a full relationship on the side. And especially when lockdown hit and suddenly affair partners couldn’t spend the same time together, your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend might have started splashing out on gifts to appease their bit on the side.
Of course, not everyone is clever, and they might’ve done this on a joint account without thinking. Or, more likely, you might see email receipts of gifts sent when bought online. Are there mysterious purchases happening which you can’t justify? Have you confronted your partner and they’re unable to give a solid excuse for what’s happening?
It’s worth remembering, despite all of this, that the coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. If your partner is acting strange, don’t jump straight to the conclusion that they’re having an affair. It could just be they aren’t coping with change well. Or perhaps they are planning something special for you, and they want to hide it.
The best way to find out if your partner is being unfaithful is to hire the services of our private investigators. We have a massive wealth of experience in handling these cases and we’re sensitive and discreet too. We’ll apply the most appropriate tactics to your situation, and the wider situation of the current world, so that we can either put your mind at ease or, if unfortunately needed, provide you with enough evidence to confront your partner.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help, give us a call on 01772 334700.