At some point in our relationship, we can start to doubt the fidelity of our partners. It’s natural – especially if they start to behave differently or spend less time on the relationship.
Sometimes there are massive clues that your partner has been unfaithful, other times it’s well concealed and you’re none the wiser.
Whether it’s the hot girl from the gym, the next door neighbour’s cute babysitter or a colleague from work, finding out about an affair can be painful and heartbreaking.
In this article we’ll look at why people cheat in the workplace, and 16 signs that he’s sneaking around with his coworker.
Why do people cheat with coworkers?
For many people, the workplace is where they spend a large percentage of their week. Their colleagues become friends, and as they’re always together, it’s natural that they grow close in their friendships.
Coworkers share ups and downs, laughter and tears, successes and failures, and they all have one common thing bonding them – their work. Sometimes, it’s easier to share problems with coworkers who are in the loop, rather than a spouse at home who can’t fully grasp what’s going on.
The common term ‘work wife’ is often used in a jokey way, but the concept behind it makes perfect sense. If your partner has a coworker who he spends potentially eight hours a day with, five days a week, they’ll naturally form a bond (whether it’s platonic or not).
When your partner is frustrated at work, or at home, his coworker can easily become a shoulder to lean on. She’s there with him daily, sharing their lunch breaks together and working closely on projects together, so he may start becoming emotionally involved with her.
Here are some of the general reasons why people cheat in the first place:
- Long term problems in the relationship
- A difference in sex drive with their current partner
- A lack of affection/communication which can cause a void (which later gets filled by having an affair)
- Feeling bored or unsatisfied with their current partner
So from the points listed above, it’s easy to see why a coworker might be the obvious option to have an affair with. Kelly Campbell looks into why people turn to infidelity for PsychologyToday:
Individuals whose work involves touching other people, having personal discussions, or a great deal of one-on-one time are more likely to have an affair.
Not only is it easy to do (the convenience of seeing them everyday), there’s also the excuse that since they work together, they’re allowed to have some form of communication/bond. It’s not as suspicious as making a new female friend whilst out with friends or in the gym.
16 signs your husband is cheating with his coworker
These are some of the most common signs that your partner is having an affair at work. Many of them are subject to a change in behaviour or routine though, so it will come down to your personal judgement and gut feeling in determining whether your husband ticks all these boxes.
1) He starts working longer/different hours
Of course, work schedules change and projects come up which require spending more time at the office, but it will become quite apparent if your husband is having an affair if he seems happy to be spending late nights at work rather than at home with you.
A change in working hours is one of the most classic signals of an affair, and as much as it’s nice that your husband has a colleague to keep him company on those late nights, there’s always the possibility that all that time spent together alone has taken their relationship out of the platonic stage.
2) He takes more business trips than usual
Has your husband started travelling more frequently? And always with the excuse of work?
Although it isn’t a sure sign that they’re cheating, there can be some indications that it’s not just for work. For example, their phone battery mysteriously always dies during these trips, or they come back smelling of perfume.
Another indication is if their work trips always seem to follow a regular pattern. This could be that your husband and his coworker only have a certain weekend a month when they’re both free to meet, so keep an eye out for emerging patterns.
According to Fatherly, a whopping 36% of men and 13% of women reported having an affair during business trips. The mentality of ‘what happens in vegas, stays in vegas’ can be very appealing, especially for two people who are looking for a good time with minimal chances of being found out.
3) Mention of his coworker is either often or not at all
Talk of a particular coworker can go either way. Either they mention them frequently, and are keen to talk about them everyday after work (which could be a hint that they have a crush at the very least) or they avoid mentioning their name altogether.
By using your observational skills, you should be able to detect your husband’s reactions when their co worker’s name is mentioned. If they light up at the mention of her name, or they visibly look nervous if she’s brought up and change the subject quickly, there might be something going on.
4) He starts making more of an effort with his appearance for work
Some of these appearance changes can range in noticeability. For example, obvious signs would be styling his hair properly everyday, or always wearing his smartest office wear.
Less obvious signs which only you would pick up on would be things like wearing more aftershave or moisturizing his skin (especially if he doesn’t normally do these things).
That isn’t to say that your partner might just want to make more of an effort at work, but if you notice these changes alongside other clues, it might be worth bringing it up to see his reaction.
5) There’s office gossip and rumours
Gossip of affairs spread like wildfire. If your husband is cheating with a coworker, chances are people in their office or workplace will have picked up on it.
This one might be harder for you to work out, but the next time you’re in the office visiting him, pay attention to how his colleagues treat you, and any awkward glances or looks of pity that pass between them.
6) He meets his coworker outside of work
If your husband is meeting or talking regularly with his coworker outside of work, it could be a sign that their relationship is deepening.
Generally, if there’s nothing going on, he should be open and willing for you to come along to casual meetups, but if he avoids taking you and insists that they’ve got a ton of work to do (on a sunday evening) then there’s cause for concern.
7) He starts to act differently with you
Has your once attentive, sweet husband started becoming aloof and distant? Or maybe he’s extra sweet (too sweet), and he’s trying to make up for his guilt.
Either way, a change in your partner’s behaviour towards you is a sign that something is up. If he is having an affair, it’s probably causing him some level of stress, and this will come out in different ways.
As written for LiveAbout on the issue of why cheaters become annoyed with their spouse:
Creating emotional distance between the cheater and spouse helps relieve any quilt the cheater may feel. It also helps justify the cheating by giving the cheater further justification for cheating on such an unreasonable spouse
Some people try to mask their guilt by being extra nice to their partner and showering them with gifts and love, and others go the opposite route.
They pick fights, don’t want to talk anymore and may even go as far as to accuse you of having an affair. This is their guilty conscience being projected onto you.
8) He suddenly wants to change job
People change jobs for a whole range of reasons, but if your husband suddenly wants to quit and has no real explanation for it, there could be cause for suspicion. Especially if he has never mentioned quitting his job before.
Maybe their affair turned sour? That could make the workplace very uncomfortable for him, so he may want to leave ASAP.
9) He starts being secretive with his mobile phone
Being secretive with his phone is a very big indicator that he’s got something to hide, especially if he’s usually very open and trusting with it.
Taking his phone calls outside and keeping his phone locked and facing downwards are signs that he doesn’t want the contents of his phone being found out.
Depending on the type of relationship you have, keeping your phones private might be normal. You’ll probably start becoming more suspicious if he never leaves his phone unattended and is often texting during times that you would usually spend together.
10) He doesn’t want you to visit him at the office
If your husband is cheating with a coworker, chances are that he doesn’t want you bumping into her by the coffee machine.
Of course, you have to take into account his behaviour before your suspicions started. If you never used to meet there then maybe that’s just his personal preference to keep work and personal life separate.
But, if you often met him for lunch or picked him up from work and he suddenly puts an end to it, you might want to find out more about this sudden change.
11) He doesn’t take you to work events
Following on from the previous point, if your husband stops taking you to work parties or awards ceremonies, it could be that he wants to avoid you meeting his coworker or other colleagues (for fear that they’ll spill the beans on his affair).
This will probably be quite a big indicator that something suspicious is going on, because naturally you’ll want to know why he’s going without you (especially if you used to accompany him in the past).
If it turns out to be a colleagues only event – fair enough. But if it’s a meal out with spouses and he doesn’t invite you, it might be time to have a chat and find out why he doesn’t want you there.
12) Your relationship has changed
Do you feel like your relationship has changed in terms of intimacy and communication?
If your partner has become emotionally involved with a coworker, he’s probably confiding in them and sharing his problems with her. At home he might not feel the need to talk to you as much because he’s already spoken about it.
When it comes to sex, he may be more distant and less likely to initiate it. This could be due to the guilt of being involved with his coworker.
All of these relationship changes indicate that there’s something wrong, and whether it’s an affair or not, you should probably start to address these issues with him.
13) Work is a bigger priority than your relationship
For many people it’s a struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But, the vast majority of us will at least show frustration or remorse at not being able to give time to our loved ones when we are busy with work.
A cheating husband will most likely willingly put ‘work’ first, even if it means your relationship keeps declining.
If he shows no passion or drive to work on your relationship, but is extremely enthusiastic about being at the office all the time, there’s definite cause for concern.
14) He acts defensively if you question him
Unless he’s a professional liar who can conceal his true emotions and facial expressions, he’ll probably give something away when you question him about his coworker.
He might act completely defensively, or laugh it off and make it seem like you’re crazy for asking. As your partner, you should be able to tell when he’s being genuine or when he’s putting on an act.
As PsychologyToday explains it:
People who are acting defensively are essentially trying to protect themselves from feeling a certain uncomfortable way, and from viewing themselves as a failure or otherwise in a negative light.
15) He becomes critical of you
If your once supportive, loving partner is now finding fault with every move you make, you might want to consider the fact that he’s frustrated and unhappy with your relationship.
If you’re concerned that he’s having an affair at work, his finding faults in you might be because he’s comparing you to her.
In addition, if he’s busy complimenting and showering her with attention, there’ll be less of it available for you when he gets home.
16) Your gut instinct
Many people just know when something’s up. You know your partner, his behaviour and habits, so maybe you can’t pinpoint what exactly has changed, but something deep inside tells you that you should be worried.
You should trust your gut feelings, especially if some of the previous points mentioned resonate with your situation. Eventually, everything starts to add up and sometimes, the gut knows long before we’ve connected the dots.
So what next?
If you’ve read through the list and have that horrible, sneaky feeling that thing’s are definitely not right, you’re probably wondering what to do now.
You have two options, you can either investigate it further yourself, and confirm whether your suspicions are true or not.
Or, you can confront your partner and try and get the truth out of them. A partner who has nothing to hide will sit down and have an honest, heart to heart conversation with you. They’ll try to reassure you and discuss your concerns (and hopefully provide logical explanations).
On the other hand, if they avoid the subject or turn it into a massive argument, they may be trying to deflect from the truth. Either way, it’ll be up to you to decide whether you think the relationship is worth fighting for.
If you do find that your husband isn’t cheating on you (great news), but there are issues in your relationship,, this free masterclass on Love and Intimacy by world renowned shaman, Rudá Iandê, will help you identify where the problems lie, and give you the tools to work through them.