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How do you know if your significant other is cheating on you?

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How do you know if your significant other is cheating on you?—Suspicious, 18, NC


Shayna Answers:

Dear Suspicious . . .

There are several ways you may find out if your significant other is cheating on you. Maybe you’ll catch them talking to someone else in a romantic or inappropriate way. You could see them being physically affectionate with someone else. Your friends might tell you about something questionable that they saw or heard. Or, your significant other’s distant behavior may tip you off.

If you’re worried that your significant other is cheating on you, the Bible’s advice is that you should go to persons with whom you have a concern and talk to them about it (see Matthew 18:15). Many people make the mistake of asking friends or family what they think before they ask their significant other for an explanation. While your friends and family can offer you their opinions, your significant other is the only one who can tell you for sure whether or not they’re cheating on you.

Ask your significant other to meet you somewhere quiet. And, since a lot of people get defensive during this kind of conversation, give your significant other a heads-up that you want to talk about something important.

It’s tempting to want friends around who can support you while you have this conversation with your significant other, but it’s important to talk to them privately. Having sensitive conversations in front of people you know can perpetuate rumors and discredit what your significant other says (see Proverbs 11:13; 20:19).

In a calm way tell your significant other that you have questions about their behavior and explain why. It’s important to choose your words in a way that shows that you’re asking for information, not making an accusation. Then make sure you listen to your significant other without assuming that they’re lying.

If your significant other says they’re not cheating, you’ll need to explain what they’ve done that has made you feel uncomfortable. Maybe their relationship expectations aren’t the same as yours, or perhaps they may be unaware that they’re acting inappropriately. If you don’t address the behaviors that are making you suspicious, it’ll be difficult to maintain trust. You may say something such as, “It makes me uncomfortable when you put your arm around other girls, because I feel that kind of physical affection should be reserved for me.” Or, “When you have a problem, I want you to be able to talk to me before you talk to other girls.”

If your significant other admits that they’re cheating, you’ll have a decision to make. If you choose to stay with your significant other, they’ll have to commit to not cheating again, and you’ll need to forgive them. This can be very difficult for both of you to do, as evidenced by the biblical story of Hosea. Breaking up may be the best option.

Ultimately, if your significant other is cheating on you, this is a sign that they’re not ready for a committed relationship. After all, relationships require a great deal of work and faithfulness to the person you’re dating, even when things get tough.



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