You don’t, but it’s the kind of information that’s hard to dismiss. Even if you have no reason to believe that your partner has been unfaithful, it’s the kind of thing that can keep you awake all night, for many nights to come.
How reliable is this information? Is your friend trustworthy? Has she (or he) ever lied to you before?Is it really possible that your partner is running around with another behind your back?
Applying a “trust, but verify” style can be a trust diminishing mistake because if you wrongly suspect your partner of having an affair from a third party can be the doom of what was once a successful relationship.
Ultimately, you need to weigh out what you are told. There are several things to consider when you receive a tip that your loved one might be out and about with another. They vary somewhat, depending on who has given you the tip.
When someone of your own gender has given you a tip-off.
While someone of your own gender and perhaps your best friend, may seem like the most reliable source, this isn’t always the case. This is especially true in the case of women. Say what you want about sexist statements–in my opinion, it’s just flat-out true. I have often seen women convince other women that their husband was cheating, just so they could run off with the frustrated and bewildered man when the relationship fell apart.
This is less often the case when one man tells another–although it does still happen. If the informer says that a man’s wife or girlfriend has been sleeping around a lot, he may be doing so because of a guilty conscience as well…
How can you tell if the person is lying or not?
While there’s no easy answer to that question, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to gain perspective.
- Have you seen this friend flirting with your partner before?
- Have they tried to monopolize your partner’s time?
- AIs she (or he) perhaps an ex of your mate? This factor is usually a good sign you should be suspicious.
- (Fill in your own insecurities here.)
If the person seems to be in a stable relationship, then they could be more reliable–just remember that appearances are often deceptive. If the person is going through a divorce or just recently got out of a relationship, then their tip-off is possibly more suspect. Even if they don’t have ulterior motives, their experiences might have left them seeing infidelity everywhere!
A member of the opposite sex has something to say.
The same basic rules apply to an opposite-sex informant as they do with a same-sex one, with one exception–substitute concerns for your spouse, to concerns about you!
Has the informant shown more than just a friendly interest in you before?
- Are they going through some tough times of their own?
- Is this person perhaps an ex of yours?
- Has this person opened up their darkest secrets about their relationship or lack of?
If it’s an ex of yours, only you know if your ex is being helpful and concerned, or perhaps just wants you back. If it’s someone else…have they just ended a relationship of their own? Do they have a reputation of being a bit…frisky? Have they perhaps always been a little flirtatious with you?
These are some warning signs–yet it’s still hard to dismiss a warning about a potentially cheating spouse. Fortunately (fortunately for you, anyway), others have gone through the same experiences. There are methods that deal with this kind of information.
Be like an Octopus; tentacles out in every direction, observing, snooping, and lurking in the dark, sucking up every bit of evidence you can find. Just don’t tell your other half your investigating; not yet anyway. If you want proof don’t just rely on another person’s word-of-mouth, instead use it as a starting point.