Maybe you see that look in your partner's eye, or you get some vibes — whatever it may be, sometimes you can just tell that there's stress in your relationship and that your partner might be beginning to stray. In fact, there actually are a few common moments where your partner could be more likely to cheat or become distant in attempts to separate himself or herself from you.
In these situations, it's best to communicate with your partner and see if you can get to the root of the problem, especially if you do think the relationship can last. Perhaps this way you'll catch the issue early on, before your partner does anything you both might regret. Here are a few moments where your partner could get weak and look for companionship elsewhere.
Right Before Your Wedding
Cold feet can cause a partner to cheat. "Some couples couldn't be more excited about taking their relationship to the next level and planning a wedding, but I've seen numerous cases where a month or two before the wedding, people cheat," Dr. Holly Richmond, PhD, somatic psychologist, AASECT certified sex therapist, told POPSUGAR. "Call it 'cold feet' or just a realization that this is it as far as other sexual partners are concerned (if they have agreed on a baseline of monogamy). People get scared and feel like they need to express that free and autonomous sexual side of themselves one last time."
After Baby Number One
After the birth of their first child, your partner might start to get worried about the relationship long-term and act out. "Again, the birth of a baby has enormous potential to bring couples closer together, but if either parent is excessively anxious or the baby is particularly fussy, and no one is getting any sleep, the stress of the situation can lead a partner to look elsewhere to find that adult, nonparental aspect of their lives that they've lost," she said.
"If you've felt yourself take a backseat to your partner's work and this wasn't the case in the past, it may mean that their priorities have shifted. If your partner is constantly working late and not including you in any work functions, it would be an important time to ask why that is," she explained. "Is it a specific project, unmissable opportunity, or is your partner more interested in putting their time into something — or someone — else?" It's definitely a moment where your partner could be looking for distance and might be tempted to cheat when the time comes.
When a Woman Hits Her Late 30s
Ladies, be wary not to act on fantasies here. Unfortunately, if a woman is in her late 30s, she could be looking elsewhere. "Anecdotally in my practice, I have noticed an increase in cheating with women in their late 30s," she said. "I think there are two most likely reasons for this. The first is psychological — late 30s for women seems to be a time when many are hitting their stride at work and really have a strong sense of who they are. The feelings of confidence and competence at work translate easily to feelings about themselves and their bodies, which is not only empowering but sexy. The second is biological — a woman in her late 30s senses her biological clock 'ticking,' and whether she wants to have a baby or not, her sex drive and libido go up. It's really the body's last-ditch effort to procreate."
During a Midlife Crisis
"There seems to be a time in most people's lives when they reassess how things are in relation to how they want them to be. Often this comes with major lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, and a career change. This typically leads to them receiving more attention and compliments about their appearance, which fuels the fire to make them want more," Richmond said. "Of course, this can all be hugely positive individually and relationally, but if you notice less time at home along with big changes in appearance like a new haircut, clothes, and especially new underwear [from your partner], keep your eyes open."
Death of a Close Family Member or Friend
The death of a close family member or friend could bring up mixed feelings and confusion. "Crisis has the potential to bring couples closer together or drive them apart. The death of a close friend or family member leads some people to want to retreat and isolate from those they know and love and spend time alone," Richmond said. "Going out or taking trips alone can create opportunities for cheating as the person looks for solace in someone who has no idea about the depth of their despair. For them, being vulnerable during that time with a partner is just too hard."