I was recently listening to the radio when I came across a special "relationship advice" segment on one of my favorite stations. One woman called in, claiming that her husband had cheated on her. When she elaborated, she said that she walked in on him looking at his ex-wife's Facebook profile.
It seemed a little silly to me at first. The radio hosts called the husband and listened to his side of the story before letting third-party callers call in and give their two cents. Much to my surprise, most of the callers agreed with the wife, arguing that there's no reason you should be compulsively checking up on your ex - especially if there are no children involved.
What I realized at the end of it all, however, was that the third-party opinions don't really matter. What matters is how your spouse feels about cheating. Everyone is different, so it's important to address things like this with your sweetheart so you can know what to avoid in the future. Even if you don't think you're cheating, you might be upsetting your love.
Here are seven ways you might be cheating on your spouse without even knowing it:
1. Obsessively checking up on your ex's social media profiles
Let's address this one first. I'll occasionally check up on some exes, just to see how they're doing or what's going on in their lives. But if you're obsessively checking their pages, looking at all their pictures and constantly thinking about who they're dating or married to these days, it's a little much. You're in a new, better relationship now (at least I would hope) so leave the past in the past.
It probably hurts your sweetheart to know how often you think about your ex. Reassure your love so they know they don't have to worry about any past relationships resurfacing.
2. Not telling your spouse about a relationship you have with the opposite sex
Even if they're just a work friend, you should talk about them with your spouse. There's no reason to keep these friendships a secret, so your spouse might feel jealous or even suspicious if they find out you have a friend you haven't mentioned. Plus, if you're keeping a relationship a secret, that's probably a sign that things are going a little too far.
You don't have to tell your spouse every little detail about your friendship with that coworker - but they would appreciate it if you could mention it enough so they know it's casual.
3. You're dishonest about money
Believe it or not, cheating on your spouse doesn't necessarily mean you're with another person. If you're taking money without them knowing about it, you're lying to your sweetheart.
Set up a budget together and decide what amount of money can be spent before addressing it with each other. (For example, you can buy anything under $100. If you want something that costs more than that, talk it through with each other first.)
4. Complaining about your spouse to other people
I'm not sure anyone would feel good if they found out that their partner was speaking ill of them behind their back. If you have a problem in your relationship, talk about it with each other, not with your friends and family. A marriage should have a foundation of trust, and that foundation starts to crumble if you two can't be honest with each other.
5. Putting your hobbies first
If you care more about your perfect marathon training regime than you do about your spouse, you're cheating on them. Your sweetheart shouldn't have to compete for your attention - especially not with a hobby. Let them know they come first, and make sure their needs in the relationship are taken care of before you start worrying about that marathon of yours.
6. Dressing in a way to attract someone's attention
When you said your 'I do's,' you committed yourself to that one person. So why do you care about looking good for that person in the office? The only person whose opinion should matter is your sweetheart's. They are your one and only.
...even if that someone else is your best friend or your sister. Your honey shouldn't have to compete with your sister for your attention. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having friendships outside of your marriage (in fact, it's healthy!), but your relationship with your spouse should always be your number one priority.
At the end of the day, what really matters is what you and your spouse are comfortable with. As long as you put each other first and commit to complete honesty, you'll be able to handle anything that comes your way.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.