Dear Agony Uncle
Last week I came home from a trip away for business. When I got back to my flat, my partner was out at work so I decided to go to bed for an hour for a nap. However, when I pulled back the sheets, I found an almost perfect outline, in fake tan, of another guy, on my side of the bed.
I share that bed with my BF. We’ve been in a relationship for five years. I feel so angry because clearly he’s had another guy over whilst I’ve not been there.
I’ve been suspecting he’s been cheating on me. It feels like he’s been secretive recently and spends a lot of time on his phone and he gets cagey when I ask him about it. Finding the tan print feels like all the proof I need. I’m about ready to pack up my bags.
Before you pack up those bags, I’d urge you to have a conversation with your BF. Five years with someone is a lot to throw away over something you don’t have 100 per cent of the facts.
Facts first, actions later.
It’s completely understandable why you’ve jumped to the conclusion about the fake tan marks and who they might be from, but there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation. He may have had a friend over for the night, strictly platonic, they may not even be from another man, but a girlfriend of his… So ask your partner about what you’ve found.
Speak calmly and try not to be too confrontational. See what his response is. You’ll know whether his reply is bullshit or not and if your gut feeling is still telling you to leave, then pack those bags and leave.
The warning signs
Spending lots of time on the phone, being secretive and acting cagey are some of the signs that a guy could be cheating on you, but also not.
The problem is, these are also some of the signs that a person’s mind is somewhere else, but it might not be another man (or woman). It could be about work, it could be about money, it could be stress, it could be he’s worried about a friend or a family member. You just don’t know until you sit down and speak with him.
Unfortunately, sometimes our darkest fears of being cheated on turn out to be true but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to chuck everything away. You can, if you want to, work through your problems. Relationships can be salvaged, you have to be honest with yourself about what you want.
However, it starts with a conversation.