Dear Louise Van der Velde
I'm quite worried. I was reading an article on MailOnline today. You probably know the one I mean because you're in it. In the article, you wrote a list of the top five things to look out for when you think your husband is cheating. Well, I read the list quite a few times and then I started thinking about some of the things that have been happening in my relationship over the past couple of days. And then I started to put two and two together. And then I was sick all over my knees.
I was wondering if I could take you through the things I've been worried about? I'll use your helpful top five as a backdrop, if that's ok.
1. Intuition: You instinctively know they are behaving differently and something is not right with the relationship.
Exactly! I mean, that's just what I've been thinking! In fact, I'm pretty sure that I've been thinking that exact sentence! I do instinctively know that my boyfriend has been behaving differently! And the reason I know it instinctively is because we spend quite a lot of time together and I can see him being different. And after I've seen him be different, the knowledge that he's being different goes straight into my instincts. And I also know that something is not right with the relationship because I'm constantly comparing my relationship with the ones in films and the telly. Not in a weird way, in a normal way. And what I learn from doing that is that something is not right with my relationship. And then that goes straight to my instincts, too.
2. Dressing differently: The cheating partner takes much more care over their appearance - dressing more provocatively and, if female, pays far more attention to make-up and hair.
Yes. I bought my boyfriend some really lovely new clothes for Christmas and he's been really enjoying wearing them. They're not usually the kinds of clothes he wears; they're smarter and more fashionable than his usual choices and he seems, I don't know, happy about it. I mean, he was really, really grateful for them and seemed pretty excited about it. In fact, the day after I gave him his new clothes, he went out in them. For over an hour. And when he came back, he took them off and had a bath. I should definitely be worried, shouldn't I? And, if female, he would pay far more attention to his make-up and hair. I know this instinctively.
3. Changing sexual behaviour: This can go one of two ways: they go off sex completely with their regular partner or, occasionally, they want MORE sex at home because the affair makes the cheat more sexually active.
Oh, God. This is the worst. My boyfriend and I had some lovely sex this morning and then afterwards, he seemed like he'd completely lost interest in it because he just fell asleep. Actually, this has been the case for our entire relationship; he's really interested in sex just before it happens and then afterwards, he goes to sleep and doesn't want to have sex at all until the next time we have sex. Does this mean he's been having the affair for the whole time I've known him? Oh, by the way, occasionally, my boyfriend wants more sex, so he's totally ticked all the boxes, hasn't he?
4. Becoming hard to reach: You can't get in touch with the cheat on the phone and they change their passwords to their social media sites and mobile phone.
Well. Yesterday, my boyfriend went to 'Devon' for the night with his 'best friend'. He told me he was getting a 'lift back' from his friend's 'mum'. He called me this 'morning' at 8:54am to tell me that he was in Cribbs Causeway (a 'shopping' area just outside Bristol, about seven miles from my address) and that he was going to get a bus 'and' come straight to my house. At 10:25am he still hadn't 'arrived'. I tried calling him 'twice' but he didn't answer his phone either time. He eventually turned up at 10:47am and when I 'opened' my front door he said, 'hello'. WTF?!?!?! By that time, my intuition had seriously 'kicked in'.
5. Spending more time in the office: They spend more time at work or are increasingly busy with other engagements.
This is a really interesting one. My boyfriend's office is also his bedroom and we spend quite a lot of time in there together. This is obviously a double bluff isn't it? He's clever, isn't he?
I'm so worried, Louise Van der Velde. He's definitely cheating, isn't he? He's totally topped the top five. What should I do? Confront him? Do some psychology on him? Watch Eat Pray Love to get my inner strength back? Move in with my mum? Or his mum? Or should I just make a fish finger sandwich, watch some comedy on the telly and do some farting instead?