The One About Missed Signals and Cheating

Hello beautiful people. My name is Athol, YouTuber talking about marriage. relationships and getting what you want from them.

In this episode I’m going to talk about missed signals and how important to realize you’re missing a signal. I’m going to tell it from the worst case scenario perspective.

I want you to understand, this is from the point of view of someone that has now been dealing with marriage, relationships and affair busting situations on the internet since mid-2009. I first started really delving into this stuff on a forum called Talk About Marriage in mid-2009. I started my blog about it in January 2010 and I had a forum myself there for about four years as well. There is a really, really predictable pattern with what happens when people come to internet forums or go searching online for this stuff. You’re not likely to see it unless you’ve been watching this stuff for just years on end. So this is from the perspective of someone who’s been watching this for eight years.

And by way if example I’ll do this from the guy’s perspective as I’m most familiar with that, obviously men cheat too.


Stage One – Some Red Flags

When a guy first comes to the internet, goes to a forum, where ever it is, or a Reddit, and they start saying to this group of people like I can see that there are some red flag situations with what my wife is doing. Now she’s locked her phone, or she has some sort of missing time that is unaccounted for, or she’s suddenly dressing better, or she shaved her vagina for no reason or whatever it was.

Then of course everyone in the group goes, oh my god dude, she’s totally cheating on you. She’s totally cheating. You have to jump on this immediately. And the guy says, no no not my wife, that couldn’t happen. It’s just some red flags. And then he goes away and this period could last a week or a month or whatever.

Stage Two – It All Blows Up

Then he comes back and says oh my god you guys were totally right. You were totally right. She’s totally cheating. I hacked her email. I can see all the emails between her and the other guy. I put a voice activated recorder in her car. I can now hear her talking about this stuff. I found hotel receipts. She’s totally cheating.

Then of course it all blows up into some sort of confrontation thing where it shakes out in one way or the other, either she breaks off the affair and confesses or she doesn’t and goes, or whatever it is. That’s pretty much that second stage when everything blows up when it’s discovered.


Stage Three – It All Shakes Out Slowly

Then there’s a third stage where it can last a number of month,s or a year or two,  as the whole thing really does shake out after that initial blowup period. It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs. Is she going to go back to this guy? Are we ever going to forgive each other? Are we going to move forward? Can we rebuild? Are we getting divorced? Are we going to marriage counseling. It’s a very long slow process. It may end in divorce or it may not.

And then often at that point the guy kind of drops off the website. He really doesn’t necessarily go as much. Or maybe he keeps going. Either way it doesn’t really matter.


Stage Four – Admission of Missed Signals

Then there’s this fourth stage to this, where, and it could be a year, it could be 18 months, it could be two years later where it really has all shaken out. The dust has settled and then there’s some point that this guys comes back and says yeah I came here, it was all discovered, it all blew up and then this is what happened.

Then he says something like, but you know in fairness, there were those times three or four years before she had the affair where she wrote me all those letters saying how unhappy she was in the relationship. There was the time that she took off her wedding ring and just cried in the bathroom for an hour. There was the time where she left and went to live with her mother for a week. There was all these times that she asked for marriage counseling.

There are all these missed signals pre-dating the affair situation by months, years. And it’s a really sad and tragic thing to think that perhaps if some of these missed signals were picked up on, they were followed up on, they were taken seriously or the guy knew what he could do or should do or had some sort of tools to deal with the situation then when the situation was just bad, maybe this whole affair thing could have been avoided.


Excuses vs. Explanations

I know there are no excuses for the moral boundary crossing of cheating on someone. There are no excuses for having the affair. But let me tell you as someone that’s been doing this for eight years, there’s always, always some kind of explanation of the environment and the story arc that got to this point.

If you’re only looking at just the affair itself, it’s like only watching the last three minutes of a two hour movie. There’s story that happened before then. You were just looking at the explosive highlight at the end. There’s always a story arc. There’s always a progression. There’s always some sort of explanation of how we got here, which is why mixed signals are just so freaking sad.
So, yeah, I guess that’s kind of a bleak one, but that’s the reality. If you’re missing signals you’ve got to pick up on them, because at some point the signals stop…

… and that’s really bad.

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