You don’t want to believe it’s true, but your gut insists your husband is stepping out and may be cheating with a coworker.
How can you know for sure?
What are the signs your husband might be cheating with a coworker?
That’s what we’re unpacking today.
First, we’ll explore how common it is for coworkers to have affairs with each other.
From there, we’ll look at 17 workplace affair signs and finish with a quick discussion about what to do if you’re reasonably certain your husband is unfaithful.
How Common Is Cheating at Work?
Nobody wants their spouse to cheat. Unfortunately, it’s a whole lot more common than most people realize.
Check out these statistics:
- Approximately 36% of people have confessed to a workplace affair — (which means the actual figure is likely around 50%.)
- A whopping 60% of extramarital experiences start at the office.
- Studies show that workplace infidelity has increased tenfold since the advent of personal technology. Why? People can communicate more effectively after hours without their spouses knowing.
- The office is one of the top six places where affairs are most likely to start. The other five are the gym, social media, in-personal social circles, volunteering, and church.
17 Signs Your Husband Likes A Coworker (And Might Be Cheating with Them)
Now let’s jump into the nitty-gritty: how to tell if your husband is cheating with a coworker.
Before we begin, a caveat: None of these signs are solid, silver-bullet proof. Many people must work all hours of the morning, afternoon, and night to either a) reach their goals or b) make ends meet.
Moreover, extroverts with bubbly personalities may forge friendships with coworkers, but it’s nothing more than that.
So before you accuse your husband, it’s crucial to assess the situation as soberly and objectively as possible.
And, if possible, gather some receipts as proof.
OK, with those disclaimers out of the way, let’s dive into coworker cheating signs.
1. He’s Overjoyed To Go to Work (And Is Always “Working” at Home)
Is your husband downright giddy about going to work every day? Has he started accepting extra work, even if you don’t need the money, or he doesn’t get a raise for his efforts?
If your man has always been a workaholic, then this makes sense. It’s part of his established personality.
But if it’s a new thing, and it’s gotten to the point where he rushes through dinner with you, only to linger over his phone all night claiming he’s working, you may want to do some digging.
2. He’s Overly Affectionate With You
Out of the blue, your husband starts treating you like the queen of the world. He showers you with gifts, affection, and nonstop compliments.
Now, this makes sense if you’ve been discussing ways to add a spark back into your relationship or are going through couples counseling. In such instances, he’s probably just doing what you and possibly a therapist suggest.
However, if the behavior shift occurs apropos of nothing else, get your side-eye out. It may sound contradictory, but his newfound affection could be a form of overcompensation.
3. He’s Always Complaining About Homelife
Is your husband showing signs of a mid-life crisis? Suddenly, he’s eager to spend as much time as possible away from home. Is he constantly complaining about his role as husband and father?
One possibility is that he is having some sort of personal crisis. And if that’s the case, maybe talking to a professional will help. The other possibility is that he’s having an affair and has mentally checked out of your life together.
4. He No Longer Has Time for Meaningful Conversations
In the good old days, you and your man talked about anything and everything for hours. You could fully open up and pour your hearts into each other.
These days, though, the atmosphere is a lot different.
At home, he’s withdrawn and aloof. What was once a welcoming and cozy emotional space now feels muted and closed. He gets defensive when you bring up the difference and swears nothing is wrong. He may even argue that relationships change over time and become less passionate.
While there’s merit to that line of thinking — (after all, relationships mutate with time) — one thing that usually doesn’t change is communication style. Couples who’ve been together for decades still have meaningful conversations. In fact, they probably have more than young couples!
5. His Confidence Skyrockets
One of the more glaring signs that someone is having an affair with a coworker is if their confidence skyrockets out of nowhere. This happens because the cheating party feels puffed up because someone else is interested in them.
If your husband has been working on his confidence and has a breakthrough, that’s something different. But if your man is usually mild-mannered and starts acting haughty, this may be a sign he’s seeing someone on the side.
6. You Find Another Person’s Belongings
If you find someone else’s belongings in his car or things — earrings, hair strands, clothing — your spidey sense should start tingling.
Notice how he reacts when you ask about it. If he gets defensive, something is up. If there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, and he calmly explains, it may be nothing.
If he reeks of perfume, that’s another sign.
7. He’s Into New Things
Your man was always into classic rock, and now he’s all about dance music. He also has a new set of television shows he would never consider before. In fact, he’s got a whole new outlook on life.
Sure, it could be that he’s expanding his horizons. But it could also be the influence of his paramour. The best way to tell if it’s something nefarious is his enthusiasm regarding your participation.
If he’s begging you to join him, you likely have nothing to worry about. If he wants it “all for himself,” something else may be going on.
8. He’s More Forgetful than Usual
It’s human nature to pay attention to people we like. When we don’t genuinely like someone, we’re not great listeners and forget what they say.
If your husband is to the point where he’s fallen in love with his paramour and has detached from your relationship, he may constantly forget things you tell him. Failing to meet his responsibilities is another sign.
Now, if your spouse has always been a bit flighty, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if it’s out of character for him to be forgetful and irresponsible, it may be a sign he’s having an affair with a coworker — especially if “work” is always his excuse for messing up.
9. He Gaslights You When You Ask About His Changed Behavior
This is a tricky sign to decipher. After all, nobody likes to be accused of something they’re not doing. So if he isn’t cheating, and you’re the one being paranoid, the constant harping could become highly annoying.
However, if he immediately starts gaslighting you and gets super defensive, take note.
Guilty men will often accuse you of being “crazy.” They’ll also bring your friends into it early on and say things like, “You gotta stop listening to [insert name of friends].”
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10. He Doesn’t Want You Visiting Him at Work
In the past, you would frequently stop by your husband’s workplace and pick him up for lunch or drop in to say, “Hey!” You never overstayed your welcome, and your visits were welcome as far as you could tell.
But these days, your husband doesn’t want you anywhere near his office. He may blame it on the boss or come up with other excuses.
And when you do stop by, everyone else is friendly and seemingly happy to see you — except for your spouse. Moreover, he never takes you to office events anymore.
This is a giant red flag, and it could be a sign of infidelity with a coworker.
Caveat: Since the pandemic, some offices have made new rules about guests. So check into this possibility before going off on your other half.
11. His Stories Are Constantly Changing
It’s hard to keep a story straight when you’re lying. Keep this in mind if you suspect your significant other of “seeking strange.”
It may start innocently. He’ll ask questions like, “Have I told you this story already?” Or perhaps he insists he discussed something with you when you are 100% certain he didn’t.
Another tell-tale sign is if he gives you various versions of a story every time he tells it.
12. He’s Always on Business Trips Now
Your husband didn’t get a promotion, nor did his position change. Yet, all of a sudden, he’s going on “business trips” every other weekend.
This is a red alert sign that something is fishy.
Perhaps his company is taking on new initiatives, and travel is now part of his job. But if that’s the case, he’ll keep you in the loop. And when he’s away, he’ll call and stay in touch.
If you’re suspicious, go ahead and check up on his story. Furthermore, you have every right to review the bills and accounts. You’re married, after all.
13. He’ll Accuse You of Cheating
Guilt reveals itself in many ways, but projection is probably the main sign. When someone does something wrong, they’ll graft their lousy behavior onto others.
Additionally, certified sex educator Suzannah Weiss explained to Woman’s Day magazine: “[Cheating people] may genuinely be suspicious because they’ve seen firsthand that it’s possible to get away with cheating.”
So if your husband is accusing you of cheating, he may be telling on himself.
14. Your Arguments Become More Dramatic
Have your fights become dramatic? Is he going for the proverbial “jugular” more than usual?
This often happens when one spouse starts seeing someone on the side. Please don’t read us wrong. Myriad reasons could trigger amplified arguments. But combined with other signs on this list, it could be the rotten cherry atop the toxic infidelity sundae.
15. He Never Talks About Work With You Anymore
When your relationship was going well, your husband would fill you in on every last work happening. You knew all the gossip, deadlines, and issues.
But those days are now over. Now, when you inquire about work, he clams up and may even get defensive. This behavior is often a sign that he’s cheating with someone at work and doesn’t want to open up because he doesn’t want to slip up!
16. He Constantly Talks About a New Coworker
As far as species go, humans are incredibly brilliant — but we can also be exceptionally dumb.
Idiocy rears its head when someone is cheating, and instead of keeping it quiet, they talk about their extracurricular partner all the time! Why? It’s simple: We tend to talk about things on our minds.
It may reach a point where your spouse doesn’t realize what they’re doing because they’re enamored and aren’t thinking straight. Whatever the case, constantly mentioning someone from work is a sign of infidelity.
17. He’s Newly Obsessed With His Appearance
Your man never cared too much about his appearance. Sure, he was always clean and presentable, but beyond that, he never gave it a second thought.
Lately, though, he’s changed his ways. He’s always at the gym and has become super body conscious. These days, he’s always got the iron out, and shopping for trendy clothes is his favorite new hobby. Perhaps he’s even gotten himself a new hairdo.
Yes, sometimes people give themselves a makeover to feel better about themselves. That’s fine. But if the change is random and out of nowhere, there’s a chance he may be cheating and wants to look good for his new fling.
How Affairs Start with a Coworker
We’ve looked at the signs your husband is cheating with a coworker. Now, let’s talk about why? What is it about a workplace that draws people together?
- Time: Many people spend more time at work than at home. Resultantly, relationships form, and those friendships can blossom into something more.
- Obstacle Adrenaline: Interestingly, reaching goals triggers feel-good hormones. As such, “work wins” feel great! So when you overcome a goal obstacle with coworkers, hormones fly around.
- Casual Conversation: A lot of casual conversation happens in the workplace, and sometimes it involves griping about life. Things can escalate when people find coworkers with whom they feel comfortable opening up.
- Similar Interests: When people genuinely love what they do for a living, and so do their coworkers, there’s a better-than-average chance that they have other things in common, and those similarities can mushroom into something more.
What To Do if You Suspect Your Husband May Be Having an Affair with a Coworker
You’ve made it this far, and your spidey sense is swearing. Your husband has been exhibiting many of the behaviors we discussed, so now you’re wondering: What on Earth should I do!?
Ignoring the problem is not the answer. It will only fester and mangle your marriage even worse than it already is. If you’re bothered — which you have every right to be — it’s time to assess your feelings and create an action plan.
What does that look like?
- Grab a journal and brainstorm. Write down all the signs and scribe your feelings. Studies show that writing things out helps us view them from a more objective and rational place.
- If, after journaling about the issue, you decide you want to broach the topic, enlist the ear of a good friend. They may see things you don’t. Plus, they’re more objective. However, don’t tell the world. Pick one (maybe two) people.
- You’ve discussed the situation with your closest confidant and decided you want to broach the topic with your husband. The next thing to do is let him know you want to have a serious conversation and figure out a convenient time for both of you.
- Once you decide on a time, brainstorm what you’re going to say beforehand. The calmer you can remain during the conversation, the better.
- When the day arrives, pick somewhere safe and comfortable to have the discussion.
Infidelity is challenging, but it’s up to you to end the relationship or attempt a reconciliation. After all, you’re the person who understands all the practicalities and contours of your relationship.
We suggest, however, engaging in due diligence before bringing up the topic. Make sure your ducks are in a row, and you’re not making mountains out of molehills.
Most of all, we wish you luck. And if your spouse is having an affair, may you heal fully. Remember, it’s not your fault; you can take as much time as needed to move on from the betrayal.