Ask Mary Jo: Early warning signs of cheating & creating a healthier lifestyle

Hi Mary Jo,

Are there early warning signs of cheating in a marriage?

Thank you, Barbi

Barbi, there are many indicators of infidelity within a relationship; however, these five are the most frequent and easiest to observe. If your partner is engaging in any of these, it doesn’t mean they are cheating, but it is advised that you talk to them.

  1. A noticeable change or excessive attention to appearance. Your partner takes more time with their appearance when they are going to work or out without you, or they suddenly make big changes in their appearance.
  2. Partner is missing in action more than usual. Your partner begins losing their phone, shutting their phone off, or working different hours suddenly without explaining why.
  3. Your partner is hostile or terse toward you and your relationship. When people are cheating, they feel a sense of guilt and push you away by acting angry. They’re trying to rationalize why they are lying and involved with someone else, so they have to project blame on to you. This especially is true when you ask them if they are seeing someone else.
  4. Friends begin changing around you. In most cases other people suspect something is going on way before the partner, so friends become more uncomfortable. They don’t know how much to say and can become part of the denial around cheating.
  5. You discover secretive devices, passwords, and expenses. Partners who are cheating become much more secretive and hide their communication with the other person. When interrupted by their partner, they quickly stop what they’re doing and try to distract their partner.

The number one way to know is to listen to your gut. If you get a gut sense that your partner is not being honest, ask them directly. Their response is important. If they get defensive, they’re more likely being dishonest. Someone who loves you and is committed would be honest and kind in their response.


Hi Mary Jo,

How do you encourage your partner to eat healthier so it doesn’t get in the way with intimacy?



Eating healthy is an individual choice, but when couples work together to create a healthier lifestyle, they are more successful. When you mention you’re making changes (like the suggestions below) to improve couple intimacy, it should help motivate him more.

  1. Be aware of temptations in the house and where you each struggle. Something as simple as packing a healthy lunch together instead of depending on fast food can help you have more energy and lose weight.
  2. Clean out your pantry and restock with healthy foods. Skip foods you binge on or that cause you to overeat. If you don’t have them in the house, it’s less likely you’ll eat them when you’re bored or upset.
  3. Lead by example. Taking time to cook and eat healthy with your partner helps them stay on track. Encourage him to cook with you, creating healthy options to his favorite foods. The more fun you two have while cooking, the more likely he’ll want to get in the habit of preparing healthy food. 
  4. Begin implementing more activity as a couple. An easy way to do this is after dinner; go out for a walk instead of plopping down in front of the TV. Walking after a meal helps with digestion and is a perfect time to talk about the day’s stress and improve intimacy. Feeling less stressed leads to healthier choices with food choices.