When "Needing Space" Is a Sign Of Cheating

man falls out of love
Courtesy Getty Images

"I need some space to figure out my feelings."


Janet’s husband Daniel had begun to behave strangely. For their entire marriage, he had been attentive and loving. Suddenly Daniel worked late every night, went out on weekends alone and told Janet that he needed “space.”

Janet couldn't understand why he was choosing to spend time on the computer instead of with the family and distancing himself from everything she thought was once important to him.


Janet’s first thought was mid life crisis. She researched the subject and sure enough, Daniel seemed to have all the symptoms. He paid more attention to his looks, had withdrawn from her emotionally and intimately, he seemed agitated when home and "needed his space."

Janet responded to her husband’s midlife crisis in the best possible way. She made changes in her own behavior, she stayed busy with her own life, she accepted that there was nothing she could do to help her husband and she practiced patients. In her mind, if she waited he would recover and she would soon have her husband back.

When asked if she thought Daniel could be cheating with another woman she was offended. “Not my Daniel, his character would never allow him to be unfaithful.” Janet was failing to pay attention to a red flag…the need for space by a cheating spouse.

When a man or woman is involved with someone other than their spouse they need space and time away from the spouse to carry on the affair.

One of the most blaring signs of a cheating spouse is one who needs his/her “space.” Below are a few tail-tail signs that your spouse may be cheating.

  • Your spouse begins to work late hours
  • Your spouse plans activities that do not include you
  • Your spouse suddenly takes vacations alone
  • Your spouse withdraws emotionally and intimately
  • Your spouse questions their feelings for you

Within two months Daniel had gone from working late at the office to renting an apartment and needing “space to figure out his feelings” for Janet. As it turned out, Daniel needed so much space he had to leave the marital home. 

His marital affair had turned into an addiction, one that endangered his marriage and all he and Janet had worked together to build. He had now completely checked out of the marriage!

At that point, Janet had two options. She could file for divorce or become even more patient and hope that Daniel’s affair would run its course and he would come to his senses before doing too much damage.

A tip for you readers; if your spouse is having an affair the best thing you can do is see a divorce attorney and take steps to protect yourself legally and financially. I'm not encouraging anyone file for a divorce but, getting a good understanding of where you stand legally should it come to divorce is in your own best interest.

If your spouse realizes he/she is making a mistake they are going to want to come home whether talked to a divorce attorney or, you’ve filed for divorce. A petition for divorce can always be withdrawn. Marital assets depleted by a spouse who is having an affair cannot be recovered though.