Infidelity is a difficult topic among monogamous couples and can often make or break a relationship. In some situations, even the rumour of an affair can have a devastating effect on a couple’s trust in one another.
In a new Netflix docuseries, David and Victoria Beckham have opened up about an alleged affair that nearly ruined their marriage. In 2003, it was alleged that the former footballer had an affair with his former personal assistant, Rebecca Loos, during his time at Real Madrid.
Both David and Victoria, who have been married since 1999, have always denied the allegations.
In the documentary, BECKHAM, Victoria revealed that it was “the hardest period” of her relationship with David. “Here’s the thing - we were against each other, if I’m being completely honest,” she said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was and how it affected me. It was a nightmare. It was an absolute circus - and everyone loves it when the circus comes to town, right? Unless you’re in it.”
Victoria admitted that the claims made her “resent” her husband, adding: “It was the most unhappy I have ever been in my entire life.”
David also addressed the allegations and said it “was the first time that me and Victoria had been put under that kind of pressure in our marriage”.
Read more: David Beckham Netflix documentary: Five big revelations - from alleged Rebecca Loos affair to World Cup pain (Sky News, 9-min read)
For people who might be struggling in their own relationships and suspect their partner may be cheating on them, there are three common red flags to look out for.
The 3 red flags that could mean your partner is cheating on you
Laura Lyons, a private investigator with Are They Safe, tells Yahoo UK that there are three main signs that usually come up when someone is conducting an affair.
1. They become emotionally and physically distant
If you feel that your partner might be becoming out of reach, both physically and emotionally, it may be a sign that they are cheating.
While people can grow distant for any number of reasons - perhaps they are facing personal struggles or difficulties elsewhere in their lives - it is common for people who are carrying out an infidelity to distance themselves from their partners.
Lyons says: “They might be losing interest in sex or intimacy with their partner. A lot of it is also mental intimacy, the romance is just gone.”
2. They become protective of their phone and other devices
If a person develops strange behaviour around their phones, for example, they now take it everywhere with them or become quite engaged with it when before they weren’t really bothered with their phone, they may be hiding a secret.
“Our clients notice a lot of secrecy around their partners’ phones cropping up, which suggests they’re messaging other people and trying to hide it,” Lyons says. “They might not be meeting up, but may be planning to and it may be the start of a potential affair.”
Read more: Rebecca Loos scandal: The story behind her alleged David Beckham ‘affair’ and where she is now (The Independent, 7-min read)
3. They change their routine significantly
Another big sign that a partner may be cheating is when their routine starts to become unrecognisable. For instance, they usually finish work at 6pm but start working late suddenly, or they used to go to the gym three times a week but start going every day.
Lyons explains that many clients say they notice their partner having their hair done a lot more or suddenly becoming invested in their wardrobe when previously, they might not have cared as much.
Other signs to look out for if you think your partner is cheating on you
Lyons suggests that there are other signs that could suggest a partner is involved in an affair.
“If the couple is married and have joint bank accounts, often the cheating partner will start spending money in places that our client hasn’t been to with them,” she says. “Or they might get secret credit cards to book hotels or buy gifts for the other person.”
Gaslighting is also common among partners who might be cheating. Lyons recalls a number of clients who have confronted their partners about suspected infidelity, only to be told they’re “crazy”.
“When a client does notice a few red flags and believes they have enough evidence to go to their partner and question them, it’s not unusual for the partner to turn around and accuse them of being absolutely crazy,” she says. “Gaslighting them and making them think they’re going mad is such a common sign of cheating.”