Five red flags of electronic infidelity

Secret love affairs are the stuff of both great literature and seedy soap operas. When we think of illicit lovers, we think of knowing looks in a crowded room, hurried exchanges when no one else is looking and sex. Lots of sex. Dr. Scott Haltzman, a professor at Brown University and author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Men" and "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" offers these five red flags of electronic infidelity:

  1. Private phone calls -- If he quietly slips into another room and shuts the door just to answer his cell phone, be suspicious. Unless he is trying to hide something from you, his conversations should be public.
  2. Erased history -- Check her cell phone. If she frequently erases her incoming text messages and the call list on her phone, pay attention. Most of us are not that meticulous that we regularly erase lists of our calls. Doing so is a strong indication someone is sending her messages that she doesn't want you to read.
  3. Private access -- If he has just changed his password or e-mail address or changed something that denies you access you once had, it could be a sign he has a lover. By their very nature, electronic affairs rely on technology, and e-mail is at the top of the list. When married couples are open and honest with one another, they don't hide their e-mail accounts from each other.
  4. Powering down -- You walked into the room unexpectedly. Did she quickly turn off the computer? Internet chat rooms are an effective and common way to establish intimacy. Anything she wants to chat about online is something she should share with you and not hide from you.
  5. Late night log-ons -- If he stays up long past your bedtime working on the computer, do check the computer's "history" the next morning. If it's been erased, be suspicious. Electronic affairs don't always include face-to-face meetings; instead, e-cheaters meet online or visit pornographic sites that offer live chat.