Why Do Signs of Addiction and Signs of Infidelity Often Look Similar?

Addiction is a chronic disease that impacts many lives all across the world. This disease directly affects brain chemistry, causing a person to experience a variety of different symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms can mimic signs that your spouse may be cheating on you. Below, we will explain why these situations might look similar, how to differentiate, and steps to take if you think your loved one may be suffering from addiction.

Emotional Outbursts

One of the hallmark signs that someone may be experiencing addiction are major changes in behavior, specifically emotional outbursts. These outbursts or behavioral changes seem out of character for your loved one and are frequent. For instance, your loved one may seem that they are easy to anger, jump to conclusions, or misread conversations. In general, this can typically present itself as being more severe than individuals who are being unfaithful. If an individual is being unfaithful, you may notice that they are irritable with you or even angry, but this behavior will not transfer to others that your loved one communicates with.


If your loved one is suffering from addiction, you may notice that they have become more secretive and reclusive. They may have called their mother every day to check in and now only call her once a week. When speaking with them, they may cut you off, ignore you, or leave. You may have a difficult time knowing where they are at or when they are coming home. Often, if an individual is being unfaithful, these particular signs would be more difficult to spot as that person would not want to raise any red flags. They may be better at hiding their secretiveness and this secretiveness may only be towards you. Isolation and behavioral changes can also be signs of depression or anxiety.

Change in Spending Habits

Changes in how an individual spends their money can also occur in both addiction and infidelity. However, it will be in different ways. For someone struggling with addiction, you may notice that they are not buying the groceries that they need or fuel to fill up their car. You may notice them selling their belongings or even stealing money from others. An individual who is being unfaithful may be emptying your accounts due to spending money on another person.

What to do If You Think Your Loved One is Suffering From Addiction

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, it is important that you seek out the help that is necessary. It can often feel challenging to speak to your loved one about addiction and they may be in denial. However, even if your loved one is still in the denial phase, there are still ways that you can help them.

Keep The Conversation Open

Check in with your loved one and let them know that you are there for them whenever they want to talk. Ask them how their day is and how they are feeling. Make sure to take note of their response, as well as notice how their behavior is when they are responding to you. Talk about where you see them in the future and how you wish the best for them. This will help you to guide them towards recovery.

Leave Out Judgement

Try not to place judgement on your loved one. Opinionated words can feel relieving to let out, but they can be very damaging to your loved one and set them back in their process of working towards recovery. Instead of leading with your opinion, lead with facts. Presenting facts to your loved one will help to eliminate any potential arguments from starting. This will help to nurture more healthy and advancing conversations.

Addiction Requires Professional Treatment

Addiction is a chronic disease affecting the brain that requires treatment in order for an individual to get better. Medical professionals can help to evaluate an individual who is suffering and create a customized treatment plan that will work best for their needs. Although recovery can seem like a daunting process, it is essential. Starting on the road to recovery provides an individual with a unique support system and a way to keep both their body and mind healthy. Call us at 844-639-8371.

Scroll to Top