Did you know that in Illinois it could technically be a crime to cheat on your spouse? In fact, if the “other man” or “woman” knows that you are married, he or she could also be breaking the law. According to the Illinois Criminal Code, adultery—both for a married person and a person who knows his or her partner is married—is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense “if the behavior is open and notorious.” The caveat was originally intended to prevent philanderers from publicly flaunting their infidelity by living with someone who was not their spouse and, as a result, offending the sensibilities of society and degrading the institution of marriage. By the letter of the law, this would even apply to people who are currently in the process of a divorce.
As you might expect, law enforcement officers and prosecutors, by and large, have little interest in looking to convict those who cheat on their spouses. To illustrate, the last known example of an adultery charge being filed happened 20 years ago, and Cook County prosecutors declined to pursue the case.
This is not to suggest that adultery is not a problem in countless marriages around the country. For many couples, a spouse’s unfaithful behavior is often an indication of serious issues that could doom the relationship. Cheating spouses, however, tend to leave inadvertent clues of their infidelities. While a warning sign is not the same as proof—especially if it only a single indication—but it might be time to sit up and take notice if you notice changes in your partner’s routine. There may be reason for concern if your spouse:
- Shows a sudden, unexplained interest in his or her appearance and wardrobe – A New Year’s resolution is one thing; joining a gym for the first time in a decade “just because” may be something else;
- Guards his or her cell phone – He or she never cared before, but now the phone goes everywhere with your spouse. Some people are more private than others, but if he or she will not let you touch his or her phone, there may be a darker reason;
- Claims that his or her phone “dies” more often – You have a good idea of how vigilant your spouse is about charging his or her phone. If he or she goes out “with friends” and his or her phone “dies” more than it has in the past, you may not be getting the whole story;
- Initiates a change in your sex life – A couple’s life together will change over time but rarely will such changes happen quickly. If your spouse has shown a sudden lack of interest in sex, he or she may be getting it from someone new. Conversely, an unexplained increase in his or her sex drive could be an indication of its own—either as a distraction or a symptom of guilt;
- Goes silent on social media – If your spouse once actively posted on Facebook or Instagram but inexplicably stopped, he or she could be doing things you are not supposed to know about;
- Shows major personality changes – You know your partner better than anyone, and you probably have a good idea of when something is wrong. If things feel “different,” they very well might be.
It is important to remember that there could be perfectly innocent reasons for many of these indicators, but if the signs are beginning to add up, it may be time for a difficult conversation.
For some couples, such a discussion could lead them to the decision to end their marriage. If this is the case for you, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney to learn more about your available options. Call 847-253-3100 and get the help you need today.