If you have any doubt about your lady’s honesty, these five indicators are the ones to look out for

Women don’t cheat if they’re in a happy relationship – faithfulness is almost hardwired into the female condition.But there is an exception. According to the Kinsey Institute, 26% of married women cheat, or have had extra-marital sex once before their 40th birthday. If you’re questioning her loyalty, here’s what to look for.

1. She says your boep is really cute

Take it from science, she doesn’t mean it. Adopt the following simple test devised by professor David Xu from Wichita State University: look into her eyes as she speaks. If she hardly blinks while talking, then flutters her eylashes when she stops, she just lied to you. See? Shape up man.

2. She’s not interested in her birthday

Anniversaries of any kind are like Cup Finals to most women. But significant decade or half-decade birthdays can trigger dangerous levels of navel-gazing, or worse, wandering minds. At times like these, “she’ll think deeply about her love life, and if it’s not going the way she planned, she might jump at the chance to redress the balance with an affair,” says Don-David Lusterman, author of Infidelity: A Survival Guide (R154, loot.co.za). There are two nights when every woman wants a man in her bed: her birthday and New Year’s Eve. Leave her solo and you’re giving her permission to cheat.

3. She’s been promoted but plays it down

“Women like to have projects and goals. So when she reaches a milestone in her career, she’s likely to think: now what?” says relationship councellor Dr Bonnie Eaker Weil. What’s more, women with fat salaries are more likely to stray. A University of Washington study found that those who earned upwards of R500 000 per annum were twice as likely to cheat. Make a big deal of your other half’s achievements: she wants to feel as highly valued by you as her employers.

4. She’s moved in with you. And it’s fine.

Fine is not good. Fine is too comfortable. Fine means an affair could be on the horizon. Fine is bad. Hell, it doesn’t matter if moving in was her idea: the goalposts have shifted. As soon as you become the wallpaper in her life, other men – at work, at the gym – become more exotic. Make it clear that co-habiting is a starting point rather than a final destination. And make sure you treat nights in as you might have done date nights previously. Silent episodes in front of the TV could result in her “interpreting this as you thinking she’s boring,” says Stuart Fischoff, professor of psychology at California State University.

5. She thinks you cheated first

If she suspects you’ve played away, it’s natural for her own self-control to be weakened. The key to keeping her close is to confess when you’ve done wrong. Research shows that 86% of couples who discuss one partner’s affair were still together once they’d talked it over. If you can’t be good, be honest. And remember: women excel at revenge.