Cheating Signs: What To Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Cheating

Identify your feelings. ...
Talk to your partner about your concerns and feelings. ...
Watch his reaction and body language. ...
Provide physical evidence of the cheating. ...
Ask for honesty. ...
Set appropriate physical and emotional boundaries for your personal self-care.

Signs of a cheating spouse

1. Improved appearance. If your significant other suddenly starts exercising and
eating healthier, that could be a sign that they are trying to appear more
attractive to someone (possibly you, but possibly an affair partner). If Mr.
Sweatpants-Are-Just-Fine-at-a-Party starts wearing slacks with matching socks and
a fashionable shirt, or Ms. I-Can’t-Help-It-If-I-Smell-Like-Our-Son’s-Poopy-Diapers
suddenly smells like Chanel No. 5, that may indicate an affair. Ditto for a new
haircut and new underwear — especially if your significant other looks the same
around you, but significantly better for work or certain social events.

2. Secretive phone or computer use. Cheaters tend to use their phones and
computers more frequently than before and to guard them as if their lives depend
on it. If your partner’s phone and laptop never required a password before, and
now they do, that’s not a good sign. If your partner suddenly starts deleting texts
and clearing their browser history on a daily basis, that’s not a good sign. If your
partner never relinquishes possession of their phone, even taking it into the
bathroom when they shower, that’s not a good sign. If you ask to review your
partner’s phone, and they say no, that’s also a problem. Honestly, what could
possibly be there — other than information about your surprise birthday — that
they would want to keep secret?

3. Periods where your significant other is unreachable. If your partner is cheating
on you, they are less likely to answer your calls and respond to your texts. You may
hear legitimate-sounding excuses like they were in a meeting, they were driving,
they were in a “dead zone” and didn’t know you were trying to get in touch. If your
partner is unreachable while working late or on a business trip, that’s a bad sign.

4. Significantly less, or more, or different sex in your relationship. Both decreased
and increased levels of sexual activity in your relationship can be a sign of
infidelity. Less sex occurs because your partner is focused on someone else; more
sex occurs because they are trying to cover that up. Another possible sign of
cheating is that the sex you and your partner are having feels less emotionally
connected. Yet another possible sign is that your partner is introducing new
techniques and activities into your sex life. As much as you might enjoy that, it’s
possible that they are learning new tricks outside of your relationship.  

5. Your partner is hostile toward you and your relationship. Cheaters tend to
rationalize their behavior (in their own minds). One way they do this is to push the
blame onto you. They tell themselves that you don’t look the way you did when
they married you, or you’re not adventurous enough in the bedroom, or you don’t
appreciate all the wonderful things they do for you, so they deserve to have a little
fun elsewhere. Often, their internal justifications for cheating leak out, and they
behave judgmentally toward you and your relationship. If it suddenly seems like
nothing you do is right, or that things that used to not bother your partner suddenly
do, or as if you’re getting pushed away, that could be a strong indication of

6. An altered schedule. When your significant other — who never once worked
late — suddenly needs to work late, and that starts to happen more and more
frequently, they may be lying. If your spouse has never been away on a business
trip and suddenly finds a need to travel for work, that could be a sign that they are
having weekend getaways with an affair partner. Flat tires, dead batteries, traffic
jams, spending extra time at the gym, and similar excuses for being late or absent
altogether might also signal infidelity. A cheating partner might also suddenly be
forgetful about picking up the kids, birthdays and other important events, etc.

7. Friends seem uncomfortable around you. With infidelity, you, the betrayed
partner, are nearly always the last person to find out. The cheater’s friends often
know about the infidelity right from the start, and your own friends are likely to find
out long before you do. This knowledge typically causes these individuals to feel
uncomfortable around you. The cheater’s friends might try to avoid you or to be
overly nice to you. Your own friends may try to avoid conversations about your
relationship, and they might overcompensate by being extra nice.

8. Unexplained expenses. If there are odd charges on your partner’s credit cards,
or there is suddenly less money in your or your partner’s bank accounts, retirement
accounts, investment accounts, etc., that’s a possible sign of infidelity. If you ask
your partner about these expenses, and their answers seem untrue, it’s likely that
they are untrue. Infidelity costs money: gifts, trips, wine and dinners, hotel rooms,
etc. The costs of cheating can add up very quickly. If you see large cash
withdrawals or evidence of purchases from places you rarely or never frequent,
that’s not a good sign.

9. Emotional intimacy has faded. After a few years, no relationship is as intense as
it was in the first few months. That said, we do tend to bond and to securely attach
over time, learning to trust one another with our secrets, our desires, and other
important aspects of our lives. That process is known as building emotional
intimacy. And emotional intimacy is what keeps us bonded to our significant other
long after the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. So, if your partner suddenly seems
less emotionally vulnerable and intimate with you and does not seem to want you
to be emotionally vulnerable and intimate, that’s a strong indication that their
focus has shifted — most likely to an affair partner.

10. When you ask about cheating, your partner deflects and avoids. If your spouse
is cheating on you, the absolute last thing in the world that they want to do is talk
about it with you. So when you introduce this topic in conversation, they may try
to deflect and avoid. In short, your partner will do everything possible to steer you
onto another topic, or they will shift blame for what you’re thinking and feeling
onto you. If you’ve confronted your partner about infidelity and been rebuffed,
maybe with a message like, “If you trusted me a little more, maybe things would
be better between us,” you should not let that override your gut sense that
something is wrong in your relationship. Nor should you automatically accept your
partner’s assertion that you are at fault. As stated earlier, if your gut tells you that
your significant other is cheating on you, you’re probably right.

Please note: Your significant other could display all 10 of these signs and still not
be cheating. But these remain indications that something is wrong in their life
and/or your relationship. It might not be cheating, but there is almost certainly
something that you and your significant other to talk about. At the same time, your
mate could be exhibiting none of these ten signs and still be cheating. Either
way, the good news is that learning about infidelity does not automatically signal
the end of your relationship. It simply means your partner has a lot of work to do if
they want to restore relationship trust, make things right, and re-establish
emotional and sexual intimacy.

If you learn that your partner has cheated on you, I strongly suggest that you not sit
alone with that information. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting your partner,
talk to a trusted friend, your pastor, or a therapist. Just don’t sit there alone with
your fears and feelings. Reach out and find empathetic support. For in-depth
information about healing after infidelity, I suggest reading Esther Perel’s book,
The State of Affairs, and my own book, Out of the Doghouse.
Ernest Ryan Investigators, LLC
Cheating Spouse
Thomas Rudolph
Owner and Licensed Private
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