We know it’s not a pleasant feeling when you discover this but the signs your partner is cheating are always there in their behavior. Most of the time we ignore the signs of cheating because we don’t want to let go of the cocoon of trust we revel in. But the reality is somewhat different. Any relationship can fall prey to the unpleasant reality of infidelity, and when that happens the subtle signs that you are being cheated on begin to emerge.
Richard Dawkins, one of the founding philosophers and evolutionary biologists of modern times, debating the evolution of humanity over the existence of an intelligent God said humans are genetically polygamous. However much we may try to drill ideas of loyalty, fidelity or the moral superiority of being a monogamous person, human beings by virtue of their genetic makeup will remain polygamous in their heads. Or rather, in their blood and guts.
Clearly, that’s not what we want and that’s not what we would like to believe in when it comes to trusting our partners. In our eyes and hearts, their love is an equivalent function of their sexual loyalties to us. But is your partner really trustworthy? Is there some way you can check your partner’s behavior to discover if they’re cheating on you? This is in no way to say that you should keep suspecting your partner and erode the trust you have but there is no harm in keeping your eyes and ears open.
“Am I being cheated on?” If this question has crossed your mind every once in a while, it could well be because your mind is picking up on the signs of cheating in your partner’s behavior. This brings us to some pertinent questions that follow: what are these signs of cheating? and how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating? In this article, Dr. Gaurav Deka (MBBS, PG diplomas in Psychotherapy and Hypnosis), an internationally acclaimed Transpersonal Regression Therapist, who specializes in trauma resolution, and is a mental health and wellness expert, writes about the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated to help you ascertain if you have a reason to worry about the future of your relationship.
How Do I Know If My Partner Is Cheating?
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“How do I know if my partner is cheating?” One thing is for sure, their behavior will change. Not completely though, but there will be small indications that will tell you that your partner is betraying your trust. Bethany and Ralph (name changed) had been married for 8 years and had two children. Bethany was a homemaker, a doting mother and an extremely caring wife. Her life revolved around her family and she always said she didn’t need anything more to make her happy.
In their marriage, weekend grocery shopping was a ritual that Ralph and Bethany always followed. They took the kids along and ended it with lunch or coffee. But Ralph started noticing the change when Bethany drove out alone midweek to pick up some more groceries.
That was still fine but the need to pick up groceries started increasing and when Ralph wanted to go along she always made some excuse or simply said she needed some space. Other than this one aberration in her behavior, everything else was going fine. She continued to be that great mom and caring wife. Ralph didn’t want to suspect his partner of cheating but he started becoming curious about her frequent grocery-shopping trips.
And when Ralph suggested that he would pick up whatever she needed on the way back from work so that she didn’t have to drive down all the way, she reacted angrily. She refused to take Ralph up on his offer every single time. You may wonder what connection could this have with cheating. She could just want her me time. But no, as it turned out, this was one of the first signs of a cheating wife that Bethany started exhibiting in her marriage.
As we said, the signs your boyfriend is cheating (or your girlfriend/partner/spouse, for that matter), begin small. It’s the little uncharacteristic behaviors that are the first red flags. Ralph soon found Bethany had met someone online and her grocery trips were meant for meeting him. So in the end, if you follow your instincts, you will know if your boyfriend, husband or girlfriend, or wife is cheating on you. You will know the surefire signs that you are being used by your partner.
Related Reading: 22 Sure Signs Of A Cheating Girlfriend
What Are The Surefire Signs Of Cheating?
In the age of technology we live in, cheating is far easier than you can imagine. And the temptation to do so is always there because of the constant technological interactions over smartphones that people keep having in the workplace, in friends groups and with strangers online.
The popularity of dating apps and the concept of hooking up just for the thrills have complicated the situation more. So the possibilities of wavering from a steady relationship intensify manifold. With virtual affairs becoming more and more common, it’s not unreasonable to wonder how to find out if your partner is cheating online. Don’t dismiss it as paranoia or lack of trust, if your gut instinct is warning you, you need to look deeper into the “Am I being cheated on?” question.
If you look carefully, the signs your partner is cheating on you are always there. Right in front of you, staring you in the face even. The trouble is that most people don’t know what these signs are or where to look for them. We’re here to help you out of that conundrum with this lowdown on the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on that will invariably feature in your relationship if your partner is being unfaithful:
1. The devil wears the smartphone!
Yes, call it the invasion of digital media or the social network negative feedback loop, you have to spot your partner who seems to be on his or her phone 24×7. We live in a time and age where our smartphones are nothing less than appendages to our hands and limbs. For some of us they are definitely parts of our souls – like the Horcrux in the world of Harry Potter.
But then, within couples, the phone may become an important marker for fishy things going on in the backyard! Yes, excessive phone usage could be the first warning sign of an online affair taking shape or already in full swing. For instance, if your partner is on the phone all the time, even when he or she is with you – maybe on dates or on romantic getaways – hardly paying attention to what you’re saying and replying to you in monosyllables, it might be a sure shot sign of cheating-in-progress.
To confirm your “Am I being cheated on?” suspicions, pay attention to the following:
a) Phone is password protected
If your partner has suddenly put a password on the phone, then this is a surefire sign that they have something to hide from you. You know it’s not a good idea to check your partner’s phone but their actions have left you with no other choice. You may battle your inner dilemmas and decide to take a peek but there’s no way you would be able to check their phone. A cheating partner may not only change the passcode of their phone frequently but also password protect individual apps, especially instant messaging apps.
Related Reading: How To Catch A Cheating Partner – 9 Tricks To Help You
b) Carries the phone to the washroom
If you can hear muffled conversations when your partner is in the washroom, then be sure that they wouldn’t be talking to their boss or a colleague. Only intimate conversations in a hushed-up tone washroom. Another tell-tale indicator of cheating could be that the time they spend in the washroom has increased dramatically and their loo trips have become more frequent. If your partner spends a significant time of the at-home hours holed up in the washroom, it’s most certainly more than nature calling.
c) Wakes up at night to chat
You could have seen them waking up suddenly at night and frantically typing on WhatsApp. When you asked, they said it was a colleague or work associate from another time zone. But if this is happening every day, then you have a reason to suspect your partner. If so far they’ve dismissed your suspicions and questions as unfounded and paranoid, you may also find yourself losing sleep over how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating. One of the simplest ways in this situation is to pretend to be asleep and catch them in the act.
d) Can’t imagine switching off the phone
You suggest a Sunday phone detox by switching it off all day and going for an outing but your partner goes ballistic at the idea. They’d much rather spend their Sunday curled up on the couch, staring into their phone screen, than step out to spend some quality time with you. This is a near-certain warning sign your partner is cheating on you.
Related Reading: What Is Micro-Cheating And What Are The Signs?
2. If they’re turning into a fighter-cock
Frequent and often uncalled-for fights and arguments are among the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on. You can remember a time when your partner was a cool-headed, reasonable person. Sure, you had your share of disagreements and arguments even then but those never seemed unwarranted. But now, when they return home at the end of the day, all you see on their face is a scowl!
Even when you smile at them, they seem to be irritated all the time and try to pick fights on the slightest pretext. This is a surefire sign your partner is cheating on you. They want to get their way all the time and not one day passes when there isn’t some sort of tension between you too. Sure, they may not scream at you or smash things to the ground. Their discontentment becomes apparent from their sarcastic comments, sharp jibes or just the heavy silence that has pervaded your relationship.
This is an important sign for you to step back and see what must be channeling this kind of reaction in your partner. Nine out of ten times, it’s an affair happening outside your knowledge. If you’re looking for signs your boyfriend is cheating or your husband is having an affair or your girlfriend/wife is being unfaithful, keep an eye out for the following:
a) They use hurtful words
They know you well enough to know what will hurt you most, and they use this knowledge to alienate you. A partner who is cheating on you will not shy away from saying hurtful things in a fight even when they know the harm it can cause to your relationship. This can be for two reasons – first, the silence that follows after a nasty fight gives them the perfect opportunity to indulge in their transgressions, no questions asked; and second, they may have fallen out of love with you and feel trapped in the relationship. These ugly fights you have been having are their way of venting out some of the frustration.
b) Rake up the past
They could bring up your ex or your past relationship, your past mistakes, or other vulnerabilities to put you down and make you feel small. They keep harping on the unpleasant aspects of your relationship and create negativity that begins to consume your bond with each other. You could consider this one of the spiritual signs your partner is cheating because their actions are a manifestation of how they perceive you now. Perhaps, they’re using all your shortcomings to justify cheating to themselves, and since these shortcomings are all they’ve been focussing on, they can’t help but bring these up over the smallest of things.
Related Reading: Top 10 Signs Your Spouse is Cheating
c) Fights could turn ugly
Fights in any relationship are normal but if these turn ugly then there is something seriously wrong. You may notice that your arguments often spiral out of control. While in the past you could sit across from each other and out across your respective points of view on a situation and expect to be heard, now even the smallest disagreements escalate into the ugly territory. If there is already name-calling in the relationship and you’re scared that your partner may become physically abusive, then your relationship has turned toxic.
Your partner’s behavior may prompt you to ask, “Am I being cheated on?” But we suggest, you ask, “Am I being treated well in my relationship?” If the answer is no, have a conversation with your partner, give them a chance to mend their ways, and if they don’t be prepared to walk not, irrespective of whether or not they’re cheating on you.
d) Silent treatment
After every fight, they build a wall around them and do not interact with you for days. They could be stonewalling you because interacting with you could mean you’re asking them questions about their behavior that they don’t want to answer. Besides, pushing you away gives your partner the perfect opportunity to carry on with their transgressions without being held accountable for their actions. This is one of the absolute signs your partner is cheating on you.
Related reading: Is Silent Treatment In A Relationship Emotional & Mental Abuse?
3. They do the vanishing act
One day they are smiling, happy with you. They go out with you, spend the entire day and night, have drinks, make merry and spend the sweetest possible time. But the next day, they just disappear. They don’t return your calls, don’t text. They only tell you they are busy and don’t come back home. And this pattern repeats itself, twice or thrice a month. Sometimes in some kind of a periodic rhythm too.
It is important to look beneath this pattern for this vanishing act could well be one of the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on. They may eventually come back to you and tell you how much they love you, buy gifts for you, and take you to the best places for lunch or for dinner, but that could just be the cheaters’ guilt kicking in and propelling them to be the model boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.
Since telling you the truth is not an option, the guilt of betraying your trust may prompt an outpouring of love. If you’re wondering how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating or how do you know for sure if you’re being cheated on, check out these signs:
a) They don’t return calls
No matter how busy a person is, if they care for someone, they would return a call or a text. If not immediately, then at least at the first opportunity they get. But if they swing between constant communication and days of radio silence, something is certainly amiss. Saying, “Oh! I forgot to call back” is a sign your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner is cheating on you.
Amaira, a baker, shares how an erratic communication schedule exposed cheating in her past relationship. “My partner would vanish for a couple of days once or twice a month and be absolutely incommunicado. Then, he’d come back, make some excuse and things would go back to the way they were. Then, I noticed this always happened around the second and fourth weekends of the month when his ex would be in town, visiting her mother.
“That’s when I put two and two together and figured he had been cheating on me with his ex. If about a year back someone had said to me that your relationship has signs your boyfriend is cheating, I would have scoffed at them. Yet, here I am trying to work my way through the trauma of cheating.
Related Reading: Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid? 11 Things To Think Over!
b) They ghost you
If your partner has the habit of disappearing for days without you having a clue where they are, it is a sign that they could be spending time with someone else during that time. If they ghost you and come back every time saying they were on a hiking trip up in the mountains just don’t buy on face value.
Now is the time to figure out how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating and use that knowledge to unmask your partner’s lies. While your partner is well within their right to want to spend some alone time even when in a relationship, it’s the secrecy and the need to go out of communication that is suspicious. Don’t let this one slide.
c) No contact on work trips
If they are going on work trips saying they can’t keep in touch and if they can’t give you the hotel address or number where they are staying, then these are surefire signs your partner is cheating on you. There is a good chance that the said work trip is just a facade to spend some time with their affair partner. They could be going away with them for a couple of days, or if it’s an online affair, they could be traveling to meet them in person.
d) They cancel dates
If they are making a habit of canceling dates at the last moment, citing reasons like work meetings, conferences or family emergencies, there isn’t much left to the imagination. Your partner is actively looking for ways to avoid spending time with you and infidelity could be the reason behind it. It’s either that or they may have fallen out of love (or could be cheating because they’ve fallen out of love. We don’t know which is worse, but your relationship certainly isn’t in a healthy space.
4. You don’t know what’s on their mind
What are the signs your boyfriend is cheating on you? Can you tell if your girlfriend cheats on you? What are the signs of an unfaithful spouse? Am I being cheated on? How to tell if your partner is lying about cheating? Questions, questions, questions…There can be so many of them swirling around your head once the suspicion of cheating takes hold. It may seem as if there is no easy way to get the answers to these questions, but if you look at the right details, you’d find that the writing has been on the wall all along.
One such thing to pay attention to is how in-tune you’re with each other’s thoughts and emotional state. If your partner practically feels like a stranger to you and on top of that, they suddenly start telling you to go out, meet new people, and gather new experiences, it could be a clear sign of infidelity.
Their reason for doing so may be that if you start meeting new people, they can too. Sometimes, they may even push the idea of a third one in the bedroom in the name of adding spice to your sex life or for the sake of experimentation or even suggest an open relationship.
You never know the level they may go up to. Saying a simple NO may not be helpful in such situations. It is imperative that you cross-question the intentions of your partner thoroughly and read between the lines. They may be planning something completely different in their heads.
a) They are not interested in sex
This is one of the classic signs that your partner is cheating on you. A lack of sex drive or interest in any form of intimacy in the relationship could indicate that your partner is getting their fill of intimate touch and connection elsewhere. Or perhaps, they don’t feel attracted to you sexually since they got into an affair. Or maybe they got into an affair because they no longer felt attracted to you. The specific details may vary but the bottom line remains the same – if there are no other identifiable reasons at play, lack of interest in sex points to the presence of a third in your connection.
b) They are overzealous in bed
How to find out if your partner is cheating online or in real life? Well, the answer may lie in the sexual overdrive you’ve been noticing in them. While, on the one end of the spectrum, cheating can make a relationship sexless, on the other, the cheating partner may overcompensate by becoming overzealous in bed.
They may suggest trying new positions or things like roleplay. Before becoming super happy about their enthusiasm, think about where all this is coming from. Could this mean that they are learning about new positions or roleplay from somewhere else? Look closely, these could be surefire signs that you are being used by your partner.
c) They don’t show their body
Suddenly they are very shy in front of you and never change clothes or loiter around the house in their towel in front of you. Your partner may even leave the room to change or ask you to give them some privacy. This sudden change in their behavior is undoubtedly disconcerting, and you’re not wrong in asking, “Am I being cheated on?”
Think about it, what reason could your partner have to hide their body from you? Could it be that they are trying to hide those hickeys? If so, you have the simplest answer to how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating: walk in on them changing or when they step out of the shower to see what it is that they so badly want to hide.
d) They go through an attitude change
They could be whistling all the time in happiness or sulking at the dinner table. They could be telling you to meet up with your girl gang and have your own life or talking about how much they enjoy their weekly outings with their friends. This sudden change in their attitude and an erratic mood could well be among the signs your partner is cheating on you. If they’re upbeat and excited one moment and sullen and brooding the next, their mood is being governed by the third spoke in your relationship.
5. What’s all that sweating about?
One of the most significant of the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on is that your partner is iffy and on the edge all the time. They may look anxious almost all the time. Perhaps cheating has drained out their energies and they find themselves in a constant battle of being truthful to you and their pressing need to keep hiding things from you.
Your partner may be painfully aware of the fact that all the secrets and the lies will hamper the components of trust in the relationship that you have nourished and built over time. Yet the allure of the affair keeps drawing them in. As a result, the energy of the relationship eventually becomes very nervous and unstable. So, whenever both of you are together, they seem to be quite nervous as if between wanting to tell you things and hiding them away. As a result, you may see the following signs:
a) You catch their lies
You suspect a partner of infidelity when you suddenly see something as simple as her saying she was out with her friends last week but it does not match with her version that she said this week that she was at the salon. Or he says he got home late last Wednesday because he was working on an important presentation but you remember he has told you he got stuck in traffic. You are confused about why she/he had to lie about something as simple as that. The question that pops in your head is how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating.
b) They are always jumpy
There is a nervousness in their demeanor. You could be asking something very innocuous but they could react adversely. Or you find your partner lost in their thoughts often and when you talk to them, they seem startled, as if they’ve been brought back to the present moment from another world. This uncharacteristic behavior could be a sign that they’re going through stages of guilt after cheating or may have simply checked out of the relationship.
c) Perpetually stressed out
You may also find them repeatedly checking their phone. Or at times, not answering certain calls when both of you are together. When you ask, they may tell you they are stressed about, but try to look for the hook. It might be a different kind of secret that’s making them nervous.
d) They avoid your eyes
This is one of the warning signs that your partner is cheating on you. Their perpetual guilt does not allow them to look straight into your eyes when they talk to you. The weight of their actions makes them acutely aware of your gaze on them and it makes them comfortable. Even when you’re together, your spouse may seem emotionally distant and you feel as if there is a part of them you can no longer access.
Related Reading: 7 Cheating Spouse Text Message Codes
How To Cope With Being Cheated On
The signs of infidelity start with small things but as the affair takes shape the signs turn into clearer signals that your partner is not into you. You have to be perceptive and read these signs to know the truth. Once you do, you’d be left to deal with the heartbreaking reality that the one person who promised to never hurt you has broken your trust and your heart. This can leave you feeling lost, grappling with a tornado of emotions, and unsure about what to do next.
Now that you’re found the answers to how to find out if your partner is cheating online or IRL and how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating, the next order of business is to figure out how to cope with being cheated on. Once your partner’s infidelity comes to light, you have two clear options in front of you – stay and make it work or leave and start afresh. Neither choice is easy, and which is the right one for you depends on your personal circumstances, your partner’s reaction in the aftermath of cheating, and your shared will to make the relationship work.
Surviving an affair is not an easy task nor is ending a relationship and moving on. Whatever you decide, make sure you choose wisely, and for that you need to do some heavy emotional work. This includes:
- Ask your cheating partner the right questions to understand the what, why and how of the affair but spare yourself the details that will only augment your pain
- Give yourself time to process the anger and hurt before you decide your next course of action
- During this time, if possible, distance yourself from your partner
- Once you’re in a calmer state emotionally, think about what you want
- Communicate your decision to your partner
- If you’ve decided to stay together, go into couple’s therapy to work through your issues. If not, seek counseling to deal with the effects of being cheated on
Infidelity can leave you deeply wounded and not dealing with your emotions at this difficult time can do more harm than good. That’s why we cannot emphasize the importance of therapy in the wake of being cheated on by an intimate partner. If you’re looking for professional help, skilled and licensed counselors on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
If you came here, wondering, “Am I being cheated on?”, we hope you found your answer in these 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on. We also hope that these signs of cheating didn’t confirm your worst suspicions. But if they did and you find yourself dealing with a cheating partner, know that this is not the end of the world (even though it may seem like it). Give yourself time and the right resources to heal, and you will bounce back from this abyss – whether with your partner or alone is up to you.
The subtle signs of cheating are always there. If your partner becomes suddenly too protective about their phone, becomes overzealous in bed, and wouldn’t want to walk around in a towel in front of you then these are surefire signs they are cheating.
You have to be sure first that your partner is cheating then you can confront them. If they are honest about what happened then they could confess otherwise they might continue with their lies. If they confess and want to rebuild trust in the relationship you can work on it otherwise you can move on.
If you see all the signs of cheating and even then your partner does not admit to cheating then you know your partner is lying about cheating.
The surefire signs of cheating will always be there. If your partner is always staying late at work, doesn’t answer your calls most of the time, cancels dates at the last moment, and doesn’t communicate for days then you will know you are being cheated upon.
If your boyfriend is cheating, there will be tell-tale differences in the way he behaves with you and around you. You will able able to spot some or all of the 5 subtle signs you’re being cheated on, these include spending excessive time on the phone, picking fights with you for no reason, vanishing without explanation, being distant and acting jittery and anxious around you.