If your partner gets angry at you for cheating in their dream, you know the trust in this relationship may not be the healthiest. Okay, signs of trust issues aren’t usually as absurd, but they can be detected if you think they exist. And it’s important to detect them too, lest you be accused of cheating when you’re innocent.
Such accusations can cause major rifts in the relationship, especially when they’re baseless. Your privacy is compromised, you might have to lie about hanging out with anyone of the opposite sex, and if your partner catches wind of this, all hell breaks loose.
What’s worse is that even though you may have had a healthy relationship, the trust issues and constant accusations may cause permanent damage if handled incorrectly. Have you found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being accused of cheating when innocent? Let’s talk about why false accusations arise in relationships, what the implications are, how to deal with them, and more.
False Accusations In A Relationship – Common Reasons
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Accusing someone of cheating without proof or based solely on a person’s whims says a lot more about them than the person they are accusing. If you’re at the receiving end of such allegations, it’s important to understand that this isn’t about you as much as it may be about your partner trying to mask their insecurities.
When you’re being accused of cheating when innocent, the only emotion you’re going to jump to is rage. However, what’s going to help you, in this case, is a bit of empathy in your relationship, no matter how hard it may seem to achieve it right now. We know what you’re thinking, “I’m the one who got falsely accused, now I’ve got to be empathetic as well?” to put it bluntly, if you want to keep your relationship alive, then yes.
When you understand the reason behind why your partner has decided to lash out at you in such a manner, you’ll be able to make sense of why they’re doing it and exactly what you both need to work on to avoid such feelings. Here are a few common reasons why it happens:
1. They are projecting their insecurities on you
When a person’s relationship with themselves is damaged, their relationship with everyone else suffers a similar fate as well. So when they start accusing someone of cheating without proof, it’s usually because they don’t believe they’re worthy of love, they’re scared that they might do the same, or if they’re jealous of the people the partner is hanging out with.
For example, if a person is incredibly insecure about their body or personality, they’re immediately going to assume that their partner thinks the same about them. Think about it, when you can’t stand to look at yourself, how will you ever let a lover look into your eyes and tell you you’re beautiful?.
2. Trust issues
Perhaps the person has been cheated on in the past which led to overwhelming baggage they can’t let go of. Or, they just may not trust themselves to be faithful and are projecting their fears onto you. In other cases, their idea of what’s known as “cheating” may be a lot different from yours.
In every case, the most important thing to do is to have a conversation about it. The only way to figure out why such allegations are being put on you is to understand your partner’s worldview, their attachment style, and ask them why they think the way they do
3. A mismatch of attachment styles
A person’s attachment style tells us a lot about how they communicate and even feel their love. For example, someone with a secure attachment style won’t bat an eye when their partner spends time with attractive friends of the opposite sex. However, a person with an anxious attachment style may assume the worst the minute their partner chats up anyone new at a party.
When there’s such a mismatch of attachment styles in a relationship, the secure partner may not even realize that their actions cause anxiety to their significant other. To them, the trust they have in themselves, the relationship, and their partner is so strong that they probably won’t even consider the possibility of their actions causing anxiety to their partner.
Related Reading: Insecure Attachment Style In Relationships: Causes & How To Overcome
4. Other situational factors
Since this is a very subjective question, the answer may differ in each relationship. Perhaps a person is accusing someone of cheating without proof because they want to sabotage it and find a way out of it, or maybe they’re cheating themselves and hoping to avoid a confrontation about that.
Understanding why this may be happening to you is only possible through a dialogue with your partner. Encourage open and honest conversation to be able to get to the bottom of this. That’s frankly in your best interests since the psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship can be extremely detrimental and lead to a relationship beyond repair. Let’s talk a bit more about that.
The Psychological Effects Of False Accusations In A Relationship
Before we get into how to deal with a false accusation in a marriage or a relationship, let’s first take a look at the “major rifts” we spoke of. The first time you were falsely accused, it’s possible it came out of the blue. Maybe you disregarded it or reacted with anger, which likely worsened the situation.
If the accusation didn’t stem from something situational like that time you put your hand on a coworker’s lower back, you’ve probably been accused again since. This is where things get tough since the psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship can begin to take a toll.
Being accused of cheating when innocent can sap away your confidence, make you feel trapped, and might even end up making you doubt yourself and your reality. Let’s get into a bit more detail about what happens when one partner continually manifests their insecurities in such a negative way. How do false accusations destroy relationships? To answer that question, we list out a few points below:
1. Constant accusations in a relationship beget stress
“I just know it. You were flirting with him. I know you were!” When your partner keeps repeating something like this over and over again, you’re bound to end up doubting yourself as well. Were you really flirting with her? Was that joke you cracked a little suggestive? This right here, is how you fall victim to gaslighting in a relationship.
Constantly having to defend yourself against false accusations is bound to stress you out. The confusing emotions you’ll be feeling, with a few disrespectful and speculative jibes mixed in, is a winning concoction — if bewilderment is what you were after. The psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship include stress caused by your significant other, which is most likely going to worsen your mental health.
Related Reading: 11 Golden Rules To Make A Relationship Work
2. Being accused of cheating when innocent causes resentment
Your partner probably hates you because they firmly believe you’re sleeping around, and you hate them for thinking such a thing. What this leads to, in most cases, is severe resentment between partners. And when there are constant accusations in a relationship, the first casualty is usually communication.
You’ll hesitate to tell your partner a lot of things, which will only worsen your bond over time. You might hide information about any new friends you make, and you may even lie about who you’re with or where you’re going. And if your partner catches a lie, all it’s going to lead to is more resentment.
Rebuilding trust after lying isn’t an easy task. As you can tell by now, a constant state of worry and anger ensues. This, in effect, is how false accusations destroy relationships.
3. Mental health issues
Perhaps the most damaging psychological effect of false accusations in a relationship is the fact that they can trigger a host of mental health issues. When, in more severe cases, such a relationship turns toxic, emotional abuse will probably be prevalent.
As a result, either of the two partners may develop anxiety, insomnia, or even depression. When partners continue to stay in a damaging relationship for years, hoping it’ll change, the only thing that changes is a person’s mental state for the worse. In such situations, it is imperative to address the issues as soon as possible. If you think you’re currently a part of a damaging relationship, consider reaching out to one of Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists.
When left unaddressed, the effects can end up doing temporary and long-lasting harm to your psyche. If your next partner turns out to be a non-jealous type, you might even end up doubting their feelings for you, considering how you’re coming out of an extremely jealous and doubting relationship.
The stress might leave you constantly on edge like you’re walking on eggshells in your relationship. You might start hating your partner, all while feeling like there’s no one you can turn to. It’s not all doom and gloom though, when you know how to properly defend yourself against false accusations, things can begin looking up.
What To Do When You Are Accused Of Cheating?
So, how should you respond to cheating accusations when you’re innocent? Naturally, getting angry at a baseless accusation is probably the go-to response for everyone. One might even argue that it’s the normal reaction to being falsely accused. However, you need to know that it won’t do much for your case. But if you’re completely nonchalant, sipping on your coffee whilst speaking in an earthy villain-esque tone, that’s just going to make you look like a jerk.
You must play your cards right, despite not having done anything wrong. The psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship, as we saw, can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. An inappropriate reaction from you can make this already precarious situation a lot worse. While your partner has obviously shown they’re not the mature one in this relationship, now’s the time for you to step up. So, what exactly should you do?
1. Don’t go throwing stuff around
The best thing you can do if you’re accused of cheating when you’re innocent is to not get angry in your relationship. Getting completely outraged by the accusation will result in one of you storming out, not really reaching a conclusion. And, it might even make you look guilty.
It’ll probably be the hardest thing you can do (a lot harder than talking on the phone with people around, that should put it into perspective). If you successfully fight the urge to get angry, there is a good chance the conversation will conclude. So instead of starting a screaming match, be the bigger person and calm things down.
Related Reading: How To Watch Out For The Relationship Red Flags – Expert Tells You
2. Don’t turn it around on them
“Oh, I’m the one who’s cheating? What about when you-” Nope, don’t turn it around. In your rage-filled impulses, you may bring up things about your partner that anger you. That may end up ruining the relationship. At least for the duration you’ll have each other blocked on social media.
If you become overly defensive and change the topic of the argument, it’ll end up making you look that much more suspicious. It’s important to stay calm, as we mentioned before, and try to diffuse the situation first. The issues you have can wait since your partner isn’t in a very healthy mental state right now.
3. Get to the bottom of why you’ve been accused of cheating
If you’re constantly accused of cheating, take a look at the points mentioned at the beginning of this article and get to the bottom of it. Maybe you’re too physical with that friend of the opposite sex, or you just share one too many looks with that one friend you’ve had a history with?
Ask your partner what could have caused them to think this way and listen to their point of view. Maybe they’re truly not comfortable with your best friend of the opposite sex, no matter how much they said they were when you two first started dating.
Maybe your partner is unable to deal with jealousy in the relationship. When you’re trying to deal with false accusations in a marriage or a relationship, the best thing you can do is put your detective hat on, instead of gearing up to fight. The quicker you figure out what’s causing these feelings, the quicker you’ll be able to address them.
4. Once you figure out the why, work on the what next?
If you’ve been able to put your finger on what might be causing these allegations against you, the next step is to understand what you want to do with this information. The psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship can be overwhelming. If you’re looking to keep the relationship intact, the first thing you need to do is build up the trust again.
When you are constantly accused of cheating, even after seemingly dealing with it the first time rather well, it may feel like a lost cause. The only way forward is to tackle the insecurity and trust issues your partner has.
5. Find a common ground
“I want you to block him/her right now!” If your partner is making unreasonable demands like this, you shouldn’t be expected to oblige. But at the same time, if you’re hanging out with an ex who still has a thing for you and turning a blind eye to their obvious feelings, you need to tone that down a bit.
Finding common ground is what relationships thrive on. If you’re being completely stern and hanging out with all your exes, or if your partner wants you to block every female you know, you’re both going to need to ease up. That conversation won’t be easy, but you need to have it anyway.
Related Reading: 20 Myths And Facts About Cheating In A Marriage
6. Keep your sanity
Your mental health may go for a toss if the fights keep getting worse. If you’re being accused when innocent, it’s probably stemming from the insecurities your partner has about themselves, which they may then project on you. Dealing with insecurities in a relationship isn’t easy, but it’s something you both should tackle together.
It’s important to look after yourself and keep your mental health in check. Constant fighting and bickering can take a toll on anyone, just ask that on-again-off-again couple you’re friends with. And if you don’t have a friend like that, you could be that couple in your friend group.
7. If you feel suffocated, you should say your goodbyes
When you’re tired of being accused of cheating and it seemingly happens every other day, you probably need to think about leaving. Your partner starts keeping tabs on you like you’re some sort of toddler. If they want to go through your phone, that’s where you draw the line. Nobody goes through your phone.
Psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship include extreme trust issues that are hard to recover from. A relationship is supposed to help you find the best version of yourself and make you happy. If instead, it’s making you lie about who you’re hanging out with, you should rethink it.
Great, now you know how you should respond to false accusations. But what if you’ve already been past that stage, and happened to click on this article to see what the normal reaction to being falsely accused is? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
How Does An Innocent Person React When Accused Of Cheating
Despite trying not to lose your cool, you ended up turning the tables and screaming? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. If you’re wondering how other innocent people have responded to cheating accusations, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re guilty and reading this to hide your crimes, please know that it won’t work. Sooner or later, what’s done in the dark will find a way to come to light. That being said, there are some fundamental differences between how someone guilty will react to being accused of cheating and how an innocent person reacts. Let’s get into a bit more detail.
1. The normal reaction to being falsely accused is to deny it, but with tact
Of course, after all, they’re innocent. This comes as no surprise, but what’s interesting is how much they deny it. When guilty people deny accusations they’re guilty of, they will sometimes go over the top and may even make up elaborate stories to convince the other person of their innocence. Identifying a lying spouse is important if you want to start fixing your relationship.
You won’t see an innocent person give you a complete alibi of what they were doing that day, minute to minute. Instead, the normal reaction to being falsely accused may seem a bit more laid back, mostly one of shock over how their partner could doubt their loyalty in this way.
2. They will look you in the eye and confront you
Innocent people will look you in the eye, deny the claim, and try to decipher why this thought occurred in your mind. A guilty person will try to evade the situation, avoid eye contact, and diffuse it as quickly as possible by changing the topic. You may even end up having a constructive conversation with your innocent partner there and then, instead of them storming out.
3. They won’t start panicking
Unless your partner suffers from general anxiety disorder or gets nervous during arguments, you won’t see them start sweating, freeze up or start breathing heavily. A few tell-tale signs of someone showcasing guilt in a relationship include panicking and sweating. If your partner is innocent, they will try to solve the situation without breaking a sweat. They may get angry, but that’s just human nature. So, calm down, detective.
So, how does an innocent person react when accused of cheating? It’s possible that they may get enraged, saddened, and disappointed, but to pinpoint exactly what their reaction is going to be like would involve a lot of guesswork. The truth is, how one person reacts to this situation is going to be different than the other, regardless of whether they’re both innocent.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online?
What To Do If You Suspect Your Partner Is Cheating
For the entirety of this article, we’ve been speaking to the person who was being accused of cheating when innocent. But if you find yourself on the other side of the spectrum, where you’re constantly worrying about your partner cheating on you, you’ve got some introspection to do as well.
First things first, consider why you’re feeling the way you are. Is the suspicion coming from a justifiable source? Or is it because your partner just made a new friend you’re jealous of? Is it because they came home with a lipstick mark on their clothes, or is it because you’ve grown insecure about your appearance lately?
The goal here is to ascertain if the reasons for you feeling this way are valid or not. Consult a friend, try to find the signs of a cheating partner, and don’t be afraid to ask yourself difficult questions like, “Is this because I’m worried I’ll cheat and I’m projecting it onto them, or is there something else here?”
If you figure out that this belief stems because of your insecurities rather than something your partner did, don’t accuse them. As you saw, the psychological effects of false accusations in a relationship can be devastating. Instead, be vulnerable in front of your partner, ask them for help to deal with the issue you have, and consider all forms of self-improvement. If, on the other hand, you have considerable proof that your partner may be cheating, a confrontation is necessary.
Talk to them about what you’re feeling, present your proof and ask why they’re indulging in behavior that’s making you seriously question their loyalty toward you. Try to adopt a calm tone instead of picking a fight, and make sure to not fall prey to gaslighting. Take help if need be, but make sure your partner understands that you will not stand for any disrespect.
Now that you know everything from “How does an innocent person react when accused of cheating?” To “What should I do if my partner won’t stop accusing me?” We hope you’ve been given the tools to make your dynamic stronger than it is currently.
If you’re tired of being accused of cheating when you’re innocent, following some of the advice listed in this article will help you. And if your partner is the kind who gets angry at you for so much as sharing eye contact with a stranger of the opposite sex, it might be time to think about some greener, more sane pastures.
If your partner keeps accusing you of cheating it often means they’re projecting their insecurities onto you. They may be misunderstanding a few of your actions, but largely it’s due to trust issues. They may even have possessive traits and try to control you. In more extreme cases, they could be the ones cheating.
If you are falsely accused of cheating, don’t create a whole scene of the incident and try to remain fairly calm. Look your partner in the eye and tell them you’ve never been unfaithful. Since you’re telling the truth, there won’t be any inconsistencies in your story anyway.
But despite your most legitimate efforts, it might not be enough since the insecurities of your partner won’t go away without a lot of work.
Cheaters may try to turn the tables, shift the blame, and gaslight the innocent partner into questioning their own reality. They’ll downplay the significance of the situation and will try to get away scot-free. In abusive situations, they may even get physically violent or threaten to do harm.
The only way to be sure if someone is guilty of cheating is if you have proof, or if they accept to doing so themselves. Speculation, guesswork and trying to draw conclusions from their reactions leave too much room for error.