15 Cheating Guilt Signs You Need To Watch Out For

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Cheating Guilt Signs
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Are you too bothered by the way your partner keeps hiding their phone from you these days? Do you suspect them of cheating on you? Or have they lost interest in sex and you suspect them of having an affair? As per statistics, 40% of unmarried relationships and 25% of marriages see at least one incident of infidelity. So, infidelity is more common than you think. Most people who cheat on their partners experience guilt over their actions, and if you pay attention, you may be able to find cheating guilt signs whether one admits to their transgressions or not. 

Cheaters understand that they have betrayed the trust of their beloved and have caused them deep anguish. This guilt that they carry often reflects in their actions, be they voluntary or involuntary. However, if you don’t suspect your partner of cheating or trust them too blindly to even think that they’d cheat on you, spotting the signs of cheating guilt can be harder. 

So, how do you know when someone is guilty about cheating on you? Psychotherapist Dr. Aman Bhonsle (Ph.D., PGDTA), who specializes in relationship counseling and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, shares a few insights into some tell-tale signs of cheating guilt. So, read on to find out more about cheaters’ guilt and how you can deal with it.

What Is Cheaters’ Guilt?

Most people would tell you that cheating is wrong, and that is true. There are times when people cheat for reasons unknown to them. Cheating may be a result of sheer boredom, frustration, or even compatibility issues. Some people may get into emotional affairs, while others may blame their partners for making them cheat.

But what’s interesting is that most people feel guilty after cheating. The fact that they strayed, and the shame thereon, makes cheaters feel guilty. This is cheaters’ guilt and it may also manifest externally in their behavior, actions, and body language. This guilt takes hold when the person who has transgressed feels terrible about his or her actions and struggles with what to do. 

Even though people may use several excuses to cheat to justify their actions, cheaters are mostly aware of the fact that they’ve crossed boundaries they shouldn’t. So, do cheaters grapple with cheaters’ guilt? Yes, more often than not, they do. 

Related Reading: 6 Cheaters Tell Us How They Feel About Themselves

Love, Cheating, And Signs Of Cheating Guilt: An Overview

One of our readers, Adrien, wrote to us about his experience: “I hooked up with my ex after a big fight with my girlfriend. She was angry with me and I saw her “like” a few posts of some man she knows I am insecure about. When I tried to speak to her about it, she hung up on me. I went and got drunk, and chatted about it with my ex, who too was a little tipsy. We met and made out. I feel terrible. I am experiencing cheaters’ guilt. Please help. What should I do?” 

In Adrien’s case, the symptoms of guilt after cheating ranged from anxiety to self-hatred and remorse. However, cheating guilt doesn’t always manifest through the same emotions in everyone. This may leave you wondering, “How do you know when someone is guilty about cheating? And how does a guilty person act when accused of cheating?” 

Talking about relationship red flags, Dr. Bhonsle says, “Lying in a relationship is a sign of a cheating husband or cheating wife’s guilt. What are they trying to escape from? It’s often hard to tell. Relationships always suffer without trust and respect. If you sense manipulation and dodgy behavior, ask yourself if you’re with this person for companionship or to play cops and robbers. Trust issues make the very foundation of your relationship shaky.”

Related Reading: Dear Wife Of Cheating Husband, This Is Why I Don’t Feel Guilty

15 Sure-Shot Cheating Guilt Signs You Can’t Miss

If you’re ever found asking yourself, “How do you know if your partner is cheating?”, chances are, you’ve already noticed something off about your partner. Catching a cheating partner is not really difficult these days, with several apps and trackers available.

In fact, your gut feelings could stem from micro signs of your partner’s cheaters’ guilt that your subconscious has picked up. Watch out for these cheating guilt signs to be sure that your hunch is right. To help you ascertain whether your partner is cheating or not, here are 10 cheating guilt signs you need to watch out for:

1. They project their guilt onto you

How do you know when someone is guilty about cheating? Well, if your partner turns around and accuses you of cheating when you ask them if they’ve been cheating on you, they’re projecting their guilt onto you. Projecting is a defense mechanism and a big red flag

Dr. Bhonsle says, “To make sure they’re not confronted with a difficult conversation, they may try to turn the tables and pick fights with their partner.” Remember to never let them walk over you, and make sure you voice your concerns, if there’s something bothering you. Trying to sweep it under the rug — like your partner wants you to — is not going to do you any favors. When you see the signs of guilt in a woman or a man, call them out. 

Related Reading: Confessions Of Five Women Who Say, “My Husband Cheated But I Feel Guilty”

2. They get defensive about their changed grooming patterns

One of the classic signs of cheating can be a sudden change in grooming patterns. Look out for such signs of a guilty conscience in a relationship:

  • Has your wife suddenly started wearing too much make-up? 
  • Has your spouse changed their perfume all of a sudden? 
  • Does your husband wear aftershave every time he steps out?

A person who cheats becomes more conscious of their appearance and pays close attention to personal grooming. But if you ask them about this newfound penchant for dressing up, they may get all defensive. And when cheaters’ guilt strikes, they may dress the way youlike them to. 

3. They’re over/under zealous in bed all of a sudden

So, has she always wanted you to be a missionary man and suddenly wants to be on top? And do your gut feelings tell you something is fishy? This can be one of the signs she cheated and feels guilty. Your partner may be trying new positions with someone else, or may simply be covering up their guilt by making you happy. 

If your spouse is suffering from cheating guilt, they would try to overcompensate in bed to clear their guilty conscience. However, keep in mind, trying out a new move in bed isn’t necessarily a sign of cheaters’ guilt. 

Related Reading: 15 Signs Your Partner Is Sleeping With Someone Else

Dr. Bhonsle explains, “Changes in bed cannot, unfortunately, be treated in absolute terms. They vary from relationship to relationship, and what’s common for one is bizarre for the other. So, in order to understand if it’s different than it used to be, you need to give it more time than a few instances of such changed behavior in bed.” 

4. They go through constant mood swings 

Is your partner’s mood mercurial? One moment, they are celebrating with you, the next, they are annoyed at something you don’t know about (and they refuse to talk about it, no matter what). Well, this is how a guy acts after he cheated (or a girl, for that matter).

The reason could be the emotional toll of balancing two relationships and leading a double life. Juggling both can get overwhelming and, when with you, the cheating partner cannot help but feel bad about what they have been doing to you. 

This guilt can make cheaters feel angry and irritable. So, how does cheaters’ guilt affect cheating partners? More often than not, they suffer in their own heads, feeling extremely conflicted about what they should do. 

5. They buy you gifts for no reason

One of the guilty reactions to cheating is overcompensating. If you are showered with gifts (and that too, expensive ones!) every other week and even when there’s no real occasion, it can be cheaters’ guilt gift-wrapped especially for you. There could be a number of reasons for this:

  • The guilt of betraying your trust may be bothering your partner
  • They may be consumed by the fear of getting caught and may wish to take your attention away from the signs of cheating they may exhibit
  • They may fear the repercussions their cheating behavior may have on your relationship
  • The likelihood of you feeling loved and cared for will temporarily wash out the fact that you are being cheated upon. This also gives a cheater enough time to think about what they are doing
infidelity and guilt
Infidelity and guilt go hand in hand

6. They won’t say “I love you”

Remember those mornings when the first thing you heard was “I love you”? If this phrase has gone AWOL, it might be a red flag. They might even refrain from saying it back because they don’t feel honest about the words uttered or because of the emotional exhaustion of balancing two relationships. This is one of the most common cheating guilt signs.

Instead, you may find them showcasing these psychological and body language signs:

  • Stammering and stuttering 
  • Not looking into your eyes 
  • Start being excessively cold to you
  • Trying to pick fights with you

In spite of this, they may never directly say, “I cheated and feel horrible.” Nonetheless, the signs are too obvious for you to ignore.

Related Reading: 12 Signs Of A Lying Spouse

7. They’re defensive about odd plans 

Have you noticed your spouse being too defensive about their sudden or unusual plans? For instance, if your wife steps out at night to “finish the presentation” with her “colleagues” way too often, it could very well be a sign she’s having an affair and has someone else in her life. And then, if you probe about her whereabouts, she might get angry and upset, triggering a fresh spell of fights and arguments. She may then give any number of reasons to justify her odd plans. Well, this may be one of the she cheated and feels guilty.

A Reddit user relates their experience, saying, “Ultimately most people are very good at rationalizing their behavior and coming up with excuses for their failure to keep their commitments. Those that don’t actually apologize and quit living a lie.”

8. Their stories keep changing

A person suffering from infidelity guilt would not be able to give you the same answer about their whereabouts every time you ask them. The reason could be that they’ve simply forgotten about a particular version of events and may create newer versions every time. So, “I was at Jacob’s place” can quickly become “I was with Nash, trying to work”. After all, it’s one thing to cheat but a completely different ball game altogether to keep track of all the lies.

Related Reading: 22 Sure Signs Of A Cheating Girlfriend

One of the biggest symptoms of guilt after cheating ties right into these lies. Once you call out the fact that they’re lying, they may aggressively get defensive as a final attempt to try and salvage their story. They may be feeling guilty, but they’ll still want to keep their secret from coming out.

Healing after Cheating

9. They may have told your common friends about it

Often in a relationship, your common friends tend to get wind of your partner’s cheating long before you do. If your partner’s friends suddenly start acting uncomfortable around you or try to avoid you, it could be a sign they are aware of your partner’s infidelity.

It’s also one of the telltale signs of a guilty conscience in a relationship when your partner opts to tell their friends about their cheating ways before they open up to you about it. This also shows how infidelity and guilt go hand in hand. Your partner’s friends could be avoiding you on purpose because:

10. They engage in self-loathing

One of the prominent signs of cheaters’ guilt is a clear streak of pessimism and self-loathing. The emotional turmoil of leading a double life can take its toll on their emotional health, and they may start blaming themselves quite often. This also shows how infidelity and guilt are two sides of the same coin.

Related Reading: Step-by-Step Guide To Rebuilding Love After Emotional Damage

So, infidelity guilt may manifest itself as self-loathing behavior, and your cheating spouse or partner may end up drowning in pessimism in their day-to-day life. A Reddit user says, “How do cheaters live with this guilt? I cheated on my boyfriend over a year ago. We tried to make it work, but recently broke it off because he couldn’t take it anymore. He’s not over it, and frankly, I’m not over it either. Every time I think about what I have done to him and how he must feel actually makes me want to die. I know I’m a piece of shit for what I did, and I wake up everyday feeling like this. Do I have to live with this feeling forever? I’d rather die than feel like this every day.”

11. They’re going through depression 

how a guy acts after he cheated
The guilt of cheating can cause depression

How do you know when someone is going through cheaters’ guilt? Well, look closely at your partner’s behavior patterns and see if you notice any worrying changes, such as:

  • Inaction
  • Lethargy
  • Insomnia
  • Increased (emotional eating) or decreased appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Withdrawn body language

This is how a guy acts after he cheated (or a girl), and these are all signs of depression. If these behavior patterns are uncharacteristic of your partner, it could be a manifestation of their cheating guilt.

Studies have shown a close connection between guilt and depression. In fact, depression can be termed as one of the stages of guilt after cheating. This is especially true if your partner still loves you, is living with deep regret of betraying your trust, and is often saying to himself, “I cheated and feel horrible.” Their act of infidelity may not have come to light so far, but every waking moment serves as a horrible realization of having put their relationship in jeopardy. 

12. They lack emotional connection 

When a third person enters your equation, it’s bound to throw things off-balance. The partner who has forged a strong romantic/emotional/physical connection outside of the relationship may feel hard to connect with their primary partner the way they used to because of emotional exhaustion. The easiest way to spot cheaters’ guilt is to identify a definite lack of an emotional bond. The act of infidelity may build an invisible wall between partners and cause emotional distance to creep in.

Related Reading: How Cheaters Hide Their Tracks — 15 Eye-Opening Signs

13. They manipulate

So, how does a guilty person act when accused of cheating? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and a person’s reaction in such a situation can vary from denial to expressing anger and hurt or even breaking down and admitting to their transgressions. However, one prominent response to being questioned about cheating or any suspicious behavior is manipulation. Watch out for these signs:

  • Your partner has mastered the art of turning the tables on you whenever you ask them about their stories not adding up or any uncharacteristic behaviors 
  • Your partner has made it a habit of never giving you any straight answer, even to the simplest questions like when they’ll be home 
  • Sarcasm and sharp jibes have become their go-to language when talking to you

When your partner is consumed with cheating guilt, they will constantly live with the fear that you’re on to them. Twisting facts or resorting to scathing retorts could be a defense mechanism to throw you off the scent. In fact, this is one of the prominent stages of guilt after cheating.

14. They show excessive social media ‘love’

Now, there’s nothing wrong with posting couple selfies with your love interest. But did you suddenly notice your spouse posting old vacation photos of you two on their Instagram account? Does it appear a little fishy? Well, sudden social media attention showered by your spouse may be a sign of infidelity guilt. It may also be a way to hide the fact that they’re cheating on you. 

Related Reading: The 7 Types of Affairs and How They Affect Relationships

A friend of mine, Mandy, was dating a man and was surprised when a friend told her she’d seen his profile on a dating app. She investigated a little and found photos of another woman in his phone gallery. But what astonished her was the fact that her boyfriend had recently started posting photos of them together on Facebook and had also started liking and commenting on all her posts. He apparently later also confessed to her, saying, “I cheated and feel horrible.” This is a classic case of cheaters’ guilt manifesting as increased social media attention and shows how infidelity and guilt go hand in hand.

15. They are reluctant to discuss the future of the relationship

A guilty husband or wife, who has been cheating on their spouse, may stop making future plans with their partners. This is a manifestation of cheaters’ guilt and may affect not just your long-term relationship goals but also your imminent goals. In fact, this is one of the glaring signs he regrets cheating (or she feels sorry for having an affair). So, in such cases, your cheating spouse may avoid hurting you by staying away from all plans for the future, such as:

  • Planning a house or a car
  • Aligning career goals
  • Planning a foreign vacation for the next anniversary

This is how a guy acts after he cheated (or a girl).

What To Do When You Spot Signs Of Guilt In A Woman or A Man

Spotting these tell-tale signs of guilt in a woman or a man you love can be soul-crushing. So, if you identify the signs he cheated and feels guilty or she is going through cheater’s remorse, it may feel like your worst fears are coming true and the world around you is crumbling.

Related Reading: Step-by-Step Guide To Rebuilding Love After Emotional Damage

But now is not the time to fall apart. So, what do you do when you see the stages of guilt after cheating in your partner’s behavior? You need to get yourself together and figure out your next steps. Here are a few things you can try if you can gauge both infidelity and guilt in your partner’s behavior:

  • Talk to your partner about your suspicions and clear the air. Tell them you see the signs he cheated and feels guilty and give them a chance to come clean
  • If your partner confesses, that’s a good sign. But if they choose not to come clean even when you give them a chance to, you need to focus on gathering concrete evidence to counter their denials
  • You could consider buying spyware to catch a cheating partner and to keep track of their online activities
  • You may also get a GPS tracker to know their whereabouts
  • You can order a spy camera and install it in your home, if you suspect that’s where they carry out their cheating activities in your absence
  • You can use a phone cloning device or software to get a detailed lowdown on their activities

Key Pointers

  • Cheaters’ guilt is the feeling of having let a partner down by infidelity
  • Signs of cheaters’ guilt include lack of emotional connection, self-loathing, projection of guilt, and changing stories
  • If you see signs of cheaters’ guilt in your partner, you can be sure he or she’s cheating by: getting them to confess, using GPS trackers, using spyware, and many other methods

If you notice any of the signs he regrets cheating or she feels sorry for her infidelity that we listed out today, it’s best if you have a conversation with your partner about it. Instead of getting angry, tell them that honesty is going to do you both good since there’s no point floating about in a relationship that’s devoid of trust.

So, do cheaters feel guilty? Sure, they do. And the cheating guilt signs do tend to manifest themselves in one way or the other. All you have to do is know when and what to look for.

More on extra marital affairs


1. How do I know if my husband is feeling cheating remorse? 

Some signs he cheated and feels guilty are: he showers you with gifts, he’s overzealous in bed, or he’s going through constant mood swings. He probably understands he is causing you hurt and is going through an emotional turmoil.

2. How common is cheating in marriage?

The infidelity statistics show that 25% of people in marriages end up in an affair or cheat in some way. Though it may seem like your relationship will never go through a similar fate, catching the cheating guilt signs can help you figure it out.

3. Do cheaters cheat again?

Yes, serial cheaters are common. Though you may see signs he regrets cheating, unless a person mends his own ways, he will end up cheating again and again.

4. Can couples’ counseling help with cheating?

Both individual and couples’ counseling can be immensely helpful in working through the feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal that the partner who has been cheated on experiences, as well as the shame, guilt, and pain that the cheating partner goes through. While counseling cannot guarantee a reconciliation, it will certainly equip you with the tools to acknowledge, embrace, and manage your emotional responses better.

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Readers Comments On “15 Cheating Guilt Signs You Need To Watch Out For”

  1. “I was in Miami with my HUSBAND and his parent for vacation. We had flown there on their private jet for a

    great weekend. Something felt off. Like, really off. And I did what you’re never supposed to do I reached

    out to hackgoodnesstech on insta, gram who helped me gain access to his phone without him knowing. It turns

    out he slept with someone else! So, there I am in Miami with his family with no way of hopping a flight back

    and we weren’t scheduled to leave for 2 more days. And this was our wedding anniversary. Right before dinner

    with his family.” MEN ARE WHAT?

  2. The one who steals is a thief and is called thief. The one who murders is called murderer. So the one who cheats is a cheater. Even thief and murderer has reasons for doing respective acts and so a cheater has reasons for cheating. But cheating is heneous than murder as the the loyal spouse has to carry shame, mistrust, guilt, inadequacy etc all negative emotions in his/her heart for life getting killed internally everyday for the life. Hence, due to following reasons,spouse,People or society will judge the person as cheater /betrayer (One nightstand or affair) and there is nothing wrong in it.
    1.Problems in a marriage is not a license for cheating. Person could have resolved issues by various means but or could have parted ways with mutual consent instead chose to cheat at the back as they are cowards, without values/character & shame and being a selfish crook to enjoy the benefits offered by marriage chose to cheat and act drama at home until it was unearthed blaming either their spouse or circumstances. Then what for human is bestowed with intelligence only for justifying the cheating?Otherwise what is difference
    2.For a cheater, their spouse is just a responsibility and wants continue marriage to enjoy the benefit marriage. Cheater may say he/she not emotionally attached to the person with whom they enjoyed the adventure. There is no difference between a regular prostitute and a cheater wherein both share and allow others to use their bodies by others except for regular prostitute money is the motive and for a cheater lust fulfillment is motive. Cheater does s.elective prostitution with pick and choosed perso/s.Whether in a sacred marriage, selective prostitution is acceptable to the spouse or society?
    3. All these cheaters thrive on the principle that “ Ghar Ki Chor ko not even God can catch. One can catch outside chor but not Ghar Ki Chor. At the end they are Ghar Ki Chor and have no feelings for their spouses. For them, their spouse is a doormat or a slave to take care of house responsibilites and stresses. They are like parasites survive on body. They will stick to the marriage but do all dirty things at the back of their partner and act drama at home.
    4. Animals eat, fend,mate and sleep. They don’t have feelings of shame, dignity, boundaries, dharma, spirituality and guilt. That’s why they are animals. They have only animal instinct. Cheater has human body but not human character but animal traits. But there is a slight difference. Animal will never act drama whereas a cheater after doing all dirty things at back of loyal spouse acts drama at home.
    5. Once a cheater, that person is a cheater/betrayer for this birth irrespective of whether forgiven by their spouse or not, they are cheater and betrayer to their own inner consciousness. Only point is whether they become a serial cheater or not. But they remain cheater/betrayer in their life till they go to graveyard.
    6. Some say to err is human so as cheating a mistake. Keeping mobile on restaurant table and forgetting is a mistake. Forgetting birthday of ur loved is a mistake and so are many. But droping cloths and sleeping with a person outside of marriage is not a mistake. It is a conscious decision made by the cheater.
    8. When a person go to a vegetable vendor or electronic shop, came to know that he was duped, he complains to customer care and blacklist the vendor. Also the person shares duping to all his/her near and dear and advises them not to get any articles from that vendor. But when comes to ones spouse, the same person becomes crooked, shameless, characterless and indulge in cheating/betrayel because he/she is ur spouse, he/she has no marriage contract and just trusted vowes bestowed in a marriage and is taken for granted for cheating. The same breach of trust if one does in office, they will throw the person right at the moment out of the gate. For a cheater, value of spouse is even not worth of vegetable vendor or merchant vendor.
    9. Cheating in a marriage is highly immoral and is a sin as viewed by all religions.
    10. You feed an underpriveleged and bring smile on their face, they have gratitude for life. You serve abondoned old couple for sometime and bring smile on their face, they have gratitude for life. You have a pet at home, it will be faithful to you till its last breath even though it vowed nothing. But you married a person who vowed you to stand by thick and thin, who has committed to you for life and vowed infront of holy fire and all divinity, forefathers etc but ended-up as a cheater and betrayer? Does they worth in ones life? Is it better to have a pet home than have a cheater at home? These are introspecting questions loyal spouse undergoes.
    Forgiveness is a complicated process, to forgive and continue the relationship is definitely a divinity but should not be at the cost of loyal spouse making his/her life miserable. If loyal spouse decides not to continue the relationship, but one should forgive to the extent that one will not spoil cheaters reputation in the eyes of his/her near and dear one, friends and social circle and in eyes of their children as afterall u have loved cheater all these times since the marriage & one can’t take revenge like an animal. In this case forgive and pray for cheaters wiser sense and prosperity and move away from his/her life once for all through mutual consent.

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