Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid? 11 Things To Think Over!

Extramarital Affairs | | , Writer
Updated On: February 21, 2024
Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid

If being in love is the most beautiful feeling, being betrayed is undoubtedly the most devastating. It can understandably break your heart if the person you invested your body, soul, and emotions in turns out to be disloyal. However, there’s a catch. If trust is the bedrock of all healthy relationships, suspicion is the weak link that creates havoc. That’s when you need to ask – Is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Many marriages have hit the rocks after unfounded accusations of cheating being hurled by one partner on the other, only to realize how wrong they were. Unfortunately, by this time, the relationship has already soured. Does this mean that you need to let your guard down? Certainly not! While trust is a key cornerstone of a healthy relationship, unquestioning faith can leave you blindsided. While it’s essential to not ignore the big red flags of infidelity, there is a difference between genuine doubt and constant paranoia about cheating. And that’s what you will recognize as you read below.

What Is The Difference Between Paranoia And Suspicion?

If you don’t know how to tell if your boyfriend is lying about cheating or have doubts about your girlfriend’s loyalty, you need to first understand the difference between being suspicious of your partner’s actions and being paranoid because of your past trauma. Let’s talk about suspicion first. This is what happened in the case of our reader from New Orleans, Amanda:

  • Amanda noticed an inexplicable transaction on her husband Jude’s account
  • He suddenly changed his habits, his likes and dislikes
  • His fashion sense went up a notch, and not for Amanda
  • He would often surprise Amanda with expensive gifts
  • He would be on his phone all the time

She knows why worrying about cheating is pointless. She knew he isn’t hanging out with his friends. She knew the text messages he was receiving late in the night weren’t work-related either. So, she went ahead and confronted him. Jude was caught off-guard and couldn’t give a convincing reply. Amanda now started noticing other things like:

  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Frequent all-nighters
  • Diminishing sex life

This is valid suspicion because these are clear signs of a cheating husband. “Is he cheating or am I paranoid?”, asks Amanda. It’s the former here. On the other hand, Dani’s situation is a little different. She was feeling something similar in her relationship. Ever since Dani and her husband Tom had their first child, Dani had developed a fear that Tom was going to drift apart in the relationship.

She kept questioning whether her partner is cheating on her or not. “After all, that is what my father had done. That’s what my ex did to me. That is what men do!” she thought. Tom was a caring husband, now also a doting father. She was paranoid that he was going to abandon her for his freedom. Dani’s paranoia on whether her boyfriend is cheating on her or not is based on her past traumas. This is not suspicion because she doesn’t have any evidence to back her justified but paranoid state of mind.

While Amanda’s mistrust in her relationship is based on evidence, Dani’s constant paranoia about infidelity exists despite anything concrete she can put her finger on. Moreover, Amanda has reasons to believe there is someone else or somewhere else her husband is spending his time, money, and emotions at. Her fears are centered within a limited scope.

On the other hand, Dani’s suspicions are wider in scope, centered around abandonment issues. She thinks she will be left alone. In fact, she fears that Tom cheating on her is only one of the ways he could abandon her. Her cheating paranoia could change forms to prove her fears. She could also worry that her boyfriend will die and leave her alone to raise the child by herself.

In simple words, paranoia is extreme fear that is not based in evidence and therefore sounds unreasonable. E.g., obsessive thoughts about spouse cheating due to causes of insecurity. A paranoid person tries to prove their paranoia in one way or the other. If evidence is produced against their belief, they would assume that they are being lied to than allowing their fears and doubts to be cleared. However, suspicion is fear based in evidence or there’s a reason for it to exist. It can be allayed with logic and the truth.

Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid 11 Signs That Will Tell You The Truth

Is he cheating online or is involved with someone at work? If you don’t know whether you are dealing with a cheating husband or an overactive mind that won’t stop dragging past traumas in the present, you have arrived at the right place. We have cracked down all the signs that reveal whether he has some other woman in his life or if he is loyal.

1. He is secretive about his phone

Is He Cheating
He is secretive about his phone

Notice his behavior around and with his phone. Here’s what you’re going through:

  • He constantly changes his passwords
  • Hates it when I peek into his phone casually
  • Snatches it away if I dare touch it
  • Becomes edgy and doesn’t like anyone answering his phone if he is busy
  • Spends hours speaking to someone at a particular time

These are some of the tell-tale signs he will cheat in the future if he hasn’t done it already.

So… like Amanda, you ask, “Is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Our devices mirror our lives these days. But even in very strong relationships, couples do not like it if their partners peek into their business. Some chats are personal so they might not appreciate it. These are not obvious signs he’s cheating on his phone. But you still get a gut feeling that something is wrong. If he acts too edgy, and spends long hours whispering into the phone, then he probably has some other woman in his life and you need to get to the bottom of it.

Related Reading: Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair

2. He goes out too frequently without telling me

Here’s what you’re going through: Earlier, he would inform me about his whereabouts. But of late, he has been staying out way too often and way too late. He doesn’t pick up calls and when I ask him, he is usually evasive. When I make a plan, he usually remembers that he had an alternative plan. If I try to talk to him about it, he blames it on my constant paranoia about cheating and calls me insecure. Argh! Why am I so paranoid of being cheated on?

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: People can stay out for a number of reasons (maybe he just loves going out with the lads!). Perhaps, he is being evasive or hiding details about this routine because he fears that telling you he is chilling with his friends will lead to arguments and fights. Your antenna should be up only if he has no answers. Even so, look at your tone. Is it accusatory? Does he feel like you are nagging and clinging? Give him space for a bit but watch out.

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3. He is obsessed about his looks and fitness

Here’s what you’re going through:

  • He is on a shopping spree
  • Goes to the salon far more frequently
  • Has changed his style completely
  • Used to hate red, but now he wears red shirts
  • Goes to the gym regularly but he hated working out before

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Now, is your boyfriend cheating on you? Possibly. This is a worrying sign if you are in a long-term relationship. If your partner has indeed found a new love, he may try and change his looks. However, find out if it’s because of a new realization about the need to stay fit and healthy or if there is something more to it. Change of appearance or being health conscious are not always signs of cheaters.

4. Something seems artificial in our relationship

Here’s what you’re going through: He is just the same – kind, affectionate, and caring. But something seems amiss. He looks lost. When he shows affection, it’s like he is play-acting. It doesn’t appear to come naturally. He is not being open and vulnerable with me. He has also stopped buying little gifts for me, even though I still continue to do things for him. He seems withdrawn. I have a strong feeling he’s cheating but no proof. How do I stop worrying about him cheating?

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Australian dating coach Mark Rosenfeld has an answer for this. “This isn’t a big red flag. Maybe he is stressed at work, there may be money issues or even bedroom problems. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so is withdrawn. Do not freak out. He may be innocent, you don’t know yet. So first things first, take a deep breath and don’t give in to irrational fears.”

5. His social media is getting out of control

Here’s what you’re going through: He is spending way too much time on Facebook and Instagram. It feels like gadgets are ruining our relationship because he is constantly glued to one. If he is not on his phone, he’s browsing social media platforms on his laptop or tablet. Also, he does not post pics of us together. Is this what happens when someone is cheating on you through text?

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Social media is a strange beast. With the advent of it, we have more options to not just waste our time but it’s also one of the things to tempt us into adultery a lot more. You are right to ask: “Is he cheating online?” Ask him why there’s not a single photo of you both on his social media, especially if you’re in a committed relationship and he has photos of his friends and family on his profile.

Related Reading: 20 Myths And Facts About Cheating In A Marriage

6. His friends aren’t loyal to their partners

Here’s what you’re going through: I dislike his friends. Somehow they all seem to be having affairs left, right, and center. However, he does not appear to have any problems with such behavior. Now, how to tell if your boyfriend is lying about cheating? Does he defend his friends who are cheating on their partners? Does he justify their actions? Does he think it’s not a big deal to betray the one you love? Does he get mad at you if you state your opinion on the matter? These are some trick questions to ask your boyfriend to see if he’s cheating.

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: If you answered yes to the questions above, then you are right to question his loyalty.

stories on cheating and more

7. Gosh, he’s on Tinder

Here’s what you’re going through: I realized that he is on Tinder and has been chatting up some other woman. This is the biggest red flag, right?

So … am I crazy or is he cheating?

Our view: Sorry to break your heart but he is definitely cheating. If not full-fledged adultery, then there is at least micro-cheating going on and you need to confront him.

Gut feeling he is cheating, no proof Quiz

8. Our sex life isn’t great anymore

Here’s what you’re going through: The passion is missing. He just doesn’t seem to be interested in making love anymore. Often, even if I initiate it, he doesn’t reciprocate my advances. It seems as if he has lost interest in me sexually. And on the rare occasions that we have sex, the zing is completely gone. It seems like a chore more than anything else.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Maybe the spark has genuinely gone out of your relationship. Sexual chemistry is hard to maintain but if despite your efforts, he shows no interest, it could mean the following – a physical issue, a stressor you don’t know about, emotional intimacy issues with you, or an affair. Men who cheat generally find it difficult to get intimate with their partners. You will have to tread this one carefully.

Related Reading: 12 Reasons Why Men Have Extramarital Affairs

9.  I have a feeling he’s cheating

Here’s what you’re going through: Why does he not answer some calls in front of me? Isn’t it one of the telling signs he’s cheating on his phone? Why does he become defensive when I ask him questions? Why does he seem uneasy on certain occasions? I have a gnawing feeling he’s cheating but no proof, what should I do?

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: You shouldn’t entirely ignore your gut feeling. Go ahead and sit him down. There could be a lack of love and understanding that’s making you overthink the whole situation. This overthinking can result in stress, anxiety, and even depression. That’s why worrying about cheating is pointless and you just need to communicate about this with your partner.

10. We have been having too many arguments

Here’s what you’re going through: We are arguing too much these days. The smallest disagreements snowball into massive relationship arguments. In a fit of anger, he has even suggested that he is unhappy in the relationship.

So … is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Arguing or fighting, as such, is not a sign that he has moved on but if he loses interest in you because he is interested in someone else, there won’t be much effort on his part to patch up after a fight. Observe his behavior and attitude after a fight. Does he look hurt and angry or just uncaring? If it’s the latter, it’s probably because he might have moved on from you or because he has a shoulder to lean on.

11. He has cheated before

stories on cheating and more
He has cheated before

Here’s what you’re going through: It has happened before too. I caught him red-handed but he promised to mend his ways and we got back together. However, I am unable to shake off the feeling that it might happen again. Why am I so paranoid about my partner cheating on me? Because there is evidence to suggest that he is capable of it. What if he is cheating on me behind my back? What is the guarantee I won’t be able to prevent it?

So … is my boyfriend cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: If you have been betrayed before, it is difficult to rebuild trust in the relationship. The cracks will always show up and the small signs that you would have otherwise ignored would come to haunt you. There is no guarantee he will stay loyal but there is no surety that he will go down that path again. Work from your trust and not your fears. Always keep communicating to prevent a relapse. If he’s been making amends, try to have faith in the process.

What To Do If It Is Paranoia?

Fear of being betrayed is very real but you should stop feeding that monster and stop worrying about whether he’ll cheat or not, unless and until you actually have proof. To handle it, first, you need to work on your self-esteem and self-worth. Living with constant paranoia about being cheated on and constantly grappling with insecurities about the future of your relationship can take its toll.

You may be suffering from abandonment issues or low self-worth. What is causing it? And how to stop asking things like, “Am I crazy or is he cheating?” “He must be cheating, isn’t that why he suddenly changed?” You need a professional who can work with you and reach the root of your issues, which very often are childhood traumas and buried grief.

You do not deserve to be with anyone who makes you feel constantly on the edge but you are not helping your cause by being paranoid. Being wary, being on the guard is good but jumping on assumptions, always looking for ‘evidence’ (which may or may not exist) will cause you more harm than good. Work on the fundamentals of your relationship and then decide what you want to do if your partner is indeed cheating on you. Make this about you, not him, not her.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Cheating

We could act hastily when we are paranoid. Or we could wait to get all the evidence in our hands before worrying about our partner’s perfidy. If you have unfortunately become a victim of your partner’s betrayal, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Allow yourself the shock: You are going to be shocked when you first realize that your obsessive thoughts about spouse cheating were not invalid. Allow yourself time and space to feel all the emotions that are going to surface in you
  • Reach out to a friend/family member: You do not want to be alone with your emotions for a long time. If there is anyone you trust to hold your hand, reach out to them and tell them what you are going through. Seek their support
  • Get tested for STIs: Even without your wish, your monogamous two-way sexual relationship has crossed its threshold into the unknown. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Get yourself tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections, especially if you had been fluid bonding with your partner
  • Give your partner the chance to explain: Allow your partner the chance to explain before reaching major decisions. Their response might change the course of your relationship for the better. If not anything, it will allow you to ask questions, receive answers, and have a closure
  • Evaluate your options: A lot of marriages and relationships successfully survive infidelity. A breakup is not the only option. Your current reality, your needs, the health status of the relationship before the crisis, the background to the crisis, his commitment to make amends, there surely is a lot to weigh in such a scenario. Take your time to evaluate your options
  • Remind yourself it’s not “all men”: When you get cheated on once, you automatically develop thoughts that every man on earth cheats. Don’t let such negative thinking stop you from falling in love again. It happened a single time. It won’t happen again when you find the right guy
  • Seek professional help: A separation counselor and/or a grief counselor will provide you with the perspective, guidance, and hand-holding you need at such a crucial time

Key Pointers

  • While trust is a key cornerstone of a healthy relationship, blind faith can leave you completely blindsided when dealing with a cheating spouse
  • Paranoia is extreme fear that is not based in evidence and therefore sounds unreasonable. However, suspicion is a fear based in evidence or there is a reason for it to exist
  • Worrying about cheating is pointless unless you have a solid reason to believe that your partner is betraying your trust. Look objectively for clear signs to ascertain if your partner is indeed cheating on you
  • Seek professional help if you think you cannot shake off the feeling of constant paranoia about cheating. Also, seek help to deal with the trauma if you are indeed left devastated by a cheating partner

By now, you have either felt relief that you might only be suffering from cheating paranoia and your partner still loves you. Or you could have found out that there is valid reason behind your suspicion. No matter where you stand, professional help can be of immense help to deal with your paranoia which often recurs and can destroy relationships. It will also be helpful to deal with the uncertainty and grief a cheating partner brings.

This article has been updated in March 2023.

FAQs

1. How do I know if he is cheating?

If he is always late, deliberately excludes you from his plans, spends too much time on his social media and bothering about his looks, if you have too many fights without any effort to patch up and if your sex life is on the wane, these are the signs he is having an affair.

2. Why am I so paranoid about my boyfriend cheating on me?

Paranoia about your boyfriend cheating on you has a lot to do with your belief systems. If you strongly believe that you deserve love, respect, and loyalty, you won’t be paranoid. If you operate from a sense of belief that men always cheat or that you will be abandoned in your relationships, you subconsciously look for signs of cheating.

3. How do I stop being paranoid about cheating?

The only way to stop being paranoid is to have more trust in yourself and your relationship. Also, vow not to act on mere suspicion. Find out more about your doubts and confirm if they are indeed true. Do not peek into his phones or private matters. If he is cheating, the matter will come out anyway. You’ll need to heal your wounds which have made you paranoid through self-care and listening to your needs, and seeking trauma-informed therapy.

4. Is worrying about him cheating pointless?

Trust your instincts. Women have a strong gut feeling about their partners cheating on them. Worrying about being cheated upon is not entirely pointless as it will help you be on your guard and motivate you to work on making your relationship stronger.
 

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