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

He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid
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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 a cheat in love. 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, blind faith can leave you completely blindsided. So, while it’s essential to not ignore the 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?

Amanda noticed inexplicable transaction on her husband Jude’s account. She thought worrying about cheating is pointless, 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. An emotional withdrawal, frequent all nighters, diminishing sex life. She gradually grew more suspicious of him.

Dani was feeling something similar in her relationship. Ever since Dani and her husband Tom had had their first child, Dani had developed a fear that Tom was going to grow apart in marriage. “After all, that is what my father had done. That is what men do!” she thought. Tom was a caring husband, now also a doting father. But Dani kept looking for reasons why he would leave her and seeking evidences of his infidelity. She was paranoid that he was going to abandon her for his freedom.

Do you notice the difference between the usage of the words “suspicious” and “paranoid”? While Amanda’s mistrust in her relationship is based on evidence, Dani’s constant paranoia about cheating exists despite anything concrete she can put her finger on. Moreover, Amanda has reasons to believe there is someone else or some where 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, Tom cheating is only one way he will abandon her. Her cheating paranoia could also change forms into something else to prove her fears. She could worry that her husband could 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 rather assume that they were being lied to than allowing their fears and doubts to be cleared. While, suspicion is a fear based in evidence or a reason for it to exist.

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

Sustaining a relationship is a real challenge. You need to continuously make efforts to keep the spark alive but that should come from a space of love and not fear – fear of being left alone or betrayed. Constant paranoia about cheating can be maddening. But why does this fear arise? Love coach and YouTuber Heidi blames it on your belief system.

“If you operate from the belief that men and women cheat, it will affect your romantic behavior. Much as you love him, you will not be able to share your fears or inadequacies resulting in relationship-related anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed and rejected all of which lead to confrontational behavior, searching for evidence and doing crazy things,” she says.

“The core issue is that your belief system says you are not enough or are not worthy of being loved. When you feel unworthy, you either pick on people who cheat on you or make you feel they will,” she adds explaining the context when suspicion leads to paranoia. Do you often wonder, “Why am I so paranoid about my boyfriend cheating on me”? This ought to give you some perspective on your behavior pattern.

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That being said. not all doubts are unfounded. Cheating in relationships is not uncommon. The question is – what do you do about it? First and foremost, know that worrying about cheating is pointless unless you have a solid reason to believe that your partner is betraying your trust.

And how do you know it? What do you do when you have a strong gut feeling he’s cheating but no proof? Watch out for the obvious and subtle signs and then, most importantly, think whether your partner’s actions unequivocally point to his transgressions. We have listed 11 tell-tale signs that women often speak of when they suspect their partners. See if they apply to you and what they mean….

Related Reading: Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair

1. He is secretive about his phone

Are you saying: He constantly changes his passwords, hates it when I try and peek into his phone and snatches it away from me if I dare touch it. He becomes edgy and doesn’t like anyone answering his phone if he is busy. Also, he spends hours speaking to someone at a particular time. Are these signs he’s cheating on his phone? I wonder whether it’s a good idea to secretly check his phone but that device phone is more fiercely protected than the classified documents at the CIA. All of this gives me a strong gut feeling he’s cheating but no proof.

constant paranoia about cheating
He is overprotective about his phone. Is he cheating?

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Our phones mirror our lives these days. But strangely, even in very strong relationships, couples do not like it if their partners peek into their phones. Some chats are personal so they might not appreciate it. These are not obvious signs he’s cheating on his phone. If he acts too edgy, spends long hours whispering into the phone, then that’s odd, and you need to figure out what’s going on.

2. He goes out too frequently without telling me

Are you saying: 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 finds he has 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: Men 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.

3. He is obsessed about his looks and fitness

Are you saying: He is on a shopping spree. He goes to the salon far more frequently. He has changed his style completely. He used to hate red, now he wears red shirts! He has become a gym regular when earlier he used to hate it. I think I am being cheated upon, definitely! It’s like he is not even the same person I got into a relationship with, and I’m paranoid about cheating.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: 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. But first, 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 infidelity.

Related Reading: 15 Warning Traits Of A Serial Cheater – Don’t Be His Next Victim

4. Something seems artificial in our relationship

Are you saying: 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. The effort shows as he acts withdrawn. I have a gut 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. “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

Are you saying: He is spending way too much time on FB 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. I see his profiles everywhere and he is changing his DP way too often. Why would he do that unless he is trying to impress someone? Also, he does not post pics of us together.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Social media is a strange beast. The need to change one’s DP often or spending hours on Instagram getting the right filter reflects a need to seek validation. So, how to stop thinking your partner is cheating? Do not overreact at his social media game. How about giving him the taste of his own medicine and upping your social media profile, and see his reaction? It will give you answers.

6. His friends are all those who are not loyal

Are you saying: 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. He even thinks it’s ‘cool’ to have an affair or two. I have a gut feeling he’s cheating too and hides it well.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Do you have any proof of his infidelity? Or are you paranoid just because he has cheating friends? Agreed, peer pressure can be a strong influence. We can also understand how this would leave you paranoid about cheating in your relationship. But him telling you their stories are signs he’s not cheating on you. Relax, use this opportunity to talk to him about YOUR views and the boundaries in your relationship.

Related Reading: 12 signs your husband is having sex outside the marriage

7. Gosh, he’s on Tinder

Are you saying: I realized that he is on Tinder and has been chatting up single women. He has put up a picture that I recognize too. Why would a man in a committed relationship ever be on a dating app? What if he is meeting those women? If these are not signs he’s cheating on his phone, what will be? Why do I keep thinking about my partner cheating? But this is not constant paranoia about cheating, this is proof!

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Sorry to break your heart but there are a lot of committed men and women on dating apps. Sure, it sucks and you should not take it lying down. Probably he is not having an affair just yet, and he may be purely looking for some harmless flirting. Even so, this is not a very promising sign for the future of your relationship, so do not let it go without making your displeasure and disapproval known.

8. Our sex life isn’t great anymore

paranoid about cheating
He avoids sexual intimacy

Are you saying: 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 two extremes – a physical issue or an affair. Men who cheat generally find it difficult to get intimate with their partners. You will have to tread this one carefully.

9.  I have a gut feeling he’s cheating

Are you saying: 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? Why does he dodge questions about his movements and schedules? There are no sure-shot signs but I have strong instincts and I think I am being cheated upon. I have a gut 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, says Mark Rosenfeld. “Your gut is all about that niggling feeling you can’t get rid of. But you must get an answer without messing with your relationship.” One suggestion he gives is to write down every single behavior that makes you doubtful. “If the list grows long and more suspicious, only then take action,” he says.

Related Reading: 12 Reasons Why Men Have Extramarital Affairs

10. We have been having too many arguments

Are you saying: 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. What’s worse, it is always me who has to make up after a fight. It appears he has no interest in patching up. Is it because he has already found someone else? Why would he ignore me?

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 a shoulder to lean on.

11. He has cheated before

Are you saying: 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. I know why am I so paranoid about my boyfriend 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 he 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.

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 own 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. “Why am I so paranoid of being cheated on?” “Why do I keep thinking about my partner cheating?” If you’re struggling to work through these troubling emotions and want to get to the root of these triggers, seeking counseling can be immensely beneficial.

You may be suffering from abandonment issues, or low self-worth. What is causing it? And how to stop thinking your partner is cheating on you when there is nothing out of the ordinary? 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.

Online banner suspicious of your partner

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 needlessly 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, or her.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Cheating

Like we just said, “Make this about you!” If you have just found out your partner has been cheating on you, a lot may probably change in your relationship, your life, your perspective toward things like independence, trust, love and happiness. You must ready yourself and do the following:

  • 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. Shock, anger, pain
  • 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 break up is not the only option. Your current reality, your needs, the health status of the relationship before the crisis, the background to the crisis, the commitment to making amends your partner is showing, there surely is a lot to weigh in such a scenario. Take your time to evaluate your options
  • 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. While, 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 can not shake off the feeling of constant paranoia about cheating. Also seek help to deal with the trauma if indeed you are left blindsided 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 you to deal with your paranoia which often reoccurs and can destroy relationships. It will also be helpful to deal with the uncertainty and grief a cheating partner brings.

You can reach out to licensed and experienced therapists on Bonobology’s panel from the comfort of your home. Help is only a click away.

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, chances are he might have found another love interest.

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 to be loved, respected and being loyal to, you won’t be needlessly paranoid. If you operate from a sense of belief that men always cheat, 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.

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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