How Are Most Affairs Discovered — 9 Common Ways Cheaters Are Caught

how are most affairs discovered?

Cheaters may think they’re being cunning with their extra-long passwords and codenames for their lovers but affairs don’t usually last very long. Once a cheater gets too complacent about their abilities to keep their indiscretions under wraps, they’re bound to slip up. But the question is how? How are most affairs discovered? Is it through an unassuming text or that hickey they forgot about?

Though cheaters have their way of hiding their debauchery for extended periods, affairs have a way of coming to light. Just because they’ve gotten away with sleeping around for years or have managed to keep a long-drawn-out affair a secret does not mean that a cheater will get away with it.

Whether you’re figuring out how to spot a cheating partner or you’ve cunningly landed yourself on this article to try and cover your tracks, let’s take a look to at how are most affairs discovered. 

How Are Affairs Usually Discovered? 9 Common Ways Cheaters Are Discovered

Infidelity is all around us. Ashley Maddison, a website for married people seeking affairs, garnered 5 million new users just in 2020. According to studies, 30-40% of unmarried relationships experience infidelity and it continues to be one of the top reasons for divorce, according to a study by researchers at the University of Denver.  

There are different types of cheating, and not everyone describes it the same way. Therefore, how people find out about their cheating spouses usually varies from couple to couple. 

Even so, the fact that infidelity remains one of the largest reasons for divorce indicates that affairs usually end and cheaters are always caught. Let’s take a look at the most common ways cheaters are discovered: 

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1. How are most affairs discovered? The phone! 

According to a survey of 1,000 people on how affairs get exposed, 39% of the respondents said they were caught when their partner read a message or two on their phones. “I never even suspected he’d be cheating on me or that something was going on, but his mistress texted him while I was giving him directions to the gas station. I didn’t confront him immediately, I decided to read more of it.

“Once I had enough evidence and even sent myself screenshots of his chat, I asked about it. Our divorce will be finalized next week. I’m just glad he isn’t the kind of person who uses his phone while driving, so I could get a peek at his cheating ways,” Rayla tells us.

Related Reading: Everything You Need To Know About The 7 Types Of Affairs That Exist

2. Affairs usually end, and guilt leads to their discovery

This just in: cheaters have a conscience after all. According to a survey, 47% of those who admitted to cheating claimed that guilt was the biggest reason behind doing so. Though the infidelity indicated an unhealthy relationship, perhaps there’s room for reconciliation, especially since there’s guilt.

After all, recovering from infidelity isn’t impossible. If you’re currently going through a similar situation and would like to work through the infidelity of your partner, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors can be of great assistance to help you figure out how to fix things. 

3. When the cheater lies too much about their whereabouts 

According to a survey, about 20% of cheaters were caught when they got too mixed up in between their lies. They say they’re at work, but the receptionist tells you otherwise. He says he’s at Jim’s, but Jim just posted a picture of him in Atlantic City. How are affairs discovered? Most of the time, it’s the cheater’s own undoing. 

If you’ve been pondering, “How do wives find out about affairs?”, it’s when their husbands forget where they said they were two weeks ago. The problem with lying is that you’ve got to remember what you lied about to whom, and since we’re not the smartest creatures, our memory often gives out on us.

how to spot a cheating partner: find the lies
The cheater is going to lie a lot, and you’ll probably catch a lie sooner or later

4. Fear of getting caught can lead to admission 

Some people live in oblivion, thinking “My affairs are never discovered, I’m going to be fine hiding it all.” Others find themselves crippled by the anxiety of cheating and fear of getting caught. According to a survey of those who cheated and admitted to it, 40.2% did so because they were afraid their partners would find out through someone else or catch them. 

One could argue that this is perhaps a better way of going about it, since finding out through someone else isn’t ideal for the person who has been cheated on. Though the whole situation isn’t ideal, you get the gist.

Related Reading: Surviving An Affair – 12 Steps To Reinstate Love And Trust In A Marriage

5. Yes, people still get spotted out with lovers

In the age of virtual dates and text messages, getting caught red-handed with a lover is still not unheard of. Out of those whose affairs were discovered, 14% were caught out and about with their lovers1

It seems to be a sizable number for something that seems to be straight out of a scandalous video you see on the internet. It’s true that affairs usually end, but we didn’t really think that the cliched endings from 2005 would still be prevalent.

6. STDs are the unlikely whistleblower 

A meaningless one-night stand may not leave much room for safe sex (use condoms, kids!) and that increases the risk of contracting STDs significantly. But the concerning fact is that out of those who contracted STDs by cheating, only 52% actually admitted it to their partners2.

Nonetheless, getting tested for STDs and contracting one still remains one of the top ways how are most affairs discovered.

7. The likely whistleblowers: friends and family 

Is it possible that affairs are never discovered? Well, certainly not if someone you trusted with the details of your indiscretions rats you out or your ‘well-wishers’ decide to blow the whistle. “My mother-in-law texted me, “He’s cheating on you,” and it turned out everyone knew about it but me. Everyone! She said she couldn’t take it anymore, and that he’d been sleeping around with a colleague,” says Janice, a 34-year-old dentist, and mother of two. 

“When I “surprised” him at his business trip, he was parading around with his arm on her back all through their off-site meet. I was shell-shocked. Even the friends I had at his workplace knew about it but never told me,” she adds. 

If you’re wondering how to spot a cheating partner, perhaps ask your friends and family if they’ve seen anything weird going on. You never know, they might just know something. 

8. Suspicious spending isn’t really the easiest thing to hide 

How are most affairs discovered? In finding the answer to this question, the role of an inconspicuous bank update email or the odd financial statement cannot be ruled out. Studies confirm that even in the case of online cheating, spending money on a lover is often prevalent.

Then there is the matter of clandestine meetings in case of affairs unfolding in the real world and not the virtual realm. From hotel bills to gifts, ‘business trips’ and fancy meals and expensive wine, an affair can truly pinch your pocket. These expenses can be hard to cover up or justify to your significant other, leading to growing suspicion and the affair being discovered.  

Related Reading: 10 Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair

9. Spy apps 

How do wives find out about affairs? How do husbands confirm whether their wives are cheating on them? Simple, they snoop. When there’s a hunch in someone’s mind that the monogamous nature of the relationship is probably in question, it doesn’t magically disappear. 

When the doubts and suspicions get too bad, people can often turn to spyware apps to figure out what’s going on. The prevalence of such apps disguised as “parental control” apps is a testament to the fact that we love to snoop around.

No matter how careful you think you’re being, cheating has a way of coming to light. Whether it’s because of a stupid slip-up like saying the wrong name in bed or the result of elaborate snooping operating put in motion by your suspicious significant other doesn’t really make a difference.

If you’re treading down the path of infidelity, be mindful of the impending risk it poses to your primary relationship. Rebuilding a relationship after cheating isn’t the easiest thing in the world. And if you’re someone who suspects being cheated on, you now know where to look for answers that have eluded you for so long.


1. Are affairs always discovered?

According to studies, 21% of men and 13% of women reported infidelity at some point in their life. Though not all people fess up because of guilt, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways through which affairs are discovered. Most affairs usually end, and more often than not, the partners who have been cheated on get wind of it.

2. What percent of affairs are never discovered?

When it comes to affairs that aren’t yet discovered, the data is scarce. Since people would literally have to admit to cheating for that data to be made apparent. That in itself goes against the whole “affair not being discovered” aspect of things. Though you should take these findings with a grain of salt, surveys say that 52.2% of affairs women have and 61% of affairs men have are never discovered. 

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