How Cheaters Hide Their Tracks — 15 Eye-Opening Signs

Affair and Cheating | | , Expert Blogger
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how cheaters hide their tracks

If you are here looking for ways on how cheaters hide their tracks, there could be only two possible reasons for that: you are cheating on someone and want to know how to get away with it or you are on the receiving end of it and are wondering how do you catch someone cheating. Whatever the reason is, you will find all your answers here. 

But before that, let’s focus on the burning question: what is cheating? Well, it’s when one person in a relationship violates the other person’s trust by indulging in deceitful actions. If you are feeling suspicious of your partner’s behavior, now is the right time to find out if they’re having a discreet affair. 

To know more about how cheaters hide their tracks and the things cheaters say to hide affairs, we reached out to psychologist Jayant Sundaresan (Masters in Applied Psychology), who specializes in offering counseling for a range of relationship issues such as communication breakdown, expectation management, infidelity, separation, and divorce.

How Cheaters Hide Their Tracks — 15 Eye-Opening Signs

Is it possible to maintain secret cheating for a long time or forever? Jayant answers, “No, definitely not. However, cheating is a complex topic, because we first need to understand if the cheater has indulged in it only once or if it’s a repeated behavior. If it’s the latter, then the cheater must have, by now, mastered the art of pulling the wool over your eyes. What goes in the mind of a cheating man or woman is not ordinary. A cheater’s mind is quite erratic. They do many things in order to avoid getting caught. Furthermore, a frequent cheater has most likely successfully found a way to lead a second life without the knowledge of their spouse.”

Technology plays a very important role in everyone’s lives. It also plays a crucial part in secret cheating. It’s not just about how protective secret cheaters are about their phones and how they wouldn’t let anyone look at their screens. It’s about how they hide their perfidies and lie to you with a straight face. Moreover, they create fake accounts and hide behind them to hunt more affairs. And yes, they may also have burner phones or other devices they use to communicate secretly. Let’s talk about 15 different ways through which cheaters hide their tracks:

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1. They control information

So what is it about cheating? Jayant says, “You know, the thing about cheating is that everybody is tempted to cheat at least once in their lives. However, most people don’t give in to their temptations and hold their morals as shields against such temptations. Those who cheat will do it for the adrenaline rush and for the thrill they get from it. Once they indulge in such crooked ways, they will forever live in the fear of getting caught.”

Jayant says, “The answer to your question on how cheaters hide their tracks is: by withholding information. Cheaters do quite a few things to hide their two-timing ways. They carefully and cleverly control the information they share with their significant others. In fact, there are many warning traits of a serial cheater.

  • The first information they control is how their time was spent – an experienced cheater can always account for their missing minutes in front of their partner
  • The second information they always control is the explanation of expenditure

“The reason that these two pieces of information are always controlled by the cheater is because you need time and money for another relationship. You can’t possibly meet them at home. You have to spend money to go somewhere else. How many cheaters do you know who want to have an emotional connection with the person they are cheating with? Not too many, I am sure. They need time and money to spend on a hotel room because the primary reason for cheating is attraction and lust.”

Related Reading: 18 Definite Signs He Loves The Other Woman

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

It can be distressing if your partner withholds information due to the emotional turmoil of two-timing. In that case, this is what you can do:

  • Openly communicate what you are feeling and how it is impacting you
  • Set boundaries on what you are willing to accept and not
  • Focus on self-care for your mental, physical, and emotional health

2. On the flip side, they overshare 

It’s interesting that cheaters can resort to oversharing. This is because when they withhold all the information, the partner will definitely get suspicious. In order to prevent the feeling of insecurity in the relationship, they go on and on about the details and activities of the day very meticulously.

Jayant says, “Contrary to the previous point, one of the answers to how cheaters hide their tracks is: by oversharing. This is a psychological tactic used by the cheater, where they don’t hide (almost) anything. They will share everything that happened throughout the day, but they will tweak a few facts here and there. For instance, they are very careful about letting you know the minute-by-minute detail of an office trip.”

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

Your partner is probably oversharing so they can manipulate you into focusing on what is unimportant. Turn the tables on them by doing the following:

  • Keep your cool and remain grounded. You’ll only be playing into their hands by acting impulsively
  • Set boundaries, especially about what you are willing to listen to
  • Focus on the facts and find a way of addressing the underlying issue

Related Reading: Personal Space In A Relationship Holds It Together

3. A cheater creates new passwords 

Creating passwords is also a go-to method for cheaters to hide their tracks and one of the signs he could be a player. Passwords are convenient because they are easy to create and can be changed at short notice.

Jayant says, “If you want to know how do you catch someone cheating, pay attention to how they use their mobile phones. If all their devices are password-protected and you don’t know any of the passwords, you have a lot to worry about. If you are wondering, “Where do cheaters hide things about their affair(s)?”, the answer is: in their mobile phones. Some will even have a second phone and a sim card. That’s where they store photos and dating apps and engage in group chats with like-minded friends.

“When you ask them for the password to do something mundane, like ordering food, they will create a scene by accusing you of invading their privacy. If they don’t have anything to hide, then what are they trying to protect? One of the other cell phone cheating signs is if they have another phone. They might often use a separate device or SIM for discreet affairs.”

where do cheaters hide things
Cheaters create passwords to hide things on their phone

What to do if your partner is guilty of this 

New passwords can bring up feelings of mistrust due to the lack of transparency. So:

  • Communicate your concerns and seek clarity about why this is happening
  • Focus on establishing why transparency is important to you
  • Work on rebuilding trust instead of obsessing about their digital devices

Related Reading: Finding Someone Special After Marriage In A Friendship

4. They use Second Space

Where do cheaters hide things inside their phones though? Jayant answers: “One of the most popular ways on how cheaters hide their tracks is by using the Second Space feature in Android phones, which is similar to having a folder entirely away from your main phone’s storage. It is a completely different space in the same phone, where you can use a different email ID and keep your data protected.

“This is one of the most foolproof ways not to get caught cheating, as you still use the same handset. But one password will open one particular space, and another password will open a completely different space of the phone. So, you have to create two different fingerprints and passcodes — for your two different lives. The advantage of Second Space is that neither of the spaces overlaps the other.

“Hence, the cheater’s secret remains a secret unless and until you find out about this Second Space they have on their phone. This feature is rapidly gaining a lot of recognition these days, and it’s one of the cell phone cheating signs you must be aware of.” 

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

If your partner is using such apps to hide their infidelity, it shows to what great lengths they can go just to stay a step ahead. So:

  • Gather concrete evidence of infidelity before confronting them
  • Openly communicate your concerns, expressing the need for trust and transparency/honesty
  • Seek couples counseling if attempts at communication fail 
Healing from Cheating

5. Cheaters use cheating codes 

If you suspect your partner of cheating and don’t want to confront them without solid proof, it’s time to check their phone. Once you get a hold of your partner’s text messages, look for codes (especially those you’ve never heard of before). There are chances that your partner is using cheating codes and text messages.

There are many cheating codes, like DTF, which is an acronym for ‘Down To F*ck’. It doesn’t matter if he is the sender or receiver of this message. If he has interacted with this person, he is definitely DTF. One of the other cheating codes in text messages which you must know of is ‘The First Coming’. It means the first orgasm outside of a committed relationship. You can easily catch your partner if they have used such codes while chatting with another person. 

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

Cheating codes provide a clever way to have conversations with the affair partner without you catching on. So here’s what you need to do:

  • Find out the context, because it may not be indicative of infidelity. Some people use cheat codes in gaming, which is pretty innocent
  • Talk to your partner, clearly expressing your discomfort
  • Lean on your support system to navigate through these trying times 

Related Reading: My Husband Cheated And Had A Baby With The Other Woman

6. Cheaters erase their digital footprints

Every time you log onto the internet, you leave behind a digital footprint. also referred to as a digital shadow, it refers to traceable digital activities, on the Internet or digital devices. Digital footprints will tell you exactly which sites the cheater visits, thus making it easy to know if they are up to no good.

Jayant says, “This is yet another common manner if you’re wondering how cheaters hide their tracks. They tend to eliminate their digital footprints when they are having a discreet affair. So, they won’t delete their entire browsing history. That would look very fishy, right? The moment your browsing history is blank, you will be suspected of sanitizing it. So, instead of deleting the entire history, they delete the items that can be held against them. They will make it appear normal by selectively deleting the tabs.

“Another thing you need to know about cheating is that it’s a game of hide-and-seek. Your partner is trying to hide their sexual liaison so that you don’t catch them red-handed. They will keep their notifications silent and never let you read their messages.”

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

Cheaters will erase their digital footprints for obvious reasons: to avoid detection. Such digital tracks include search history, dating sites, etc. This is what you should do in such cases:

  • Evaluate your concerns and find out why it is affecting you so much. Could it be that you have seen other signs of infidelity?
  • Talk to your partner openly and allow them to explain themselves
  • Practice self-care and avoid the temptation to obsess about their digital activities

On moving on, a Reddit user says “Moving on is a process where you focus on yourself and your wellbeing, not on your ex-partner. Join therapy if you’re not already there, journal to fight triggers and bad days, make new friends to help you not feel alone, treat yourself so you know you’re worth it, and read books to know that you’re not the only one facing this. Infidelity runs deeper than they cheated because they can and want to. Find yourself.”

Related Reading: Are You Unknowingly Flirting? How To Know?

7. Cheaters hide their tracks by manipulation 

So, one of the ways cheaters hide their tracks is by manipulating their partners. Jayant says, “Cheaters are master manipulators. There are many things cheaters say to hide affairs. It’s one of their worst manipulation antics. They will always accuse the other person of cheating when they know very well that they are loyal. They will distract from the topic at hand by accusing the other person. 

“They will twist the entire narrative. When they are confronted, they will resort to the usual things cheaters say to hide affairs, such as “It’s not what it looks like”, “That person is just a good friend”, or “It won’t happen again.” And the most crushing one of them is “It was just sex.” You see, sex can never be just sex, and it’s a big deal for most of us.”

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

Cheaters play mind games and will gaslight you with the things they do and say. So:

  • Learn to identify signs of manipulation
  • Call them out by clearly expressing that you see what they are doing
  • Establish clear boundaries about what you expect in the relationship
on cheating

8. They create a pattern

Cheaters can be rather predictable in their behavior. If you are keen, you will see a pattern emerge. Jayant says, “If you want to know how cheaters hide their tracks, you need to find out the patterns they have created. Most of the cheaters live double lives.” So, they may:

  • Create a schedule or a pattern that they religiously follow. This is one of the biggest warning signs of a toxic relationship.
  • Always pay in cash so that there is no trace of credit card activities
  • Buy the same gifts for their partner and for the person they are cheating on them with, for the sake of convenience
  • Never call those people by their names, opting for endearments like baby or honey. They do this very carefully in order to avoid saying the wrong name.”

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

A change in pattern can be distressing, especially if you think there is cheating involved. So:

  • Voice your concerns and allow them to explain themselves
  • Lean on your support network and prioritize self-care
  • Seek individual therapy to allow you to find yourself once again
Is My Partner Cheating On Me?

9. They won’t get naked in front of their SO 

This one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? This is how cheaters hide their tracks because they are afraid that the marks on their bodies will give the game away. They will never undress or get dressed in their partner’s presence. They will never even shower together with their partners, because the hickeys might get them caught. If you want to know how most affairs are discovered, then ‘love bites’ is your answer. Cheaters even go to the extent of having a separate condom pack. They are so smart about it that they don’t want the missing condom packets to disclose the affair.”

Jayant further adds, “So, if you’re still wondering, “Can cheaters hide their cheating forever?’, the answer is “no.” It doesn’t matter if it was a one-off thing or a regular affair. They will get caught, and to your surprise, they do feel guilty about cheating. Plus, cheating as a repeated behavior is like an addiction. The excitement of meeting someone new, the thrill of hiding this information from your partner, the secret meetings, the passionate sex – it pumps up their blood. But once the novelty fades, they will start hunting again. Also, repeat offenders will never settle. They will cheat again and again.”

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

This is a huge red flag that shows the cheater has lost all respect for you. So, make sure you:

  • Try communicating your feelings and concerns openly
  • Contact a lawyer to start divorce proceedings if they don’t change their ways
  • Work on self-growth instead of giving your partner all your energy

10. Changes in social circles are a sign of secret cheating

how do you catch someone cheating
A cheater may have mastered the art of pulling the wool over your eyes

Are you still wondering how do you catch someone cheating? Well, look at the company he keeps. Have you noticed that your partner no longer hangs around his old friends or family members? He seems to have new friends. That could be a sign of secret cheating. The new friends may not know that you exist, thus allowing your partner to cheat in peace.

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

Please note, a new social circle is not concrete evidence of cheating. It could be due to some innocuous reasons, like changing interests, personal growth, etc. So:

  • Gauge their willingness to introduce you to their new friends. If they are not willing to do so, it could be a sign of infidelity
  • Convery any misgivings you may have
  • Focus on being independent and take up new hobbies

11. Disappearing messages are cell phone cheating signs

How do you catch someone cheating? Look at their text messages. In this digital era, secret cheating is so much easier with disappearing messages. Most social media platforms have this feature. The same applies to WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal too.

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

It’s hard to catch the cheating partner in the act with disappearing messages. But if you know for sure they are, you can try the following:

  • The first step is to seek clarity by asking why they cheated
  • State clearly that this is impacting the trust in the relationship
  • Consider moving on if there is no change in behavior

12. Social media deception

Cheaters will go to great lengths to hide their tracks and not get caught red-handed. They manipulate social media platforms to hide their activities. Their profiles, contact names, relationship status, etc. are usually fake, and this is a social media red flag you should not ignore. But once again, social media deception is not a concrete sign of cheating. Some people just like the anonymity the platforms give them.

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

If your partner is being sketchy on social media, you may try these tips:

  • The first step is to find out why they use fake profiles on social media
  • Gather sufficient evidence before confronting or accusing your partner of cheating
  • Don’t become a social media stalker, as you may actually be obsessing over nothing

Related Reading: The Social Media Cheating Connection – Real Risk or Hype?

13. iPhone has tons of ways to hide cheating

Cheaters know how to hide cheating on iPhones. They use several features, including the following.

  • Constant changing of the passcode protection
  • Deleted call logs or text messages
  • Messaging apps that look like games
  • Installed private messaging apps with the disappearing messages feature
  • Disabled message previews to keep away prying eyes
  • Turned off location-sharing or notifications

Adept cheaters go to great lengths to learn how to hide cheating on iPhones. Not that Android users are any better. So, you must be extra vigilant to catch any cell phone cheating signs. 

A Reddit user shares a similar experience: “Cell phone statements: We never opened each other’s mail, but something was bugging me so I waited until the next phone bill came in and grabbed it before he knew it was there. There was this number that he called and called him multiple times a day (like 10 times a day even on weekends no joke); so I picked up the phone and called it. Got her voicemail and found out her name. Bingo, it was a co-worker.”

Related Reading: 13 Uncommon Signs of Cheating People Wish They Hadn’t Ignored

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

You now know how to hide cheating on iPhone. So, take the following steps if you find your partner cheating you this way:

  • Seek honesty about their phone activities
  • Listen in a calm manner, assess your feelings, and then evaluate the relationship
  • Establish boundaries and clearly communicate them to your partner

14. Cheaters use location spoofing

Once again, thanks to technology, cheaters are always ahead with location spoofing. It’s easy to use location spoofing to falsify location data. What it means is that the cheater can claim to be in one location when they are not. 

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

If you know your partner is using location spoofing to hide when they go see someone else, try these tips:

  • Evaluate your relationship to understand why they would go to such lengths to hide their location
  • Communicate your need for transparency
  • Consider other alternatives to tracking their movements. For instance, ask for regular check-ins or sharing of plans, so you know where they are at all times

15. Lack of future plans

The goal of most relationships is to work towards building a future together. But, an affair partner will not make any future plans with you. Neither are they vested in making any long-term relationship goals. Any attempts at such discussions never yield any results. It can be very frustrating and will have you questioning if the relationship is going anywhere.

What to do if your partner is guilty of this

What is a relationship that does not have longevity in mind? Discussing and planning for the future should be a priority in a healthy relationship. If this is not happening try these tips:

  • Communicate your concerns and see if there’s hope for the two of you
  • Seek couples counseling to work on the underlying issues
  • If all else fails, consider initiating divorce proceedings or end the relationship (if not married)

Key Pointers

  • Its hard to catch a cheater because they have so many ways they hide their tracks
  • Signs of cheating include phone secrecy, change in behavioral patterns and lack of intimacy
  • Gather concrete evidence before confronting a cheater because some of the signs may not end up being cheating
  • Focus on healing and rebuilding trust if you choose to remain in the relationship

Now that you’ve found out how cheaters hide their tracks, the important question is: would you still be with them despite all the lies and betrayal? Because at the end of the day, you deserve a love that is all yours. If your partner’s disloyalty is affecting your mental health, Bonobology’s counseling services are here for you. 

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