To identify the signs of cheaters, you need to be able to categorically define what amounts to cheating. It is infidelity when one person in a committed relationship forms a romantic relationship or an intimate connection with someone other than their partner. Infidelity in a marriage or a relationship isn’t only about your partner having sex with someone else. It is also betrayal when they develop emotional intimacy with someone else. Being cheated on can cause a lot of mental trauma and continues to be one of the most common reasons for breakup and divorce in today’s times.
According to a poll conducted by Health Testing Centers on 441 participants, it was found that a little over 46% of respondents in a monogamous relationship said they have had an affair while being committed to someone. Yet, we often fail to recognize many red flags and warning signs of being cheated on. This is because we tend to have a blind spot when it comes to people we love and a person who is determined to deceive you will be two steps ahead of you. They will try everything they can to keep their transgressions under wraps.
To make sure you’re not left in the dark only to contend with the wounds of betrayal and heartbreak, we reached out to Utkarsh Khurana, a counseling psychologist, who is a relationship and intimacy coach, to find out signs of cheaters and cheating in a relationship. He says, “The usual warning signs of spouse cheating like coming home late, hiding credit card statements, ditching family events, investing more than usual time on personal grooming are some common ways to validate your suspicion, but it’s not enough to know for sure if it is true. Your cheating spouse might carry cheating guilt but they could still continue to hide their transgressions.”
How Common Is Cheating In Marriage?
If you are looking for the signs your spouse is cheating and feel that you are dealing with relationship infidelity, then let us tell you that you are not an exception. We are aware that being suspicious of a spouse is extremely distressing but statistics show that more people have extramarital affairs than you can imagine.
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, national surveys indicate that 15% of married women and 25% of married men have had extramarital affairs. The incidence is about 20% higher when emotional and sexual relationships without intercourse are included.
With online affairs on the rise, the possibility of exes reconnecting at the click of a button, and romances brewing in the workplace, hoping that your relationship will be 100% immune to infidelity would be naive. While we’re not discounting the importance of trust in a relationship or suggesting that you turn into a suspicious partner who secretly spies on their SO, there is a difference between trust and blind faith. The latter can make you overlook the glaring signs of cheating in a relationship, which is exactly what we’re here to help you identify.
Top 10 Signs Of Cheaters
If your partner is cheating on you or hiding something, the signs of them being unfaithful will be there in plain sight. You could also be a victim of emotional cheating. But because you love them and trust them blindly, you may have ignored these warning signs all along. However, if there is a niggling feeling in your gut telling you something isn’t quite right or you’re constantly asking yourself if you are just being paranoid or being cheated on for real, check to see if you can spot these signs of cheaters in your partner’s behavior:
1. Your partner has an avoidant behavior
Utkarsh says, “People with an avoidant attachment style are more likely to cheat on their partner. Love-avoidant people create a destructive pattern that will prevent them from having healthy relationships. A cheating partner with avoidant behavior will run away from intimacy or may be uncomfortable at the thought of sexual or emotional intimacy.”
According to psychologists, people with avoidant attachment styles are individuals uncomfortable with intimacy and are therefore more likely to multiply sexual encounters and cheat. So if you have an emotionally distant partner who has been acting more withdrawn than ever, chances are you could be dealing with one of the less obvious signs of cheating in a relationship.
2. Paying extra attention to their appearance
Your partner getting a new haircut or going for a complete makeover is nothing to worry about. Sometimes people crave a makeover to feel better about themselves or maybe they are going through a midlife crisis. However, an unfaithful partner will be extra conscious about how they look. They will keep buying new clothes, including new underwear. This is also one of the not-so-obvious signs of cheating.
If your partner isn’t making an effort to look good for you, you’ve got to ask, who are they dressing up for? If this has happened once or twice, then you have nothing to worry about. But if this has become a routine, then it’s one of the warning signs of cheaters you shouldn’t miss out on.
Related Reading: 20 Myths And Facts About Cheating In A Marriage
3. They will buy you extravagant gifts
Utkarsh says, “This is one of the classic signs of cheating guilt. If your partner frequently surprises you with expensive gifts, then chances are they are trying to compensate for their wrongdoings. This is one of the unusual signs of a cheating partner in a relationship.”
Buying extravagant gifts is their way of making up for whatever they did behind your back. Some part of them feels horrible about neglecting their family. That’s why a cheating partner will go out of their way to spoil you silly. It could also be a way to throw you off their scent and keep their transgressions under wraps. This is one of the signs your partner is sleeping with someone else. You need to be more cautious at times like these.
4. They are super protective about their devices
A cheating partner will be extremely protective of their gadgets, including mobile phones, iPads, and laptops. This is one of the red flags and one of the tell-tale signs of cheating in a relationship you shouldn’t ignore. When they don’t let you touch their phone? Perhaps because they know that is the easiest way a cheater can get caught.
While your partner has a right of privacy and you shouldn’t be snooping around their devices (if you do, it indicates major trust issues in the relationship), their reluctance to part with their gadgets or leave them unattended around you indicates they are hiding something from you. And there is a good chance that something is another intimate partner in their life.
If you’ve noticed them being extra edgy when it comes to their devices, here are some things you need to pay attention to are:
- Constantly changing their password
- Locking their gallery
- Using a secret phone
- Their phone will be busy at odd hours
- Their browser history will be clean
- They won’t let you read their text messages
- Having fake profiles on social media and dating apps
5. Changes in libido
Sex is essential in every romantic relationship. If your partner doesn’t feel like being intimate with you on more than one invitation of yours, then it’s one of the possible signs that your partner is not being faithful. Even if you do end up having sex, it’s likely because you initiated it. A cheating partner may not want to initiate sex.
On the other hand, you may notice a marked change in the way they behave during your intimate moments. An unfaithful partner who is having an extramarital affair would want to occasionally experiment and try new things in the bedroom because of their reawakened libido and a desire to perform well in bed. Either way, any unexplained and sudden changes in their libido could be a sign of infidelity.
6. They always pick fights with you
Fights between couples are normal. They disagree and then agree to disagree. Then, they kiss and make up. It’s a cycle every couple is accustomed to. These fights could be because of anything. The partner could be stressed at work or dealing with family problems or just on account of your issues and conflicts. However, when a partner is cheating on the other, the nature of these fights also changes. They become more recurrent and often without any reason.
When you didn’t do anything to offend or hurt them, why are they making you bear the brunt of their anger and frustration? Perhaps, it’s the cheating guilt they aren’t able to deal with or they’re just unhappy in the relationship and the irritation of not being able to be with their affair partner causes them to lash out.
Or they could be having a hard time balancing two relationships, and you, as their primary partner, get to witness their bad side. Of course, they can’t ruin their image in front of their new partner because the relationship is fresh and they don’t want to scare them away by venting their anger on them.
Related Reading: 7 Cheating Spouse Text Message Codes
7. Give less time to their relationship and family
Utkarsh shares, “One of the possible signs that your partner is not being faithful in a relationship is when they spend less time with their family and partner. They will ditch their family time and quality time because now they have a new affair to manage.” You will know your spouse’s adultery when you see less of them at home.
They don’t spend time with you, your kids, and even their parents. If your spouse/partner has started spending less time with you and your family, it’s one of the signs of infidelity. They once loved to spend time with you. Since that’s no longer the case, it’s safe to say they are hiding something from you.
8. They are indifferent toward everything
Lack of intimacy, care, concern, and lack of affection in a relationship are some other warning signs of infidelity. Your partner doesn’t care if you have eaten well, slept well, you’re dealing with a crisis at work, or had a falling out with your best friend. They are in another world with their new lover.
When you love someone, you want to know every little thing about them. You want to know what they are doing, what they ate, and if they had a good day. If you have noticed a massive decline in love, care, affection, and warmth from your SO, then there is a good chance that a third has entered your equation and your partner is cheating on you.
9. A cheating partner will dodge difficult questions
When you think you are ready to find out about your partner’s transgressions, take note of their suspicious altered schedules and slowly introduce your questions without making it look like you are prying. If they always try to dodge your questions and turn the tide of the conversation, then this is one of the subtle signs your partner is cheating on you.
Also, earlier if they loved to talk about their girls’ night out or boys’ time at the bar, they wouldn’t anymore. Because that is not where they are spending their time although that’s what they’ve been telling you. Ask the right questions and your suspicions will be confirmed. There is a good chance you may experience emotional flooding at the moment. You might deal with mental health issues after confronting them. That’s why it’s better to be in control of your emotions.
Don’t compel them to answer your questions because, at this point, you are desperate to be right and they can use this desperation in their favor and label you as paranoid. You can confront them once you find strong evidence against them because cheaters who are manipulative can change the narrative with the flick of their wrist. They will gaslight you if you aren’t fully prepared with evidence.
10. There is no emotional intimacy anymore
It’s a fact that no relationship remains the same 1, 10, or 40 years down the lane. People change as they grow and so do the dynamics of every relationship. But that doesn’t mean you grow apart as time goes by. When you love someone, you and your partner make it a point to build deeper emotional intimacy as your relationship progresses.
A relationship cannot thrive when there is no emotional connection between two people. You will not agree to be vulnerable with each other, you won’t trust each other, and you won’t appreciate one another. An emotional connection is what keeps the relationship strong.
- A cheating partner will always be protective of their phone and won’t share their password with their partner
- One of the signs of infidelity is being overly conscious about their looks and dressing sense
- They are having an affair if they constantly pick fights with you, criticize you, and compare you to others
- Lack of sexual and emotional intimacy are also indicators of cheating, as is an avoidant attachment style
If you find out that your partner has been unfaithful, don’t bottle it up and overwork yourself with negative emotions. Bottling up your emotions can lead to a host of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, which can make it harder for you to cope with this setback. Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away if you want to find a way out of this. Or you can join a support group to get through this mess.
Some of the best online and offline support groups for betrayed spouses include:
You can’t say for sure that your partner is cheating on you based on just one of the many signs of cheaters. You need to be sure of their adultery before you confront them. There is no fits-all sign that can prove his/her infidelity unless your spouse makes a blunder to dry the dirty laundry out in the open. But sooner or later every lie does come out. You get to know soon enough once you pick up on the signs your spouse is cheating.
Because that relationship might not be fulfilling them. That is not an excuse but the main reason people cheat is that things are not enough for them anymore and they are seeking other kinds of pleasure.
You simply confront them. Be level-headed but a little vulnerable to show them that what they did is wrong and regretful. Don’t abuse them, beg them, or force them to share every little detail with you.