Challenges in a marriage come in many forms and often the most difficult one you will have to face is infidelity. Cheating can be an enormous blow to any marriage and topple it altogether. So if you’ve begun noticing the signs of a cheating wife and can’t stop freaking out incessantly, we get where you are coming from.
“Till death do us part,” or”In sickness and in health,” — these are just some of the things which you promise each other while exchanging marital vows. However, more often than not, these promises get lost with time. At this point, your marriage becomes monotonous and instead of death, an affair is what makes you part. Soon enough, your Google searches change from ‘best presents for a wife’ to ‘list of the best spy apps’.
In case you haven’t made much headway yet but find yourself consumed with suspicion about your wife cheating on you, we’re here to allay your concerns with a rundown on surefire signs your wife is cheating in consultation with communication and relationship coach Swaty Prakash, who has a decade-long experience in training individuals of varied age groups to deal with their emotional health through powerful techniques of communication and self-help.
What To Do If You Think Your Wife Is Cheating?
What will you do if you find out that you are in a marriage of three that you never even signed up for? A marriage is built on two pillars that are, trust and commitment. But how can you trust her when her affections are showered on another? All those years of togetherness start to suddenly feel like a lie and you stop believing in a ‘happily ever after.’
According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, female infidelity statistics indicate that 15% of married women have extramarital affairs. In her book, Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson says, “Cheating is easy. There’s no swank to infidelity. To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it. You take a little more and a little more until there is no more to draw on. Oddly, your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them there’s nothing there.”
Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? If you’re beginning to freak out, it’s only natural that you spend your time researching signs of infidelity in a woman so that you can call your wife out on her cheating. Let’s get started on how you can go about it.
Is My Wife Having An Affair?
As time passes, it is not uncommon for monotony to enter a couple’s dynamic or for a couple to start spending time away from each other. If this monotony and the boredom stemming from it are ignored, you can find yourself treading the dangerous territory of complacency in the relationship. At this stage, spouses who vowed to love and cherish each other forever tend to become physically and emotionally distant from each other. Women, who crave an emotional intimacy a lot more than their male counterparts, may try to fill the void with something else or maybe someone else.
They may start seeking comfort in an emotional affair with someone who is emotionally available to them. This can sometimes lead to physical intimacy too. While it would be simplistic and inaccurate to claim that women cheat on their spouses only and only due to a lack of emotional connection in the relationship, this is one of the most common themes of infidelity among women. However, apart from this common reason, past traumas, insecure attachment style, tendencies of self-sabotage and low self-esteem could also drive a woman to cheat on her spouse.
What are the signs of a woman cheating on you? Just like there is no single reason for cheating, there are more than a few signs of infidelity that begin to emerge in your marriage when your wife is betraying your trust. For instance, if your marriage has been going through a lull for a while, and on top of that, your wife seems to be emotionally withdrawn and unfazed by this monotony, this could be one of the early signs your wife is cheating on you.
Uncovering cheating behavior
Today, we have hundreds of apps at our fingertips, which can be used to indulge in digital cheating by a husband or a wife. It is difficult to understand whether your wife is cheating on you or not because the evidence can be eliminated with a click of a button or hidden away with a password. She could be cheating on you digitally, emotionally or physically, and it can get very difficult to find out. And all you feel at the moment is this niggling feeling – “I suspect she’s cheating on me but I am not sure how to get to the bottom of it”.
Confronting your wife without evidence is a bad idea. It’s better to do some groundwork before accusing her of something she might not be guilty of. To be able to do that, you need to know what are the tell-tale signs of a wife who is cheating on you. Only then, you can call her out on her lies and betrayals without leaving any room for her to brush these aside as figments of your imagination.
23 Signs Of A Cheating Wife
You may have accidentally read some questionable texts, found irregularities in her bank account statements, or seen her talking to someone because of which you’re now stuck with the “I think she’s cheating on me” thought. Or maybe it is your gut feeling telling you to look for common signs of an affair in your marriage. But the question is: find out if your wife is cheating? What kind of cheating behavior is she indulging in that makes you feel this way?
How can you be sure that any of the changes in her that have been bothering you aren’t due to some external factors such as stress at work, parenting pressure, or difficult bodily changes like menopause? The ability to tie the changes in her behavior to psychological facts about cheating woman such as cheating can happen in a seemingly healthy relationship, cheating isn’t always necessarily about sex or unmet emotional needs, or cheating can have a lot more to do with a person’s past issues than their current relationship can help you put the pieces of the jigsaw together.
If you look closely, you’ll find that there are many emotional as well as physical signs your wife is cheating that serve as definite warnings. Here are 23 such signs of an unfaithful wife to look out for to ascertain whether your suspicions hold any merit:
1. She starts acting distant
Something suddenly feels “off” about her entire demeanor. She is physically present but is always lost in her thoughts. You ask her if there’s something that’s bothering her but the answer is always no. However, you can tell something mysterious is underway. Her actions are peculiar and she might act shifty or fidgety. These can be signs of cheating guilt.
- Being cold and distant: You need to start worrying about why she’s turned cold and distant. If she does not engage in those conversations with you anymore and you feel a lack of communication, you can count it among the guaranteed signs of cheating
- She is communicating with someone else: Women are typically the ones who crave and seek communication and emotional connection in a relationship. If your wife has stopped doing so, it could well be because her needs are being met elsewhere. This is among the signs of infidelity in a woman, which you’d be wise to not overlook
- Avoids family events: Clearly, she is not just running away from you but also her whole life. Your wife has been avoiding family events because she has become distant from everything that reminds her of her old self
“A change in personality may not be one of the most obvious signs of cheating but as her life partner, you would feel a certain shift in the way she behaves around you. For instance, she may look happier but that happiness has nothing to do with you. Or she may start looking for reasons to spend time away from you. You may even notice that your otherwise expressive and talkative wife has become secretive and distant. She is not interested in discussing her life outside the home with you. Although subtle, these are all signs of how to tell if your wife is cheating,” explains Swaty.
2. Her social life has become ‘too happening’
Hanging out often with friends isn’t a bad thing. But if she starts hanging out with her “friends” a lot more than usual and most of these plans seem to not involve you, then that’s something to think about. And it is even more troublesome if she doesn’t have a social life with you anymore. She could be a lying wife trying to use her friends as a cover for the new person in her life. A cheating wife is smart and might not use the same excuse every time.
She is already a step ahead of you because she knows the way you think. Is it really a girl’s night out or a romantic rendezvous with her lover? You will have to find out discreetly. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the loop of “I suspect my wife is cheating but I have no proof”. Edward, for instance, was sure his wife was cheating on him when her social life suddenly became abuzz with activity.
A typical homebody otherwise, she was now going out with this friend or that every weekend. So one night, he called up her friend, Tracy, feigning an emergency, and demanded to talk to his wife, claiming that he was unable to reach her on her cell. Tracy, of course, tried to cover up for her friend but Edward was unrelenting. Ultimately, Tracy had to concede that she had no idea where her friend was, and that’s how he uncovered the transgressions of his cheating wife.
Related Reading: 5 Excuses Your Partner Gives For Cheating On You
3. Is your wife cheating? Maybe, if her phone is always busy
If there was a book titled, Cheating Wives Signs, we’re pretty sure there would be an entire chapter dedicated to this point. After all, in this digital era, your smartphone has become the easiest tool to facilitate digital cheating and online affairs are reshaping the idea of fidelity in marriage. If you’ve been at your wit’s ends trying to figure out how to spot signs of a cheating in your wife, pay attention to this. If it seems that no matter when you call, her phone is always busy, you have every reason to smell a rat based on her weird new cell phone habits, that did not exist before by the way.
- Plain lies: When you ask her who she’s speaking to in such a good mood, she will take a friend’s name. Was she always so involved with her friends? You don’t seem to think so
- Leaving the room: At times, she may even go into another room to talk when you are nearby
- Cheating spouse text messages codes: You may even stumble upon some chats where you see cheating spouse text messages codes which are essentially secret ways in which cheaters communicate.
Swaty agrees and adds, “Another one of the obvious signs a wife is cheating on phone is that she remains mostly busy on her phone and is extremely secretive about who she’s talking to. If you ask her a simple question like, “Who was it?”, she’d either shrug it off with a non-committal response like “Oh, just work”, or lash at you for not giving her any space in the relationship.”
These are surefire signs your wife is cheating. If you have a strong reason to believe that all those phone conversations and hours of texting involve a secret lover, you may consider checking who she is talking to with the help of mSpy spy app.
4. She winces every time you are near her phone
Whenever her phone rings in front of you, she jumps up to take the call before you see who it is from, that is one of the clear cut signs of an unfaithful wife.
- Everything is now password protected: She has suddenly started setting passwords on her phone, which she never used to before. Not just her home screen but even individual apps, especially instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, are password protected
- Being jumpy: She acts jumpy when you are near her phone. If you ask her to lend you her phone even for five minutes, she will find some excuse to get out of it. If she does let you have it, she will be ready to snatch it away from you at any instant
- Terrified of giving her phone to you: A person who is cheating is terrified to share their phones, even if it is for something as trivial as clicking a photograph. If you’re looking for physical signs your wife is cheating, pay attention to her body language when you are around her phone. If she guards it with her life and becomes too unsettled, make no mistake that it is one of the guaranteed signs of cheating you cannot mis
Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why Women Have Extramarital Affairs
5. How cheaters hide their tracks : erasing their web history
You see your wife spending most of her time on her phone or her computer, both modes which she uses for frequent communication. But when you check her web history, you find it as clean as a new sheet of paper. Totally blank! You check her computer out again, after a few days and still find everything erased. This is one of the most common signs your wife is hiding something from you.
She wipes out all her activities and logs off from all the accounts and there is an air of deception around. The fact that she doesn’t want you to have an inkling of what she is doing online is a pointer your wife is sneaking behind your back. Why press the delete button when there is nothing to hide? This is one of the most evident signs of infidelity. If she is so thorough in covering her tracks, you too will need to figure out some smart ways to catch your cheating wife.
6. You both have started picking fights all the time
Your wife starts nagging you for small and insignificant things, and this is of the noticeable signs that something is amiss in your marriage. It is as if she’s looking for excuses to fight with you. It could be because she is just mad at you for something else or because she’s trying to justify the affair. You start picking the kind of fights that hint you’re falling out of love, or well at least she is. These fights could just be her way of telling herself that this marriage is not working out.
Swaty explains, “It is not uncommon for romantic partners to get to a stage in their relationship when they start finding faults with each other. This is typically a gradual process that begins after the honeymoon period is over and then paves way for acceptance of each other’s shortcomings and quirks. But when there is a new someone in your spouse’s life, this stage of the relationship may make a comeback. Your spouse’s patience threshold decreases and you may find that she is always short with you. Even the things she found cute in the past irritate her to no end now,”
7. Your sex life has turned cold
Remember when she used to buy sexy clothes and parade them in your living room for you when the kids were away at sleepovers? Yeah, that is way in the past now. Forget new clothes or wearing makeup for you, you cannot even remember the last time you and your wife embraced each other intimately.
If your wife is having a physical affair with someone else, she might not feel like being sexually involved with you. You don’t seem to turn her on anymore. All her sex drive is now inclined toward her new lover. You don’t play a role in her sex life anymore. If you have had an active sex life before the affair, you would notice that your wife now always seems to find reasons to avoid intimacy.
“A decreased level of physical intimacy can be one of the telling signs your wife has an affair going on on the side because her lack of interest in being intimate with you could be a result of a lack of attraction or total preoccupation with her affair partner. She might even be emotionally distant and disconnected from you on the rare occasion that you do have sex,” says Swaty.
8. She has made a ‘new friend’
Did she tell you about her ‘new friend’ Michelle whom you’ve never met? She loves talking about her and going out with her. It seems that the two of them have become pretty close in a short span. The name comes up in conversations often, especially when she needs to go out. But you have not been introduced to this new friend around whom your wife’s world seems to revolve of late, making this one of the first signs which can cause reason for alarm.
Ever wondered why you haven’t exactly met this ‘new friend’? Could this new friend really be a Michael instead of a Michelle? Or a case of a woman being attracted to another woman? To be sure whether her proximity to someone new qualifies as one of the signs your wife has an affair, suggest inviting the said friend over for dinner or meeting her for drinks over the weekend. If your wife responds with a hard no, it is an absolute sign that your wife is cheating on you. Watch out for how long she is on the phone with Michelle and you will know.
9. She doesn’t look too happy
One of the surefire signs your wife is cheating is that you don’t make her happy anymore. You give her surprises and bring her presents but it doesn’t seem to ever put her in a good mood. She is always lost in her own thoughts and she doesn’t want to share things with you anymore.
- She will avoid talking: You barely ever seem to have a conversation with her. Her friends seem to think she’s fine around them and acts chirpy when they hang out. Her dynamic has only changed with you. If this gets to you too much, be upfront and ask her
- Confront her: Tell her you’ve been noticing signs of infidelity that you’re concerned about. A cheating wife will probably come clean if asked upfront because of sheer guilt. Improving communication in the relationship may not just help you uncover infidelity but also deal with the situation better
“The way we communicate conveys a lot about our feelings and state of mind. When a partner cheats on the other, communication is the first victim. There will be a sudden decrease in spending time together, laying your hearts bare to each other or even discussing the boring mundane details of your day with enthusiasm. A cheating wife would like to keep to herself and would also be emotionally uninvolved when you are trying to communicate with her,” explains Swaty.
10. Her car mileage doesn’t match her stories
Robert thought the paranoia over cheating wife suspicions was driving him crazy when he started keeping tabs on her car mileage. “I think my wife is cheating on me and that suspicion has made me do things I never imagined I was capable of,” he rued, sharing his dilemma with a friend over drinks. Ironically, it was this attention to detail that made her carefully spun web of lies fall flat.
If you too are losing sleep over what are the tell-tale signs of a cheating wife, it may be time to turn a keen eye on the seemingly inconsequential things like her car mileage. She tells you that she is going to meet a friend or is going grocery shopping. You check her car mileage only to see that it has gone much further than the corner shop.
When you enquire about it after her coming home, she might brush it off or make excuses about how she had to go to another store and got caught up there. But do you really buy that story? She could also retort and say you are being an insecure husband and lash out at you for keeping tabs on her. Yes, there is a risk that confronting her about this could lead to an ugly fight. But, at least, it will give you something to go on.
Related Reading: 10 Signs Your Wife/Girlfriend Just Slept With Someone Else
11. She has started dressing up and buying new clothes
Post the honeymoon phase, both partners tend to pay less attention to their appearances. You’re both comfortable around each other and don’t feel the need to look your best all the time. Yes, those are the perks of unconditional love! However, if all of a sudden, you find your wife dressing up a lot more the way she would on your initial dates, she’s dressing to impress. And maybe it’s not you that she is impressing?
Swaty says, “Appearances are important for us humans. This need to look our best becomes a primary focus when we’re in a romantic relationship, especially during those early days. If you’ve ever paid attention to the body language signs of attraction, you’d have noticed that our pupils dilate or we play with hair when around someone we like.
This is a reflection of the fact that even our subconscious works on making us look prettier to impress a potential or existing romantic interest. That’s why a sudden attention to looks could be among the top easily noticeable signs of a cheating spouse. Now investing in self-care and trying to look one’s best alone isn’t necessarily a sign of cheating but if there are other clues in place, then it’s definitely worth paying attention to. Even more so if your wife is putting in extra effort into her looks but doesn’t really bother about your feedback. It obviously means that all this effort is for someone else’s benefit.
12. Her shopping sprees have increased
How to spot signs of a cheating wife? The devil may be in the financial details and credit card statements. So, it may be a good idea to go over her bank account statements with a fine-tooth comb. You may find a huge jump in the credit card bills of a cheating wife. Or you may notice that she’s been buying all sorts of new outfits and even new sexy clothes or lingerie that’s never been worn in front of you.
The price tags are cut, but you have never seen her wearing it. It’s simple. The new lingerie wasn’t meant for you to begin with. If you ask her about those lingerie pieces, she might tell you she finds it uncomfortable or she might trigger major relationship arguments with you for being so inquisitive. But you will not get to see the pieces, that’s for sure. These are signs a wife is cheating on her husband.
13. She has many mood swings
When women generally cheat, they give it away in the kind of mood swings they are having. This is what you will notice.
- Happy phases: There are days when she seems happy and pays attention to you, both emotionally and sexually. She might even surprise you with a dinner date or buy you a new wallet
- Sudden bad mood: And then there are days when she snaps at you for no reason. You two are bickering nonstop over laundry and she finds herself in a pool of tears almost immediately. You might think that the issues in your marriage are causing her behavior but it is something else entirely
Yes, your marriage has problems for sure, but these mood swings can be because of the ups and downs of her new relationship. Her giving you extra love and attention at times can be her guilt talking and her way of making it up to you. But later, her affair takes over her thoughts and emotions.
14. There is something different about her scent
To find out if your wife is cheating, smell her. We mean it.
When two people are married for some time, they identify each other’s scent. But lately, you always find your wife ‘clean’ or recently showered when you come home. She bathes so that you don’t sniff the scent of her new lover on her. But even so, on smelling her you will find that she smells a bit different than before.
This is a surefire sign your wife is cheating on you. Sometimes when she comes home late from work, she may even sprinkle extra perfume on herself to hide another person’s scent. These physical signs your wife is cheating can be hard to catch if she tends to distance herself from you, especially when she comes home after a rendezvous with her lover.
15. She has developed new habits
When two people are in a relationship, they start acquiring each other’s habits and tastes. Does your wife have new tastes that you never noticed before too? Think long and hard about what new things she may be doing, as this can give you great insight into what may be going on in her life.
- Acquiring new tastes: If your wife is dating a smoker or someone who loves their whiskey, then there are chances that he will pass these habits on to her as well. Perhaps instead of her usual glass of wine, she grabbed a glass of whiskey at your friend’s party last week
- New hobbies: What if the new guy she’s dating has different hobbies or artistic tastes? Then she could be suddenly visiting art galleries or taking interest in learning the piano
- Acting a little young for her years: It may as well be a mid life crisis but it could also be an older woman younger man relationship that is making her act differently. Perhaps the guy she is with is into biking and pop music, you may find her dancing to blaring music at home often. Is your alleged cheating wife transforming into someone you don’t recognize anymore?
Related reading: Can A Cheater Change? This Is What Therapists Have To Say
16. She avoids eye contact with you
This is among the hard-to-miss physical signs your wife is cheating. Your cheating wife may try to avoid making eye contact while talking to you, almost as if she is feeling self-conscious. Her guilt reflects in her eyes and she’s afraid of you seeing it. Try looking into her eyes while talking to her. Do you see the guilt in her eyes? Does she look away?
One of the signs of an unfaithful wife is that she tries to keep dinner table conversation with you minimal and is evasive in her responses. In bed, she turns her back to you and sleeps after saying good night. By the time you wake up the next morning, she is already in the shower. So there’s never any eye contact. This distant behavior is one of the classic signs of infidelity in a woman.
17. There are too many work emergencies
Was your wife always a workaholic or is this newfound work pressure something new? The number of work emergencies will increase on her if she is cheating on you. After all, work is the best cover she has for her dalliance. Her sudden and unprecedented preoccupation with work could especially be one of the signs your wife is cheating at work.
For instance, if she has been working late night after night recently or leaves the house again for a “work thing” right after coming home without sharing any details with you or telling you when she’d be back, she’s possibly having an affair with a coworker. She could also be using work as a pretext to meet her new lover.
18. Your gut is telling you so
After so many years of being married to your partner, somewhere deep down you know that your relationship has changed. You might think that you’re being an overly jealous and suspicious husband, but deep down you know you’re not being irrational.
Your gut tells you something bigger is at play, and a voice in your head keeps saying, “Is your wife cheating on you?” You know you’re with a cheating wife because even if you don’t, your gut picks up on signs of infidelity. A spouse always picks up on such things.
19. She is always running errands
The woman who normally was too tired to care whether your family had eggs for breakfast, is suddenly running to the grocery store at 10pm to grab orange juice. That’s unlike her isn’t it? What used to be her cleaning and watching sitcoms on Sundays, suddenly she’s out for the whole weekend and you barely even get to see her.
Such dramatic changes can only point to one thing — and that is that she has something else occupying all her time and it is definitely not her goat yoga class or plainly running errands like she told you it was. It’s a new man in her life and you should be worried.
20. Plans of expanding the family have gone down the drain
Remember when you two could not stop dreaming about buying a new house, having two wonderful kids and adopting a dog? Even though you may recall it now, your wife seems to have forgotten all about those plans. If you are a childfree family so far, and often used to think about having a bigger family and house, this one will hit you and combined with a few other signs, may just be enough evidence that something fishy is going on.
Checking out houses with realtors, trying to get pregnant, reading books about raising kids — is all a distant memory now for you as a couple. It’s like your wife has completely erased these things out of her memory and is not even concerned about making any new future plans with you.
21. A drastic new look
One of the characteristics of a cheating woman is that she makes a conscious effort to look younger or more desirable — effort that may even appear drastic or out of character for her.
- Changing hair: For example, she’s had waist length hair for seven years now but suddenly she decides to get a pixie cut
- New outfits: Or, the floral maxi dresses she used to hate before, even the one you got her for her birthday which she hasn’t worn it in two years, she suddenly dons it to the farmers market very randomly one day
If such out of place behaviors are becoming more frequent, she is wearing more high heels than her regular tennis shoes or trying to appear more and more different each day, it can either be a mid life crisis or a man in her life, or both.
22. When was the last time she told you she loved you?
Perhaps your relationship has been going downhill for a while and you haven’t exactly gone on romantic dates or had a lot of sex. However, a few things would stay. Her saying ‘I love you’ to you before she left for work, stuffing an extra cookie in your lunch or kissing you before bed — these are a few things that didn’t change despite it all. Until now.
Now, not only are you two picking fights incessantly and but all of those sweet wifey things she would do, have completely stopped. Forget cookies, the other day she forgot to put a slice of ham in your sandwich! When women generally cheat, they stop putting effort in their relationship with their husbands and get more distracted.
23. She complains about your marriage more than ever
What are the signs of a woman cheating on you? You’ll notice how the smallest thing or rift between you two becomes an overall criticism of your marriage or you two as a couple. What used to just be “I can’t believe you forgot to do the dishes again!” has now become “I don’t think we are compatible people.”
Perhaps she is even trying to indicate that a divorce is on the horizon. Every small disagreement becomes a much larger issue and always ends in her making a comment about how you two are not in a healthy marriage or have been unhappy for far too long now.
- How cheaters hide their tracks is by constantly deleting things on their phones or having hidden folders. So if she is being weird around her phones or if you see gaps in her photo galleries or chats, something is amiss
- When she is seeing someone else, she will spend lesser time with you and be away from the house a lot more
- You see that she is now hanging out with her single friends at bars a lot more than she used to. She seems to be letting loose more
- You have noticed drastic changes in her appearance and see a lot of new clothes in her closet
- Her bank statements point to some hefty payments made at hair salons, tanning salons, hotels and parties
At this point, your marriage is in danger and you don’t know whether you want to save it anymore. But keep in mind that not all marriages that involve infidelity have to end up doomed. The key to a long and happy marriage is forgiveness. Your partner could have had a moment of weakness and may have learned her lesson. The fact that your partner indulges in cheating could say a lot about the other issues of your relationship. In such a case, couples counseling is an affordable way to save your marriage. If you’re looking for help, skilled and licensed therapists on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
Think about how it would have been if you were the one cheating. How would she have reacted? In the end, it is up to you to make or break the marriage. If your partner cheats multiple times, forgiving them is not advisable. However, if you think that this was simply “a moment of weakness” and your cheating wife is truly sorry, consider forgiving her. After all, you still love her.
This article was updated in December, 2022.
You can look for the signs of cheating and then confront her if you are confirmed that she is indeed cheating. Be calm and subtle when you talk to her, don’t make it a slanging match. Hear her out too.
The clues will be there all over. But the biggest clue is your wife wouldn’t want physical intimacy with you anymore or even if she indulges in sex, she would be rather withdrawn in bed. Lack of intimacy is an absolute sign of a cheating wife.
Try to read between the lines. If she is lying to you it will be hard for her to remember all the stories she is making up and eventually she will slip. She could tell you she was out with the girls last Saturday and suddenly she could talk about an office event she was at on Saturday. People tend to forget when they lie.
If she is not admitting to cheating but you continue to see all the signs of cheating then be sure she is not coming out clean. You have to get evidence to prove that she is lying about cheating.