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

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Movies would have us believe that setting up hidden cameras in your own bedroom to nail a cheating husband or wife is as easy as a walk in the park. But cut to reality: how many of us can actually play detective and find out if our partners are cheating on us? And how does one spot a cheater if they are good at hiding the common signs of cheating? Should you trust your gut feeling about cheating? Well, we will help you find the answers to these often confusing questions with a lowdown on some uncommon signs of cheating.

These subtle signs of being unfaithful may include unusual behavior patterns to certain sure-shot psychological patterns of cheating. So, how do you catch your husband cheating? Or your wife having a secret affair? Look out for the 13 signs of cheating in a relationship that we will now introduce. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin…

13 Uncommon Signs of Cheating — Red Flags That Are Hard To Spot

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Sex Research proved that over 50% of dating couples in the US had cheated on their partners at some point or the other. But we can’t go ahead and judge people for cheating on their spouses or partners, as people cheat for varied reasons, starting from bad sex life to low self-esteem due to their spouse’s abusive behavior.

As counselor and psychotherapist Katerina Georgiou said in a Newsweek article, “…cheating is not gender specific, and though many cultural narratives lead us to believe that a “cheater” is a morally bad person, in my experiences, cheating behavior is rarely about good or bad.” So, even a seemingly faithful person can end up being a cheater due to circumstances.

Related Reading: 6 Cheaters Tell Us How They Feel About Themselves

Likewise, we’re not trying to scare you or intimidate you with these uncommon signs of cheating that we’ve listed below. But it’s always better to watch out for some subtle signs of cheating behavior, especially when you have a gut feeling he’s cheating, no proof, or your instinct is telling you that she’s cheating but you have nothing to back it up with.

Who knows, it might help you delve deeper into the underlying issues that have created a rift between you and your partner. And you may end up addressing them to mend your relationship. So, what are some of the signs that your partner is cheating? Well, let’s look at 13 uncommon signs of cheating in a relationship:

1. There’s emotional distance

One of the subtle signs of being unfaithful is a marked emotional distance. It’s believed that lack of emotional intimacy is a red flag that may go unnoticed because couples at times may not get to interact emotionally for days because they’re too caught up with other responsibilities and work stress. But when should you be wary? Here are a few situations of emotional distance to look out for if you wish to catch your spouse cheating:

  • Lack of deep, emotional conversations
  • Avoiding deep discussions to resolve conflicts
  • Lack of emotional support in times of crisis, such as the death of a parent

2. They change the story often

When you have that gut feeling he’s cheating, no proof, or are looking out for signs your wife likes another man, notice if they change their versions of events quite often. If they do, it’s one of the signs there’s someone else in their lives.

Related Reading: Cheating In A Long-Distance Relationship – 18 Subtle Signs

One of my friends, Alice, a 28-year-old freelance writer from Michigan, once dated a man who claimed he was out on a work trip to Dubai and would be back in a week. When she saw some friends on his social media commenting whether the “two of them” were having a great vacation, she sensed he was there with someone else. His boyfriend too became suddenly unreachable. When confronted after his return, her boyfriend said he was on a work trip but met a female friend on the go and then changed his plan to accompany her, as she was on a solo trip there. Such subtle shifts in stories often indicate something is fishy and may be one of the signs of cheating in a relationship.

3. They give you mixed signals

One of the less obvious signs of being unfaithful is your partner giving you mixed signals. So, your boyfriend loves playing the hot-and-cold game? Or your girlfriend is super-chatty one day and then forgets to call you for 3 days at a stretch? Or is there a lull for a couple of weeks after a few steamy date nights? This is probably one of the signs there’s someone else they are showering their attention on, and that’s why they probably need to divide their time and attention.

Such mixed signals always indicate they’re probably playing you. In fact, it’s one of the signs of cheating behavior that may go unnoticed, as you may attribute it to their mood swings. But remember, in a healthy relationship, there is no room for mixed signals that confuse you about your place in your partner’s life.

subtle signs of cheating
Unusual behavior patterns of cheating include mixed signals

4. They change their appearance drastically

A sudden change in the unfaithful spouse’s grooming habits is a huge giveaway and one of the possible signs that your partner is cheating. Is your husband or wife or partner spending more time than usual decking up to go to the gym or making sure that their turnout for work is just on point? Has your girlfriend been showing a sudden interest in grooming products, new clothes, or general wellness, and you find it a little out of her character? Or is your husband suddenly sporting a beard, in spite of you not liking it?

Related Reading: Emotional Adultery: I’m Cheating On My Wife, Not Physically But Emotionally

These can be signs your husband fancies another woman or your wife likes another man. Such a drastic change in their appearance, especially if it is unexplained, should make you want to sit up and take notice. A Reddit user recalls how he found out his partner was cheating on him: “After years of wearing the same style of underwear…switches to brand new sexy ones. With absolutely no basis…”

5. Unexplained surprises in bed

So, how do you catch your husband cheating? Or be sure your wife is having an affair? Look at what they do in bed with you. If it goes beyond your normal routine all of a sudden, they might be cheating. We’re not saying cheating turns you into sex pros overnight or that a desire to experiment in bed is a surefire sign of cheating, but if you find your partner surprising you with unusual behavior patterns in bed, including some spicy moves, all of a sudden, there are chances that they have been trying them with someone else too.

This is a bit tricky and a red flag that often goes unnoticed, as partners may also just be trying to jazz things up in bed. But keep your eyes open for anything unusual and fishy, especially if you find any of the other signs too.

Also, look out for unusual and unexplained bruises or scratches when you’re in bed or in a personal space. As a Reddit user says: “He was in the shower. I opened the shower curtain to take a shower with him and saw long scratches down his back. He got angry when I questioned them instead of feeling sorry he had scratched his back falling against a wall.”

Related Reading: 8 Risk Factors To Have Extramarital Affairs

6. Unexplained arguments

One of the subtle signs of cheating in a relationship is a marked increase in arguments without any concrete issue. Most people who end up cheating or double-timing don’t end their primary relationships on their own, to avoid feeling guilty for the breakup. But they do create situations wherein the partner might be compelled to leave, or at the very least, distance themselves.

A safe way to make a partner the scapegoat for the failure of the relationship is to argue with them unnecessarily, pretty much on everything. So, in this case, they might:

  • Start fights even in seemingly harmless conversations. So, if you compliment them for their hairstyle, they may say they haven’t done it to please you
  • Create problems that didn’t even exist
  • They can find flaws with inane issues such as your dress sense or the way you talk

7. No concrete future plans

One of the subtle signs of cheating behavior is a clear lack of future relationship goals. So, is your bae always up for vacations and date nights, but never has the time to discuss concrete goals or tell you if he sees you long-term? Or does she always meet you for quick and steamy sex sessions but doesn’t spend time discussing your career path or your dreams? Well, guess what, we hate to break it to you, this lack of investment in a future together could be a sign that your partner is cheating.

More on cheating

8. They don’t invest in you, but they’ve suddenly started spending cash

One of the warning signs of a cheating spouse or partner is their reluctance to spend money on you, though there may be a sudden spurt of cash withdrawals or other unexplained large purchases. Cash withdrawals are common in such cases, since credit purchases are easily traceable, while ATM withdrawals cannot be linked to a suspicious purchase. So, you will have no clue what they did with the cash.

You might also always find yourself sharing bills and expenses and almost never receive any gifts or surprises. The most common reason for this could be:

  • They are already investing in another relationship that they think is more promising
  • They don’t value you enough to spend on you and are keeping their options open

Related Reading: What Are The Consequences Of Affairs When Both Partners Are Married?

9. The ‘just a friend’ trap

You see your partner hanging out with a ‘friend’ of the opposite gender (though not necessarily) quite often. They know everything about your partner — their favorite travel destinations, their likes and dislikes, and their taste in music and movies. Your social media feed is full of photos of them posing together. And yet, whenever you ask your partner about them, they casually answer that they’re ‘just a friend’.

Well, things could change very soon and you could be the third person in your romantic equation in no time. It is also possible that the ‘friend’ probably is a partner-in-crime who is using the decoy to fool you.

A Reddit user shares a similar experience, “Never thought my ex would be the type to cheat. However, I found it unsettling how after 6 years of dating he would never really let me go on his phone and was uncomfortable with it, never once gave me his phone password, and needed a lot of female friends/female attention. Yet they were “only friends” every time and I was constantly called insecure and jealous if I asked him to understand boundaries or voiced discomfort.”

Gut feeling he is cheating, no proof Quiz

10. They excuse themselves to attend phone calls at odd times

So, is your partner spending longer hours in the bathroom with his cell phone? Picture this: you’re at your dinner table, and your boyfriend still keeps texting someone. And then he suddenly excuses himself to go to the bathroom and doesn’t get back before half an hour.

Or you’re at the movies, and your girlfriend keeps going out after every half an hour to attend some “important work calls” even when you’re feeling uneasy about her behavior. Well, it seems they have more than they can handle on their plate, in terms of partners or romantic relationships. In short, they may be cheating on you.

A Reddit user states 2 subtle signs of cheating that they noticed. It’s apparently when he/she “doesn’t want you to see their phone” and “deletes text messages.”

Related Reading: How To Regain Trust After Cheating: 12 Ways According To An Expert

11. They forget to tell you… about a lot of things

If you’re wondering how to tell if you’re being cheated on, look out for one of the subtle changes in behavior: forgetfulness. Have you noticed that your partner keeps forgetting to tell you a lot of things these days? For instance:

  • They are going on a vacation with “friends” but you come to know about it in the 11th hour because they “forgot” to tell you about it
  • They met an ex and they “forgot” to inform you until you came to know about it from a common friend
  • They suddenly have some important meeting and need to stay back at work till the wee hours of the morning and completely forget to tell you about it

Well, such “lies of omission”, where they omit little details, saying they thought they might offend you, can actually be huge red flags that they are cheating on you. This is one of the things cheaters do quite often.

Infographic 13 uncommon signs of cheating
Infographic 13 uncommon signs of cheating

12. There’s a sudden pampering with material gifts

One of the uncommon signs of cheating is when they get too nice to you all of a sudden, especially in terms of pampering you with gifts out of the blue. Now, while cheaters tend to invest frugally in their relationships since they have multiple relationships to invest in and it’s not feasible to invest equally in all of them, it’s also true that they can sometimes shower you with expensive gifts and show you an increased interest.

This is commonly a result of cheaters’ guilt, and they may be psychologically trying to compensate for the damage they’re doing to your relationship. Or they may be trying to hide their suspicious behavior.

13. They are on a social media spree

One of the things cheaters do is keep in touch with their affair partners on social media and Messenger, without resorting to phone calls, as that’s more discreet. If your partner is always on social media, changing their profile photos too often, and always fishing for compliments or chatting up other people, chances are, they are hitting on someone and are pursuing them without making it too obvious.

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

In fact, social media and related apps are a huge avenue for cheating. These days, there are secret cheating apps that act as decoy apps (apps that look like utility apps) to let people get away with cheating too. Here’s what a Reddit user had to say about this: “My wife was unimaginative and used FB messenger, but a friend of mine caught his wife setting up dates on a FB game app.”

Whatever the reason may be behind your spouse cheating, remember, cheating is a choice. No third person can ruin your relationship unless your partner allows them to. So, instead of trying to track down or stalk the person your cheating partner is having an affair with, try mending your relationship. Behind all the subtle changes in behavior your partner shows, there are pretty obvious issues in your relationship that need to be fixed. Don’t paint your partner as the ‘bad guy’.

But whether to fix a relationship or quit it when you find your spouse cheating on you is a choice you need to make. We understand that a partner’s infidelity can make it difficult for you to rebuild trust, cause you emotional distress, or even affect your physical health. Visit a family therapist or a relationship expert, or opt for couples therapy or individual counseling to address your mental health, if you want. If you’re considering seeking help, you can explore Bonobology’s counseling services.

FAQs

1. How does one figure out if someone is cheating?

If you want to catch your spouse cheating, look out for some tell-tale signs that they are. Some of them will be pretty subtle. So, there will be body language signs such as avoiding eye contact, and other psychological signs such as giving you sudden surprises and gifts. This is how to tell if you’re being cheated on.

2. My husband is being too nice. Is he cheating?

Should you trust your gut feeling about cheating even if your husband is being excessively nice to you? Well, probably yes. And how do you catch your husband cheating in such cases? Often, cheaters’ guilt makes the cheating partner be overly nice to their partners. So, the very thought that they are ruining your relationship by involving a third person may make them compensate for that by spending lavishly on vacations, dinners, or gifts.

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