Has Your Wife Cheated In The Past? 9 Signs You May Have Ignored

Extramarital Affairs | | , Writer
Updated On: February 15, 2024
signs she cheated in the past

Let me tell you this: if you are looking for signs that your wife cheated in the past, then you are poking a sleeping dragon that will unleash destruction the moment it wakes up. If your wife had an affair and you didn’t know about it, it’s best to treat ignorance as bliss. Just tell yourself that if you didn’t find out then, you don’t need to find out now. However, if the aftermath of the supposed affair still exists or if you feel your wife is still cheating on you, then maybe you should focus on the question: How to know if your wife cheated in the past? Any kind of affair leaves behind a trail, clues and some lies.

Perhaps, back at the time when she was in fact cheating on you, you weren’t able to spot these tell-tale warning signs. Or maybe you did see a few apparent red flags but chose to ignore them. It’s also entirely possible that she feels emboldened to restart an old affair or begin a new one because her transgressions went unnoticed in the past.

If you look back, you might be able to get your answers. The signs she cheated in the past will be written all over that chapter of your life. All you need to do is revisit the pages and know where to look. Let’s help you figure it out, so you don’t let the anxiety of not knowing the answer eat you up alive.

Can I Tell If My Wife Cheated In The Past?

Insecure, possessive, overcautious husbands often ask this question. However, when two people are together, and the emotional and intellectual bond is strong, your gut feeling can tell you your wife is not into you. A husband might not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s irking the marriage but they would know if something is amiss. When a husband feels that the wife cheated in the past, the usual advice is not to raise the issue if the affair is over.

If your wife has buried the affair, has moved on, and is giving 100% to your relationship now, then there is no point to keep thinking about what really transpired. It’s hard to look for signs that she cheated in the past because it could also be that her affair was not a full-blown one. It could have been a quick fling or a one-night stand or an office romance that fizzled out.

But if you want to know if your wife was unfaithful or not, then you can look for these subtle signs if your wife cheated on you in the past. There could have been a phase when she recoiled from physical contact. She became lost in her own world and spent long hours in the workplace. That could have been the time when she was grappling with cheating guilt.

If you’re losing sleep over trying to figure out how to know if your wife has cheated in the past, knowing exactly what to look for when you revisit the phase where you think she was being unfaithful can help. Here are a few indicators that she cheated on you in the past and covered it up seamlessly too:

Related Reading: 11 Smart Ways To Catch A Cheating Wife

1. You’re hazy on the details

One of the signs she cheated in the past is that there is at least one period in your married life where you didn’t quite know what your wife was up to. If you think back, you can’t recall who her friends were, who she spent her time with, and what went on in her professional or private life. She kept the details ambiguous for a reason: she was trying to cover her tracks and hide the infidelity.

2. She squirms at the mention of that phase of life

How to tell if your wife is lying about her past? Pay attention to how she reacts if you bring up that particular phase of life. Try saying something along the lines of, “Where is Sarah now? You know that friend of yours you used to hang out with all the time back in 2013.” If the question makes her evasive, jittery or nervous, chances are Sarah was either an imaginary friend she created as an alibi to cover her tracks or someone she was a lot less close to than she claimed to be.

3. Her views on infidelity changed

How to know if your wife has cheated in the past? Pay attention to her views on infidelity and try to remember if there was a particular time when her stance changed. If she went from “cheating is unconscionable” to “people do whatever they can to survive,” the writing is on the wall. Perhaps, her own brush with infidelity made her get off the high horse of morality and become more pragmatic in her views.

4. The “what if I cheated” question

Matt, a vet from Florida who has done two tours of Afghanistan, says he began suspecting that his wife had been unfaithful to him while he was away because she would ask him questions like “Do you think cheating is forgivable?” “Would you still love me if you found out that I cheated on you?”

“I think my wife cheated on me in the past with a coworker of hers whom the kids used to mention a lot when I got back from Afghanistan. Now that I think of it, she’d always become a little edgy at his very mention and change the topic. I think it was her guilt of having cheated on me, that too at a time when I was struggling to survive against the most indomitable odds that made her ask all these questions.

“Ironically, her questions were what raised my suspicions about her unfaithfulness,” says Matt, who is considering confronting his wife about the signs she cheated in the past. If you think your wife had an affair, the signs she cheated in the past or is doing so now are eventually going to make themselves apparent, you just need to know where to look.

9 Not So Obvious Signs That Your Wife Had Cheated In The Past

The obvious signs of cheating are easy to look for. However, if the cheating happened a long time ago, those obvious signs may no longer be there. Is she just really good at hiding them, or are you looking in the wrong places? If you straight up ask her about it without any proof, it’s just going to make you look insecure and paranoid.

It’s crucial to not make it seem like you’re losing your cool since that can so easily be used against you. So, then, how to know if your wife has cheated in the past? We are here to take you through some not-so-obvious signs that tell you that your wife cheated in the past. Here’s how you can look for the signs that your wife had an affair:

1. Social media behavior changed

Was there a time period in recent years when her social media behavior changed drastically? Look back and take notice.
Your wife could have been the kind of person who was always clicking couple selfies and putting them up on social media. Then, suddenly, she had stopped putting your photos out there.

I think my wife cheated on me in the past
Her cheating guilt shines through in conversations

Did she actually deactivate her old profile and make a new one with new photos where you never featured? Perhaps your wife cheated before marriage and her behavior during that time on social media was completely different than what it’s like now. This is a not-so-obvious clue that your wife cheated in the past. She was not comfortable showing off those lovey-dovey photos to the world when she was mentally and physically involved with someone else.

Is she back to putting your photos on her wall? It’s possible that the affair is long over then. This is a sign of cheating that you may have completely ignored treating it as a moody phase.

2. Wife was always stressed and distracted

There could have been a phase where she was perpetually stressed and distracted. When you asked her she told you that it was work pressure. Did she get bogged down under work pressure before? If she has been the kind who hasn’t been that affected by work pressure but suddenly became stressed and distracted over a certain period, then it could have been because of an affair.

The affair partner could have been in the workplace or elsewhere, but all the stress could well be the result of dealing with the guilt of the affair. If you want to look for the signs she cheated in the past, revisit the particular phase of your married life and think long and hard about what else was out of character about your wife’s behavior during that time.

Related Reading: 15 Shocking Things Cheaters Say When Confronted

Even if it was before you two officially tied the knot, if your wife slept around before marriage, you can probably know when by the way your partner was behaving during that time. The cheater’s guilt must have caused her constant anxiety which is extremely difficult to hide. So, instead of saying things like, “I think my wife had an affair but I don’t know when she was unfaithful,” think about if there was a period in your life where she was always worried about something.

3. The physical intimacy has suffered

Has your relationship changed? You probably didn’t notice that she isn’t generous with the cuddles and kisses anymore.
She talks to you, has interesting conversations, and keeps telling you how you are her best friend. She avoids physical intimacy and prefers to hang out in a gang.

She might have cheated on you in the past and maybe her affair is over now but she hasn’t gone back to being her old self with you either. All your birthdays are spent with family or friends. When was the last time she took you out on your birthday for a candlelight dinner?

She cheated

4. You saw her welling up without any reason

There is no denying the fact that women are more emotional than men and they well up thinking of certain memories. Thinking of dear ones, who have passed away, or even the memory of a past lover can make them cry. But was there a time when you saw your wife holding her cup of coffee and looking out of the window with tears in her eyes?

When you asked her she looked away and gave you some flimsy excuse. Chances are she was thinking of her affair partner and feeling guilty or upset. Perhaps, the affair didn’t end well and she’s still healing from that hurt. Maybe, a part of her still pines for her affair partner.

How to know if your wife has cheated in the past? Think back and try to remember if there was a period when she was emotionally unstable. If your wife had an affair, it’s pretty obvious that she must’ve been an emotional wreck during that time, but must not have told you about what was going wrong.

5. She kept a tab on your timings

You always told her when you would be back home or if you would be late for work. Did she ever show too much curiosity about your work timings? You even thought she was thinking that the husband was having an affair. But when you look back now, you realize she was doing it to keep a tab on your movements so that she could sync her own with yours.

It’s one of the clearest signs she cheated in the past, and one that’s so easy to overlook. Especially if she gets home before you or is a home-maker, she must have been extremely interested in the exact timings of when you were going to get back home and when you’d be away.

She was always fresh out of the shower when you arrived home. Or she reached home just minutes before you did.
These are among the not-so-obvious signs that your wife cheated in the past. Does she still do it? Make those incessant calls? No? She just calls you at lunchtime. That explains it. Doesn’t it?

Related Reading: How Can I Fall In Love With Someone Else When I Am Happily Married?

6. Her dressing had changed

Your wife loved her LBDs and high heels but there was a time period when she put it all away in the closet. She only wore the pantsuits and went for power dressing. Your dashing, fashionista wife suddenly became very conservative when it came to her style.

She justified her change of style to suit her age. She said she felt dignified dressing like that. While this change never bothered you, when you look at her now you realize that she is back to her shirts and jeans and LBDs. Was it just a fad or the need to impress a man with a conservative dressing sense, so she could get the man’s attention? A boss perhaps, who doted on her, but has moved to another city now.

By now, it must be clear that to figure out if your wife cheated before marriage or while you two were married, you need to take a look at a period in time where her habit changed considerably. Did she change something intrinsic about her, give a half-baked explanation for it, and then go back to her regular ways? If she did, it could be one of the signs she cheated in the past.

7. She’s on a dating app

If you ask her, chances are she would not tell you. If you find ways to check if she is on Tinder, then this is a tell-tale sign that your wife cheated in the past. She could do so in the future too. Her presence on Tinder is not without a reason. She isn’t game for serious affairs but hookups work for her. And if you confronted her, she may have told you it’s a joke her friends pulled on her. She may even delete her profile in front of you.

Your wife was unfaithful

However, don’t be fooled, know that her presence on a dating app is no laughing matter. If she’s doing it while being in a monogamous marriage, who’s to say she hasn’t been there and done that before? Count this among the signs she cheated in the past.

Related Reading: Has Your Husband Checked Out Emotionally? 12 Signs Of a Failing Marriage

8. If she’s experimental in bed, it could be a sign she cheated in the past

Was there a time in your relationship when she was super enthusiastic in bed and experimented all the time? Then suddenly she became withdrawn and sex became a chore. Chances are your wife was cheating on you with someone else and was replicating their moves in your bedroom.

But when the affair fizzled out, her need to experiment also ended because it was the other man who got her excited and whom she fantasized about when she was with you. That adventurous woman soon became a staid wife, who gave you boring sex life. Your wife cheated in the past, that’s for sure.

9. Catch the lies

How to tell if your wife is lying about her past? Try to revisit the old stories or past events where you felt as if something quite didn’t add up. Let’s say, she took a day trip with her friends a year back. Back then, she had told you it was a girl gang of four, but when you bring it up now, she says they were six. Perhaps you’ve just caught a white lie.

Infographic onSigns your wife has cheated on in the past
Here’s how to know if your wife cheated on you in the past

She had told you they had stopped at a cafeteria for tea but when you ask her now where they had tea on the way, she talks about a restaurant. It’s possible to repeat the truth again and again. But when a lie becomes distorted every time you ask someone to repeat it.

This is an absolute tell-tale sign that your wife cheated in the past and covered her tracks well enough. But the lies keep surfacing now and you silently bear with it.

To find out if your wife cheated in the past you have to look for the subtle signs, which we discussed in the article. Another subtle hint: If she was in an emotional affair, there was a time she used her phone as an extension of her body. Now you find it lying around on the couch, on the dining table, just about anywhere. Do we need to say more?

Have you found out your wife cheated before marriage? Perhaps she was unfaithful during the early stages of your marriage, and you’re now left with the painful task of dealing with this information. First things first, don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Once you’ve weathered the immediate storm, there’s much you can do. Let’s talk about all you need to know.

Moving On If Your Wife Has Cheated In The Past

“I had already thought that my wife slept around before marriage, but never really knew how to broach the subject with my wife. One day, we met up with an old friend. She broke down later that night, coming clean about having slept with him just before she and I got married,” Jonathan, a reader from Oklahoma, tells us.

“Immediately after her confession, it felt like things were over between us. It took a lot of forgiveness, communication and rebuilding trust to be able to work past that. It’s been three years since her confession and I feel more secure with her now than I did while I was living in doubt,” he adds.

If you’ve found out your wife cheated before marriage or during it, moving on is an uphill battle. But, if both members are committed to making it work and fixing the relationship, there’s no obstacle too difficult to overcome. Let’s take a look at how you can work through this difficult phase:

On cheating

1. Let yourself feel what you’re feeling

When “I think my wife had an affair” turns into “My wife cheated on me in the past, what do I do?” It may seem like the world around you has come crashing down. You’re going to feel devastated, dejected and alone. You may experience a lot of anger and a lot of grief, the likes of which won’t go away any time soon.

When that happens, it’s important to remember that you must let yourself feel what you’re feeling. Don’t assume that you must put a brave face on for things to work. You’ve got to go through your grieving period, just like anyone else would. During the process, you’ve also got a very important decision to make: Is this something you can forgive, or do you need to walk out right away? Based on the answer you give, you can pick your next steps.

2. Communicate with your partner

Once your partner’s misdeed has come to light, talk to them about how committed they are to change. Dig out more details like why they did what they did, what exactly happened, and how it happened. Though it may seem unpleasant to listen to all the details, trust us, it’s something you need to do if you want to rebuild the trust.

Ask your partner if they’re willing to change, and why they did this in the first place. Was communication between you two lacking? Was there a problem in the marriage that they looked to supplement with a lover? If your wife had an affair, make sure you talk to her about what they want going forward.

3. Couples therapy can pave a path toward a happier relationship

The fact that you were out looking for the signs she cheated in the past signifies that the trust in your relationship isn’t the best. The fact that she cheated on you means there’s a lot of work to be done. Most times, when left to themselves, couples aren’t really sure of how to rebuild the trust of repair the relationship.

In such situations, introducing a thirst perspective, one that’s impartial and trained in helping couples reach a better place may just be the antidote you need. With the help of couples therapy, you’ll be able to understand what went wrong and how you can fix it going forward. If you currently seek therapy for the issues in your relationship, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can help you figure out what went wrong.

Knowing that your partner cheated on you isn’t the most pleasant piece of information to come by. Once you think all the signs are pointing you in one direction, understanding what you must do after such a revelation becomes important. Hopefully, with the help of the signs and the steps to move on that we listed out for you today, you can begin your journey toward healing.


1. How can you tell if your wife has been with another man?

To be able to tell whether your wife has been with another man in the past and cheated on you, you have to revisit your past. Was there any phase in your marriage where your wife’s behavior was out of character? Perhaps, there were spells of unexplained absence or she became too distant and withdrawn from you. Maybe, there was a change in her personality, but after a while, things went back to normal. If you spot a host of such patterns strung closely together, there is a high possibility that she was cheating on you during that time.

2. What are the signs of a guilty wife?

Being too evasive when asked about her whereabouts, being overly protective of her phone or personal devices, unexplained spells of absence, a sudden spike in social interactions with friends or coworkers, being emotionally withdrawn or lack of interest in physical intimacy are some of the signs of a guilty wife.

6 Cheaters Tell Us How They Feel About Themselves

8 Signs Of A Manipulative Wife

Sagittarius Woman In Love – Compatibility With Other Zodiac Signs

Ask Our Expert