As a couple counsellor, I've seen all too many individuals desperately wanting to know the signs of a cheating spouse or partner.
It often seemed so clear to them that their partner was cheating. However, their partner kept denying that there was anything going on. Often, my clients were blamed for their lack of trust, whilst their spouses were indeed being unfaithful!
On discovering the truth about their partner's deceit, of course these men and women were utterly devastated and angry. They were also scared about what the affair might mean in terms of the future of their relationship. Heartbroken, they frequently said they felt like a fool, and as though they'd been used and abused.
If your husband or wife is cheating, they too might be denying it all while you know that something isn't right.
You may even have tried to deny it to yourself for a while. But you're becoming increasingly distressed and worried about the meaning of all the odd behaviour and strange conversations.
In this article you'll find the most important signs that your husband or wife is cheating - be that online, at work or anywhere else.
Nothing I can say or write will give you a definite answer and I want you to be careful not to jump to conclusions about what you think might be signs of cheating.
However, a combination of the following may indicate that your partner is cheating...
You'll want to be aware of:
You may have noticed the early signs that your wife or husband is cheating, without consciously being aware of their significance.
The development of an affair often progresses through stages. There's likely to have been a corresponding change in behaviour at home - however subtle.
Here are the likely scenarios:
Depending on their beliefs and values, your partner or spouse may be alternating between craving the attention they get when they’re with their lover and wanting to walk away from the affair.
Regardless of your particular circumstances at the moment, if you value your relationship, I recommend you start fighting back straight away. Don't wait for things to develop. Instead, put yourself in the driving seat.
In the meantime, stay alert and keep gathering information...
Research shows that as human beings we're all too keen to tell a lie*. You may even be aware that your partner is particularly prone to lying.
However, body language signs are difficult to interpret correctly. Keep that in mind when you're reading the following signs of infidelity...
Please be careful how you interpret your partner's body language as it's very easy to misread the signs. Think too about cultural differences in our movements and gestures.
Concentrate on the ways that your partner is behaving differently than what you'd normally observe.
Signs to look out for when you're challenging your partner:
Please be aware that if you have always been feeling jealous, your partner may just be fidgety and avoidant for another reason. They could, in this case, be attempting to protect themselves from yet another unwarranted(?) accusation!
1. Avoiding conversations
They definitely don't want to talk about your relationship. This may point towards your partner having an affair - if it's unusual for them not to talk. No wonder then that the two of you are having relationship problems.
2. Avoiding certain subjects
For fear of giving the game away.
3. Changing the subject for no apparent reason,
You may not know of a link between an affair and whatever you're discussing, but they may well know about it.
4. Changing dress style
Your husband, wife or partner is suddenly taking more of an interest in their appearance.
5. Starting to go to the gym or taking up some other form of exercise
They've suddenly changed their couch potato lifestyle and are working out regularly.
6. Dropping a name
They may mention the name of the other woman or man in passing or too often.
7. Acting out of the ordinary in general
With hindsight, you were aware of other changes in their behaviour which you may not have paid much attention to previously.
8. Changing their sexual behaviour and appetite
This physical sign could point to their having cybersex or even a porn/sex addiction.
9. Their spending habits have changed
You'll definitely want to check your bank accounts as its likely your partner or spouse is lying to you about money, if he or she is having an affair.
There are further warning signs of cheating which can suggest that all is not what it seems.
How keen is your partner to show their true self?
Your partner might make it sound like you have a problem and it's all your fault. They may make generally derogatory remarks about you (see also my articles: Signs of emotional abuse and How to deal with a narcissistic spouse or partner).
They may be looking to excuse themselves - they need to have a 'reason' for having an affair. And so they justify it by using your behaviour as 'the problem'.
They say things that somehow don’t seem to stack up, without you necessarily being able to put your finger on why.
They may well tell you (and themselves?) that they are 'just good friends' with that person. That they have to go to this or that function for work. That there's nothing in it really. No wonder you're feeling you're going round the bend!
I understand how frightened, angry and hurt you may feel right now. I also know - from my professional training and experience - how important it is that you take the right action.
Therefore I recommend you talk it over with a professional counsellor or at least with some wise soul in your own environment.
Pamela Meyer, author of 'Lie Spotting', is a world renowned expert on lying.
Learn some surprising facts from what she has to say by watching this video...
Is he or she cheating? You will need proof. None of the following signs are definite proof, but they could help you to complete the picture:
1. Private email accounts
They’re likely to have set up private email accounts with dodgy names and new (secret) passwords.
2. Secret apps and use of mobile
They use apps like Snapchat or Kik and have their mobile always at hand and don't want to share their screens. Snapchat cheating is common!
3. Changed passwords
They add or change the passcode lock on their phone and other accounts.
4. Sudden changes in online behaviour
They switch off any pop-up message/email notifications and close applications and windows.
5. They stay up late
They start using the internet or staying on their phone late at night after you've gone to bed (if they weren't already spending hours and hours online).
6. Deleted history
They start deleting their internet browsing history.
7. Clean trash folders
They start deleting emails/messages and emptying their trash folders.
8. Disappearing acts
They frequently disappear out of the blue - to the garden, upstairs, the shop, out for a run.
9. Your home has become a hotel/restaurant
If working full-time, they now may only come home to sleep and eat.
10. Their spending doesn't add up
They spend more and hide the evidence.
11. They're abandoning you
They withdraw themselves from you, and turn their back on you.
No wonder you're feeling like you're going mad (and they may actually want you to start questioning your sanity) and wishing you had someone to talk to (see my article on the where and when of getting good relationship advice).
Here's what your unfaithful wife or husband may have been thinking:
If your partner is found out to be cheating, here's what he or she may tell you:
The common thread?
Their need for attention and recognition!
That doesn't mean that all will be well if you give your spouse more attention (if indeed he or she lacked that in the first place). You may have very good reasons as to why your attention is divided.
Nevertheless, there's sufficient information in those statements for you to take note. They give you some indication as to what's needed to make a start on the road to recovery (if that's what you - both - want).
It is a wake-up call... and so I'd really like you to read my other articles on affairs to help you work out your best next step.
As your partner's affair developed, guilt may have begun to gnaw at them.
Here's what generally happens:
At this stage, though, they would rather lie than admit that they’re having an affair.
You found out - you caught them out, or they finally admitted it - and suddenly:
They may be desperate to put things straight and save the marriage. However, you may be ready to opt out of the marriage or partnership and head for the divorce courts.
Your friends may already suspect or know about the affair - they might have seen the signs before you. If so, they're likely to be facing a few dilemmas of their own:
But remember - real friends will do whatever they think is right for you, even if you think differently. They will also point out the threat to your sexual health!
Don’t shoot the messenger if they tell you - they (should) only have your best interests at heart. And it might be worth preparing for the fact that, sadly, the other woman/man could be amongst your friends.
These days it's ever so easy to keep track of someone's whereabouts. There are people who employ the services of a detective. The app stores offer an array of tracking apps. You can buy all sorts of electronic tracking devices, cameras, microphones, etc.
However, I warn against using these!
Instead of just one of you having lost all trust, the partner who has had the affair will lose trust in the wronged partner too.
"Serves them right", you might, understandably, think. But, don't underestimate the impact of snooping on your partner when you want to repair your relationship!
Whether you were or weren't, you need to know that adultery doesn't only happen in unhappy relationships or marriages.
Of course, it may well be that the two of you were already having some difficulties. But, if your partner is having an affair the ‘reasons’ (not excuses) for that can be varied. Read my article on how to survive infidelity to learn the 17 reasons why men and women have affairs.
Also read How to deal with infidelity to discover why else it's such a bad idea to share an intimate part of your life with someone else. That is, if it happens without a partner or spouse's knowledge and agreement (for some couples having someone else works!).
Oh, just in case you haven’t heard of adultery, the definition is: sexual relations between someone who is married and someone who is not his or her spouse.
Therefore the signs of adultery are the same as cheating (though there may be legal implications, depending on where you live).
I've worked with hundreds of individuals and couples with relationship problems where one partner was suspicious that their partner was having an affair. They have told me that having expert support and advice made all the difference to them.
Therefore, I recommend that you too consider talking with a professional, licensed therapist. It's so easy now to set up an online session. For further information see my page: Online relationship advice.
If by any chance you're already wondering whether or not to stay in your relationship and don't know what to do, my Marriage Compatibility Test can help.
You'll be much better able to figure out what works in your relationship and what doesn't. And most of all, whether it's worth saving.
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I do hope that this article on the signs of a cheating husband, wife or partner will have given you a better grip on what's going on in your relationship or marriage.
Simply by being here, though, I know you're going through a really difficult time.
Know that you're much stronger than you think you are. You will get through this, however tough it is right now. I'm rooting for you!
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)
Psyblog - The most unexpected way to tell someone is lying