Want to know how to catch a cheater? The first step is to look for the signs of cheating.
If you’re worried that your partner might be stepping out on your relationship, it’s hard to determine which is worst: stressing out over the possible infidelity or realizing that cheating has actually occurred!
Whether your suspicions have only recently been piqued or whether you’re trying to tie a series of clues together, keep the following ten signs of cheating on you in mind when identifying an unfaithful partner:
#1 – Your partner’s appearance has improved
Do you remember when you and your partner first started dating? If you’re like most people, you went out of your way to dress well, fix your hair and keep as physically fit as possible for the sake of impressing your new love.
Over time, these personal habits drop off as relationships become more comfortable. So if you suddenly notice your spouse taking up a renewed interest in personal fitness or hygiene, it might not be a New Year’s Resolution– he or she might be putting on a show for a new fling.
#2 – Your spouse exhibits a sudden need for privacy
Cheaters undertake a number of different measures to prevent their indiscretions from being discovered. These often manifest as a sudden need for more privacy. For example, has your spouse demonstrated any of the following behaviors?
- Handling his or her own laundry for the first time
- Hiding personal cell phones, date books or calendars
- Changing passwords
- Closing doors that were previously left open
- Getting antsy at the thought of you going through his or her pockets
If any of these examples sound familiar, you could have a cheater on your hands! Just be careful about installing spyware or trying to track your wife’s phone without her knowing.
#3 – Your partner’s workload increases unexpectedly
The cheating cover story of, “I have to work late at the office tonight,” is cliché for a reason. While a partner’s workload changes aren’t necessarily indicative of infidelity – projects and demands do come and go in most professions – an increase that can’t be explained by a new boss, new project, new client or similar change that you know to be true could point towards infidelity.
#4 – Your spouse initiates fights more often
No matter how bad your relationship has become or how frustrated your partner may be, cheating always involves a certain stress level. Though we’re not here to sympathize with an unfaithful partner, the secrecy that must be maintained – piled on top of the guilt associated with destroying a relationship – can be difficult for even the most devious people to manage.
Unfortunately, all of that stress has to go somewhere. If you notice your spouse picking fights more often than before, it’s possible that these instances come from redirected anger over infidelity, having an affair, or a pattern of cheating.
#5 – You notice an unfamiliar scent on your partner’s clothing
Another dead giveaway of cheating is finding an unfamiliar scent on your partner’s clothing. This sign doesn’t always come in the form of the stereotypical new perfume or lipstick found on a collar – it’s just as likely that you’ll pick up on the scent of a new soap or body wash that’s used when your partner showers away from home.
Trust your senses! If something smells amiss, there’s often a good reason to suspect cheating.
#6 – Your spouse gives you more gifts than before
Giving extra gifts – including everything from flowers to chocolates to jewelry and more – is another classic sign of overcompensation for the guilt involved in cheating. Feel bad that you’ve stepped out on your spouse? Make it up by treating him or her to extra gifts!
Again, receiving an unexpected gift isn’t a guarantee that cheating is occurring (maybe you got lucky and your spouse has found a new streak of generosity). However, if this gift-giving turns into a pattern – especially one that tends to manifest alongside other suspicious behaviors – keep your eyes open for other signs of cheating.
#7 – The emotional quality of your relationship has changed
No matter how much your partner might believe that infidelity is only a physical issue, there’s always an emotional component as well. Engaging with a new sexual partner always involves the exchange of emotions, whether they’re surface-level or addressing some meaningful need in your partner’s life.
If you’ve noticed that your partner no longer interacts with you on the same emotional level as before, there’s a good chance this is because his or her needs are being met elsewhere.
#8 – Your partner avoids family events
Family events only serve to remind the cheater of what he or she is jeopardizing by stepping out on the relationship. For this reason, it’s common to see unfaithful partners repeatedly decline to attend family events – especially those where you’ll be introduced to others as a couple (as in the case of business functions, school events and other social situations).
#9 – The physical intimacy of your relationship has changed
When it comes to physical intimacy, cheaters tend to go two different ways. Either they’ll cut off all physical contact with their spouses in order to prevent detection, or they’ll amp up their efforts in the bedroom to convince their partners that nothing’s gone awry.
Regardless of which scenario you experience, pay attention to dramatic swings in physical intimacy, as these may be signs that your partner is struggling with infidelity.
#10 – Your spouse maintains extra email and social media accounts
Finally, keep in mind that faithful partners have no reason to hide their tracks by opening extra email and social media accounts. If you log on to the computer and come across these accounts, you could be looking at compelling evidence that cheating has occurred.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s up to you to determine whether to confront your partner, to continue gathering evidence or to consult the services of a private detective to ascertain whether or not your spouse is cheating on you. Make sure you don’t ignore your gut instincts. All of the signs listed above are well-known indications of cheating for good reason, but there might be more you haven’t noticed. If you see them in your life, there’s a chance that your partner has been unfaithful.