No one wants to think their partner is being unfaithful, but unfortunately, infidelity is more common than many people realize. A recent study conducted by YouGov found that 54 percent of Americans who have been in a monogamous relationship say they have been cheated on—either physically, emotionally, or both. The worst part is that the signs of cheating are often easy to miss. Whether your partner is suddenly protective of their technology, constantly on their phone, or acting out of character, it's crucial to be aware of the red flags. Keep reading to hear from therapists and relationship experts about the biggest signs of cheating.
They've Password-Protected All Their Technology
Changes in behavior often indicate that something is wrong. If your spouse has always been a private person, then their reluctance to share passwords may not necessarily be a cause of concern. However, if they used to be open and suddenly become uncommunicative about their devices, it could be a sign of dishonesty. According to Laura Wasser, relationship expert and chief of divorce evolution at Divorce.com, “They're quick to snatch it away if you approach, or they've suddenly password-protected it and get edgy if you ask why.”
They're Suddenly on Their Phone All the Time
If your partner is texting and smiling all the time or checking their phone frequently, it's a huge red flag. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom, says this is particularly concerning if they receive more calls or texts than usual at night. Additionally, if they're taking their phone with them everywhere and getting anxious when it's in view or when you're around their computer, it could indicate infidelity.
They Tell Elaborate Stories About Their Whereabouts
Providing a lengthy account of their whereabouts can be a sign that they've rehearsed a story. If your partner is evasive when you ask where they've been all day and only offers vague details, be on high alert. Alternatively, they could provide extra information or detail to deter you from asking questions. Lori Kret, co-founder of the Aspen Relationship Institute, warns that if they avoid conversations altogether, it could be a sign that they're hiding something.
They're Extra Affectionate or Energetic in Bed
If your partner is suddenly showering you with gifts, compliments, or affection without explanation, it could be a sign of guilt. Similarly, if they're more interested in being intimate with you than usual, it could be because they're receiving a “hit of dopamine” and increased self-esteem from being wanted by another, says Kret.
They're Very Interested in Your Whereabouts or Accuse You of Cheating
If your partner asks you a lot of inquisitive questions about your whereabouts or accuses you of infidelity, they may be projecting their own unfaithfulness onto you. Alternatively, it could be a tactic to assist them in making their own plans while they know you're busy elsewhere. According to Ian Lang, a relationship expert, they may appear suspicious of their partner's behaviour as a way to rationalize their indiscretions and paint themselves as the victim.
They Victimise Themselves or Make You Second Guess Yourself
Gaslighting is a common and manipulative tactic cheaters employ to make you question your own perceptions and memories. If they make a scene when you accuse them of cheating or contradict your memories of events, they may be trying to deceive you. Lawless adds, “They may even call into question your mental health and stability.”
They're Changing Their Appearance or Have Taken Up a New Hobby
If your partner suddenly starts dressing better and putting more effort into their appearance or takes up a hobby that doesn't involve you, it could be a subtle sign they're making that effort for someone else.
- They've Password-Protected All Their Technology
- They're Suddenly on Their Phone All the Time
- They're Extra Affectionate or Energetic in Bed
- They're Very Interested in Your Whereabouts or Accuse You of Cheating
- They Victimise Themselves or Make You Second Guess Yourself
- They're Changing Their Appearance or Have Taken Up a New Hobby