How many people out there have been cheated on? How many people reading this have had a feeling their partner is cheating? It’s usually easier to see the signs and behaviors of cheating in hindsight because we are no longer in the situation and can take a look at the relationship from the outside.
Thinking about things in hindsight can help us in the future. It doesn’t help or protect us from experiencing it. Being cheated on sucks. Thinking you’re being cheated on also sucks. Either way, it’s psychologically taxing.
Research indicates that emotional cheating is becoming more common. Additionally, research strongly suggests that morality is a key factor in whether one cheats or not. Business Insider also cites a study that suggests that if you have cheated in the past, you are more likely to cheat in the future.
Given these statistics, it is important to know both the subtle and unsubtle signs of cheating. This does not mean that if your partner displays one of these signs that they are cheating. Rather, this list of actions and behaviors should serve as a guide to help you if your partner raises any sudden red flags. Here is a list of signs and behaviors that can be indicators your partner is going to cheat or already has.
1. They avoid taking the next step in a relationship
Your partner avoids discussion about taking the next step, whether it be meeting the parents or moving in together. Regardless of what the next step is, they often change the subject or say things like “It’s too early to talk about that kind of stuff” or “I live in the moment and can’t predict the future.” Bullshit. Something else is usually holding someone back from taking the relationship to the next level.
2. They become tense or uneasy when you use their phone for something
Texting seems to be the preferred means of communication between people nowadays. Someone who is cheating usually becomes uneasy when you grab their phone to look up something if yours isn’t available or you don’t have one. They may look over your shoulder at what you’re looking at. They may snatch the phone out of your hands if there’s a possibility of you seeing something they don’t want you to see.
3. They start criticizing things they used to love about you
Your partner used to love your hair short or long. Your partner may have loved your natural look. They may start criticizing your clothing or things you do. They may suggest ways to “improve” your appearance even though they never did before.
4. Your “annoying” flaws don’t phase them anymore
Face it, we all have flaws. You’re not perfect and neither am I. Some of our flaws are what make us unique and your partner agreed with that for some time. They may have become irritated by your nervous laugh. Or they may have rolled their eyes when you would crinkle your forehead. Whatever the flaw is, there no longer react to it and often goes unnoticed.
5. You and your partner’s sex life changes and decreases
Yours and your partner’s sex life may become stagnant. It may also be that you notice different things in the bedroom, such as your partner’s kissing is different or they do things during sex they never did before.
6. They aren’t around as much as before
Everyone has a certain schedule, even if their schedule is out of the norm. Unexplained absences, rescheduling plans that had been set in advance, and not emotionally supportive are all signs that something may be up.
7. They accuse or imply that you have been unfaithful
Your partner may insinuate that you have cheated so they can project their actions and behaviors onto you. This helps alleviate the guilt or shame they feel. It also can serve as a justification for their wrongdoing.
8. Their stories don’t add up
One thing I’ve learned from being cheated on is that once their story stops making sense, the lie begins. Have you ever listened to a story your partner was telling and, all of a sudden, the track the story was on completely derailed? When they are talking or say something and it starts to not align with the beginning, it is usually indicative of lying.
9. There’s a sudden change in communication
Do they still text you as often as they used to? Are the texts becoming less frequent? Are their words in a text message suddenly different or changed from a month ago? Whatever means of communication you and your partner use, think about their words and how they are saying things. If there is a change, when did it start? If communication has changed with a sudden onset, it’s likely there’s a reason why.
Only you are the expert of your relationship from your side of things. Everyone is different and may display different behaviors or emotions when or if they are cheating. The list above are the usual ways to tell if someone is cheating. Some of those signs can also help you in determining whether or not your partner is invested or has emotionally bailed on the relationship.
If you have a gut feeling about something being wrong in your relationship, don’t just ignore it in hopes it’ll go away or not mean anything. We usually get gut feelings for a reason. Try to listen to your intuition and investigate what it could possibly mean in terms of your relationship. Don’t be like the many of us who, in hindsight, saw many of these signs.