Signs Of A Cheater … And How To Tell If He’s Cheating On You
“It might sound ordinary for a woman to find out her husband’s cheating on her, but not if you’re the woman and it’s your husband.” – Melissa Bank
Wondering whether or not your guy is cheating is a terrible position to be in. If you are questioning him, there’s probably a good reason for it. Women tend to have a powerful gut instinct in this area, even before they consciously acknowledge it. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re “crazy” for having suspicions.
At the same time, previous bad experiences or stories can sway your judgment. Also, if the man you’re with has cheated in the past, you won’t be able to help being on high alert.
It’s challenging to be objective when looking at your own situation. If you’re struggling to see things from an outside perspective, check out our list of ten of the top signs he’s cheating.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
1. He stops putting effort into the relationship.
After the “honeymoon” period of a relationship, the effort from both parties does tend to decline. The true test of a relationship is if you can take an active stand against this natural progression.
When one person pulls back, there’s trouble brewing. This is especially true when it seems to happen quickly or out of the blue. Cute relationship habits may become a thing of the past. Instead of asking about your day and how you’re doing, he’ll seclude himself. It’ll feel like you’re pushing a cart uphill by yourself, with no help from him. In fact, it might feel like he’s trying to push it back down.
Even though it’s a cowardly thing to do, some guys will opt for this approach instead of just breaking up with someone. It’s not easy to end a relationship, so withdrawing until it becomes unbearable for the other person might seem “easier.”
I also should add that it is normal for guys to sometimes pull away in a relationship, but that is usually temporary and due to reasons outside of the relationship. If he keeps pulling farther and farther away with no signs of return, that’s when an alarm bell should go off.
2. He’s never around.
Absence, particularly the unexplained or seemingly unnecessary kind, never bodes well. If he jumps at any opportunity to travel alone, whether for work or another reason, you’d be right to be apprehensive.
This disengagement might be seen in less obvious ways. For example, he may start hanging out with his friends more frequently or offering to run extra errands. You could even feel this when the two of you are in the same house. He’ll find excuses to be in a different room, occupied in a solo activity, or even wear headphones.
Isolating himself in this way is transparent behavior. Even if he’s not cheating, it means there’s something upsetting him enough that he doesn’t want to face you.
3. He suddenly puts effort into his appearance.
It’s never a bad thing for someone to take care of themselves. It’s not vain to want to look your best. If your man has always been very fastidious about his grooming and appearance, keeping that up is certainly not a cause for concern. However, if he suddenly shows a strong interest in it, that should be noted. Who is he abruptly dressing to impress?
Maybe he picks up a gym membership and starts spending more time there than at home. He could start styling his hair a new way or experimenting with different colognes. None of these are surefire signs that he’s up to no good, but don’t overlook it.
One way to decipher whether or not he has negative intentions with these changes is to talk to him about them. If he’s engaged in the conversation and excited to share his new thoughts and habits with you, that’s a good sign. But if he shrugs it off and seems disinterested in discussing them, his motives are murky at best.
4. He doesn’t think cheating is a big deal.
Downplaying the impact and severity of cheating, in general, is a massive red flag. He might chime in with a defensive comment when a friend gets caught cheating. He may even look for any opportunity to discuss his faulty logic on the subject.
Sometimes this kind of attitude becomes apparent after you watch a movie that contains adultery. He might play devil’s advocate and suggest reasons why the character in the film was “justified’ in cheating. This kind of moral ambiguity is suspect at best.
5. He’s suddenly on his phone all the time.
As a society, we’re pretty attached to our phones. When that attachment becomes a potential tool for deception, you start to pay attention to just how much time your guy spends with that little device.
One signal that something’s up is if he becomes secretive about his phone. Does he quickly put it down or stop mid-text when you walk over? Does he keep his password a secret and change it if you ever learn it?
Unfortunately, dating apps and just regular ol’ social media are popular avenues for cheating. They’re also readily available and accessible on your phone. Even if your guy keeps his phone free of these kinds of apps, what are his text conversations like?
It’s really hard to resist the temptation to peek at your partner’s phone. If you feel strongly that something’s up, sneaking through his phone isn’t the best way to go about solving anything. If it seems like the only way, your relationship may not have the kind of trust needed to thrive.
6. He’s having an emotional affair.
Even though physical intimacy is only one aspect of a relationship, many people choose to believe they haven’t done anything wrong unless they’ve crossed that particular line. It’s silly to under-emphasize the danger of an emotional relationship, but common nonetheless.
It could be that you’re feeling neglected because he’s putting all of that energy into another person. If he hasn’t actually gotten physical with her, he may be living in some fairy tale land where his actions are still “okay.”
You should be the person he confides in, the first one he wants to tell good or bad news. If he’s airing his vulnerabilities and deep thoughts to someone else, you’re bound to feel excluded and lonely.
MORE: Why Do Guys Cheat?
7. His sexual behavior changes.
In keeping with the theme of detachment, it’s not unusual for a dishonest guy to reject intimacy. You’re really required to live a tough double life when you’re cheating. Adding physical intimacy to both relationships can screw with a guy’s head. The shame attached to his behavior may cause him to pull away from your sex life.
Ironically, the same remorse can also cause the opposite reaction. Instead of distancing himself, he’ll throw himself into this aspect of the relationship with a sudden enthusiasm. He might introduce new ideas to the bedroom in an effort to shake it up. This is a poorly-disguised attempt to distract himself and/or you from what he’s secretly doing.
8. His moods are all over the place.
Being hot and cold with your partner is a cruel thing to do, especially when it’s out of displaced self-reproach. Lying to the person you’re supposed to be closest to takes a heavy emotional toll, so it’s not surprising that mood swings are often unpredictable.
He might temporarily decide that everything is fine – perhaps he even thinks to himself that he’ll stop seeing the other woman. For a few hours, his conscience will be clear and he’ll be a more attentive and engaged man. As soon as that perspectives shifts or that decision changes, you’ll see a different version of him. It’ll likely be apathetic at best and vindictive at worst.
9. You catch him lying.
There’s a saying that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. People don’t become entirely different versions of themselves throughout any given day. If you’re patient and kind with a stranger on the subway, you’re probably going to be the same way when helping out a friend or listening to your partner’s story. A dishonest person will consistently show that quality in various areas of their life.
For this reason, if you catch your guy in a lie, give that the real weight it deserves. Even if he tries to brush past the incident, remember it. More than that, clock his apparent indifference to the situation. Honesty can be a hard quality to come by, but it’s crucial for a trusting relationship.
10. He’s super irritable.
Sadly, this one is not dissimilar to a lack of effort in general. Both of them can stem from a desire to become the victim. If he can coax you into fighting with him, he can pretend he has grounds for his behavior. Baiting you into getting angry is a lazy way to cope with his guilt.
Everyone has bad days. Sometimes those days extend into weeks. Regardless of what state his life is in, he should treat you with respect. If he loses his temper, he should promptly apologize. If, instead, he consistently picks fights with you – be wary. He’s either a lousy candidate for a relationship or he’s hiding something. Either way, you deserve better.
So, what do you do if you think he’s really cheating?
If your relationship is otherwise in a good place, the best route is most likely honesty. Frame it to him in a way that focuses on your own feelings instead of accusing him of something. All you can take ownership of is yourself. By explaining your feelings to him, you’re just expressing your very natural and human worries. Instead of feeling like he’s being attacked, he has the option of actually listening to you with empathy for your emotions.
Opening up to him about how you feel will also give you the opportunity to observe his reaction. If he truly hasn’t done anything wrong, he should see your fear and have compassion for you. He’ll do his best to explain things, reassure you, and make sure you don’t feel that way again.
Immediate defensiveness, on the other hand, is a bad sign. Telling you that you are “crazy” is also a red flag. If a man belittles you for expressing yourself, he’s not the kind of guy you want around anyway. You deserve someone who will hear your concerns and do his best to make you feel better.
I hope this article gave you clarity on your situation. If your guy is cheating, my heart goes out to you and I hope you are able to make the right decision in regards to what to do next. Before a guy cheats, you may notice he starts to pull away or lose interest. If that’s something you’re going through, then you need to read this next: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
10 Signs He’s Cheating:
- He stops putting effort into the relationship.
- He’s never around.
- He suddenly puts effort into his appearance.
- He doesn’t think cheating is a big deal.
- He’s suddenly on his phone all the time.
- He’s having an emotional affair.
- His sexual behavior changes.
- His moods are all over the place.
- You catch him lying.
- He’s super irritable.