Did you know that around 30-40% of Americans cheat on their partners? It’s a scary statistic, but unfortunately, it’s a reality for many couples.
The thought of your partner cheating on you can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have any proof to confirm your suspicions.
But don’t worry, there’s some good news.
Most affairs and cheating partners eventually get caught. Whether it’s because the cheater can’t handle the guilt or they get caught accidentally, the truth usually comes out in the end.
So, if you’re feeling like something’s off in your relationship, it’s important not to ignore that feeling. Trust your gut and take the necessary steps to find out the truth.
Discovering infidelity can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s better to know the truth than to live in uncertainty.
Remember, you deserve to be with someone who is faithful and honest with you.
Why do I feel like he’s cheating on me?
– Gut feeling, the spiritual vs insecurities.
Insecurities are usually caused by something external like your partner doing something unusual, catching your partner lying about something, or your insecurities that get triggered by his(or someone else’s) actions.
The gut feeling is something that happens when everything’s aligned, you’re feeling confident in yourself, and the relationship has been going well so far.
In that case, something is bothering you, it’s something that you just can’t put your finger on.
You have no proof that he’s cheating, but you’re feeling something’s off despite having no proof for it.
It’s just your gut feeling he’s cheating, no proof, no evidence of that wrong thing happening, but you’re feeling something, your intuition is sensing that something’s off.
Fear and insecurities are caused by something that happens on the outside, something you observe, and something you can tell visibly.
Your gut feeling tells you something’s off without anything, in particular, to put your finger on.
– Should I trust my gut feeling that he’s cheating? Can your gut feeling be wrong about cheating?
Trust it, and take it as a sign that something is bothering you, something not leaving you alone. Whatever that may be, you need to find out to find peace.
Otherwise, the relationship can turn toxic and unhealthy for both of you.
You shouldn’t rely 100% on your gut feeling, and say just because my gut feeling is telling me so, my partner is cheating on me for sure.
Seek for signs and evidence, perhaps it is another issue that you’re sensing as ‘wrong’.
– Is he cheating or am I paranoid?
You just catch yourself having thoughts like “I have a gut feeling my boyfriend is talking to another woman”
You’re not paranoid if he’s been giving you reasons to doubt; if he’s been acting weird recently; if he hasn’t been opening up; or if he’s completely changed behavior.
And if you’re not paranoid, he’s either cheating, or he’s dealing with something you’re not aware of.
*Keep in mind
So, how do you know if he’s secretly cheating? How does a man act when he’s cheating?
Here are 26 signs he is cheating on you:
1. Sudden changes (not the slow, eventual ones)
We change eventually, gradually; we don’t change suddenly without having a strong reason behind it.
You can tell if your boyfriend is cheating, or at least dealing with something intense once he starts making rapid and sudden changes in his life, behavior, and appearance.
Some of the first signs of cheating are usually these rapid changes. In this case, your partner feels like he’s a different person already within a short period.
He’s either a sex god, or there’s no sex at all.
As disgusting as it may sound, it is often the case. He’ll learn new ‘tricks’ in bed, and will try them with you.
In the worst case, if he’s been doing them too frequently, he’ll make them habitual things.
On the other hand, there might be no sex at all. His sex drive might decrease with you because it is being fulfilled by someone else.
His appearance is changing.
These are more physical signs that he shows when he’s cheating; His hair is so different, he’s smelling different, he’s trying to lose or gain weight, and his clothes are different.
Now, if there’s a solid reason behind it, it’s not something to worry about.
If he doesn’t give any valid explanation and you’re not part of this ‘new journey’ then there’s something going on.
His way of approaching you is very different.
His behavior towards you changes drastically. He’s either super affectionate or super cold and distant, for no reason in particular.
He’s just out of nowhere doing all the new activities he’s never done before.
He’s being out more than he used to, he’s spending all this money, he’s doing these activities he’s never done before or that he’s never had an interest in.
He’s buying you gifts.
It sounds weird, but if combined with the others, this is one of the signs he’s cheating.
These gifts that he’s buying you are also known as guilty gifts.
They’re called that way because the one giving these guilty gifts is trying to compensate for an unfair behavior they’ve done towards you.
For example, some cash or a watch might just give you a hint that he’s not bothering much.
Though don’t take this as a sign if the other signs don’t resonate with you. Buying you gifts can be one of the signs that he’s falling for you, or that he loves you.
* These changes don’t have an obvious reason and are things that he didn’t do before. Example: He never put his phone on silent mode, but now, for no obvious reason, he does.
2. Your intuition is not leaving you alone, your gut is constantly telling you something’s off
It’s often said that women have their intuition sharper than men do.
It is undeniable that we have those intuitions, we have those gut feelings that pretty often turn out right and valid, no matter how surprising they seem, or how crazy they seem, we often have an urge to follow them.
Intuition or gut feeling is why you can’t shake the feeling he’s cheating, you feel like your boyfriend (or husband) is cheating despite having no proof about it.
Don’t neglect this feeling, it is telling you something, it is there for a reason.
3. You don’t spend as much time together
It is healthy to spend time apart, each of you to have your own space being respected.
However, you have to note if there’s a sudden change in the amount of time you two spend together.
Before you spent a lot of time, now suddenly you don’t. It’s either because you grew distant, or that he’s been very hard to be available recently.
You did activities together, watched movies, or had phone calls, you spent time, quality time together before. Now you don’t.
Take it as a sign. If not a sign he’s cheating, a sign that something’s off in the relationship, or perhaps him not being interested in a relationship.
4. Conversations start getting dry
He doesn’t have much to say, nor to discuss with you.
You used to talk at least about your day and the little details that made you happy or annoyed; But now, it’s not happening anymore. He barely answers anything.
5. He got emotionally distant
Emotionally, physically, and spiritually, you feel a long, huge distance between you two.
You take it as one of the emotional signs: He’s way too far to reach him, and the distance keeps on growing, making it more and more difficult to try to speak up and solve a problem, any problem.
6. He’s suspiciously protective of his phone, or other devices
You need to have your personal spaces respected. Though, there’s something off once you start acting very protective with that personal stuff.
If he’s cheating he’ll most probably use his phone for help.
He’s putting his phone face down, or on silent mode, airplane/do not disturb mode, or he’s carrying it every single where he goes, even if he’s going to get back within minutes, he’ll take it with him.
And when you finally decide to speak up and let him know you’re having doubts, he hits you with the “I don’t want to feed your insecurities, baby.”
7. If you asked him about it, he either got super defensive of it or didn’t straightforwardly answer your question
You’ll notice him getting defensive about the smallest things too, especially when you point his behavior out, and confront him about his suspicious behavior recently.
Depending on his personality, he might either get super defensive of it or won’t answer your question directly.
He might even turn the situation around whenever you point this out. He’ll make you feel guilty, and embarrassed for saying and ‘accusing’ him of such a thing. “How dare you?”
In a healthy relationship, this would’ve turned into a healthy discussion, and he’d make sure that you’re feeling at ease, and not stressed because of something fishy HE’s doing.
He wouldn’t bear the fact that he’s making you feel insecure, sad, or stressed. He’d do anything to remove the doubts. So would you, right?
8. He’s very vague or very specific on the details of the “I was at”, or “We were at”
When he’s cheating, a simple question can lead to him either giving you too many details about where he was, and what he was doing, or a very vague answer to avoid ‘slipping’ something that shouldn’t ‘slip’.
Hidden or not, it’s a sign. (Read further if your gut is telling you he’s lying: psychological explanation here.)
9. He’s irritated about everything
Everything you do is suddenly awful, bad, and wrongly done. He’s been so moody around you.
Everything you say to him he’ll take it as a personal attack, and will get defensive in every little situation.
He’ll pick up fights, and find ways to leave the room while he’s upset about something you did/said.
This is often a defense mechanism: he confronts you on little things, starts arguments, and makes you feel guilty so that you don’t have anything to pick up on.
(Read more: Flinders University – Why do people become defensive?)
Whatever his reason behind this behavior might be, and you’re trying hard to communicate with him sincerely, but it is not working, please ask yourself this “Do I want to feel this way for a long time, do I want to be part of this?”
10. He’s very loving and touchy all of a sudden
If he’s not distant, he might get too loving and touchy in a split second, out of nowhere.
This usually happens as a way to compensate for what he’s doing, he’ll be super loving, super caring, and super touchy due to the guilt he’s feeling on the other side.
Now, keep in mind that you’ve got to resonate with other signs too, for this one to be a sign you can take.
11. More hanging out with friends or long hours at work
His schedule seems to be very busy, without any room for time with you.
When he’s cheating he’s out more, he’s distant, he’s changing. You barely notice him, and he’s rarely around.
He’s got to hang out with friends, he’s got to work longer hours for a month, every day in a row, it seems like the company is depending on him.
He does this as a way to avoid contact with you, minimizing the possibility of getting caught or getting confronted about his behavior.
12. You found out he lied to you about his location
He said he’d be somewhere, turns out he’d been somewhere else. Now, that’d be another thing if he was out choosing a Valentine’s Day gift for you.
In the case of cheating, the lie about the location doesn’t happen only once and doesn’t happen because he’s been choosing that secret gift for you.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, I know. But when he’s cheating, he’s never picking that secret gift, no matter how much we lie to ourselves, he’s not picking that secret gift, he’s just not…
13. His behavior got possessive toward you
This is often a defense mechanism called projecting.
You haven’t changed your behavior, and he starts accusing you. This is the “If I’m cheating, she’s cheating too” mindset.
He thinks that since he’s doing it – he’s cheating – you’re probably doing it too. He constantly asks for confirmation about you not cheating on him: checking your phone, asking you directly, etc.
Keep note of this, if you’re in a long-distance relationship too.
If your behavior towards him hasn’t changed, and he’s started behaving this way, it could just be one of the signs he’s cheating on you.
14. He’s mentioned this new woman
One of the signs he’s cheating on you is when he frequently mentions a new woman’s name, whether he met her at work, the street, gym…
You’ve never heard of her before, and now you do, pretty often.
Pay attention to the way he talks about her, the way he describes her, and the time he spends with her.
If he stops mentioning her, there’s a huge possibility that something is going on between them.
Especially if you’re in a long-distance relationship, take notes.
15. He says he’ll show up at a certain time, and shows up super late
It is understandable if it happens once or twice. Especially, if he gives you solid reasons, and explanations.
But he goes out for potato chips, takes 3 hours to come back, and forgets to get the potato chips, then comes to tell you that “He just needed fresh air.”
If it’s been happening too many times now, it’s time to consider this behavior, as it is one of the common signs he’s cheating.
16. He blames you for things, even the small ones, and/or complains a lot
Again, it’s often a defense mechanism that activates when one is feeling guilty about doing something wrong to the other.
It’s his guilt coming out in a way to convince himself that he’s not doing anything wrong, it’s him unconsciously projecting his dishonesty on you.
If you’ve been giving him room to feel insecure, then this is understandable. But if your behavior didn’t change a bit, and you’ve been kind and loving: something’s up.
17. He’s very interested to know what you’re up to about your day
He wants to know your location a lot more than before.
He wants to know where you go when you go, and what time you get back.
It’s usually to get information about your location so he doesn’t go there, when you go and get back, he’ll know how much time he got to do what he’s been doing.
18. People tell you
You can tell if your partner is lying about cheating when people around you tell you they’ve seen him with someone else.
Your loved ones, or people you’ve never seen before mentioning something about his behavior, or they straight up say I saw him do this/that. Take this as a sign.
19. You’re constantly confused
Things just don’t add up, nothing adds up.
He’s been acting weird, and you don’t feel ok. Whatever is going on. A healthy relationship isn’t supposed to make you feel this way.
Today you’re asking why I have a gut feeling my boyfriend is cheating, tomorrow you’re happy with him as if nothing is wrong.
If you’re insecure and projecting your insecurities into the relationship, then take this as a sign to start working on yourself.
But if you feel you’ve lost yourself, and you don’t recognize yourself ever since you started the relationship, then take this as a sign that this is not the one.
20. He’s encouraging you to go out alone more often
He gets super happy when you go out alone, but he’s never been this way.
He’s got that extra joy and support when you go out with your friends, or especially when you decide to go on a trip away with friends.
This usually happens due to the time he gets to spend alone and cheat with no risks involved.
21. He’s checking other women out in front of your eyes
You see it, you’re angry, you’re mad, you’re sad about it because you know that look.
You take the courage to bring it up because it’s been damaging you on the inside, and he gets defensive about it.
By the end of the discussion, you’re the one feeling guilty for bringing it up, you’re the one thinking you’re imagining things – it’s called gaslighting and it’s very very damaging.
In this case, whether he’s cheating or not, this behavior is not okay. It is not okay to feel worse after a discussion on something that made you feel bad already.
It’s supposed to feel light and assuring, not guilty and pressuring.
22. You can tell his mood changes when you’re kind and loving to him
This is one of the signs he cheated and feels guilty, or sorry.
When you show love and affection to him, when (if) he’s cheating, this will be a reminder to him that he’s damaging a loving, kind, caring person.
His mood and way of approaching you, and his behavior towards you change immediately.
23. He talks about cheating
Another one of the signs that he’s cheating is talking about it. “Babe, what would you do if I’d cheat?”, “Babe, what do you think about people who cheat?”
These frequent, out-of-the-blue, cheating questions can mean he’s speaking his mind, and that he may either be thinking about doing it, or he’s already done it.
24. Calls you another name by accident
Take this as a red flag, especially if he does this when you’re making love; and if he’s been doing most of the mentioned above signs.
If it’s a name you’re familiar with, it could be an innocent accident. However, if it’s a name you’ve never heard of, and you’ve never met the woman whose name he just called you, then it could be a sign he’s cheating.
25. He’s surrounded by cheaters
One of the warning signs of a cheater is that he’s surrounded by cheaters, meaning his friends are mostly people who cheat.
Of course, there are exceptions, but in a lot of cases, this stands true.
Perhaps he didn’t hang out with them before, or he always did. If the other signs are resonating, then there’s something going on.
26. There are changes in his social media accounts
Signs he is cheating on Facebook, Instagram, or any social media, also include those sudden changes in his account, profile, and so on.
One of the signs he’s cheating online is when he’s following these new girls, he’s not posting anything of yours, or deleting the ‘love of my life’ pictures and giving you the lamest excuse there is.
Why would he cheat?
People cheat in good and bad relationships. However, the main answers are found in the cheaters themselves. It has to do with them and their perception/s.
Here are some reasons why he would cheat on you:
He saw it as a way out of the relationship.
For some reason, he couldn’t find a proper way to tell you he’s not wanting to be part of the relationship, so he chose the ‘easy’ way out.
It’s a choice he makes, consciously.
He needed ‘fulfillment’ from another person.
He’s not content with himself or got unsolved past traumas/issues that make this a part of his habitual behavior.
In such cases, this is probably not the first time he’s done this in a relationship.
The situation led that way.
He’s done everything right in the relationship, and this wasn’t much of his choice.
In this case, it could be that he was under the effect of alcohol or drugs and things just started flowing from there.
In such cases, it happens once, and usually, he confesses at some point in the relationship.
Very high self-esteem (arrogance) OR very low self-esteem.
It’s “I’m too good to be true, I’m the best of all” or “I might need some confirmation that I exist, and that I’m attractive”.
In both cases, it’s the long or the need for the external factor to confirm something about his self-esteem.
He’s got time to grow. He’s not mature in his view of relationships, or he might not even have a view or opinion on relationships at all. He’s purely immature.
What to do if you think he’s cheating, but have no proof?
In other words, what to do when you suspect your boyfriend is cheating?
In such situations it is normal to feel guilty and to feel like there’s something wrong with you, thinking that you’re paranoid, and putting it all on yourself.
Here’s what you can do in this case:
– Confirm your doubts & talk with yourself.
After you confirm your doubts, let you and your opinions be alone for a moment.
Don’t blame yourself, there’s nothing wrong with you. Take a moment to reflect on the entire situation.
If he’s not cheating, have a talk with yourself, reflect, and see where the doubts are coming from, and why.
Note: Confirming your doubts means checking most of the boxes on the list of signs he’s cheating on you and/or catching him doing it.
– Ask yourself whether you want to talk with him or not.
Whether you want to bring it up and talk to him it’s entirely up to you.
However, keep in mind that if your partner is capable of cheating and lying to you, they might just be capable of lying to you if you ask them for the truth.
In this case, he could give you a false answer to your “Are you cheating?” question.
This could be especially likely if you’ve seen signs of him practicing manipulation.
– Think of whether your doubt is coming from inner insecurities or past experiences.
You might be feeling insecure about yourself, having troubles with low self-esteem, or some memory of an experience got triggered.
Sort this out with yourself first. Work on yourself to overcome the fear, to overcome trust issues.
Again, reflect on yourself, and find the ‘whys’ the ‘froms’, and the ‘whens’.
– If you decide to stay.
It’ll be difficult if you’re not ready to leave it to the past.
Stay, if you feel that you’ll eventually be able to fully trust him again, stay if you feel that he won’t do it again. Stay if you feel that you’ll be strong enough to handle another one of these.
How do you tell a guy you know he’s cheating?
As Esther Perel said in an interview on infidelity “You wanted attention, now you have it.” Now it’s time for him to have that attention.
It’s understandable to feel whatever you’re feeling: anger, pain, betrayal, etc.
It would be a bit difficult to “approach the situation calmly” because that would be unrealistic, and crazy.
Here’s how to tell him you know he’s cheating:
- It’s important to take the time to process your feelings, and have a moment with yourself before you approach him about this.
- Ask to meet up in a more private place (of course, if you feel comfortable and safe) since there might be tears, yelling, or arguing which are normal; tell him that you know what’s going on.
- Tell him that you know that he’s been cheating and let him know how you found out about it.
- From there on, let the conversation flow, whether it turns into an argument or not. It’s completely okay to go through this.
Is once a cheater always a cheater true?
No, “once a cheater always a cheater” is not always true.
It depends on the situation, the people involved in the relationship, and the personality of the cheater.
See the bigger picture of him as a person. If he’s the one to treat you right and to do the right thing in every other aspect of the relationship and the cheating happened only once (not in a repetitive way: affair), then the ‘once a cheater always a cheater’ might not apply to this guy.
It’s about him being aware of his actions and the consequences coming afterward. It’s about his willing to change that, by taking full responsibility for his actions.
It is a feeling of uncertainty, perhaps you cry now and then, perhaps you lose sleep now and then.
Whatever your decision on this may be, I want you to ask yourself a question I wish I asked myself a long long time ago; A question that’d save me from tears, damage, and drain:
“Do I want to be in such a relationship?”
If you’re still uncertain about the answer, or can’t think of anything, because you might be overwhelmed and have blurred vision at the moment, you can ask yourself:
“Do I like this version of myself, right now?”, “What is making me put up with this?”, “Is this what I truly want in my life?”
You’ve got this.
Wishing you light and joy,