According to statistics, around 30-40% of Americans cheat on their partners. It’s a little scary, indeed.
At times he’ll show signs, at times he’ll go unnoticed for a long time. But, the thing about most of the affairs and cheats is that they eventually reveal. In a way or another, they’ll be found out.
Whether the cheating partner is the one not being able to keep up with the guilt, so they come up clear about it, or they’re ‘caught’ by accident. Eventually, in different ways the betrayed partner finds out the truth.
The fact that you’re looking this up is a sign itself. You’re feeling something’s off, whatever your reasons are. Don’t ignore the feeling, it is there for a reason.
Before we get into the article, I want you to understand and accept the place you’re in. I want you to know that there are a lot of other people that have been in the position you’re in, including me. You’re not alone.
First things first – Why do I have a feeling he’s cheating?
Gut feeling, the spiritual vs insecurities
Insecurities are usually caused by something external like: your partner doing something unusual, or catching your partner lying about something. These usually cause an insecurity about the stability and trust in the relationship.
On the other hand, the gut feeling is something that happens when everything’s aligned, you’re feeling confident in yourself, and the relationship has been going good so far, but there’s something bothering you, it’s something that you just can’t put your finger on. It’s about “I think my boyfriend/husband is cheating but I have no proof”
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.
To sum this up: fear and insecurities are caused by something that happens on the outside, something you observe, and something you can tell visibly. Your gut feeling has nothing to do with that. 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 there’s something bothering you, something not leaving you alone. Whatever that may be, you need to find out in order 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, if he’s completely changed behavior.
And if you’re not paranoid, he’s either cheating, or dealing with something you’re not aware of.
*Keep in mind
Depending on the cheating form (also, what you’d define as cheating is important too, so sort that out for yourself), he might show different signs. Not all the signs have to necessarily resonate. Also, there might not be much room for worry if he does one or two of the signs, in that case there could be signs he’s not cheating on you.
Don’t take it for granted, keep an eye on him, especially when things start becoming part of a pattern, and especially when you’ve been having a feeling for a while now.
If these signs sound familiar, they could be signs he’s cheating again. Don’t ignore them.
So, how do you know if he’s secretly cheating? How does a man really act when he’s cheating?
1. Sudden changes (not the slow, eventual ones)
What are the first signs of cheating? The sudden changes with no reason behind give part of the answer to this one.
Us humans don’t do big changes in our lives for no reason. We do change eventually, gradually, indeed; but we don’t change suddenly without having a strong reason for it. In this case, your partner feels like he’s a different person already.
All of a sudden #1: 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 as 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. I want you to keep in mind that this is not something that has to do with your value, or your looks; it has to do with his mind and his personality.
All of a sudden #2: 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, his clothes are different.
Now, if there’s a solid reason behind it, it’s not something to worry about. But if he doesn’t give any valid explanation and you’re not part of this ‘new journey’ then there’s definitely something going on (of not cheating).
All of a sudden #3: His way of approaching you is very different.
I’ll be more specific about this one further in the article, but the point is that his behavior towards you changes drastically. He’s either super affectionate, or super cold and distant, for no reason in particular (assuming that your behavior didn’t change in the relationship).
All of a sudden #4: 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 he’s never had interest in.
All of a sudden #5: He’s buying you gifts.
I know, 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.
In order to know if what he’s giving you is a guilty gift look out for the effort put on the gift. For example some cash, or a watch might just give you a hint that he’s not really bothering much. Though don’t take this as a sign if the other signs don’t resonate with you. Buying you gifts just because 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 more sharp than men do. However, 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.
I told you about the difference between intuition and insecurity or fear. Intuition, or gut feeling is why you can’t shake the feeling he’s cheating. 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 spaces being respected. However, you have to note if there’s a sudden change in the amount of time you two spend together.
Before you did spend time, a lot, now suddenly you don’t. Now it’s either because you grew distant, or that he’s been very hard to be available recently.
You did activities together, or 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 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 distant
Emotionally, physically, 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. Suspiciously protective of his phone, or other devices
For some reason, I didn’t think much of this one to be a red flag because I’ve always been the person that wanted to leave space to the other, to not be that space invader, nor freedom invader.
If he’s cheating he’ll most probably use his phone for help. The signs? 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.”
It’s a load of crap, a big, giant load of crap! Feed my insecurities, BABY; Because they’ve been starving recently, you piece of sh*t!
7. If you asked him about it, he either gets super defensive of it, or doesn’t straightforwardly answer your question
You’ll notice him getting defensive about the smallest things too, especially when you point out, confronted 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.
If he’s that type of motherf*cker, he’ll 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. Very, very vague or very, very specific on the details of the “I was at”, or “We were at”
A simple question can lead to him either giving you too many details about where he was, or what he was doing, OR a very vague answer in order to avoid ‘slipping’ something that shouldn’t ‘slip’. Hidden or not, it’s a sign.
(Read further for the psychological explanation here.)
9. He’s irritated, out of nowhere… about everything
Everything you do is suddenly awful, bad, and wrong 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.
In other words, this is a sort of defensive mechanism he uses: he confronts you on little things, starts arguments, makes YOU feel guilty so that you don’t have anything to pick up on, because you’re already the one messing it up.
(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 really want to feel this way for a long time, do I want to be part of this?”, and make a decision.
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. Now, keep in mind that you’ve got to resonate to other signs too, in order for this one to be a sign you can take, otherwise he could just be loving and caring because something clicked in his head that you’re this amazing person that he’s blessed to have in his life.
Now, in order for him to compensate for what he’s doing, he’ll be super loving, super caring, super touchy.
11. More hanging out with friends, or longer hours at work
Yes, his schedule is full. Just like that, out of the blue: full, without any room for you.
He’s out more, he’s distant, he’s changing. You barely notice him, and he’s almost never around. He’s got to hang out with friends, he’s got to work longer hours for a month, everyday in a row, the company is depending on him.
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 this’d be another thing if he was out choosing a Valentine’s Day gift for you, and surprised you.
In the case of cheating (with his ex or whoever), 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. I’ve been there. But 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 towards you
You haven’t changed behavior, and he starts accusing you. This is the “If I’m cheating, she’s cheating” mindset. He thinks that if he’s doing it, you’re probably doing it too. He constantly asks for confirmations 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 mentions a new woman’s name, whether he met her at work, street, gym…
Doesn’t matter where he met her. You’ve never heard of her before, and now you do, pretty often. Pay attention to the way he talks about her, you’ll know. Also, when he just stops mentioning her, you’ll know. Also, when you ask him about her and he responds as briefly as possible, you’ll know.
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: He just needed fresh air. He’s been needing fresh air more than 3 times now. He knows you’re waiting for him, but hey, he’s just getting fresh air.
He’s breathing fresh, fresh air, while you’re suffocating into wait and doubt. It’s been too many nights now.
16. He blames you for things, even the small ones, and/or complains a lot
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. Where you go, so he doesn’t go there, when you go and get back, so he’ll know how much time he got to do what he’s been doing.
18. People tell you
This one answers a bit of the “How do you tell if your partner is lying about cheating?”
Your loved ones, or people you’ve never seen before mention something about his behavior, or they straight up say I saw him do this/that. Take the 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 and joyful with him. A day after tomorrow you’ll feel like asking that question again.
If you’re insecure, and projecting your own insecurities in the relationship, then take this as a sign to start working on yourself.
But if you feel you’ve lost yourself, and you feel you don’t recognize yourself ever since you started the relationship, then take this as a sign that this is not the one. I know it’s difficult, and I hear you. But your decision you’re so afraid of right now, will set you free.
20. He’s encouraging you to go out alone more often
He gets super happy when you go out alone. He’s never been this way. He’s got that extra joy and support when you go out with your friends, or when you decide to go on a trip with friends away. Yes, we know exactly why his eyes are shining so bright to the idea.
21. He’s checking other girls 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 crippling you on the inside; 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.
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. Yes, it’s the guilt kicking in. The reminder that he’s damaging a loving, kind, caring person, will haunt him. His mood will change, and you’ll notice it. This is that confirmation, this is that sign.
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… Take note.
24. Calls you another name by accident
Take this as a red flag, especially if he does this when you’re making love. Especially if he’s been doing most of the mentioned above signs.
25. He’s surrounded by cheaters
One of the warning signs of a cheater is that he’s surrounded by cheaters. Now, of course there are exceptions, but in most cases this stands true.
Perhaps he didn’t hang out with them before, or he always did. If the other signs are resonating, then trust me, there’s something going on.
26. There are changes in his social media accounts
Signs he is cheating on facebook, or 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. This is the confirmation you’ve been looking for.
Why did/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. The common ones:
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, got unsolved past traumas/issues that make this 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 the alcohol or drugs had an effect on him, and things just started flowing from there. In such cases it happens once, and most probably confess at some point of the relationship.
Very high self-esteem (more of 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 of the external factor to confirm something about self esteem.
He’s still immature.
He’s got time to grow. He’s not mature on the 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?
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 to yourself.
Confirm your doubts & have a 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 of the list of signs he’s cheating on you, and/or catching him doing it.
Ask yourself whether you want to have a 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 likely if you’ve seen signs of him practicing manipulation.
Think of whether your doubt is coming from inner insecurities, or from past experiences
You might be feeling insecure about your own self, or having troubles with low self esteem, or some memory of a past experience got triggered. Sort this out with yourself first. Work on yourself to overcome the fear, to overcome trust issues.
If he’s not cheating, try working on your trust issues
Again, reflect on yourself, find the ‘whys’ the ‘froms’ and the ‘whens’.
If you decide to stay
Know that 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, everything you’re feeling. It would be wrong of me to tell you to “approach the situation calmly”, because that would be unrealistic, and crazy.
However, I’d suggest you take the time to process your feelings, 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: “I know what’s been going on”.
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. It’s not always true.
It depends on the situation, on 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), then the ‘once a cheater always a cheater’ might not apply to this guy.
It’s about him being aware of his action and the consequences coming afterward. It’s about his willingness to change that, by taking full responsibility for his actions.
It is a feeling of uncertainty, perhaps you cry every now and then, perhaps you lose sleep every 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 really want to be in such a relationship?”
If you’re still uncertain about the answer, or can’t really think of anything, because I do understand that you might be overwhelmed, and have a 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, I know.
Wishing you light and joy,