Despite all our efforts, infidelity seems to be a constant in many relationships. The reasons for this vary from case to case — but the consequences can be just as varied. So how do you know when it’s time to cut your losses and run?
In a recent survey conducted in the UK, the number one reason people cited for cheating was “I felt emotionally trapped.” That’s not to say that it’s ever easy to leave, but if you feel like you’re backed into a corner, it might be time to consider whether or not your relationship can continue seriously.
Here are five signs that someone is cheating on you. These could apply to a number of situations, whether it’s your spouse or someone you’re dating.
If you notice something is off about your significant other, there could be a reason for it. This can be anything from them staying out all night to claiming they have “plans” when they do eventually come home — and that there’s nothing wrong. If you’re feeling suspicious, follow your gut. You may be right on the money.
Examples of Strange Behavior:
- Sudden intense mood swings
- Calls or texts from a number you don’t recognize
- Always being “busy.”
- Randomly canceling plans
- Being overly touchy when they come home
Lack of Communication
If your partner is shutting down, there’s a reason for it. Think about why this might be — are they afraid to tell you something? Did they get in trouble at work or with someone else? Does listening to your problems leave them feeling inadequate? Whatever the reason, there could be an issue if they’re clamming up rather than opening up.
Examples of Lack of Communication:
- Always being too tired to talk after work
- Leaving the room while you’re talking about something important
- Refusing to listen to your problems or concerns
- Shutting down when you try to have a serious conversation with them.
Change of Appearance
When people start to go down the path of infidelity, they will often make some subtle or not-so-subtle changes to their appearance. For example, they may grow out their hair and get a different style. Maybe they’re wearing more makeup than usual, or they’re dressing differently — it’s all an attempt to appear more attractive and desirable.
Examples of Change in Appearance:
- New hairdo
- Spending more time on personal grooming
- Dressing sexier
- Wearing new clothes that don’t fit their usual style (e.g., you’ve never seen them wear low cut shirts before)
Secretive Phone or Computer Usage
This is a huge red flag. If your significant other has constantly been on their phone or computer, but now you’re catching them constantly going into incognito mode, deleting messages, or surfing sugar daddy sites, it’s time to get suspicious. Their sudden need for privacy might be because they don’t want you reading the messages on their phone — and if you think there could be something wrong with that, there probably is.
Examples of Secretive Phone or Computer Usage:
- Hiding their phone when you come in the room
- Checking their messages frequently throughout the day
- Sending texts while you’re not around or sending them late at night when you go to bed
- Sending texts in private mode
- Being very secretive about their phone usage.
Strong Personality Changes
This last sign can be harder to pin down — but if your partner is suddenly acting differently, it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that another person could have come into play somehow. If someone new has entered their life, particularly an ex-partner or a co-worker, they may have rekindled an old flame behind your back. Or maybe they’re just confused about what they want — but either way, it’s worth talking to them about it.
Examples of Strong Personality Changes:
- Telling you, they don’t want to be in the relationship anymore
- Being very secretive about their communication with someone else (e.g., hiding texts)
- Demonstrating new behaviors, e.g., flirting, hanging out together alone, giving gifts, getting overly interested in someone else’s life
Don’t jump to conclusions, of course — just because someone is showing some of these signs does not mean they’re cheating. It may be something simple or unrelated altogether. But if you’ve got a hunch that it’s more than that, trust your gut and have the conversation! If there are areas in which you could improve as a couple, this might be an opportunity for you to do so.