Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.
What? I was texting work.
Men get a bad rap. When people think of a cheating spouse, they usually imagine a husband, caught red-handed with his mistress. But a man doesn't cheat alone. When a man cheats on a relationship, there is usually a woman involved.
With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, it should come as no surprise that someone is cheating, somewhere. According to recent statistics, between 30-60 percent of married individuals in the United States will cheat on their spouse at some point in the marriage. It is any wonder, then, that so many marriages end on a sour note?
When a marriage or relationship encounters difficult times, the risk of one partner cheating increases. A person is more likely to seek solace in the arms of another if they are feeling misunderstood, unheard, unloved, or unappreciated. As the relationship deteriorates, the desire to move on and create new bonds grows stronger.
While historically, men have been taking the rap for cheating, women are becoming more and more likely to have infidelity issues. As more women enter the work force and spend time with other adults, they can also develop those intimate relationships outside of their marriages. It is not only husbands who are caught in office romances. Women are becoming just as likely to develop extra-marital relationships as men.
Most people do not enter into a relationship with the intention to cheat on their partner. Often, infidelity is the result of a situation that arises, rather than a planned course of action. There is a lot to be said for staying out of situations that could cause you trouble. The closer to the edge you walk, the more likely it is that you could tumble over into uncharted territory.
Some studies suggest that the more attractive a person is, not only physically, but also emotionally, socially and financially attractive, the more likely they are to cheat. As people become more financially secure, their attention shifts from survival to enjoyment. They want to expand their horizons and enjoy all that life has to offer.
What is cheating, exactly?
It's a grey area as vast as the ocean. There are as many ways to cheat on a partner as there are people who cheat.
When does texting a friend become cheating? Or does it ever? Does cheating include having lunch together or flirting in public? Is cheating limited to sex? Is cheating limited to certain acts, but not others?
What one person may deem appropriate behavior may be completely off base for someone else. There are numerous opportunities to text, to message and to chat with people outside of a relationship. When does that texting become cheating, or does it ever?
Former President Bill Clinton famously said, "I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky." Although it was discovered that Bill and Monica did participate in oral sex, perhaps he did not feel like that was actually cheating on his wife. For some people, kissing, fondling and oral sex are all okay, even when you are married. They consider it cheating only when they have actual intercourse with the other person.
The person who uses such broad definitions is usually the cheater. The one cheated on usually has a much narrower definition of cheating behavior.
Is it really cheating?
What are the signs?
Here are ten signs that a person might be cheating in their relationship. Of course, there could be a plausible explanation for any or even all of the following ten signs.
Trust your gut. You know the truth, if you listen to your instincts. Once you determine if your partner is cheating on you, then you have a couple of different options. Decide if it matters to you. If it doesn't matter, then you can drop it and move on.
If it does matter to you, then you can ask your partner. Don't expect an honest answer. Cheaters are deceivers. They will tell you what they think you want to hear. If you have evidence or proof, then you can present that. And then you must decide.
Is the cheating a deal breaker? Only you and your partner can decide if your relationship is worth saving in spite of extramarital behavior.
Top ten signs of a cheater
10: She texts at weird times and in strange places. If your partner suddenly begins texting at all hours of the day and night, then it could be a sign of cheating. Staying up late at night? Getting up extra early and getting right on the phone? What about texting in the bathroom, and coming out laughing?
These could be signs that your partner is cheating. Does he get up and leave the room to text? Does he hide his phone and act secretive when he texts?
Texting has become an easy way for people to cheat on their partners. It is easy to enter into lengthy and intimate conversations with someone other than your spouse, while texting.
Texting, messaging and chatting allow people to say things to each other they would never say in person. It allows space for false intimacy to develop quickly and easily.
Once an intimate texting relationship develops, it is a slippery slope to becoming physically intimate.
9: He changes the password on everything and becomes secretive. You used to share the same password for every app and website. Now, passwords have changed, and he has a screen lock on his phone. He doesn't text while in the same room, and if his phone buzzes, he jumps up and leaves to answer it. Now that you think about it, he has put the phone on silent, and keeps it in his pocket at all times.
Her Facebook page, which used to be permanently opened on the computer, is now shut down ever time she uses it. When you walk up, she quickly closes the page she was just typing on.
There are so many ways to sneak around with technology. Does she have two cell phones? What about different email accounts? Technology has paved the way for a cheating partner to conceal his conversations.
8: She suddenly listens to the strangest music. Musical tastes can change as we grow and change, but when your wife suddenly starts listening to jazz and develops a passion without you, it could be a sign of something amiss.
When your boyfriend starts humming unusual music and doesn't share his new tastes with you, it could be a sign.
Of course, trying new music could be growth. Perhaps you saw a video or heard a song on a movie you watched, so you Googled the band and found something you liked. It could also be that your partner has a friend, and she likes jazz. He starts listening to it without you, because it reminds him of her.
This isn't only limited to music, but if she develops new tastes in movies, actors or books, she may be influenced by someone new. And if she is humming a song, which stops as soon as you walk in the room, then perhaps it is something more than her new found love of classical music.
7: He seems to be acting differently. Your partner had a predictable pattern; up early for a run, hit the shower, go to work, call you for lunch, head home.
Now, things are different. He goes to the gym and is gone for a couple of hours in the morning. He has to work through lunch every day. He comes home later and later, and is too exhausted to hang out with you.
Maybe she changed up her exercise routine to boost her metabolism, as she claims. But if your girl has gone from working out in the morning to late night visits to the gym, it could be a sign of a cheating heart.
Instead of wanting to spend time with you on the weekend, she has "plans with friends" that don't include you. She wants to go to the movies with her girlfriends, or she has a lot more girl's night out's than usual. These could be signs of a cheating partner.
When your partner changes their daily routine significantly, or becomes obtuse about their plans, it could be because they are waiting to hear from their lover about how they will spend some time together.
6. She changes her appearance significantly. Your girlfriend is suddenly sporting a new, short hairdo. She has also begun wearing cute little lacy things, that she never wore before. She used to be a cotton girl, and now is wearing lace thongs.
You notice your husband is losing weight, watching what he eats, and shaving every day. It used to be, you could hardly get him in the shower once a day, but now, he jumps in as soon as he gets home.
Sudden changes in physical appearance could indicate a cheating partner. When your wife wants to surprise her lover, she might try out some new lingerie. Or if your husband gets in the shower as soon as he walks in the door, he could be trying to rinse off the smell of his mistress.
Be wary of changes in appearance, apparel and scent, as they may indicate a problem. When your partner is on the prowl, they will up the ante by improving their outward physical appearance.
5. Sudden mood changes seem the norm. You are beginning to think you are crazy. He goes from sweet and lovey to crazy angry and frustrated for no apparent reason.
When you ask her if she wants to talk, she blows you off, saying you don't understand anything.
If your partner is looking for an excuse to leave for an hour or two, they might pick a fight so they can "spend time alone", while in reality, they are spending time with their lover.
If you notice that he is suddenly all over you, kissing and wanting to make out, that too could indicate he feels guilty and is trying to make it right.
When your partner begins acting differently, whether they are picking fights for no reason, or acting extra loving and unusually affectionate, then there could be a problem looming.
What if you caught her cheating?
4. Your partner begins trying all kinds of new things. He used to be a strictly "missionary position" kind of guy, but lately your boyfriend has taken a walk on the wild side. He's doing things to you that you've only dreamed about.
Yes, he could have read a "how to please your wife" book. Or, his new mistress may have taught him a few tricks. When he starts to vary his interests in bed, it could be a sign that things are heating up elsewhere.
If she starts doing things you've always wished she would do, you might wonder why. Not only in bed, but in life, if your girl begins to crave adventure and excitement and starts taking unusual risks, she could be seeing someone else.
We all change as we grow, but if you notice significant departures from normal behavior, especially if there is no discussion about new adventures, then there could be a problem.
3. Suddenly she's working long hours and hiding her finances. Your wife usually has a predictable work schedule, but lately she's required to attend breakfast meetings and late night work sessions.
In addition, you've always shared a bank account, but you notice that some money is missing. Or you see a bank statement or a new bank app on the computer that is unfamiliar. When you ask him about it, he blows you off, saying its for work, or for a project.
When you try to call her at the office, she doesn't pick up her phone. And when you text her, she doesn't respond, even though you've seen her jump up from the dinner table to answer a text at other times.
These could indicate that your partner is being unfaithful.
2. He forgets things and sometimes his stories make no sense. Your partner used to tell you all about the people at work. He used to share stories and funny anecdotes. Now he's close-lipped. When he does talk about work, it's always a story about his amazing co-worker who has such a tough life and a jerk of a husband.
Or, she keeps telling you about the guy she works with who knows this and does that, and she suggests you should all hang out sometime.
Sometimes, when he's talking about a movie he's seen or something that happened, he will suddenly get very vague and trail off. Or he knows details about someone or something that seem strangely out of place or intimate
When your partner begins spending time elsewhere, it can be hard for them to remember what is the truth, what is a lie, and what happened between the two of you. He might be recalling a conversation with his lover, as he is talking to you, forgetting that it wasn't you he was talking to. At that point, expect the conversation to trail off to nowhere.
1. Your gut tells you she is cheating. All of the signs in the world may not lead you to believe that your beloved is cheating on you.
What does your gut tell you? Often, we are led to the truth by the small cues in behavior. But sometimes, there is a gut feeling that something just isn't right. When this happens, trust your gut.
Your instincts can pick up on subconscious cues to your partners behavior. When someone is cheating, they can't hide it forever. You can ignore it forever, if you choose. But if your instinct tells you something is going on, then it probably is.
So, you've seen the signs. Your gut tells you something is going on. Now what do you do?
You can confront your partner and ask them flat out, if they are cheating on you. Don't expect an honest answer. Even if you ask more than once, chances are, you will not hear the truth. A cheating spouse will lie, not only to protect himself, but also to protect his lover. And, believe it or not, they will also want to protect your feelings.
Although it is hard to believe, an unfaithful partner probably doesn't want to hurt your feelings. Chances are, as the affair began and continued, your partner didn't think about you. Your partner thought about how he was feeling, and how his mistress made him feel.
You could turn into a sleuth, to prove your case. You could try to catch her in the act. Try to figure out how to trace her texts. Follow her after work. Show up at the gym when she says she's there. If you catch her in a lie, she will probably lie more, to cover her lies. Once you have proven your point, the question remains. Now what?
You can do one of two things, when you discover your partner has been unfaithful. You can stay, or you can go. The choice is entirely up to you. Of course, if there are children involved, it becomes more complicated. Chances are, if your partner has cheated on you once, they will probably do it again. Cheating gets easier, it doesn't get harder.
Once they have figured out where they went wrong, they will be extra careful not to get caught the next time. So, unless they have had a huge change of heart, it will be difficult to trust what they say in the future.
So, the thing to do, is determine if the relationship is worth saving, in spite of infidelity. If the answer is yes, then you begin the long road to healing and repairing your relationship. If the answer is no, then it's time to turn your back and walk out the door.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What if your partner changes their password?
Answer: What do you care? What if you change your password? Why do you need your partner's password? If you trust your partner, then you won't need to check up on their phone or computer. Give your partner the space and respect that you would expect.
Question: My boyfriend doesn't say I love you as much as he used to, and I just feel like something is wrong, how do I approach him about it?
Answer: Well, if you love him and you are concerned, then say that. Tell him honestly how you feel. Then, when he responds, listen to what he says. Notice what he does. Does he still hug you and kiss you and treat you like he loves you? If he says there is nothing wrong, maybe he's telling the truth, and there is nothing wrong.
Question: I asked my partner if he was cheating on multiple occasions. Each time he’s always said no and he’s even laughed at the last time I asked, saying it was a ridiculous idea. Since then I’ve read this article, and it brought my suspicions back up again. Does this mean he’s cheating? Or does it mean I’m worrying too much?
Answer: Do you have any indications that he is cheating on you? What are the things that lead you to believe this? Is it just a hunch? Does he go out after work and stay out late? Is he gone on the weekends? Does he ignore your calls and texts? Gather together what you have as evidence and show him. If you don't really know and you are just suspicious or jealous, maybe you need to examine the root of your own jealousy.
Question: Is it a sign of cheating if my significant other has a password?
Answer: No, it is not bad to have a password. It protects your phone or other accounts from being used by unauthorized people.
Question: Every time my partner and I are on the phone I can hear a buzzing from the other side quite frequently! Also after a certain hour at night it looks like the connection phone it’s not really the same! Cheating?
Answer: These do not indicate cheating. Rather, it sounds like a bad phone connection. Do you have other reasons to believe your partner is cheating on you? If these are the only signs, then I'd assume they are not cheating. If you have other reasons to think so, maybe you should have an honest conversation. Ask if they are cheating.
Question: What do you think about a wife that hangs on to her male neighbor when she is drunk but not her husband?
Answer: That behavior is typical of drunk people. She's probably not cheating on you. She probably likes him though.
If it bothers you, then don't hang out with the male neighbor when she's drinking. Or, try being honest and tell her that it makes you uncomfortable when she acts that way.
Question: What does it mean when my partner changes a contact name in her phone?
Answer: If a person changes the name of a contact, it usually indicates they are trying to hide something.
Question: What does it mean when your spouse moves out but doesn't call, text, and not wanting to have sex as much and when we do she rushes it? Does my spouse's behavior mean she has someone else?
Answer: I think your first statement says everything you need to know. Your spouse has moved out. Clearly she does not want to be with you. Why are you not getting divorced? If she has moved out and moved on, then she is probably using you for whatever you provide, whether its finances, friendship or childcare. Does this relationship give you what you want and need from a marriage? Closely examine what you are getting from this relationship. From the outside, it seems like you are being used.
Raymond on April 01, 2019:
What the best way to no if your wife move on when you are separated It’s been a month now it feel like she doesn’t want me around anymore the sad thing I’m so in love with my wife can same one help me please
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 16, 2019:
@Dean Perry, I agree. Without trust, you really have nothing. If you aren't honest with yourself and your partner, then you violate your relationship.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Dean Perry on February 16, 2019:
The most precious element of your relationship is trust, and that is violated not just when you cheat, but when you lie and keep secrets about the cheating.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on September 26, 2018:
Maybe he doesn't want you at work. It's not unusual to want to keep work and family life separate.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on September 05, 2017:
@ Alfred Augs, It can be easy to spot a cheater, if you know what to look for. Unfortunately, many people allow themselves to remain blissfully ignorant. Wishing you the best,
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 08, 2017:
@Mary, Don't automatically assume the worst. Perhaps he likes to read while he's in there. Begin from a place of trust, until he demonstrates otherwise. Good luck,
Mary on February 08, 2017:
I don't know what is going on besides he always got to take his phone into the bathroom with him everytime. He gave me his password but he still can't delete things on his phone. I don't want to assume he is cheating but how come he gotta take his phone to the bathroom every single time he goes in there for everything
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on September 27, 2016:
Alex, thank you for commenting.
I agree with you, that people can try new things and change their appearance, without cheating.
Taken individually, none of these points necessarily mean that someone is cheating. What I'm referring to is a pattern of behavior, with some common traits.
I believe that you should trust your gut.
Thanks for reading and for commenting.
Alex on September 26, 2016:
Good afternoon points 6 and 4 should not be an acussing point. If someone wants to change their appeareance they are in their right to do it.
If someone wants to try new things it is because they want to please their partner.
Yes, I know that there are people who cheats doing this two points, but it does not mean that everyone who applies those are cheating con their partners.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on December 14, 2015:
Thanks for reading, Stephen,
This hub is based on real life experience as well as research about common patterns.
Thanks again for stopping by.
stephen kalu from Nigeria on December 11, 2015:
funny hub, dont really know if you are talking based on experience or what you heard. its good and educative.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on June 29, 2015:
Thanks for reading and for commenting. I respectfully disagree, however. Men are not babies, and women do not need to clean up their messes.
Responsible adults behave responsibly. And when they don't they have to face their own consequences.
Thanks for stopping by.
SHUGA on June 29, 2015:
Add Your Comment..
i feel like if ur spouse or partner cheats on you.. you should fund awt the reason.. maybe they where forced to or maybe they jus wanted to try sumtin new.. nobody z perfect tho.. so if u r d beyrayed one u cn hear ur partner awt.. nd prolly giv dem anoda chance 'benefit of the doubt'.. itz jus depends on how much u r willng to make your relatnshp work.. for d ladies rember 'that guys r babies dey will always mess up it is ur duty to clean up the mess
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 12, 2015:
I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like he has moved on. Take care of yourself.
tanesha on April 11, 2015:
I feel like he into me any more.he doesn't called me anymore. He told me he been on date with other female.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on January 02, 2015:
Cynthia, thanks for your comments. It is unfortunate that we continue making bad judgements. I think we can only fill our own lonely gap. Until people learn that, they will continue searching outside themselves.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on December 31, 2014:
Lots of good insights, logical perceptions, and wisdom in this. I'm sorry that our human race goes on making these bad judgements inspite of all the evidence that shows that, by and large, there is no perfect somebody out there that will fill that "lonely gap" for you. Thank you. ~Cynthia
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on December 29, 2014:
dashingscorpio, I agree, it's all about individual choices and free will. You can't make a cheater be faithful, no matter how good you are in bed.
And you can't force someone to cheat, when they aren't so inclined.
We all have choices. When someone violates our trust, we can choose how to respond. We can't make them do anything.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 29, 2014:
lyndapringle, I believe anyone who asks their cheating spouse "Why?" they cheated should not be surprised when she or he states that it's because of something the betrayed spouse did or wouldn't do.
Very few cheaters will state they blew off an ideal marriage. And yet people continue to ask "why". It's almost as if they themselves are looking to find a way to "forgive" the cheater. "If it's me I can change."
On the other hand if someone has refused to have sex with their spouse for several months they shouldn't be "shocked" to discover she or he has found someone who will. It's not about "accepting blame" but it is understanding that with every action is a reaction. Unhappy people pursue happiness.
The reality is both monogamy and cheating are lifestyle choices the (individual) makes. We can't "make' someone be loyal or faithful.
All we do is stand on our principles when someone commits a "deal breaker". They've already made a decision and now it's the betrayed person's turn to make one of their own.
Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on December 29, 2014:
Frog Prince, thanks for commenting. I agree, I am learning to trust my instincts more and more as I grow older.
Dashing Scorpio, I appreciate your insight. I agree with you that it is important to find people who reflect our own values, rather than trying to convert others to our way of thinking.
Minnetonka Twin, thanks for commenting.
Lynda Pringle, I agree, not to accept blame is important. And ultimately, we are responsible for our own choices. If we decide to give someone an ultimatum, then we must be prepared to follow through.
lyndapringle on December 28, 2014:
These are very detailed and informative signs of a partner cheating. Unfortunately, that's all they are: good signs of cheating but not definite proof. If you want proof, you need to either snoop or hire a private investigator. You can do things such as check out his cell phone calls, put spyware on his computer so you can monitor his e-mails, check credit card statements, etc. You can also follow him to see where he goes after school or that hour or two when he disappears.
However, if you find out your partner is cheating (and I'll continue using the "he" here even though I know women cheat as well), you cannot confront him and issue ultimatums unless you are willing to carry them out. If your ultimatum is marriage counseling, be prepared to walk out if he won't accede. If your ultimatum is divorce unless he gives you proof the affair has ended, be prepared to leave if it doesn't. If there is no compromise possible in your mind, then you must accept the inevitable divorce that will accompany your disclosure. Anyhow, once you disclose his cheating, you have to do SOMETHING! If you don't, you will lose all self-respect and he will lose respect for you as well for tolerating the intolerable. If you are not prepared for major changes to the marriage, then it is best to keep that knowledge alone.
Also, he may blame his partner for the cheating, i.e. she didn't meet his sexual, emotional, whatever needs. Don't believe that B.S. First of all, no spouse can be everything to another and, secondly, whatever the spouse's sins, he chose to disrespect her and put his own needs first before doing the right thing by either discussing issues with her or divorcing her if he was tired of the marriage. So never accept blame.
Linda Rogers from Minnesota on December 28, 2014:
I think most of us would agree that our gut can be our greatest guide. Thanks for the informational hub on signs that your partner is cheating.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 28, 2014:
"What one person may deem appropriate behavior may be completely off base for someone else." - This is very true!
Oftentimes (cheating) is in the eye of the beholder.
Cheating essentially is "breaking the rules" to have an advantage over others. Unfortunately people often (assume) they are in agreement as to what constitutes "cheating". If your mate sees nothing wrong with going out to dinner or having cocktails with someone of the opposite sex they may belittle you for feeling otherwise.
The goal is to find someone who (believes as you do) not to convert them to your way of thinking!
I agree with (The Frog Prince) in that when it's all said and done forget about the signs and trust your gut.
Know yourself, Love yourself, and Trust yourself.
If you feel you can't trust someone simply move on period.
Unless you are someone who is paranoid and insecure about everyone there is no need for you not to trust your gut. If something doesn't (feel) right to you then it's probably not right for you.
The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on December 28, 2014:
My gut would tell me to leave and I follow my gut more as I grow older.