"Sorry, my phone's been dead the entire day." "I don't know her." "Will you relax? Nothing's going on. We just work together." If you've been cheated on, you might've heard a variation of these excuses used more than once before. But regardless of what they choose to tell you, many of them are excuses from cheaters make to hide their infidelity — or try to turn it around on you.
Lisa Ribacoff, Advanced Certified Polygraph Examiner and a private investigator of 10 years, tells Bustle that 85 percent of the testing she does deals with couples and their issues. Unsurprisingly, infidelity happens to be the biggest one. "I've come to learn that men and women use different types of excuses for cheating," Ribacoff says. The typical "I was drunk" is more often used by men, while "It didn't mean anything" tends to be used more often by women. In general, the excuse "I needed to make sure that you're the one" is often used by pretty much anyone.
While some people will give all kinds of excuses for cheating, Ribacoff says many people cheat for the same reasons, such as lack of intimacy in the relationship, fear that the other party has already cheated so they figured they'd get even, changes in financial stability, their partner not meeting their bedroom expectations, and the opportunity to be with someone they've always wanted to be with.
Regardless of the reason for infidelity, some people who cheat will be inclined to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. So here are some excuses experts say cheaters will make that you really shouldn't believe:
"I Just Wanted To Grab Drinks With Everyone After Work"
Again, this is another one of those things that should only be suspicious if there's a sudden change in behavior. "If your partner generally does not socialize with their co-workers other than a holiday or birthday party, this excuse is pretty transparent, especially if you were told after the fact," Rappaport says. But if your partner gives you a heads-up that they're going out with their co-workers, this would need to happen a few more times to be sure if they're lying or not.
"I Was So Drunk, I Don't Remember Anything"
Being drunk is never a good excuse, nor does it ever justify one's behavior. If your partner is going to constantly use the excuse that they were drunk and can't remember anything, then a serious discussion about their drinking habits might be necessary.
"I Have No Idea Why They Keep Texting Me"
Another variation of this would be, "I don't even know who that is." If your partner gets sexy texts from someone you don’t know, there's a good chance that they know exactly who those texts are from and why they're doing it. The same thing goes for emails and random calls too.
"My Ex Said They'd Leave Us Alone If I Met Up With Them Just One More Time"
If your partner uses their ex as an excuse like, "Oh, she told me she wouldn't bother us anymore if I saw her one more time," you should not ever believe that. The reality is, your partner doesn't have to do anything they don't want to do, whether that's meeting their ex for coffee to "catch up" or hook up with them because they said they'll interfering in your relationship.
"If they didn’t want to be with their ex, they would have refused," Rappaport says. "However, exes have been known to use seduction to rekindle an old relationship."
"I Crashed At My Friend's Place Last Night"
If your gut is telling you something's up when you hear this, it's definitely something to watch out for. "If this happened one time, it might be an acceptable excuse," Rappaport says. "But if they do it more than once, you should not believe them."
"I Don't Know How That Lipstick Stain Ended Up There"
Let's be real. The only way someone’s lipstick can end up on another person’s clothing or face is if someone put it there. More than likely, it's a sign that your partner is cheating and used a really poor excuse to get out of being caught. "If knew who put it there and why, they would have told you who put it there," Rappaport says. The same goes for a different perfume you might smell on your partner.
"They Came On To Me"
"If your partner said they couldn’t say no because the person kept tempting them, this is pretty much a lame excuse," Rappaport says. Chances are, if they were tempted once, they're likely to do it again.
Besides, they clearly don't know how to take responsibility for their own actions. "Accountability is my one word that summarizes the antidote to cheating," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, tells Bustle. If they can't own up to the fact that they cheated and blamed it on someone else, that says a lot about who they are as a person.
"I Was Lonely"
This excuse can have multiple meanings attached to it — maybe they wanted more affection or maybe they were falling out of love. In reality, they're blaming you for the fact that they cheated, which is not OK. Remember that someone cheating on you or treating you poorly in any way is not your fault. So this is one excuse you shouldn't take to heart.
"It Was Just ONE Time"
Whether or not your partner cheated on you one time or more, it really doesn't matter. There's a lot of deception involved in cheating. So it can get really difficult to believe anything they say after that. The damage has already been done.
"You're Just Paranoid"
If someone cheats on you and then says you're just paranoid, they're gaslighting you. Some people try to turn it around on you and manipulate you to make you think you're losing it, which is a form of emotional abuse and is not OK.
Additionally, you should trust your instincts. "If you are suspicious that your partner is having an affair, they probably are unless you've been diagnosed as paranoid," Lisa Helfend Meyer, Certified Specialist in Family Law and founding partner of Los Angeles-based Meyer, Olson, Lowy and Meyers tells Bustle. "Trust your instincts and confront your partner directly."
According to Helfend, their non-verbal communication will usually say it all unless they've mastered the art of lying. "If you feel they honestly feel they made a mistake get into therapy immediately and set up ground rules so you can begin to trust them again," she says.
Getting cheated on is incredibly painful. It can become the baggage you carry on to other relationships and learning to trust again can be hard. Some people who cheat will say anything to get you to believe them, but if there's one thing you should believe it's this: none of it is your fault.