As you probably know, it's not always a good idea to play detective in your relationship, or to spend your days looking for
signs your partner is cheating. But if there are trust issue in your relationship to the point where you believe you have justified suspicions, having a heart-to-heart with your partner is a necessary next step to figuring out what's going on.
If your partner is suddenly acting differently, it'll be hard not to notice. And if
they have a history of cheating, or your gut is telling you something's up, you shouldn't feel bad about looking further into it. Are they staying late at work? Or suddenly exercising more often? Experts say these subtle changes may be a sign someone is cheating.
It's really important, however, not to jump to conclusions. "These characteristics also describe someone who is going through a personal life change," clinical psychologist and host of
The Web Radio Show Dr. Josh Klapow tells Bustle. "They do not guarantee that your partner is cheating."
If your partner is making some needed adjustments, and is totally cool with you joining or supporting them, then everything is probably fine. But if your partner seems to be pulling away while engaging in the lifestyle changes listed below, Klapow says it may be time to have a talk.
1 They've Kicked Off A New Workout Routine
If your partner has started a new workout routine, that's great.
If it's something you both want to do, you can be each other's support system. But if they seem to be focused solely on how they look, as a result of their trips to the gym, Klapow says it could be a sign they're trying to impress somebody else. Or if that exercise is preventing you two from spending time together, ask your partner why the gym has suddenly become a big priority in their lives. 2 They've Upped Their Grooming Game
As Klapow says, a change in grooming habits may indicate something's going on behind your back, since it could be a sign they're trying to impress someone new. It's one thing to make small changes to freshen up a grooming routine, but has your partner completely revamped their look?
Same goes for an overhaul in personal style, especially if it seems incredibly out-of-character. As Klapow says, "Often the cheating partner will start to dress and look like the person they are seeing." But if the change isn't so drastic, consider the possibility that your partner is just finding a new way to express themselves.
3 They Have Some Odd New Hobbies
Is your partner learning and trying new things? More than likely, they're just trying to better themselves. But if they have new hobbies that seem out of character, or won't let you join in on, take note. "They might suddenly like different music, love a particular song that is uncharacteristic, want to go see new movies, or do activities that they have never wanted to or have said they didn’t like," Klapow says.
4 They've Been Waking Up Earlier
Many of us are creatures of habit, so it could be a sign something's up if your partner completely changes their weekly routine. "Your partner might be spending longer hours at the office or getting up earlier to go to the gym," author and
therapist Anita Chlipala, LMFT tells Bustle.
But what'll really tip you off is how they react when you point it out. "
You get hostile answers to questions or your partner gaslights you," says Chlipala. "For example, when they get off the phone and you ask, 'Who are you talking to?' they snap back with, 'Why do you always have to be in my business?' or 'I can’t believe you don’t trust me.'" This could be a sign they're hiding something. 5 They Want To Be Spend More Time Alone
If your partner suddenly wants to be left alone, they may just need some alone time. And that's OK. They shouldn't be pulling away though, or giving you the cold shoulder all the time — especially if you've asked them to stop.
"If your partner is getting affection elsewhere, you’ll likely see a change in body language towards you,"
certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "This means less physical closeness, fewer cuddles, a lack of eye contact, and general standoffish behavior." Bennett also says to note if this change is abrupt, because that may be an indication of infidelity. 6 They're A Little Bit More Secretive
Everyone is entitled to a little privacy. But if your partner is suddenly super sneaky and weird about their phone or their laptop, it may tip you off. "If your partner hides their phone so you cannot see any texts, calls, messages, or emails from someone you do not know, this can be considered a sign of cheating," psychic and
spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. Same goes for taking calls out of earshot, or adding a new password that they never seemed to need before. 7 They Want To Have More (Or Less) Sex
Since cheating often involves sex, it can definitely affect what goes down in your own bedroom. "Either you’ve having a lot more sex, even new positions, or you’re being left alone," says Chlipala. Any type of drastic change may be cause for concern.
8 They've Stopped Considering You In Their Plans
Take note if your partner suddenly starts making plans without thinking about you, or seems to want to do things alone. As
therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle, "Whether it's short-term plans or plans for the future, if they intentionally (or even subconsciously) do not want you participating in their plans, it is a sign they may be cheating." 9 They've Been A Little More Emotional Lately
Has your partner aways been one to talk about their feelings, but now they're all clammed up? As Klapow says, someone who is cheating may become more emotionally distant, and talk less about their feelings.
At the same time, some people become more emotional when they're having an affair — just not in a way that benefits their relationship. "They talk about emotions, emotional insights, and their own emotions in a way that is very uncharacteristic," Klapow says. "They are distant from you, but emotionally very communicative."
10 They Seem To Be Doing Their Own Thing
When someone's invested in a relationship, they'll want to keep their partner in the loop. So take note if your partner suddenly comes and goes at all hours, without feeling the need to tell you where they're going. As Rappaport says, "Your partner no longer wants to talk to you or do things with you, and generally comes and goes with no explanation."
11 They've Changed How They Talk To You
"If your interactions with your partner become less romantic and flirty, it might be a cause for concern," Bennett says. "Maybe you used to get called 'babe' or 'honey' and now you get addressed more like a friend." And that can be a red flag.
But it doesn't necessarily guarantee something is wrong. Relationships go through phases, and so do people. If your partner is working out, or cutting their hair, or staying late at work, it may simply be a sign that they're making an extra effort in life. But if they're doing these things,
and you feel super weird about it, it may be time to talk to your partner about your concerns.