8 Surprising Signs Your Partner May Be Cheating, According To Experts
If you they have been acting fishy lately, you might start looking for signs that your partner is cheating. Even if you trust them, something small like noticing that they've recently added a password to their phone or started spending a lot of time with a new coworker might cause you to worry. Little changes like this could definitely turn out to be totally innocuous, but just in case they're not, knowing what might pose a problem could give you some peace of mind. According to experts, picking up on these signs and then bringing them up with your partner is key to preventing mistrust.
Communication with your partner is key to keeping your relationship strong, family and relationship psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish, tells Bustle. "Talking is the glue that holds people together," she says. When partners stop communicating clearly and often in their relationship, their emotional connection could begin to weaken, Dr. Walfish says. If you notice a change in your partner that makes you suspect that they're being unfaithful, don't just snoop around until you find something definitive. Instead, confront them calmly and communicate what your concerns are so that the two of you can work through any confusion as a team.
It's important to note, though, that just because you begin to notice your partner changing their appearance or picking up new interests suddenly does not mean that they're being unfaithful. They could just be interested in something new or be ready for a physical change. If you recognize some of these signs in your partner, simply ask them about them. Opening up communication like this could help you understand what's really going on.
Here are some subtle signs that your partner might be cheating, according to experts.
1. They're Changing Their Appearance
Beginning to care about their appearance more than usual might be a sign that your partner is being unfaithful, Dr. Caroline Madden, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in infidelity, tells Bustle. Is your partner suddenly buying brand new underwear or working out more? This could possibly suggest that they're looking to be attractive to other people. That being said, they could definitely be doing these things simply as acts of self-care (or just to feel attractive to you).
2. They're Less Interested In Sex Than Usual
If you partner usually initiated sex throughout your relationship and has recently stopped, this could point to cheating, Dr. Madden says. While nobody ever owes their partner sex, if one person needs more sexual attention than the other, it can be frustrating for them to consistently ask to get intimate and then be regularly shut down, she says. Suddenly stopping this kind of behavior could potentially mean that they have found sex or emotional intimacy outside the relationship. Alternatively though, it could be totally innocent. It's absolutely normal for there to be lulls in your sex life with your partner, especially if both of you are busy and tired. Taking a new medication or dealing with a lot of stress could also contribute to less desire to have sex, so do not immediately jump to conclusions. Instead, talk to your partner about what's up.
3. They Have Sudden New Interests
"Part of falling in love with someone is learning what they like," Dr. Madden says. When beginning a new relationship, people will find out what their new love interest is passionate about and learn all about it, she says. "It becomes fascinating and interesting because they find their new lover fascinating and interesting." A new romantic partner also opens up different parts of someone's personality, Dr. Madden says, so if your partner has taken up a new hobby or become obsessed with a new TV show, this might be one subtle sign that they've met someone new.
4. They Accuse You Of Cheating
"This is a favorite tactic of cheaters," Dr. Madden says. If your partner accuses you of being unfaithful, you might get worried that something innocent and small (like getting close to a new work friend) might look like cheating to them, and so you don't have time to look at what your partner is doing. "This is usually met with additional statements of how important fidelity is so that they look like someone beyond reproach," she says.
5. They Tell White Lies
Catching your partner in a white lie might seem like nothing to worry about. But being untruthful about something really insignificant can turn out to be a sign of cheating, Adele Alligood, a relationship expert and couples therapist for EndThrive, tells Bustle. For example, maybe you ask where your partner has been and they say they were at work, but you later you find out that they stopped by a friends house instead. "You're fine with them seeing their friends, so you wonder why they'd lie about something so silly," she says. "Here's what it comes down to: If they're being secretive about their whereabouts, then it's because they have something to hide."
6. They Aren't Open About Your Relationship
Watching how your partner acts in a new social setting can offer up some major clues as to whether they're being faithful. For example, when meeting new people, does your partner introduce their friend as their friend, their cousin as their cousin, and you with just your name — not as their partner? "It's normal in a new relationship to keep your personal business private," Alligood says. "But as things progress, they should be comfortable sharing your relationship openly and honestly." If you feel like your partner is keeping you hidden from the other people in their life, then it could be because they're seeing someone else.
7. They Have Friends Who Cheat
"We've all heard the saying, 'You are the people you hang around.' And to a large extent, it's true," Alligood says. "So when your partner is friends with another cheater, then there's a higher chance they'll pick up that behavior." Regular exposure to something — no matter how wrong it is — can desensitize someone over time, so eventually they might start justifying cheating as something pretty harmless. "Plus, a cheating buddy can be influential in showing your partner how to hide their infidelity," Alligood says. All that being said, just because your partner's friend cheated doesn't guarantee that they will, especially if your partner is the one encouraging their buddy to stop that kind of behavior.
8. They Are Always Running Late
Some people just seem to be perpetually late, no matter how much time they give themselves to get ready. But if your usually punctual partner has been forgetful, inattentive, and constantly running late recently, this could be a sign that they're being unfaithful. 'This may signal your partner’s mind is elsewhere," Deanna Fernandez, MA, EdM, MHC, a NYC-based therapist, tells Bustle.
If you notice changes in your partner, take the time to sit down together and have a calm conversation about what's going on. It could be that they're just having a rough time at work or are feeling insecure, but if they are being unfaithful, giving them the space to open up might lead them to come clean.