How Cheaters Communicate With The Person They're Having An Affair With, According To A New Survey

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
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How do you know someone's cheating? Well, the best way is probably to catch them in the act. It's not pretty, but catching someone cheating on you or talking to someone they're cheating with makes it a lot more difficult for them to lie their way out of it. But of course, they're going to be sneaky. So how do you find out if your partner's cheating? You don't need to go full MacGyver, but knowing how cheaters typically communicate with affair partners can help. And Ashley Madison, an extra-marital dating site, recently looked into just this issue. They surveyed almost 1,500 cheaters about how they communicated with their cheating partner. The number one response? Their good old cell phone.

And the number one way that cheaters communicate doesn't come as a huge surprise — because a lot of experts have warned that being shady with your phone is a sign that something is off. "One clue is that their cell phone will be glued to their hands and their text and call history will always be clean," relationship coach Chris Armstrong tells Bustle. "Same with erasing the cookies (web browsing history) from their computer... When someone is cheating on their partner, erasing all of the breadcrumbs becomes priority one, largely because cheaters have a guilty conscious and a nervous mind."

Yet, in some ways, it's also sort of an odd choice. “Given that discretion is paramount to our members, it's surprising that around half of respondents say they store their extramarital partner name in their phone, when they can just as easily communicate more discreetly within the Ashley Madison platform, reducing their digital footprint,” Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison, tells Bustle. I mean, it does seem like a good way to get caught.

But it wasn't the only way that cheaters got in contact. Here were the top five methods, according to Ashley Madison.

1Their Personal Cell Phone

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Cell phone was number one — and by a fair margin. Fifty six percent of people used their personal cell phone to hit up their affair partner, the same one that they use for everything else. It seems dangerous, as I definitely see messages pop up on people's phones all the time. That seems like an easy way to get caught to me. But still, it's convenient.

2Email

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Forty four percent of people used email to communicate, which surprised me a little because it seems weirdly... formal? But I guess you're far less likely to stumble into someone's email account, so it may just be a safer option than a cell phone.

3Dating Website

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Some people keep their communication limited to the way they met— and 20 percent used dating websites to keep chatting. In a way that makes sense, because your partner probably isn't looking for it. But if they do find it, then you're really going to have trouble explaining something like that away.

4Social Media

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For 18 percent of people, it's all about the sweet, sweet DMs. Well, you know what I mean. They use social media to communicate with someone that they're cheating with.

5A Secret Phone

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Last, but definitely not least. Rounding out the top five was a secret cell phone— which 11 percent of people used to cheat. You can see the safety of a separate phone that your partner doesn't even know about it, but it also seems like a lot of effort. And the sort of thing that would come back to bite you if it happened in a sitcom.

There's probably no good way to cover up cheating, because you know, it probably shouldn't be happening in the first place. But it's interesting to see how people are going about it and, with secret phones, how many people are really willing to go to extremes to cover their behavior.