The 5 Most Common Ways Cheaters Get Caught By Their Partners

Ashley Batz/Bustle

How do cheaters get caught? It's a tough subject to think about, especially if you're in a relationship. You want to be aware of the signs of cheating — but you also don't want to overthink everything and drive yourself to snoop. But a new survey of 1,000 people on IllicitEncounters.com, a dating site for extra marital affairs, found out a lot about cheating and getting caught.

The survey found out that most people get caught cheating during their third affair and it takes an average of four years for adultery to be exposed — most commonly through text messages. Only 11 percent were caught during their first affair, and 12 percent were caught during their second, which is really mind-boggling, especially when you imagine that most people who were caught would swear it "never happened before". In reality, 86 percent of people who cheat when they're married also cheated before they ever tied the knot.

"It is hard to hide a double life," a representative for IllicitEncounters.com tells Bustle. "[It's the] reason why stray phone messages and emails are the ways most cheaters are caught out is because that is the way we communicate these days. The days of love letters are long over!"

But cheating doesn't necessarily spell out the end of a relationship. The survey found that getting caught only leads to the end of a relationship in 15 percent of cases, so 85 percent of couples work through a partner being unfaithful. Finally, 63 percent of adulterers have been caught at some point — so if you're fooling around, chances are good that it's going to come out, one way or another.

So how are people most commonly getting caught having an affair? Here's what the survey found.

1Text Messages: 39%

Andres Zaeh for Bustle

The most common way people get caught didn't come as a massive surprise — nearly two-fifths of those who were cheating were caught because of their phones. If you're going to be having an affair for any length of time, the phone has to be your trouble zone. Either you're on it all the time or you're constantly hiding it — either way, it's easy for people to get suspicious.

2Emails: 22%

Andres Zaeh for Bustle

There was a big drop to second place, but over one in five people were caught because of their emails. Again, you have all the same problems that you do with texts — checking them a lot, hiding them and being shady. And, of course, it's so easy to leave your email open accidentally and have something pop up when you least expect it.

3Getting Caught Lying About Whereabouts: 20%

Andres Zaeh for Bustle

Twenty percent of people were caught in a lie about where they were. Lying about who you're seeing or where you are only works if everything checks out. If you're doing it on the reg, it has to be pretty easy to slip.

4Being Spotted Out: 14%

Andres Zaeh for Bustle

Yikes. This one has to hurt, especially if it's the partner who's doing the spotting. Fourteen percent — a surprisingly high number — were straight-up caught IRL. Not with their pants around their ankles (though that probably happens too, just hopefully not very much) but out and about, which still hurts.

5Getting Informed By A Friend: 5%

Andres Zaeh for Bustle

This is either the best way to find out or the worst. Five percent of people were told by a friend of their partner. On one hand, it's good that those friends had the moral fiber to do the right thing. On the other, feeling like everyone else knew before you can be really brutal.

There's no good way to catch your spouse cheating or to realize that someone you love hasn't been faithful, but it's interesting that most of the time it comes down to technology.