These Are The 3 Most Common Telltale Signs Of A Cheater, According To Ashley Madison

It can be tough to know for sure if your partner is having an affair, or seeking out secretive hookups, because people often take great pains to cover their tracks and keep these things on the down low. But there may be a few telltale signs of of a cheater, according to affair website, Ashley Madison, that can serve as red flags — if your suspicions are raised. Because that’s usually how it starts.

"Cheating isn’t necessarily obvious," Dr. Tammy Nelson, Ashley Madison's resident relationship and sex expert, and author of The New Monogamy, tells Bustle. But it's common to get that “gut feeling," well before you notice anything obvious.

It's important to trust your intuition, but that doesn't mean you should jump to conclusions. "You might suspect your partner if they exhibit any of these signs, but ask them first," Dr. Nelson says. And from there, continue trusting your gut. "If their answers don’t explain the behaviors in a way that satisfies your suspicions, make an appointment with a couples therapist who specializes in affairs, and let the therapist intervene," Dr. Nelson says. That's the healthiest way to go about it.

"Don’t accuse your partner if you aren’t absolutely sure," Dr. Nelson says. "Sometimes arguing about infidelity when there isn’t any can be just as damaging as an actual affair," as it divides a couple and causes unnecessary stress. If you notice these telltale signs of cheating, ask your partner about them, and go from there.

1They're Distracted By Their Phone, Especially Late At Night

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First things first, not all distracted people are cheating. If your partner doesn't catch something you said, text back right away, or if they seem lost in thought, they "might be busy at work, worried about money, or thinking about what to buy you for your birthday," Dr. Nelson says. Totally innocent stuff.

But if their distraction centers around their phone, especially, "if they are on their phone late at night, texting or emailing, they might be cheating," Dr. Nelson says. "Ashley Madison member data shows that 10 p.m. is the most popular time of day for Americans to send messages in hopes of starting an affair."

So if your partner has a new habit of scrolling through their phone late at night — and if they seem super distracted while doing so — it may be a sign.

2They Keep Getting Stuck At Work

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It's important not to jump to conclusions when someone's work schedule changes. If your partner has to stay late at the office, or fly out of town on a business trip, it doesn't mean they're cheating. But if their work schedule seems odd, or they suddenly want to go out at night and don't invite you along, it may be a sign.

As Dr. Nelson says, "Another sign of a cheater is the infamous 'I’m working late' excuse. An Ashley Madison member poll revealed 32 percent of men told their spouse they were working late when they were really cheating and 29 percent of women said they were out with friends when they were really cheating."

3Their Spending Habits Have Changed

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If you don't share a bank account with your partner, this sign may be harder to pick up on. But if you do, and your partner is cheating, you might notice unexplained credit card charges — such as lunch bills when they said they were eating at work, or Uber fairs when they said they were at home.

"The third sign that your partner might be cheating? Unexplained charges on their credit card," Dr. Nelson says. "Watch out for unexplained hotel bills. Eighty percent of Ashley Madison members polled said they cheated at hotels."

You might also notice that your partner seems to be running out of cash at a faster rate, that they're going out more, or buying new clothes. While people are obviously allowed to treat themselves — and buy food without informing their partners — unexplained spending should raise a red flag.

All on their own, these signs certainly don't guarantee someone is cheating. But they can point in that direction, according to Ashley Madison. If you spot these telltale signs and are worried, ask your partner about them in a non-accusatory way. And if you can, see a couples therapist to figure out what to do next.