Paranoid Your Partner Is Cheating? 9 Signs Your Investigating Has Crossed the Line

Having the slightest hunch your partner is cheating is enough to send anyone into a whirlwind of paranoia. And when that hunch turns into a full-blown investigation, you’re willing to do just about anything to catch your partner in the act. But how far is too far? There’s a fine line between having a suspicion based on indisputable facts, and one that’s no more than a fleeting insecurity. If you can relate to these nine signs, it’s likely your investigating has already crossed the line.

1. You have all their passwords

woman logging into facebook from phone

Do you have all your partner’s passwords? | Saed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

If this isn’t an invasion of privacy, we don’t know what is. Whichever way you managed to actually secure your partner’s passwords is irrelevant. Well, kind of. If your significant other voluntarily shared his or her passwords with you for some reason, then it may be acceptable for you to have them. After all, you can’t control the information that’s stored in your brain once it’s been told to you. On the other hand, if you sat on the computer trying to guess it by trying every combination of your partner’s favorite things, there’s a huge problem.

2. You check their email

Businessman checking email

Checking your partner’s email without permission is not OK. | iStock.com/Rawpixel

Going off of the previous point, checking your partner’s email without their knowledge is just asking for trouble. Let’s say you do find something suspicious. You’ll have to approach your significant other about it at some point, and how understanding do you think they’ll really be? Probably not all that understanding. Even if they did tell you their password, going into their email behind their back, is totally unacceptable.

3. You check their phone

young female worried by what she sees on cell phone

If you’re constantly checking your partner’s phone, you’re probably paranoid. | iStock.com/nandyphotos

While this may sound pretty similar to the former point, it’s worth mentioning. Given that our world typically revolves around staying connected via cellphone, there could be an awful lot going on right inside that little device your partner carries around all day. And, you must find out!

Don’t, though. Just because your partner got up from dinner to use the restroom doesn’t give you the right to snoop through their phone. A much more logical move, however, might be to calmly ask him who Heather is when he returns. But hey, on the bright side, if they’re not adamantly guarding their gadgets, maybe it’s a sign they’re not cheating at all.

4. You make your partner get permission from you

couple having a conversation

Your partner shouldn’t need to ask you permission. | iStock.com/endopack

Having a conversation with your partner about what you want to do over the weekend is fairly normal. You like each other, so it stands to reason you want to spend time together. But at no point should your significant other feel obligated to get permission before doing something on his or her own (unless it involves something they know would upset you). Just because you suspect they’re cheating doesn’t mean you can require them to divulge into every detail of their whereabouts.

When you blame your own insecurities on your partner, you’ll unknowingly create a wedge in the relationship. Thought Catalog says this type of behavior means “All activities at home — even the mundane such as reading books or watching TV — must be negotiated and compromised.” Well, it doesn’t really work like that.

5. You check their browser history

Tired overworked freelancer working with a laptop

You may not like what you find. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Beyond checking emails, text messages, and call history, snooping through your partner’s browsing history is opening a whole other can of worms. As opposed to channels that distinctly relay communication between two or more parties, seeing what types of websites your partner’s been visiting will do nothing more than spark suspicion and ignite rage.

Right alongside jealousy, paranoia is one of the most dangerous emotions, so tread lightly before letting yourself get carried away. And remember, as The Huffington Post points out, there are things to consider before venturing onto this slippery slope.

6. You always assume the worst

Couple fight hard

Paranoid people always only assume the worst. | iStock.com/oneinchpunch

Assuming the worst of others, isn’t the best quality. Whatever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? Without even taking a breath to consider the facts, you immediately jump to all the “what if” questions. But this kind of behavior isn’t really helping the situation at all. You’re only continuing to fog your brain with unpleasant possibilities of what you think may be going on.

Consider the alternative

Men proposing his girlfirend

Maybe your partner’s being secretive because they’ve been trying to keep a pending proposal under wraps. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Before you allow your mind to run off to the worst case scenario, consider alternatives to your not-so-well-thought-out theory. For instance, say you’ve come across a conversation between your partner and their friend, whom you’ve always been a bit weary of. You assume your partner is cheating because the two are discussing jewelry. Your significant other must be buying her gifts, there’s simply no other logical possibility, right? Wrong. What if your partner’s asking for advice on which style of engagement ring you’d like best? Just a little something to mull over.

7. You casually drive by their favorite places to see if they’re there

woman driving

Dropping by their favorite spots isn’t cool. | iStock.com/AdrianHancu

Don’t fool yourself into thinking this kind of behavior is normal. Going up and down your town’s strip of local bars isn’t just clingy, it’s crazy. Driving by spots you think your partner may be will only make you look like the significant other who’s doesn’t trust their partner. At best, your partner’s friends will gently hint at the notion that a breakup between the two of you is long overdue. There’s a fine line between concerned citizen and overly paranoid, and this kind of behavior would be the latter.

8. You have a cheating app

young woman holding cellphone in hands on the street in summer

You shouldn’t have to resort to a cheating app. | iStock.com/fizkes

Some people have apps to help them cheat without getting caught. And their counterparts? Well, they have their ways, too. According to The Daily Dot, there’s a whole host of apps specifically geared toward catching cheaters. Besides this move being seriously risky, it also borders on privacy invasion.

9. You’ve hired a private investigator

man talking on phone with suspicious partner in background

You think there’s no other way to catch your partner in the act, so you hire an investigator. | iStock.com

The former plan isn’t enough for some people, so they hire a private investigator. However, seeking your own personal spy could land you in uncharted territory. If you find something out you didn’t want to know, you’ll be forced to come clean to your partner about their untrustworthy behavior (never mind your own). If your relationship has reached this point, it’s probably time to call it quits, anyway. You clearly don’t fully trust your partner, and that’s no way to live.