It always starts with a feeling, which is why you’re reading this article hoping (maybe) you’ll find something that makes you realize you’re just being crazy or jealous. But to start, it’s important to look at yourself honestly. Are you the jealous type? Do your insecurities spill over into your relationship, making you hypersensitive to being left or cheated on? If so, take a deep breath and think logically before you start snooping around.
If your gut feeling lingers or there is a nagging suspicion that something isn’t right, however, it’s important to pay attention to your partner. The following behavior changes or reactions are signs they might be cheating.
1. They guard their technology
In the world of constant communication and technology, an affair is easier than ever to discover. There’s credit card evidence, computer history, and smartphone usage. If there’s an affair going on, there will be some sort of trail left on their device of choice.
Messages will most likely be deleted upon reading, but you’ll need to pay attention to the way they handle their electronics. Did you used to sit on the couch scrolling through Instagram together and now they constantly leave their phone in another room or keep it in their pocket on silent? Is their phone suddenly password protected or they start staying up late “working” on the computer? Small changes to their need for privacy may mean that they’re hiding something from you.
2. They’re emotionally distant
This is one change you’ll notice right away. If suddenly your partner seems distant and removed from you and your relationship, it may mean they’ve shifted their emotional investment to someone else. Relationships take a lot of work to maintain, so it will be difficult for them to be emotionally connected to two people at once and even harder to connect with someone whose trust they’re betraying. Notice if your partner avoids spending alone time with you, says less, and cuts you off from all of your regular warm and fuzzy interactions.
3. They’re suspicious of you
Do you feel like your once trusting partner is suddenly paranoid? If they’re suddenly pointing the finger at you, getting jealous over things that didn’t used to bother them, and acting suspicious of your behavior, then he or she may be trying to distract you from their own shortcomings. By focusing all their energy on your perceived failings there will be less time for you to focus on what they’re doing.
If you notice a change in your relationship’s level of trust, don’t take on the guilt — it may be a clever way that your partner is shielding himself or herself from getting caught.
4. They give you the blank stare
When someone is having an affair, he or she will constantly create lies. One or two lies can be easy to manage, but after some time your partner will have difficulty keeping up with their own stories and explanations of why they stayed at work late or had to run to the grocery store early in the morning. When you inquire over small details of their day or week there will be a delay (hence the blank stare) as they try to remember where they said they were going, what time it was, and so on.
There will be a lag time as they try to search through the catalog of lies to remember what they told you. That blank stare is all you’re looking for, especially if your partner prides themselves on their memory and is typically quick to respond to your inquiries.
5. They have shifting interests and behaviors
If your partner’s core behaviors shift dramatically and with no explanation, it may originate from the influence of their new partner. If your partner has always been a meat and potatoes person and suddenly becomes a vegetarian or went from couch potato to early morning run fanatic, you may question what instigated the drastic change. Maybe he or she is different in the sack, pays more attention to their appearance, or has picked up new lingo.
Whatever the case may be, be aware of unexplained changes to interests and behaviors. When your partner starts spending ample time with another person, that person’s qualities will rub off on them.
6. They pick fights
Have your days of peace and love suddenly turned into turmoil and unusual fighting? Your partner’s cheating may be the reason. They may feel a lot of guilt for betraying you with their unfaithful ways, thus causing them to erupt with emotion out of nowhere. Also, if they frequently bring up ending the relationship after one of their moody outbursts, this is another sign to watch for. They know they have someone else to fall back on, so the idea of leaving you behind may not seem so bad.