If you’re already thinking that cheating might be present in your relationship, chances are it is. While there’s no clinical diagnosis that can uncover whether or not your partner is cheating, there are several signs that could mean infidelity is there.
Protectiveness with Electronic Devices
Partners engaged in infidelity often cheat over the internet, either on their computer or phone. If your partner is overly protective of their electronic devices or defensive about spending time on them, that might mean they don’t want you to know who they’re talking to.
Periods of Unreachability
There might be times when your partner simply disappears and you have no clue where they are. That might mean that they are with someone they don’t want to tell you about.
Different Levels of Sexual Interaction
While you might think that a person who is cheating would have less time for sex with their partner, this isn’t necessarily true. For some people, cheating actually causes those to feel sexually energized and suddenly start to seek out more frequent or different kinds of sex with the person they’re cheating on.
Lying is much harder than many people understand, especially constant lying to a committed partner. While liars will do their best to repeat the same story each time they lie, they usually start to give inconsistent information when under stress or if asked the same questions in a way they’re not used to.
If your partner gives conflicting explanations for where they are, what they’re doing, or how well they know someone who you suspect they’re cheating with, this could be because they’re having difficulty keeping their lies consistent.
If working late is suddenly a new normal even though your partner’s job doesn’t really require it, they may not be telling the truth about where they are.
The friends of the cheating partner usually know about it before you do. If their attitudes and behavior change towards you, and you have no explanation as to why, it could be because they know what’s really going on.
Sudden changes in spending habits can be a sign that there might be something else going on with your partner. A big red flag, for example, is unexplained large cash withdrawals.
False Accusations of Cheating
Projection happens when a person who has done something wrong starts to accuse others of the same bad behavior and/or imagine everybody else is doing it, too. While mental health professionals disagree about how projection works, they do agree it exists. Projection is what makes a cheating partner more likely to accuse you or someone else of cheating.
It’s also possible for your partner to falsely accuse you of cheating because they’re just feeling jealous or insecure and not projecting. Unfortunately, that’s still a bad sign, because this kind of jealousy and insecurity is common in people who cheat. In interviews, some people reported cheating on their partners as revenge, because they believed their partners had cheated first.
Cognitive dissonance is what happens when someone believes two or more things that can’t be true at the same time. In the case of someone cheating on their partner, those mutually exclusive beliefs are that cheating hurts their partners and that they are kind people who wouldn’t hurt their partners.
People have a natural urge to fix their cognitive dissonance by rationalizing their opposing beliefs. This process is called dissonance reduction.