How do I know for sure that my partner is cheating?
Typically, if you're already asking yourself this question, you have some suspicions that you might be a victim of infidelity. Most psychologists agree that if your gut tells you something is amiss, generally something is, cheating or otherwise. The signs of infidelity look different in every relationship, but in general, there are some red flags to look out for. If any of these signs are prevalent in your relationship, you might want to gather some hard evidence before confronting your significant other about their behavior.
Red Flags for infidelity include:
They Are Suddenly More Private With Their Technology and Their Time.
Every relationship is different with how open partners are about their privacy. Some partners know everything on each other's schedule, some share computers and borrow each other's phones. The thing to look out for here is a change in the amount of privacy they need. All of a sudden, there's a password on their phone. You find out after the fact that they went out with their buddies after work and didn't let you know. Suddenly, their laptop is off limits. Even if they have reasonable sounding excuses, they forgot to let you know of a schedule change or they need their laptop for confidential work, it's still worth taking note of.
Noticing change in behaviors when in your presence is also a big red flag. Do they hide their phone screen from you, hurriedly click off of social media when you walk by, delete their browsing history or start taking phone calls outside? Any increase in these types of behavior can be an indicator of cheating.
They Start Arguments More Than They Used To
Cheating is stressful, and that often leads to sudden personality changes. One noticeable personality change is starting more arguments or bickering more than they used to. It is pretty common for the partner who is cheating to suddenly become more angry, negative or critical. This is their way of justifying their behavior to themselves. Also, often the stress of the situation simply starts to wear them down. Constantly having to lie and hide takes its toll on people, especially if they do still care for you and feel guilty about their infidelity. People deal with this stress by lashing out, becoming more hostile and irritable in general.
Their Interests and Idiosyncrasies Change
Your partner may change how they look, how they dress, what they read about or movies they watch. They might even change how they talk. There have been reports of people finding out about their partner's infidelity because they suddenly start using catchphrases or certain curse words out of nowhere. When someone becomes infatuated with another person, their natural inclination is to learn more about that person's interests and copy their looks, style and even their language. The other person will eventually start rubbing off on them. Think about when you first fell in love and the rapid changes to your hobbies and pop culture tastes it caused. These unconscious changes will become apparent, too, in a cheating spouse.
Their Finances Change
All of a sudden, you notice unexplainable transactions. Maybe they're spending more at restaurants (a bill large enough for two people at dinner, not just a night out with the guys), or there are transactions for hotels, flower shops, or jewelry stores. It's more difficult to prove these things if you keep separate bank accounts, but you can still watch for small clues. If your once frugal partner is suddenly wearing expensive clothes or jewelry, they might be spending more lavishly to show-off for someone else, or these might be gifts from that person.
More often than not, partners in an external relationships begin to lack the need for intimacy in their existing relationship. Even things like hand-holding, kissing or physical touches can wane. Sexual relations generally either decrease for the same reason or every so often, they'll increase exponentially because the cheating partner feels guilty. Sometimes a cheating partner will even bring any new tricks or toys they've tried with their new fling into the bedroom with you. Any drastic change either way should be a key sign.
Your significant other could display all of these signs and not be cheating, but they are still indicators that something is amiss about your relationship. You always have the option of talking openly with your partner but it is best to gather some hard evidence before confronting them and accusing them of cheating on you. The best way is to employ an impartial third party who isn't emotionally tied to you, your partner or the relationship. They should be able to provide you at least with the peace of mind to know if your suspicions are founded or not, and give you the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with your partner about the state of your relationship going forward.