If you've ever suspected that your partner might be cheating on you, you know how miserable that feeling of paranoia can be. At first, it's a creeping dread. Your gut tells you something's off, and although you try and deny it, the fear lingers. Then there's the sinking feeling in your stomach as the suspicious behavior continues to add up. The question is, if you’re suspicious, what can you do about it? You'll have to face the problem eventually, but first, it's helpful to learn about how to know your partner is being unfaithful, so that you don't falsely accuse them of something they aren't doing. It's also helpful to know when you should be worried, and when you really don't have to be.
According to several relationship experts, there may be some pretty clear signs that indicate your partner might be cheating, or is headed in that direction. These are common patterns of behavior that might mean they could be keeping a secret, or starting to emotionally disconnect from the relationship. While these signs may be hard to face, try to remember that it might be better to be clued in on them, so that you can take back some control of the situation and decide how you want to move forward. Do you want to confront your partner, and try and work it out? Or call it quits before it goes on too long? Whatever path you decide to take, the first step is to confirm what you suspect by knowing what signs to look out for. Here’s what the experts say you should keep an eye on.
1. They act shady around their phone.
The mobile phone was an incredible invention. Can you believe people used to have to use pay phones? So many germs. But the downside of having mobile phones is that they can also make infidelity really easy and convenient, which is why, if your partner starts acting strange or secretive about their calls or text messages, Demetrius Figueroa, dating expert and relationship writer, said to play close attention.
“If they regularly] seem to avoid talking or texting on [their] phone near you, especially if [they] go as far as entering a different room to check [their] phone," then that might be red flag, Figueroa previously told Elite Daily.
2. They're distracted when they're with you.
When you and your partner are together, how present are they? Do they seem like they're engaged with you, or are they distracted and not willing to put in the energy? If it’s the latter, then Dr. Mara Tara Lee, clinical sexologist and founder of Eros Coaching, previously told Elite Daily that might be a sign their heart and energy is somewhere else. “[This] has to do with the amount of emotional energy that you put into the other person, and consequently denying or unable to give to your partner,” she shared.
3. The intimacy between you changes.
Has your partner lost interest in physical affection or PDA? These sudden changes may be a sign of a larger problem in the relationship — whether it's that your partner is getting their physical needs met elsewhere, or that they're starting to slowly detach themselves from the relationship.
"[If there's] a gradual or sudden lack of interest in intimacy coupled with no effort to discuss the change in frequency of sex," this could be a red flag, Dr. Gregory Kushnick, a licensed psychologist, previously told Elite Daily.
4. Their schedule changes.
Does your partner suddenly have to work late all the time? Are they unreachable during those extra hours? If the answer to those questions is yes, then it's time to pay close attention. As Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of the new book Training Your Love Intuition previously told Elite Daily, “[A partner who] suddenly has lots of late night meetings at work," or "runs errands at the last minute, and late at night," might be someone to keep an eye on.
Of course, this isn't a hard and fast rule. Your partner may very well be working late, and they're so uber-focused on their job that they're just unavailable. But take note if you see this pattern evolve alongside other, more obviously suspicious signs, like being secretive about their phone or lying about their whereabouts.
While it’s never easy to confront the truth if your partner is being unfaithful, if your gut is telling you something is wrong, then trust it. Take a closer look at how your partner is behaving and, if the pattern fits, then it might be time to start thinking about how you want to proceed. While you unfortunately can't make someone be faithful, you have total control over how you react to the situation. By looking for the signs and then being honest with yourself about what they might mean, you can take back some control of your own destiny. So, be strong, put yourself and your needs first, and I promise you: You will get through this.