13 Signs of a Cheating Partner

March 23, 2017
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

Most of us have been cheated on at some point or another. In fact, up to around 60% of married couples have engaged in cheating. This is an alarming statistic but rings true if you suspect your partner is cheating on you. If you have a tingling feeling they are being unfaithful, here is a checklist of thirteen signs they are cheating on you.

They Grow Distant

You know this feeling. Over time, and sometimes suddenly, your partner begins to distance themselves from you and it feels as if they are punishing you with the cold shoulder for no reason. They no longer make an effort to show an interest in your likes and hobbies and won't go out of their way to spend time with you. Cheaters do this as a way to remain mysterious, especially in regards to their cheating, but instead, will leave you questioning. They would rather have you feel questioning than certain they are being unfaithful. Not only this, they are growing distance because in their minds they have already moved on to someone else.

They Buy You Gifts

Did they buy you a batch of gifts for seemingly no reason and out of nowhere? Is your birthday months away? If your partner has never had the habit of buying you gifts randomly, then they're probably overcompensating and masking their guilt. Cheaters who buy gifts think you are feeling unhappy with them and will use these attempts to win you over, especially if you suspect them. One gift in particular that will raise a red flag is if they buy you spa packages or tickets to a game. These gifts are coded as, “Please leave the house. I plan on having an uninvited guest while you are away.”

They Accuse You of Cheating

Guilty cheaters will almost always project their guilt on others. They want to justify their cheating by trying to catch you doing it first. If they suddenly start accusing you of cheating, chances are they're probably the ones actually doing it. Cheaters use this tactic as a means of putting up a front to show that they won't tolerate cheating, indirectly alluding to dissuade you from thinking they are cheating.

Sudden Need for Privacy

In the past, if you and your partner have always been open with each other and then suddenly they have a strange and strict need for privacy, this could be a telltale sign they are hiding their infidelity from you. If your partner deletes their internet browser history or setting a passcode on their phone, when in the past, they did not care for these things, then they are keeping a secret from you. In the past, they have always bugged you about accompanying them to shop at the mall, by suddenly they will make strange excuses to drive to place alone, most likely to meet up with their lover.

Unaccounted Spending

This sign is trickier to spot, especially if you don't have a joint account or track your spending. If you do, check the payment statements to see the places they have been to “alone.” Some of these places might contradict places they told you they were going. If you see payments for fancy dinners for two or two tickets for entertainment, then this is a huge red flag. If you confront them about these new spending habits, they will mostly be caught in a lie that they can't find a way to explain or get out of.

Time Spent Together

This is different than from when they distance themselves from you. They will spend less time together with you, but will still have meaningful conversations during these times. They won't necessarily give you the cold shoulder, but they will be going out of their way to go spend time with their second honey. If your partner suddenly makes more hangout appointments with their group of friends, then they're most likely lying as no one has that much free time in a week to spend with friends. Everyone has their own lives and same goes for their friends. Spending more time than usual with them is a great indicator that they're actually going out to see that someone else.


Sudden tension in the air every time you spend time together with your partner is your gut telling you that something is not right. Your partner feels tense because they can expect to be confronted about their cheating at any given moment. Their tension makes you feel just as tense. These moods will leave you wondering what is going on and if they have something to hide.

Won't Discuss Topics Related to Cheating

This sign goes hand in hand with the tension. Before, you and your partner could probably laugh off topics related to cheating but out of nowhere they will give you a nervous laugh or just plain out refuse to discuss the topic. Why, because they're feeling guilty? Most likely. Cheaters will always want to avoid this topic for they fear they might slip up about their infidelity. They will almost always refuse to watch any movies or tv shows related to cheating as well.

New Hobbies

Partners who suddenly pick up new hobbies and interests are probably mimicking the person they are cheating on you with. In psychology, people imitate those they are romantically interested in and your unfaithful partner is no different. This sign is an easy one to spot, especially if your partner has never had a knack for sports, art, or knitting and then one day they do.


Partners who suddenly become very punctual or place importance on time mean they are trying to cover up their trail by saying, “I got here on the time we set. There's no way I have time to cheat on you.” In reality, they are dancing around these set times to juggle both you and their cheating.

New Home Ritual

If your partner has always been a stickler for cleaning up the house and doing chores, but one day you come home to find they haven't done any of them, then they have probably spent that time doing naughty things with someone else. Look out for new rituals like coming home from “work” and jumping straight into the shower to wash their guilt away.

No Longer Jealous

This sign is one of the most suspicious ones. If your partner loses their jealous side and starts to make recommendations about people being your type, then they're trying to get you to cheat in a way to compensate for their cheating. They may suggest the idea of an open relationship and ask you your opinions on who you think is hot or not. Encouraging an open relationship is an easy way to cover up their past cheating and normalize it.

Mood Swings

Not everyone suffers from mood swings, but when cheating partners tend to always be irritated and happy at the same time. If you feel like you're walking on eggshells around your partner, then you might be stepping on a landmine if you ask them about anything related to the topic of cheating. They also might be looking for ways to start frequent arguments and validate their reasons for cheating on you.

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