How to Recognize Signs of Cheating Men

Three Parts:Recognizing Behavioral Signs of InfidelityRecognizing Physical Signs of InfidelityActing on Your Suspicions

Most romantic relationships are not impacted by cheating. In any given year, there is only a 6% chance that you are being cheated on.[1] Over the course of a long-term relationship, the likelihood is somewhere between 10-25%.[2] However, men are more likely to cheat than women.[3] And the consequences can be devastating: people who are cheated on can feel betrayed, traumatized, and might be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.[4] Pay attention to behavioral and physical changes in your partner to determine whether he might be engaging in an affair.

Part 1
Recognizing Behavioral Signs of Infidelity

  1. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 1
    Trust your instincts. If you think that he is cheating, do not convince yourself that you are being paranoid. You do not have to act hastily, and you should not confront a possible cheater without more evidence than your instincts. However, be on the alert: you might be noticing subtle behavioral changes that indicate your partner is cheating.[5]
  2. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 2
    Consider the overall strength of your relationship. It is true that some men are simply unable to remain monogamous. However, the majority of cheaters seek out an affair because of an underlying issue in their primary relationship.[6] Be honest with yourself about how healthy your relationship is. This is not to say that you deserve to be cheated on, but rather that you should think carefully about whether your relationship is a happy one.[7] Common relationship issues that lead to cheating include:
    • Mismatched libidos
    • Strikingly different personalities and values
    • Chronic fights, miscommunications, and bickering
    • A lack of mutual kindness and support in the relationship
  3. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 3
    Notice changes to his technological security. If he is trying to keep an adulterous relationship secret, he might begin to keep more careful track of his phone, tablet, or laptop. He might also increase his password security. If your partner used to leave these items lying around but now guards them closely, that is a huge red flag.[8]
    • Do not try to break into these devices. It might be tempting, but such an act might cause a rift with your partner if he is innocent. If you seek a divorce, there might also be legal repercussions to hacking into his devices.
  4. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 4
    Pay attention to sudden unexplained changes in his schedule. If he is cheating, he will need to make time to pursue that adulterous relationship in addition to his work responsibilities and other commitments. Watch out for sudden changes in his schedule that do not make sense to you and that break usual patterns.[9] These changes might include:
    • Working late, even during a calm time of the year
    • Being unavailable on weekends without a good reason
    • Leaving town for conferences that he never had to attend before[10]
  5. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 5
    Listen to your friends. Sometimes your friends and colleagues might pick up signs of your partner's infidelity before you do. If your friends avoid discussing your partner, seem embarrassed, act suddenly annoyed with your partner, or tell you explicitly that they are suspicious of your partner, be sure that you pay attention. They might be a more objective judge of your partner's behavior than you and might notice changes in your relationship that you are in denial about.[11]
    • You can also directly ask your friends for their opinion if you begin to notice signs of cheating in your partner.
  6. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 6
    Pay attention to his friends' behavior. If your partner is cheating, his friends might be aware of the affair. If your partner's friends begin ignoring you or treating you differently, it might be because they do not want to reveal the secret.[12]
    • A majority of cheating men spend a lot of time with a friend who has cheated. If your partner's friends are known cheaters, this is also a red flag that cheating might be accepted by your partner.[13]
  7. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 7
    Watch out for signs of guilt, including gifts. About 2/3 of cheating men report feeling guilty about their affair.[14] Men are more likely to feel guilty about sexual affairs than about strictly emotional affairs.[15] These signs of guilt might manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including:
    • Buying you random gifts
    • Apologizing for unrelated things
    • Acting defensive, even when you don't accuse him of anything
    • Accusing you of cheating
  8. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 8
    Be wary of frequent mentions of new coworkers. About 40% of cheating men met their affair partner at work. If your partner talks incessantly about a new coworker--especially if that coworker is a member of the sex your partner is attracted to--you should be especially careful.[16]
    • Work can create opportunities for cheating as well, such as conference travel, work dinners, and office parties. Be particularly on your toes during events outside of normal work hours.[17]

Part 2
Recognizing Physical Signs of Infidelity

  1. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 9
    Notice if he is still interested in the physical aspects of the relationship. If you are having sex much less frequently or if he doesn't seem interested in sex, this is a warning sign that he might be getting sex elsewhere.[18] He might not be interested in sex with you because he feels guilty or because he is being fully satisfied outside of your relationship.
    • Pay attention not only to sexual frequency but also to casual signs of physical intimacy, such as holding hands, kissing, cuddling, or stroking your hair.[19]
    • Other possible reasons for a sudden decline in sexual frequency include depression, physical ailments, age, or stress.[20]
  2. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 10
    Notice changes to his clothing. Do you notice any lipstick stains that you didn't cause? Do you smell a scent that does not match your own perfume or cologne? Do his clothes smell like a laundry detergent different from your own? Has he recently upgraded his wardrobe? These are all signs that he might be engaged in an affair.[21]
  3. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 11
    Be aware of improvements in his grooming. If your partner changes his hairstyle, hair color, fitness routine, cologne, or facial hair without discussing it with you, it is possible that he is doing it for the sake of somebody else. These are not solid signs in and of themselves, but might be indications of cheating if you notice other odd behaviors as well.[22]
  4. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 12
    Be on the lookout for evidence of extra spending. Unexplained credit card receipts, new clothing, or gift-like objects are all signs of an affair. If your partner is cheating, you might find receipts for hotel rooms, restaurants, or gifts that do not match with your partner's usual patterns. You might also notice that your partner has new clothing items or nice gifts that you haven't seen before.[23]

Part 3
Acting on Your Suspicions

  1. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 13
    Keep your cool. If you appear too suspicious before you have proof of infidelity, your partner might begin covering his tracks better. Before confronting your partner, you will have to gather more solid information.[24] A majority of men who cheat lie when confronted with an accusation. Evidence will be the only way to ascertain the truth in this case.[25]
    • Do not act skittish or strange around your partner.
    • Refrain from acting passive-aggressive or hostile.
    • Do not grill him about his whereabouts.
  2. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 14
    Keep a hidden journal of your suspicions. Whenever you come upon a sign of cheating, write down the specifics in a private diary. Make sure this diary is well hidden and locked away. This journal could be an invaluable source of evidence should you decide you confront your partner. If you are married and are seeking a divorce, having the specific dates of suspected infidelity might also be to your advantage. Write down things like:[26]
    • Dates when he came home late
    • Dates and times of bizarre phone calls
    • The friends/family/coworkers your partner claims to be meeting
  3. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 15
    Monitor your bills closely. Installing full-blown surveillance equipment can sometimes lead to legal trouble. However, you are absolutely within your rights to keep close tabs on bills you share with your partner. Pay special attention to credit card statements and your phone bill. Take note of any odd expenses. These could include:[27]
    • Plane, bus, or train tickets you didn't know about
    • Higher than usual gas expenses
    • Bills for restaurants and jewelry stores
    • Repeated phone calls to or from the same number, especially at odd hours
    • Credit card transactions in unexpected cities
  4. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 16
    Check the browser histories of shared computers. Many men use digital or internet-based tools to engage in online affairs or to find potential affair partners. Do not hack your partner's computer, but do check your browser history if you share computers. Pay attention to frequent visits to social media sites or dating sites. Also beware if your browser history has been frequently cleared: that means your partner might be hiding his web history.[28]
  5. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 17
    Search dating websites for your partner's profile. Some men who are frequent cheaters use dating websites in order to find sexual partners. There are even several websites that are designed for cheating men specifically. Consider browsing these sites for profiles that match your partner's. If you find your partner on a dating site, that is very good evidence that an affair already has--or soon will--take place.[29]
  6. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 18
    Consider whether the relationship is worth it. If your partner is definitely cheating or simply acting bizarre, you might want to ask yourself whether the relationship is something you want to preserve. Ask yourself whether you can imagine staying with him, whether or not he has cheated. If you cannot imagine remaining with him, you might want to break up, even if you are not positively certain whether he has cheated on you.[30]
  7. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 19
    Consider hiring a private detective. This step is not necessary or recommended for everybody. However, if you are in a committed relationship and if there is a lot at stake, you might want to hire a private detective. For example, if your money, home, or custody of children are on the line, it might be worth the expense and hassle of hiring an expert.
  8. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 20
    Decide what to do with evidence of an affair. If you do find good evidence that he is cheating, you have several options about what to do next. What you do next depends on how serious your relationship was, how entwined your lives are, and how happy you were in the relationship. You might:
    • Choose to confront him with the evidence. See whether he might have explanations for the evidence and whether he feels guilty about his actions.
    • Break up with him. This might be difficult, but it could be worthwhile if you don't think the relationship is worth repairing. Protect yourself and stand up for your own needs.
    • Bring up the possibility of reconciliation. Some relationships can be repaired after an affair with therapy, the rebuilding of trust, and honest communication. You have to decide for yourself whether the relationship is worth trying to save.
  9. Image titled Recognize Signs of Cheating Men Step 21
    Be good to yourself. No matter what happens, do not blame yourself for his actions. Seek out your friends and family members to support you during this difficult time. Consider treating yourself to something special, such as a trip with a sibling or good friend. Remember that you deserve happiness.


  • If neither you nor your partner is happy in a monogamous relationship, you might consider ways of opening your relationship to other sexual partners. Be sure that everyone is clear about their expectations and limitations if you seek this arrangement.[31]
  • Trust him unless he has given you a reason not to trust him (e.g. unexplainable periods of absence).
  • Do not blame yourself or give in to low self-esteem. Remember that most men who cheat do not think their affair partners are more attractive than their primary partners.[32] You could not have prevented his straying by being more physically attractive or attentive.


  • Be prepared for the possibility that you are wrong in your suspicions. Perhaps there are other underlying issues in your relationship that are leading to his odd behaviors.
  • If you are reasonably sure that your partner has cheated, you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases as soon as possible. It is possible that you were exposed to an infection--especially if you and your partner do not use protection during sex.
  • Never do anything desperate, controlling, or illegal to pursue your suspicions of cheating. Do not break into his devices or home, and do not install surveillance equipment. Be above-board in your investigations.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (29)

Article Info

Categories: Cheating in Relationships