Signs of Infidelity

Crystal Schwanke
Holding hands behind her back

Are you looking for signs of infidelity in your spouse or significant other? While there are many signs you can point to that may indicate his/her faithlessness, it is good to be wary of the old adage: be careful what you look for, you just might find it.

Identifying Signs of Infidelity

Signs of infidelity are numerous and while men and women typically handle deception in different ways, they share many of the same suspicious behavior or activities when engaged in unfaithful activities. So what should you look for if you are worried that your partner is being unfaithful?

The more obvious signs include:

  • A pattern of frequent absences from home for a myriad of reasons: shopping, business trips, working late, trips to places where the partner is "out of reach"
  • Unexplained bills, high phone bills or secret credit cards
  • Secrecy - hiding phone calls, hiding computer usage, hiding money, deleting texts and phone call histories quickly
  • Partner comes home in different clothing than they went out
  • Partner comes home smelling of another man or woman's cologne or perfume
  • Partner tells ridiculous or tall tales as a way to explain absences or overspending
  • Your partner is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease
  • Sex life - it's not the frequency or quality you should watch out for, but the actions. Has your partner learned new moves lately? They may have come from sleeping with someone else, though that isn't always the case. Don't discount a sudden increase or decrease in sex, but interest may decrease long before an affair starts.
  • Less emotional intimacy - If your partner used to talk a lot and suddenly the talking dies down, the talking could be still going on--with someone else.
  • Sudden interest in exercising or tanning
  • Not wearing a wedding ring
  • Being at home less
  • Spends more time on appearance than usual
  • Immediately showers after getting home
  • Someone tells you they saw your partner out with someone else

More often than not, when you are lying about something, you will say too much by way of covering up a choice. For example, the cheater may go on a vacation or business trip alone, but his/her meal expense at a restaurant is more than any one-person can eat. So the person tells the story of knocking a server and spilling a tray of food, then continues to elaborate saying he/she spilled the food of a family of four, so the partner paid their food bill by way of apology. Yet the food bill is not enough to cover food for four plus his or her meal as well. This is the danger of lying. If a story sounds suspicious or unusual or with far too many slapstick details, it is a warning sign that they are covering up behavior or interaction they don't want you to know about.

Other Less Obvious Signs

If your partner develops a sudden and drastic need to change his/her appearance, working out more, dieting to lose weight and even dressing up more to look attractive, it is a less obvious sign of infidelity. Most partners don't feel the need to dress up or look their best for the one they are in an established relationship with, but will go out of their way when they are being unfaithful to look good for their lover.

Other less obvious indicators include:

  • New clothes that they receive from odd sources or insist they bought, but there are no receipts
  • Hidden gifts that you never receive and are never mentioned
  • Partner insists that their car remain pristine, detailing it regularly to remove any signs of family or other activity from the vehicle
  • Partner avoids including you in work-related events or social occasions
  • Frequent phone hangups or unexplained phone numbers and odd messages
  • New body art or piercing on your partner
  • Severe or sudden changes in "normal" or "accepted" behavioral patterns
  • Less arguing - it sounds counterintuitive, but if your partner's needs are satisfied outside of the marriage, he may care less about the marriage and get less involved in conflict
  • More time on the phone or computer
  • Different grooming habits
  • Lack of interest in common activities you used to share
  • Insistence that you do not contact them at work (especially if you do call and your partner isn't there)
  • Engaging in a pattern of neglect followed by attentiveness
  • Wanting or getting plastic surgery
  • Wearing a new fragrance
  • Your partner is quicker to anger and impatient with you

What to Do

While many of these signs are linked to infidelity, they are not a guarantee that your spouse or partner is cheating. In fact, some may have reasonable explanations or be unrelated entirely. But a persistent pattern of these signs may indicate a problem. If you believe your spouse or partner is unfaithful, you may have to confront them to get to the truth. Not every relationship ends because of infidelity, but it requires a lot of work by both parties.

Signs of Infidelity