20 Signs of a Cheating Spouse (That May Not Be Obvious)

Does Your Spouse Show Any of These Signs of Cheating?

Has your significant other been acting differently than usual and you are wondering whether he or she might be cheating?

There are many behavior “signs” of cheating and infidelity. If you ask 100 experts, you will probably get 100 different answers. I did a pretty quick Google search and found countless lists similar in content to this one. The sources ranged from Psychology Today to Oprah. Many of the behaviors listed in these articles were pretty off-the-wall. However, when I began to look a bit deeper, I started noticing some trends and commonalities. The 20 behavior signs outlined in this article pretty accurately reflect a solid mixture of the behavior cues you should watch out for.

  1. The first thing to look for is changes in your spouse’s behavior and/or schedule. Staying out late, “working” more than usual, taking “business” trips that seem to come out of the blue with little notice or warning, and so on. These small deviations from your spouse’s normal schedule are usually the first clue that something is amiss. 
  2. Another common sign of a cheating spouse is an unusual preoccupation with protecting their cell phone. This one is huge because it is often an indicator they are hiding something.
  3. Is your spouse or loved one more concerned about their looks or appearance than usual? They could be trying to impress someone new.
  4. There are more arguments in your relationship and the arguments are more frequent.
  5. They are spending more time away from home. This not only applies to work but can also mean going out with friends or co-workers more often.
  6. Your spouse or loved one receives phone calls during all hours of the day and/or night. They may also seek a safe haven away from the house or, more importantly, away from you to answer these calls. Increased need/desire for “privacy” can mean they are doing things they don’t want you to know about.
  7. They tell little white lies about where they are going. For instance, they say they need to run to the store but you find they are actually somewhere else, like at the gym.
  8. This one may seem obvious, but a man taking Viagra for the first time or a woman starting birth control.
  9. You smell perfume or cologne on your significant other that is not yours.
  10. Being overly private and/or protective of any electronic device, such as a computer, tablet, etc.
  11. You find a spare change of clothes in the car.
  12. Credit card receipts from purchases you don’t recognize. This is oftentimes a sign they are going out without you or buying gifts for someone else.
  13. A sudden and drastic change, up or down, in sexual behavior, desires, or intimacy in your relationship.
  14. Frequent and sudden anger outbursts toward you that have nothing to do with you. This is often a subconscious attempt to “distance” themselves from you emotionally or the relationship as it is now.
  15. There is a reluctance of intimacy or poor excuses for their behavior to be reluctant.

Common Things a Cheating Spouse May Say

  1. “He/she is just a friend.”
  2. “I am just not in the mood lately.”
  3. “I just need space.”
  4. “It’s not you, it’s me.”
  5. “Please respect my privacy.”


In closing, it is important to remember that seeing some of these signs in your mate is not proof that your partner is seeing someone else. More importantly, do not lose sight of the fact that you have invested a great deal of emotional energy into your relationship and, if the worst does end up being the case, please maintain hope that not all is lost. If you do happen to find irrefutable evidence of infidelity or cheating and you want to overcome this breach of trust, it is not hopeless. Couples overcome infidelity all the time. If you have any desire to work it out with your spouse, then I strongly encourage you to try. Just because you see some of these signs in your relationship does NOT mean that your partner is being unfaithful.

Furthermore, this list is by no means complete. There are many signs of a cheating spouse that do not make this list and there are instances where your spouse can show many of these behaviors and nothing is going on. The only way to know for sure is to get some proof. If you are unsure how to proceed, I would recommend hiring a local private investigator to gather some evidence for you before you accuse your significant other of any wrongdoing. Usually, most of our clients already know the truth and are just seeking reassurance and verification that what they suspect is actually what is happening. Follow your gut, but don’t make waves where there are none.

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