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7 Signs of Infidelity

by | Mar 6, 2023

In a committed romantic partnership, cheating or infidelity is a major breach of trust. Psych Central defines infidelity as,“sexual or emotional activity outside agreed-upon relationship boundaries.” Common manifestations of infidelity include online cheating, one-night stands, and impulsive sexual behaviors. According to a 2021 survey, 46% of respondents in monogamous relationships reported that they’ve had affairs. However, the rates of infidelity in LGBTQ+ partnerships have yet to be studied at length. While the definition of infidelity itself varies, there are common signs that one’s partner may be engaging in infidelity.

Note: This list is not exhaustive. If you have a suspicion that your partner may be unfaithful, the best way to find out is to talk to your partner, even if it’s painful. Similarly, if you struggle with anxious attachment or relationship OCD, and you find that these thoughts are impacting your overall quality of life with or without your partner, talk to a mental health professional.

1. Your partner is being secretive about their phone or computer use.

When someone cheats, they tend to be significantly more guarded about their phones or computers. They may add extra passwords to their laptops, delete texts, or clear their browser history more often than usual. Your partner may also seem especially attached to their phone, taking it with them even to the bathroom. 47.5% of relationships that have been impacted by cheating reported that after the affair, they established new relationship boundaries such as sharing phone passwords.

2. Drastic changes in appearance.

Everyone loves a makeover from time to time, but if your partner is suddenly paying more attention to their appearance, especially around work or social events, something else might be occurring.

3. Significant changes in your partner’s schedule.

Maybe you know you know that your partner always works until a certain time, and then they start pulling repeat all-nighters at the office. Or, they’ve never had to travel for work before, but the next month of their work schedule includes several weekends away. Other common schedule-related coverups for infidelity include: spending extra time at the gym, or in traffic jams. If your partner fails to show up at an event at your agreed-upon time or fails to show up altogether, that may also indicate that there’s a bigger rift in your relationship.

4. Changes in finances, including increased financial transactions.

According to Hg.org legal resources, one of the top signs of infidelity is extra purchases that show up on financial statements such as credit card bills. If you share a bank account with your partner, you notice extra transactions for items like hotel rooms, bills from expensive restaurants, or jewelry. Some people go as far as setting up an extra bank account. If you normally share financial statements with your partner, and they start hiding them, that may be another sign that infidelity is afoot.

5. Your partner is insisting on more privacy.

Listen, everyone needs time to themselves every once in a while. But if your partner is seeming increasingly emotionally distant, and is also insisting on having more time to themselves, there may be a larger issue. Again, if you struggle with anxious attachment or anxiety around relationships, don’t assume that just because your partner wants time to themselves, they’re automatically cheating on you. Everyone has different emotional needs, and introverts also need increased alone time to recharge.

6. Your partner suddenly dislikes surprises or get-togethers that are not explicitly planned.

The Independent compiled a list of twenty common signs that a partner might be cheating with the help of a private investigator. If you’re suddenly unable to surprise your partner with lunch at work or a night out, it may be because surprises present the opportunity for someone to get caught cheating.

7. Your partner accuses you of cheating.

A sense of guilt can manifest itself in a relationship in a variety of ways. According to Psychology Today, one of the more subtle signs of infidelity is when a partner tries to emotionally sabotage their existing relationship. When someone is feeling guilty, they may accuse the people around them of the thing that they are guilty about.

Signs of Infidelity in Relationships

The best thing that you can do if you suspect your partner of cheating is to ask them directly. Sometimes it’s best to trust your gut, even if you’re afraid of what you might find out, you deserve the peace of mind. Even if your partner has cheated that doesn’t mean the relationship has to end. There are plenty of ways to rebuild trust such as individual or couples counseling.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, visit the National Alliance of Mental Illness for resources.

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Avery Lea

Avery Lea


Avery Lea is a pansexual, trans-masculine freelance writer located in the beautiful, rainy state of Washington, just outside of Seattle. A videogame blogger by day and gay fanfiction writer by night, they now strive to put their passion for writing towards a more meaningful cause! Inspired by the heroes in their games who do all that they can to save the world, Avery wants to help other members of the LGBTQ+ community through their writing and outreach. Their goal as a writer is to write original queer fiction as well as provide helpful, concise, and uplifting web content for the community. Their core belief is that gender is a construct that can be torn down and rebuilt, and we can all do it together!

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