Do you think your partner is going to cheat?

Many possible life events occur for which we generally do not prepare. For instance, we do not generally expect or look for the death of a loved one, being diagnosed with cancer, falling victim to a mental illness, and so on. The simple yet complex reason for this unpreparedness is that we grow accustomed to a particular way of life. When a formidable obstruction complicates life, we search desperately for answers. We may even feel like losing hope. Hopefully, we will find the wherewithal to search for answers and a solution.

Infidelity is one of those “possible life events” that we don’t prepare for. Finding that a partner is cheating is particularly hurtful because we tend to give our all into a relationship. When you give your love, heart, and soul to another human being, you expect the same in return. You don’t expect your partner will cheat on you. A commonly-cited axiom in the medical community is, “Prevention is the best cure.” Apply this to a relationship with a potential cheater. Why suffer the consequences when they can be prevented in the first place?


Relationships can be extraordinarily complex. Combined with our quirks, precaution is a warranted measure when approaching someone who might tend to infidelity. In this piece, we present ten signs that someone has the potential to cheat on a partner. As with any behavior, it can be difficult to decipher their intentions. At the same time, the more “symptoms” present, the likelier it is that a real problem exists.

That said, here are ten signs of someone who might cheat:

“It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.” – Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

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1. Someone who might cheat is emotionally distant

This is pretty easy to observe for the victim but extraordinarily difficult to accept. Emotional detachment from someone you love is like a punch to the heart. Unfortunately, disconnection often preludes a deteriorating relationship. A potential cheat finds it easier to distance himself or herself emotionally from someone than to confront the real problem. It’s a cowardly act, in many ways.

2. Lack of sex or intimacy

When two people are in love, intimacy and sex naturally occur. A partner’s lack of interest in intimacy may be a sign of infidelity. This is especially true if no prior issues existed in this area. If nothing else, this behavior indicates some emotional or physical disconnection. A physical connection is vital in a healthy relationship. If you are facing this issue, you might want to have a serious discussion with your partner.

3. The need for “privacy.”

This is not to disregard the reality that every person in a relationship requires some “me time,” There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, when your “other half” constantly says things like, “I need to be alone,” “Just let me be,” or “I need some time to think,” there is almost certainly some problem.

4. A sudden defensive attitude could indicate someone could cheat

Two people in a serious relationship should understand the differences between each other’s personalities. Hopefully, you understand your partner’s flaws and accept them. It is then peculiar for a partner to suddenly become defensive regarding apparent behavior shifts. Rational dialogue is necessary for any relationship; if this becomes a problem, you might consider there’s some issue.

5. Irregular financial habits

Two people involved in a serious relationship understand the importance of monetary resources. Usually, any outgoing money is acknowledged and accounted for. If your partner drifts from this mutual understanding and engages in “splurges” for which they cannot account, it may be a sign of detachment at best – and a cheat at worst.

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6. Becoming “fashion-conscious.”

We all want to look our best for various reasons, commonly to look respectable and professional. However, an abrupt change in appearance without explanation is uncommon, especially for those who have previously shown little interest in appearance. Those in a midlife crisis often cite a change in fashion as a “motivation” to look younger and more presentable. Of course, the desire to appear more attractive to the opposite sex is a real possibility.

7. They ignore your “inner circle” if they are going to cheat

One telltale sign of a cheater is a sudden disconnection from your circle of friends. This may forewarn a relationship problem. It is much easier and more convenient for a cheat to separate from those close to you than to be upfront about their true feelings. This is even more conspicuous if your partner has always been close to your social circle.

8. They guard their phone and other technology.

Nobody likes having their phone tampered with. However, meditating with your partner’s phone in a serious relationship or marriage isn’t strange. Really, it’s not that big of a deal…unless they either have something to hide or are simply in a bad mood. If your significant other suddenly object to what was not an issue previously, you may consider additional caution.

9. They’re always excessively late

Anyone in a committed relationship will tell you that a schedule is paramount to making things work. This is especially true if someone is married, has kids, or has other obligations for which they are responsible. A sudden abdication of responsible behavior is strange, particularly if that person cannot account for such conduct.

10. “Something came up at work” is an excuse when someone tends to cheat

Things happen at work. Sometimes, we’re asked to go “above and beyond” to do our jobs. Similar to many other things on this list, context is key. Something is likely amiss if your partner cannot explain the rationale behind working late. Having to work is a common and convenient excuse because it is so commonplace. That said, your partner should be able to fill you in on details regarding these work requests.

What Causes Someone to Cheat on a Partner

There are various reasons why a person may cheat on their partner, some of which include the following:

  • Lack of emotional or physical satisfaction in the current relationship
  • Opportunities or temptations outside the relationship
  • Low self-esteem or a desire for validation
  • Lack of commitment or feeling unfulfilled in the relationship
  • Boredom or seeking novelty or adventure
  • Substance abuse or addiction issues

It’s important to note that cheating is a complex issue with no single cause. Additionally, every individual and relationship is unique, and the reasons why one person cheats may be different from another.

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Final Thoughts on Understanding Why a Partner Might Cheat and the Detecting the Early Signs

It hurts when one partner decides to cheat on the other. If these behaviors appear familiar or reflect your relationship, know that the cheater is responsible for his or her actions, regardless of any relationship challenges. Have a safe, open-minded conversation–with a counselor if necessary. Uncover the roots of the suspicious behaviors and seek guidance on how to move forward.