“Cheating is never to do with how attractive you are.” – Marie Helvin
No one likes to think about whether or not their partner is seeing or sleeping with someone else. In an ideal world, no one would have to deal with the heartbreak that comes with being cheated on. Unfortunately, these things do happen. Hopefully, your relationship is one where open and honest communication comes before the possibility of your partner seeking an extramarital affair.
But if that isn’t the case, there are plenty of ways to tell whether or not your partner is sleeping with someone else. Of course, context is key. Some of these signs, by themselves, don’t mean your partner is cheating. You need to look at the bigger picture, pattern of behavior, and see if it’s out of the norm.
Is Your Partner Sleeping With Someone Else?
1. They become protective of their phone
If your partner, in the past, was not very protective of their phone and “if you notice a change in phone habits — like suddenly on silent all the time”, it could be a sign that there’s something on there that they don’t want you to see, says author Marina Sbrochi.
You’ve probably had no issue using your partner’s phone for something in the past – but now, they seem to be extremely protective, even going so far as to put a lock on it that prevents you from opening it.
2. They’re (too often) home late from work
If your partner is usually home by a certain time every day, but suddenly they’re staying late at work, it could be an excuse for them to see someone else behind your back. It’s a common enough excuse that many people don’t think too much about.
As dating and relationship advice and etiquette expert April Masini says, “When someone stops coming home at the regular time, on a regular basis, be wary. When a schedule changes and there’s no comment about why or what he or she is doing differently, it may be because your spouse is cheating on you.”
3. Showering as soon as they get home
Unless your partner does a job like construction, roofing, or something else that’s bound to get them dirty, taking a shower as soon as they get off work can be a sign that they’re trying to wash away the evidence of another person. They might want to scrub away some errant lipstick, or a hint of cologne or perfume. This is a sign, especially if their showering habits are changing suddenly.
4. Their sex drive is down
People’s sex drives often fluctuate due to stress, nutrition, lack of exercise, or any other reason. A fluctuating sex drive isn’t a sign in and of itself. But, if your sex life has always been pretty regular, and they start no longer desiring your attention, it may be because they’re getting their needs met elsewhere. But why?
Psychotherapist and author Tina B. Tessina, PhD., says, “Most women cheat because they feel emotionally deprived, and men are unfaithful because they often feel sexually deprived.”
5. They’re not as present during sex as they used to be
Now, perhaps your partner is still having sex with you – but maybe they’re not having the same type of sex. If your sex has gone from exciting and enjoyable to a few minutes under the covers with the lights off, it may be a sign that your partner is simply trying to placate you, while having their enjoyable sex elsewhere.
6. They pay more attention to their appearance
This sign doesn’t always mean that they’re sleeping with someone else – especially if they’ve already discussed with you wanting to change their appearance. However, if your partner goes from not caring much about how they look, to suddenly preening like a peacock, they may be trying to impress someone else.
Masini adds, “If your partner starts suddenly looking a lot better than he or she used to, they may be cheating.” If you’re not sure that the person they’re trying to impress is you, this can point to a sign of your partner stepping out.
7. They’re unexpectedly trying something new in bed
Of course, this also doesn’t automatically mean that your partner is cheating on you. Usually, something new is going to be communicated between the two of you. However, if your partner is suddenly kissing you in a way that seems learned, or trying something new in bed without having discussed it first, it may be a sign that they’re actually figuring this stuff out with someone else.
8. You can never get a straight answer
If your partner has gone from being open and honest in all of their communication, to being flighty and cagey, it’s probably a sign that they have something to hide from you. Getting a straight answer may feel impossible, even something as simple as how their day at work went. This can be a sign that they’re trying to hide something – or someone.
9. They’ve picked up new habits
These habits can be anything from suddenly being over-protective of their phone, to not picking up their phone when you call. The new habits that your partner exhibits will often be hard to explain away, and your partner may feel defensive if you try to bring them up. This can be a sign that they’re seeing someone else and they don’t want you to know about it.
10. You’re feeling ignored
One of the biggest signs that your partner is seeing someone else, is that feeling you get when you know that you’re no longer being appreciated in the relationship. While your partner may think that hiding evidence of the fact is enough, they may not notice that they’re treating you differently, and making you feel underappreciated.
11. Your partner is avoiding your friends and family
If your partner was very active in your social or family life before, but doesn’t seem to be showing too much of an interest now, it could be a sign that they’re trying to avoid a fallout. They may feel extremely guilty for seeing someone outside of the relationship, and seeing your friends and family can be a reminder of that.
Most of these signs are about extreme and sudden changes in behavior. If your partner exhibits these signs, but they don’t seem out of the ordinary for your relationship, it’s not likely that they’re seeing someone else. As always, context is important to understanding your partner’s behavior, and whether or not they’re seeing someone outside the relationship. If you suspect that they are, the best way to get an answer is to confront them directly, and try to have an honest conversation about what is going on.