Cheaters are a dime a dozen these days. But you have to wonder. Why do people in an otherwise good relationship cheat?

This complex question would demand hours upon hours of research and subsequent pontification. Suffice to say that being cheated on is one of the worst things you could ever experience in a relationship.

Perhaps a more beneficial angle – particularly for those with a susceptible cheat partner – is to elaborate a bit about the signs of cheating. It is worth noting that not every individual who expresses these behaviors will cheat or has cheated. Many individuals cheat and provide no apparent, outward reason to suspect infidelity.

It is necessary to take some deliberate precautions before confronting someone with “evidence” of unfaithfulness. After all, there’s quite a bit riding on the line to be impulsive.

20 Signs  Cheaters Will Display

Here are twenty signs of a cheater you should (probably) not ignore. You may observe as few or two of these signs or myriad red flags.

secretive cheaters

1 – They are always coming home late

Your partner used to be a time hawk, always ragging you about needing to be (someplace) at (specific time), only to suddenly disclaim his/her meticulous time ownership in favor of arriving home late, it may be a sign of cheating.

Quite simply, it makes little sense for someone involved in a relationship to ignore obvious changes to how they manage time. Those that do are often willing and able to provide an honest explanation of exactly why such changes are taking place… except for a potential cheater, that is.

2 – They safeguard their phone

Nobody likes having their phone tampered with. In a serious relationship or marriage, however, it is not unusual to play with your partners phone out of habit. If your partner suddenly and uncharacteristically objects to this by snagging their phone out of your hands, it may be worthwhile to have a constructive dialogue.

3 – Cheaters have unexplained charges or lines of credit

It is common for those in a serious relationship to share financial information with each other – a “My money is your money” kind of deal. So, for your partner to inexplicably have spontaneous charges to their credit or debit cards makes little sense. Perhaps more deserving of scrutiny is a newly-opened line of credit that was neither discussed with nor approved by, their relationship partner.

4 – They “need privacy”

Make no mistake: privacy is essential to the well-being of every relationship. However, constantly insisting upon ‘privacy’ in excess is a potential misnomer when the need to say ‘privacy’ was never a prior issue until recently.

5 – Sudden and excessive defensiveness

When two people are in a serious relationship for any significant period, each individual’s personality is understood and accepted. It is enigmatic for one person to suddenly delve away from understood personality traits without raising a red flag. Indeed, this red flag may signify a sudden drift away from commitment – and towards infidelity.

6 –  Changes to dress/hygiene habits

Like many things on this list, this one is based on observable habits. It is only natural to inquire into mysterious alterations in one’s sense of style or hygienic preferences. With the caveat of a “mid-life crisis,” this conspicuous sign of a potential cheater warrants further inquisition.

 7 – Cheaters “need to work”

Okay, so we all need to work for a living, understandably. But, as a couple, you should feel obligated to elaborate on any significant changes to your work schedule. Unfortunately, this is one not-so-subtle excuse that cheaters use to explain away any previously-existent sense of responsibility. Work is a common and convenient excuse for several reasons. Primarily, it is a commonplace for employees to put in extra hours at the workplace, either out of necessity or a sense of obligation. However, when ‘working’ seems to become more the rule than the exception, it is time to have a serious talk.

8 – Intimacy Increases or Decreases

Things certainly change in the bedroom for better or worse. They may feel guilty and want to overcompensate for their affair. They may become adventurous and even daring when it comes to intimacy, but don’t be fooled by this ruse.

On the flip side, this person may become closed off. They may not want any intimacy from you at all. They may completely shut down all intimate acts, including handholding, kissing, and cuddling with one another. There’s something up when a person changes their intimate drives, and you need to investigate to see if there’s someone else fulfilling their desires.

9 – Attitude Changes

You can always spot a cheater by their change in demeanor. Depending on the person, they can become more doting towards you or standoffish. The changes may be sudden and drastic, or they can be over some time.

The demands of the other relationship certainly will have a bearing on their bond with you. The closer they get to the other person, the further they will pull away from you.

10 – Partners Often Catch Cheaters in Lies

One thing you can always count on is that lies always come out somehow or way. If a cheater is telling one too many stories to keep everyone happy, they will eventually slip up. The best way to catch them in lies is to sit back and observe.

There will be a story that doesn’t make sense, or they will tell a different tale when you ask about details at a later date. Don’t be shocked if the story changes too, or they have a friend on standby. When they have someone eager to verify their whereabouts, it screams that everything has been carefully planned out.

Be careful about the conniving narcissist as they are master manipulators. If someone is a habitual or pathological liar, even a lie detector test can’t prove their guilt. According to a study conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine and reported on Lie Detectors UK, they found that so many criminals these days are psychopaths.

Due to their lack of consciousness, these machines can’t detect any changes in breathing or respirations. Hopefully, the one you’re with isn’t an expert liar, and they will eventually get caught if they’re cheating on you.

forgive a cheater

11 – Spends A lot of Time Running Errands

Does your partner suddenly jump when you say you need groceries or pick up something from the drugstore? Do they seem eager to get out of the house no matter the reason? Someone who is cheating will look for every excuse possible so that they can call or meet up with their other lover.

They want to find a reason to make contact without you being suspicious. They feel if they help you out and get things done that you need to be accomplished, it won’t look so bad for them to get out and be free for just a few minutes.

12 – Communication Dies

When someone has a secret, they become cautious with their conversation. They don’t want anything to slip accidentally. Additionally, if they have something to hide from you, they certainly don’t want to get into any deep conversations where they may feel the pangs of guilt.

Sure, they become secretive about their daily affairs, but they may pull back from you and only want to communicate on matters when they have no choice.

13 – Displays Behavior That’s Out of Character

Is your partner acting weird lately? For instance, they’re getting up earlier, going to bed later, and just doing things out of the ordinary for them? Anything out of character for this person could indicate that something is wrong.

Now, keep in mind that people go through various phases in their life where they don’t feel or act the same due to stress or other situations. However, the cheater will also display odd behaviors when putting all their energy into keeping up with two lovers and hiding secrets. It’s pretty draining to live two different lives.

14 – Cheaters Take Calls in Private

One huge red flag that someone might be cheating is when they get a phone call or text and must take it in private. This is especially suspect when they don’t usually conduct business in this manner. Some people want to take the phone away from TV, kids, and other background noise if it’s a client or other significant person on the other end, which is understandable.

However, if this isn’t the usual behavior, you need to investigate. There’s no reason to take the phone outside if a parent or other relative calls. It usually indicates the person they’re talking to shouldn’t hear what’s going on or vice versa.

15 – Picks Fights for No Reason

A cheater will often try to pick fights out of the blue. The rationale behind this is that when they choose a fight with you, then it gives them a reason to leave, do something rash, or not speak. It’s a manipulative tactic used by people trying to cover their tracks.

The average couple fights at least seven times a day, so you need to ensure that it’s not just a normal part of being with someone. Usually, couples tend to fight more when they’re under stress, and according to the National Library of Medicine, the topic that causes the most arguments is money. These disagreements are often different in that they’re petty and sometimes even silly.

16 – Becomes Critical of You

A partner who once praised and adored you has become critical of your every move. It seems that you can’t do anything right in their eyes. They’re griping about little things like their steak wasn’t cooked well, the laundry wasn’t done timely, and they didn’t like the way you’ve been wearing your hair.

They’re using an old trick to justify their actions. If they can make you out as the wrong person and cite reasons why life is so bad with you, they don’t feel as guilty about cheating. In fact, they may feel that a divorce or separation is warranted based on how you’ve been lately. This is total manipulation and toxic behaviors that are nothing more than mind games.

17 – They Suddenly Have New Friends

An old trick of cheaters is to suddenly drop the names of new people in their lives. These folks can be coworkers, people they met at social gatherings, or just made-up names to throw you off track. Be careful if they spend all their time with someone you’ve never met, as it’s often very fishy.

It’s entirely possible that their new friend is a love interest. Don’t think they won’t make up a name so that they can find a way to talk about this person. These actions also show that they’re falling in love and can’t stop thinking about the other one in their life.

18 – Cheaters Take More Business Trips

Does the number of business trips they’ve been taking increase? They do not usually take business trips, but suddenly, their boss sends them everywhere? These are red flags that they are sneaky and looking for ways to get out of town.

You may want to check your credit cards and bank accounts to ensure these business trips aren’t costing you dearly.

19 – Turns The Blame on Their Partner for the Failing Relationship

You both know things are falling apart, and they want to blame you for all the bad stuff. Cheaters often don’t like to take responsibility for their actions, so it just seems better and justifies their behaviors if they blame someone else. In their eyes, if you’re the one causing them to be miserable, it’s logical to move on with someone new.

20 – Cheaters Insist on Doing Their Laundry

If someone is intimate with a person other than you, they might want to wash their clothes. This is because the clothes often have many clues to their sins. There might be lipstick on a collar or perfume or cologne on a shirt.

If they’ve always helped with laundry, this won’t apply, but if they suddenly are interested in being domesticated and helping with this mundane task, it’s a cause for alarm.

secretive cheaters

Final Thoughts on Identifying Cheaters

Nothing stings quite as bad as being cheated on by someone you love. Thankfully, cheaters usually have similar behaviors like lying, sneaking, and manipulative tactics that are relatively the same. Occasionally, someone will come forward and admit their wrongdoing and either end things with you or try to make it right.

However, the vast majority have a stake in their current relationships, and they don’t want to end things. This is often seen a lot with people who have been married for years, have kids, assets, and a divorce would be costly and messy. Some people don’t even want a divorce, as they just want to have some fun on the side.

Sure, marriage and long-term commitments can be boring at times, and you may feel like you’re in a rut. However, there are better ways to handle these downtimes than finding someone else to be romantically involved with in secret.