Cheaters have plenty of things in common, but the most familiar signs are the inclination to be unfaithful and overall secretive behavior. Do you have a partner that you doubt their fidelity?

What causes a person to cheat on someone they love, and how do they act after they’ve committed such a sin? Is it a selfish urge to act on and don’t think of the consequences, or does the person have dysfunctional mental issues lurking below the surface?

There has been much research done regarding cheaters, and most point to one standard set of characteristics. Serial cheaters are different than those non-philandering folks.

The good news is that once you understand and readily identify these qualities, you can protect yourself from getting hurt.

Do You Know How to Spot the Traits of Partner Who Might Cheat?

Here are some of the warning signs of a cheater.

  • Excessive flirting: Everyone loves to be a tease and be toyed with when they’re trying to get someone’s attention. However, this person flirts with people right while their wife or husband is sitting with them. They know no boundaries and have an overly flirtatious nature.
  • Insecurities: One of the reasons why people cheat is insecurities. It’s like this fling helps their ego and gives them a boost as they still feel desirable.
  • Thrill-seeking behaviors: According to the National Library of Medicine, some folks with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often have trouble with impulse control issues. It’s derived from a frontal lobe dysfunction that occurs with this mental health problem, but other things can cause it too.
  • Immorality: Anyone who has had affairs in the past will likely repeat these behaviors. Once they have a taste or the thrill of cheating, it’s easy to do it time and again.
  • Reality distortions: Many people have a distorted view of themselves and the world around them. This can also be caused by mental health issues, such as narcissistic personality disorder. According to Neuro Tray, cognitive distortions are often the cause for many breaks from reality, though they’re not severe enough to affect going to work or other responsibilities.
  • Lack of respect: Some individuals have no respect for those they claim to love. These are often the folks who usually can’t keep a job because they have a challenging time with authority.
  • Narcissism: Did you know that most serial cheaters are often narcissistic? Part of having this mental health disorder is being greedy, selfish, and using people to benefit your needs. When a cheater feels a sense of entitlement, it can be part of their brain’s wiring that feeds their disorder.

Ten Common Secretive Behaviors of The Cheater

Whether they’re about to be caught or they’ve already been figured out, there are some specific behaviors or actions they engage in.

This lifestyle is very secretive, and they want to do whatever possible to keep someone from finding out their sins. Here are the most common behaviors of a cheater.

1. Jealousy

Perhaps, jealousy is the most confusing of the behaviors that the cheater exhibits. It could be due to the cardinal rule that what goes around comes around. However, these people often become very jealous of their spouse, even stooping to the level of accusing them of cheating.

Their jealousy can consume them, especially if they’re afraid that you will leave them. Sure, they’re the ones that made a mistake, but they’re fearful of what you may do, and they don’t want to lose you.

2. Flirting

While it’s already been discussed that most cheaters are flirtatious, it’s worth mentioning again. Not all cheaters have this flirty edge, but most exhibit this behavior. It’s not that they want to hurt you, but it’s that they need validation to soothe their low self-esteem from the opposite sex.

3. Lie

One thing you can count on with a cheater is that you can’t count on them to be honest. They have a way of lying to those around them, and those lies often snowball into a big mess. If you stay with a cheater long after the event, you will often find that they lie about anything and everything.


You would think that they would be on their best behavior after committing such an act but remember that a leopard can’t change their spots.

4. Vendetta With the Opposite Sex

Many cheaters have secretive hurts from the opposite sex, so they have an “I’m going to get back at you” attitude. This is often true of those who have been abused. The selfish person will usually have deep wounds from their childhood, and if a mother hurt them, then they might take this vengeance out on women.

Another thing to consider is that people often accuse men of being serial cheaters, but women can be cheaters too. How many girls have you seen with “daddy issues” that turn to lascivious acts to ease those pains?

5. Mood Swings

When someone has a secret to hide, they’re often nervous. This anxiety can cause mood swings that make a living with them unbearable. So, if you find that you’re walking on eggshells around this person, then it could be because they have something to hide.

As they say, the truth will set you free, and once this person gets this massive secret off their chest, they will feel relief.

mood journal
6. Buys You Guilt Gifts

Has your partner started buying gifts for no reason? If you’ve been together for ten years and they’ve never bought spontaneous gifts before, it’s a cause for concern. Their guilt may be eating them alive inside, and the only way they can soothe this guilt is to buy gifts to ease their conscience.

7. Too Much or Too Little Interest in Romance

One way that many people can tell something is wrong in their relationship is that things are disrupted in the bedroom. If a person gets plenty of intimacy somewhere else, they don’t need their desires taken care of at home.

However, they may be fearful of losing you, so much so that they can be a little overzealous at times too. Therefore, anything out of the ordinary in your romantic life is a cause for concern.

8. Becomes Obsessed with Grooming

When someone has a new fling, they often want to groom themselves to look good. So, a big red flag to spot the secretive life is to see their grooming habits. Do they suddenly get a new wardrobe, hairstyle and act younger than they usually do?

They may be having a mid-life crisis, or they have a big secret to hide. The grooming maybe for their new fling.

9. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is an age-old problem with a new reality. When someone tries to make you doubt your sanity or makes you believe that your speculations are insane, it’s called gaslighting. The standard trick of the selfish person is to turn things around so that you doubt yourself.

Sure, they may be guilty, but they want to turn things around so that you feel bad, and they’re off the hook. Therefore, they will twist things, lie, and do whatever they can to cover their secret. You must be one step ahead of this conniving person, as they will stop at nothing to keep their affair hidden.

10. Spends Extra Money or Has Money Issues

Money issues are a hallmark of a cheater. They may become secretive about their spending, or there is money missing you can’t account for. They may get a checking account separate from yours or even suggest keeping finances separate.


There are lots of expenses involved with affairs. Often, they will need to pay for hotels, flowers and gifts, new clothes, and other things to keep up with this game. The money must come from somewhere, and if you often had your hand in the bank accounts, then it’s not so easy to hide.

Final Thoughts on The Secretive Nature of Cheaters

A study found that 55 percent of men admit to cheating on their partner, and 50 percent of women. Those numbers are staggering, and it means that you must be on your toes when it comes to abnormal behaviors from your partner.

Sadly, you may be a cheater or be cheated on at least once in your life. These actions make you develop a secretive nature as you fear getting caught. Many cheaters don’t want to leave their spouse or long-term relationship, but they want the thrill of the fling.

Sadly, some people feel that once you cheat, then the relationship is through. These folks want to stroke those feel-good chemicals in the brain, and once they get their thrill, they will return to the comforts of home. Unfortunately, dealing with a cheater is never easy, even if you decide to stay and work things out.


Once you find out for sure they have been unfaithful, you both have a lot of work to heal the relationship or move on apart. However, their secretive lifestyle is a dead giveaway that something is not right with them. It might take a little detective work to figure things out, but you can solve the case.