Cheating sucks, we can all agree on that. When you're forced to deal with your partner cheating on you, you're stuck going through everything from your whole relationship, trying to figure out where you went wrong, what you could have done better. The truth? As much as it hurts, you can give your partner everything they want and need in a relationship, but if they want to cheat they will find a way. There is not any concrete way to ensure that your partner won't cheat, but knowing what behaviors and actions to look for as red flags may help you to put an end to it much earlier.
Hiding Things From You
We all need our privacy, even from those closest to us, but a major indicator that your partner may have something going on is if they suddenly become more secretive. Leaving their phone in another room or their car while they're with you, taking it with them anytime they get up to go anywhere (even just to the bathroom or to go to another room for a moment), or only being on it when you can't see the screen are major red flags. They may leave their phone somewhere else when they're with you to avoid dealing with questionable calls or texts where you may notice, or they keep their phone with them anytime they move anywhere to make sure they don't get a notification that they don't want you to see. If you do have their phone, like they forgot it somewhere and you grabbed it for them, then they may get very defensive or focused on getting it away from you.
Another thing they may be secretive about is parts of their home. A room, drawer, papers, or some area. They have information or items related to their infidelity, maybe their other partners clothes or something that they left there. If you notice that every time you are near something or in a room they are getting your attention immediately to get you away from it, that may be something you need to bring your attention to.
Changes in Behavior
Another major sign is when your partner becomes distant, which is typically one of the first warnings. Not talking as much or taking hours to reply to a text, showing less affection in public than they always do, not asking you to go out as often. These can warn you that their attention is elsewhere, or they are with their other partner and don't want you to find out. Of course they may have something else going on in their life that leads to them being more distant, but if they won't tell you or they say that nothing has happened to cause it, this may be your sign.
Instead of being distant, your partner could actually become much more attentive to you and caring. This is because of the guilt they feel for going behind your back and they are trying to cover it up, but this behavior typically lasts as long as it takes them to feel confident they won't be caught. Again there are other signs for this behavior, and not many that see it even think that it's a sign of cheating because they expect them to be distant. Something your partner may do in this case is calling you multiple times during the day to "hear your voice" or "just checking in", because they are trying to see where you are so they can make sure they don't get caught with the other person.
Something that can go along with either of these is mood swings. Your partner gets tense trying to hide things from you, so they can easily become upset especially if you bring up something that could be related to the cheating, like asking why they don't act a certain way anymore, why they don't spend as much time with you, and especially if you express concerns about the person they are cheating with, if you happen to already know the person as a friend.
Accusing You of Cheating
Someone who is cheating is likely to accuse their partner of cheating because they think they are so good at hiding it, so why wouldn't their partner be doing it too? They can get temperamental and possessive, becoming upset when you spend time with someone of the opposite sex saying that you're likely cheating or wanting to even when you assure them you would never. They expect you to be doing the same thing they are because of the turmoil they feel form their own cheating. Some people are less trusting than others, but if you have been with them for some time and you already established that trust and they are accusing you for no reason, this may be an issue you really need to talk about.
Others Know More About Them Than You
In terms of cheating that involves a friend or someone close to you, that person may know more about whats going on in your partners life than you do. Your partner may tell you that something is too painful to talk about or they don't want to, but if you hear about it from someone else (despite your partner not wanting to discuss it) that's a big red flag. Your partner is entitled to have other friends and have a life outside of that with you, but be weary if you are always seeing them hanging out with the same one of your friends, typically alone or late at night. They may act weird, or extremely friendly, when you're around because of their relationship alone.
Paranoid of STI Or Illness - That You Don't Have
If your partner suddenly comes up saying you both immediately need to get checked for STIs or an illness like mono, this can be a red flag, especially if you know you do not have what they are worried about. They may not even bring it up, but if you have been with the same partner for some time and you find out you have an STI (and know you didn't have it before your relationship), that alone is enough to catch a cheater.
You Have a Bad Feeling
Trust your gut. Anyone who has been cheated on has seen some warning signs, but when you're invested in your relationship it's very easy to brush them off or not even notice them. Whether it's about their behavior, a certain person you know or have seen them talking to online or texting, or just feeling off, you should trust it. It isn't enough reason to end it right there, but at least sit down and talk with your partner about your concerns even if that'll be hard. Their reaction may be a tell-all as well. If they get upset and don't even continue the conversation, start saying you're imagining things and try to make you feel crazy, or just overall act very immature about the situation, then these can be signs your hunch is right. Some people can be very good liars too, of course. Even if your partner denies anything and reassures you, if you still can't let it go or you don't trust your partner, then it may be time to end that relationship. It is not worth staying with a partner that puts you through that kind of pain, and even though you may have had to go through it with one relationship does not mean you will be stuck with it in every one you go through. Something important to remember is that it is not your fault if a partner cheats, if they want to then they will find a way, no matter how good their relationship may be and how happy they are with someone.
If you do find out a partner is cheating, or have enough reason to think they are, you always have a support system. So many others have gone through the same thing and experienced how you may feel, so don't be afraid to reach out to some friends for help. Even if you don't want to share it, it can still help you to be around other people who love and support you.