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Is Your Partner Cheating? Here's How To Know

These are the surefire signs, according to private investigators and other pros.

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illustration of private investigator taking a picture of cheating couple
Gracia Peña
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The reasons people cheat are complicated. Maybe they’re bored with the relationship. Maybe they’re looking for a little excitement. Maybe they have a crush. Maybe they’re just being dumb. Regardless, the signs are usually there: From improvements in appearance to mood changes — those trained to spot a cheater can usually pick one out in a snap.

So, we decided to chat with a private investigator, a divorce attorney and a body language expert to make sure we know all the signs. While there are no surefire indicators that he’s cheating (aside from catching him in the act), we always like to be prepared.

Did he change his appearance? If you find that your partner has suddenly taken an interest in a different style of clothing, wearing cologne, going to the gym, etc.? This could be a sign that he’s having a secret relationship, says Trevor Haywood, president and CEO of Haywood Hunt & Associates, a private investigation firm in Toronto that specializes in family and spousal investigations.

Have you noticed strange texting habits? This is a big one, says Haywood. If you find your partner is suddenly protective of his phone, often texting in another room or late at night, there may be more to it. “This alone isn’t a reason to sound the alarms. But if they’re doing this in conjunction with other tell-tale signs, then there’s cause for serious concern.”

Check credit card bills. Review the accounts to see if there are any unusual purchases, says Harry Kazakian, a Los Angeles private investigator. “Or, if you have family accounts with services such as Apple, you can use ‘Find My Device’ or Google’s location history.” Computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones also keep browser histories.

Do you feel like a telemarketer? Your partner is anxious to end phone conversations and doesn’t seem interested in anything you have to say. This could be a signal that he’s planning on ending your relationship. Another sign: He’s very distracted throughout the conversation, says Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap - Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma.

Does he have quick mood changes? He gets angry for no reason or is mad at you for something that wasn’t a big deal. Quite possibly, says Wood, his anger is about the situation he’s in at the moment, or it’s about an issue he’s having with someone else. But he can’t explain this to you, which leads to quick mood changes. “One minute, they may be super happy and energetic and act like you’re the most wonderful person in the world - and the next minute, they are mad, crying or cold.”

He’s become more secretive. While there are no surefire indicators that your partner might be cheating, Laura Wasser, a divorce lawyer and chief of divorce evolution at, says there are red flags: Your partner becomes more secretive, is making excuses for his whereabouts or displaying sudden changes in behavior or appearance. “They may also seem emotionally distant or less interested in intimacy.”

Did he change his password? If your partner suddenly changed his phone, social media or email passwords, that’s a clue (although sometimes, it’s simply required by the outlet), Kazakian says.

Is there a change in his patterns? New behavior patterns could add up to something, adds Kazakian. These include not coming home after work, hiding receipts or even just acting strangely.

Are there new friends? Signs that something may be amiss are when one partner has seemingly found a new interest, is hanging out with friends you don’t know, is traveling solo, engaging in hobbies that don’t involve you and makes no effort to include you, according to Jacqueline Newman, the managing partner at the matrimonial law firm Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP in New York.

They’re communicating less frequently. This is relative, Wood explains. For example, in the past, your partner called and texted several times a day. Now, they only call once or twice and often can’t be reached. This is him shutting down and declining to tell you about his day and what is going on in his life, Newman explains. If he stops complaining altogether, this is concerning.

His sexual desire changes. If he’s no longer interested in sex or if he has a new bag of tricks and a trapeze with the tags still on it, this could be a serious sign, says Wood. A dramatic change in sexual behavior can either mean he’s not as attracted to you anymore, he’s having sex elsewhere, or he’s trying out new tricks with you.

Very clear signals. If you need very clear signals, Newman sums them up: “If your spouse becomes really possessive of his electronic devices, is abruptly required to work late, suddenly has a ton of business dinners to attend, is more concerned about his appearance or is overcompensating when it comes to your relationship, you must pay attention.”

Do you believe a marriage can survive an affair? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Relationships