59 signs your partner/spouse is being unfaithful

It almost always starts with a tiny suspicion. That little nagging doubt about them. You can’t quite pinpoint it, but there’s something different. They’re spending more time at work. You don’t feel like you connect the way you used to. Your intuition or gut feeling says that they’re hiding something from you.

You start to take a bit more notice of what’s going on. Some of their explanations don’t make sense. They seem withdrawn, and snap at you often. And they’re on their phone a lot more these days.

Then you narrow it down. You start to suspect that they’re seeing someone else.

If you’re wondering whether your partner is being unfaithful, there are some tell-tale signs you can look for, which I’ve listed below.

This will be a very difficult time for you.

It may help to follow this process:

1. Don’t ignore your gut feeling. If the suspicion is there, you need to get it checked out.

2. Do not change your own behaviour. This is the time to observe and get the facts. Don’t let them know that you suspect them, otherwise you may never find out the truth.

3. Go through the list below. How many of them ring true for your partner?

4. Do you have enough evidence to confront them with? Imagine you had to present your case in court. Would the jury find them guilty or not guilty?

5. If you do not have enough evidence, this is where we can help. You don’t want to make life-changing decisions without knowing for sure.

The aim of this process is to prove one way or another whether they’re cheating on you. If they are, you can then come up with a plan to move forward, before you confront them. It’s important to think about how you want this resolved, before the arguments start and emotions get heated.

That’s why a private investigator can be invaluable. We have the skills and training to be able to find out. And we are not emotionally involved, so it’s easier for us to look at the plain facts and evidence. We’re here to help in any way we can, just get in touch.

Here’s how you can make a start finding out whether your partner is being unfaithful.

The biggest thing you’re looking for in your partner is change. Has your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend changed? Their behaviour, their schedule, habits, the way they dress, their mood?

Some of the most common signs are:

1. They spend more time away from home. Working late, hanging out with mates, trips out of town.

2. A significant change in your sex life. More, less, or different.

3. A desire for secrecy. They become a closed book.

4. They’re suddenly texting all the time. And they may leave the room to text or answer a call.

5. They’ve started to talk about someone more often.

Most affairs are with a work colleague or an ex. This is simply because it’s easy. They don’t have to go out and find someone. They already have a connection (at least an emotional connection). It’s not much work to take that to another level, even if they didn’t originally intend to. A common explanation is ‘it just happened’.

It’s important to note that they could show many of the signs listed below, and still not be cheating. At some stage you are going to need to talk to them. If you do not have evidence, this will most likely lead to a dead end. Get the evidence first. You have a right to know.

A change in themselves, their emotions and appearance:

1. They arrive home in different moods. This can reflect how their other relationship is developing. Every relationship has rough patches. Their secret one will be no different.

2. They seem happier, or sadder in general. There’s an overall change in their personality. They joke less, they’re more sarcastic. They appear more confident.

3. They become secretive with everything. You struggle to get any information out of them. Where they went, who they were with.

4. They start to take care of themselves more. The dress differently. They’ve started going to a gym. They have new underwear, and start wearing perfume/cologne.

5. You discover other lies. Even little white lies. They’re more deceitful in different areas.

6. Their religious devotion changes. They go to church/places of worship less. They seem less committed.

7. You notice lipstick smudges on them or their clothes, or a stray unidentified hair, or a faint smell of foreign perfume/cologne.

8. Someone tells you that they saw them with someone else. Or heard a rumour that they’re having an affair.

9. They mention someone more often. This can just be general comments, or they may even put them down to cover it up. They may start to compare you to them.

10. They take up new interests and hobbies, or listen to different music. This can be rubbing off from the other person.

11. They start using new phrases. Or they announce interesting new facts they’ve learned. This can also be coming from the other person.

12. You catch them not wearing their wedding ring.

13. They have friends who have cheated before. They may start to hang out with them more often, or even try to justify their friend’s past cheating.

14. They start to be impulsive, like a teenager. They want to try new things and be spontaneous.

15. They don’t want to talk about, read, hear or watch anything about affairs or infidelity. This makes them feel guilty.

16. They delay answering you, they have to think about questions first.

17. When they talk with you they rock back and forth, slouch, go into the foetal position, or cover up. This can mean that they’re hiding something.

18. They give one word answers. Or they overshare, giving way too much detail. Liars often talk too much because they’re trying to convince you.

19. They start to critique other people. They’re trying to take attention off themselves.

20. They hate surprises.

21. They start to flirt with other people or check them out.

A change in their habits or schedule:

22. You notice charges on credit card statements that don’t make sense. Infidelity costs money. Lunch, dinner, rooms etc. They make more ATM withdrawals, have unexplained cash or a new credit card.

23. You find out they have a second phone, or their cell phone use changes. I.e. they walk out of room to answer, put a passcode on it, or never leave it lying around. They always have their phone with them. They put it under their pillow when they sleep, they take it to the bathroom (a big indicator). You notice the same unknown number repeatedly on their cell phone log or bill. They whisper on their phone or hang up quickly if you walk in. You ask them who it was and they say ‘nobody’ or ‘doesn’t matter’. They’re constantly texting. If you confront them they may give you access to everything straight away, without any delay. This may be a sign they have another, secret phone. You notice them smiling at their phone often, or even laughing and then they say ‘nothing’ when you ask. They turn off find my friends or similar location finders.

24. You find out they have secret email accounts, social media, etc. Or they suddenly make their accounts private. I.e. they don’t want the other person that to see they’re in a relationship.

25. You find out they have an active online dating profile.

26. If they’re on their computer and you walk in, they suddenly switch windows or shut it down. They delete their internet browsing history regularly. They add a password or delete emails.

27. Their use of adult sites changes.

28. The passenger seat in their car is adjusted meaning they’ve been taking a passenger. There’s unexplained mileage on their car. They take kids seats out for no reason. You smell perfume on the passenger’s seatbelt. There are unexplained items in car. The back seats are down. They keep a change of clothes in their car.

29. There’s higher activity on their social media. Including them commenting on a specific someone or vice versa.

30. They’re not as available as they used to be. They don’t answer the phone as quickly. Or take a while to return your calls.

31. They work longer hours at work. Or their normal schedule changes. They don’t allow you to see their paycheque. They discourage you to call them at work. They take more business trips but don’t get you to drive them to the airport.

32. They start to want to do their own laundry.

33. They arrive home and go straight to the shower or bath.

34. They’re always running late. They’re distracted and texting, or are just plain forgetful.

35. They’re always watching the clock. They start to call you at a specific time to allay your fears. They’re compartmentalising/scheduling their life to make their affair easier.

36. Sudden changes in their schedule. I.e. they ring you at 5pm saying they forgot to mention their night out with their ‘friends’.

37. They start to go to bed later than you.

38. You catch them spending time with their ex, or even just bringing them up.

39. Little things just stop adding up. Some of their explanations don’t make sense. Why did they need to go via the supermarket on the way home two days in a row? How could they forget a night out with their friends? Why was their phone turned off for so long?

40. They have lots of new friends you’ve never heard of, i.e. they’re meeting the other person’s friends.

A change in their relationship with you:

41. A change in the level of intimacy. This does not necessarily mean less sex! It could mean more. A new sexual relationship could increase their general libido. Or they want to try something new. They’re less emotionally connected during sex. A reluctance to kiss or cuddle.

42. A reduced level of communication. Less talking, less joking around, less real connection. They can appear distracted or detached. They withdraw. They won’t even argue with you.

43. They have less time for you. They start to not include you in things. They don’t give any input into date ideas.

44. They start preparing you mentally. They ask you questions about how you’d react if you saw them with someone else. They ask hypothetical questions. They’re also trying to gauge what constitutes cheating or not. Many cheaters do eventually want to tell their spouse. Sometimes they’re testing the waters first.

45. They are quick to claim that you don’t trust them.

46. One or both of you contract a sexually transmitted disease/infection.

47. They start to accuse you of cheating on them. They get angry when you even look at someone. They’re more jealous. Or, if they were normally very jealous, the may become way less jealous. They start to tease you about other people, almost encouraging you to have an affair yourself.

48. They start to point out flaws in you. The things you do, the habits you have, your appearance. They start to blame and nag you to justify their infidelity. Or they stop nagging you about things they always nagged about. Maybe they see that as their way out of the relationship. When they get found out they can blame it on that.

49. They subconsciously avoid physical contact with you. They don’t sit next to you on the couch. They don’t touch you in the kitchen or bathroom when they used to. They almost flinch when you touch them, or they move away. Less eye contact with you.

50. They stop saying they love you.

51. If you confront them they get angry, withdraw, deflect, avoid, blame. Some of this is natural. No one likes to be accused. But they don’t talk through anything. They’re not willing to discuss or talk through any issues.

52. They’re more attentive and controlling. They’re asking you where you are all the time.

53. Their friends seem uncomfortable around you. Often you’re the last person to know. Their friends are covering for them, it may even seem that they don’t like you. They will take their side, they’ve only got one side of the story. They can’t look you in the eye.

54. They stop introducing you as their partner. They aren’t open about your relationship. Or if you’re just starting out in a relationship with them, they want to keep it secret (could be a sign they’re cheating on someone else with you). They stop tagging you in photos. Their social media photos are just of themselves.

55. They start to use kids as weapons. They try to turn them against you. Your kids start to mention things about mummy or daddy’s new ‘friend’.

56. They start to buy you a lot of gifts. They’re over complimentary to you. They have exaggerated affection because they feel guilty or are trying to cover up.

57. They call you the wrong name.

58. They try to stop you doing nice things for them, out of guilt.

59. They avoid PDA (public displays of affection).

Some further investigation that you can do

1. If you have access, look at their location history and all other call/message logs on their phone or computer.

2. If you don’t have access, here’s a trick to see their phone. When they’re on their phone (i.e. it’s unlocked), turn your phone off and put on charge. Get a friend to call their phone and ask to speak to you, saying they couldn’t get a hold of you on yours. Once they hand the phone over, go and pretend to do something urgent for the friend in another part of the house. When gone from the room you can look through the phone.

3. In NZ, if you are the legal owner of a vehicle you are allowed to put a GPS tracker in it. This can help if your partner uses your vehicle.

4. Look around inside their vehicle (as per point 28 above). Any suspicious items? Strange perfume smell?

5. Show up at their work at lunchtime and see what their reaction is. Do they appear uncomfortable, worried, trying to get rid of you?

6. Rush up to them when they just arrive home to give them a hug, do the smell test. Can you smell any foreign perfume or cologne?

7. Casually ask them where they were when they went out. Then try to verify this. If they said they were with a friend, casually talk to the friend and ask how their outing was.

8. Send a suggestive message from a new phone number (i.e. a cheap prepaid phone) to your partner. See how they respond. Say something about having a new phone number, but don’t say who it is.

9. This one will let the cat out of the bag, so it should only be used if you’ve already confronted your partner and they’ve denied it. Think of one of their friends who you think would know if they had been cheating on you. Then talk to that friend, abruptly ask them how long they knew your partner was cheating on you. Tell them your partner’s already told you. If they did know, they won’t be surprised. Even if they say they didn’t really know, or only just found out. If they didn’t know, there will be genuine surprise and confusion.

10. Give them an opportunity for a weekend without you. Say you’re going on a trip with a friend. Stay locally and drive past your house (or the suspected lover’s house) to see if they’re both there. Be careful with this though, see point below. This weekend would be a better opportunity to get a professional private investigator involved.

11. You may be tempted to follow your partner yourself. We don’t recommend this, it will only lead to confrontation. Even getting a friend to follow them can be risky.

If you suspect that your spouse is being unfaithful, the odds are that you are right. If the list above only confirms your suspicions, then it’s time to take the next step.

Licensed private investigators are legally able to gather information and undertake surveillance activities. Everything we do is within the bounds of the law and therefore admissible in court. This may not necessarily be the case if you (or a friend) gathers information for you in an illegal manner. Having a P.I. gather evidence for you can make it more credible.

It’s also very difficult to remain impartial if you’re the party involved. If you try to follow someone yourself, what happens if you see them with someone else? Understandably, you may not be able to control yourself, and you may do something you’ll regret later. That never ends well.

We have a responsibility to perform surveillance in a legal and ethical way. We will not trespass, install spyware, or hack into someone’s phone. We can also not act for you if you have a restraining order against you.

If you need more evidence, talk to us. That is what we do. We’ll be an impartial ear and can discuss various options with you. You may not even need to hire a private investigator, sometimes all you need is someone to talk to. We can help.

Can we help you? If you need an Auckland private investigator contact us on 09 391 1100 or help@isolve.nz for a chat.

iSolve – For when you need to know.