Do you suspect your partner is cheating on you? Are they spending more time working late at the office? Did you catch a whiff of perfume on their collar as they greeted you at the door? Their behavior may seem different lately without any valid explanation.
Maybe you’re being paranoid, but then again, maybe there’s something to your suspicions. Discovering your partner is cheating on you is a devastating experience. It’s not always as simple as an episode of “Cheaters” where tempers flare, and people argue with each other.
You might spend months suspecting your partner of cheating before you finally realize what’s happening. In the interim, you experience a severe decline in your mental health as you worry about the situation and your thoughts.
The reality is people cheat on their partners all the time. Maybe it’s a one-off thing at a business conference over a weekend, and they never see the person again. Or perhaps it’s repeated behavior where the offending spouse starts a new relationship behind their partner’s back.
There are dozens of scenarios. Maybe the cheating spouse feels their partner no longer loves them or cares for them. Or perhaps they aren’t getting what they want from the relationship anymore. Whatever the reason for the infidelity, cheating is cheating.
If you suspect your partner is cheating on you – they probably are. We have an innate quality in our minds that detects suspicious and deceptive behavior in others. However, our closeness to the person and unwillingness to come to grips with the fact they might be cheating on us might cloud our judgment.
We curated this list of five signs your partner is cheating on you. If you notice one or more of them, it might be time to hire a private investigator to uncover the truth.
#1 Evasive Behavior and Potential Lying
One of the first signs of a cheating spouse is evasive behavior and lying. You might casually ask them where they were or what they did today without any intention of suspicion in your voice. If you notice they answer you but don’t look you in the eye or turn away to do something while replying, it’s a sign they feel uncomfortable.
This body language shows they’re trying to act distracted to remove sensations of guilt or the fear of your catching onto their behavior. If they look you dead in the eye and tell you what they were doing, they’re likely telling the truth. People give themselves away with their body language.
#2 They’re Always on Their Phone
If you’re lying on your couch with your partner and they’re always on their phone with the screen facing away from you, it’s a sign they’re texting someone they don’t want you to know about. While it’s perfectly common for people to display this behavior. However, it’s a red flag if they don’t usually do it and start suddenly adopting this behavior.
They could be texting a friend or looking at stuff on TikTok. However, if they’re typing away and have a smile on their face, it’s another red flag of suspicious body language. You could ask to see their phone, but there are several apps they can use to hide chats with other people.
So, you get the phone from them, and it looks like they’re not texting anyone, and you feel like the bad guy. In reality, they used a stealth app to quickly close the conversation and hand you the phone. Or, they could deny giving you the phone, protesting your request as an invasion of privacy. That’s a big red flag.
If you decide to snatch their phone away from them and they go crazy, then you have your answer. While it’s unethical behavior, they’ll have to prove you did that if they decide to lay a charge against you for taking their property. You can get your answer and hand them back on the phone, but you can’t use that as evidence in a divorce case.
#3 They Reduce Time and Attention with You
If your partner starts reducing the time they spend around you, and they go out with friends more often, that’s a sign of infidelity. If they work late at the office more than normal or go out to meet friends without you several times a week, it’s a sign they’re cheating.
If you feel like they’re avoiding spending time with you and have other interests, it could be because they no longer get any pleasure out of spending time with you and they’re in a side relationship.
If they say they’re going out to meet friends and you tell them you want to come with them, they’ll likely try to stop you or cancel their plans. That’s a red flag. Or if you say they’re working late and you tell them you’re close to their office and want to swing by, they’ll likely make up an excuse to get you to stay away.
#4 They Experience Changes in Mood to You and Their Environment
Living a double life is taxing on people’s emotions. While some people have sociopathic tendencies and find it easy to maintain this behavior, others will eventually feel guilty and uncomfortable around you. As a result, your spouse might become irritable and moody around you. It’s how the subconscious mind deals with the scenario.
They’ll get defensive and moody because they’re trying to justify their behavior, and by being aggressive, hostile, or disagreeable with you, they justify their cheating. Even if you become more loving toward them and ask them what’s wrong, they will likely find your behavior more irritating.
#5 They Pull Back on Physical Intimacy
The biggest red flag for infidelity is a pullback in intimacy. Most couples will slow down in their sexual intimacy with each other after getting married. That’s normal behavior.
However, if your spouse suddenly shuts down all intimate contact or feels resistant to the idea of your initiating it, they’re likely finding it elsewhere.
Or it might be the opposite. They might ask you to start trying new sexual activities in bed. This behavior might seem strange, and it’s because they’re trying to replicate what they have with their new lover.
Can I Ask My Spouse or Partner to Take a Polygraph?
You can ask your spouse or partner to take a polygraph if you suspect they are cheating. However, they don’t have to comply with your request. There is no law forcing them to take a polygraph to prove they are faithful. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. No one may bully or coerce another person into taking a polygraph exam.
The person taking the exam must sign a statement that they willingly undergo the polygraph test. In the case of a cheating spouse, it’s highly unlikely they’ll agree to the exam. In most cases, they’ll accuse you of not trusting them, deflecting your distrust back on you to make you look like the untrustworthy party in the relationship.
What Do I Do If they Refuse a Polygraph?
You can do nothing if your spouse refuses to take a polygraph. As mentioned, the law prohibits anyone from pressuring another person into taking a lie detector test. If they refuse to comply with your request, the best option you have is to hire a private investigator and conceal this activity from your spouse.
The PI will watch your spouse from a distance and follow them for a few days or weeks. They’ll note their activity and take photographic evidence if they witness encounters between your partner and a lover. However, hiring a PI can be an expensive proposition.
Is a Polygraph Accurate? Could My Spouse Be Innocent?
If your spouse does consent to a polygraph, they are confident they can beat the exam, bluffing in the hope you’ll pull out of forcing them to do it, or they’re innocent and want to prove their commitment to you.
You may be being paranoid, and your spouse is innocent. However, in most cases, if you suspect them of cheating, and you’re not usually a paranoid person, the chances are your hunch is right. The polygraph exam is usually 98% accurate at identifying deceptive behavior.
The polygraph examiner will ask your spouse three or four questions about your relationship and their potential infidelity. If the spouse is lying, the examiner will pick it up. There’s always a chance that the spouse fails the polygraph because they feel overly nervous.
Even if they fail, they may still deny their involvement with someone else, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Polygraph evidence isn’t admissible in court in most instances, and you can’t use it to get out of paying child support or alimony to your spouse if you decide to get a divorce.
What Can I Do If I Suspect My Spouse Is Cheating on Me?
If you suspect infidelity in your marriage, the best action to take is to ask your spouse about your suspicions. If you’re confident they’re cheating, ask them to admit it. Give them an escape hatch out of the relationship. Chances are they’re just waiting for you to find out anyway.
If your spouse is cheating, they don’t love you anymore. They want out of the relationship and probably don’t know how to break the news to you. If you suspect your spouse of cheating, your relationship might be on the rocks, or you might have no idea that your spouse is unhappy in your relationship.
Either way, it’s a sign that things aren’t working out. You can choose to end the marriage or seek counseling to help you overcome your problems. Each scenario is different, and you’ll need to take the action you feel is appropriate for your relationship.
What Are My Legal Rights if My Spouse Cheats on Me?
Cheating is a challenging definition to nail down in a legal context. Infidelity can include behavior like inappropriate texting, emotional affairs, or sexual encounters outside of the marriage. Ost states will require you to prove there was more than just a friendship with another person outside the relationship.
You’ll need to prove sexual misconduct between your spouse and another person. That doesn’t mean you must catch your partner red-handed and start snapping photos. You can prove infidelity by showing your partner had an opportunity and inclination to have sexual intercourse with a third party outside the relationship.
This proof could include pictures of your spouse and the third party entering a motel room and leaving a few hours later. A private investigator could easily gather this evidence on your behalf. The proof could also extend to your spouse holding hands with the third party and kissing them or showing romantic behavior.
After receiving the information and proof from the PI, you should make an appointment with a divorce attorney and bring the evidence. The court can subpoena phone and email records, but it’s essential for you to consult with a divorce attorney before taking any legal action against your spouse.
Avoid addressing the spouse’s infidelity with them face-to-face. Tempers and emotions can flare, and there could be severe unintended consequences for you taking this approach to the situation.
Going head-on into an argument with your partner without securing the proper evidence could be counter-productive. It makes no difference in the process of the courts dividing assets and debts in a divorce case, regardless if they cheated on you or not.
Similarly, whether your spouse cheated on you doesn’t make a difference in your commitment to child support or spousal maintenance. So, even if your spouse cheated on you and you have proof, you’ll have to pay spousal maintenance for years.
What Do I Do If I Think My Spouse Is Cheating on Me?
Consult with a qualified and experienced divorce attorney. They may recommend hiring a private investigator to monitor your spouse’s behavior and uncover the truth. Or you could try counseling and see if you can live with their infidelity. Each situation is different, depending on how you want to handle it.