Cheating Spouse: 18 Signs You MUST Watch For If You Don’t Want to Be Hurt

The signs of a cheating spouse look different in every relationship, of course, but there are many common signs to look for if you think they’re cheating.

signs of a cheating spouse

It would be so nice to say that we live in a world where people stick to what they commit to. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. It’s really sad that we would ever need to be well-versed in the signs of a cheating spouse.

When you’re in a relationship with someone, you assume that they’re being faithful and following the same rules you are.

But it’s better to be prepared with the knowledge of what to look for than be blindsided and even more hurt for it.

The most obvious signs of a cheating spouse

Sadly, if you’re asking whether or not your spouse is cheating on you and looking into the signs of a cheating spouse, you’re probably not in a great spot.

Your suspicions are growing, and something is definitely awry in your relationship. [Read: How to know if your lover is under another’s spell and falling into an affair]

Don’t automatically assume that there’s infidelity afoot.

Jumping to the worst-case scenario is easy to do, but it will likely do more harm than good. Take your time and just be aware of what’s going on around you. There are plenty of indicators that they’re cheating if you’re looking for the right things.

Before you start pointing fingers and accusing your partner of cheating, gather some evidence and take a close look at their behavior. Look at the signs of a cheating spouse so that you know what you need to do next.

1. You feel it

You weren’t born yesterday. No matter what anyone tells you, you have intuition. Yes, you should be certain that you see the signs and gather evidence because feelings aren’t facts. [Read: Tempted to cheat? 15 real reasons why being faithful is so hard for most people]

But at the end of the day, you know when someone is acting shady toward you.

If your gut is telling you that they’re cheating on you, you should listen to it. It doesn’t always mean that they’re cheating, but it means that something isn’t right.

2. They have new passwords all of the sudden

Are their devices and accounts suddenly on an inaccessible lockdown?

It’s not just their phone, either. It’s all of their devices and any accounts that you might have had access to. Strange, no? Why would they suddenly change their passwords? The only feasible reasons are that they got new devices or their accounts got hacked.

Of course, they absolutely don’t have to tell you their password. This is only a good basis on which to be suspicious if they’ve not used passwords before or if they have, but you’ve always had easy access to them. If they’ve never had a password before and suddenly do, it’s not good. [Read: Emotional affair – what it is, 48 secret signs, the stages of infidelity, & what to do]

3. The sex has changed

This could happen in several different ways, but if you’ve had a pretty consistent sex life and it seems to change out of the blue, pay attention.

If you’re having less sex, it might be that your partner is keeping themselves busy with someone new. They’re so focused on pleasing that person that it’s like they don’t have the time or energy to please you anymore.

But on the flip side,f you’re having more sex than usual, your partner might be trying to make up for something. It could be an act of guilt. They’re just overcompensating for betraying you.

Another type of change that you’ll likely see is the fact that they might pull new moves out of their pocket when you’ve been riding the same ride for a long time.

4. Sometimes, you just can’t reach them

There are specific times of the day when you simply can’t get in touch with them. This is especially alarming when your spouse is never known to be unresponsive or unavailable to you. [Read: 15 very subtle signs of infidelity that most of us miss so easily]

Something’s changed, and whether it’s by phone call or text, they’re not replying for a couple of hours. Has this become a regular occurrence? Are you noticing any patterns in the days of the week or times of the day?

If your partner is cheating on you, they’re going to be less available to answer your texts and calls because they’re busy with someone else.

5. Their friends act weird

Their friends know that they’re cheating on you. After all, how could your spouse hide it from everyone? Someone has to know.

Have you noticed that their friends are suddenly acting differently around you? Maybe they’re either avoiding you or acting unusually kind and attentive. They’re only doing this because they know something that you don’t, and they feel sorry for you. [Read: 20 veiled signs your boyfriend is cheating on you already]

6. The emotional connection fades

You used to tell each other everything. You thought you had a pretty solid emotional connection.

Now, your partner isn’t as emotionally invested in the relationship. They’re not sharing as much as usual, and it might be because they share their feelings and thoughts with someone else. Why would they waste their time repeating these things twice? [Read: 15 signs your girlfriend is cheating on you, and it’s time to confront her]

7. They’re angry at you

They seem to be on edge when they’re around you. It’s like they’re almost annoyed at your very presence.

When someone is cheating, they find little ways to rationalize and excuse their behavior.

They’re telling themselves that you’re the reason this awful thing is happening. If only you were more appreciative or thoughtful, they wouldn’t have to cheat.

If only you played around a little more in the bedroom. If only you put more effort into your appearance. If only you did those things, they wouldn’t have to find fun elsewhere.

They make you feel like you’re the one to blame, but you haven’t done anything wrong. [Read: The reasons why cheaters just can’t help themselves]

8. They’ve improved their appearance

All of a sudden, they’re putting a suspicious amount of effort into their appearance. They’re doing things they never did before. They might be styling their hair, working out, or dressing nicer.

Of course, it could be a new-year-new-me kind of mantra that they’re following, but it could also be that they want to please someone else. If they’re usually wearing rags and messy hair but are now dressed to the nines and using all sorts of new products, something is up.

9. Their schedule changes

They always come home every day at five, but they suddenly need to stay at work late, go on business trips that never existed before, or get stuck in a lot of lengthy traffic jams that delay them by an hour or more. [Read: 18 guaranteed ways to catch a cheater red-handed in the act]

They have a new excuse for every time they’re not on their usual schedule, and it’s just not adding up for you.

10. They’re spending more money

You see credit card statements piling up or cash withdrawals from your joint bank account, but you can’t seem to figure out where the money is going. This is a sure sign of infidelity.

Watch out for charges from hotels that you didn’t visit, gifts you didn’t receive, and expensive dinners you didn’t eat. The costs of cheating add up very quickly.

11. They’re all over someone else’s social media

You never really paid too much attention to their social media before, but now you’re noticing that they’ve been liking a particular person’s post a little too often. Maybe they even comment on them. Maybe it’s not even their activity that you pick up on but someone else’s.

If you’ve noticed one person suddenly liking everything they post, it’s a cause for concern. [Read: Snapchat cheating – what it is & signs your partner is doing it]

Aside from likes or comments, you should also be alarmed if you two had an active life on social media but it’s come to a screeching halt. They’ve stopped posting photos of you together and interacting with you at all.

12. They never leave their phone

In a healthy relationship, it’s not a big deal to leave your phones lying around.

Your spouse, however, carries their phone everywhere they go. It never leaves their side, and that’s weird.

They can’t even make a brief visit to the bathroom without making sure their phone is on them. They sleep with it under their pillow. Why can’t they trust you around their phone? [Read: Simple questions to ask yourself to know if you’re being lied to] 

13. You confront them, and they shift the blame

Maybe you’ve confronted them about the cheating, but you didn’t get the answer you were looking for.

Instead of confessing or having any type of genuine conversation, they ignore or deflect the conversation.

The truth is that if your partner is cheating, the last thing in the world that they want to do is talk to you about it. The easiest thing for them to do is make it your problem. They question why you won’t trust them or claim that you’re only accusing them because you’re the guilty one.

14. They avoid public displays of affection

Any sharp shift from normal behavior could be one of the signs of a cheating spouse. This includes avoiding PDA if you guys were always the lovey-dovey type of couple. [Read: The most common types of cheating in a relationship]

If you used to hold hands walking through the mall, and they’re now pushing you away, something could be up. Frequent kisses are turning into nothing. Flirty touches just don’t exist any longer. Out in public, you might as well be brother and sister.

It’s like they don’t want to be seen being even remotely affectionate with you.

15. They’ve even started wearing fancier underpants

Their change in appearance doesn’t stop with their hair and workout regimen.

You’re used to seeing ratty boxers with a hole in the crotch or the simplest panties you can imagine, but now you’re finding new designer briefs or lacy cheeky undies. It’s extremely possible that they’re trying to spice it up for someone else. [Read: Common types of affairs and 20 signs & reasons people get into one]

16. They suddenly take up a new hobby

As mentioned, you want to look for any shift in behavior, and that includes their hobbies.

Often, if your spouse is cheating and has taken on a new hobby, it’s to mirror the person they’re seeing. They’re trying to develop the same interests by mimicking the hobbies of those they’re romantically interested in.

Obviously, this could just mean that they want to try something new, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention.

If your partner has never had an interest in running, knitting, or golf and a sudden desire to do those things pops up, ask questions. Tell them you’d like to learn to and be involved in their hobbies to gauge how they respond. [Read: How to tell if someone is lying about cheating]

17. They overshare or under share

One of the telltale signs of a cheating spouse lies in how they divulge information.

Are they former chatterboxes who have gone tight-lipped? They’re only providing the bare minimum when it comes to the details of their day when they used to give you a play-by-play.

Or are they former minimalists who now act like story-telling is an extreme sport? It might seem like the recount of their drive home takes longer to talk about than the actual drive home took. They’re providing too many details, and it seems shady and unnecessary.

18. You catch them in small lies

The big lie is cheating, but it’s the small lies that lead you to the grand slam. [Read: 21 signs to tell if a guy is a liar & the subtle ways to read his lies]

It could be as simple as them saying that they were late because they stopped to grab some Tylenol, but you get a headache the next day, and there’s no Tylenol to be found.

Perhaps they mentioned stopping by their mom’s house, but they later mentions that they haven’t spoken to her in days.

How to deal with a cheating spouse

If you’ve discovered that your spouse is cheating, the most important thing is that you are comfortable with what you choose to do.

There are a thousand options when it comes to how to handle this situation, but the only ones that matter are the ones that feel right for you.

You should definitely take some time to sit with your feelings. Allow yourself to feel angry and betrayed. Give yourself a minute to experience the sadness and grief, but don’t sit with it by yourself for too long. Talk to a counselor or trusted friend to work through some of what you’re feeling.

How you handle it once you’ve had time to work through your emotions is up to you.

You have the options to ignore it or confront it, but ignoring it is only going to further harm your relationship and yourself. [Read: Ways to survive infidelity without tearing apart]

Hopefully, you’ll find a way to talk to your spouse about it in a way that makes you feel safe and validated. To do that, you have to be willing to leave most of your emotion out of it because it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to get the answers you seek if you approach your spouse belligerently and hysterically.

Reasons why a spouse cheats

There’s always a poorly crafted excuse provided to minimalize their behavior.

There really isn’t a good or valid excuse for cheating, but it’s important to know that it’s never your fault. Your spouse’s cheating is a decision that they made.

They might chalk it up to simply being bored, feeling unappreciated, or not feeling sexually satisfied. Maybe they blame the fact that you travel for work too much or that you’ve “let yourself go.” Perhaps they write it off as a mid-life crisis.

No matter what, addressing those issues beforehand was always an option before they decided to cheat, so the blame is all on them. [Read: How to date with trust issues and learn to believe in people again]

We hope that you never find yourself having to cope with an unfaithful partner. If you do, however, at least you know the signs of a cheating spouse to look out for.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...