You don’t have any other facts, other than that nagging feeling that your partner may be doing something behind your back. It might be brought upon by a suddenly shifty gaze, secretive moves on social media or some lies that you have confirmed. Other than this, you have no concrete proof or evidence.
When your instincts tell you something, you really have to pay attention. Forget logic and forget reason, because your instincts have the power to see right through your partner’s excuses. So when your gut tells you that there may be trouble in paradise, what should you do?
How to deal with a partner who might be cheating
Instead of just pushing the thought out of your head, here’s what you should do when you feel like your partner might be unfaithful.
#1 Force yourself to accept the possibility that your partner may be cheating on you. Denial is not going to serve you in this situation, unless you are comfortable being in a relationship where you are cheated on. You really just have to let the reality soak in. Doing so is your best chance to effectively face the situation, if your hunch is indeed correct.
#2 Gather the information that you already know. Even if you have to write some of it down to remember it all, collecting all the facts that you have about the situation can help you organize all of your information. Make a list of evidence that your partner is cheating, as well as a list of proof that he or she isn’t cheating. Ensure that the facts you gather are indeed facts, and not just your suspicions! [Read: 10 deceptively simple reasons men cheat on great women]
#3 Evaluate the information very carefully once you have it written down. Once all of the information and evidence is written down, it will be a lot easier for you to go over it, and see if it actually makes sense. For example, one of your friends may have mentioned seeing your guy with another woman at the mall, but you know for a fact that this young woman is his sister based on Instagram photos, then you may just be getting all worked up for nothing. Evaluate your data further, and connect the dots to help you get a clearer picture of the situation. [Read: 18 signs that your partner may be having an emotional affair]
#4 Gather more evidence. When the initial search for evidence gives you leads, follow up on those leads a la CSI. You don’t have to do forensic tests or interrogations. But if you suspect that on a certain day last week, your partner told you one story while a social media post told you another, confirm which one is the real story by trying to gather more clues. [Read: 25 reasons why women cheat]
#5 Discuss the situation with friends whom you really trust. In scenarios like this, it really does help to have a good second opinion. The reason is because the stakes are so high. You really don’t want to accuse your partner of cheating, unless you are sure that this is what is happening.
If you do accuse him or her, and you are wrong, it could be disastrous. So, hopefully, your friends can help you process all of your evidence, and try to figure out if you are really being cheated on or not. If your suspicions are true, then at least you have your friends who know the story, and they can be there for you when worse comes to worst. [Read: 9 sure ways to know you’re dating a cheater]
#6 Contact your partner’s exes. This one may be a bit risky and borderline paranoia, but it can also be extremely helpful. So if you do intend on using this move, do so only at the risk of breaking your partner’s heart and losing their trust forever if you’re proved wrong, and your partner gets to know about it somehow.
Your partner’s ex may know important things about your partner that can help you get to the bottom of the situation. Perhaps the ex was cheated on by your partner at one point in time. If so, you may start to think that cheating is something your partner is just used to doing.
The ex may also be able to warn you about certain behavior patterns, which correlated to cheating in the past. It may be extremely awkward to talk to your partner’s ex, but they’re like a database of knowledge regarding the deep, dark relationship habits of your ex.
#7 See if you can catch your partner in the act. There are numerous ways to catch a cheating partner, ranging to the relatively safe to the ridiculously risky. However, just be careful when you do this since, in the case that your suspicions are wrong, it will definitely tell your partner that you don’t trust them. [Read: 18 ingenious ways to catch a cheating partner in the act]
#8 See if you can get information from friends. It’s unlikely that his or her friends will give you any information directly, because they probably won’t want to get involved in the situation. If they did, it could potentially cost them their friendship with your partner. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t reveal information accidentally. You can ask them simple questions such as, “Hey, do you know where John was on Wednesday night?” You never know, they could let something slip.
#9 Finally, after you do everything else, confront your partner. If all of the other things you do lead even further to the conclusion that your partner is cheating on you, you may have no choice left but to have a confrontation.
If in case your research and snooping don’t lead to any substantial evidence that your partner is cheating, you can still confront your partner about your suspicions, in the hope that he or she will stop doing anything to make those suspicions spiral out of control.
Not everyone has the strength, the means or the time to go out of their way to check if a partner is being unfaithful. However, for those who value their relationships and their sanity while staying in said relationship, finding out if you’re being cheated on is of utmost importance.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by sweet, reassuring words or half-assed bits of proof of fidelity. You have every right to know if there’s some funny business going on in your relationship.
[Read: 8 things you should never do right after a breakup]
When the nagging cheating suspicion rears its ugly head, you better gear up and start getting to the bottom of things. What you’ll find may be painful to know, but it sure beats the pain of knowing that you’ve been completely oblivious to your partner’s scandalous activities.
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