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These are the Signs to look for in a Cheating Partner

If you have a gut feeling that your partner is cheating on you and is having an affair, you need to pay attention to these signs so you are not caught off guard.

How Can You Detect That Your Partner Is Cheating On You

If your partner suddenly shows some or all of the signs mentioned below, your partner may be having an affair.

  1. Cheating Partners Display a Change in Behavior: Look for sudden changes in behavior, attitude, or routine.
  2. Cheating Partners Become Emotionally Distant: If you feel that your partner is showing a decline in emotional intimacy or emotional connection with you, it is a red flag. It may be that the partner’s basic need for an emotional connection is being met elsewhere.
  3. Cheating Partners Have a Change in their Communication Pattern: Watch out for reduced communication between the two of you and see if your partner avoids talking about certain topics.
  4. Cheating Partners Are Secretive Around their Social Media Activity: Pay close attention to your partner’s social media use, especially when he/she is displaying secretive or guarded behavior.
  5. Cheating Partners Change Their Appearance And Outlook: Look out for a sudden increased focus on personal appearance, especially if he/she has unexpected changes in wardrobe or style.
  6. Cheating Partners Have An Altered Sexual Behavior: Pay attention to a sudden remarkable change in sexual intimacy or a total lack of interest.
  7. Cheating Partners Have Frequent Unexplained Time Gaps: Pay attention if your partner has frequent periods of time that you cannot account for, especially if there are unexplained late nights at work or social gathering without you.
  8. Cheating Partners Display Defensive Behavior: Guilty people are prone to overreacting when they are questioned about their activities. If you feel that your partner becomes increasingly defensive when you ask reasonable questions, especially about his/her whereabouts, it should raise a red flag.
  9. Cheating Partners Have Unexplained Mood Swings and Show Hostility towards you: If your partner shows mood swings or hostility towards you, it is also a sign to watch out for.
  10. Cheating Partners Cannot Explain Discrepancies In Their Stories: Watch out if your partner gives statements that are clearly contradictory.
  11. Pay Due Attention To Your Gut Feeling: Go with your natural intuition or gut feeling if you feel that something is not right. However, approach your partner with caution and open communication. Mention that trust and transparency are important for any relationship to flourish.

Now you must be thinking, why did your partner cheat on you while you are perfectly loyal to him/her? Can you do something to protect your relationship? Read on…

Cheating partner, caught having an affair, extra marital affair
Here are the signs that your partner may be cheating on you

The Dilemma of Social Media Interactions

Cheating is not uncommon in a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, the handheld devices have made it easier than ever to send and receive private messages. At the same time, the social circle of social media users has grown exponentially. Some partners in an exclusive relationship with their significant others may end up cheating due to habitually scrolling the social media. For them, glossed profiles that are carefully curated to attract others’ attention does the trick when they come across someone attractive. The initial contact may be innocuous, but repeated messages inadvertently bring people close enough to be considered as a romantic alternative.

Romantic Alternatives Are Like An Insurance In Case The Primary Relationship Breaks

Romantic Alternatives are potential sexual/romantic partners that individuals communicate with to develop an intimate relationship later. Alternatives may be placed on the back burner till an opportunity brings them to the forefront.

Dr. Daria Kuss

Why Do People Consider Their Online Friends More Attractive Than Their Current Partner

When partners show interest in alternatives, it means their commitment to their primary relationship is low. Commitment is making a choice to forego other choices. Many studies have shown that partners in an exclusive relationship still use social media to solicit romantic alternatives. One study found that partners who experienced low commitment were more likely to send and accept friend requests with romantic interests.

During the early phase of relationship development, committed partners may take a break and think about the consequences of their action. Committed partners consider their significant others to be better than the available alternatives. On the contrary, partners who are not committed to an exclusive partner or those who experience low relationship commitment may pursue alternative partners. Alternative partners are potential sexual/romantic partners that individuals communicate with to develop an intimate relationship later. Alternatives may be placed on the back burner till an opportunity brings them to the forefront.

What Steps Can You and Your Spouse Take To Increase Relationship Commitment

Commitment can protect your relationship and is rooted in three pillars. These pillars are strengthened when partners are mutually satisfied, when there are no alternatives available, and when partners have made high mutual investments in their relationship.

Don’t let your partner’s interest in romantic alternatives go unchecked. Remember, your partner’s exposure to the alternatives on social media can lead to comparisons between you and online romantic alternatives. There are many tests that you and your partner can take to ascertain how committed both of you. At the end of the article, you can find a link to the test attached.

Take Home Message

Drastic changes in mood, increased stress, changes in behavior, major changes in routine, secrecy, and significant changes in communication can be signs that your partner is hiding something from you, potentially even infidelity. Don’t ignore these red flags. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and address any concerns with emotional control. If your suspicion persist, it is important to seek professional advice to navigate through these challenges.

For Further Reading

Abbasi, I. S. (2018). Falling prey to online romantic alternatives: Evaluating social media alternative partners in committed versus dating relationships. Social Science Computer Review, 37(6), 723-733. doi:10.1177/0894439318793947 

Drouin, M., Miller, D. A., & Dibble, J. L. (2014). Ignore your partners’ current Facebook friends; beware the ones they add. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 483–488. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.02.032

Dibble, J. L., Punyanunt-Carter, N., & Drouin, M. (2018). Maintaining relationship alternatives electronically: Positive relationship maintenance in back burner relationships. Communication Research Reports, 35,200-209.doi:10.1080/08824096.2018.1425985 

de Lenne, O., Wittevronghel, L., Vandenbosch, L., & Eggermont, S. (2019). Romantic relationship commitment and the threat of alternatives on social media. Personal Relationships, 26, 680-693. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12299 

Muise, A., Christofides, E., & Desmarais, S. (2009). More information than you ever wanted: Does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy? Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12, 441–444. doi:10.1089/cpb. 2008.0263

About the Author: Irum Abbasi is a post-doctoral researcher. Her research focuses on unraveling the nuanced ways in which social media shapes and influences various types of relationships, ranging from personal connections to professional networks.

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