Here’s the thing:

There is something wrong with your partner, but you don’t know exactly what it is. 

You’ve got an awful gut feeling.

Let me explain:

As a kid, I used to overhear my dad’s conversations with his clients. As a private investigator, my dad used to receive his clients in his little office at home, and still does. 

How many cheating stories I’ve heard, only god knows. 

What still resonates with me is that many of my dad’s clients came based on a feeling. A bad feeling. 

These people were often unable to point out anything objective that could have indicated a potential ongoing affair. 

It was just a feeling, but they were often right.

In fact, a ‘gut feeling’ occurs when your mind has unconsciously picked up on different clues or signs that don’t match your stored knowledge and memories. 

In other words…

You sense that something is off. A change in patterns or behaviors is recorded by your brain but not fully rationalized yet. At this stage, it is common to perceive the partner as ‘not themselves’, but struggle to identify where this sensation is originating from. 

The result: an emotional mess that poses a serious risk to your relationship.

Now, the question is:

What are these clues your gut picked up on, that you are failing to make sense of?

There could be hundreds, but some are shockingly common and present themselves in almost every cheating scenario.

Let’s take a look at the 4 most common cheating signs!

Watch Out for These 4 Shockingly Common Signs of an Affair

Each of these 4 signs represents a generic behavior that can be broken down into a small set of micro-behaviors.

We’ll take a close look at the relevant micro-behaviors for each sign, to give some context around what these signs actually mean and how they manifest.

For instance, ‘to be always busy’ is a behavior or an attitude that can manifest itself in a myriad of forms.

However, within a cheating scenario, there are a few specific micro-behaviors, falling under the ‘being always busy’ category, that are incredibly recurring.

Showing up home late at night is one of them, for instance.

On that note, let’s dive into it!

Sign #1 The Phone Obsession

A woman on her phone at night, a common cheaters' practice.

Chances are some dirty business is run through their mobile. 

If that’s the case, be prepared to deal with your partner’s phone mania:

1.1 They never leave their phone unattended

1.2 They hide their phone from you

1.3 They make their phone more private/secure

1.4 They are not comfortable if you use their phone

Let’s dig into these:

1.1 They Never Leave Their Phone Unattended

Your partner’s phone is nowhere to be seen. 

An unfaithful partner who is having an affair through their phone will inevitably be defensive of it. 

There is no escape. 

Three common examples:

  • They take their phone into the bathroom each time
  • They make their phone disappear before going to sleep
  • They sit by their phone when on charge

1.2 They Hide Their Phone From You

Cheaters are insolent.

They won’t fear texting or ringing their lover when around you.

They take some precautions, though.

In particular:

  • They move away or lock their phone as you get closer
  • They place their phone down with the screen facing down
  • They move away from you when taking phone calls

Pay attention if they move away when taking certain phone calls at certain times of the day, if the tone of their voice changes when you approach them during a call or if they abruptly hang up when you sneak by. 

Moving on.

1.3 They Make Their Phone More Private/Secure

Is your partner’s phone suddenly snoop-proof? 

Watch out for these three common snoop-proof techniques:

  • They suddenly put an unlocking password on their phone
  • They receive stealth messages (no sound or vibration)
  • They disable the message preview on their home screen

Cheaters won’t generally lock you out of their phone without coming equipped with a range of excuses, like:

‘I’ve just put a password on so the kids won’t mess my phone up anymore’.

A classic.

1.4 They Are Not Comfortable If You Use Their Phone

If your relationship doesn’t have strict rules in regard to personal space, I’m assuming that you are free to temporarily use your partner’s phone upon request. 

If that is true, ask your partner for their phone and provide a vague explanation for it (e.g. you want to check their camera settings). 

If there’s some dirty evidence in there, do not expect them to let you freely navigate their phone, instead:

  • They come up with an excuse to not give the phone to you
  • They strictly check on you as you use their phone
  • They attempt to take their phone off you by any means possible

A cheating partner will vocally control your navigation on their phone to prevent you from stumbling upon embarrassing material.

By the way, did you know that there is a free, effective way to secretly read someone’s WhatsApp conversations using the WhatsApp Web version, without resorting to unreliable spy softwares?

We discuss it here: ‘How to catch a cheater without hiring a private investigator‘.


Sign #2 Changes in Appearance

A man dressing up nicely in front of a mirror. A sudden change in appearance is often a sign of cheating.

This is another big one. But thankfully not too hard to detect! Watch out for:

2.1 Showers, showers and more showers

2.2 Every hair on their body has been taken care of

2.3 They are dressing nicely, all of a sudden

2.4 They are getting in shape like never before

So you are dating someone after work? 

I bet you are not going to dinner with the wildest beard, greasy hair and a sweaty shirt?

2.1 Showers, Showers and More Showers

This is usually more relatable to men than women. Observe your partner:

  • They are having showers more often than they used to
  • Are they having a shower every time they return from work?
  • Have they unusually bought new personal care products?

If convincing your husband to get in the shower used to be as tough as bathing a cat, his new shower obsession doesn’t bode well.

Similarly, has a new aftershave popped up on the shelf for the first time in 15 years? Hmm.

Also, pay attention to their shower pattern: if they suddenly start to have showers after work, it could be an attempt to wash off the scent of a lover.

Hug your husband as he enters the front door to detect any suspicious scent.

2.2 Every Hair On Their Body Has Been Taken Care of

Check your partner’s grooming rituals:

  • Are they suddenly grooming more diligently?
  • Are they shaving pubic hair after years?

Once again, it’s not the grooming itself, but the change in its frequency or pattern. 

2.3 They Are Dressing Nicely, All of a Sudden

You might notice a sudden increased interest in clothes from your partner:

  • Are they taking home new fancy clothes on a consistent basis?
  • Are they not wearing these clothes around you at all?
  • Are they specifically buying new extravagant underwear? 

After all that showering and grooming, it would be a shame to wear some wrinkled 5 year old t-shirt.

Pay attention to the underwear in particular:

He’s always wanted boxer shorts, but is there a new collection of sexy tight boxers in his drawer? 

Are some crazy thongs appearing among her collection of bikini cotton undies? 

2.4 They Are Getting in Shape Like Never Before

And, finally, exercising. 

It is natural for many not to be in the best shape possible throughout a long relationship, not being ‘on the market’. 

Therefore, the gym is often a way to batten down the hatches and become more attractive to someone else:

  • Are they joining the gym, but had never worried about getting in shape?
  • Are they suddenly hitting the gym every day and not moaning about it?
  • Are they increasingly aware of their physical condition? 


The gym itself does not mean that your partner is cheating. Nor the grooming or the fancy clothes.

It is the combination of these, suddenly occurring, that often signals an affair is going undetected. 

Sign #3 They Are Always Busy

Business man kisses his wife and kid as he heads off to work

If your partner is having an affair, they won’t be laying on the sofa the whole day.

Cheating partners often ‘work late’, ‘go on business trips’ or ‘play golf’.

Incredibly enough, ‘playing golf’ is the top excuse of cheating partners.

Get this stuff on your radar:

3.1 They are often coming home late at night or spending the night away

3.2 They won’t pick up their phone

3.3 They are spending more and more time with ‘friends’

3.4 They are gradually excluding you from their activities

3.1 They Are Often Coming Home at Late Night or Spending The Night Away

Often associated with adultery in the movies, a disappearing partner in one of the worst signs. 

Challenge your partner by asking specific questions around their absence and gauge the following:

  • Are they being contradictory in their story?
  • Are they refreshed and in a good mood, despite claiming they’ve worked long hours? 
  • Were they with people you have never seen or heard of?

The secret here is challenging your partner with tailored questions that you will then verify yourself.

Did they say they had dinner out and headed to the movies with some old friends? 

Ask them where they ate, what they had for dinner, what movie they watched. 

If your partner is making things up, you’ll notice many contradictions and inaccuracies in their stories. 

3.2 They Won’t Pick Up Their Phone

Let me guess, they have always been Speedy Gonzales in answering their phone, until now.

  • Is it becoming increasingly difficult to contact your partner?
  • Are they unavailable only at specific, recurring times?
  • Do they always come up with excuses, when challenged around not answering?

Fair enough, they could be going through a busier period at work. 

What a coincidence, though, that they are never picking up on Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 6pm and 8pm. 

3.3 They Are Spending More and More Time With ‘Friends’

‘I was out with friends’, another top excuse of a cheating partner.

Often times, close friends know everything about their buddy’s dirty business. This will cause embarrassment when around you, as they are afraid of giving away potential clues. So:

  • Are your partner’s friends behaving oddly around you?
  • Is your partner hanging out with ‘new’ friends you don’t know anything about?
  • Does your partner seem not keen in introducing you to their new group of friends?

You might be wondering who these new friends are. 

They are often an improvised cover-up of a cheater with no skills.

3.4 They Are Gradually Excluding You From Their Activities

Cheaters often resort to exclusion to make things easy for themselves.

It often happens when the lover is someone you know, a shared friend.

Or when your friends know about the affair.

  • Is your partner gradually excluding you from their social life?
  • Are they excluding you from activities you were often part of?
  • Are they taking on new hobbies and not involving you at all?

Speak to your partner about it.

Sign #4 The Emotional Instability

Man and woman sit on the sofa after an argument

Cheaters are moody.

They are sorry, hurt, ashamed, excited, guilty and angry all together. 

Cheaters try to hide these emotions but fail. 

This emotional storm inevitably affects your relationship:

4.1 They hurt your feelings

4.2 They give you a lot of attention

4.3 They are emotionally detached

4.4 They have unpredictable mood swings

4.1 They Hurt Your Feelings

Guilt eats cheaters alive.

Because of that, they try to sabotage their original relationship to live with themselves.

A cheater would commonly convince themselves that you must have cheated at a certain point to justify their actions. 

In fact:

  • They accuse you of cheating
  • They pick unnecessary fights
  • They overly criticize you

4.2 They Give You a Lot of Attention

They are suddenly the perfect spouse.

That hyper-romanticism is often a way for cheaters to say sorry.

It alleviates a profound and excruciating sense of guilt.

  • They suddenly give you expensive gifts
  • They take you out to fancy dinners 
  • They give you more sexual attention

4.3 They Are Emotionally Detached

When love fades, emotional detachment follows along. 

But it takes time.

A sudden emotional detachment is different and could be indicative of an affair.

Having feelings for two people is possible but extremely demanding. 

If someone is going through an affair it does not necessarily mean that their love for their partner has ceased.

However, having feelings for two people is extremely demanding.

It is then likely for the cheater to temporarily shut down their feeling for you

As a result:

  • They don’t talk with you that much anymore 
  • They are uncomfortable with kissing and cuddling 
  • They lose interest in sex

4.4 They Have Unpredictable Mood Swings

It’s hard to make sense of a cheater’s emotional chaos.

But it’s easy to detect:

  • They are euphoric or angry just because
  • One moment they love you, the next they hate you
  • They are unreasonably anxious at times

Euphoria of a new relationship, depression driven by guilt, anxiety of getting caught.

All in one day.


Is your partner displaying most of the above behaviors?

You have a solid indication of an ongoing affair.

However, indication does not mean proof

In order to catch your partner red-handed, you’ll have to do some more investigative work.

Careless cheaters often inadvertently leave behind a trail of breadcrumbs.

You may even have tons of evidence sitting in your own house!

Did you check the trash?

You may well find receipts of romantic dinners or suspicious gifts.

We have designed a guide for those who are resolute about catching the unfaithful partner.

Check it out here.

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