Updated 26 September 2014

Telltale signs of cheating

If you don't really know where your partner is, and his excuses are getting thin, here's how to tell if he's cheating.


If your partner's behaviour is suddenly changing and you're not sure why, it may be that he is having an affair.

The telltale signs below are just as valid for women as they are for men, so read 'he/she' wherever 'he' is used. A sexologist takes a look at some of the classic signs of cheating:

  • There are changes in his behaviour and routines.
  • He begins exercising, especially jogging. (He may be heading for another woman’s house.)
  • He stops having sex with you, initiates more sex, or begins new sex behaviours.
  • He starts watching what he eats or goes on a diet.
  • He buys new clothes.
  • He gets nervous when the phone rings. When he answers it, he speaks softly.
  • He works late unusually often and over weekends.
  • He finds reasons to stay away overnight.
  • If he travels for business, he won’t share his itinerary, flight or hotel information. He yells at you for asking where he will be and when he will return. He says he can’t be reached.
  • He goes off alone for periods during the weekend, giving some lame excuse.
  • He gets nasty or defensive when you ask him when he’ll be home or where is he going.
  • He begins misplacing credit card receipts, phone bills, cell phone printouts, etc.
  • He leaves his cell phone on voice mail.
  • He heads for the shower, or brushes his teeth, the minute he enters the house.
  • He is usually secretive about his schedule and the people he sees. He snaps at you when you show an interest. He views your normal interest as an invasion of his privacy.
  • When you phone him at work, he won’t take your calls, or he cuts you off. When you call him at work in the evenings or on weekends, he doesn’t answer.
  • He isn’t where he says he is going to be.
  • He stops taking you to job – related social events. If he does, his co–workers act differently towards you.
  • He gives jewellery or flowers, when he hasn’t done so before. These are guilt-relieving presents.
  • His moods are erratic. Living with him is like being on a rollercoaster; you never know when he’ll explode at you.
  • He starts criticising your looks.
  • He starts reading books about sex.
  • You receive strange phone calls, such as: “I think you should know about your husband”.
  • If he has worn a wedding band, he stops doing so.
  • When you are out together, he seems more flirtatious than usual with other women. He notices women more.
  • He begins to lock his drawers; he doesn’t want you to touch any of his belongings.
  • He starts doing his own laundry.
  • He is overly protective of his wallet and briefcase.
  • He no longer wants you to accompany him on out–of–town trips.
  • He begins talking in his sleep and is generally more restless than usual.
  • He starts making positive comments about one particular woman.
  • He starts carrying condoms in his travelling bag.
  • He clams up and shuts down completely when you ask him anything about himself.
  • He feels like a brick wall when you try to hug him.
  • He stops being affectionate.
  • He stays so far from you in bed at night that he almost falls out of the other side.
  • He begins sleeping in a spare bedroom, citing “sleep disturbance”.
  • He is unusually short–tempered and irritable.
  • He seems distant from you and preoccupied most of the time.
  • He tells you he needs his privacy and suggests you go away for a while.
  • He is indifferent to you or ignores you completely.
  • He is even less communicative than usual.
  • He is unusually cold and distant.

(Elna McIntosh, sexologist, updated 2011)

(Picture: distrusting couple from Shutterstock)


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