Determining if your partner is cheating may not always be as cut and dried as simply waiting for naked people to jump out of your bedroom closet. However, if you suspect that your partner may be cheating, researchers have identified several things that you can look for to confirm (or refute) your suspicions. There are two types of infidelity: emotional and sexual. If your partner is talking a lot about spending time with someone else (with whom you think they would consider having a relationship) or acting apathetic toward you, these behaviors may indicate either type of infidelity. Clues that your partner may be engaging in emotional infidelity include indications that your partner is unsatisfied with your relationship; reluctance to discuss a specific person; emotional disengagement; increased anger, guilt, anxiety, or hostility; and not wanting to spend time with you (of course, many of these may just mean he or she is just not that into you as well).
Indicators that your partner may be engaging in sexual infidelity include changes in the partner’s normal routine, changes in sexual interest (either lack of interest or exaggerated interest), and physical clues like lack of arousal. Women tend to be more sensitive to these cues, suggesting that they are more adept at monitoring for and identifying infidelity. Again, however, a very large and important caveat here is that these behaviors only suggest—and do not guarantee—that cheating is occurring.
Of course, in an ideal situation suspicions about a partner’s activities would not involve a private investigator-like monitoring. Instead, the best course of action is to build a strong relationship founded on trust and open communication where any doubts about fidelity lead to open conversations rather than a hunt for evidence. If if makes you think twice, maybe there is a reason to dig deeper. However, be wise, pay attention to the signs and don’t jump to conclusions!
This article was adapted from the book Science of Relationships: Experts Answer Your Questions about Dating, Marriage, & Family.