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How to tell if your wife is cheating: 15 signs most men miss

Unfortunately, if you think your wife is cheating on you, you might just be right.

That’s the part nobody wants to admit.

If you’ve found your way to this article, it’s because you’ve had your suspicions and need to put your own mind at ease.

Perhaps you’ve gotten stuck in a loop of despair and are finding yourself feeling more paranoid with each passing day. It’s not easy. And neither is thinking that your wife is sleeping with someone else.

Women cheat for very different reasons than men cheat.

So before you go accusing her of sleeping around, you need to be absolutely sure.

Here’s how you can tell that she’s sleeping with someone else, if you need some confirmation for your own peace of mind and to back up your suspicions when you confront her.

1. She’s suddenly unavailable to you and your family.

If she was once an attentive wife and mother, but has pulled back and spends more time doing the things she wants to do, it might be because she is trying to distance herself from the people she is hurting with her affair.

Psychologist Paul Coleman, PsyD, says to Prevention that “someone who must ‘work late’ all of a sudden at times that go beyond a reasonable explanation may be cheating.”

If she used to tell you but now she is keeping you in the dark, she may be cheating on you.

2. She seems to be paying more attention to her appearance.

If she’s gone from wearing jeans and a t-shirt to something more revealing or sexy, it’s likely not for your benefit.

She’s feeling sexually alive again and that shows in her wardrobe. Women, especially mothers, grow tired and just try to get through the days with clean clothes on.

If she’s suddenly doing her hair and putting make-up on to sit around the house, it could be a sign that she’s dressing up for someone else.

If your partner has had the same haircut for a long time but suddenly has a bold new haircut  “this could indicate an effort to impress another person,” says Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-owner of Double Trust Dating.

If they are suddenly dressing up for a night on the town, hanging out with new people and coming home at all hours of the night without explanation, you might be in trouble.

The best way to approach these situations is to ask them about the evening and what they did.

If they’re avoiding answering your questions or if you notice their story is changing as much as their clothes these days, something might be changing for them that leaves you wondering what the heck happened between the two of you.

3. She is commenting on the marriage troubles of others.

If you find her more interested in gossip and drama of other people’s relationships, this is a sign that she is feeling you out.

She’s wondering how you feel about affairs and divorce or separation. She might have some mighty strong opinions about it, and be totally against it on the surface.

The truth is that she might be projecting her fears and judgements about herself onto these other couples.

4. She seems guilty.

If she is apologizing more or trying to pay more attention to you than before, it might be because she is feeling guilty about what she is doing.

She seems to keep to herself and not share things with you as much.

According to Lillian Glass, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, you can tell if your partner is hiding something if “they are rocking back and forth” when they are chatting with you.

This shows a sign of nervousness.

It’s a defense mechanism that many people employ to protect themselves and the other person.

Despite cheating on you, she still cares enough to try to protect you from what is really going on.

Perhaps it’s because she is trying to build a wall so that it won’t hurt so much when she leaves, or she might do the opposite and try to strengthen what you have so that when she leaves, it won’t be so hard.

5. She wants to experiment in the bedroom.

If you’ve grown tired of one another, but suddenly she is interested in sex again and wants to try new things in the bedroom, it’s a sign that she’s having an affair.

This might also be guilt sex, especially if she comes home from being out “with friends” and suddenly wants to get frisky.

Sex expert Robert Weiss explains why:

“Both decreased and increased levels of sexual activity in your relationship can be a sign of infidelity. Less sex occurs because your partner is focused on someone else; more sex occurs because they are trying to cover that up.”

She might be trying to undo what has been done with someone else. Emotions run high during affairs and she might find herself trying to avoid those feelings with pleasure.

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6. She tells you she needs more alone time.

The opposite might happen as well: she might withdraw altogether from sex and intimacy with you. Also because of guilt.

She might say things like she wants to go away by herself – and she might mean it – but the point is that she doesn’t want to spend time with you because it makes her feel bad.

She needs time to think and process life – that’s a sign that she’s got big decisions to make.

7. She doesn’t invite you out with her friends.

One sign that your wife might be cheating on you is if she is suddenly spending more time with friends, but leaving you at home.

If she isn’t inviting you out or is insisting that you stay home and watch the game, you might be right to be concerned.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., her friends be may be uncomfortable around you because they know what’s going on:

“The cheater’s friends often know about the infidelity right from the start, and your own friends are likely to find out long before you do. This knowledge typically causes these individuals to feel uncomfortable around you.”

She’s not giving you all the details about the get together either: not sure who will be there, not sure what time she’ll be home, not sure what the plan is.

These are all signs that she is trying to play innocent and hide her affair.

If you insist on going, she’ll get mad. It’s easier for her to keep you away from what’s really going on.

8. She has started to talk about the future in a different way.

If she used to talk about the future and use the word, “we”, but now talks about things she wants to do alone, that’s not good.

Even if she tells you that she didn’t mean to be selfish about her plans, be wary that she may just be covering her tracks.

According to clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula in Oprah Magazine, “A major commitment makes it more difficult to pull out of a relationship quickly.”

If she isn’t including you in her plans, there’s a good reason for that. Part of the trouble with suspecting that someone is cheating on you is that your partner may be very good at explaining away why things are the way they are.

If you aren’t vigilant with your relationship, it may just walk right out the door without you.

9. She pays a lot of attention to her phone.

Sure, everyone pays a lot of attention to their phones these days, but if she is choosing to scroll through social media or respond to text messages instead of talking to you, you would be right to question her motives.

According to counselor and therapist, Dr. Tracey Phillips, hiding things from you on their phone may be a sign of cheating:

“They could be trying to avoid receiving any questionable calls or texts in your presence.”

It could be that she doesn’t even realize she is doing it, but if she is having an affair, you can bet that she will get defensive and insulted by the assumption that she is doing anything other than updating her latest selfie pic.

Psychologist Weiss explains the possible scenarios in Psychology Today:

“Cheaters tend to use their phones and computers more frequently than before and to guard them as if their lives depend on it.

If your partner’s phone and laptop never required a password before, and now they do, that’s not a good sign. Your partner suddenly starts deleting texts and clearing their browser history on a daily basis, that’s not a good sign.

If your partner never relinquishes possession of their phone, even taking it into the bathroom when they shower, that’s not a good sign.”

10. She doesn’t make time for you anymore.

What was once an intimate and fun relationship is suddenly so cold you need a sweater. If your wife isn’t looking to spend time with you or asking you about your schedule, it might be because she is filling her days up with the company of others.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today:

“Flat tires, dead batteries, traffic jams, spending extra time at the gym, and similar excuses for being late or absent altogether might also signal infidelity.”

When you ask for some of her time, she may get angry and call you needy. Of course, it’s just her defenses to keep you at bay.

Also, according to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, if they stop sharing about their day or their whereabouts, something may be up:

“The most interesting aspects of their day may relate to their new flirtation…This can be more devastating than sexual infidelity as it implies the intimacy of day-to-day life is now being shared with someone new.”

While she doesn’t want to be with you, she also doesn’t want to hurt you and so that comes out all wrong and leaves the two of you feeling even further apart.

11. She’ll change the story.

When she finally comes clean, she’ll have the most absurd reasons for why she was cheating on you. Know that these reasons are the stories she needs to tell herself to justify her behavior.

She doesn’t believe them, but they make her feel better about her choice to cheat.

She’ll say things that others can’t deny are good reasons to leave someone and regardless of how good a partner you once were, she’ll have you looking like a horrible spouse. It’s not about you. It’s about her guilt.

12. She’s not communicating with you anymore

News flash:

Females love communication, especially with the man they love.

While we all have days where we don’t really want to talk, if this is becoming a trend when she used to be quite chatty, then, unfortunately, she might be falling out of love with you and in love with another man.

According to Dr. Waters in Bustle, a change in communication patterns could indicate cheating:

“For instance, maybe now they send very brief or vague texts when you’re used to receiving a descriptive novel, or there’s more difficulty when talking about things that are usually easy to discuss together.”

It’s no secret that females are more talkative than males, so something must be up if she ain’t willing to shoot the shit with you anymore.

How to figure it out?

Sit down with her and ask her some questions on topics you know she is usually very chatty about.

If she seems excited to communicate like she used to, great! If not, then you might want to directly ask her what’s up.

13. She’s on edge all the time.

Even if you are just hanging out, she seems cranky or nervous. She might be having major feelings of guilt about her actions and she will project those feelings onto and try to make you feel bad for the way you are.

According to Lillian Glass, Ph.D. in Oprah Magazine, you can tell if your partner is hiding something if “they are rocking back and forth” when they are chatting with you.

This shows a sign of nervousness.

It’s a defense mechanism that many people employ to protect themselves and the other person.

Despite cheating on you, she still cares enough to try to protect you from what is really going on.

14. She gets angry when you ask questions

If you have gotten to the point of frustration and feel like you need to talk to her about what is going on, she’ll be angry when you start asking questions if she is cheating on you.

Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, that unexplained mood swings could be a sign of cheating.

Or, if she is even thinking about it, she’ll lash out at you and somehow make it your fault that you would even ask those questions.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today, she may be pushing the blame onto you:

“Cheaters tend to rationalize their behavior (in their own minds). One way they do this is to push the blame onto you.

“Often, their internal justifications for cheating leak out, and they behave judgmentally toward you and your relationship. If it suddenly seems like nothing you do is right, or that things that used to not bother your partner suddenly do, or as if you’re getting pushed away, that could be a strong indication of cheating.”

People who are lying and trying to hide the truth will go to great lengths to keep themselves and their integrity safe. It’s not personal. It’s about their inability to face the truth.

RELATED: What J.K Rowling can teach us about mental toughness

15. There’s no intimacy.

If it’s been three months since you’ve rolled around in the hay, something could be wrong.

Keep in mind that couples grow through dry spells, but if she is not even showing interest in you and nothing has really happened to cause the distance between you, cheating might be a reason why this has happened.

They don’t need anything from you because they are having their needs satisfied by someone else.

On the flip side, it could also turn the other way round where they are paying you more attention in bed, according to Paul Coleman, PsyD, in Prevention:

“Guilt-ridden people may increase lovemaking at home…Some will do so to cover their tracks. But some may do so to satisfy a partner so that the partner will not be seeking sex at a later time when the cheater knows he or she won’t be available.”

So if she is really cheating, what should you do?

First, don’t blame yourself.

It’s common for people to blame themselves when they’ve been cheated on. “Wasn’t I enough?” “Did I provide enough fun? Excitement? Emotional support?”

But you don’t need to ask yourself these questions. Questions like this will make you feel like sh*t because you’ll never get an accurate answer.

What your partner chose to do has nothing to do with you. You shouldn’t feel responsible for your partner’s actions.

Obsessing over what could have been or what would have been is useless. There really is no point.

Very Well Mind offers some great advice:

“Blaming yourself, your partner, or the third party won’t change anything and it’s just wasted energy. Try not to play the victim, either, if you can help it, or wallow in self-pity. It will only make you feel more helpless and bad about yourself.”

Examining what went wrong isn’t healthy and it certainly isn’t productive.

As tough as it is right now, instead of living in the past, try to look forward to the future and what lies ahead of you.

The biggest question you’re going to ask yourself is whether you should break up with her.

It’s a tough decision to decide whether to break up with your partner.

The fact is, it’s going to be different for everyone.

Do you have a young family? Kids? Or are you in a relationship that doesn’t really have any fixed ties together?

If you have no fixed ties together, then perhaps it might be easier to end the relationship.

But if you have a house and kids, it might make it more difficult.

Keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong answer for you.

Some couples successfully move on from infidelity and create a better, stronger relationship. Other couples don’t.

Relationship expert Amy Anderson offers some great advice if you’ve been cheated on:

“Always follow what your heart tells you…Do a weekend alone of soul-searching away from distractions and everyone’s opinions…Remember your core value system and try to get centered with a very clear head so you can derive the right answer you need for you…If you are happy staying with your partner who cheated, then that is what works for you… If you know you will always be suspicious or can’t move on from what really happened, you have your answer.”

Tell your partner to leave you alone for a while so you can gather your thoughts, and most importantly, figure out if you’ll ever be able to forgive your partner for cheating on you.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if your partner has cheated on you:

1) Do they care that they’ve hurt you? Do they even understand they’ve hurt you? And do they truly regret what they did?
2) Do you know the full extent of their cheating? Have they actually been honest with you about it?
3) Will you be able to move on? Or will the fact they’ve cheated always be in the back of our mind? Will you be able to trust them again?
4) Is it worth saving the relationship? Or is it better to move on?

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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