10 signs a man is capable of cheating on you, according to psychologists

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Not-so-fun stats:

  • 60% of couples divorced because of cheating.
  • 79% of wives who suspected their husbands were cheating ended up being right.

Mind you, this isn’t just me throwing some random numbers around. These are actual data gathered from American statistics and global surveys.

So, how do you know if your partner is a cheater, or has the potential to be one?

You don’t. At least not until you’ve caught them.

The signs of cheating aren’t always the same in relationships. 

But the good (or bad) news is, experts have identified traits common among serial cheaters, and we’ve listed some of them below.

Here are 10 signs a man is capable of cheating on you, according to psychologists:

1) He’s cheated before

They say history repeats itself.

And according to a 2017 study, this is also true in the world of cheaters. Their findings suggest that someone who has cheated before is three times more likely to cheat again.

What does this mean for you?

Basically, if your man has a history of cheating, science says he is capable of cheating.

But then again, that doesn’t mean he is actively cheating on you right now.

It’s important to take this research finding and everything else in this article into context.

Hold off on that worry until you’re sure there’s actually something to worry about.

2) One or both of his parents were cheaters

He may not have cheated before, but are any of his parents guilty of ever cheating in the past?

I know it sounds odd, but hear me out:

Believe it or not, there exists research exploring the connection between the cheating habits of parents and their children’s infidelity patterns.

The findings reveal that people are more likely to cheat in their relationships if their parents did, too.

Not only that, but those who watched their parents cheat also tend to think that cheating is acceptable in a relationship.

Sadly, they’ve learned to normalize cheating as a result of their childhood experiences.

3) He tolerates the infidelity of others

Speaking of trivializing cheating, psychologists discuss a study identifying 47 clues that suggest a cheating partner.

And here’s where it gets interesting:

Apparently, one of the more subtle and less privacy-invading signs your partner can cheat on you is if they’re comfortable talking about others’ inappropriate relationships.

Make no mistake:

They don’t mean simply talking about affairs. That’s something most of us casually talk about.

By “comfortable,” they mean understanding, sympathizing, and sometimes even defending the cheating behavior of others.

Talk about birds of the same feathers, huh?

4) He doesn’t regret his wrongdoings

There are men who cheat or make mistakes, but they end up feeling sorry for them.

And then there are men who cheat, lie, and do all sorts of wrong without feeling any ounce of remorse.

If your man sounds more like the first one, it’s safe to say he’s less likely to cheat on you.

Here’s why:

Psychiatry Professor Dennis Lin points out that men who are unbothered by guilt or shame after doing something wrong are often prone to being unfaithful.

His explanation is straightforward:

They don’t have these emotions to hold them back, so it’s easy for them to make and repeat bad choices, such as infidelity.

5) He is emotionally detached

Is the intimacy between you and your man confined to physical?

Does he avoid deepening his emotional connection with you?

If any of these apply to you, it might be worth questioning your partner’s loyalty – or at least their commitment to your relationship.

Here’s the explanation:

Psychologists reveal that emotionally distant partners, or those who tend to have avoidant attachment personalities, are more open to the idea of new romantic relationships outside their existing ones.

And if that wasn’t enough, they also tend to cheat more over time simply because they don’t feel strongly committed to their partners. 

So again, if the questions above hit close to home, maybe it’s time to reassess your relationship.

6) He has feelings of inadequacy 

We all have our insecurities.

However, expert opinion notes that individuals who have had a traumatic childhood or dysfunctional family dynamics tend to internalize their insecurities more than others usually do.

They believe these deep-seated inadequacies may be to blame for someone’s serial cheating habits.

In this case, the issue lies not in their partner or in their relationship. 

It all boils down to the cheater and their need for validation.

To them, their affairs and multiple relationships are trophies – providing them the sense of self-worth they so desperately seek.

7) He’s scared of being alone

Another sign that someone can be capable of cheating on you is if they have a fear of being on their own. 

This one’s tricky to spot because they may not tell you directly. 

But looking into their relationship history could give you some clues. 

Have they ever had a gap in their dating life, or have they always had relationships, whether long-term, short-term, or even flings here and there?

But how does someone’s fear of singleness lead to the possibility of cheating?

Psychological research found that attachment anxiety (in layman’s terms, fear of being alone) can push people to cheat on their partners.

Don’t worry, that confused me, too. 

It sounds very counterintuitive, but here’s how they explained it:

Even if they’re currently in relationships, they can still cheat. Not because they’re afraid to be alone now but because they’re worried about being alone in the future.

In short, their affairs are like their backup plan.

Talk about a distorted mindset!

8) He has become good at lying

He may have been an honest man when you first met. 

But if you notice your man lying even about the most trivial things, experts say that could be a sign that he can cheat on you.

According to psychotherapist Katerina Georgiou, signs he could potentially be cheating on you include:

  • long-winding stories that may sound true but are unnecessarily specific and detailed;
  • a sudden suspicion that they’re withholding parts of the truth from you;
  • when they’re asked a question, and they seem to be making things up on the fly.

Take these signs seriously.

They could suggest he’s drifting away from the truth, and possibly even from you.

9) He has poor impulse control

Aggression, impatience, compulsive behavior – these are the most common traits associated with poor impulse control.

But what if I told you that people who can’t control their impulses also have a greater capacity to cheat?

And, of course, I won’t just let you take my word for it. I’ll give you the science that proves it:

A recent study suggests that those who show more impulsive behavior are the ones more accepting of cheating.

In a nutshell, impulsive individuals could be more prone to cheating because of their compulsion for immediate gratification. 

Sadly, because they act on impulse, they don’t have time to contemplate the long-term consequences of their short-term desires.

10) He’s a sexual narcissist

We’re all familiar with narcissism, or someone’s over inflated sense of self.

But have you heard of sexual narcissism? 

It’s a specific kind of narcissism which covers a few specific sexual traits:

  • Sexual entitlement: he believes he deserves whatever sexual experiences he wants.
  • Sexual exploitation: he uses his partners for his own sexual satisfaction.
  • Lack of sexual empathy: he doesn’t care about his partner’s feelings in sexual contexts.
  • Inflated sense of sexual skill: he thinks he is the best in the bedroom

If any of these traits sound familiar, be warned.

Research suggests that the more sexually narcissistic someone is, the more likely they are to be capable of cheating.

The common belief is that reduced sexual intimacy could be a sign that he’s getting it elsewhere. 

Who would have thought that their sexual entitlement and exploitation could also do the same?

Don’t jump the gun

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

Take everything you’ve read here into context.

There are a few other explanations as to why your man could display one or more of these behaviors. 

Give him the benefit of the doubt, at least until he gives you more compelling reasons not to.

Start with trust and take it from there. 

As Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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