My boyfriend cheated on me with his ex and it broke my heart.
They say that love is blind. And my trust in him made me blind to some of the more obvious signs of his infidelity. And looking back there were definitely clues.
If you think he could be cheating on you with his ex, you need to watch out for the red flags that he’s a) having an affair b) isn’t over his ex.
It’s these two things combined that show you the signs he is cheating with his ex.
18 signs he is cheating with his ex
1) You start noticing your relationship has changed
What are the first signs of cheating? They’re often subtle. You might not even be able to put your finger on it, but something isn’t the same. There’s been a noticeable shift in the relationship.
It could be that you two just don’t feel as close as you used to be. There’s a bit of the magic missing. You’re not laughing and joking like in the early days. You’re aguing more about stupid things.
Or you might sense that change has come from him. Maybe he doesn’t seem as happy anymore. Perhaps he’s suddenly hyper-critical of you. Sometimes it might even feel as though he’s been acting like a different person.
Of course, couples do go through rough patches or grow apart. This on its own certainly doesn’t mean he’s cheating.
But these kinds of cracks in a relationship can also signal that there’s someone else on the scene.
2) They’ve been hanging out all of a sudden
Let’s face it. Nobody likes an ex who is still hanging around. Even if he says they’re just good friends, it’s not a nice feeling.
If they split years ago and have remained pals ever since it’s probably not a big deal (even if you don’t like it). Especially if they’re not exactly besties and only see one another occasionally or just keep in touch on social media.
But if he’s suddenly rekindled this friendship and has started hanging out with her one on one again, it’s understandable you’d be suspicious.
It’s not that you can’t be friends with an ex. It’s more that out of respect for your new partner, there’s a definite line you shouldn’t cross.
That includes going over to her house, taking trips together, or meeting up regularly one on one.
Spending a lot of time with an ex is bound to cause problems in your current relationship. Your guy should be aware that him getting close with her has the potential to leave you feeling jealous and insecure.
If he is still friends with her and it bothers you, you should talk about that with him. As your man, he should always consider your feelings.
If he isn’t prepared to do so, is it any wonder if you start to think that there’s no smoke without fire and something must be going on between them.
3) A professional coach confirms the signs
This article will give you a good idea of whether he’s cheating with his ex or not, but no two situations are the same.
That’s why you should speak to a relationship coach if you really want to find out the truth.
Relationship Hero is a site of highly trained professional relationship coaches, who are experts at recognizing the signs of infidelity – specifically when cheating with an ex-partner.
Rather than constantly worrying about him or trying to pick up on clues that he’s messing around, why not get the answers you’re looking for right now?
A coach will be able to analyze your relationship and all the dodgy signs that have been cropping up, either confirming your worst fears or reassuring you that you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.
Either way – living in dread and waiting for a confession from him isn’t the solution.
Just think, in a few hours you could have the confirmation you need to finally move on with life!
4) He starts spending a lot of time away from home
When was the last time you saw him? Is he a lot busier recently? Has he started to work late a lot? Does he tell you where he’s going? Or does he sometimes go off the radar and you’re not sure who he’s with or what he’s doing?
It could be he’s constantly late or he’s never home when you call.
Unaccounted for hours is a classic sign of cheating. It makes sense. If he’s seeing his ex, he has to find the time (and the excuses) to do so.
If he’s always working late hours, then maybe he’s seeing her at night. If he disappears for long periods of time, then he may be having secret meetings with his ex.
Either way, it’s a sign that things aren’t quite right. And if he’s lying about where he’s going and why, then you know there’s something fishy going on.
5) He’s always talking about her
You might think that talking about her all the time seems a sure-fire way to blow his cover if he’s having an affair. But here’s the funny thing, when we like someone we end up speaking about them more often without even noticing.
They’re on your mind, you’re seeing them more often, and so you bring them up in conversation. One of the obvious signs that my ex was having an affair was that he never shut up about her.
Her name found its way into stories he was telling, and seemingly inconsequential conversations we were having.
Basically, him talking about her a lot reflects his interest in her. You know when a friend has a crush and always finds a way of bringing him up? It’s a bit like that.
Whilst it might not signal a full-on affair, bringing her up all the time is at the very least an alarming sign he’s not over his ex.
6) He’s been acting distant or cold towards you
Cheating men tend to start to act differently around their partners. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how he treats you.
He’s moody and withdrawn. Gives you the cold shoulder. He acts distant. Avoids eye contact.
One of the ways guys tend to change when they’re having an affair is by pulling away. Are you suddenly being ignored? Do you notice that he doesn’t seem as interested in you as before?
Acting colder can be a sign he is more emotionally withdrawn from the relationship. It might also be a way of hiding from you and dealing with the guilt.
7) He compares you two
Comparing your current partner to your ex is a huge no, no. That includes comparing either you or your relationship in general.
If he starts doing it, you have to stop him. And if he continues after you’ve told him to knock it off, then it’s a big warning sign. This is because it shows that he still cares about his ex and hasn’t moved on.
Even when it’s not necessarily complimentary towards her. It’s still not great.
Why? Because the reality is that if he’s comparing you to her, he’s likely still thinking about her, even though he says otherwise.
Whilst it’s normal for exes to come to mind every now and then, comparing you suggests he’s thinking about her more than he should.
The fact that he would think to compare you two, means he’s still invested in her and potentially carrying a torch for their relationship.
8) He’s secretive over his phone
Guys who are doing the dirty are more guarded over their phones. And with good reason too. Most affairs are found out through technology these days.
A survey found that texts are the most common way for affairs to be discovered. More specifically, men are caught out sending sexy messages or pictures to their lovers.
If he is way more protective over his phone of late, then you might suspect there’s something he doesn’t want you to see. So lookout for any changes in his behavior around his phone.
Maybe he always makes sure his phone is face down on the table recently, when he never used to. He might have changed his phone password when you used to know it, to stop you from having access. Or he could spend a lot of time glued to his phone texting but is dismissive or elusive about who he’s talking to.
You might even know for a fact that he and his ex have been texting a lot recently, but he swears it’s all innocent.
9) He’s got a history of cheating
They say that once a cheat, always a cheat. But is that really fair? Of course, people can change. And we all make mistakes.
But there is evidence that men with a long history of infidelity in their relationships are more likely to repeat that past behavior again.
In fact, one study found that people who cheated in their first relationship were more than three times likely to be unfaithful in their second relationship than people who didn’t cheat.
If he’s known as a bit of a player, if he’s been unfaithful to you before, or if your own relationship started as an affair — these are risk factors for infidelity in the future.
If he cheated on her with you, then it’s fair to assume he won’t think twice about doing the same to you as well.
10) He didn’t want to break up with her
How do you know he’s not over his ex?
Well if they had a nightmare of a relationship that he was relieved to be out of, then why would he want to go back to his ex? But if he doted on her, and she broke his heart, he could still have feelings for her.
On its own, the fact that she dumped him means very little. But if it’s combined with other suspicions, then it becomes more significant.
It means he wasn’t over the relationship when they split. He wasn’t the one who wanted to move on from her.
If he still has feelings for her, and she’s still in his life, then it might make him more open to cheating.
11) You have a strong intuitive feeling
Intuition shouldn’t be confused with paranoia. The two are very different. But sometimes you just have a gut feeling he’s cheating but no proof.
Your gut feeling is your subconscious brain picking up on lots of subtle signals and pieces of information behind the scenes. So that even when there is nothing concrete you can point to, you still have a strong feeling that he’s up to no good.
Paranoia on the other hand is more likely when you are needy, insecure, and jealous. It can take a good dose of self-awareness to know the difference.
But if you aren’t the jealous type and have never had issues with relationship insecurities before, then it is more likely to be your gut giving you this information.
You may have tried telling yourself that you’re just being silly, but still, you just can’t shake it.
Don’t ignore this feeling. It’s telling you that things aren’t right, and at the very least you need to talk about it with your boyfriend.
Healthy relationships are built on good communication. You need to be able to openly talk about the issues you have.
12) He tells lies about something small
This isn’t necessarily a red flag, but it could be.
Lying is obviously a sign of deception. The problem is that plenty of people tell seemingly innocent “white lies” to their partners. Usually to keep the peace or stay out of trouble.
But small lies can also mask far bigger lies.
Maybe he’s secretive about where he goes. If he lies about something small like where he went last night, it could mean that he’s hiding something bigger. For example, he may not want you to know what he was doing because he was with someone else — aka his ex.
Perhaps he’s lying about something petty like how much money he spent on dinner. But again, why? Is there something more going on behind that?
The problem with lying is that it takes away trust. He’s not telling you everything. He’s been keeping secrets from you. And without trust, you find it hard to create an open and secure relationship.
13) You know she wants him back
Maybe she was upfront enough to tell you so, perhaps you’ve heard it from someone else, or maybe it’s just pretty flipping obvious from her behavior.
She wants him back, and she is making a play for him. Obviously, that doesn’t mean he’s going to cave in and give her what she wants.
But if she wants him back and he’s giving her hope — by still talking to her, or hanging out with her — then you need to ask what his motives are for that.
Is he open to getting back together with her? Or is he just letting his ego be flattered?
The sad reality is that having the opportunity to cheat is often cited as one of the main reasons men decide to have affairs.
As Fatherly notes:
“Men are more prone to casual and opportunistic cheating, which plays a big part in why they get caught. Infidelity, for some men, is evidence of recklessness.”
There’s no denying that for some guys, having something offered to them on a plate makes them more likely to stray.
14) They only recently split up
It takes time to get over someone. The less time there has been since his breakup with her and then getting together with you, the less likely he has had enough space to heal and move on.
Some guys jump into something new straight away to avoid dealing with the grief of a breakup. But their lives are still entwined with their ex and they’re not over it.
It can take time to slowly realize that you are the rebound or the “other woman”.
He may swear that he’s over it, but as time goes on he starts to move closer to his ex and you begin to suspect there is some serious unfinished business between them.
But if you’re not sure, it’s best to speak to someone who is – a relationship coach.
I mentioned Relationship Hero earlier, it’s a site that’s helped thousands of people get their relationships back on track.
And if you are worried he’s cheating with his ex and you’re nothing more than a rebound, the coaches there can help you first recognize the signs, and secondly work through it.
Don’t struggle through this alone – help is out there, you just need to take that first step.
15) He’s lost interest in sex
How do you know if he’s secretly cheating? A lot of women whose partners are having an affair notice a change in the bedroom.
He could seem far less interested in having sex. He may make excuses about why he doesn’t want to be intimate. The physical affection could have slowly dried up.
And when you try to talk to him about this, he either brushes off your concerns or gets angry.
This isn’t always a clear indicator that he’s seeing someone else. Sometimes it’s simply a side effect of being in a long-term relationship.
However, if he’s suddenly losing interest in sex, it might be worth checking whether there’s another reason. Particularly when his ex is back on the scene.
16) He’s become irritable and short-tempered.
Relationships aren’t always a bed of roses and real-life stresses can create tension at home every now and then.
If he’s dealing with stress then being a bit moody isn’t suspicious. But if there’s no apparent reason for it, or it’s happening often then it’s a bad sign in any relationship.
Some guys when they’re cheating seek to push you away by behaving in a grumpy way. It’s not always conscious.
It might not mean cheating, but it certainly does signal strains in the relationship.
17) He refuses to talk about her
Just as much as always talking about his ex, it’s also fishy when he flat out refuses to discuss her at all.
Both these extremes suggest unresolved feelings.
If he’s still seeing her but totally avoids discussing her, it could be because he’s keeping something from you. If he says “it’s private”, then he could have something to hide.
Most men don’t want to casually chat about their ex with their new girl. Particularly if he’s not in touch with her. He may prefer to keep his distance.
But neither should it be a big deal to mention her. If he won’t even acknowledge her existence, then it’s definitely odd.
You might ask yourself why he’s so secretive. Is it because she’s a threat to his current relationship?
18) He prioritizes her
The rules are simple. Your current partner comes before your ex. They should be your primary concern, and if they are not, something gives.
You need to ask yourself whether he’s prioritizing her over you.
If he’s spending time with her and neglecting you, it’s a huge flashing warning sign and one that you need to heed asap. Even constantly defending her can feel like a betrayal.
It doesn’t matter if they’re “just friends”. If he goes running whenever she calls then it’s not okay to put up with it.
To conclude: If you’re worried he is cheating with his ex
By now you should have a better idea of whether he could be cheating with his ex. Perhaps you’re still not sure, but you do know that something is not right between you too, and you are worried he is slipping away from you.
However you’re feeling, the best course of action is to speak to a professional.
Many people don’t realize it, but a relationship needs expert attention, just as a car does when it breaks down, or when you’re feeling sick and you seek medical advice.
Speaking to a coach at Relationship Hero could be the difference between breaking up or getting to the root of what’s actually going on. Is he actually cheating with his ex, or are the signs being confused with another underlying issue?
Before you make any rash decisions, find out what a coach advises and take it from there. If your relationship is worth fighting for, surely you’d want to know, right?