According to private investigations firm Trustify, at least 33% of marriages are affected by infidelity.
Twenty-two per cent of men and 14% of women admit that they’ve cheated on a partner.
Although no one likes to think that their partner is cheating on them, these statistics suggest that it’s smart to educate yourself about how people behave when they betray a partner’s trust.
So, what should you look for?
Here are 8 warning signs that your significant other may be cheating on you:
1. Their schedule has changed:
A cheater usually wants to spend as much time as possible with their affair partner, and will change their schedule accordingly.
Sometimes, they may be able to conceal their affair without changing their routine – if they are having an affair with a co-worker, they might just meet at lunchtimes – but in general, cheaters go to great lengths to make time for their new love interest.
Be wary if they suddenly take up a new hobby, particularly if it’s something they know you won’t want or be able to participate in.
You should also pay close attention if they start going out with their friends more often and never invite you to come along.
2. They suddenly become protective of their phone:
Cheaters communicate with their affair partners via text and instant messaging, so they normally keep their phones to hand at all times.
If they start using passcodes on their phone or other devices for the first time, this is a good sign that they are concealing something from you.
On the other hand, some cheaters get second phones and keep them hidden at all times.
So, if you have reason to believe that your significant other is cheating, keep in mind that they could be lulling you into a false sense of security by simply using another device in secret.
3. They become defensive:
Most people know that cheating is wrong, and will feel guilty as a result.
Cheaters don’t like it when their partners ask questions about their whereabouts or actions because it reminds them of their immoral behavior.
4. They become emotionally distant:
If your partner has stopped telling you about their innermost feelings, hopes, and dreams, this may be a sign that they have started looking elsewhere to get their emotional needs met.
You may feel like a roommate or acquaintance instead of a partner.
5. They start dressing differently, and start taking more care over their appearance:
This is a classic sign of infidelity, and is difficult to hide.
It suggests that your partner is trying to impress someone else.
They might overhaul their wardrobe, start going to the gym more often, or get a new hairstyle.
6. They are moodier than usual:
Having an affair is emotionally exhausting.
Cheaters often feel a mixture of elation, guilt, ambivalence, and excitement.
For obvious reasons, a cheating partner won’t tell you why they are experiencing such conflicting emotions.
Instead, their inner turmoil will typically manifest itself as snappiness, mood swings, and even periods of depression.
7. They are less interested in physical intimacy:
Some cheaters find that having sex with more than one person increases their libido.
However, the majority feel too emotionally involved with their affair partner to desire physical intimacy with their significant other.
If your partner seems less interested in sex, they might be getting their needs met elsewhere.
8. Their tastes in music, films, books or arts changes:
Part of falling in love is wanting to immerse yourself in the other person’s world.
If your partner has started reading, watching, or listening to things that seem completely at odds with their usual tastes, pay attention.
They might just want to try something new, but it’s important to be aware that this kind of change often points to a new influence in their life.
These signs can help you spot a cheating partner, but they don’t apply in every case.
Sometimes, there might be a completely innocent explanation.
For example, financial stress or a big work project could leave your partner feeling frazzled and in no mood for physical intimacy.
If they have suddenly started showing an interest in improving their health, it might just be because they have read an alarming article about the risks that come with a poor diet.
If you suspect that your partner is cheating, the next step is to have an honest conversation about your feelings.
Compile a list of the behaviors that make you feel uneasy, and give them a chance to explain why they have changed.
If their excuses seem unlikely, or if they refuse to discuss the issue, seeking couples’ therapy is a good idea.
Of course, if your partner doesn’t want to work on the relationship, this is a huge warning sign that your time together may be coming to an end.