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18 Signs a Man May Be Cheating & What You Should Do

Is my boyfriend cheating? This is a pretty common question, unfortunately. If you’re wondering what are some signs a man is actually cheating, then you’re in the right place.

You may not want to believe that the man you know and love could be unfaithful, but if you’re questioning his fidelity, chances are good that something’s up.

Your intuition alone may be signaling that something in the relationship has changed — and not in a positive way. This is especially true if you’re not normally a suspicious or jealous person. 

Your gut is telling you there’s a problem. Let’s see if these signs back it up.

18 Signs a Man is Cheating 

There are always signs. Ask anyone who has ever been with a man who’s cheated. They might have dismissed the writing on the wall at the time, but afterward, they’re likely to list all the signs they should have noted along the way.

Some signs are obvious, and you’d be a fool to overlook them. But many of the signs are subtle and could easily be explained away. 

1. He Hides His Texts

If his cell phone behavior changes, be wary. It’s possible that he turns his phone face down in order to give you his full, undivided attention. Has he always done that, or is it something new?

If it’s a new behavior, you might have cause to worry.

Does he hide the phone from you when new texts come in? Does he suddenly require more privacy when taking a call or responding to texts? Everyone is entitled to privacy, but you’d be right to be suspicious if these behaviors happen out of the blue.

Could there be a perfectly ordinary explanation? Of course! He could be planning to propose or organizing a surprise party.

He might have a personal medical situation that he doesn’t yet want to share with you. He might be dealing with a friend going through a problem they don’t want shared with you.

It could be explained away — but it’s probably worth a conversation.

Recommended read: 25 Red Flags in Men You Should Look Out For

2. He Changes His Phone Password

This is one of the most common signs a man is cheating. If he’s shared his phone password in the past and suddenly it’s different, you might be wondering if he’s cheating.

Changing the password on his phone or computer can be a sign your guy is cheating.

There could be other reasons. He might have forgotten it and been locked out, or he might have done it for a random security reason. 

If he’s always been open about the password and suddenly is zipped up about it, this is a reason to worry. It falls outside his usual behavior. Maybe he just doesn’t want you to see the kinky porn he’s watching — or maybe he’s in communication with someone that he knows isn’t appropriate.

3. He Accuses You of Cheating

Out of the blue, he accuses you of cheating. You haven’t even done anything to give him cause to suspect that.

Turning the tables to accuse you could be a sign that he has a guilty conscience about what he’s doing. His infidelity could make him question if you might be hiding something.

In some ways, the idea that you’re cheating can be used as justification for his own faithlessness. He’ll feel better if he can convince himself that you’ve done the same thing. It might be how he sleeps at night, but it’s also a sign he’s the cheater in the relationship.

4. He Acts Like He’s Hiding Something

You know him pretty well by this point, and he’s suddenly keeping secrets. You know he’s hiding something. It doesn’t feel like a present either. You think he’s keeping something, or someone, else from you.

Weird, sneaky behaviors could move into the relationship. Closing the laptop when you walk in, hiding his phone screen, and even requiring more alone time and privacy could have many explanations.

Don’t forget that cheating is one of them. 

5. He Buys You Unexpected Gifts

Has he just surprised you with an unexpected gift? Is he lavishing you with attention? This is one of those signs that your guy is cheating on you.

Maybe he just realized how lucky he is to have you in his life. It could be that he’s gone through something that’s made him value you more than ever. Maybe he wants to take the relationship to the next level. Or maybe he’s just a cheater who is trying to assuage his guilt. 

Taken alone, gifts aren’t a sure sign he’s cheating. Taken with the rest of this list, and you really do wonder. He might be trying to convince himself that he’s treating you well while he’s stepping out on you with someone else. 

6. He Stops Saying “I Love You”

This is probably one of the clearest signs he may be cheating. He used to tell you how much he loves you. He’d come right out and say it. But then he just … stopped. You don’t know why.

You can’t explain it. If you ask him, he’ll deny it or tell you that you’re being paranoid. But you don’t remember the last time he said “I love you” other than as a routine response.

It might be hard for a cheater to look you in the eyes and say that he loves you when he knows that what he’s doing isn’t loving at all.

The guilt may be a factor, or he may have those feelings for someone else now. Oddly, it may feel like cheating on the other person to tell you, his partner, that he loves you. His loyalty is shifting, and you may have lost it entirely at this point. 

7. He Begins Having Mood Swings

His moods have become a rollercoaster. He’s distant or smothering you — and there’s no in between. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells because he’s sensitive about the least little things.

8. He Stops Talking About Your Future Together

Where you once talked openly about a future together, now he avoids this topic altogether. You’re not in whatever future he occasionally mentions.

He might even avoid making plans more than a month in advance. That vacation you were excited about? He may have one excuse after another about why you should wait to book it.

You note that he avoids talking about the future or committing to events that are further out. It’s possible that he’s just losing interest in the relationship or no longer feels that you’re a compatible match.

It could also be a sign that this man is cheating on you.

9. He Spends Less Time with You

The man in your life used to make you a priority. He would carve out time to talk, text, or see you. But suddenly, he just doesn’t have the time.

He accounts for less and less of his movements each day, and he always has a reason.

Those reasons begin to feel like excuses. In fact, your gut is telling you that he’s seeing someone — but it’s not you. He may even say he’s spending time with his friends, but there’s a curious lack of evidence to support this.

No pictures of him and his guys at the bar. No texts during that time to check in. If you call, he won’t answer and sends you to voice mail. This isn’t his normal behavior, and it’s also a sign of infidelity.

10. He Mentions Someone Else More Than He Realizes

That cute barista he talks to at your coffee shop — does he mention her more than he even realizes? Does he go on and on about a colleague that you know is attractive? Does he casually mention someone you’re sure he’d date given half a chance? 

Those names cropping up in casual conversation aren’t a coincidence. Infatuation will have you mentioning a crush all the time.

You might not realize you’re doing it, but your significant other surely will. This may be something that annoys you at first but slowly convinces you that he’s not just interested; he may already be involved with this person.

11. He Doesn’t Initiate Physical Intimacy Often

He used to be the one to initiate physical intimacy, but he doesn’t really do that anymore. He also touches you less, kisses you almost casually, and just doesn’t seem to feel a need to be close to you.

Either he’s losing interest in the relationship, which is painful on its own, or it can also be a sign that your man is a cheater. 

12. He Downloads Social Apps with More Privacy Settings

Have you noticed that he suddenly has new social media apps with increased privacy settings to hide his messages?

Apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Telegram all allow users increased privacy, which is ideal for people with something to hide. While there are many reasons people may prefer this type of privacy, cheating is certainly one of them.

13. He Doesn’t Like Being Tagged or Mentioned in Your Social Media

One of the signs your man is cheating on you includes an increased sensitivity to being tagged or mentioned by you on social media. Especially if it wasn’t like that before.

Is he trying to keep a low-profile in the relationship all of a sudden? It’s possible he’s insecure, is rethinking the relationship as a whole, or simply prefers to be more private.

This can also develop when he’s cheating and doesn’t want to call attention to his relationship status.

Recommended read: 9 Signs He’s Keeping You as an Option, And What You Can Do

14. He Starts Showering as Soon as He Gets Home

Showering when he gets home, by itself, is not a red flag. However, it is a red flag if it’s outside his customary pattern.

If he doesn’t even want to be near you before he’s clean, it could be because he was getting dirty outside the relationship before he got home. 

15. His Personal Grooming Suddenly Improves

Noticing that your partner suddenly steps up his grooming game is one of the more subtle signs of cheating.

You may think he’s making that effort for you, but if he’s doing all that for a night out with his friends, you might wonder why he’s suddenly going to so much trouble. It’s possible that the “friends” he’s seeing is one very special friend you don’t know about. 

16. He Lies to You

Lies are a warning sign in any relationship, but it’s also one of the key signs that someone is cheating on you. You may notice that he starts lying about the littlest things, like what he did during the day.

You catch the inconsistencies, but you’re not sure what’s going on. He might even concoct alibis you didn’t ask for that just don’t ring true. Lying could be a sign your guy is a cheater. 

17. He Calls You by the Wrong Name or Starts Using Pet Names Instead

If he calls you by someone else’s name, that’s a pretty obvious sign he’s cheating. Another move that’s much more subtle is when he starts calling you by pet names rather than using your actual name.

If he suddenly starts with “baby” or “honey” out of the blue, you might wonder if he’s trying to avoid a slip of the tongue. After all, it’s hard to keep track when you’re cheating. 

Recommended read: 13 Signs a Married Man is Using You – And What You Can Do

18. He Has Become Argumentative

He used to think your little quirks were cute. Now, you just annoy him. He’s become argumentative, and along with these other signs, you suspect he’s cheating.

He needs to keep you feeling wrongfooted so he feels better about his lying, cheating ways. He’s justifying it to himself by picking fights and creating conflict in the relationship. 

What You Should Do When Your Man is Cheating on You

It’s painful to realize that someone you care about could care so little about you that they are unfaithful. You’re likely to grieve and feel deeply betrayed.

Infidelity destroys trust in the relationship and can even be damaging to your self-worth. Here’s what you need to do when your man is cheating on you.

Remember: It’s Not Your Fault

You are not to blame for his infidelity. The relationship might have other problems, but that doesn’t mean he had to step outside of it and betray you with someone else.

You can hold yourself accountable for what you do next, but being cheated on isn’t your fault.

Remember: It’s Not the Side Chick’s Fault

You might be tempted to put the blame on the other person. Don’t. They may be unaware of the relationship status. They might have been fed a line about a breakup, separation, or divorce that sounded plausible.

They might be fully aware of the relationship and still not the one to blame when your partner chooses to violate the relationship. Don’t deflect the blame. Let it land on the person who’s breaking promises to you.

Source Your Support

You’ll need the support of the people you love to get through this, but you might also need professional help in the form of a competent mental health therapist.

Find someone — or multiple someones — you can talk to about what’s going on, how you feel, and what you want to do about it.

Make sure you tell your support system what you need. Do you want to vent and have a boyfriend/husband bashing session, or do you just want them to listen? Be clear because your loved ones will be mad on your behalf.

Know What You Want

You need to know what you want at this point. Are you willing to work it out if he is? Is this something you can actually forgive? Does the infidelity represent a dealbreaker, and if it does, how will you move forward from this point?

There’s a lot of thinking and planning at this stage. You need to know what you want before you sit down to confront him. 

Confront Him

If you know that he’s cheating, it’s time to have a talk. You might be tempted to catch him out in some elaborate scheme with your best girlfriends. Hey, do what you need to do.

But if it’s a longstanding relationship, you might want to sit down and confront them with what you know and let them know it’s not okay.

It may hurt to know that your guy is cheating on you, but covering your eyes and pretending not to see what’s as clear as day isn’t going to make it magically disappear.

Facing the truth may be painful, but don’t you deserve to know the truth? You deserve someone who loves you and is faithful to your relationship. If he’s cheating, it’s better to know now than letting it drag on to create even more heartache. 

Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

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