Sexual Relationships: 6 Key Signs Your Partner Is Cheating

cheating partners
A passerby photographs a billboard claiming to be from an unhappy wife railing against her husband's infidelity in Chicago, July 21, 2006. Getty Images/Tim Boyle

Cheating, or infidelity is the act of being unfaithful to your spouse or sexual partner. Common in monogamous relationships, cheating can have immense emotional and, in some cases, physical repercussions for those involved.

According to a University of Chicago study, 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once, the definition of which differs from person to person. While some consider only sexual intercourse or oral sex as cheating, there are others who take kissing or sexual messages and conversations also as cheating.

“Sometimes one partner meets someone with whom they fall in love. Sometimes one partner is unhappy themselves and a new relationship makes them feel alive and special in a way they haven’t felt in a long time,” Holly LaBarbera , a licensed marriage and family therapist in Fremont, Calif ornia, told Medical Daily in an email. “Sometimes cheating has nothing to do with the other partner.”

There are a few key indicators that may require you to assess the situation your partner and you are in.

An increase in lying

A sudden increase in the number of work trips and meetings that your partner is obligated to attend, especially if it is not a common occurrence, can indicate that he or she may be clearing out his or her schedule for something else that holds importance for them.

This comes with a bag of elaborate lies and a conscious effort to convince you about the legitimacy of whatever it is they are doing. In many cases, it is just impromptu trips to the supermarket or an increased number of girls’ or boys’ nights out.

More time on the phone

The amount of time your significant other spends on his or her phone may increase dramatically if they’re having an affair. Routinely walking out to take calls because of “poor connectivity” or because they do not want to disturb your sleep — especially when they come in late in the evenings or afternoons, is an indicator.

Increased distance — both physical and emotional

He or she may refuse to go out for your regular engagements and try to get out of spending time together, staying out for much longer periods of time than they usually do. Sexual activity between the two of you may decrease drastically. Even when they are around physically, their mind is not really present in the moment.

Changes in appearance

Spending a lot more time than they usually do on their appearance can be another warning sign. Dressing better, using more perfume or aftershave, or getting more regular at the gym are all indicators. They usually make an additional effort to ensure that you do not find signs of the other man or woman among their personal belongings.

Being too nice or too aggressive

Being too affectionate all of a sudden may be a way for them to allay their guilty conscience. This can range from letting you choose what to watch on TV to buying expensive jewelry and dinners.

On the other hand, there is also the possibility of your significant other getting mad at you more often, possibly even accusing you of cheating. They can be easily irritable and snap regularly, picking fights at a drop of the hat.

Friends dropping hints

Do not ignore signs you get from those around you. There is a great chance that they know something that you may not. If they genuinely care for you, they may make attempts to warn you in subtle ways, if not an outright confrontation.

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