“Cheats prosper until there are enough who bear grudges against them to make sure they do not prosper.”—Peter Singer.
Love can fall apart for a ton of reasons, but the monster called “infidelity” is one of the more common villains in such ill-fated unions. Cheating can take many forms; not just physical betrayal but also online intimacies and transgression by telephone have been at the root of many modern heartbreaks. Straying is hardly new, but the way we do it changes every day.
Reddit asked the people of the internet how they were able to catch their significant others “in the act.” Texting was a common feature, but Facebook, roommates, and even the odd playlist practices helped spurned lovers uncover the nasty truth. It goes to show, there is no one way to stray. Here are 42 outrageous stories about how people caught their exes cheating.
42. The Question You Don’t Want Answered
Back when Myspace survey quizzes were popular, I was reading one that she posted. A question on the quiz read “Who was the last person you kissed/had sex with?” The answer was not my name…
41. You’ve Got Betrayal
11 days ago, he had still been signed into his Gmail on my laptop. When I went to Gmail, it was his email. I found lots of emails to lots of girls about cheating. We’ve been together eight years, married for one and a half. I still feel like I’m in shock and don’t know what to do.
40. Dear Diary
She wrote it in her diary, and our babysitter snooped, read it, and told me.
39. Close the Door Next Time
Her roommate was nice enough to tip me off and tell me to break up with her ASAP. She was going to wait until after her birthday, so she could still get a gift. So manipulative.
38. The Roommate Disagreement
She was having an argument with a housemate and they shouted at her—with me in the room—“At least I’m not cheating on my fiancé!”
She moved out less than a week later.
37. Thanks for the Reminder
I technically didn’t catch him cheating, because he came clean about it when he broke up with me. I did, however, find out who he cheated with.
He told me it was with his friend Natalie, who I had never heard of before, except for the time maybe days earlier when he told me about his “half black” friend Natalie. Ok, at the time I wasn’t sure why he shared this detail. This was ten years ago when we were all fresh out of high school, so I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went.
Days go by and a coworker asks me if we’re still together, because she saw him kissing a girl, and she shares her description as “darker skinned.” I tell her we broke up, and that’s probably the girl he cheated on me with, it’s ok.
Days go by and my good friend Nora’s older brother invites me to hang out, totally out of the blue. I take him up on it and we go to a park near his parents’ house. Lo, we spot Nora’s car. We’re walking through the park and there’s Nora’s parents’ dog running around off leash. And there, on a gentle slope, is Nora and my recent ex making out on the grass.
Nora and her brother are Egyptian and could easily be described as “half black” or “darker skinned.” My ex had made Natalie up.
36. Unwanted Status Update
She called me from a party, completely wasted, to inform me that she had just hooked up with some guy in the bathroom.
Better than hiding it I guess, but it certainly wasn’t my favorite 3 AM phone call.
35. Parting Gifts
She left her shoes at our place… AND they left the condom wrapper on the floor beside the bed.
34. Status: It’s Not That Complicated
Literally five hours after we broke up he updated his Facebook relationship status to “engaged” to a girl who I thought he was just friends with. She uploaded a photo showing off the ring with the caption “he finally asked, and I said yes!”
33. While You Were Healing
Oh man I have a winner.
I had surgery on my testicles due to a possible tumor (it wound up being benign), so I’m recovering that evening in bed. My girlfriend (long-distance) visited me to take care of me.
All is going great, except for my crotch hurting and my wearing of a diaper—but hey, I had just come back from Afghanistan, so life was still pretty sweet. My girlfriend offers to make me some food. Sweet. So she asks me to look up a recipe on my phone. I can’t find my phone—so she tosses me hers. Well, let me tell you, in the midst of me looking up a great Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe, a message from my friend Ryan flashes across the top of the screen. I can’t make it out, but it looks an awful lot like sex.
I’m like, “Oh Ryan, what are you giving a hard time to my girlfriend about,” So I click the message, if only to relay what I presumed was a joke to her. Well, let me tell you, the joke was on me. Those two had been going to Bonetown, USA, while I was deployed. They talked about me being gone as a sexcation.
My girlfriend asks if I found anything good. I’m like “Oh hell yeah.” Now, I show her the texts. She denies anything happened. Which is, well dumb—so me being a man of dignity, kick her out of the apartment and send her on her way to Georgia. Wearing adult diapers, I kicked her out of my place.
Honestly, I just wish I had found out after I had eaten some Cordon Bleu.
32. Surprise Delivery
My sister met the girl he had gotten pregnant and then told me about it.
31. Not That Kind of Emergency
She told me her little cousin (who is mentally handicapped) swallowed something (a battery I think) and was in the hospital in NC and was flying down there. Later, she went and took a nap.
I was on the computer, clicked on the favorite place link to Gmail and saw a flight confirmation email to NY. I realized it was her account and not mine.
I sat at the edge of the bed calm as could be and as soon as she woke up I asked her what she was doing in NY. She tried to say she didn’t know what I was talking about, but I told her I saw the email. She then said she was going to visit some friends, and I was like oh, is that why you made up this big lie about your cousin?
30. Second in Command
Phone dinged, I checked it, (same phones no case both charging next to each other.) The text said, “I miss you too” and was from a girl he was dating when we were separated.
Fast forward a few months to when he deploys. Check his email because at this point I know something is up. Find emails, so I contact the mistress.
She was very transparent with me and told me that basically, they were dating before he even met me, which means he courted me, asked me to marry him, married me then we had a child together all while he was still seeing her. We separate for a year, he dates her exclusively, we get back together, and he maintains a relationship with her. All of this without me knowing.
I found this all out while I was a month away from birthing his second child and he’s getting shot at in Afghanistan.
We decide to work through it, but I never could get over the fact that he cheated on me for four years and had no problem hiding it from me, and only came clean because I found out, as in, he had no intention of coming clean. When he returned home he confessed to many other times with other people (thank GOD I never got an STD).
After three subsequent years of him refusing to go to counseling so that we can ACTUALLY deal with it, he tells me he wants a divorce (a month before we are supposed to get a permanent change of station to Alaska).
Moved back home with the kids, filed for divorce and life is amazingly better now.
Screw that guy! (Though I am appreciative that he loves our kids).
29. Do You Accept the Charges?
We shared a family plan for phone service that I was the administrator of. Weird stuff has been happening, so I did a little research. Saw he was texting and calling the same number a lot so I asked phone carrier for transcripts and saw all the dirty stuff he had been texting to the other girl.
28. Swipe Left On This Dude
Friend sent me a screenshot of my then BF from Tinder. I check his phone and he didn’t have the app. So I downloaded Tinder onto his phone to find out he had an active account and was actively engaged in messaging and meeting up with girls and he had just been deleting the app from his phone when he was hanging out with me.
27. Spill It
He had a habit of leaving his FB logged in and open on my laptop. Also, I never wore bobby pins, scrunchies, or hair ties with metal clasps in my hair.
Also, he told me to text my friend on his phone to tell her we were late and had apparently forgotten that their previous messages were still right there. When confronted, he vomited.
26. Super Best Friends
I thought it was fairly obvious when she let her best guy friend stay at her house every weekend. I called it quits when I drove up and she was washing his car for him while wearing a bikini.
25. For My Ears Only
I caught my dad cheating on my stepmom because he said he wanted to listen to Adele on my headphones.
The second he said that I knew something was up, he would never take me and my sister out for any reason other than personal pleasure and why ask for my headphones, come to find out after a little bit of snooping on his phone he was sending Facebook audio messages to girls, so his wife couldn’t read the messages. That really changed how I saw my dad.
24. Raise the Roof
My cousin showed me a picture of her hooking up with the male stripper at her bachelorette party.
23. Dial 1 for Heartbreak
He was in the basement of the house we had JUST BOUGHT TOGETHER having phone sex with her not realizing that the sound would travel through the vents. It sucked at the time but in hindsight, he did me a huge favor.
22. Wake Up Call
My girlfriend started working with and talking about this girl and inviting the girl and her GF to go to dinner with us. We went on a double date with this couple a few times over the course of three weeks and I noticed every time we were all four out, my girlfriend would drink much more heavily than usual. We were having them over for dinner one Sunday, but had an adult sports game before (which usually involved light drinking) and she was acting super weird about making sure we were home on time and had dinner ready, etc.
That night, after they left, she passed out on the couch next to me. Her Apple watch buzzed, and I glanced over and saw a selfie of this girl. Which was enough to get me to look at her phone (for the first time ever) where I find texts with sexting and details about their hookup. I took screenshots of all of it and sent it to my phone.
I got dressed, texted a friend, packed a backpack, and woke her up by throwing her phone (with those messages open) at her and walking out the door. She groggily sorted it all out and attempted to contact me all night and eventually texted the other girl’s GF those screenshots, which I thought was pretty cruddy. Sort of an “if I’m going down, you’re going down with me.”
21. Fashion Statements
My first GF, that I had lost my virginity to, banged some dude from high school that allowed her to wear his letterman jacket home since it was cold. He came to her house to get it back and said it just felt right. All while I was at work. The worst part was she told me on AIM when I got home!
He has a longtime friend of his (who happened to be female) who was staying the night. She was sleeping in the basement bedroom and we were upstairs.
Well, he slipped out of bed in the middle of the night and woke me up. When he noticed, he told me he had to go to the bathroom. I guess I already had my suspicions, because I lay there and listened to him walk down the hall, then past the bathroom, and down the stairs. So, I followed.
And caught him in the basement getting ready to have sex with her.
Oh. I was not a happy puppy. Was stupid and tried to salvage our engagement, but I wasn’t “fun anymore” and he left.
19. While You Were Working
Ex worked a night shift and I worked day shift, so I’d wait for her to come home (so kids wouldn’t be sleeping alone) and one night she just didn’t show up…
Pulled up Find my iPhone to find out she’s at her ex’s house. She came home a little later after texting/calling her constantly with some extra news: he got her pregnant… What a wonderful day.
18. Wardrobe Malfunction
Found underwear that didn’t belong to me, despite him desperately trying to convince me that they were mine.
17. Positively Heartbroken
I found out when I tested positive for chlamydia!
16. Good Luck Getting a Ride
I had let her borrow my car while I took the bus to work, my friend called me at work to say that my girl was making out with some guy in my car. So I got a taxi over there and yup, there she was.
I knocked on the window guy jumped out. I was going to start beating his ass, but I told him to just leave, this might not be your fault. She started making excuses, I just asked her to step out of the car. Got my keys and drove away a mess, she screwed me up for a long time. She made me lose trust in women and messed up my concept of relationships for a long time.
15. Double Standards
She told me in gratuitous detail the name, body type and sex acts she performed with like ten different dudes—ranging from making out to intercourse with “only” two dudes.
She thought I would forgive her and it’d bring us closer and like it’d be good, so we could talk about those experiences together.
After this, she moved for an “open” relationship—which made it all okay because she’d get to retroactively apply our “open” status.
I was young, in love, and heartbroken so I said yes because I was desperate to hang on to her.
Then she broke up with me when I hooked up with someone else after like four months of “open” status and her having like a primary friend-with-benefits because I “liked her too much.”
14. Wouldn’t Wait
I was 17 and he was my first boyfriend. I wasn’t going to sleep with him and told him as much, so he was having sex with a girl who I knew from church youth group in his car before he would come hang out with me. She wanted him all to herself, so she showed me the messages—I was dumb and didn’t believe her because this wasn’t the first time she had stirred up drama like this. Sure enough, his car was outside the church in the back corner of the parking lot and he was waiting for her.
Although, TBH, I was mostly just dating him because I hadn’t been kissed yet and was tired of waiting for someone I could see myself falling in love with. I was angrier over the humiliation of being cheated on more than because I loved him.
13. Delete from Contacts
Ex-girlfriend. Woke up one morning and it was plastered all over her Snapchat story of her making out with her ex at some Christmas party. This was the day after a very intense romantic evening with her… Was a tough day to get through for sure.
She decided to completely drop contact with me after with no answers as to what happened, but thank goodness I’m out of that train wreck now though… One month on and I’m doing much better.
12. Tripped Up
I was gone for a week for work. Got back to my building after a flight home and had no ride. She forgot to come pick me up. I finally got a hold of her, came to pick me up half drunk, went back to our house, I was unpacking and turned around and she had her hair and makeup done and just said “I’m going out, see ya” and left. This was after I had been gone for a week.
The next day was Friday, she had got home after I went to bed and left for work before me. I got home, and she was already gone, and had texted me and said she was going to her friend’s house to hang out for a house party for the weekend. I didn’t hear from her again for two days despite calling and texting her. She got home late Sunday night and told me she “lost her phone in the couch.”
I told her this wasn’t working, and she needed to leave. She packed a bag while I cracked a beer on the couch. A couple days later, my friend emailed me a boatload of pictures from the weekend she disappeared, all of her and the guy she was cheating on me with. He had posted them on his Myspace that Sunday evening.
She actually continued to mess up things for me for quite a while after this, financially mostly, but eventually, I got free of that disaster and moved on happily.
11. Sing Me This Song Again
We recently got a family sharing for Apple accounts which automatically enabled location-sharing.
She was traveling for work and said she was out with colleagues. I checked location and she was nowhere near her hotel. In a residential part of the city she was visiting. When she got home, I played 20 questions. That damn near killed me.
10. Good Thing She Didn’t Call Your Bluff
She kept deleting all her texts… I got suspicious and told her I had a cool program on my PC that picks up all texts wirelessly. Confronted her saying I had seen them on my PC, she admitted it without me seeing a thing.
9. Power in Numbers
I had accused him previously but over and over he turned it around and got upset that I didn’t trust him. Finally, after talking to the girl he cheated with on the phone, we called him together and he came clean. Couldn’t lie to us both.
8. Indecent Proposal
Oh boy, story time, so, I’d been with this girl for two years, I was madly in love with her, I was going to propose.
Bought a ring, went to pay her a surprise visit, walked in because I had a key, found her in bed with another man.
Threw the box with the ring at her, walked out, drove off, never looked back.
Got about 5 miles away, pulled over and broke down crying.
7. Brevity is the Soul of Wit
What gave it away for me is when she said “I cheated on you.”
6. Don’t Read on a Full Stomach
We had just upgraded phones. I’m not even completely sure why, but shortly after the iPad did some sort of sync or acknowledgment since we had a new device on the same account. Didn’t think much of it, but then all these new text messages load up. Wasn’t expecting to see and read all that after dinnertime.
5. CSI: Cheating Scene Investigation
My story is like something out of Black Mirror:
Girlfriend of six years went out of town with a couple of her girlfriends for a weekend. I decided to check her Facebook profile to see if she posted any new pics or whatever and noticed that this one guy liked almost every status she posted. He never commented.
I was just curious about who he was because she never mentioned him. His profile was mostly private, but he had a couple pictures and statuses that I could view. Just figured it was a classmate or something (she’s in law school) until I scrolled upon a picture that stood out: It was a pic of his parked car that a hit and run driver smacked into overnight while street parked. I almost kept scrolling when something hit me— the background of picture gave me a weird feeling. His car was parked on the street that I recognized because of the brick roads that we have downtown. Upon closer inspection, the reason I recognized it was because it was right outside my girlfriend’s house.
When she got back I talked to her about it. Of course, she at first came up with a BS story about how some friends from school crashed at her place because she lives near downtown and they couldn’t drive. I’m not an idiot though because I know she’d tell me if somebody hit her friend’s car outside her house. Eventually she broke down and confessed she’d been cheating for a year. It turned my life inside out.
We had plans to move in a week after I found out and I was going to propose on our anniversary a few weeks after that.
I got out of the relationship, even though she is still begging to this day for forgiveness… It’s just so weird because of the coincidence I came across this pic, that the pic was even public, and the fact that if the picture was taken a foot closer to the damage, I’d have never known. I just got such a weird feeling from the small amount details I could make out in the background.
4. Regrets? I Have a Few
She left our two-year relationship for this guy. Then I start getting messages from him. And I was MAD. I take my love very seriously I guess. So I keep getting Facebook messages, and then I check his Facebook. The account only has two friends, no pictures, and is four days old.
Turns out, he IMMEDIATELY left her when she left me for him. But she wanted ME to crawl back to her? So she made a fake account to make me jealous.
I legitimately stopped breathing from how hard I laughed.
3. Put a Ring On It
I called her at work and their receptionist asked, “Is this her boyfriend, Dave?”
“No… it’s her fiancé.”
I’d had suspicions for a few months before that but this was the clincher.
2. Do You Really Want to Know?
She left her diary lying around. Which is to say, in her unguarded bookshelf. I was hanging at her place while she was in class and I read a few of the most recent entries. Fully knowing I was opening a Pandora’s Box of secrets better left closed as we had been growing more distant lately.
Big surprise, she wrote about falling for the other guy and how she didn’t know how to leave me. She then mentioned how the sex was much better with me and how he was sort of a dead fish. Which initially made me feel a bit better until I read that she had gone out shopping for Valentine’s day gifts and had apparently gone all out on him but hit the clearance racks for me. Gifts aren’t important to me, but that deep forethought it took to make that sort of decision really irked me.
So… I waited for her to get home, and we had the MOST intense angry sex I’ve ever had in my life. I knew it was going to be the last time I’d ever get to enjoy her body, so I just went to town. The tough bit is that she was certainly enjoying it more than me without the weight of impending heartache on her mind. It got so intense someone knocked on the door to make sure everything was alright, to which she breathlessly replied “Ooooh yeah!” which is still a source of pride for me, honestly. However, I’ll never forget that feeling after, staring up at the ceiling and listening to her breathing heavy still and just knowing.
1. Over the Hill
My ex-wife and I went up to Big Bear to go snowboarding and spend some time together. We were having issues and I thought to be fun to get away and do something fun together. Let’s just say it did not go well. She said she grew up snowboarding, but she never made it down a hill and had a terrible time.
So we went back to the cabin and she was pretty much just on her phone, not talking to me. We make it back and she says she needs to just shower and be alone for a bit. She goes off and I just hang in the den.
She left her phone in her purse and it just kept buzzing, so I checked it out because what if someone was trying to reach us or something? I open it up to read a full conversation between her and this guy. It wasn’t good.
I read how that day’s texts started and they started really early in the morning.
“Hope you’re doing ok up there.”
“We’ll see, doubt it. He’s trying too hard. He should just know it really doesn’t matter. Wish I was up here with you instead.”
Just the worst stuff. And that was before I even woke up. I was pretty devastated and really didn’t know what to do. I knew I didn’t want to fight because I realized she wasn’t worth fighting for. Grabbed my bag and drove back to San Diego. I took her phone with me, so I could text him and tell him “We’re coming home early, let’s meet.” I ended up inviting him to a coffee shop and waited for him to show up. When he walked through the door, he saw me immediately and kind of stopped. I waved him over and wasn’t too far from the door, so I told him we need to talk.
He comes over and already front loads with the “It’s not what you think,” blah blah blah speech.
I told him that if he wants her, he can take his sorry ass to Big Bear and go get her. Because I was leaving and we’re through. See you when we sign the papers. And I left. Second worst day of my life but I’m glad it happened. Met my lady three years later and we’ve been together for four years, now engaged.
I don’t know if you asked this because you yourself are going through this and need comfort and to know what to do. But I hope this is just a hypothetical question and if not, there are better partners out there for us. You just need to let life introduce you to them.