Observant People Share Subtle Signs To Look For If Your SO Is Cheating

Mathew Burke

Relationships are only as strong as their weakest link. Usually, when one partner decides to be unfaithful, it’s not long until every other aspect of the relationship falls apart. The cheater may think that their bad behavior is isolated and secret, but rest assured—it will come to light one way or another and the relationship will never be the same.

Here’s what people who have lived through this have had to say about how they discovered that their significant other was cheating on them. And seriously folks, learn from these stories—don’t cheat!

33. You Should Really Get Out More… Without Me

She started encouraging me to go out without her more often, never did that before, couldn’t stand to be apart from me…

In retrospect, there were a lot of things, but I didn’t notice any of them. Meanwhile, she was basically in a year-long relationship with one of my best friends and I was oblivious!


32. Those Dog-Walkers Will Get You Every Time

Not so subtle, but being guarded with his phone, and every time I caught a glimpse of the screen while he was using it, it was the same girl. Asked who she is and it’s his friend from “dog-walking club” Yeah right—they actually met on Tinder.

He also went through my phone, and not very subtly either, because he accidentally sent random thumbs up to a lot of people on Facebook chat.

Then there was the random message from the above-mentioned girl, who had gone to the effort of looking me up and telling me to “back off her boyfriend.” Hahahahahaha. There were a lot of things she didn’t know either, apparently.


31. Just Speaking Her Mind?

She got a new job and I noticed she kept talking about this guy. I let it go on for a while to see how much she’d inadvertently say. It was how she spoke about him and how frequently. She’s even been to happy hour with him, not alone, but still. So when I finally brought it up, she completely stopped talking about him. I never hear about him anymore.


30. Take a Good, Long Look in the Mirror

I was getting accused of being sneaky. There was suddenly an interest in who I was texting and where I was going. She was projecting her dishonesty onto me.


29. One Heck of a Love Triangle

I worked with two guys once—let’s call them A and B. One was married and his wife invited my wife to start going out with her for ladies’ night. I encouraged my wife to go since she almost never got out of the house. My wife came home and I could tell something was wrong. Turns out Friend A’s wife was picking up guys on these ladies’ nights—and encouraged my wife to do the same.

So the next day at work I consulted Friend B, who was living with Friend A and his wife at the time, asking his advice on what I should do. Should I tell A or just stay out of it or what? B started going off about A’s wife, saying she was a slut, didn’t deserve to be married to him, all kinds of nasty things. In the end, he said I should just keep it to myself.

So, a couple of weeks went by, my wife and A’s wife kept going out and she kept cheating and I kept consulting B. My wife and I would get together with A and his wife every now and then, and A’s wife would drop comments about people keeping their mouth shut, etc.

Finally, it came to a head. One day at work, B finally confessed to A that he’d been sleeping with A’s wife and he was going to run off with her…and I finally understood why B was always so upset about what A’s wife was doing. He was pissed that the woman that was cheating on her husband to be with him was cheating on HIM too.

That all happened 30 years ago. Last I knew—about 10 years ago—A and his wife were still married.


28. The Nutty Dog

Giving her dog to her ex every so often. I didn’t think much of it at the time because her dog was a nutcase and I was glad to have the dog out of the picture, but it meant the ex was still in the picture.


27. Yea, I’m Gonna Call That a Red Flag…

Always a major red flag. Like the time I walked in on my ex-girlfriend having sex with another guy in my bed and thought—I think she may be cheating on me. Turns out she was. We broke up.


26. Raising the Heat

I live in the Phoenix metro. During the summer you’d have to be daft to go outside for an extended period of time when it is over 100 degrees.

When my ex was cheating, she’d go outside and talk to her “friend” on her cell. In July.

Actually, that’s not terribly subtle, now that I think of it.


25. People Are Definitely Weird Creatures

He lost interest. Didn’t want to do anything romantic and was more like a friend than anything. Yet, the second I tried to leave the relationship, he acted like his entire existence was inside of me and he was desperate to keep it around.


24. Interesting Topic of Discussion

The way they said their name in casual conversation. And then, the frequency. And then suddenly, they disappear from the conversation. This cycle can repeat itself.

Two different partners, this was my first clue. Warning bells went off…I was right each time.


23. Neal, Neal, Neal

My GF was getting ready for work one day and I noticed she was wearing makeup which she hadn’t done in a very long time. I sarcastically asked her, “Is Neal working tonight with you?” to which she said, “no, I just wanted to look nice today.” I dropped her off at work and who was there? Neal, that dirty rat. Like in other stories, sometimes it’s the abrupt change in a subtle thing about a person that sets off the warning bells.


22. Something is Definitely Not Right

Not caring about our relationship, and completely leaving me out of anything she ever did. She just lost care in it.


21. Look Into My Eyes

Her eyes, they showed everything. Hell, I could have a one-sided conversation.


20. All The Telling Signs

“Does she keep her phone locked around you, Michael? Does she watch how much she drinks around you, Michael? … Does she leave the room when she takes phone calls? Does she keep perfume in her purse? Does she shower before sex? Does she shower after sex?”—Ryan from The Office.


19. ‘Nuff Said

She had a lot of dates for someone in a relationship.


18. At Least He Was Trying

He started including really specific things in his stories to make them seem more realistic. For example, “I was at the store with my mom and we were in the paper towel aisle.”

They didn’t make it more realistic. Just made me believe him less.


17. The Whole List

After being in a long abusive relationship with multiple confirmed instances of cheating, I can tell:

  • She didn’t go to events or parties with me that were in public.
  • Her not telling anyone about her being in a relationship.
  • Or even worse, hearing “Wait you are still together? I thought you broke up!” from a mutual friend.
  • When picking her up from parties, she didn’t want to go together and she would be coming from another direction than from the place the “party” was at.
  • Her not being okay with unannounced visits from me.
  • Other random BS that doesn’t make any sense.


16. A Major Lifestyle Change

He started working out more, shaved all his body hair off, hid his phone, had random outbursts of laughter while looking at his phone, used a random address for everything instead of his actual home address, sent flowers to a house I don’t know, took a random holiday without me, money went missing, he went out more without me than with me.


15. That Doesn’t Sound Too Good

Getting really defensive when asked about their day. I ask questions because I’m interested in what’s going on in their life. But when the answers don’t make sense I ask more questions because I figured I was misunderstanding.


14. Snow Day

Disappearing for hours at a time…”snowmobiling with friends. Yeah, they’re guys, but I don’t like them. Yeah, they both ask me for nudes all the time. I alllllways say no.” Can’t believe I didn’t see the billion red flags sooner.


13. Keeping It Simple

“He’s just my friend.”

Simple, yes, but unexpected and tragic.


12. The Real Relationship Status

  • Removing our relationship from social media because “people don’t need to know my personal business/my mom thinks we broke up”—his mom hated me but didn’t even have a Facebook.
  • Blocking me on social media—but saying he deleted it—and then making a new Facebook account in which I was his only friend 😐
  • Not meeting up with me around his friends anymore.
  • Not being affectionate with me in public because he told his new side piece that we were just friends.

He cheated on me several times with multiple girls before I gained some self-worth and left.


11. A Sudden Change of Heart

He suddenly became concerned about his looks but didn’t want me to look good. He went on a diet, started wearing contacts, and started shaving his pubic hair, which he wouldn’t do for me. Also became distant, had a lack of interest in sex, spent a lot of time on his phone, had weird mood swings that didn’t relate to our relationship fights/make ups, along with lots of other signs.


10. What Goes Around Comes Around

He was my SO for five years, going on six. It was New Year’s 2014. When everything was going well, he suddenly asked for “space.” I asked if he wanted a day or a week. He said he wanted a month. I gave him that. As in zero bothering.

February came. We met and he called it quits and though it saddened me, it gave me time to improve on myself and reflect. It was mid-March, and just when I was able to get my life back together, he contacted me again. He told me he wanted me back. I was elated and hopeful. He said that there is just one condition that he wanted to compromise on to show that “I” had changed—and that is to limit my questions of his whereabouts and limit my calls to him to just his lunch time. Realizing that I might have gone overboard with calls and questions when I was with him—he was on a night shift in a particularly shady environment, and it didn’t help that I was a worrywart—I agreed. But there was something in my gut that tells me something doesn’t seem fair.

Since then, I fought the urge to even simply ask him how his day was, or make any leisurely talk with him just to comply and prove to myself and to him that I don’t have trust issues—because if I don’t, he’ll call it out on me.

Then, in November of that year, his friend from his workplace died. I was scared because I hadn’t heard from him for almost 2 days during the funeral, and I am worried that he might be devastated. My worry turned to anger when he just said that he placed his phone on silent mode, spent the night with his mates in the funeral, and told me “I have to ignore you since the funeral was the only time I can talk to my workplace friends and you disturb me a lot.”

I apologized for my anger and just let him be. I still have to prove to him that I am not bothersome. We became okay afterward. It wasn’t a big fight, but I was quite offended by what he just said. I was just worried because it was not typical of him to not inform me of his whereabouts.

Three weeks after the funeral, he just dropped the “I’m breaking up with you for good.” No warnings.

I was beyond devastated. Fast forward 2015, he came back one midnight (!) asking for me to leave my bf (now husband), crying and regretting that he dismissed all my concern and my thoughtfulness when we were together. Funny thing is, he had a GF when he begged me to get back together. And that GF is the one who he cheated on me with. He told me that his GF hated it when he gets concerned, thoughtful, or sweet and that he misses me, who appreciated all that.

I dismissed him with, “You’ll find yourself a good woman eventually.”

People, remember that sufficient proximity and proper communication are indispensable in a good relationship. If your SO keeps on asking for too much SPACE, s/he might as well be on the next rocketship out of your life.


9. Taking Things Literally

Overreacting to something completely unexpected.

For example, my ex lived in a house with her grandparents for years and never visited a pretty large mall down the street. I said “Really? That’s unbelievable!” thinking I just found a place to take her to. A couple minutes later out of the blue, she says “I’m not lying to you.”


8. Something Not to Be Thankful For

I’m not on great terms with my family, so I suggested making a roast chicken for the two of us for Thanksgiving. She opted to go to her roommate’s family’s place—the roommate who I learned she was sleeping with shortly afterward.


6. The Perspective From the Other Side of Things

I was “roommate with benefits” before and somehow I was the other woman. I don’t know how he thought he was going to be able to keep the two of us a secret from each other. It’s been about five years and when I think about it the emotion that comes back isn’t sadness or anger from the betrayal, but amazement that he thought he was going to get away with it.


5. Screw You, Michael!

When you ask questions about their day and they give you half answers, intentionally hide the important parts (spending the night in another’s person flat is something important to tell, MICHAEL) or “it’s just a friend” (MICHAEL, IT’S 3 IN THE FREAKING MORNING WTF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT).

I got out of that relationship ASAP and every time this kind of thing happened again in other relationships I just stopped caring about the person (SCREW YOU, MICHAEL!)


4. Projection Troubles

He would constantly accuse me of talking to or flirting with other men. I always heard that people who are guilty of cheating often project their guilt outwards like that, but I guess I didn’t want to believe it…


3. A Little Subtlety Can Go a Long Way

Right before my ex got caught cheating, I saw his phone laying on the couch like it fell out of his pocket. I picked it up just as he realized he’d dropped it. I swear, he leapt across the room to take it from my hand before I could even say a word. I had already begun suspecting, but that was pretty definitive that I was right.


2. Setting an Example for the Baby

When I got home from work, she would be going to work and I would be hanging out with our baby. Around the time he was one and a half, she started going to the bar with co-workers. I was fine with it because it wasn’t often, maybe one night a week, and she came back home by 12.

It quickly got up to coming home between 2:30 am and 4 am, plastered, four to six times a week. She started mentioning this one co-worker a lot and how cool he was. My paranoia got the better of me and I checked her phone one alcohol-induced coma night and she had been trying to get said co-worker to meet with her at an abandoned gas station a few miles up the road while she was on her way out.

I approached her and asked what she planned to do when he showed up, “just hang out and shoot the s***!” to which I replied, “While you’re drunk, at 2 am, behind an abandoned gas station…” She never admitted to it, but that, a lot of not-even-subtle clues and people I knew seeing her out at the bar gave me all I needed to know.


1. Now That’s Just Hard to Believe

Got a new phone and changed his number. When I asked for the number he said I couldn’t have it because it was “his personal phone.”


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