Men who cheat in a relationship usually display these 8 subtle red flags

It can be a real heart breaker to discover you’ve been cheated on. The difference between a healthy relationship and a deceitful one often boils down to transparency.

When a man cheats, it’s not always glaringly obvious. In fact, there are usually subtle red flags that are easily overlooked in the haze of love.

As a relationship expert and founder of the Love Connection blog, I’ve seen these signs time and again. I’m here to tell you that understanding these warning signs can save you from unnecessary hurt.

So let’s dive into the eight subtle red flags that men who cheat typically display. I promise, this will be a real eye opener.

1) Sudden change in routine

We all have our daily routines. It’s part of what makes us feel comfortable and secure in our relationships. When a man suddenly changes his routine without a logical explanation, it’s time to take note.

This could mean anything from a sudden increase in late-night work meetings to unexpected trips out of town. Remember, it’s not the change itself that’s alarming – life is full of change. It’s the lack of a clear, believable reason for the change that should raise an eyebrow.

As the old saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. If your partner’s routine starts to shift inexplicably, it might be a subtle sign that he’s straying.

But let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. It’s important to communicate openly about any changes you notice and listen carefully to his explanations. It’s only one red flag among many, but certainly worth keeping an eye on. 

2) Overprotective of his phone

In this digital age, our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. They hold our secrets, our memories, and our conversations. Suddenly becoming overly protective of his phone might be a red flag that he’s hiding something.

I’ve heard countless stories of men who cheat becoming paranoid about their partners touching their phones. If he suddenly changes his passcode, starts taking his phone to the bathroom, or gets nervous when you’re near it, it could be a sign of infidelity.

It’s crucial to remember that these signs aren’t definitive proof of cheating. However, they are signals that something might not be right.

3) Less interested in intimacy

As someone who has spent years studying relationships, I can tell you that a sudden drop in intimacy can be a sign of trouble. If your man suddenly seems disinterested in being intimate with you, or the physical connection feels off, it might be time to talk.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I discuss how vital emotional and physical intimacy is to a healthy relationship. If your partner is getting these needs met elsewhere, he may start pulling away from you.

Remember though, intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about feeling connected and valued by your partner. A sudden change in this aspect of your relationship could be a red flag that he’s straying.

However, keep in mind that stress or other factors could also be at play. So, before jumping to conclusions, have an open conversation about your feelings and concerns. 

4) Overly attentive and generous

This one might seem a bit counterintuitive, but stay with me here. Sometimes, when a man is cheating, he may become more attentive and generous towards his partner. This could be out of guilt or an attempt to divert suspicion.

Did he suddenly start bringing you flowers every day? Or maybe he’s been showering you with unexpected gifts and compliments? While these acts can be signs of a loving partner, they can also be signs of a guilty conscience if they come out of the blue.

In relationships, consistency is key. Any sudden change in behavior, even if it seems positive, could be a red flag. It’s always wise to trust your instincts. If something feels off, there’s usually a reason for it.

5) Increased secrecy

One of the most unsettling feelings in a relationship is the sense that your partner is keeping something from you. Increased secrecy can be a subtle red flag that a man is cheating.

In my own past relationships, I remember feeling an unexplainable gut instinct that something was amiss when my partner became more secretive. He would step out to take calls, quickly close laptop screens when I walked into the room, or become vague about his whereabouts.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their privacy, even within a relationship. But there’s a difference between privacy and secrecy.

If your man starts hiding things from you or becomes evasive when you ask simple questions, it could indicate he’s straying.

6) Emotional unavailability

Let’s get real here. Relationships are emotional rollercoasters, filled with highs, lows, and everything in between. If your man suddenly becomes emotionally distant, it’s a red flag that should not be ignored.

Is he unresponsive to your feelings or dismissive of your concerns? Have deep and meaningful conversations become rare? This emotional unavailability could be a sign that he’s investing his emotions elsewhere.

Cheating isn’t just physical; it can be emotional too. And honestly, emotional infidelity can hurt just as much, if not more.

When your partner withdraws emotionally, it can feel like you’re alone in the relationship.

If your partner becomes emotionally unavailable, it’s time to have a serious talk about what’s going on.

7) Picks fights unnecessarily

I’ve seen this time and time again in relationships – a partner starts picking fights over trivial things. It can be confusing and hurtful, especially when it feels unprovoked.

This sudden increase in arguments could be a sign of guilt or frustration on their part. It might even be a misguided attempt to justify their infidelity or create distance.

If the arguing becomes consistent, it’s time to have a serious discussion about what’s really going on. 

8) Lack of future plans

This one cuts deep. When a man starts avoiding discussions about the future or becomes vague about plans, it can be a subtle sign of infidelity.

A healthy relationship is built on mutual goals and dreams for the future. If he avoids or dismisses talks about your shared future – whether it’s planning a vacation or discussing long-term goals – it could be because he’s not sure you’re in his.

This avoidance can feel incredibly hurtful and unsettling. It can make you question the stability and longevity of your relationship.

Final thoughts

Cheating is a painful experience that no one should have to go through. Recognizing these subtle red flags can help you protect your heart and make informed decisions about your relationship. Remember, these signs are not definitive proof of infidelity, but they can indicate that something isn’t right.

As I discuss in my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, open communication is key. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to talk to your partner about your concerns.

Always trust your instincts and remember that you deserve a relationship built on honesty, respect, and genuine love. No matter the outcome, know that you are strong, resilient, and worthy of a love that feels right.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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