Emotional cheating: 10 subtle signs your partner is guilty

There continues to be a wide open debate about what constitutes cheating in a relationship. Especially since the internet, texting, sexting, and 24-hours a day access to people has become a thing.

What we might have considered unfaithful years ago seems to have evolved into some form of accepted behavior in relationships, like it’s okay to stare at your phone throughout the entire anniversary dinner. What’s on the phone that is so important?

If you think your partner is cheating, you might be right. But not in the way you think: emotional cheating is just as real as physical cheating when it comes to betraying those you love.

Here are 10 signs that your partner is emotionally cheating on you and having an emotional affair.

1) He hides his phone.

A good sign that someone is emotionally cheating on you is if they are hiding their phone from you. It is also a very good sign that they are physically cheating on you as well because they don’t want you to see the line-up of messages and emails from her.

The hard part about emotional cheating is that people see nothing wrong with just talking to someone else… for hours… on their phone.

2) He loses track of time talking to another woman.

emotional cheating 3 Emotional cheating: 10 subtle signs your partner is guiltyWhen he’s with her, he lands at home late, misses dinner, and makes excuses about why he needs to see her. Sure, they aren’t rolling around in bed, but they might as well be.

It’s hard for men to understand why this is wrong – and it’s hard for women to pin down their man and say stop. They worry about being rejected. It’s a double-edged sword.

3) He goes out of his way to see someone.

If the guys are getting together at the bar across town, he’ll make his way there because “that’s where everyone is going.” You might worry that he is going to see her, and that’s probably true.

A good sign that someone is emotionally invested in another person and cheating on you is when they go out of their way to see someone else.

4) He never invites you to come along.

When he does leave to go to the bar across town, he never invites you to come. This gets complicated because isn’t he just going to see his friends. Who cares if one of them happens to be a hot girl?

Well, it turns out that you might, and it might be really troublesome to realize he’s walking out on you to spend time with another woman. That certainly constitutes emotional cheating.

5) He talks about her in comparison to you.

He often brings up all the great things “she” is doing and talks about her like you know her. If you find yourself frustrated by this, it’s important to speak up because it is emotional cheating. If he is more invested in her life than yours, you’ve got a problem.

6) He shares things with her that he doesn’t share with you.

emotional cheating 2 Emotional cheating: 10 subtle signs your partner is guiltyIf you ever hear him say, “I can’t wait to tell her this!” you might want to put your foot down. While it’s never a good feeling to confront someone who is emotionally cheating on you, it’s easier to do it now before anything happens.

Talk about your concerns and make sure the conversation doesn’t turn into a “trust” issue. Of course, you can’t trust him – he won’t stop talking about her!

7) He’s started talking about when he was single.

He’ll make mention of times when he was out with friends, or “in the old days” or talk about times before you met him when he was young and free.

Those are all real red flags and you’ll want to pay attention to what he’s doing when he’s not with you to make sure his intentions are true.

8) He cleans up before going out to see her.

When you’ve been with someone a while it becomes easier to sit around in old pants and a shirt. You get used to each other.

But if you find he is suddenly grooming himself on the way out the door, you’ll need to ask yourself who is so special that he needs to do that? And why doesn’t he get cleaned up for you anymore?

9) He sits near her in public.

Even if you are there with him, he’ll find a place near her and laugh and joke and you’ll be left sitting on the barstool looking like a fool.

Other people can see it so don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s a dirty little secret you three are hiding. Everyone can see it.

10) He jokes about it.

If he talks about running away with her or making light of the situation to try to distract your concerns, pay attention to that. He’s obviously thought about it. What else has he thought about?

The trouble with emotional cheating is that it seems harmless, but when hearts are on the line, someone is bound to get hurt.

Do these 7 things if you catch your partner emotionally cheating

relationship cheating Emotional cheating: 10 subtle signs your partner is guilty

We’d all like to think that we’ll never have to deal with a cheating partner, after all, haven’t we made a good decision in the people we’ve chosen to spend time with, if not our lives?

Of course, the reality is much, much harsher for a lot of people. When you discover your partner has cheated, it can leave you reeling and looking frantically for somewhere to turn.

The disorienting dilemma that people face can leave you feeling like you’ll never be able to get your life back in order. Many experts have weighed in on this issue and we’ve rounded up the best advice to help you make decisions that will keep you moving forward.

1) Take a Minute

Before you do anything, take a minute to breathe and calm your thoughts. No doubt you’ll feel like you are going a mile a minute or that you’ve just been railroaded, so you need a minute to collect your thoughts. Don’t speak or react. Let the information sink into your brain.

You’ll have plenty of time to respond once you’ve had some time to take it all in. If you need to talk things out before you talk to your partner, find a friend you trust and who will allow you to just get everything off your chest before you talk to your partner.

2) Know What You Are Going to Say

shutterstock 343436447 Emotional cheating: 10 subtle signs your partner is guilty
Image Credit: Shutterstock – By Jack Frog

Once you’ve had some time to process what is going on, you need to confront your partner about what you’ve learned. If you’ve had the unpleasant experience of physically catching your partner cheating, you’ll want to give yourself some more time and space before addressing the issue.

But whatever you do, don’t set a trap for your partner. Just be frank with them and tell them what you know and have witnesses. Be prepared for them to lie about it or try to defend the actions in some way. Know that you don’t have to accept any excuse or explanation if you don’t want to.

3) Find out what’s really going in his head

Getting your man to commit requires more than just being “the perfect woman”. In fact, it’s linked with the male psyche, deep-rooted in his subconscious. 

And until you understand how his mind works, nothing you do will make him see you as “the one”. 

So rather than trying every trick in the book to win him over, we’ve got a better way of understanding your man:

Take our incredible new quiz, based on Sigmund Freud’s most insightful theories on relationships. 

Let’s be honest, if you want to understand the psychology behind commitment, there’s no one better to turn to than Freud!

With just a few simple questions, you’ll learn the reason he’s pulling away and exactly what to do to make him commit to you for good.

Check out the free quiz here.

4) Decide Ahead of Time What You Want

Many people will wait to hear what their partners have to say before deciding how to proceed. It’s more important that you decide what you want and need from the relationship before talking to your partner.

Because you’ll be feeling vulnerable and afraid, you are more likely to go back on what you decided, so keep it short. Be firm about not making decisions in front of your partner.

Many experts will tell you to consider the relationship and the life of it, but when it comes down to it, a cheating partner is not someone you want to build a life with.

5) Process the Decisions

After your conversations, take some time to process what has gone on. The problem with cheating partners is that everything moves so fast after the information is discovered that decisions are made in haste and resentment and confusion can set in much later causing issues in the relationship if you decide to stay in the relationship.

It’s important that you remind yourself that any decisions that your partner made to cheat are not about you. Even if your partner says that they cheated on you because you are a terrible human being, it is still not about you. Your partner may try to blame you for what they have done, but it is not your fault.

6) Don’t Ask Why

personality questions to askIf your partner doesn’t offer up an explanation, don’t go looking for one. You’ll just spend time trying to rationalize their decisions and that will just drive you crazy.

It’s better to decide what you need and want and make decisions from a place of serving your needs, not trying to figure out where your partner’s head was at during the time of the crime.

7) Give it Time

Regardless of what has transpired from the cheating, whether you decided to stay together or not, you need to give yourself some time to get over what has happened.

Even if you decide that you are staying in the relationship, you need to give yourself some time to allow the full extent of the experience to sink in and give yourself time to prepare yourself for aftermath emotions and issues.


I’m 36, still single, and finally figured out why

Cheating is more than sleeping with someone else – here are 9 signs your partner could be guilty

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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