Author: Tooba Farooq & Renée Shen
Growing up, I always enjoyed watching fairy tales. From the pretty dresses to the perfect hair, it was mesmerizing to see these princesses find their one true love.
These movies created a stereotypical image of romance for little girls around the world.
These movies were inspirational and enjoyable! What little girl doesn’t wish to find an adoring man of integrity to spend the rest of their lives with?
Unfortunately, through life experience many of us have realized that these movies created an image that doesn’t always fit reality.
Falling in love is in fact not where things end. Rather, that’s the beginning of a relationship that takes time, testing and going through challenges together in order to maintain.
Regardless of the effort we put into a relationship, sometimes we put our faith in the wrong hands, and find out that the person we fell in love with isn’t as loyal as we thought they were, and might be taking advantage of our trust.
If it wasn’t hard enough finding love, imagine having to snoop around your man’s phone and emails because you have reason to think he’s not loyal to you.
Whilst acting on genuine suspicion isn’t always a bad thing, paranoia can sabotage an otherwise good relationship with a loyal man.
So we don’t want to act on pure paranoia.
Instead, we want to carefully investigate any genuine threats and signs in order to answer this question of “is my boyfriend cheating?”
So how can you tell if your boyfriend is cheating on you? The following signs might help you solve this mystery.
Is my boyfriend cheating on me, you ask? It’s highly likely that he is if you notice that he’s starting to put distance between you both.
This is especially true for those men who become withdrawn all of a sudden, leaving you confused.
This doesn’t just include physical distance, it includes behaviors such as:
You’ll begin to wonder whether there was something you did to push him away.
If you can’t think of a reason he’s creating distance between you both, chances are it’s because he has redirected his attention elsewhere.
Since we’re always on our phones, it is highly likely that as a couple you’ll end up sharing your phones or at least use them while sitting next to each other.
But if he’s hiding his screen or keeping his phone on him all the time, there is definitely something he’s hiding.
The obvious takeaway here is that if his behavior with his phone changes from how it used to be, then there’s a decent chance something’s up.
You can be hopeful that it’s just him organizing a surprise birthday party for you, but if your birthday is too far away, then you might want to be more vigilant about observing his behaviour.
Couples usually start sharing their passwords as a sign of trust.
The sharing of your phone password along with the password to your social media accounts can inspire more trust between you and your partner.
But what if he refuses to share these passwords for no legitimate reason?
What if he suddenly changes all his passwords, and delays (or refuses to share) the passwords once again when you ask?
If he’s changing and avoiding sharing his passwords, you need to ask yourself, is my boyfriend cheating on me?
He might be trying to maintain his privacy. He might also have strong ideas around maintaining trust through not sharing passwords.
But could it also be because he’s got something to hide?
To answer this question, you really have to be attuned to your boyfriend and his character.
Don’t just start accusing him of cheating, as this will make a cheater defensive, and make a non-cheater associate bad feelings with you.
Instead, look at this fairly:
Are there other legitimate reasons why he’s not sharing his passwords or has changed his passwords?
Does he exhibit many of these other signs of a cheating boyfriend?
Answer these questions before you jump into any fight or flight actions, which may just push him away and damage your relationship.
When a guy is proud to be with you, he’ll make sure he shows you off to everyone.
He’ll take you to meet his family, he’ll introduce you to his friends and he’ll make sure to have his arm around you in public places as well.
If he stops doing this all of a sudden, it will obviously feel weird. You just have to make sure he’s not doing it because:
If he starts making excuses for:
These are probably signs that you should think deeper about and perhaps investigate!
You know when you’re going through something very personal and someone close to you suspects something is up, so they proceed to ask you questions about it?
Of course, your response is to try to avoid that discussion, because it’s annoying right?
You want the person to back off, because you don’t want to tell them what’s going on with you.
That’s kind of how a cheating boyfriend feels when he’s about to be exposed, or fears he will be exposed.
He’ll get defensive or angry at you, and make you feel like you deserve to be talked down to.
(Anything to make you seem like the bad person rather than him having to admit guilt).
Sure, he could actually be irritated because you are overly paranoid dur to having been betrayed in the past.
But if you’re not a crazy girlfriend who always accuses him of cheating and you’re usually very reasonable, then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be willing to answer your questions.
Provided they’re not asked with an accusatory undertone, of course.
Having someone on the side means that the guy will likely be spending money to keep her entertained and interested in him.
Some guys cheat because of the high they get from taking a risk, and spending on the new interest is the risk that your boyfriend might be willing to take.
Your guy could be spending his own money, or even the money you guys had saved together making it more exciting for them to spend on the other girl.
Usually couples like to share their routines with each other. They send updates to each other and like to show interest in each other’s lives.
But if your boyfriend is cheating on you, he won’t appreciate you trying to squeeze yourself into his plans and he may also disappear without notice.
This is especially common in long distance relationships, with guys giving a variety of creative responses as to why their phone was turned off.
At that point it’s very important for you to ask yourself the pressing question; is my boyfriend cheating on me?
(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)
Once you’ve spent some time in a committed relationship or marriage with someone, you generally tend to put less effort into your appearance.
After all, who are you trying to impress?
Well, when there is someone new and exciting in your life, even if it’s someone on the side, there’s more reason to care about your looks.
So you may find that all of a sudden, your previously scruffy boyfriend:
There is an ongoing debate as to what changes happen in the bedroom when someone is cheating on you, but one thing is clear; your boyfriend’s behaviour will change if he’s cheating on you.
One side of the argument is that he’ll become more needy and better at sex, bringing new moves in to play.
This might be to compensate for the guilt he’s feeling for his betrayal.
Yet things could also go the other way. If your boyfriend is cheating on you, you may notice that he seems to have lost any interest in being romantic or sexual.
This is for obvious reasons - because his needs are being satisfied elsewhere.
Once you’re with someone, especially if you’re living with them, you tend to know their usual schedule and daily habits.
You'll be familiar with things like their eating habits, sleeping patterns and day to day movements.
Of course, these things can change overtime, but when a lot starts to change suddenly, then that’s obviously not normal.
He might say it’s because there’s a new and stressful project at work and he has to put in extra hours at work.
But if he can’t answer questions about it and you can’t find any actual evidence of this extra workload and he keeps his explanations vague, that might be an alibi he’s using to fool you.
If he is cheating on you, he may also routinely be critical of you.
This could be a passive aggressive way of expressing his loss of interest in you, or he may be doing it to keep you occupied with self-pity while he goes around having fun.
It could also be a strategy he uses to distract you from his own wrongdoings, as well as avoiding feeling his own guilt.
After all, if you’re all bad, then he doesn’t need to feel guilty about betraying you, does he?
Whatever the reason is, his resentment for having to be with you will come out in ways that lower your self esteem and keep you feeling inadequate and low value.
Creating a web of deceit is hard work. If your boyfriend is cheating on you, he will work diligently to maintain the false picture he’s created as well as the phony stories he tells.
That also means skipping conversations that could lead to serious questions from you!
Since he’s not devoted to the relationship, he won’t want to put in the effort of having conversations that could also potentially expose him.
This may seem like one of the unlikely signs your boyfriend is cheating on you, but some cheating boyfriends will do exactly this, especially if they want to keep you around and maintain their girl on the side.
Plus, when someone is operating out of guilt, they will try to compensate for it.
A cheating man may try to make you feel like he loves you by putting in unusual efforts to placate you and to distract you from other inconsistencies in his behavior and words.
He’ll be on his best behaviour around you. He’ll even do the things you want to do, like watching chick flicks and ordering in your favorite food.
While most signs are obvious, this one is sometimes tricky to spot.
Whether he does it out of guilt or to throw you off his scent, some men will resort to being even more loving.
Come to think of it, why would you ever question someone who’s showering you with love and attention!
The one time you will, is when your gut is telling you something is off. So if you have a gut feeling he’s cheating, no proof - this sign may be your exact clue and answer to “is my boyfriend cheating?”
This may be the most important sign that shows your boyfriend is in fact cheating on you.
Your ancestors didn’t pass on your “second brain” (the gut) and your intuition for nothing.
You inherited these important evolutionary capabilities because you need them. Sometimes, they are all you have when you wants an answer to “is my boyfriend cheating?”
Yes, when we love someone, we tend to ignore and even dismiss our gut feeling to continue a relationship that’s falling apart.
Maintaining the façade of the perfect relationship is less stressful than going through a break up (and dealing with the aftermath of being betrayed).
But our instincts tend to pick up on the things that are necessary for our survival and self preservation.
Having an intuition about his cheating is one way evolution protects you from costly, fake relationships with the wrong man.
Your intuition is also there to try to warn you of future pain and danger that might be coming our way.
You could ignore it and stay with a man who’s unfaithful. Or you could listen to the wise voice coming from within and take a stand for yourself.
At the end of the day, no matter how hard we try, no relationship is perfect, because humans aren’t perfect.
But if you’ve put your trust in this guy’s hands and he is breaking your trust over and over, then that is no accident and it is not just an imperfection!
It is a real betrayal, and you need to face it sooner rather than later in order to protect yourself from more pain.
It is better to grieve earlier rather than later. Plus, do you really want to waste away your ephemeral life on pretending you’re with someone faithful?
Acceptance of this reality should take precedence over trying to stay with someone who is wrong for you.
This is not to say that every boyfriend who cheats on you is wrong for you, because some couples can overcome the betrayal of infidelity or cheating.
But ultimately that is your decision to make, and it’s much better for you when you choose to make a decision that’s right for you now. So, waste no time on this, and I wish you all the best in your love life!
Tooba is a psychologist and freelance content writer. She enjoys traveling, making jigsaw puzzles and spending time with her family.
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.
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