How to Tell If Husband Is Cheating: 30 Must-Read Signs

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If your husband is cheating, you need to know.

But unless your husband is willing to come to you and admit it, you’ll have to try to suss it out for yourself.

In this article, we’re going to dive into the big red flags that your husband is cheating, plus some often overlooked cheating husband signs that you shouldn’t ignore.

Table of Contents

How to Tell If Your Husband Is Cheating

man kissing woman on a dock while holding the hand of another woman behind his back

It can be difficult to determine if your husband is being unfaithful, but there are some common signs that go hand-in-hand with a cheating partner. 

Let’s go over them now so you can be better prepared to make an assessment.

Read Next: How to Deal with a Cheating Husband

1. Changes in Communication

It can be a subtle cue, but changes in how often or how much your husband talks to you can be one of the first signs of a cheating husband.

If he’s suddenly less talkative or avoiding difficult conversations, there’s no reason to jump to conclusions just based on this.

However, if you take this and put it together with other cheating husband signs you’ll find on this list, it could be a warning sign.

2. Increased Interest in His Appearance

Many men in marriages and long-term commitments stop caring about what they look like.

Often, to the chagrin of their partners.

So when your husband does a 180 and starts coming home with his hair cut, dressed to kill, and wearing a nice-smelling cologne, you may wonder why.

A sudden focus on his looks, particularly if he starts spending more time at the gym or buys a new wardrobe, could be one of the markers of infidelity.

3. More Time Spent Away from Home

Frequent late nights at work, extended business trips, or unexplained absences might raise suspicion.

If your husband always has a legitimate-sounding excuse, try calling or texting him to see if he answers. 

If he never does, it could be something to wonder about.

4. He’s Not Available When He’s Not Home

married woman looking at the cell phone in bed

Again, if you can’t reach your husband when he steps out of the front door in the morning, ask why.

If he’s out on errands or hanging out with his buddies, he should be able to answer or get back to you relatively quickly.

If it’s hours before he’ll contact you, keep your eye on it.

5. Attitude Changes

A shift in his attitude towards you, whether it’s increased irritability, defensiveness, or becoming more secretive, could signal that something’s amiss.

Some men, out of guilt or perhaps needing an excuse to create distance, start to pick fights with their wives.

But personality changes that happen out of nowhere, at times, are linked to a cheating spouse.

6. Frequent Mood Swings

On the other hand, he could become more emotionally turbulent, one moment seeming clingy and weepy, and another moment, cold and aloof.

Emotional highs and lows without an obvious explanation might indicate guilt or stress related to cheating.

7. Protecting His Phone

If he’s suddenly protective of his phone, taking it everywhere with him and being careful not to leave it unattended?

Or, maybe he leaves it out in the open for you to find with the screen unlocked at only certain times, and not others.

These types of guarded behaviors can show he’s hiding something.

8. Texting Constantly

Do you notice your husband texting furiously at night, on weekends, and basically any chance he gets?

Who is he texting, have you ever wondered?

Perhaps it’s time to start.

9. New Accounts or Password Changes

close up of a computer login asking for password

If you and your husband have previously shared passwords to certain online accounts or your phones, and now your husband has changed them all at once, there might be some concern there.

Obviously, we change passwords to protect our personal information, or just because we forget them and need to get into our accounts.

But if your husband has locked you out of multiple accounts at once, or he refuses to share the new passwords with you, try to find out why that is.

10. Lying

Catching your husband in lies, even small ones, may suggest a larger pattern of dishonesty.

Telling white lies doesn’t in and of itself indicate infidelity, but frequent lies may tip you off to something going on.

Especially if he’s lying about things like where he is, who he’s with, and what he’s doing.

11. Avoidance

Does your husband dodge certain topics or become more evasive when you ask questions?

If so, it might warrant further investigation.

Some people have a hard time telling lies, so they try to avoid it altogether.

12. TMI

On the other hand, some partners get nervous and spill too much when they’re trying to cover their tracks.

If your husband says too much or seems to inject too many useless details as he talks to you about his lunch hour or why he got waylaid at work, he might be attempting to create a watertight alibi in your mind.

13. Accusations

Sometimes, guilt makes a person project what they’re doing wrong onto someone else.

A guilty husband may accuse you of cheating out of nowhere, putting you on the defensive so that you’re not asking him any questions about his own behaviors.

14. Indifference

couple sitting next to each other not speaking looking angry

Has your husband been ignoring you for months?

Sharing space with you in your home, but no longer engaging with you?

Maybe he doesn’t watch TV shows with you anymore, or he puts his ear buds in and listens to podcasts on the weekends and shuts you out.

A sudden lack of interest in you and married life together could be a sign of emotional detachment, or possibly, an affair.

15. Changes in Your Sexual Life

An increase or decrease in intimacy can be an indication of infidelity.

And yes, it could go in either direction.

Some men experience increased libido from an affair and it spills over into the bedroom with you.

Others lose interest in their wives altogether.

Either way, it’s something that happens quite often in cases of cheating.

16. Money Issues

Unexplained expenses or secret bank accounts?

Suspicious bills and receipts from nice restaurants, hotels, or for expensive items you haven’t seen with your own eyes?

This can be a rather significant warning sign that your husband is spending that money on an affair.

17. Perfume or Makeup on His Clothing

Unfamiliar perfume or shampoo scents or traces of makeup on his clothes could be cause for concern.

They can be hard for him to cover up, let alone come up with excuses about.

But this is a common red flag for a cheating partner.

18. Smelling Different

It’s not just a woman’s perfume you’re trying to sniff out.

Smelling like an ashtray when he doesn’t smoke, like fake-scented air fresheners when he comes home late, and like other out-of-the-ordinary scents could be part of a host of clues that point to an affair.

For example, these scents could be from seeing a smoker, spending time in hotel rooms, etc.

19. Sudden Changes in His Routine

To accommodate an affair, your husband may make alterations to his usual schedule and routine, whether at work or at home.

He may make an excuse that it’s related to work, fitness, or a new hobby.

While this may be the case, it’s important to understand that affairs do happen under the noses of spouses with simple cover-ups like this.

20. Unusual Gifts

If your husband starts showering you with gifts, it could be an attempt to assuage his guilt.

Especially if you’re getting all of these gifts, but he’s still absent much of the time or acting strange in your relationship.

21. New Friends or Hobbies

man and woman holding water bottles smiling at each other

Does your husband blame a lot of his holdups on a “new friend” or talk about this new person in his life frequently?

Perhaps he’s thrown himself into some new hobbies he’s never shown interest in before.

These might be signs that he’s spending time with someone else.

22. Random Phone Calls

It’s hard to tell where all the unknown number phone calls are coming from these days as spam calls are abundant for many of us.

But still, your husband getting frequent calls from unknown numbers, especially if you answer and they immediately hang up, could be clues to an affair.

23. Reluctance to Plan the Future Together

Are you wondering why your husband is suddenly dragging his feet on buying property together (anywhere, at any time), planning big vacations, and generally doing things that require planning, effort, and financial or legal ties?

Consistently avoiding making future plans together might indicate uncertainty about the relationship’s future.

As you can imagine, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that this is linked to being with someone else.

24. Increased Privacy

If he suddenly demands more privacy and shuts you out of certain aspects of his life, it could be a sign.

While every individual needs privacy and space within a relationship, a sudden and obvious change in your husband’s privacy needs could ring alarm bells.

25. Suggesting an Open Relationship

Asking you for an open relationship could be due to a lot of things.

It could be down to a secret longing he’s always had, dissatisfaction with your relationship, or…cheating.

Not always is this the case, but it does happen.

26. Avoidance of Your Family

This is another one of those smaller, yet significant signals.

If your husband is suddenly uneasy about meeting up with your family and seems withdrawn during visits, he could be feeling his guilt and thus not want to spend time with people he knows would disapprove of his actions.

27. He’s Picking Up Traits That Aren’t His

Husband developing brand new taste in music, food, philosophies, tattoos, or anything that isn’t usual for him?

Sure, people can start liking different things at any point in their lives.

But if your husband seems like he’s totally adopted a new mindset or personality trait, pay attention.

28. He’s Cheated Before

Once a cheater, always a cheater—true or not true?

Well, there is some research to suggest that cheaters are three times more likely to cheat in the future.

However, to be fair, at least some cheaters must learn their lesson.

So while it’s not quite right to assume that previously unfaithful husbands cheat again when they get the chance, it may up the stakes a little bit knowing there’s a history there.

29. Accounts on Dating Sites

It’s hard to justify having an account on a dating site.

So if you find this happening with your husband, ask questions.

He may reason that he’s not looking for anything but friendship, but if he didn’t get the OK from you before proceeding to make such an account, proceed with caution.

30. Instinct

Trust your gut feeling if you sense that something is off in your relationship. 

You don’t need to ignore your feelings just because you don’t have solid proof.

Granted, it’s important to weigh everything carefully and consider what else might be going on in your husband’s life, but also, be mindful of these signs.

Remember, these signs don’t necessarily mean your husband is cheating, but they can serve as a starting point for understanding your relationship dynamics and having an open conversation about your concerns.

Types of Cheating

woman confronting man showing him something on a cell phone

Infidelity comes in multiple forms.

You may be unaware of all of them, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with what they are and how they look so you can take action.

Emotional Affairs

This type of cheating occurs when one partner develops a deep emotional connection with someone outside their relationship.

No physical stuff has to happen for it to count as emotional cheating.

It may not involve any physical intimacy, but the emotional bond can be just as damaging as a sexual affair.

For instance, frequent, intimate conversations or sharing personal secrets with someone other than your spouse are signs of emotional affairs.

Physical Cheating

As the name suggests, this involves engaging in sexual activities with someone other than your partner.

It can range from a one-time encounter to an ongoing affair.

It’s important to note that even a seemingly harmless act, like a passionate kiss, can be considered physical infidelity.

This is where you’ll need to decide for yourself what you feel comfortable with in your particular relationship.

But if your husband is crossing lines you never OKed, then you need to have a serious discussion about boundaries.

Cheating Online

With the advent of technology and social media, online affairs have become increasingly common.

Cyber infidelity involves engaging in emotionally or sexually intimate conversations through chat rooms, social media, or other digital platforms.

This type of cheating might also include sharing explicit photos and videos.

Another avenue of cyber cheating is cheating via your phone.

As in, carrying on sexting, picture sharing, and explicit conversations with someone through text.

Financial Infidelity

This form of cheating might not be as obvious as others, but it can be just as damaging to a relationship.

Financial infidelity occurs when one partner hides their financial activity from the other, such as secret spending, hidden accounts, or accumulating debt without their spouse’s knowledge.

Each of these types of cheating can affect your relationship differently, but they all have one thing in common: a breach of trust.

As you navigate your relationship, keep an eye out for any warning signs related to these various types of infidelity.

How Do Cheaters Act When Caught?

Cheaters react in all sorts of different ways when they’ve been caught in the act or confronted by their partners.

Here’s what some common behaviors look like:

  • Defensiveness: Cheaters may become defensive even over minor issues. They might seem extra sensitive or reactionary to things you wouldn’t even think twice about. And if you accidentally stumble across something they’ve tried to hide or get too close to the truth, they may have over-the-top responses that seem irrational.
  • Manipulation and Gaslighting: A cheating spouse or partner, when confronted, might try to make you doubt your own ears, eyes, and gut feelings. This is gaslighting. They may lie, blame you, or otherwise attempt to make you feel as if something is your fault and not theirs.
  • Guilt and Remorse: Some cheaters may display guilt and remorse after being caught. They may apologize profusely, promise to change, or even shower you with gifts and attention to “make up” for their behavior.
  • Accusing You of Cheating: In an attempt to deflect attention from their own infidelity, cheaters might accuse you of being unfaithful. This not only distracts from their own misdeeds, but may also get some sympathy or guilt from you, making it easier for them to continue lying.
  • Avoidance: Confronted cheaters may attempt to dodge the issue so they don’t have to face the consequences of their actions. They might change the subject, physically avoid you, or even leave the room when the topic of infidelity arises, hoping to escape the uncomfortable situation altogether.

Keep an eye out for these behaviors when you suspect that your spouse may be cheating.

Identifying their reactions can help you understand how they are coping with being caught and if they are attempting to manipulate you.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Husband Is Cheating

woman lying in bed looking concerned next to a man answering a phone call

If you suspect your husband is cheating, approach the situation with a clear mind and a well-thought-out plan.

  1. First to do is try to disengage emotionally from the situation. This can be challenging, but it will help you remain objective and rational when looking for evidence and attempting to assess your husband’s behavior. Take some time to acknowledge and feel your emotions before moving forward.
  2. Then, gather any relevant evidence that suggests your spouse might be unfaithful. This can include changes in their habits or behavior, unexplained receipts, sudden improvement in their appearance, or increased use of technology.
  3. Once you have your evidence together, consider the best way to approach the conversation with your partner. Avoid blaming or accusing; instead, calmly present your findings and concerns, and ask for an honest explanation. Keep communication respectful to prevent unnecessary conflict.
  4. If you’re struggling to initiate the conversation or handle your emotions on your own, seeking professional help, such as couples therapy or individual counseling, is a good option. Professionals can provide guidance and support during this challenging time in your relationship.
  5. Lastly, consider the potential outcomes of confronting your husband about his possible infidelity. Whether or not he’s cheating, be prepared to address the problems in your relationship and work towards rebuilding trust and communication. Keep in mind that relationships can be repaired if both partners are willing to put in the effort, but also that you do not need to sacrifice your well-being and happiness above all.

I Suspect My Husband Is Cheating, But I Have No Proof

Suspecting your husband is cheating is a highly emotionally charged situation, especially when you have no concrete evidence. 

First, check for some common signs associated with cheating, like those we’ve talked about throughout this article.

If you’re not checking many of these boxes, or if you are but you still don’t feel sure, then consider having a conversation with your husband about your feelings. 

Make sure to remain calm, respectful, and non-accusatory. 

If it makes you more comfortable, instead of laying out your infidelity suspicions, ask about his recent changes in behavior, and express your need for emotional connection and reassurance.

You don’t need a smoking gun to have a talk with your husband about your concerns, but it is important to be mindful of jumping to conclusions.

This is a delicate situation that, at this stage, is perhaps best handled by observing, communicating, and trying to understand your partner’s actions.

If you do this, you’ll be better equipped to determine the truth.

Signs Your Husband Is Emotionally Cheating

Facing suspicions that your husband might be emotionally cheating can be overwhelming.

Here are a few signs to look out for to determine if your husband might be involved in an emotional affair.

  • Wanting to spend time with a particular person an awful lot and prioritizing them over other commitments.
  • Suddenly finding endless faults with your relationship when previously there seemed to be none.
  • Constantly criticizing you harshly out of nowhere.
  • Stopping showing affection.
  • Becoming cold, distant, and emotionally unavailable.
  • Seeming irritated by your presence and ruining otherwise enjoyable time with his negativity toward you.
  • Sharing intimate details about you, himself, or your relationship inappropriately with another person.
  • Seeming guilty or acting defensively when you ask about his relationship with someone he spends a lot of time with or seems to idolize.

Ultimately, however, none of these signs alone can prove emotional cheating.

What’s important is any patterns you find in your partner’s behavior, and trusting your intuition when it comes to your relationship.

Signs Your Husband Is Sexting

  • He’s more secretive about his phone or computer use than usual. For example, tilting his phone away when texting or getting visibly anxious whenever you come near it.
  • Someone keeps texting and messaging him late at night.
  • Your husband has been regularly deleting texts and conversations when he never really did this before.
  • He doesn’t want you to use his phone or other devices, or makes sure he handles them first before giving them to you.
  • He brings his phone everywhere with him, all the time.
  • He’s glued to his phone or computer on weekends when you’re spending time together.
  • He’s become emotionally detached.
  • Your bedroom has become spicier with him becoming more adventurous than he usually is.
  • He’s become a social media addict.
  • He has an account on a dating app.

Physical Signs Your Husband Is Cheating

  • Noticing lipstick, other makeup smudges, or feminine scents on his clothes, skin, or hair.
  • Being much more concerned about his appearance as of late.
  • Being overly protective of his devices, spending way more time on them, and hiding his screens.
  • Spending significantly more time away from home, being late coming home often, and having unexplained absences from work that you don’t know about.
  • Sudden schedule changes that don’t seem all that necessary, but which he insists must be made at the specific times and conditions he presents.
  • Increasing or decreasing your sexual activity.
  • Wanting to try new things in the bedroom.

Is My Husband Cheating on Me, Or Am I Paranoid?

woman rubbing her temples and looking upset

It’s such a tough situation to be in when you really don’t know if you’re being cheated on or paranoid. 

If you find yourself in this position, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Has Your Husband’s Behavior Been Off?

Think about your husband’s recent actions.

Has he been spending more time away from home, coming up with excuses, or staying out late without giving you a proper explanation? 

While these behaviors might be innocent, they could also be signs of infidelity.

Bear in mind, a few days or weeks of your husband acting differently may just be due to stress, but months of it in a row could be something more.

How’s His Communication?

You’ll also want to evaluate any changes in communication. 

Has he become more secretive with his phone, deleting messages, or receiving texts from unfamiliar numbers? 

Though these actions don’t necessarily mean he’s cheating, they could be a red flag that warrant further attention.

Gauge His Reactions

Additionally, pay attention to how your husband reacts when you bring up the topic of infidelity. 

If he becomes overly defensive or deflects the conversation, it might point to underlying guilt or deceptive behavior. 

However, you should make sure that you’re not constantly accusing him, as this could cause strain on your relationship.

Where Is Your Concern Stemming From?

One thing not to overlook is whether you have past experiences or insecurities that may be contributing to your worries. 

For instance, if you’ve been cheated on before, it might make you overly sensitive and make lots of things seem like potential cheating husband signs.

Just don’t stuff your feelings down if you still strongly suspect it’s happening.

Do You Have Evidence?

Looking at the standard clues that your husband is cheating, does he fit the profile?

Or do you have hard evidence, pictures, texts, or physical signs that point to infidelity?

If so, don’t overthink it. If not, your suspicions may still be founded, but you’ll have to be the one to judge.

Technological Evidence

In today’s digital world, your spouse may leave a trail of evidence if he’s cheating.

If you happen to find apps like OurSecret and QuickStego, be on alert. 

OurSecret is a dating app for discreet and clandestine relationships, and QuickStego is for users to send hidden messages within seemingly innocent photos. 

Apps like  KeepSafe Photo Vault and Hide It Pro can help store and conceal media files from plain sight. 

Pay extra attention to any files that are stored in these vaults.

If you’re curious about your husband’s whereabouts, Google Timeline can help you retrace his steps. 

Reviewing this history can help you determine if your partner has been visiting unfamiliar places or spending unexplained time away from home.

Remember to maintain a level of respect for your husband’s privacy and avoid getting too invasive.

It’s not necessary to find technological evidence like this, but if you do, it can help you shorten or avoid a period of denial should your husband be tempted to avoiding confronting the truth.

FAQ

What are the red flags of cheating?

If you’re trying to identify potential signs of cheating, watch out for sudden changes in behavior or habits. 

Whether it’s a boyfriend cheating, a cheating husband, or a cheating woman, some common red flags include:

  • Secrecy around cell phones, screens, and apps
  • Sudden concern over appearance
  • Coming home late and finding excuses to stay out
  • Unexplained mood swings combined with emotional distance or detachment
  • Drastic changes in libido 

How to know if your husband has slept with someone else?

While it’s difficult to confirm if your husband has slept with someone else without direct evidence, you can look for some indirect signs. 

Besides the general signals of infidelity, look for physical clues like your husband looking different, coming home with makeup smears, or smelling different.

Even smelling like cigarette smoke often when he doesn’t smoke can be a sign that he’s meeting someone who does smoke. 

A cheating husband is likely to leave behind clues at some point.

Why do I feel like my husband is cheating?

Feeling like your husband is cheating on you can be attributed to a variety of factors, including changes in their behavior, intuition, or past experiences of infidelity in previous relationships.

It’s important to consider if there are any concrete reasons behind these feelings, such as emotional distance or unexpected changes in your husband’s habits.

However, remember that feeling suspicious doesn’t necessarily mean you have a cheating husband.

Communication is key: Be open with your partner about your concerns and allow them to address your doubts.

Open dialogue can clarify misunderstandings and provide a more accurate understanding of the situation.

Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.