Expert Reveals Subtle Signs Your Partner Might Be Cheating - Exclusive

Finding out your partner is cheating can be devastating. Many times, you might have had a nagging suspicion that something just wasn't right. Something may have felt off even though you couldn't quite identify it. 

It's also possible that you even asked your partner what was going on but were reassured that everything was fine. They said they were simply tired or stressed or, worse yet, you were imagining things. Yet you still have that sneaking suspicion that you can't seem to kick.

Though it's hard to gauge how many people actually cheat because many tend to lie about it, one recent survey showed that men cheat almost twice as much as women, and 22% of people never tell their partners (via Psych Central).

Marriage and family therapist Dr. Talal Alsaleem, PsyD, known as the father of modern infidelity counseling, breaks down subtle signs you should look for if you suspect your partner is cheating.

Be alert to secretive electronic communication

Gone are the days when checking your partner's collar for lipstick or combing through pockets for receipts is sufficient. In today's digital world, the majority of infidelity interactions either start or continue through electronic communication.

Of course, most of our interaction with everyone, from family and friends to colleagues and bosses, occurs on our phones, iPads, and computers, so using them to communicate isn't a red flag. However, being secretive about using them certainly is.

"Secrecy is one the most common elements of infidelity," says Dr. Talal Alsaleem. "Secrecy manifests in a variety of ways." He says common ways to be secretive include closing chat windows when a partner walks in the room, deleting browser history, erasing online interactions, and deleting texts. People may also pretend to be working on a big work project when they're really engaging in internet infidelity.

You may also notice that they begin taking their phone everywhere and may have changed their password. Some cheaters also use a burner phone, which is a prepaid phone that doesn't need a contract and can be paid for with cash. You can also now get burner apps and call or text people from your phone without calling from the device's phone number (via PCMag).

Check for signs of your partner disconnecting emotionally and physically

When your partner is cheating, they tend to remove themselves from the intimacy of the relationship. While they still may have sex with you, they do fewer kind and considerate things to help strengthen the partnership. In turn, feeling this loss of intimacy may make you turn away from them as well.

Dr. Talal Alsaleem explains, "When you don't feel close to someone, you are less inclined to think and/or care about their needs and desires, because you feel that they don't care about yours."

When your partner stops engaging with you — like wanting to know about your day and what's been going on with you — that can be a tell-tale sign that they are cheating (via Medium). Their body language can reveal a lot, too: Drawing away physically, even when still having sex, can include less kissing, hugging, holding hands, or even just sitting together and snuggling. Though, of course, it can also include infrequent or no sex.

Observe whether your partner is going through the motions

If it seems like there is no genuine depth in conversations with your partner, that can be a problem (via While you may have spent days and nights discussing your dreams and concerns in the past, if it seems like your partner is just going through the motions of being there for you now, that can be a sign that they are cheating.

As a result, your connection may have become superficial. "Lack of intimacy breeds lack of trust and a decrease in vulnerability," says Dr. Talal Alsaleem. "This means you are less likely to have a deep, soulful conversation with your partner about your hopes, dreams, and the things that bother you."

Partners who cheat often mentally check out of the relationship. Maybe they talk about what to eat for dinner, when they have to get up the next day, or what bills need to be paid, but they stop talking about inward feelings and desires.

You are still together but feel like you're leading separate lives

There is an unspoken involvement in each other's lives when your relationship is healthy. You might text each other to share small tidbits of your day or check in and see how the other is feeling. You also naturally spend your time off together, whether making specific plans to go out or simply lazing around on the couch catching up on your favorite show.

"When the bond is strong, we tend to spend a lot of time with our partners enjoying mutual activities," says Dr. Talal Alsaleem. "When the bond is weak, couples start drifting apart and seek out separate activities alone or with other people that they feel close to."

According to PsychAlive, 30% to 60% of people who are married have an affair, and this can often result from losing their bond with their partner. Psychologist Robert Firestone used the term "fantasy bond" to describe how couples exist when the spark has long been extinguished. "This illusion of connection and closeness allows [a couple] to maintain an imagination of love and loving, while preserving emotional distance," he says.

When you have a hunch that your partner is cheating

Psychotherapist and sexologist Robert Weiss writes in Psychology Today, "If your gut tells you that your partner is cheating, it may be right." When a man is cheating, he may make every attempt to avoid a conversation and even deflect away from the topic, Weiss says. Worse yet, he may try to fault you for not trusting him or blame you for problems in the relationship.

Once you catch your partner cheating, it's important to feel your feelings, says clinical psychologist Piper S. Grant (per SheKnows). "So if you need to scream, scream — into a pillow rather than at your partner," she says. "If you need to cry, then let yourself go into that ugly cry."

Finding out that your partner has deceived you and gone outside the relationship can be heartbreaking. Seeking out a therapist can help you navigate through the mess. "When you are going through something so emotional, it is imperative to try and take care of yourself physically because it will only help support you in being able to process all of the emotions," says Grant.