What To Do If You Suspect Your Boyfriend Is Cheating On You
Call it a woman’s intuition, or call it little pieces of evidence adding up… sometimes, you can’t get rid of that gut feeling that says your boyfriend is cheating on you.
Maybe you’ve been with your boyfriend for just a few months, or maybe you’ve been together for several years at this point. Either way, you know him well enough to know what his normal behavior is like and what’s out of the norm for him.
And lately, he’s been acting… strangely. He’s been more possessive of his phone, secretive about where he’s going, and even hard to get a hold of sometimes – and his excuses for being out of reach are always less than satisfactory.
All signs seem to add up to something you’re hoping isn’t true: He’s cheating on you. You haven’t seen any incriminating texts or an earring lying around that isn’t yours, but from the way his behavior has shifted as of late, it just makes sense to start wondering. But what should you do if you have this suspicion? Should you confront him, test him, or do something else entirely?
Here are a few ideas on how to handle things when you think your boyfriend might be cheating on you.
Don’t Panic and React Immediately
Without hard evidence (like a DM, a picture, or something left behind by another girl), it’s understandable to spot a few signs that could point to cheating and jump to a million conclusions beyond that that aren’t necessarily true – you might imagine that he’s been cheating from the beginning, or that he's probably with that pretty coworker of his.
Filling in all of these blanks, however, will just make you feel worse and worse, allowing your imagination to run wild and cause you anxiety over something that you don’t yet know for sure. It’s not about convincing yourself that your suspicion isn’t correct, but about waiting to react both internally and externally until you know more. So before you bombard him with texts and tell every friend, take a deep breath.
Think Through (Even Write Down) the “Red Flags” You’ve Spotted
Once you start to suspect he’s being unfaithful, your mind might begin racing, trying to interpret every little move and behavior of his. You might try to pinpoint the exact moment when things started to feel off, or run through whatever tip-offs you’ve taken a mental note of.
If you still haven’t seen proof of his cheating, it’s important to carefully consider everything you’ve interpreted to be a red flag up until this point – even writing down every red flag might be helpful. Once you know exactly what behaviors of his are causing you to suspect cheating, it’s time to be honest with yourself.
Honestly examine whether your suspicions are due to insecurities or real behavior on his part.
You may be correct – maybe he really is seeing someone else behind your back. But maybe he isn’t – and maybe you’re spotting red flags where there aren’t any due to past experiences. Maybe you’ve been cheated on before, and are therefore more sensitive to behavior that seems strange. Or maybe you knew someone that this happened to and you’ve always been afraid of it happening to you too.
Of course, you aren’t wrong to pay extra attention if you’ve been hurt like this before. But at this point, before you know anything for sure, honestly examine whether or not your suspicions are due to insecurities and past experiences or real behavior on his part.
Talk To Someone You Trust
Wondering if you’re being cheated on can be incredibly lonely, embarrassing, and emotionally exhausting. You’re likely experiencing a cocktail of strong, overwhelming emotions, and having someone to work through them with will definitely be of benefit to you.
However, make sure whomever you confide in, whether a counselor, a close friend, or a family member, is someone you trust deeply, who has your best interest at heart. The last thing you need is someone who will confront him without consulting you or gossip about your situation – so choose wisely before giving anyone details.
If There’s No Actual Evidence, Confront Him Carefully and Thoughtfully
Communication is likely the only way this will be solved. If you’ve seen texts or anything else that clearly points to cheating, how you choose to approach him really depends on whether or not you intend to stay with him. But if you still only have your suspicions as your reason for thinking he’s cheating, it’s important not to go into the discussion hurling accusations.
Let him know that you’d like to talk about something, and tell him it’s not going to be an easy conversation. Begin by expressing that you’ve noticed some odd behavior from him lately, and after offering him the benefit of the doubt (“Maybe you’re just had a lot on your mind”), then ask him, point blank, if he’s been cheating, without getting upset.
Be aware that whether or not he’s guilty, he might get defensive, upset, or emotional, and immediately deny your suspicions. If you don’t believe him, let him know, again without getting heated – just stating what is true for you. If he says it isn’t true, calmly ask for explanations of the behavior that made you suspect cheating in the first place.
If he denies cheating, ask him to explain the behavior that initially made you suspect him.
Lastly, walk into the conversation with a clear understanding of what you want – if you find out that it’s all true, know if you’d want to stay in the relationship or not. He’ll most likely do whatever he can to get you to stay, so it’s crucial to know what you want before starting the conversation.
Continue To Examine His Behavior
Maybe he denied everything and you’re pretty sure you believe him, or maybe he confessed but expressed remorse and you’ve chosen to stay with him as long as it’s over. Either way, you probably won’t be able to resume things as if nothing at all happened. That insecurity in the relationship is very real to you now, whether or not anything actually happened.
So continue to examine his behavior as long as you feel is necessary. Even if he swore up and down that he didn’t cheat, you aren’t crazy for still keeping an eye out for red flags. The way you’ll feel closure is if you’re able to come to the conclusion that he’s not cheating on your own, not simply by him denying it.
Suspecting that your boyfriend is cheating on you can get emotional and overwhelming pretty quickly. It’s important to take your time to accurately assess what’s going on, confide in the right person(s), and calmly confront the situation with tact.
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