How to spot a cheater

Rachael Scharrer, divorce and relationships expert and coach, has found some common complaints and observations from men and women about their wandering spouses. This is a valuable compilation for those that may be wondering about the faithfulness of their spouse.

When you get the hunch that your partner may be cheating on you, it is a feeling that doesn’t go away until you have concrete evidence that it is either happening or is a figment of your imagination. For people who have been cheated on, they can all retrospectively see behaviours that were tell-tale signs during the relationship. As the saying goes, ‘love is blind’ and often we rationalise, make excuses and overlook odd and bad behaviour from our partner.

Quite often, there are changes that we notice in our partner which triggers the ‘hunch’ and either makes people convince themselves it isn’t happening or start a process of observation, diligence and enquiry…

If you think that your partner is cheating, here are some common signs to be conscious of:


  • Extreme discretion with mobile phone

  • Not leaving the mobile out of site. Like it is glued to their hand/body

  • Leaving the phone on silent and sometimes with the vibration function off.

  • Doesn’t allow you to use their phone

  • Has an additional phone or phone with two SIM cards

  • Hiding their phone

  • Turning off notifications on the phone

  • Newly added apps

  • Increase in private Facebook messaging or What’s App messaging

  • Uses a new social media account

  • Has new Facebook friends that you don’t know


  • Credit card transactions to unknown or random places

  • Sets up a personal/discretionary account for ‘personal things’

  • Note: Be mindful that work can split payments into different accounts


  • changes to working hours – starting earlier or finishing later

  • Having more ‘networking’ or work meetings that partners aren’t invited to

  • Increased socialisation, especially without you

  • Started going to the gym more regularly


  • Personal grooming

  • Dressing differently or better

  • Showering as soon as they come home

  • Purchased new clothes, underwear and jewellery

  • Has a different fragrance on the clothes (or make-up on the clothes)

  • Longer showers

  • Brushes teeth more often

  • Increased time in the bathroom, often with the phone

  • Comes home with a hickey


  • Calling you the wrong name

  • Goes AWOL for periods without contact

  • Projecting and accusing you of cheating (when you aren’t)

  • Changes to mood, increased anxiety, increasingly lazy

  • Creates excuses/stories that don’t add up

  • Stopped wanting to be intimate with you

All too often, with retrospect and hindsight, it is likely that you will have noticed at least one of these changes. But these changes don’t guarantee that your spouse is cheating - they may even be trying to impress you or make more effort for you…. OR they may be cheating.


  • Google their name and see whether it comes up on any dating sites

  • If you think that your partner is cheating, don’t confront them when you are suspicious. Be alert and look for signs or proof before proceeding

  • Some people have utilised the services of a private investigator to follow their spouse for the concrete evidence

  • Create a fake Facebook profile to ‘bust’ your spouse (be warned, this could backfire on you)

In some situations, GASLIGHTING occurs. This is when one person manipulates the other into second-guessing or doubting themselves. Some people feel like they are losing their mind or sanity. My recommendation for combating gaslighting and ensuring that you start diarising and journaling the daily conversations/activities. This way, when something comes up, you can refer to your notes and know what your truth was at the time.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, follow your gut instinct and intuition. Often our head rationalises what our instincts are telling us and we ignore or overlook tell-tale signs. More often than not, your instincts and intuition are accurate.


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd