Certain signs of infidelity are clear: lipstick on the collar, smell of perfume and Sunday-night business meetings.
But there are less-obvious characteristics that almost all cheaters share. Do one or two of these a philanderer make? Not necessarily.
But if the below rings true about your guy and your instincts tell you something’s not right, you might want to check that collar.
1. He’s secretive, especially about his phone
He’s on it more often (and often outside), he ignores calls, he changes his passcode frequently or he suddenly starts leaving it in the office or car. He’s trying to lock you out of his life, literally and figuratively. Trust your gut here and confront him.
2. He’s no mama’s boy
Watch out for a man who’s angry at his mom. If he lies or speaks unkindly to her, they have a dysfunctional relationship. Men who disrespect their moms tend to disrespect their wives too. Assume that he’s able to lie to you just as easily.
3. He’s insecure
Whether about his appearance (he’s losing his hair) or his job (he was just fired), feeling threatened can be a trigger to boost self-esteem with an affair. That’s because cheating can make him feel like a man again. If you’ve got a guy who’s down on himself, don’t flaunt your own desirability to other men or boast about your accomplishments at work. Instead, encourage him to reach for his goals.
4. He’s forgetful
Was he never particularly absentminded before? Cheaters commonly pretend to forget things they’re actually pretty sure of. Rather than mix up your details with hers, he may find it safer to “forget” your favorite restaurant or even your birthday. If he asks lots of questions he should know the answer to—like wanting to know which movie you’re seeing when you’ve told him twice—reply with a question of your own.
5. He’s a narcissist
Men who are immature and self-centered, like a spoiled child, are primed for serial cheating. Narcissists lack empathy and view women as objects. Plus, they believe they have a right to do whatever they want. She maintains the best thing to do is get out. You can’t change him, and he doesn’t want to be changed.
6. He’s less affectionate
Cheating men often forgo hand-holding, pecks on the cheek and snuggling on the couch—while still having sex with you. Sex can be just a physical act, while true intimacy is harder to fake. This may only be a pink flag, though, if he’s not the touchy-feely type or if he’s stressed. But if he’s always been loving and you don’t know why he’d be anxious, tell him you miss his touch and ask if something’s wrong.