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You Asked: How Can I Know if He's Cheating?

You Asked: How Can I Know if He's Cheating?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and two months. He's a wonderful man, but I've been noticing some strange things that lead me to believe that he might be cheating on me. For example, he doesn't want me to see his phone, and before he used to have a picture of me on his phone wallpaper, but suddenly he has a picture of himself instead.

Just yesterday we were at the beach having a great time when he decided to check his voicemail. I was close enough that I could hear the messages, which were clearly left by another woman — he just smiled while he listened. I have no problem with him having female friends, but what was particularly off-putting was that when he was done listening, he said, "It was the guys." I've known my boyfriend long enough to have built a wall of trust between us, but all these little things lead me to think that maybe he might be cheating. He says he loves me very much, but I'm starting to doubt him. Does this mean that he is cheating on me or will be soon?

— Doubting Darla

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Doubting Darla,

I wish I could tell you with certainty whether or not your boyfriend is cheating on you, but obviously I can't. I will say, however, that if you've been dating for over two years and you're suddenly feeling uncomfortable about certain things, don't ignore your instincts. Regardless of whether or not he's engaging in any kind of intimate relationship outside of your own, there's something about his behavior that's making you feel insecure. And sudden insecurity in an otherwise healthy relationship is definitely a red flag.

Ask your boyfriend what's going on; you don't have to accuse him of cheating, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to tell him that for the first time in your relationship, you're doubting his honesty. Once you confront him, your boyfriend can handle it one of four ways: he can offer a completely reasonable explanation; he can tell you that you're imagining things; he can get defensive; or he can admit to doing something behind your back. Unfortunately, aside from the last, none of these offer a 100 percent guarantee of truth, but I do think you can use his reaction to get a better sense of things. In the end, my best recommendation is to follow your instincts; usually there's a reason they're trying to tell you something.


Join The Conversation
watereatsrock watereatsrock 8 years
..and always let your conscience be your guide.
heidi-girl heidi-girl 8 years
g1amourpuss i don't even know you, but your my new BFF lol back on topic- i definitely agree with the previous comments. honestly though, you've been with him for 2+ so you know him better than anyone on here, if you honestly feel in your gut that he's cheating i would act on and tell him how you feel, and make your next move based on his reaction or how you feel after the convo. best of luck!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I would've said something! I would've grinned and said, in a playful way, "Nuh uh! I HEARD her. So when do I get to meet your other girlfriend?" but kept the tone light & teasing and just observe his reaction...if he turned tomato red I'd say that's a clue!
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
yay! :) (I'm just an oddball, really. Glad you love me though.)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
We all do, princess_eab :)
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I think I love glamourpuss!!
Lavinie Lavinie 8 years
i think you know best.... and if your asking - it's because you already have an idea of the answer. based on what you've said - i think he is... trust your instincts - they're not wrong.
marttina marttina 8 years
I agree with Meg and Quitecontrary fundamentally, but with some caveats. Trusting gut instincts is so, so, so important, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions just yet. Problem with trusting your instincts is that they are sometimes clouded by personal baggage. My first love and serious boyfriend cheated on me, and my instincts revealed that something was wrong. But I feel like the threshold has been lowered. I've definitely believed in subsequent relationships that I was being cheated on (trusting those "instincts") when I absolutely was not. I'm not saying not to trust the instincts, but just be wary that there may be an alternative situation going on that doesn't include infidelity. This situation actually reminds me of a very recent situation with a friend of mine. This girl was calling my friend's BF, and a similar thing happened-- the BF said, oh "it's the guys." My friend got very suspicious and broke into his VM. Turns out the girl was dating one of his work buddies and was planning a surprise golf vacation for him. She wanted to know where they go golfing, what sort of package to get, etc. She'd called a couple of times to follow up on details with him. Point is, it really was about the guys. If the OP's boyfriend is a "wonderful" man, it's worth having a serious conversation about what's going on, and demanding honesty and integrity. If he is cheating, the path from there is clear.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
do you really need strangers telling you what you already know?
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
I agree trust your gut! It sound like hes hiding something so you need to get to the bottom of this immediately.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 8 years
the "he doesnt want me to see his phone" would make me NUTS.... and i'm not a jealous person, but that would make me crazy, what do you have to hide... especially the girls voice, besides your instinct, these arent just red flags, these are red billboards... and too funny glamourpuss, but i'm also on board w/the "take care, i outta here" especially if he lies... there's just no getting around lies... IF that is in fact the case.
mlen mlen 8 years
haha they used to do the war of the roses thing up here too! it was TOO funny. trust your gut. the only times i've ever been played is cause i didn't trust my gut. i wanted to think things were fine even though deep down i knew they weren't- but i ignored my gut and got burned.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
He could be deleting his text messages and recent call history so mobile phone alone isn't an indication. I would just outright ask my boyfriend to show me what was on his mobile phone or let me listen to his voicemail messages. If there is nothing for him to hide then this shouldn't REALLY be an issue. If he wants to reassure me then he would let me do it. If he is hiding something then I am guessing he wouldn't. ;p I would have pressed him further about the voicemail and then watched his body language. Looking off to the side, covering the mouth, playing with ears are all subconscious signs that he is lying to you. Catch him at it! At the end of the day though I think you need to protect yourself and if this guy is cheating on you then it's best you know now so you can get rid of him before you entered into a marriage or worse... a nasty divorce! Good luck, keep us updated!!
quitecontrary quitecontrary 8 years
Gut instincts are usually good indications. If he's not cheating, then something is still quite wrong. Just tell him that something doesn't feel right. You don't have to explain yourself right away, it'll say a lot just how he reacts to you. Oh dear- I'm sad for what you might have to go through. I've been there and it's awful, but you sound like a pretty together kinda girl! Good luck!
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
Let me ask you this: does he go outside or in another room to talk on the phone when his cell phone rings? If so, he is trying to hide something. My ex did this when he was seeing another girl right before he broke up with me to be with her. Also, my sister's ex-husband did this when he was cheating on her. Trust your instincts, if you feel weird, then you are probably right. And I agree with others on here who said that they would have called him on it right away. I would have just said, I definitely heard a girls voice on the message, so why are you lying to me? Or try and get a look at his phone when he is in the shower. Is it password protected, and it never was before? That is also a red flag. If it were me, I would want to know for sure, so I would try to look at his text messages and see. Although I can't say for sure if he is or not, I would be very suspicious if I were you. If he is outright lying to you like that, then there is cause to be concerned. But I think that if you just ask him about him, he is probably going to deny it. You have to be a little stealth if you want to find out for sure. The other tactic you could use is just call him on it say: I know that you are cheating on me and I want to know exactly what happened. Then stare him in the eyes. If he gets defensive, looks guilty or quickly looks away, you have your answer. Move on and find someone who is loyal and honest, you don't deserve that bullshit.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
This sounds incredibly fishy. Definitely, definitely, definitely approach him. Maybe do it in a way that's not immediately combative (so that he doesn't get defensive needlessly in case he's not cheating), but absolutely talk to him about your suspicions.
ckeller825 ckeller825 8 years
It sounds like he's definitely cheating. I'm so sorry don't deserve somebody who lies to you. Nobody does. Check out this website...this radio station I listen to in DC does this thing called War of the Roses and they help you find out if your significant other is cheating on you. You should call in! haha...but really, check it out and contemplate it? Just a thought :)
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
If you have to ask that question, the answer is always YES. Dump him, move on, be happy.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
gah yeah -- [last time I'll post on this tread!:)]
MissTiffany MissTiffany 8 years
I am cracking up at g1amourpuss right now!!
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
the thing that sucked about that boyfriend was that I really cared about him, but it just wasn't meant to be. The day I left for good, I knew it was the last time I'd be his girlfriend. And honestly, it felt so great and liberating. I remember packing up my pathfinder - Rolling the windows down and cruising down the road to some good music all the way back to my mothers. All the things he hated about me just felt like WOW, I can be myself. I don't have to worry about impressing him. I moved on with my life and it was so much more amazing for me. I don't regret leaving that fool one bit. I wore clothes he didn't like me in. Listened to music he hated. Painted gorgeous paintings he mocked me about and said I could never do -- and then I invited him to the exhibition. HA HA HA. But the thing is, IF this guy is a really good guy and the OP knows this in her heart, she shouldn't just throw him away because that's what WE say to do (even though we are all ..pretty sure..). Just make sure your gut feeling is right on about this type of thing. In my case, I was just like this guy isn't mature enough for me. I never thought of him as mr. wonderful. I really didn't want to have children with him. (And actually, I felt such shame the whole time for wanting to leave him because he had a shr!mpd!ck. I don't need much, really.. my cervix is pretty compact, but it just didn't work for me.. and he was already insecure enough about that. I mean, it was the smallest of all small things! Tossed up with all his madness and confusion and shady sh!t.. like I finally said when he started getting weird... Hey, See You Later...)
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Something is definitely off. I agree with DS that you need to tell him that you are struggling with the honesty aspect of your relationship. Until you talk about it you will continue to have the nagging feeling!
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
But I disagree - Guys don't suck. Some guys are jerks, and some women are bitches. But guys don't suck in general. I like them.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Even if he's not cheating yet, it certainly sounds like he's thinking about it. Sorry.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I agree with all above. Your gut is usually right...I definitely agree with that. Everything he is doing sounds very very suspicious...but if he IS doing something and you just ask, he isn't going to just admit it to you. You know he has lied to you at least once, and personally if that happened to me I would have called him on it right then and there and been like, "umm that was def. a woman on your voicemail so what's going on?" I would also make a big deal out of him not letting me see the phone, I would call him on that and ask him why he doesn't want me to see it and see how he reacts (that actually might be a good way of getting some answers without having to come out and ask him what is going on.) I agree with Le Luxe that you don't sound like a normally jealous person at all, so that makes your gut feeling even more important. I'm not sure whether I would ask him about it or not...if he is already lying to you he will just lie when you ask about anything and then he will know you are on to him and will be more careful, so then you really won't know what's going on. But seeing how he reacts when you ask him about it is a big indicator of what is going on, so I agree with dear about that. And lying is just something I wouldn't put up with in and of itself, much less with your circumstance of what he is lying about. JMHO: Sorry, but yes, I do think he is already cheating on you or very close to cheating on you. I wouldn't put up with it. I recommend g1amourpuss's technique, drop him. And I know easier said than done especially when you've been with someone for 2+ yrs, but in this case, I really do think it's a good idea. Lying about something like that is bad enough, I would nip this in the bud before it got worse if it hasn't already. And ditto: guys do suck!!! :/ Good luck!!! :)
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