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Cheaters and Infidelity: What To Look For, What To Do

Copyright 2007, Keith L. Walker, Discovery Services Private Investigators

Suspicion of infidelity is a horrible thing.

Not only does it cause insecurity and anxiety, but also fear, sleeplessness, depression. And, it can completely occupy your thoughts and mind all hours of the day and night.

Then it causes you to speculate: What was it I did that drove him/her away? Didn’t I love him/her enough? Did I smother him/her? Can I ever trust him/her again? Can our relationship ever be the same? What does the other person have that I don’t? And, after enough time, your health can suffer and your performance at work can suffer.

And then starts to affect your family. Your children start to become aware that something is “wrong with Mommy and Daddy”. And it causes them to feel insecurity, anxiety, fear, sleeplessness… And they too will begin to speculate: What was it I did that drove Mom/Dad away?

Suspicion of infidelity hurts the whole family, and especially the innocent children. And it destroys the sanctity your home.

As a private investigator for over fifteen years, I’ve conducted many domestic investigations, background checks, and conducted many, many hours of domestic surveillance. Through the years, I have become aware of “red flags” that may indicative that someone in a relationship was being unfaithful.

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Please note that I am not an attorney. I am not providing legal advice, so please check with your attorney or other legal advisor, if there is a legal matter involved –especially regarding your partner’s privacy.

Having said that, I will now share with you number of subtle (and not-so-subtle) indicators that you should be aware of, that might help you discern whether or not your partner is being unfaithful.
None of these "red flags" automatically mean that you are being deceived, but should be thought of as possible indicators of a cheating partner…and help you decide if further investigation is warranted.


Often, the “tip-off” is a change in behavior, so, here are a few of the behaviors that you might observe if your partner was being guilty of infidelity:

Behavior At Home:

Your partner or spouse...
  • Appears to be distant or show a lack of interest; they develop an unexplained aloofness.
  • Seems to often be tired or to lack interest in the relationship
  • Comes home smelling of an unfamiliar fragrance
  • Begins to wear cologne/perfume more often than usual
  • Heads straight to the shower/bath, when he/she arrives home
  • Dresses a little too well for trips to the grocery or for running an errand or menial task
  • Starts to speak more and more harshly to you, or more sarcastically. Sometimes this may be an attempt to justify their cheating…or maybe to give them an excuse to leave the room/house
  • Asks about your schedule more often than usual
  • Begins to show increasing interest in losing weight or pays more attention to his/her appearance
  • Stops wearing his/her wedding ring and cannot give a reasonable explanation for doing so


Your partner or spouse...
  • Loses interest in sex, or he/she makes excuses for its infrequency.
  • Requests kinky/erotic sexual activity that you’ve never done before, including watching pornography
  • Displays a “new talent” in the bedroom. It may be that they have learned from the individual with whom they’ve been cheating.
  • Is reluctant to kiss you, or show affection toward you.
  • Begins to criticize you for showing him/her attention.
  • Gives increasingly poor excuses for why he/she is not in the mood to make love.


Your partner or spouse...
  • Works longer hours, more often…and keeps you from seeing their paycheck or pay-stubs
  • Changes their routine without having an apparent reason
  • Discourages you from calling him/her them at work
  • Is frequently “unavailable” when you try to call him/her at work.
  • Returns calls a long while after you have left a message for him/her.
  • Prefers to attend events and work functions alone; discourages you from attending.
  • Takes more frequent business trips and even refuses to let you drive him/her to the airport.

Telephone Mannerisms:

  • Your partner begins to receive “mysterious” phone calls.
  • An increasing number of hang-ups/“wrong numbers”. Especially if the caller hangs up after hearing your voice and doesn’t speak. A person who makes a “real” wrong number will at least ask, “Is Fred there?” before hanging up.
  • The phone bills contain unexplained toll or long distance charges.
  • He/she is quick to answer the phone before you do.
  • Frequently leaves the room to talk on the phone.
  • Whispers while on the phone.
  • Suddenly decides he/she needs a cell phone/r pager and discourages you from looking at or using it.
  • Deletes numbers from the “caller ID”.
  • Appears to behave differently when you enter the room, or appears to hang up quickly.

Paper Trails:

  • You find credit card receipts showing gifts you have not received.
  • An increasing number of ATM withdrawals. Especially from out-of-town (receipts bear the location and time/date stamp).
  • Receipts showing purchases from places that unknown to you or seem suspect
  • He/she rushes to get the mail before you do.
  • She/he gets a post office box.
  • Unusual phone numbers appear on the bill and the duration/time of the calls appear unusually excessive.
  • Secretive about their cell phone or credit card bills.
  • They insist on paying the phone bills or credit card bills themselves.
  • Business travel or other expense deductions f that you were unaware of.

Automobile related:

  • The passenger’s seat is adjusted differently that you had left it.
  • The child seat has been removed from of the car for no particular reason.
  • Items like phone numbers, receipts, lipstick, condoms or strange hairs are found in the vehicle.
  • He/she keeps a change of clothes in the trunk.
  • Unexplainable mileage or a lack of additional mileage.


  • They carefully guard access to their computer.
  • They turn off the computer as you walk into the room.
  • They add password protection their computer without having an apparent reason to do so.
  • They stay up to "work" on the computer a long while after you’ve gone to bed.
  • Their “browser history” indicates they have visited some unusual websites, or they are erased after each late-night session.
  • They delete email messages more frequently

It’s important to reiterate that these behaviors are only indicators of infidelity and do not constitute absolute proof.

Cheaters can be very deceitful and can cover their tracks superbly. You may find that they become more attentive, as they try to compensate for the fact that their attentions are going elsewhere. They act like “model” parents so they may alleviate their guilt and can juggle extra-marital relationshis, while tending to the marriage in what seems to be, a flawless way.

Their closest friends may be inclined to help them to get out of the house or to provide alibis. These are the cheaters that are the hardest to catch, and are the ones who cause the most pain when their cheating is finally exposed..

They are the reason that you should consider retaining the services of a professional investigator.

When You Begin to suspect: Observe -don’t accuse:

If you begin to have suspicions about your partners infidelity: Don’taccuse, just observe.

If you happen to accuse your partner and you are mistaken, you risk causing irreparable damage to your relationship. This is the kind of damage that may take a lot of time to recover from.

Even if you are correct, it’s possible that your spouse/partner will be able to explain their behavior in a manner that’s sufficient to raise reasonable doubt. And from then on, because they are now aware of your suspicions, they will be even more careful and more guarded about their behavior.
And this will make it more difficult for you to determine the truth.

So, if you become suspicious, don’t treat the cheater any differently and don’t interfere. This is now the time for careful observation, and not for anger. It’s crucial that you be patient, observant, and that you make note of his/her patterns of behavior.

After a while, you’ll begin to accumulate a great deal of helpful information that can be of great benefit to a Private investigator, so that he/she can obtain the evidence and documentation you need to establish the truth.

Make note of such things as: any patterns that may indicate the most likely days/times when your partner may be behaving; places your partner say that he/she frequents, names of people your partner alleges to often be with.

Also of help would be to identify vehicles he/she registers (and the plate numbers) and even the names of the co-workers he/she is the closest to.

The more information you can provide your investigator (regardless of whether you think it’s important or not), the greater the likelihood there is of successfully determining the truth…and doing it in the most cost-effective manner.

An important word of caution:

If you suspect your partner is cheating while you’re out of town, you may be thinking of pretending to plan a trip out of town, in order to conduct your own surveillance so that you can confirm your suspicions.

Although it is tempting, you should be discouraged from doing this. The reason it is not a good idea is because if your suspicions are confirmed, your emotions may cause you to react in a manner that is counter-productive, and a momentary lapse of judgment could work against you.

Emotions can make anyone us behave in a reactionary way. At times like this, it’s very important to keep a cool head.

So, please consider having a private investigator conduct surveillance during this time. They are trained to these scenarios, and have the proper equipment to document the cheater in a way that will best serve you...and protect your family.

If you are positively certain your spouse/partner –IS- cheating:

If, after patient observation, you eventually feel that it is necessary to confront your spouse…how should you handle it?

The following advice is not to be considered legal advice. All your actions should be properly examined and your legal advisors should be consulted.

Having said that, my advice would be as follows:

If your intention is to file for divorce, then first seek the counsel of an attorney. It is vitally important that you understand all of your options before you decide to confront him/her. Take the time to find out how to protect yourself financially, and get an understanding of the laws regarding child custody and support.

When it comes time to confront the cheater, make sure to do so at a time when he/she is not rushed or running late. You want them to have time to speak with you and you don’t want them to have any reason to leave the house. And of course: don’t ask while he/she is driving or while there are children are present.

Before you actually confront them, ask simple, non-invasive questions to get an idea of their general attitude and willingness to talk in general. You will do this for the same reason that a person operating a polygraph machine might: to establish an idea of their “baseline”.

So, for example, ask what they want for breakfast, or they have planned for the day…or anything else that they can respond to easily. Then observe their general behavior to ascertain their mood and their demeanor.

Once you finally confront the person, you’ll need to carefully observe their behavior. Does it change drastically? You can expect him/her to be defensive. They may become evasive and reply with something like, “What makes you think that?” (trying to see where they’d slipped up).

Or, they get angry and loud, “Why on earth would you say such a thing?” or “I’m offended that you would say such a thing!”. Cheaters may then find it more difficult to maintain eye contact, and may stumble over explanations. Cheaters are generally become noticably uncomfortable about addressing the issue and may “explode” or become very defensive and angry.

Often, innocent people will respond directly by saying, “Yes” or “No”. And, although they will react, they are more much more likely to respond to your inquiry in a more direct, kindly and patient manner. They are more likely to show that they are willing to discuss your concerns and to address those issues that caused you to doubt them in the first place.

When confronting them, if may help to inquire about specific occasions when you -know- for certain what the truth is, so you can see if they are lying.

This is where a private investigators documentation and report can come in handy because they can provide undeniable truth that can reveal their lies and deceits. Having a professional investigator provide you with the proof you need, you will be in a position to spot their lies, or possibly confirm when they are telling the truth.

Finally: Do not resort to violence. Assault charges and possible jail time will cause you to suffer and will keep you from maintaining the upper hand. Criminal charges can suddenly create a situation where infidelity becomes the least of your concerns.

So, please: Remain civil.

If you are the victim of a cheating partner, you will have some important decisions to make. And the first step to making the best decisions is to base them on the unbiased, objective truth.

So, in order to make sure that you know the real truth, retain the services of a professional private investigator. They have the experience to investigate and document these matters objectively and clear-headedly. They also have the equipment and the objective testimony that you’ll need in the even that your case goes to court.

If you have an attorney, then your investigator will work with them to assure that their combined efforts will allow you to reap the maximum benefit of their experience.

Finding out that a partner is cheating on you forces you to make some very serious decisions. The decisions are not only about your own future, but also about the future of your children.

We make our best decisions when we know the truth and understand the reality of things. The decisions may not be easy and they may not be our favorite decisions…but they will be our best decisions.

Keith L. Walker is the director/lead investigator of Discovery Services Private Investigators, in Springfield Massachusetts. He is a licensed private investigator with over 15 years of experience.

You are welcome to contact him at 413-788-4988 or to email him at: keith@discovery-services.net
Visit Discovery Services on the web at: http://www.discovery-services.net/domestic_investigations.htm

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