How To Catch a Cheating Partner

If you’re reading this, then you can probably relate to that sick, anxious feeling that your partner is cheating on you. However, chances are that they’re not going to come clean about their behavior without being presented with evidence. If you’re wondering what the best way to catch a cheating partner is, or how to confront a cheater then you’ve come to the right place.

What Is the Best Way To Catch a Cheating Partner?

Discussing your concerns with your partner should always be the first step. However, if your partner isn’t talking or appears to be lying, you might have to take things a step further. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 12 tips to catch a cheating partner.

Cheating Partner: Signs of a Cheater

Below, you’ll find techniques and advice for how to catch a cheater. This list includes both signs of cheating in a relationship and methods you can use to help resolve your suspicions.

1. Pay attention to their phone habits.

These days, our cell phones are never far away, and we use them for everything. It’s estimated that around 10% of affairs start online, and around 40% of online affairs turn into real life affairs. Often, this first step can be the only one you need to take, as we store so much information in our phones.

So, if your partner has suddenly become protective of their phone or their habits have changed, they may be hiding something. These habits might include leaving their phone face-down, suddenly taking it everywhere with them, or silencing notifications.

2. Add yourself to their biometric Touch ID.

So, how can you get into your partner’s phone? If you’re not already sharing passwords with your significant other, then this can be tricky. However, most people who have something to hide will simply change their password. If you do have access to their cell phone, go into the biometric or Touch ID settings and add your thumbprint. This will ensure that you still have access, even if your partner changes their password.

3. Download keylogging software onto their computer.

Keylogging software can track everything that a user types into their keyboard. This software is highly versatile, offering the ability to see the passwords your partner uses, the emails they’ve sent, and the websites that they visit.

4. Download a spyware application.

This principle is a little similar to the one above, but it’s for cell phones that support mobile applications (apps). You can install a spyware app onto your partner’s cell phone, which will show you everything that your partner does while they are on it. 

5. Look at their devices’ location data.

Our cell phones are capable of tracking everywhere we’ve visited, and often, these settings are enabled by default. If your partner uses Google for example, you can track their movement through the “Previous Destinations” menu on the app. On Android phones, this data is tracked in the Google Maps app, too.

For iPhones, there are a number of options that include the Find My app and location sharing via WhatsApp. You can also check their “Significant Locations” by going to the Settings app and into Privacy, then Location Services.

6. See where they’ve been on ridesharing apps or GPS.

Mobile apps like Uber and Waze could be your cheating partner’s downfall. Uber includes a feature that lets riders share their ride status with others. If you have access to your partner’s phone, you can enable this feature to share ride details with you, under “My Trusted Contacts” in the Settings menu.

If they use Waze for navigation in the car, you may be able to find their driving history. Simply click on the small magnifying glass and see if there are any frequent or saved locations.

7. Check their messaging history.

Affairs have to start somewhere, and more often than not, there’ll be evidence in their text messaging apps. The more obvious ones include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. However, most cheating partners will know to clear their messaging apps, and what’s more, there are apps like Telegram that are far harder to crack.

Alternatively, your partner could be speaking to somebody over the phone. Some mobile apps will help you to track contact lists and call logs, which could help you catch them in the act. Also, be on the lookout for pseudonyms, as your partner may have stored their partner in crime’s name under an alias or fake name.

8. Search for hidden media folders on their devices.

If you’ve got something that you don’t want people to see, it’s possible to hide photos or videos from your cell phone’s main folder. On Android phones and iPhones, this only takes a couple of taps. What’s more, your partner could be using custom apps to lock down their videos and photos behind a PIN. Even if you can’t gain access to these folders, finding them could give you more ammunition if you’ve already spotted other strange behaviors.

9. Check their financial accounts and transactions.

If you share finances with your partner, it’ll be much harder for them to hide transactions that give away their activities. However, there are an increasing number of payment solutions that make things a little harder. PayPal and new, online-only bank accounts mean that your partner could be spending money under your nose without leaving a trace.

Still, you should scour your transactions for any evidence of illicit spending, which could include hotel bills, restaurant bills, or expensive trips to the jewelry store. You should also keep an eye out for any spending-related notifications that might appear on their phone.

10. Look in the Recycling Bin.

We’re not talking about your home recycling bin here. Most devices have a “recently deleted” folder that stores deleted items for a set period of time. On Windows PCs or Macs for example, this is typically on the home screen. However, even Android and iOS cell phones keep track of this, and you could find a treasure trove of evidence hidden in the deleted items folder.

11. Look in the Cloud.

Like the recycling bin or deleted items folder, the Cloud is another source of potentially incriminating evidence that your partner might not think to check. If they’re hiding photos or videos from you, this data could have been synchronized to the Cloud and stored indefinitely. So, check for any accounts they have with iCloud, Amazon, Google Drive, or others.

12. Create a dummy social media account.

If you create an account on the websites that your partner frequents, you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior. This includes following the same accounts on social media websites like Instagram to see whether your partner is frequently interacting with anyone. Some partners take this a step further by creating “catfish” accounts of the opposite gender and trying to bait their partners, though this is typically frowned upon.

Cheating Partners: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can you tell if someone is guilty of cheating? 

When confronted about cheating, most people who are guilty will try to hide the truth by lying. It’s not a hard rule, but it does happen. So, you should always try to discreetly gather evidence without being caught. The more evidence you have, the harder it’ll be for a cheating partner to deny the truth. This is why you should also consider hiring a private investigator who specializes in spousal infidelity.

2. Should I check my partner’s phone?

Some people don’t agree with checking up on other people’s phones, though only you can understand how it feels to suspect that your partner is cheating. If you do decide to check your partner’s phone, just be aware that getting caught could lead to a bigger problem or your partner going to greater lengths to make any evidence more difficult to find.

3. How do affairs start?

The research we linked earlier in this article suggests that up to 10% of affairs start online. Other scenarios involve those where people end up spending a lot of time together, which is why work-related affairs are also fairly common. Often, it starts with simple day-to-day conversation, while others may start over text messaging apps with friends. Over time, the communication escalates, and conversations may take a turn toward a more sexual and flirtacious nature.

Cheating Partner: What Not To Do

In your quest to gather evidence on your cheating partner or deal with the reality of the situation, there are some things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t kick your partner out or leave immediately.
    This may come further down the line, but kicking your partner out or disappearing on them could make things more difficult. If you haven’t hired a private investigator or gathered hard evidence, you could find it much harder to prove spousal infidelity in the event of a separation.
  2. Don’t spread the word among your friends and family.
    While it’s normal to want to confide in somebody you trust, be careful. If you partner is cheating on you, you could inadvertently tell the person who they’re cheating with. Again, this could lead to evidence being deleted and things becoming harder to prove.
  3. Don’t contact the other person involved in the affair.
    It may be tempting to find out who your partner has been cheating with, but confronting them usually doesn’t lead to any positive outcomes. Even if the other person has a partner, alerting them won’t make the situation any easier to deal with and could invite more drama.
  4. Don’t ignore the situation.
    If you’re confronted with hard evidence, denying the problem isn’t going to solve anything. As troubling as the situation is, you deserve to be happy, and there may be a chance of working through the situation with therapy. You shouldn’t ignore the warning signs, even if that means facing the possible reality of life without your partner.

How Cheaters Hide Their Tracks

There are several steps that cheaters take to cover themselves, and most of these relate back to the advice provided earlier in this article. Here’s a snapshot of the ways that cheaters hide their tracks:

  1. Covering their financial tracks.
    Some people might use a second bank account to make their illicit purchases, while others may have an entire second life, including a second home. If you’re not involved in managing the household finances or your partner has secretive accounts, it could be hard to find any evidence of wrongdoing.
  2. Hiding their location.
    Cheaters need to think up a lot of excuses if they’re going to keep hiding their whereabouts. If there’s a sudden increase in the number of business trips or girls’ nights out that your partner attends, it could be a sign that something else is going on.
  3. Becoming more attached to their phones.
    We carry our cell phones around everywhere with us, though there are always moments when it’s unguarded. However, a cheater may suddenly start using their phone more than usual or never put it down for a moment. Perhaps they’ve suddenly stopped sharing funny videos or news stories that they’ve seen online. Whatever it is, this kind of behavior could indicate that they’re afraid of being discovered or having an incriminating notification pop up at the wrong moment.
  4. Sharing no details, aside from a trusted friend.
    People tend to keep their affairs private, though there are some exceptions. While men won’t normally share any details with anyone, women often confide in a best friend or use them as an excuse to meet up with their fling. Speaking directly to these people can sometimes reveal secrets or encourage the decency to do the right thing; most people don’t agree with cheating in a relationship. However, bear in mind that this can be an extremely risky approach.

How To Hire Someone To Catch a Cheater

If you need to know what your partner’s up to without alerting them, then you may want to consider a private investigator who can discreetly monitor them and their actions.

  1. Decide if you want to hire a private investigator (PI).
    This is a big step to take, but if you’re sure about your suspicions, then it could be the fastest way to uncover the truth. If you’ve already tried talking to your partner and suspect that they’re still hiding something, a PI can be a positive next step. Confronted with evidence, a cheater won’t be able to deny the truth.
  2. Gather your existing evidence.
    If you’ve already noticed some unusual activity, it can be a useful starting point for your discussions with a PI. This could be strange phone habits, a decrease in intimacy and affection, sudden changes in appearance, or an obsessive level of secrecy with their phone and computer. To back up the activity you’ve noticed, you should keep a detailed journal of dates, times, and what happened. Above all, though, you need to make sure your partner doesn’t find out about your journal. If they suspect that you’re onto them, then they could start trying much harder to cover their tracks or cool things off for a while, leaving you stuck.
  3. Seek legal counsel first.
    If you’re going to hire a private investigator, consider speaking to your attorney. Some lawyers work directly with recommended private investigators, and they can help ensure that any investigations and evidence gathering remain on the right side of the law. This is essential in the case of disputes during potential separation proceedings.
  4. Choose a private investigator.
    You should only consider licensed PIs, as there are strict licensure requirements in most states that will ensure you’re dealing with a professional. If in doubt, ask to see proof of licensure, though be aware that these requirements don’t apply in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota. Also, try to find a private investigator that specializes in spousal infidelity.
  5. Share your evidence and start the investigation. Once you’ve found a private investigator that you’re happy with, be sure that you’re ready to proceed and agree with the investigation. Share all of the evidence that you have and answer any questions you’re asked; you shouldn’t hold anything back. Also, let the professional do their job, and don’t do anything that could expose your activities to your partner while your PI gathers evidence.

If you believe that your partner is cheating and you’ve exhausted the option of talking things through with them, you might have to act. Fortunately, there are many signs that a partner is cheating, and you might be able to discover the truth yourself. If all fails, you should get in touch with a private investigator for more information or to start an investigation.

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