How To Tell If Your Girlfriend Is Cheating
In an ideal relationship, neither partner would cheat, but it happens. Maybe you are finding that you have a sense of uneasiness in your relationship that something could be off.
Could this indicate that your girlfriend is cheating? Throughout this article we will look into signs that your girlfriend could be cheating and how to proceed if you receive confirmation that your suspicions are in fact true.
According to various mental health professionals, there are numerous signs that could indicate that your girlfriend is cheating. They advise that the most important thing to look out for is sudden change, if she is suddenly displaying suspicious behavior that is out of the ordinary.
If your girlfriend is suddenly acting weird about her phone, and it seems to be a significant shift, that could also indicate that something is going on. Maybe she is receiving more text messages than usual, or has suddenly put more barriers in place to lock her phone. Perhaps she always sets her phone with the screen facing down, seemingly anxious about what messages may appear. All of these behaviors, especially if they seem to be appearing all of a sudden, could indicate that your girlfriend is sneaking around.
Individuals who are cheating on their partners may spend more time out of the house and seem to drop out of contact for significant periods of time. Maybe your girlfriend states that she will be working, running errands, or out with friends, but does not answer your calls or texts and seems to go off the map. This behavior might be suspicious, especially if it seems to be happening regularly.
Another sign that your girlfriend might be cheating (which may come as a surprise to some) is if she appears to be acting overly affectionate. This could look like saying "I love you" frequently or showering you with gifts out of the blue. This does not necessarily mean she is cheating, but if it seems abnormal, it could be something to pay attention to. Some individuals who are cheating on their partners try to compensate for the guilt they feel. They may go overboard with kind gestures in order to keep their partner from suspecting what is going on (this can also happen when they are wondering, "is he cheating?").
In other cases, a partner may be more distant and show less interest in sex. If there is a sudden shift in sexual intimacy, that could be one indication that your girlfriend is getting these needs met outside of the relationship. However, there are many other reasons that a couple’s sex life could shift over time, including stressors, mental or physical health challenges, etc.
Though all of these signs could potentially indicate that your girlfriend is cheating, it is important not to jump to conclusions if you see some of this behavior happening. There could be other explanations for the way she is acting. If you do notice a shift in your relationship that is concerning, it is important to discuss these concerns directly with your girlfriend instead of letting your mind fill in the blanks.
What Do You Do If You Suspect She May Be Cheating?
If you suspect that your girlfriend may be cheating on you, don’t jump into a conversation with her right away. Before bringing your concerns to your partner, it is important that you take the time to identify how you are feeling. It is crucial that you first get clear about how their behavior is making you feel so you can go into the conversation ready to clearly communicate your emotions.
The next step would be to openly discuss your concerns with your girlfriend. Try to keep a calm, even tone as she will be less likely to be receptive to a conversation in which you are coming across angry or accusatory. Instead of making statements such as "you always hide your phone from me" or "Why don’t you ever want to have sex anymore?" focus on conveying how you feel with ‘I’ messages. This may look like ‘I feel scared or uneasy when…’
While you are having this discussion, pay attention to how your girlfriend is responding, both verbally and non-verbally. Is she avoiding eye contact? Is she quick to become defensive, denying that she is doing anything wrong and responding with anger? Or is she receptive and open to hearing your concerns? How your girlfriend reacts to your concerns may provide more clarity into whether or not your suspicions may be true.
Perhaps this conversation will allow you to gain insight into something that has been going on with your girlfriend that has nothing to do with her being unfaithful. This could provide clarity into her seemingly strange behavior. Or maybe she does admit that you are right and she has gone outside of the relationship. While it is typically not helpful to find out every detail of the encounter(s), you might ask your girlfriend if she knows what led her to go outside of your relationship. If she expresses remorse and states that she wants to work through this and continue your relationship, it can be helpful to immediately set boundaries. This may look like spending some time apart while you take the time and space to process your emotions around what you have discovered.
Processing Betrayal In A Relationship
Perhaps your fears have been confirmed and you have discovered that your girlfriend has been unfaithful. There may be many thoughts racing through your head, from "why would she do this? How could this have happened?" to "Should I give her another chance?" It can be extremely challenging to decide how to move forward, whether it means working to repair the relationship or parting ways.
First of all, it can be helpful to reflect on the relationship. Maybe she provided some indication of why she may have cheated. If not, you might reflect on the relational dynamic. There are many potential reasons why an individual might cheat on their partner, ranging from anger about unmet needs to feelings of "falling out of love." Some individuals may experience fears around commitment which leads them to seek a "way out of the relationship."
Others may have difficulties with low self-esteem, and find affirmation from a new person intoxicating and affirming of their worth.
You may not have all of the answers as to why your partner did what they did. However, it can be beneficial to recognize that cheating is a complex issue, and there are many factors that contribute, that have nothing to do with you or the health of the relationship. It is important to remind yourself that you are not to blame for your partner’s actions. Even if there was a disconnect within the relationship, cheating was an unhealthy and hurtful response.
You may be asking yourself- is this something that can be fixed or is it bound to happen again? Can a relationship be rebuilt after betrayal? Let’s dive into some of these questions.
Is It Possible To Rebuild Trust?
It is possible to repair the damage caused after a betrayal and move forward in a relationship, however it does take time and effort. It requires that both individuals are fully committed to putting in the work required to rebuild trust again.
Maybe you have heard of the statement "once a cheater, always a cheater"and are wondering if it has any validity. If you decide to move forward with your girlfriend, are the same problems bound to keep repeating themselves? According to relationship therapists, the phrase "once a cheater, always a cheater" dismisses an individual’s ability to grow and change. If your girlfriend takes full responsibility for her actions and is determined to examine the underlying issues, this is a good sign that she is committed to making sure it does not occur again. Being willing to put in the work to address the root of her behaviors is crucial.
On the other hand, experts agree that if a partner is blaming you or other external factors for their actions, this is one indication that the same patterns may repeat themselves. If your girlfriend shows little insight into why she did what she did, it may not bode well for the future. It also is not a good sign if she seems to lack remorse or even dismisses your emotions, stating that what happened is due to something you did or didn’t do.
It is important to acknowledge that unfortunately, there is never any guarantee that you will not get hurt again. Even if you decide to continue on in the relationship, there is always the chance that your girlfriend could betray you again. While this reality is difficult to accept, it is essential to remember that every relationship requires risking the possibility of being hurt. We can never guarantee how another person will feel or how they will treat us, only decide whether or not the relationship is worth showing up for even though the future is uncertain.
That being said, take time to reflect on the relationship and what you would like for the future. If you find that your girlfriend seems to be committed to gaining understanding of her behaviors, and finding a way to move forward, that leaves you to decide what is right for you. You might take the time to ask yourself: do you feel like you will ever be able to trust her again? Do you still want to be in this relationship after what has happened? Do you think these problems are fixable and are you willing to put in the work to try to resolve them?
There is no right answer to these questions. Some people may decide that cheating is not something they could ever tolerate, while others are open to working through it if their partner is remorseful and committed to remaining in the relationship. Try to remind yourself that at the end of the day, this is your decision. While you may receive input from others, it is important to proceed in a way that feels right for you.
Coping After Betrayal
It can be extremely difficult to come to terms with betrayal in a relationship, as it can bring about some painful emotions. You may find that you are trying to avoid your feelings, or block out what happened. Ultimately, allowing yourself to acknowledge what has happened and feeling your feelings fully is key to healing. It is important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions are there. Instead of pushing them down, name what you are experiencing- maybe it’s grief, or humiliation, or shame. You might also consider writing in a journal, as expressive writing can be very beneficial for reducing the intensity of difficult emotions.
It is also important to prioritize self-care during this time. Try to pay attention to what your body needs; do your best to eat consistent meals even if you don’t feel hungry and remain hydrated. Carve out plenty of space to engage in calming activities, like taking a relaxing bubble bath, listening to music, reading, or watching your favorite TV shows.
As previously mentioned, it is perfectly okay to set boundaries with your girlfriend during this time. You may find that you need some space without seeing or talking to her in order to work through your emotions. Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries and ask clearly for what you need.
Lean into your support system during this time. Clearly express how others can support you, whether accompanying you on a fun activity for distraction or listening without giving feedback. It may also be beneficial to seek out the support of a licensed mental health professional. They can provide a safe space for you to process the difficult emotions you are experiencing, and find ways to cope and move forward.
Seeking Further Support
Whether you decide to work on your relationship or part ways, connecting with a mental health professional can help you to navigate any difficulties you are facing. If you have decided to remain in the relationship, you and your girlfriend might consider couples counseling. Through BetterHelp online counseling platform, you can work with a therapist who can help you to find ways to rebuild trust and communicate in healthy ways about concerns within the relationship.
If you have decided to part ways, you might also decide to seek out therapy in order to process difficult emotions around the betrayal you experienced. BetterHelp is an affordable and convenient option for online therapy that allows you to connect with a licensed therapist from the privacy of your own home. Regardless of your decision to remain in the relationship or not, it is possible to heal and move forward after experiencing betrayal. A therapist can walk alongside you and support you in this process.