For many couples, the thought of their partner being unfaithful can feel like a dagger through their hearts. It is painfully difficult to confirm suspicions that your partner is cheating. Unfortunately, the signs are sometimes there but far too easy to ignore.

The stress of wondering if your partner is cheating can be overwhelming, and it might feel tempting to either ignore the warning signs or confront your partner without any evidence. Learning to recognize the signs of infidelity can be the first step in dealing with the possible betrayal.

If you’re suspicious your partner might be unfaithful, look for the following 5 signs of cheating:

1.Changes in Schedule

The easiest way to keep from being caught cheating is to do most of your activities secretly, away from your partner’s watchful eye. Pay close attention to changes in your partner’s schedule, such as new commitments or longer hours at their job. If their hours change drastically or they suddenly start going places at inopportune times, this could be a sign of cheating.

2.Secretive Phone and Online Habits

If your partner begins to treat their phone and laptop like top secrets, this could be because they’re trying to hide something they don’t want you to find out. Pay close attention to sudden secretive behavior, such as making all the calls in the other room, deleting texts and emails, not letting you get near their devices and excessive password-locking.

3.Changes in Appearance

If your partner suddenly takes an interest in their appearance when their behavior had been fairly lax before, this could be a sign that they want to look good for someone else. Of course, it’s perfectly normal to want to look nice for your partner, but if the changes come out of nowhere, pay attention.

4.Distant or Different Attitude

People dealing with guilt often avoid truly being intimate with their partner. Pay attention to sudden changes in behavior, such as getting overly defensive or withdrawing emotionally. Another sign to be aware of is becoming distant or emotionally unresponsive.

5.Unusual Financial Activity

A cheating partner may start spending unusually large amounts of money, and often times these purchases are related to their affair. Be aware of expensive gifts being given to your partner, and watch for gifts that your partner is receiving from someone else, such as jewelry, clothing or electronics. Also, be sure to check credit card statements for activities that don’t quite fit with your partner’s habits.

Confirming Infidelity

If your partner exhibits multiple cheating signs, chances are that infidelity is taking place. It can be extremely difficult, but it is important to address and discuss the issue in a mature way. If your partner does not want to talk about it, there are other ways to get the proof you need.

Private Investigators

For cheating partners who take extra precautions to hide their activities, a private investigator might be needed. These professionals can tail your spouse and monitor their activities, which is the best way to get irrefutable evidence of their cheating.

Digital Forensic Analyst

If your suspicions are based largely around digital secrets, it might be a good idea to hire a digital forensic analyst to uncover the truth. These experts can dig into a partner’s phone, computer and cloud activity in search of evidence of an affair.

Taking Steps After Finding Out

One of the hardest things to do is to make a decision about a cheating partner. Depending on the level of betrayal and/or physical infidelity, different steps should be taken.

Here is a list of steps you can take after finding out about infidelity in your relationship:

1.Take Time to yourself

This is an important first step to take whether you decide to stay in the relationship or not. Spend some time alone and reflect on the situation. Consider the reasons why it happened, how you’re feeling, and how it has affected your relationship.

2.Address the Issue

If you decide to stay in the relationship, it’s essential to talk to your partner openly and honestly. Have difficult conversations, and ask your partner to be honest with you. Your partner must also take responsibility for their actions and assure you that it will not happen again.

3.Make Changes

If you decide to stay together, it’s important to assess what changes need to be made to prevent infidelity happening again. This might involve formal counseling sessions, setting up healthy boundaries for behavior, and making an effort to reconnect.

4.Part Ways

If the level of trust has been permanently broken, it might be best for both parties to go your separate ways. Leaving a relationship is never easy and it can come with a great sense of loss. However, it can be a necessary step in order to start to heal and move on.

Discovering that your partner is cheating is a heart-breaking experience that no one should have to go through. It takes strength and courage to confront a cheating partner, but with the right information, you can be empowered to make the best decision for you. Learning the signs of infidelity is the first step to being able to recognize and deal with a cheating partner.