Is my wife unfaithful

Is my partner loyal? These are the most common warning signs of cheating

It is estimated that every second German has cheated on them at some point. Many infidelities remain secret. But there are indications that may indicate that the partner is enjoying himself elsewhere. We asked a couple counselor which ones they are.

The reasons for an affair or an affair are very individual. Usually they have a common trigger: "The unfaithful partner is looking for a form of intimacy, closeness, confirmation or recognition that he supposedly has not found in the relationship," says couple counselor and relationship coach Eric Hegmann. "Nobody should think: This only happens to other couples. The numbers are clear. It can happen to any couple."

Recognize signs of an affair

But what clues are there that point to the partner's infidelity? We have summarized a few for you.

Changes in cell phone use

Most noticeable, according to Hegmann, is the change in smartphone use. If the partner suddenly carries the cell phone with him all the time, keeps looking at it or makes a caught impression and then quickly puts it aside, you should pay attention - especially if he has not shown this behavior before.

Suddenly more complex body care and a new fragrance

Changes in personal hygiene can also be tell-tale. Especially if they are suddenly done with a noticeably thorough approach: A closer or more frequent shave is just as important as a new perfume or increased and more intensive personal hygiene.

Even if a floral scent wafts around him after his overtime or if she smells noticeably masculine after a meeting with her friends, you should pay attention: closeness to the body leaves its scent traces. Caution is also advised if he was supposedly playing soccer with his friends, but the sports gear is unused in his pocket. Or she suddenly takes the sexy underwear with her on business trips.

Other signs can be:

  • excessive styling - often to look younger
  • Unfamiliar behavior - frequent gifts even without a reason, increased desire to fight
  • Changes in sexual behavior - no more lust or excessive sex drive
  • increased absence - going for a walk alone or increasing excursions alone and with friends that have not been made before

Where does an affair begin?

According to a survey of 1,037 between 16 and 65 year olds, women had an average of 2.1 and men an average of 3.6 affairs in their lives. But where does the cheating start? The matchmaking agency EliteParter.de also asked this question. It turned out that every second cheating starts with kissing. Women in particular hold this opinion. Ten percent of them are even of the opinion that the mere thought of their partner about another woman amounts to an affair. Men are more relaxed in the survey: 43 percent of them see the act as fraud.

Where the infidelity begins is different for everyone and a matter of attitude. It is best to talk openly about it with your partner and communicate where your limits are.

Why do men and women cheat?

Men and women cheat for very different reasons. In women, emotional and sexual dissatisfaction play a major role, according to marriage counselor Gary Neumann. They miss the attention as well as the recognition and appreciation from their partner. Listening also played a role in the motivation to cheat, says Neumann.

Men, on the other hand, are unfaithful because they lack sex or they are not sexually balanced, explains relationship expert Michael Nast. Men also often cite loneliness, boredom or fear of sexual failure as a reason.

Couples therapist Hegmann adds: From the point of view of modern attachment research, it is above all emotional distance that promotes infidelity. "This means that a perceived distance in the relationship is one of the most common reasons to start an affair." At some point, not feeling connected leads to the desire to seek connection outside of the relationship. This rarely happens with intent, but mostly by slowly approaching a person who appears and is becoming more and more trustworthy Additionally promote distance and alienation.

Why infidelities go unnoticed

Despite the possible clues, many affairs still go unnoticed. Why is that? "This often works because affairs often take place in relationships in which the necessary attention to the partner is lacking and interest in the other has waned," says Hegmann. "In most cases, telltale changes can be seen - even in women who are said to be more discreet when cheating."

Another possibility is that the partner suspects that he is being cheated on, but does not want to admit it and unconsciously or consciously suppresses the warning signs for fear of losing the other.

Proceed correctly if you suspect it

But even if the partner suddenly shows changes, this is not always evidence of his infidelity. "People change and develop," emphasizes the relationship coach. This must allow a partnership and is not automatically a cause for concern. It becomes suspicious if the partner has not shown a traceable development towards such changes. "If he goes to sport for three hours overnight three times a week without expressing any considerations or thoughts in advance, such as dissatisfaction with his figure, that is noticeable."


It is best to listen to your gut instinct: as soon as you become suspicious, you will be overcome by a feeling between jealousy and fear of loss. Don't get hysterical right away, however. That can make the situation worse.

Talk to partner directly

Talk to your partner specifically about his behavior and your suspicions and ask him about his motivation. "Of course there is no guarantee of an honest answer," says Hegmann, co-founder of the Modern Love School. Because more often (around 45 percent), the partners find out for themselves that they are being cheated instead of finding out about it from their partner (27 percent), according to a Statista survey.

Forgive an affair?

According to a survey by Statista GmbH, around half of all men (55 percent) and women (46 percent) forgive their partner for flinging on the side - but often only if he really shows remorse (44 percent) and remains with a one-off event (41 percent ). In contrast, every third respondent would split up (26 percent of the men surveyed, 34 percent of the women surveyed). "Anyone who denies an affair has not only decided against their partner because of their infidelity, but also usually makes reconciliation impossible," explains Hartmann.

Prevent an affair?

Whether your partner is cheating is often a matter of attitude. Many men or women sometimes have no intention of cheating on their partner, even if they are sexually frustrated or bored. Although the following behavioral tips do not guarantee a loyal partner, you can minimize some motivations:

  • Varied sex
  • Showing appreciation and appreciation
  • To listen
  • Closeness and intimacy
  • Breaking out of everyday routine.

Excessive control or restrictions, such as prohibiting meeting friends, often does the opposite and can push your partner further away from you.