Cheating is like any other kind of crisis: you hope it never happens to you, but if it does, odds are you won't be prepared.
Ashley Madison, the dating website famous for encouraging its users to have affairs, recently conducted a 1,500-person survey to find out why and how people cheat.
The results were distressing: 44% of men say they've cheated on a partner, while 55% have thought about cheating. For women, just 39% say they've had an affair, and only 35% admit they've thought about it.
But the survey also uncovered something very useful. The cheaters listed how they communicate in secret to avoid being uncovered, and the survey ranked the five most common methods. The results are helpful for any suspicious partners out there.
5. A secret phone
It takes a lot of extra cash and some serious hiding skills to plan your affair on a second phone, but 11% of cheaters surveyed say that's their method of choice.
It should be easy to spot a second phone, but there are ways to check if your partner's "work phone" is genuine too. For one thing, actual work phones are usually a newer model, while thrifty cheaters are known to pick out a cheap flip phone.
4. Social media
While it can be difficult to keep tabs on your partner when they're using a social media site, just 18% of cheaters say they communicate on social media.
Be on the lookout for any social media apps or sites you don't recognize, and don't be afraid to ask your partner about which ones they're using.
3. Dating websites
Despite the survey being conducted by Ashley Madison, only 20% of cheaters on the survey say they use dating websites to plan their affairs.
You should be able to spot if your partner is spending a significant amount of time on a dating website. A sure sign is that your partner's browser history is cleared any time you check their phone.
The second most popular cheating method is used by 40% of unfaithful partners, and it can be difficult to check on because of secret accounts and passwords.
One red flag to keep an eye on is locked mail folders in a shared e-mail account, or your partner's personal account if you have access to it. It would be pretty bold of your partner to keep anything there, but it does happen.
1. Their own smart phones
Yes, it's true, 56% of cheaters can barely even be bothered to hide their infidelities. Most just connect with other partners using their phones.
Warning signs of this behavior include a phone that's "glued" to your partner's hand. And if their call and text history is always clear, something might be up.
If you need to do a little extra digging, there are tried and true methods to catching a cheater. But be warned: electronic snooping like checking private e-mail accounts can get you into big trouble with the law. So maybe it's safer to just ask your partner?
If all else fails, keep these tips in mind:
- These days you can search a phone number in Google. This will usually return the phone's owner, and maybe even more information.
- Sneaky cheaters like to hide their affair's contact information inside another contact. So there's reason to be concerned if you notice initials or a phone number you don't recognize under someone else's name.
- If you share an e-mail account with your partner, you should check the trash for any incriminating messages they were too lazy to delete entirely.
- If you share a social media account, you can usually turn on "Location Sharing" information to track the GPS data of where that account has been.
Snooping is wrong, but cheating is even worse - better to know what to look for!