Private investigator shares signs your partner could be being unfaithful

Most people are careless when it comes to covering their tracks 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Friday 10 November 2023 14:13 GMT
Related: Signs your love could be cheating on you

Finding out a partner has cheated is never easy - but most people would rather know the truth than remain in the dark about their significant other’s infidelities.

To catch an unfaithful partner in the act or confirm suspicions, people turn to the experts; private investigators, who make it their life’s work to uncover hidden relationships and illicit affairs.

As the ones who hunt down cheaters, private investigators know all of the signs that indicate someone is hiding something - or someone.

We spoke to Tom Martin, a top private investigator and former federal agent, about the obvious signs someone is cheating, as well as the lesser-known red flags, and when it is time to panic.

Martin told The Independent that cheaters always follow the same patterns.

Having seen identical signs over the last 40 years, Martin, the president of Martin Investigative Services in Newport Beach, California, wrote the book Seeing Life through Private Eyes, where he lists the 20 most telling clues that may indicate infidelity.

And while they seem pretty obvious, he says that spotting one or two of them isn't a reason to worry. However, if you spot four or more, it is practically an admission of your partner's guilt, according to Martin, who told us “if you have three or four, you have a problem”.

The most common and obvious signs, he told us, are the ones such as spending longer hours at work, business trips, less sex, or defensiveness.

A new commitment to the gym or new clothing may also be a sign your partner is working on bettering themselves - possibly with someone else in mind.

However, one of the most important signs, one that you should not ignore, is intuition, according to Martin, as people can typically always tell when a significant other is not being 100 per cent truthful.

  1. Changing habits
  2. Leaving the house early and returning late 
  3. Business trips
  4. Holiday or family event absences 
  5. Excessive overtime
  6. Unexplained spending
  7. Secret accounts (Instagram, email)
  8. Hidden credit card bills
  9. Extra grooming 
  10. Scent of someone else (typical lipstick on the collar)
  11. Buying gifts you haven't seen
  12. Unexplained items - condoms in the car are a giveaway
  13. Joining a gym
  14. Missed calls from an unknown number
  15. Coded or secretive text messages
  16. Less sex
  17. Evasiveness or defensiveness 
  18. Obvious lies 
  19. Prickliness or short temper 
  20. Hate surprise visits (your unexpected arrival may come at an inopportune time for a cheater)

Even if a partner isn’t displaying any of the typical signs, your feelings may be picking up on something.

Now, in the era of technology, Martin told us that most people are able to confirm their fears themselves - and no longer rely as much on private investigators to do the digging.

“The game has changed drastically,” Martin said. “And technology is 100 per cent the reason why.”

According to Martin, the signs are all the same, but catching someone is now as easy as picking up a phone or logging on to an iCloud account.

After seeing a significant other sneak away for a late night phone call or hide a text message, people are now “catching them themselves,” he said.

However, Martin warns not to panic in these situations or jump to conclusions, as it can “jeopardise a valuable relationship over what may be unfounded anxieties”.

If you do have an inkling that your significant other is cheating, looking for any one or four of the signs may put your mind at ease. Or you can call in the experts.

This article was originally published in August 2020

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