5 Questions Your Partner May Ask If They're Cheating, Therapists Say
You should be listening closely for these suspicious signs of infidelity.
For many of us, there's no greater fear than being cheated on by a partner. On top of the betrayal, there's the knowledge that infidelity is one of the major reasons relationships end. But you don't have to let yourself be blindsided by a shady significant other. Joseph Puglisi, a relationship expert and the CEO of Dating Iconic, tells Best Life that cheaters often use questioning as a tactic to aid them in their affair. By asking you certain questions, Puglisi says your unfaithful partner can avoid getting caught up in their own lies, cover up inconsistencies, and also shut down any of your suspicions—that is, unless you know their tricks. We consulted therapists and other relationship expert to discover some of the most common questions your partner may ask if they're cheating on you. Read on to find out what you should be listening for.
"Why are you acting weird?"
When hiding infidelity from a partner, people can get paranoid about the truth coming out. As a result, a cheater might start questioning your behavior around them, according to Megan Harrison, LMFT, a licensed therapist and owner of Couples Candy. She tells Best Life they may ask you something along the lines of, "Why are you acting weird?"—even if your behavior hasn't actually changed.
"If your partner is cheating, they may ask this to see if you've noticed their strange behavior and put two and two together," Harrison explains.
"What are you doing tonight?"
Most of us want our partners to be interested in what is going on in our lives, but it's likely a red flag if this starts happening out of the blue. If you notice a "sudden change" where your partner is much more curious about your schedule, it could be a sign that they've began engaging in infidelity, according to Ian Lang, a relationship expert working with PeopleLooker. For instance, someone who is cheating might start asking you things like, "What are you doing tonight?" or "What time are you getting home?"
"They may use it as a tactic to assist them in making their own plans while they know you are busy elsewhere," Lang explains.
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"Do you think that person is attractive?"
Projection is a huge theme that often appears when someone is being unfaithful, according to Tina Marie Del Rosario, LCSW, a licensed therapist and owner of Healing Collective Therapy Group. According to Rosario, people are likely to project when they are feeling guilty about something—like cheating. This in turn will lead to questions like, "Are you attracted to (a particular person)?" or "Do you think your co-worker is attractive?"
"The reason for that is that it's their guilt speaking," Rosario explains. "They start to fear what they're doing is happening to them. It's guilt-driven."
"Why are you asking me that?"
Someone who is cheating is often likely to gaslight their partner as well in order to keep their affair hidden. Ketan Parmar, MD, a psychiatrist and mental health expert with ClinicSpots, says this might start by them trying to turn the tables on you whenever you are asking them something. A question like, "Why are you asking me that?" could be your partner attempting to deflect suspicions.
"If your partner is cheating, they may try to make you feel like you're the one who's being unreasonable or suspicious," Parmar explains.
Another question that falls into the same realm of gaslighting is, "Are you sure you're not overreacting?" According to Parmar, an unfaithful partner might ask this in order to make you doubt your own instincts. "If your partner is cheating, they may try to convince you that you're imagining things or that you're being paranoid," he adds.
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"Are you cheating on me?"
A cheater's projection and gaslighting might get so bad that they end up actually asking you if you're cheating on them. Christy Neal, a relationship strategist and owner of Choose Different Media, tells Best Life that the number one questions guilty partners asks when being unfaithful is, "Are you cheating on me?"
"It sounds absurd, but it's true," Neal says. "We as humans see in others what we ourselves our actually struggling with. If your partner is constantly accusing you of cheating on them, it may be in fact that they are the ones cheating."