Cheating often means the end of a relationship. Even if a couple decides to stay together after one cheats on the other, there’s a good chance your relationship won’t be the same as it was beforehand.
If you and your partner communicate exceptionally well, then cheating might ultimately strengthen your relationship, reaffirming your commitment to each other and causing a re-evaluation of both of your needs.
But, most of the time, the revelation of cheating doesn’t proceed quite so amicably, and it devastates trust levels and contributes to the dissolution of the relationship down the line.
Cheating, stepping outside the mutually and explicitly agreed upon boundaries of your relationship, is always a big deal.
If you suspect your boyfriend might be cheating, then you need to confirm or banish those suspicions immediately.
Is it really cheating?
Note the definition of cheating I put forth above — “stepping outside the mutually and explicitly agreed upon boundaries of your relationship.”
In order to even worry about whether your boyfriend is cheating on you or not, the two of you need to share “mutually and explicitly agreed upon boundaries” within the context of your relationship.
You need to understand this definition before you can talk about cheating because some things that are cheating in the context of one relationship do NOT represent cheating in the context of another relationship.
If you and your boyfriend are allowed to have the random hookup here and there without informing each other, then the fact that your boyfriend might have gone home with someone else at the bar last weekend doesn’t count as cheating.
Likewise, if this guy you’re seeing isn’t actually your boyfriend, if the two of you haven’t actually agreed that you’re in some sort of monogamous, committed relationship yet, then he can do absolutely anything he wants without having to own up to your scrutiny.
But provided you actually are in a clearly defined relationship with your boyfriend, there are a few steps you can take to tell if he’s cheating on you or not:
“When the time is right, get to the bottom
of the matter quickly and decisively.”
1. Look for physical clues.
- Are you finding strange hairs in his bed?
- Is he running through condoms faster?
- Is he covered with bite marks you didn’t leave on him?
All of these are good indications that you aren’t the only person your boyfriend is having sex with.
I don’t really advocate snooping on your boyfriend, not least of which because you might find things you really don’t want to know about.
Just know that looking through his phone, his email account and his Facebook messages is an option for figuring out if he’s cheating or not.
It’s sort of up to your own sense of morality whether you do this or not, and I’ll leave that decision up to you.
3. Trust your gut.
More often than not, if you feel like your boyfriend has been cheating on you, then he probably is. This is especially true if you and your boyfriend have been together for a long time, you know how to read him and you know when something’s up.
Your gut isn’t always right, but it’s right often enough to be worth taking seriously.
4. Confront him.
There’s no saying whether your boyfriend will tell you the truth or not, but if you feel he is cheating on you and you have some evidence of this fact, confront him with it.
If you suspect he’s cheating with someone very specific, then confront that person. The worst part of all relationship pain lies in uncertainty. When the time is right, take the Band-Aid approach and get to the bottom of the matter quickly and decisively.