Discovering a partner's infidelity is a horrible experience. It's almost as bad to suspect that your boyfriend is cheating, without being 100-percent sure your suspicion is correct. Nobody wants to remain in that state of limbo, but it is difficult to deal with the situation when you are experiencing emotions from anger and hurt to confusion and rejection.
1. Be Aware of the Signs
Keeping a close eye on your boyfriend's behavior will help you pinpoint common signs of cheating. Be aware of the major warning signs in the article, as cited in, "3 Danger Signs Your Partner May Be Having an Affair" on PsychCentral. You're not spending much time together -- and when you do, you're not having fun. Your boyfriend doesn't treat you in a loving, affectionate manner. He may be texting more than he used to or he gets mysterious phone calls day and night. He might not be interested in getting physically intimate with you. Although he may have other reasons for these behaviors, if your boyfriend is displaying more than one of them, you are right to be suspicious. Be aware, however, that your gut feeling can be wrong. Suspicions of cheating may stem from being cheated on by a previous partner or self-esteem issues, says Jonathan Sprinkles in the Glamour article, "Suspect Your Guy Might Be Cheating? Here’s What to Do. And What NOT to Do!"
2. Look for Proof
Being aware of the most common signs of cheating is one thing but without concrete proof, it's not advisable to make accusations. If your boyfriend isn't cheating on you, unleashing your anger on him will make you come across as insecure, jealous and paranoid -- which are not attractive traits. Look for tangible evidence of his cheating, advises relationship therapist Sheri Meyers in the Huffington Post article, "I Think My Partner is Cheating -- Now What?" A text, email or voicemail message from or to his lover is irrefutable proof that he is up to no good. Check his credit card statements for romantic gifts, flowers, restaurant and hotel expenses.
3. Hire a Private Eye
If you can't obtain proof that your boyfriend is cheating -- either because he isn't, or because he is too good at covering his tracks -- you may want to hire a private detective. Look for a suitably qualified, reputable professional detective in your area who has excellent references. He will follow your boyfriend until he is able to provide a report to confirm if your suspicions are true.
4. Prepare Well
Only when you have proof of your boyfriend's infidelity should you approach him. Be prepared for a range of reactions, warns Meyers in Huffington Post. He may deny it completely, try to make excuses for his behavior, or admit the affair and blame you for pushing him away. Accept that this will be a difficult, emotional conversation. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to stay calm, get your point across without being distracted, and to get the truth from your boyfriend.
5. What Happens Next?
How you discuss the infidelity with your boyfriend depends on whether you want to stay with him. If you want to try to save the relationship, you may want to hold back a little on the accusations, suggests Sprinkles. Harsh words spoken in the heat of the moment are difficult to take back. If you have no interest in rebuilding your relationship, speak your mind, and then move on and focus on helping yourself recover from the betrayal.