Home » Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid? 11 Things To Think Over!

Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid? 11 Things To Think Over!

by Jessica

If being in love is the most beautiful feeling, being betrayed is undoubtedly the most devastating. It can understandably break your heart if the person you invested your body, soul and emotions in turns out to be a cheat in love. However, there’s a catch. If trust is the bedrock of all healthy relationships, suspicion is the weak link that creates havoc. That’s when you need to ask – Is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Many marriages have hit the rocks after unfounded accusations of cheating being hurled by one partner on the other, only to realize how wrong they were. Unfortunately, by this time, the relationship has already soured. Does this mean that you need to let your guard down? Certainly not! While trust is a key cornerstone of a healthy relationship, blind faith can leave you completely blindsided. So, while it’s essential to not ignore the big red flags of infidelity, there is a difference between genuine doubt and constant paranoia about cheating. And that’s what you will recognize as you read below.

What Is The Difference Between Paranoia And Suspicion?

If you don’t know how to tell if your boyfriend is lying about cheating or have doubts about his loyalty, you need to first understand the difference between being suspicious of your partner’s actions and being paranoid because of your past trauma. Let’s talk about suspicion first. This is what happened in Amanda’s case:

  • Amanda noticed an inexplicable transaction on her husband Jude’s account
  • He suddenly changed
  • His fashion sense went up a notch
  • He would often surprise me with expensive gifts
  • He would refuse consenting to sharing his password

She knows why worrying about cheating is pointless. She knew he isn’t hanging out with his female friends or male friends. She knew the text messages he was receiving late in the night weren’t work-related either. So, she went ahead and confronted him. Jude was caught off-guard and couldn’t give a convincing reply. Amanda now started noticing other things like:

  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Frequent all-nighters
  • Diminishing sex life

This is valid suspicion because these are clear signs of a cheating husband. “Is he cheating or am I paranoid?”, asks Amanda. It’s the former here. On the other hand, Dani’s situation is a little different. Dani was feeling something similar in her relationship. Ever since Dani and her husband Tom had their first child, Dani had developed a fear that Tom was going to grow apart in marriage.

She kept questioning whether her partner is cheating on her or not. “After all, that is what my father had done. That is what men do!” she thought. Tom was a caring husband, now also a doting father. She was paranoid that he was going to abandon her for his freedom. Dani’s paranoia on whether her boyfriend is cheating on her or not is based on her past traumas. Her father cheated on her mother and she just assumed that this is how all men are. This is not suspicion because she doesn’t have any evidence to back her paranoid state of mind.

While Amanda’s mistrust in her relationship is based on evidence, Dani’s constant paranoia about infidelity exists despite anything concrete she can put her finger on. Moreover, Amanda has reasons to believe there is someone else or somewhere else her husband is spending his time, money and emotions at. Her fears are centered within a limited scope.

On the other hand, Dani’s suspicions are wider in scope, centered around abandonment issues. She thinks she will be left alone. In fact, Tom cheating is only one way he will abandon her. Her cheating paranoia could also change forms into something else to prove her fears. She could worry that her husband could die and leave her alone to raise the child by herself.

In simple words, paranoia is extreme fear that is not based in evidence and therefore sounds unreasonable, e.g. obsessive thoughts about spouse cheating due to causes of insecurity. A paranoid person tries to prove their paranoia in one way or the other. If evidence is produced against their belief, they would rather assume that they were being lied to than allowing their fears and doubts to be cleared. While suspicion is fear-based in evidence or a reason for it to exist.

Is He Cheating or Am I Paranoid – 11 Signs That Will Tell You The Truth

Is he cheating online or is involved with a woman at work? If you don’t know whether you are dealing with a cheating husband or an overactive mind that won’t stop dragging past traumas in the present, you have arrived at the right place. We have cracked down all the signs that reveal whether he has some other woman in his life or he is loyal.

1. He is secretive about his phone

Are you saying things like:

  • He constantly changes his passwords
  • Hates it when I try and peek into his phone
  • Snatches it away from me if I dare touch it
  • Becomes edgy and doesn’t like anyone answering his phone if he is busy
  • Spends hours speaking to someone at a particular time

These are some of the tell-tale signs he will cheat in the future if he hasn’t done it already.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Our phones mirror our lives these days. But strangely, even in very strong relationships, couples do not like it if their partners peek into their phones. You get a gut feeling that something is wrong when they try to hide their phone. Some chats are personal so they might not appreciate it. These are not obvious signs he’s cheating on his phone. If he acts too edgy, and spends long hours whispering into the phone, then he probably has some other woman in his life and you need to get to the bottom of it.

Related Reading: Signs Your Husband Is Having An Affair

2. He goes out too frequently without telling me

Are you saying: Earlier, he would inform me about his whereabouts. But of late, he has been staying out way too often and way too late. He doesn’t pick up calls and when I ask him, he is usually evasive. When I make a plan, he usually finds he has an alternative plan. If I try to talk to him about it, he blames it on my constant paranoia about cheating and calls me insecure. Argh! Why am I so paranoid of being cheated on?

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Men can stay out for a number of reasons (maybe he just loves going out with the lads!). Perhaps, he is being evasive or hiding details about this routine because he fears that telling you he is chilling with his friends will lead to arguments and fights. Your antenna should be up only if he has no answers. Even so, look at your tone. Is it accusatory? Does he feel like you are nagging and clinging? Give him space for a bit but watch out.

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3. He is obsessed about his looks and fitness

Are you saying things like:

  • He is on a shopping spree
  • Goes to the salon far more frequently
  • He has changed his style completely
  • He used to hate red, but now he wears red shirts
  • Goes to the gym regularly but he hated working out before

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Now, is your boyfriend is cheating on you through text? Possibly. This is a worrying sign if you are in a long-term relationship. If your partner has indeed found a new love, he may try and change his looks. However, find out if it’s because of a new realization about the need to stay fit and healthy or if there is something more to it. Change of appearance or being health conscious are not always signs of infidelity.

4. Something seems artificial in our relationship

Are you saying: He is just the same – kind, affectionate, and caring. But something seems amiss. He looks lost. When he shows affection, it’s like he is play-acting. It doesn’t appear to come naturally. He would refuse consenting to be open and vulnerable with me. He has also stopped buying expensive gifts for me. The effort shows as he acts withdrawn. I have a strong feeling he’s cheating but no proof. How do I stop worrying about him cheating?

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Australian dating coach Mark Rosenfeld has an answer for this. “This isn’t a bug red flag. Maybe he is stressed at work, there may be money issues or even bedroom problems. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so is withdrawn. Do not freak out. He may be innocent, you don’t know yet. So first things first, take a deep breath and don’t give in to irrational fears.”

5. His social media is getting out of control

ReAre you saying: He is spending way too much time on Facebook and Instagram. It feels like gadgets are ruining our relationship because he is constantly glued to one. If he is not on his phone, he’s browsing social media platforms on his laptop or tablet. Also, he does not post pics of us together.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Social media is a strange beast. With the advent of it, we have more options to not just waste our time but it’s also one of the things to tempt us into adultery a lot more. If he hasn’t posted a single picture of you in his profile, you are right to ask “Is he cheating online?”. He probably is.

Related Reading: 20 Myths And Facts About Cheating In A Marriage

6. His friends aren’t loyal to their partners

Are you saying: I dislike his friends. Somehow they all seem to be having affairs left, right, and center. However, he does not appear to have any problems with such behavior. Now, how to tell if your boyfriend is lying about cheating? Notice how he defends his friends who are cheating on their partners. Does he defend and justify their actions? Does he think it’s not a big deal to betray the one you love? These are someone trick questions to ask your boyfriend to see if he’s cheating.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: If you answered yes to all the questions above, then you are right to question his loyalty.

stories on cheating and more

7. Gosh, he’s on Tinder

Are you saying: I realized that he is on Tinder and has been chatting up some other woman. This is the biggest red flag.

So… am I crazy or is he cheating?

Our view: Sorry to break your heart but he is definitely cheating. If not full-fledged adultery, then there is at least micro-cheating going on and you need to confront him.

8. Our sex life isn’t great anymore

Are you saying: The passion is missing. He just doesn’t seem to be interested in making love anymore. Often, even if I initiate it, he doesn’t reciprocate my advances. It seems as if he has lost interest in me sexually. And on the rare occasions that we have sex, the zing is completely gone. It seems like a chore more than anything else.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Maybe the spark has genuinely gone out of your relationship. Sexual chemistry is hard to maintain but if despite your efforts, he shows no interest it could mean two extremes – a physical issue or an affair. Men who cheat generally find it difficult to get intimate with their partners. You will have to tread this one carefully.

Related Reading: 12 Reasons Why Men Have Extramarital Affairs

9.  I have a feeling he’s cheating

Are you saying: Why does he not answer some calls in front of me? Isn’t it one of the telling signs he’s cheating on his phone? Why does he become defensive when I ask him questions? Why does he seem uneasy on certain occasions? I have a gnawing feeling he’s cheating but no proof, what should I do?

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: You shouldn’t entirely ignore your gut feeling. Go ahead and sit him down. There could be a lack of love and understanding that’s making you overthink the whole situation. This overthinking can result in stress, anxiety, and even depression. That’s why worrying about cheating is pointless and you just need to communicate about this with your partner.

10. We have been having too many arguments

Are you saying: We are arguing too much these days. The smallest disagreements snowball into massive relationship arguments. In a fit of anger, he has even suggested that he is unhappy in the relationship.

So… is he cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: Arguing or fighting, as such, is not a sign that he has moved on but if he loses interest in you because he is interested in someone else, there won’t be much effort on his part to patch up after a fight. Observe his behavior and attitude after a fight. Does he look hurt and angry or just uncaring? If it’s the latter, it’s probably because he might have a shoulder to lean on.

11. He has cheated before

Are you saying: It has happened before too. I caught him red-handed but he promised to mend his ways and we got back together. However, I am unable to shake off the feeling that it might happen again. I know why am I so paranoid about my partner cheating on me – because there is evidence to suggest that he is capable of it. What if he is cheating on me behind my back? What is the guarantee I won’t be able to prevent it?

So… is my boyfriend cheating or am I paranoid?

Our view: If you have been betrayed before, it is difficult to rebuild trust in the relationship. The cracks will always show up and the small signs that you would have otherwise ignored would come to haunt you. There is no guarantee he will stay loyal but there is no surety that he will go down that path again. Work from your trust and not your fears. Always keep communicating to prevent a relapse.

What To Do If It Is Paranoia?

Fear of being betrayed is very real but you should stop feeding that monster and stop worrying about whether he’ll cheat or not, unless and until you actually have proof. To handle it, first, you need to work on your own self-esteem and self-worth. Living with constant paranoia about being cheated on and constantly grappling with insecurities about the future of your relationship can take its toll.

You may be suffering from abandonment issues, or low self-worth. What is causing it? And how to stop asking things like, “Why he suddenly changed?” or “Am I crazy or is he cheating?”. You need a professional who can work with you and reach the root of your issues, which very often are childhood traumas and buried grief.

You do not deserve to be with anyone who makes you feel constantly on the edge but you are not helping your cause by being needlessly paranoid. Being wary, being on the guard is good but jumping on assumptions, always looking for ‘evidence’ (which may or may not exist) will cause you more harm than good. Work on the fundamentals of your relationship and then decide what you want to do if your partner is indeed cheating on you. Make this about you, not him, or her.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Cheating

As a woman, I can safely say we think differently and our partners processing of things are different. We could act hastily when we are paranoid. On the other hand, men may wait to get all the evidence in their hands before worrying about their partner’s perfidy. If you have unfortunately become a victim of your partner’s betrayal, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Allow yourself the shock: You are going to be shocked when you first realize that your obsessive thoughts about spouse cheating were not invalid. Allow yourself time and space to feel all the emotions that are going to surface in you
  • Reach out to a friend/family member: You do not want to be alone with your emotions for a long time. If there is anyone you trust to hold your hand, reach out to them and tell them what you are going through. Seek their support
  • Get tested for STIs: Even without your wish, your monogamous two-way sexual relationship has crossed its threshold into the unknown. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Get yourself tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections, especially if you had been fluid bonding with your partner
  • Give your partner the chance to explain: Allow your partner the chance to explain before reaching major decisions. Their response might change the course of your relationship for the better. If not anything, it will allow you to ask questions, receive answers, and have a closure
  • Evaluate your options: A lot of marriages and relationships successfully survive infidelity. A breakup is not the only option. Your current reality, your needs, the health status of the relationship before the crisis, the background to the crisis, your commitment to making amends your partner is showing, there surely is a lot to weigh in such a scenario. Take your time to evaluate your options
  • Remind yourself it’s not “all men”: When you get cheated on once, you automatically develop thoughts that every man on earth cheats. Don’t let such negative thinking stop you from falling in love again. It happened a single time. It won’t happen again when you find the right guy
  • Seek professional help: A separation counselor and/or a grief counselor will provide you with the perspective, guidance, and hand-holding you need at such a crucial time

Key Pointers

  • While trust is a key cornerstone of a healthy relationship, blind faith can leave you completely blindsided when dealing with a cheating spouse
  • Paranoia is extreme fear that is not based in evidence and therefore sounds unreasonable. While, suspicion is a fear-based in evidence or there is a reason for it to exist
  • Worrying about cheating is pointless unless you have a solid reason to believe that your partner is betraying your trust. Look objectively for clear signs to ascertain if your partner is indeed cheating on you
  • Seek professional help if you think you can not shake off the feeling of constant paranoia about cheating. Also seek help to deal with the trauma if indeed you are left blindsided by a cheating partner

By now, you have either felt relief that you might only be suffering from cheating paranoia and your partner still loves you. Or you could have found out that there is valid reason behind your suspicion. No matter where you stand, professional help can be of immense help to you to deal with your paranoia which often reoccurs and can destroy relationships. It will also be helpful to deal with the uncertainty and grief a cheating partner brings.

This article has been updated in March, 2023.


1. How do I know if he is cheating?

If he is always late, deliberately excludes you from his plans, spends too much time on his social media and bothering about his looks, if you have too many fights without any effort to patch up and if your sex life is on the wane, chances are he might have found another love interest.

2. Why am I so paranoid about my boyfriend cheating on me?

Paranoia about your boyfriend cheating on you has a lot to do with your belief systems. If you strongly believe that you deserve to be loved, respected and being loyal to, you won’t be needlessly paranoid. If you operate from a sense of belief that men always cheat, you subconsciously look for signs of cheating.

3. How do I stop being paranoid about cheating?

The only way to stop being paranoid is to have more trust in yourself and your relationship. Also, vow not to act on mere suspicion. Find out more about your doubts and confirm if they are indeed true. Do not peek into his phones or private matters. If he is cheating, the matter will come out anyway.

4. Is worrying about him cheating pointless?

Trust your instincts. Women have a strong gut feeling about their partners cheating on them. Worrying about being cheated upon is not entirely pointless as it will help you be on your guard and motivate you to work on making your relationship stronger.

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