There are certain habits that relationship experts say are typical of people who tend to end up cheating on their partners. If you or your partner are engaging in any of them, you might want to take a long hard look in the mirror and consider why you’re behaving this way. Here are 4 signs of cheating you should pay attention to before you do something you’ll regret.
1. You’re always complaining.
You know the type: nothing is ever quite good enough for them and there’s always something to nitpick. But if you’re never satisfied with anything, at some point you’re not going to be satisfied with your relationship, either. And when you’re unhappy, you’re more likely to tempted to stray.
Even more toxic is complaining about your partner to others. Telling your girlfriends every little thing he does that pisses you off, or griping to his family about his workaholic habits isn’t just mean, it’s a betrayal of trust.
2. You take a lot of risks.
People who have affairs are all about the drama. To keep things interesting, they tend to be very willing to take risks including cheating on a partner and risking getting caught.
Psychologist Ildiko Tabori says that serial cheaters “prefer to ride an emotional roller coaster rather than find joy in emotional stability… [cheaters] get an adrenaline rush from the figurative bumps and bruises that cause strife and turmoil with their significant other.”
Not only are cheaters risk-takers, but they’re also opportunistic. They tend to be very calculating, seeking out situations where they may have a chance to play around.
3. You keep things to yourself.
One thing that can lead to unhappiness in your relationship, which then could lead to cheating, is failing to tell your partner what you want. Do you wish you could spice things up in the bedroom but are afraid to broach the subject with your partner? Are you feeling lonely and wishing for more connection, but don’t know how to fix it, so you clam up and say nothing?
A 2014 study by Ashley Madison, the infamous website for would-be cheaters, showed that, in general, men cheat because they’re looking for sexual variety, while women cheat because they want to feel desired. Here’s an idea: maybe if we just told each other what we wanted, we wouldn’t feel so compelled to cheat.
4. You tell white lies.
If you’ve told your partner a few little lies in the past and gotten away with it, you’re more likely to keep upping the ante.
It might not even matter what type of lie it is or what your motivation is. A study in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology suggests that people who tell white lies are more likely to deceive their partners about bigger things, too.
So next time you’re tempted to spare your partner’s feelings or avoid a fight, maybe it’s best to just be honest. While you’re at it, speak up about what you want, settle down and stop taking risks, and try to curb the temptation to complain as much. It might just save your relationship from infidelity.