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Is your partner cheating?

By Sarah Moses June 23, 06:00 am
How can you tell if your partner is cheating on you? Yep: just ask a friend. People are pretty good judges when it comes to detecting infidelity, research shows.

Being cheated on sucks – no need for science to tell you that. And yet, scientists who study relationships can tell you precisely why cheating is downright awful. Research has shown it’s one of the most harmful things that can happen to a couple, and it’s the leading cause of divorce. When someone is cheated on, anxiety, anger, and self-doubt are all to be expected. And both the cheater and the betrayed partner are likely to become depressed.

Naturally, if you’ve ever thought your partner was cheating, you’ve wanted to confirm – or hopefully, reject – your suspicions; who knows, your worries might all be in your head, right?

Intuition

No need to hire a private detective. Lucky for you, scientists have come up with a method to tell if your partner is cheating: your friends. People tend to be good judges of others’ behaviour, research has shown. Often all it takes is watching someone for a short amount of time to accurately intuit what that person is about.

So what about cheating? Can people detect a cheater just by looking at them? A team of US researchers took it upon themselves to find out. In two studies, they tracked down almost one hundred university students in relationships.

Related: My Friend's Husband Is Cheating, Should I tell Her?

Spot the cheater

First of all, each student confidentially revealed to the researchers whether they’d cheated on their partner, emotionally or physically. Then the researchers brought the students and their partners into the lab and had each couple hang out and do a drawing activity that lasted three to five minutes that was filmed.

Next came the interesting bit: five outside observers watched the short videos to see if they could detect the cheaters. It turned out they could tell which students had cheated on their partners. And all it took was watching a short video clip of the couple hanging out.

Not to be trusted

What gave the cheaters away?

Something about their behaviour and how they interacted with their partners told the observers that cheating students were not trustworthy folk and that they weren’t committed to their partners.

So if you suspect your partner is cheating on you, asking what your friends think might not be a bad idea. If they’re suspicious of your partner, chances are good you have every reason to be too.

 

Reference: Lambert, N.M., Mulder, S. & Fincham, F. (2014). Thin slices of infidelity: Determining whether observers can pick out cheaters from a video clip interaction and what tips them off. Personal Relationships. (2014) 21:612-9.

 

Worried your partner could be cheating, and need someone to talk to? Why not start with our forum, Let’s Talk. Our moderators can help you with all your questions.

 

Did you learn something new?

Comments
my love have recently been acting different ....I have waited for her for almost 4 years so we can get married n yet she says we wait ....am tired plz help wat wll i do u feel things are not good
Love Matters
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 10:18 pm

Hello Josee, thank you for reaching out to us and we are sorry you are going through a hard time. When it comes to matters of marriage, it is completely normal for partners to sometimes feel nervous or anxious about it. Keep in mind this is a life-long commitment that you will both be embarking on and though it is definitely exciting, approaching ones parents can be nerve-racking for fear of rejection or misunderstanding. As such, communication is an important part of any relationship. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Explain how their actions are affecting you and the relationship. Try not to be confrontational because that would put them on the defensive and the resulting conversation would not be productive.  Be ready to listen to their fears and feelings and respond to them as well. Furthermore, we are here to help guide you. Go through the following article with your partner https://lovemattersafrica.com/marriage/thinking-about-marriage/meeting-the-parents-dos-and-donts and all the best :) Stay safe Joy and have a wonderful week ahead!

I have a girlfriend who lives 2Kilometres away from where I stay. last week I visited her at night to know her whereabouts after ameachiliwa kutoka Hos and she was in another Guy's house. This has occurred for several times even before she was admitted. What does this mean pliz coz am stressed.?

Hello Mc, thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry you are going through such a hard time.
Communication is an important part of any relationship. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Explain how their actions are affecting you and the relationship. Try not to be confrontational because that would put them on the defensive and the resulting conversation would not be productive.  Be ready to listen to their fears and feelings and respond to them as well.
This article has some pointers that could help you learn how to better communicate.
https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/better-communication-better-relationships

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