Because you’d never want to believe the guy you care about is actually a huge jerk, you might try to convince yourself that you’re just worrying too much when you feel like he’s up to something sketchy. Even though your intuition is often correct when you suspect a guy is cheating, sometimes you need something a little more solid than your gut feeling to convince you to call him out. If any of these things sound familiar, you’re not just being paranoid — he’s hiding something:
You’ve caught him in small lies. You haven’t caught him having sex with his coworker (yet), but you HAVE seen him tagged in a group picture that she took when he swore he was only out with his two guy friends. Sure, he came home early that night, so you know he didn’t go home with her, but if these “little” lies start adding up, it might be because he’s trying to hide something big from you.
He won’t let you use his devices for any reason at all. Plenty of people might get defensive if you asked to dig through their texts, but if you’re just asking to use his phone to make a call since yours is dead, there’s no reason for him to tell you no. A guy who doesn’t want you anywhere near his phone or tablet is not only worried that you’ll be tempted to search for evidence of cheating, but also that his side girl might send him something flirty or dirty while you’re in the middle of sending yourself the pictures he took during your hike last weekend.
He won’t bring you along when he hangs out with certain friends. Whether the woman you’re curious about is one of those friends or not, it’s always sketchy when a guy flat-out refuses to introduce you to certain pals. He might use the excuse that you simply “wouldn’t get along with them,” but the truth is probably that he’s scared one of them will slip up and reveal that you’re not the only woman in his life. He might have certain people that he’s trusted with his little secret, and bringing you around them would risk giving away what he’s tried so hard to keep hidden.
Chunks of his conversations are deleted. If you’re suspicious enough that you ask to read his texts and he allows it with no hesitation, be on the lookout for conversations that just don’t make complete sense. Maybe the start and stop points are awkward, or perhaps a reply doesn’t fit quite right with the message that preceded it. This could mean that he deleted messages that would prove him guilty of bad behavior.
He suggests that maybe you’re the one cheating. Many times, cheaters will unconsciously use a technique called “projection”, which involves them being so hyperaware of their own infidelity that they become paranoid that their partner is guilty of the same thing. If he starts accusing you of flirting with the waiter or your best guy friend, keep in mind that it might be him placing his own guilt onto you.
He’s overly critical of the woman you’re suspicious about. If you bring up concerns about an overly friendly female colleague, an innocent guy might try to put your mind at ease by telling you that he finds her more annoying than attractive (and of course, that he wouldn’t cheat on you even if she were his type). However, a guilty man might try to overcompensate. He’ll tell you that she’s ugly, she’s obnoxious, he hates everything about her, she’s a nightmare in human form. If he seems like he’s trying too hard to prove his innocence, there’s a reason for it.
He lies by omission. You didn’t specifically ASK if he went out with his hot neighbor for drinks, so he wasn’t doing anything wrong by not telling you about it, right? He might try to spin this to make it seem like you’re clingy or paranoid, but really, the reason he didn’t tell you about it in the first place is because he knows you wouldn’t be OK with it.
He plays dumb all the time. Some people really are oblivious, but a guy who “doesn’t know” that it’s not OK for his female friend to sit on his lap is lying. He might get away with this once, but if you lay out your boundaries and he continues to “accidentally” cross them, he’s just seeing how much he can get away with before you call him out on his crap.
He shifts the blame to you. When you get annoyed because he’s being sketchy, he’ll claim that he’s only hiding things from you because “he knew you’d react like this.” If you catch him flirting with someone else, he’ll say that if you’d just give him more attention, he wouldn’t feel the need to look for it elsewhere. This is manipulative BS that can make you feel like you’re paranoid or in the wrong, but it’s really him trying to make you a scapegoat for his douchebaggery.
His schedule has completely changed. Maybe he really is just trying to hang out with his bros more after work, but if he started going to the gym a lot more often right around the same time he decided to be more social, consider it a yellow flag at the least. Sometimes people really do need to overhaul their lives, but this could also be him trying to be out of the house more to spend time with another woman.
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