Most people don’t wake up one day and think “I’m ready to cheat on my significant other.” Often, this infidelity comes as a result of a buildup of different thoughts, desires, and ways of thinking. There are a number of reasons why people cheat, including certain daily habits that lead up to infidelity over time. Knowing what these indicators are can help you spot someone who is likely to be unfaithful — or even prevent yourself from possibly straying
“The habits that lead people to cheat are generally habits that include disconnection and lack of communication,” Christie Tcharkhoutian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Matchmaker at Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. “In general, cheating occurs when there is a breach in the connection between two partners. Because relationships are co-created, it is the responsibility and work of each partner to do the work it takes to stay connected and committed in a relationship. Daily habits that attack connection are often the same ones that pull apart relationships through infidelity.”
Whether you’re trying to avoid dating someone who will be potentially unfaithful or you want to make sure you don’t go down that route yourself, watch out for these seven little daily habits that experts say can eventually lead to cheating.
1. Engaging In White Lies
A white lie here and there is no big deal, but if it becomes a habit, it could lead to trouble in the long run. Relationship expert Audrey Hope tells Bustle that when people make dishonesty a habit, it could make infidelity easier. If white lies begin to evolve to eventually cover up a lack of connection a partner is feeling, or budding
2. Bottling Up Feelings
Communication is key when it comes to working through problems in a relationship. “A failure to express emotions can lead to some negative consequences. When emotions are not able to be freely communicated and validated within a relationship, this sets up a potential disconnection that can eventually lead to cheating,” says Tcharkhoutian. “It’s important to express how you truly feel to your partner so that these bottled up emotions don’t release into resentment and a desire to get your needs met in another relationship.”
3.Turning To Social Media
“It can get addictive to look at your phone and scroll through Instagram instead of being connected to your partner,” says Tcharkhoutian. “This little habit and seeing the highlight reel of others’ lives can leave you feeling discontent with your relationship.” On top of leading to a lack of connection, social media can be a means to communicate with potential affairs, if someone is considering straying. Spending screen-free time with your partner every day is important to ensure a close, connected relationship while keeping temptation at bay.
4. Keeping Finances A Secret
Money is one of the biggest points of contention in relationships and it’s never a good thing to hide money or purchases. “If you can’t be on the same page or feel that you can share your financial life openly with your partner,” these lies may lead to bigger lies in the future, neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez tells Bustle. While keeping finances a secret isn’t a direct guarantee that a partner will cheat, having secrets in general might be a good indication that the relationship has issues with communication and connection.
5. Omitting Information
Like telling white lies, intentionally leaving out information is a habit that might lead to infidelity over time. “Omitting information purposefully, whether it is lunch with an attractive co-worker or a text from an ex, are all secrets that mean you do not feel comfortable enough to be yourself in your relationship or fear angering or hurting the other person,” says Hafeez. “Either way, it implies deeper problems that lead to great secrets which get harder to cover up, or worse, damage a relationship and trust irreparably when you are ‘caught.”
6. Fantasizing About Sex With Others
There’s nothing wrong with good ole fantasy, but if thoughts of sex with others become excessive or all-consuming, it’s not a good sign. “Although imagination is a good thing and can spice up your sex life if you are spending too much time thinking of having sex with someone else, even a celebrity, it’s unhealthy for your relationship,” says Hafeez.
7. Complaining About Your Partner All The Time
While venting to your friends about issues in your relationship is OK, if you are constantly complaining about relationship issues, you may be looking for justification to stray, says Hafeez. “This may even be encouraged by those you are venting to, as they may think it’s justifiable.” If you are having doubts accompanied by feelings for someone else, take note of this habit. While growing complaints may just mean you are unhappy in a relationship, diminishing your partner’s qualities in order to bolster that of another person might mean you are considering an affair.
While it is important to remember that these qualities do not all mean an affair is inevitable, when done habitually experts suggest that infidelity could be the next step. Take note if you or your partner are engaging in these habits, and work to reconnect through honest communication.