things cheaters say to hide affairs
Relationship Red Flags

What Things Cheaters Say to Hide Affairs?

Have you ever suspected that your partner might be cheating, but they insist that you’re just being paranoid? Do they get defensive when you ask simple questions about where they’ve been or who they’re texting? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Infidelity can shake even the most vital relationships to the core.

Let me walk you through what therapists see all the time when it comes to infidelity. What things cheaters say to hide affairs? I know it’s a lot to take in. But the more aware you can be, the sooner you’ll find your way back to a real connection. There are better days ahead.

What Do Cheaters Say When Caught? Common Phrases of Cheaters

People engaging in affairs often display predictable verbal and emotional tactics to hide their activities. While cheaters are not identical, similarities exist in the false narratives they construct to preserve their secrets. 

So, what do cheaters say when confronted? Here are some of the most common phrases and tricks used:

“You Are Being Paranoid”

Well, what do cheaters say? One of the easiest ways cheaters deflect suspicions is to insist it’s all in their partner’s head. They will adamantly claim that any worries are due to paranoia or insecurity, even when evidence exists. This places the blame on the suspicious partner as being “crazy.”

“It Didn’t Mean Anything”

One of the most common things cheaters say when confronted is that the affair “didn’t mean anything.” They claim it was purely physical attraction and not emotional. This is often untrue but allows them to downplay the significance of their betrayal.

things cheaters say to hide affairs

“You Are Overreacting”

Cheaters frequently accuse their partner of overreacting to make their response seem unreasonable. They frame the affair as not a big deal, hoping the spouse will calm down. This discounts the betrayed partner’s deep hurt.

“I Ended It Already”

A cheater may swear they already broke things off with their affair partner once caught. This aims to do damage control so they can plead forgiveness quickly. In reality, most maintain contact as the thrill is hard to quit.

“It Only Happened Once”

Even when an affair has gone on for months, cheaters may initially insist it was an isolated incident. Admitting the true extent would only further enrage their partner. Lying avoids fuller accountability — one of the most typical phrases cheaters use.

“It Didn’t Mean Anything to Them”

What other things cheaters do to hide affairs? Cheaters often characterize their affair partner as someone who is “just looking for fun” and not interested in anything serious. This makes the betrayal seem immaterial, absolving blame.

“You Drove Me to Cheat”

Psychologists often talk about strategies people use to hide affairs. For example, blaming their spouse for the affair is a cowardly but common cheater tactic. They claim unmet needs or flaws in the marriage forced them to be unfaithful. It deflects ownership.

what do cheaters say when confronted

“I Still Love You”

Let’s reveal more things cheaters say to justify. Cheaters frequently claim they still love and choose their spouse, despite their actions. This can involve tearful proclamations of devotion. It aims to lessen the consequences of the affair. 

“I Was Going to Tell You…”

Being caught cheating leads the adulterer to make excuses like they are on the verge of confessing everything. This casts them in a nobler light versus hiding it indefinitely.

“We Can Work Through This”

Would you like to know what cheaters say? This phrase! Pleading to work things out is typical, as cheaters want to avoid divorce or a breakup. They urge counseling, apologizing, and promises to regain trust. This keeps the relationship intact.

“It’s Complicated”

Resorting to the cliche “it’s complicated” allows cheaters to avoid giving specific explanations about the affair. Keeping details murky prevents more profound confessions.

what do cheaters say

“Nothing Happened”

Even faced with evidence, some cheaters still outright deny anything occurred. They persist in denial, hoping their spouse will doubt their own intuition. It’s a psychological power play.

“Are You Really Surprised?”

How do cheaters communicate? Deflecting blame, cheaters may suggest their affair is understandable given their partner’s flaws. This aims to justify their choices by painting the marriage as already troubled.

“I Need Some Time Alone”

This is one thing all cheaters have in common. When cheaters can no longer manipulate the conversation, they abruptly retreat, claiming they need space. This abandons the spouse when they need honesty and allows the cheater time to strategize.

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Pleading for mercy is common once cheaters recognize that infidelity may lead to permanent separation. They appeal to enduring love and make grand promises to change. It stops short of full accountability.

“Let’s Keep This Between Us”

There are many popular cheating excuses. Asking for secrecy allows the cheater to hide the affair from family, friends, and the community. This shields their reputation and avoids judgment or consequences.

The phrases reveal the cheater’s priorities are self-preservation, blame avoidance, and damage control. While the betrayed partner craves honesty and remorse, the cheater aims to conceal, deny, and downplay. Only through counseling and accountability can the fissures heal.

one thing all cheaters have in common

Things Cheaters Say and Do

So, now you know some usual things a cheater says. But what about their actions? But their words only reveal part of the story. What about the actions and behaviors that expose their deception?

While their phrases aim to deny and distract, cheaters tend to demonstrate many of the same predictable physical and emotional reactions when their affair is brought to light. The initial lies at being confronted are usually just the beginning. Let’s explore the typical cheater conduct you can watch for that contradicts their carefully crafted verbal excuses.

Lying About Their Whereabouts

Cheaters will fabricate excuses for why they were delayed getting home from work, where they were during a large block of time, or why a questionable charge appears on a credit card. They become adept at covering stories to explain away strange absences or activities. This is one of the most famous lines cheaters use. 

Keeping Their Phone Closely Guarded

There are also a lot of things cheaters do to hide affairs. A cheater’s phone contains too much incriminating information ever to leave unattended. According to HuffPost, they carry it constantly, sleep with it, and become highly secretive of its contents. This helps facilitate private communications with their affair partner.

Having a Sudden Increased Interest in Grooming

Putting extra effort into appearance through new haircuts, clothes, diet, exercise regimes, or plastic surgery procedures can indicate wanting to impress someone new. Cheaters may make dramatic physical changes.

Blaming Stress at Work

Work pressures often provide a convenient scapegoat to justify moodiness, isolation, or lack of interest in their spouse at home. Relationships cheaters will fabricate job stress to divert attention from the actual affair occupying their thoughts.

Accusing Their Partner of Cheating

Why cheaters blame their partners? Projecting their guilty behavior onto their spouse is a common cheater tactic. They loudly raise concerns over their partner’s fidelity as a smokescreen for their own. This puts the other person on defense.

Saying Their Lover Is “Just a Friend”

Even when strong evidence points to it, cheaters may adamantly maintain their affair partner is simply a spiritual friend. Calling it a friendship downplays the romantic emotional entanglement.

Frequently Working Late

Cheaters always cheat. Spending additional hours at or after work offers flexible private time for cheaters to meet up with their affair partners. What may be passed off as work obligations on a big project is often rendezvous.

Withdrawing Emotionally

Cheaters retreat from their usual affection and intimacy with spouses as they invest energy elsewhere. Their feelings and attention divert from home life, and may exhibit cold, detached behaviors.

Making Dramatic Character Accusations

Cheaters may lob harsh or exaggerated critiques at a suspicious partner, accusing them of massive flaws like being controlling, needy, insecure, or irrational to put them on defense. They always try to find good alibis for cheating. 

things cheaters do to hide affairs

Excessive Time Texting or Online

Increased secretiveness around their phone and computers likely involves messaging apps, texts, and emails to communicate with their affair partner outside of work hours.

Using Gaslighting Tactics

Cheaters gaslighting involves distorting the truth and lying in an attempt to make a partner question their sanity. Cheaters may do this to avoid owning up to inappropriate behavior when confronted by suspicious spouses.

Sudden Interest in Exercise, Dieting, and Appearance

A desire to get in shape and enhance attractiveness can reflect an interest in promoting vigor and youthfulness for someone new. Increased focus on weight, clothing, etc., could indicate an external affair-based motivation.

What Does Cheating Say About a Person?

Do cheaters always cheat? Why do individuals engaging in infidelity resort to these lines of reasoning and denial? Experts point to both conscious and subconscious motivations.

On a surface level, cheaters lie to avoid the messy and painful consequences of having an affair exposed. They fear the fallout, harm to their reputation, and destruction of their primary relationship. Deception helps postpone facing these outcomes.

How cheaters feel? However, cheaters also deceive themselves. They rationalize the affair through distorted thinking like “This is just lust, not love” or “I deserve to be happy.” This eases their conscience while pursuing the thrill of secret affairs. Emotional detachment from their spouse facilitates this; cheaters withdraw affection to numb guilt.

According to therapist Shirley Glass, cheaters often suffer from extreme compartmentalization, where they practically dissociate from the lies being told. They convince themselves the affair exists in its bubble apart from reality. But deep down, deception still brews inner turmoil that manifests through the cheater’s behaviors and treatment of their spouse.

good alibis for cheating

Cheating in a Relationship: Impact on the Relationship

The cumulative impact of all these phrases and actions further corrodes already shaken trust. The cheater has created an impenetrable wall that blocks honest communication with their partner. Sustaining the web of deception also desensitizes the cheater to the immorality of lying.

Even if the affair gets exposed, the cheater’s instinct may still be to deny, minimize, and evade direct accountability. This leaves the betrayed partner confused and unable to process their grief. The dishonesty inflicts severe relational trauma.

Rebuilding intimacy after cheating in a relationship requires the cheater to take full ownership of their life through counseling. Both partners must work to re-establish authentic communication and transparency. It takes time to heal emotional wounds. Even then, some of the trust and innocence are irrevocably lost.

What Actions Do People Consider Cheating? Recognizing Red Flags

What happens to cheaters? While certainly not proof alone, the flashes of suspicious behavior should prompt individuals to pay closer attention to other signals of potential cheating. Even small changes in demeanor, emotional availability, daily routines, and language choices can unveil more significant patterns.

Observing one’s gut instincts is also crucial — even cheaters adept at lying display tells in their body language, tone of voice, and energy. Subtle emotional cues expose fissures in their words. Seeking support through counseling, close friends, or family can also help provide clarity.


Is Cheating Always Wrong? Expert Insights on Overcoming Betrayal

Therapists emphasize that unmasking affairs requires shifting from blind trust to discerning observation. Dr. Rowan Burckhardt states: “When faced with a partner who denies and deceives, you must avoid being gaslighted and instead trust tangible evidence, not explanations.”

Is there some therapy for cheaters? Healing involves creating space for the cheater to display authentic remorse and accountability. Dr. Omar Minwalla explains: “A cheating spouse must dismantle the layers of lies completely. They must own the many small deceits that enabled the betrayal.”

Finally, counselors caution betrayed individuals against blaming themselves – the cheater alone is responsible for fabricating theopathy of dishonesty. Support and time help reveal the cheater’s distortions and assist with processing painful emotions.


Understanding the false narratives, cheaters weave is painful but necessary for recognizing infidelity. While their phrases help them hide the affair initially, the truth outs itself through subtle but clear signals. Relationship repair begins with complete honesty. Counseling is crucial for both parties to make sense of the betrayal’s emotional damage and rebuild trust where possible. While arduous, many couples emerge stronger if a cheater thoroughly owns their actions. However, enduring dishonesty and gaslighting will only deepen the wounds. Clarity and compassion are essential for any path forward.

things cheaters say to justify


What Do Cheaters Have in Common?

Cheaters often share common traits and behaviors, such as a tendency to rationalize their actions, a lack of empathy toward their partner’s feelings, a willingness to deceive and manipulate, and a propensity for seeking validation or excitement outside of the relationship. However, it’s important to note that each situation is unique, and individual circumstances can vary greatly.

How Do Cheaters Feel About Themselves?

Cheaters may experience a range of emotions about themselves, including guilt, shame, and self-justification. While some may feel remorseful for their actions, others may rationalize their behavior to alleviate guilt or justify their actions. Ultimately, the way cheaters think about themselves can depend on their values, moral compass, and the circumstances surrounding their infidelity.

What to Say to Someone Who Cheated? 

When addressing someone who has cheated, it’s important to communicate honestly and empathetically. Express your feelings calmly and clearly, emphasizing the impact of their actions on you and the relationship. Encourage open dialogue and active listening, allowing both parties to share their perspectives and emotions. Ultimately, focus on understanding, healing, and determining the best action for moving forward, whether that involves reconciliation or parting ways.

Catherine Mayers

Catherine is a psychologist and certified relationship coach with over 10 years experience helping couples heal after infidelity. Her approach provides a judgement-free space to process emotions, get to root issues, and take active steps to reconnect or mindfully part ways. Catherine offers research-based strategies to manage difficult emotions, rebuild broken trust, and improve communication. She provides empathetic guidance to empower couples during this challenging time, both through direct counseling and her insightful articles on repairing relationships after cheating.

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