Five Ways to Detect a Cheating Spouse

cheating spouse
By Ben Hartwig
15 April, 2019

Do you suspect your partner is cheating? These days there are so many ways to find out for sure, because anyone who uses a cell phone or social media is likely to leave a trail of digital crumbs.

It’s hard to be surprised about cheating when more than 10 percent of women and up to 30 percent of men admit to doing it at some point in life. The Institute for Family Studies survey shows that 16 percent of all people admit to cheating.

But what is infidelity? Is sexting a neighbor the same as cheating? Is one roll in the hay with a willing coworker the same as a long-term affair? Like the special investigation that spelled out President Clinton’s sordid episode with Monica Lewinsky in lurid detail, one has to define the parameters of infidelity. Perhaps touching that doesn’t escalate to intercourse is technically not cheating, but being emotionally intimate with a person other than your spouse is. An article in Psychology Today says that men may not consider a brief encounter to be anything more than relieving a physical need while many women say emotional attachment constitutes cheating even if both parties keep their clothes on.

The Legal Route

Many states allegedly have laws prohibiting adultery, but how often they’re upheld is anyone’s guess. Still, if you have proof of infidelity the courts can’t ignore a civil lawsuit, and many states still have statutes on the books with jail time attached for those who can’t control themselves. By using a service like the marriage and divorce status of his love interest can be determined and that person’s spouse notified as well. As recently as 2017 there were hundreds of such cases of “alienation of affection” and “loss of enjoyment of marriage” brought in South Carolina alone – but many are suspected as leverage to publicly embarrass a spouse into agreeing to a juicy divorce settlement.


Social Media Clues

One divorce attorney says Facebook is a de facto gateway drug for cheaters. It allows those who are inclined to daydream about old sweethearts to fan the flames and rekindle romances. He calls the social media site the “single most common seed” that turns curiosity into infidelity.

People who cheat on their spouses or significant others are likely to leave clues: messages on their social media accounts, texts, and unexplained absences from work or home. Piecing those crumbs together can be challenging if you want to turn a hunch into a fact. Of course the “history” function on a computer can tell you a lot. Maybe he’s just one of the millions with an online porn addiction.

If your spouse leaves his computer or phone unattended and is logged into Facebook, you may take a peek at direct messages. You may also check his activity log to see if he’s particularly fond of commenting on one person’s posts (there are settings that can exclude you from seeing those posts). Your spouse’s flame may block you to prevent you from seeing posts of them together. To determine if your spouse is using an alias on Facebook for a secret second account, you may open Facebook on his device to find out if there are multiple account options on the log in page. Take note of the alias name and search Facebook to find out if he’s tagged under that name in photos or has made posts publicly visible.

Spying Apps

It’s tempting to use key loggers or spyware to determine if your spouse is shacking up with someone else, but it’s also illegal by most standards (as is impersonation or hacking, whichever technique you use to check his online accounts).

Spyware may be downloaded onto another person’s computer or phone, where it will collect data for you to retrieve remotely. While this appears to be a simple solution, it’s not difficult for anyone to determine if unauthorized apps have been added to a phone, and computer firewalls can make it difficult to download and run spyware under the radar.

If you are co-owner of the vehicle your spouse uses it may not be illegal to attach a GPS unit to it and find out in real time where it is located. Product reviews for such devices are full of praise for their accuracy, written by those who have caught their wandering partners in lunchtime dalliances. Plug the address into to figure out who lives there (it’s not likely to be his cousin Charlie).

The Phone will tell

Phone numbers are a trove of information, but it takes a little sleuthing to determine which are worth pursuing, especially if your spouse uses the same phone for business. The key may be to track the numbers that recur most often, or those that show up at odd hours, like after you go to bed. Many times doing a simple search for the number online will reveal who it belongs to, or you may do a reverse lookup using a service like The most daring of spouses will call the number from the philandering husband’s phone – but try not to pounce when greeted with, “Hey sexy, I’ve been waiting for your call.”


Rather than trying to figure out if there’s a Tinder or Grindr app on his phone, you may open the “settings” and find out which app is using the most data (it could be hidden). That will reveal how often he’s trolling for hookups. The alternative is to drop $5 for a new app that will find his profile for you: called Swipe Buster, it culls information about location, age, and other profile details to “out” users who match. After all, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of Tinder users are married.

Does he have a “Keep Safe” or “Vault” app on his phone to safely store potentially damaging photos and screenshots of texts? If so, and he won’t explain or open it for you, that could be a smoking gun.

Similarly, the “find my phone” app can be used to determine if he’s at work when he says he is, or if he’s parked his boots under someone else’s bed. If he hasn’t turned off his location history setting you may find a map of the places he’s been that can be matched with unexplained absences. And even if he’s deleted his location history, it could be backed up in cloud storage.

Beyond the Ordinary

There’s even a Spanish company that makes a wifi-enabled mattress that sends data to the owner’s phone detailing not only midday use but (this is for real!) any rhythmic waves created during such use.


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