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How Do Cheaters Act When Confronted

Cheating in relationships can be devastating to those involved and cause a great deal of emotional pain and crisis. Confronting a cheater can be difficult, but if you see signs of cheating and are worried, talking about it directly with your partner is an essential step in addressing the issue.

Understanding how cheaters typically act when confronted is essential to handle this difficult situation in the healthiest manner possible. By understanding their behavior, you can best protect yourself, your emotions, and your relationship.

How Do Cheaters Act When Confronted?

When someone is confronted about cheating, it can be a very uncomfortable and emotional situation for all involved. Therefore, it is important to take note of some of the common reactions of a cheating partner and, most importantly, to know how to handle the situation and what to expect from the cheater being confronted.

To understand how classic cheaters react when confronted, we will discuss denial, anger or aggression, emotional outbursts, and evasion as possible responses.


Cheaters often react to an accusation of cheating with denial, showing no guilt signs. This can be a simple 'no' or more of a statement of unwillingness to accept the accusation. Whatever the form, denial is likely to be one of the first responses to allegations of cheating.

Anger or Aggression

Anger and aggression are two other common initial reactions to accusations of cheating. Cheaters often use anger as a form of deflection to turn the situation around and make accusations against you instead, like that you don't trust them enough. This anger may be expressed through verbal or physical aggression, so taking any threats seriously and ensuring you are safe during the confrontation is important.

Emotional Outburst

If the cheater feels guilt or shame, they may respond with an emotional outburst, which can also be an outburst directly to you. This could be sobbing, screaming, or another expression of emotion to hide or have a cheating excuse. This response may seem confusing, but it is important to remember that it is a reaction to the cheater's guilt.


When confronted, some cheaters may try to evade the question. For example, they may give non-answers, change the subject, or attempt to justify their actions. This type of response is usually a sign that the cheater is not ready to accept responsibility for their actions and may need more time to process what has been said.

The Psychology Behind the Behavior

When looking to understand the psychology behind common things cheaters do, making sense of the patterns and motivations that drive them can be challenging. While many people exhibit similar behaviors, it is important to recognize that the underlying causes can vary greatly. When determining the psychology behind certain behaviors, the most common factors include fear of losing the relationship, lack of guilt or remorse, difficulty accepting responsibility, and attempts to manipulate the situation.

Let's tackle the fear of losing the relationship first. This is a powerful motivator for behavior, as a person may feel compelled to act to prevent a partner from leaving them. They may try to hide their true thoughts and actions, or take on the role of a victim to hold onto the relationship and compel their partner to stay.

Sometimes, cheaters don't always have a guilty conscience. A lack of guilt or remorse can lead to a complete disregard for the consequences of our actions. As a result, cheaters--and especially serial cheaters--may act impulsively, without concern for how their words or actions affect those around them. They may also deflect responsibility when confronted with their behavior rather than owning up to it and taking responsibility.

Difficulty accepting responsibility is common when trying to understand the psychology behind certain behaviors. When this comes into the picture, the cheater may try to shift blame or deflect responsibility so that they don't have to accept the consequences of their actions. This defensiveness might also lead to anger on their part, if they feel blamed by their partner and lash out in response.

Finally, many cheaters may attempt to manipulate the situation when confronted, and this can also play a big role in shaping their behavior. Through their actions, they may try to change their partner's feelings or sense of reality in order to escape blame or consequences. For example, they may use denial to manipulate their partner into doubting their suspicions, and perhaps even shift blame onto the partner by accusing them of being paranoid. Emotional outbursts may also be part of an attempt by the cheating partner to gain sympathy and shift the focus of the conversation of their partner's hurt feelings and onto their own emotions.

What to Do When Your Partner Denies Cheating?

Cheating can be one of the most challenging experiences a couple can go through. It can cause significant stress, doubt, and hurt between the two partners. Therefore, when the issue of cheating arises, you need to know how best to act in order to have a productive conversation with your partner.

Remain Calm

When approaching a conversation about possible cheating, remain as calm as possible. This may sound too hard, especially when you are the innocent person in the picture, but always remember to be bigger when a situation like this comes. It is easy to get upset. I know, but it is important not to become too emotional. Keeping a level head and speaking calmly can help both parties to understand each other.

Be Clear and Direct

Be as clear and direct as possible when bringing up your suspicions or accusations of cheating. Do not beat around the bush or hint about cheating in suggestive ways. Be direct so that your partner can respond in kind and you can have a straightforward conversation.

Listen to Their Response

Paying attention to your partner's response when approaching a conversation about cheating is critical. Maintain your respect and an open mind. When accused of cheating, people often become defensive, so it is critical to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding.

Take the Appropriate Next Steps

Once you have discussed this with your partner, taking the appropriate next steps is important. This could include talking to a professional, seeking couples therapy, or deciding to separate. Whatever you choose to do, approach it with respect, understanding, and sensitivity.

Working Through Accusations of Cheating With Professional Couples Counseling

When confronted with cheating, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate. This is why it is of the utmost importance to confront the situation head-on to ensure honesty and transparency in any relationship. By recognizing the red flags and gathering evidence, you can end cheating behavior before it continues for too long.

The impact of cheating on a relationship can be devastating and long-lasting. In many cases, communication breaks down, trust is broken, and the relationship can become strained. That's why taking action and seeking help if you suspect cheating is essential.

Evolve Therapy provides couples therapy to bridge communication gaps, rekindle trust, and bring couples closer together. We specialize in helping couples who've been through infidelity open up conversations that help them rebuild a healthy relationship and move forward. If you are struggling with a cheating partner, have questions, or need guidance, contact us today. We are here to help you get your relationship back on track. We're here for you.

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