Hiding his phone, staying out longer than usual, and being extra careful about his appearance are all obvious classic signs your partner is cheating on you. But once you start doubting him, he may go the extra mile and try to manipulate you into thinking he’s not being unfaithful to you.
He’ll do everything in his power to cover his tracks so you don’t catch him in the act. That includes gaslighting you and blaming you for everything bad that’s happening in your relationship.
And the situation will only get worse if he tries any of these tricks. But why does he do that?
Well, he’s guilt-ridden and wants to brush aside the truth. He simply can’t confront you directly and tell you that he doesn’t want to be with you anymore.
He may even guilt-trip you into believing that you’re the one who cheated on him. Eventually, manipulating you will be his only way out of this awful situation.
What he should do is be honest and come clean immediately. Cheating and manipulating your partner is only a temporary solution and won’t hide the fact that you and your partner have serious relationship issues.
If you feel like your gut is telling you that something’s wrong or notice his attempts to manipulate you, then it may be a sign your partner is cheating and trying to cover it up.
Your next step is entirely up to you. You can forgive him and try to solve your problems together. Or you could leave him once and for all.
Here’s how to know that he’s manipulating you into believing he’s not cheating on you.
1. He plays the jealousy card
Let’s say your boyfriend comes home late at night, even though he promised you he’d come back early to watch a movie with you.
You say to him that it’s wrong he spends so much time with his friends and doesn’t think about your feelings.
A supportive and mature man will always hear you out and try to make it up to you. Also, he’ll promise he won’t do it again because he’ll know how much it means to you.
It’s important for him that you’re satisfied and happy in your relationship. But that’s only the case if your significant other is an emotionally mature man and not a selfish boy.
On the flip side, a cheating partner may get anxious and angry at you, telling you how it’s your fault and how you’re being jealous of his friends.
Obviously, this is an unhealthy reaction and an attempt to manipulate you and distract you from the fact that he’s cheating on you.
He’s covering up his tracks by quickly shifting the blame on you.
2. He blames your friends and family
It’s completely normal to turn to your friends and family for advice once your gut says your partner’s cheating on you. You ask for their help on how to handle the situation and if they’ve noticed something unusual about him lately.
But what if he finds out that you’ve been talking to them about your relationship? Well, he may attempt to turn you against others – even your family members.
Usually, cheaters, when they see that you’re suspicious of them, will try to isolate you from your loved ones.
That’s why your manipulating boyfriend may say that your friends are a bad influence on you and that you shouldn’t listen to them at all. He may even say that they’re the reason you’re unhappy in your relationship.
Be careful not to fall into his trap. He’s only trying to throw you off the trail because he knows your loved ones have seen right through his manipulative games.
3. He accuses you of cheating
Does your boyfriend suddenly accuse you of cheating on him? Is he pointing fingers at you when you call him out? If so, then it might be a sign he’s actually being unfaithful to you.
You may have heard of it, but this is called projecting. It means that someone who’s confronted about something, instead of accepting the mistake, starts accusing you of the same thing – in this case, cheating.
If your gut says he’s being unfaithful, then watch out for this sign. It’s actually a defense mechanism that most cheaters use when they’re confronted about their infidelity.
His accusations may also be a way of distracting you from the real problem. As a result of that, you start to question your own sanity and motives, which further distracts you from your partner’s behavior.
4. He becomes the “perfect” boyfriend
It’s no secret that most cheaters will change their behavior once they committed the act of infidelity. That’s because they can’t cope with the guilt and try to atone by being the best boyfriend they possibly can be.
So, if you notice that he’s suddenly making an effort to solve the problems you had in your relationship or change things about himself that annoy you, it may be too good to be true.
His goal is to manipulate you into thinking he and your relationship are perfect, that nothing is wrong. Again, this is a way to divert you from the awful truth.
5. He accuses you of invading his space
A cheating partner will do anything he can to keep you at an arm’s length. That includes saying that you’re too needy or clingy and that you’re not affording him any privacy.
So, the next time he goes to the shower, notice if he takes his phone with him. Or if he’s changed the password on his laptop so you can’t use it. And when you do confront him about it, he accuses you of invading his space.
It’s all part of his show, so you don’t suspect him cheating on you.