Considering a spot of cheating, playing away, or an outright full-blown affair? No way, you say. Come on. Get real. Studies show that between 30 percent and 60 percent of married men and women cheat on their spouse. Okay, men are more likely to cheat than women, but not by that much. About one in three men will cheat compared to one in five women. And a word of warning to the lady cheaters out there: According to The Daily Telegraph, men are much, much better at detecting infidelity than women. While women spot the signs of infidelity 80 percent of the time, men get it right 94 percent of the time. So, whether male or female, if you are going to cheat, you want to be smart about it, don’t you? Getting caught can be more than a little stressful and could end up being downright expensive if you end up battling through a nasty divorce. The simple fact is that there are some basic do’s and don’t’s to this cheating business. Read on and learn. Some you may already know, but some, well, just might save you from a fate worse than death.
Here are 15 habits of the effective cheater. If you are going to stray, memorize them. And, more importantly, learn from successful cheaters who have cheated and not gotten caught. Sure, it’s more work, but like any habit, it gets easier with practice. The more of these habits you develop, the better your chances of being a successful cheater.
15. They Use Pay-As-You-Go Phones
Did you know that mobile phone records are the number one way cheaters get caught? Get a pay-as-you-go phone and make certain your lover has one as well. Full stop. And be diligent about deleting hot texts and call records. Just in case. Pay-as-you-go means no line-item bills that can be scrutinized. And don’t make a habit of bringing the pay-as-you-go phone home. Stash it at work for much of the time. Ditto for your lover, if they are in a relationship. And this also means that you won’t be tempted to text or call your bit on the side from home, upping the chances of getting caught. In a funny scene from the Meryl Streep film It’s Complicated, the Alec Baldwin character is cheating on his wife and, when he locks himself in the bathroom to talk to his lover, his step-son is listening at the door. Oops. And stick to communicating via the phone. Work and home computers could out you big time.
14. Their Lover Is Given A Fake Name In Their Contact List
So, your wife/significant other finds your phone and checks out your contact list. If she spies “Bambi” or “Tiffany” or “Babe”, the cheating radar will kick in. And suspicion leads to heightened snooping. The solution is simple: Give your lover a totally fake name. So, if you are a guy, make certain Bambi is listed as Tom or Bill. If you are female, ditch Tom and Bill for Sue or Kayla. And another trick of the trade: Always get your lover to answer their pay-as-you-go phone with “Tom’s phone” or “Bill’s phone”, because that call from your phone just might be from your jealous partner. All the more reason to leave your “affair” phone stashed at work. And another random point about names: If you tend to come out with a name while doing the deed, program yourself to utter “honey” or “baby” or some such. Something that’s suitable for all lovers.
13. They Tend To Go For An Unattached Lover
Let’s think about this. If you are married and your lover is married or in a relationship, you have doubled the chances of getting caught. There are just more tracks to cover. It may well be far better to go for a lover who is a) unattached, b) has their own place and c) lives alone. Roommates up the level of risk an awful lot. The key is to keep your cheating universe with as small a population as possible. Like two. Perhaps three, as we will soon see. Now, there are risks involved in an unattached lover (like they fall in love and want more than you are willing to give), but, on balance, they are a lot less risky than the attached ones. So, keep it simple.
12. They Don’t Lie To Their Lover
Whether you go for a married or unattached lover, don’t be really stupid and lie about being married or in a relationship. Be upfront and honest with your lover. If you try to pretend you are single and the affair is an ongoing one, you are just exponentially upping your chances of getting caught. How? Well, think about it. Your bit on the side thinks you are single, but sees you at the mall with the wife and kids. Is she going to be mad? Totally. Is she going to rat you out. Probably. In the George Clooney movie Up in the Air, George meets a seemingly unattached woman on a business trip. Only thing is, when he falls in love with her and shows up at her house, it is clear she is married. Slam the door and pretend it was someone who was lost. And hope they go away.
11. They Don’t Use The One About “Working Late”
“Look, honey, I’ve got to work late. Don’t wait up. It’s going to be a long night.” Then hang up the phone and jump in bed with your lover. Tempting, but definitely not smart. Why? Well, it’s easier to check on you if your significant other knows where you are supposed to be. Secondly, if you are on a salary and get paid overtime, your partner has a right to expect overtime pay. So, how come you worked a 60 hour week and brought home the same amount as for a 40 hour week? No, your cover has got to be firm but flexible. And should never pin you down to a certain spot at a certain time. How? Read on.
10. They Have A Trusted Friend Who Helps
So, if you can’t use the old “I’m working late” excuse, what do you do? The simplest thing is to get a friend on board. And if it is a friend who is also cheating, it could be a match made in heaven. The best way to cover your tracks is to say you are going out with a mate. Just make certain you agree on a story about where you went and what you did. Just in case questions come up. Some people view business travel as the perfect opportunity for cheating by bringing their lover along for the ride. But the problem with that is your partner will almost certainly know where you are and, if they are at all suspicious, it is easy to check up on you. So, if you are going to mix business with pleasure, make certain you are as far as possible away from home. Another golden rule: Lovers never, ever answer your hotel room phone.
9. They Don’t Change Their Routine Or How They Treat Their Partner
Okay. Your husband comes home with chocolates or flowers for no good reason. Or, your wife seems distant and aloof. Pretty soon alarm bells will start blaring. Sometimes, cheaters compensate for the guilt they feel by bringing home flowers, chocolates or other presents. It is out of character and therefore suspicious. On the opposite end of the spectrum, cheaters can disengage from their partners, becoming suddenly distant and cold. That too is suspicious. So, the successful cheater aims to keep everything in their established relationship the same. No unexplained presents. No sudden aloofness. They may feel differently, but they get into character and act their role to perfection. You may not win an Oscar, but you will up your chances of getting away with it.
8. They Don’t Change Their Appearance Or Fitness Habits
What would you think if your couch potato significant other suddenly took up jogging and joined a gym? And what if they are buying trendy clothes and having their hair cut and styled a different way? Odds are they are cheating. Or thinking about cheating. So, the trick that effective cheaters employ is NOT to do much, if anything, differently from what they have done in the past. They may gradually introduce little changes, if they must. But nothing big. If you don’t routinely bring home flowers, don’t start when you begin your affair. And treat you partner, more or less, the same way you treated them before. It’s hard, but increases your chances of being a totally effective cheat.
7. They Pay In Cash
This is a kind of no brainer. Paying with a credit card, even a business one, is risky. Even if your partner does not normally see your credit card bills, they leave a paper trail that a private detective or divorce lawyer can trace. If you use the “I’m out with my mate” trick, paying using a credit card may seem perfectly safe. But it also means that a partner who sees the bill could (and just might) check with the restaurant. Another related point: When out with your lover, be lowkey. Don’t tip big. Don’t send the wine back. Don’t complain or engage in needless chit chat with your waiter. That ups the chance they will remember you.
6. They Don’t Disappear Lunch Hours And After Work
The unsuccessful cheater will do the obvious thing. “Box lunches” and a spot of after work cheating on the way home. That’s what a cheater is expected to do. And once a suspicious partner sees a pattern, you are in trouble. Suddenly not answering your phone or just being totally out of touch at certain fixed times of the day is suspicious. So, don’t do it. It’s safer to have a late afternoon “meeting” out of the office or, as we have said before, a night out with a friend than sneaking around. Well, you are still sneaking around, but you are less traceable, less vulnerable. There should be a good reason for not picking up your phone, like being in a meeting or in a noisy bar with your mate. Don’t be predictable. Don’t establish a pattern. And emphasize texts, not calls, with your partner. Easier to hide what you are up to.
5. They Go Off The Beaten Track
It’s a simple fact: In-town cheating is risky. This is true, even in a big town. You run the risk of being spotted by a friend, or even an acquaintance. Even if your lover has their own place and they live alone, cars can be spotted parked on streets. You can be spotted coming and going. So, mix it up. Play away out of town, especially if you are going to a restaurant or bar. The closer you are to home, the riskier it is. If it’s handled right, business travel is a good way to put distance between you and the home, folks. But the farther away you play, the safer your secret will be. It’s just a fact: Distance makes the cheater more effective.
4. They Keep It Light
Most people want to keep their cheating separate from their “real” lives. If that’s the case for you, your choice of lover is once again crucial. On the one hand, choosing a lover who is already married or in a relationship, can up your risks of detection. On the other hand, a lover who is already involved, like you, has every reason not to complicate things by getting too serious. And, while an unattached lover has a simpler life, they may be more likely to start coming out with the dreaded “L” word. And as Michael Douglas learned in Fatal Attraction, if they seem too good to be true, you should get very worried. Be honest and upfront.
3. They Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions
So, your wife is dark haired and you come home with a decidedly long blonde hair on your jacket. Or your shirt shows a trace of makeup or (worse) lipstick. Golden rule: Get a no-tell motel room and shower afterwards. And you need replacement clothes, just in case. And (we know this is boring) you need to check for those telltale stray hairs. And your lover? Unless they wear the same cologne or perfume as your partner, have a no perfume on date night rule. If you are even thinking maybe about having an affair, get in the habit of having extra shirts and the like at work and sending your shirts and suits to a dry cleaner. What goes into the hamper at home could kill you.
2. They Are Careful With Selfies And Social Media Posts
Very recently, a woman was caught cheating. How? Well, she was away on business and posted a sexy selfie to her hubby’s phone from her hotel room. So? Well, clearly visible in the background there was a pair of men’s boots. Or in the movie It’s Complicated, where Alec Baldwin is doing a nude broadcast to his lover, played by Meryl Streep. Only problem was everybody and the world ended up seeing it, causing much family angst and upset. In a world of instant images and social media, be careful you don’t out yourself. And even if you think you can take refuge in a Snapchat’s disappearing post, the person receiving it can screenshot it and save it forever.
1. If Confronted By Their Significant Other, They Deny Everything
This may seem cold, callous and sneaky. And that’s because it almost certainly is just that. But if their partner is only suspicious and has no concrete evidence, then effective cheaters always, always, always resolutely deny that they have been unfaithful. They get outraged: How could their partner possibly think they would do that? They reassure their significant other and tell them it’s all in their head. Now, if they are confronted with hard, concrete evidence, then the fallback position is simple: Effective cheaters then get very upset, beg for forgiveness and pull out that tactic of cheaters since the dawn of time: They suggest family counseling. “We” need to work at our marriage, they say. We belong together. It will never happen again… Oh, a picture with a cute puppy or kitten probably would help.