8 Easy Ways to Catch a Cheater Through Text Messages - wikiHow (2024)

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1Try recovering their deleted texts.

2Use a text spying app.

3Go through your partner’s texts.

4Look for coded messages on your partner’s phone.

5Pay attention to their texting habits.

6Try catfishing your partner.

7Confront your partner about your suspicions.

8Decide whether or not to move on if your partner has been cheating.

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Co-authored byJohn Keeganand Aly Rusciano

Last Updated: June 30, 2024

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You’ve noticed that your partner is acting differently. Maybe they’re being more secretive or hiding their phone whenever you come into the room. Are they cheating on you and texting someone else? It’s always best to be honest with your partner, but sometimes you just need some proof. Keep reading to learn how you can catch your partner cheating through text messages.

1

Try recovering their deleted texts.

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  1. Your partner may be deleting suspicious texts if they’re cheating. Getting your hands on those deleted texts can give you the proof you need. Recovering deleted text messages on Android and Apple devices usually involves connecting the phone to a computer to access a backup.[1]

    • In order to recover deleted texts yourself, the messages will need to have been included in a backup to cloud storage before they were deleted.
    • There are also free and paid apps that can help you recover deleted text messages. These apps only require you to download a software onto your computer and plug the phone in using a USB.
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2

Use a text spying app.

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  1. Keeping tabs on your partner’s texting can help you know if they’re cheating. Text spying apps will secretly monitor your partner’s device, sending you all their ingoing and outgoing text messages. Simply download the app on your partner’s phone, enter your account information, and then monitor your partner’s texts by logging into the app’s website on your computer.[2]

    • mSpy, SpyBubble, and Spyzie are highly rated spy apps that can help you track your partner’s text messages, phone calls, social media, and even their location.
    • These apps are free to download, but some of them offer additional features if you sign up for a monthly subscription.
    • Keep in mind that using spying apps is only legal if you have permission from your partner. By Federal law, you are not allowed to view, read, or listen to anything on someone else’s devices unless you have consent to do so. Notifying your partner about what you’re doing may seem counter intuitive, but it’ll help you avoid legal action and be upfront with them.
  1. Scrolling through your partner’s messages may give you the proof you need. When they’re busy, take a peek at their phone to see if they’re texting anyone new. If your partner has a lock on their phone, come up with an excuse to use their phone. Then, when you have the phone, take a quick second to scroll through their messages without them noticing.[3] Here are some excuses you can try:

    • “The map on my phone isn’t working. Can I check yours?”
    • “My phone died. Can I use yours to look at the menu?”
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4

Look for coded messages on your partner’s phone.

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  1. Your partner may have adopted a text language to hide their tracks. When you see a text with an unknown abbreviation, ask yourself what the context of the text is. Is the text flirty? Could the text be a sexual innuendo? Dig for details and look for context clues, and remember that you won’t know the full story unless you talk with your partner. Here are some cheating codes to look out for:[4]

    • ASL/ASLP: Age/Sex/Location or Age/Sex/Location/Picture. This is usually used as an introduction or for a hook-up.
    • NSFS: Not Suitable for Spouse. This is typically used to warn the texter that what they’ve sent could get the recipient in trouble with their partner.
    • IRL: In Real Life. This is often used when people in a virtual relationship want to meet up in-person.

5

Pay attention to their texting habits.

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  1. Be aware of red flags and listen to your gut. Analyze what’s going on around you. Is your partner acting differently? Is there a tension between you two that you just can’t pinpoint? You’re smart. If something doesn’t feel right, do a little digging before jumping to any conclusions.[5]

    • Are they tucking their phone away when you walk in? This could be a sign that they are hiding more than an embarrassing picture. Your partner might be getting in the habit of putting their phone down when you’re around because they’re scared you’ll catch them talking to someone else.
    • Do they lock their phone when you’re around? This could be a sign that they don’t want you seeing anything on their phone. Maybe they’ve changed their password and refuse to tell you, or they immediately screen lock their phone when you ask what they’re doing.
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6

Try catfishing your partner.

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  1. Catfishing (messaging your partner as someone else) can help you catch them in a lie. Create a new email, WhatsApp account, or social media profile. With a fake name and profile picture, reach out to your partner to see if they’ll flirt with your fake persona. By pretending to be someone else, you may be able to catch them cheating.[6]

    • This tactic can be risky and could possibly make things between you and your partner worse if they find out, so be careful. Think of this as your last resort to get answers.

7

Confront your partner about your suspicions.

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  1. You deserve to know if your partner is cheating or not. Communication is essential for any relationship, and it’s better to be honest upfront with your partner. When you’re ready, ask them to set aside time so you can talk. Explain how you feel and what makes you believe they are cheating.[7]

    • “Is it okay if we talk tonight? I have some things I want to ask you.”
    • “Have you been seeing or talking to someone else? That really hurts me.”
    • “I saw the text messages on your phone. I know you’re seeing someone else.”
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8

Decide whether or not to move on if your partner has been cheating.

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  1. Having suspicions that your partner is cheating can really sting. It’s okay if you’re not sure how to move forward in the relationship. Take some time to reflect on what’s happened and know that it’s okay to ask for help. Talk to friends, family members, and/or a counselor after confronting your partner. Healing takes time, but you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone.[8]

    • You can’t control your partner’s actions, but you can control your own. Do what you feel is right for you.
    • love is respect is a national resource you can call if you ever need relationship advice or support: 1-886-331-9474.
    • Reader Poll: We asked 423 wikiHow readers who've caught their partner cheating over text, and 57% of them agreed that the best way to handle the situation is by breaking up immediately. [Take Poll]

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  • Question

    When does text messaging count as cheating?

    Tara Vossenkemper, PhD, LPC
    Licensed Professional Counselor

    Dr. Tara Vossenkemper is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Founder and Managing Director of The Counseling Hub, LLC, a group counseling practice located in Columbia, Missouri. She is also the Founder of and a Business Consultant with Tara Vossenkemper Consulting, LLC, a consulting service for therapy practice owners. With over nine years of experience, she specializes in using the Gottman Method of relationship therapy with couples on the brink of divorce, who have conflict, or who feel disconnected from one another. Dr. Vossenkemper holds a BA in Psychology from The University of Missouri, Saint Louis, an MA in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University, and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from The University of Missouri, Saint Louis. She has also completed Level 3 training in the Gottman Method Couples Therapy approach and has been formally trained in both the Prepare-Enrich Premarital Couples Counseling approach and the PREP Approach for couples counseling.

    Tara Vossenkemper, PhD, LPC

    Licensed Professional Counselor

    Expert Answer

    Text messaging can count as cheating if there an element of secrecy and emotional connection involved (with someone other than the person's partner). Even emotional intimacy and secrecy with another person falls into affair territory.

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  • Question

    How do you bring up a suspicion of cheating?

    John Keegan
    Dating Coach

    John Keegan is a Dating Coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. With over 10 years of professional experience, he runs The Awakened Lifestyle, where he uses his expertise in dating, attraction, and social dynamics to help people find love. He teaches and holds dating workshops internationally, from Los Angeles to London and from Rio de Janeiro to Prague. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Humans of New York, and Men's Health.

    John Keegan

    Dating Coach

    Expert Answer

    Mention how you're feeling as soon as you start feeling suspicious. Try to have an adult discussion where you mention that you're not the jealous type, but that you feel like something isn't adding up. Then, see what the other person says.

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  • Question

    What are the first signs of cheating?

    John Keegan
    Dating Coach

    John Keegan is a Dating Coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. With over 10 years of professional experience, he runs The Awakened Lifestyle, where he uses his expertise in dating, attraction, and social dynamics to help people find love. He teaches and holds dating workshops internationally, from Los Angeles to London and from Rio de Janeiro to Prague. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Humans of New York, and Men's Health.

    John Keegan

    Dating Coach

    Expert Answer

    They might repeatedly get home later than they said they would, or call you later than they promised. They might also not show up for a planned event, or smell like someone else's perfume and cologne. Above all else, though, their actions and words won't add up over a period of time, and you'll know in your gut that something isn't right.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

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      About This Article

      8 Easy Ways to Catch a Cheater Through Text Messages - wikiHow (40)

      Co-authored by:

      John Keegan

      Dating Coach

      This article was co-authored by John Keegan and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano. John Keegan is a Dating Coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. With over 10 years of professional experience, he runs The Awakened Lifestyle, where he uses his expertise in dating, attraction, and social dynamics to help people find love. He teaches and holds dating workshops internationally, from Los Angeles to London and from Rio de Janeiro to Prague. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Humans of New York, and Men's Health. This article has been viewed 152,627 times.

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      Co-authors: 8

      Updated: June 30, 2024

      Views:152,627

      Categories: Texting

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