This Is the Best Way to Catch Your Partner Cheating, a Survey Says

Hint: It’s not looking at their phones!

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Few things are worse than having a hunch that your partner is cheating. And your concerns might be justified; about 1 in 5 men and women cheat on their partners, according to a 2015 poll. If you recognize any of the classic signs you have a cheating partner (including the sound of their voice!), it might be time to take action. But how should you follow up on your suspicions?

surveyCourtesy Superdrug Online DoctorA recent survey by Superdrug Online Doctor, a virtual pharmacy service, provides some interesting insights on this complicated issue. Among the 1,000 Europeans and Americans who suspected their partner of cheating, most used at least one of six methods to check up on their partners: glancing at their partner’s phones, reading their messages, stalking their social media, checking their browsing history, questioning mutual friends, and secretly following them.

The most effective strategy? Most suspicious partners found success in following their significant others, the survey reported. In fact, while only 1 in 10 respondents were brave enough to choose this method, nearly 50 percent of them found evidence of their partner cheating. Knowing the actual day when your partner is most likely to cheat might help, too.

But take these results with a grain of salt, the researchers warn. “Quite aside from its success rate at uncovering evidence, following one’s partner represents a commitment to investigating their loyalty that goes far beyond a casual and natural suspicion,” they said. “Repeatedly following a partner, especially if it induces fear, is considered stalking and can have significant emotional effects. In less serious circumstances, it’s still a red flag that something in the relationship is wrong, even if there is a genuine cause for concern in the mind of the suspicious person.”

Other top methods included snooping via partners’ messages (39.5 percent), questioning mutual friends (38.2 percent), and checking their partner’s browsing history (32.2 percent). These may be more reasonable strategies than following a significant other, be careful; accessing a partner’s phone without their permission is against the law in the UK. In that case, simply communicating with your partner may be the best route to take.

Still, regardless of the snooping method, make sure you don’t do these 10 things if you happen to uncover an affair.

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.