How do cheaters react when confronted? 16 classic examples!

It’s determined: you’re 100% sure that your partner is cheating, and planning to confront them about their unfaithfulness.

We all know that cheating isn’t a trivial matter; it has the power to forever change people’s lives.

With how severe cheating is, it makes us wonder: how do cheaters react when confronted?

And I’m sorry to break this to you all, but a cheater’s meltdown is not a pretty sight to behold. Let me show you just what I mean!

Here are cheaters’ 16 most common reactions when getting caught:

1. They will be shocked and speechless.

They will be shocked and speechless.

Usually, cheaters’ initial reaction will be shock; they’re going to be speechless at first because they didn’t see it coming.

They won’t know where to start—their words will stumble and be all over the place.

Panic is also quite common in situations like these.

Their mind will be racing in all different directions and scavenging for a somewhat appropriate response.

2. When confronted, a cheater will most likely deny everything at first.

The first stage: denial.

When a cheater gets confronted, most of the time they’re going to deny the whole thing.

They will try to make it seem as if YOU are the one lying:

“What? That’s crazy! I’ve never cheated on you!”

Until you show them proof, that is—in which case, they will slowly breadcrumb you the truth.

I would say one of the most interesting things about this situation is that even after being shown proof, some cheaters continue their games of denial.

The audacity.

3. There’s a high chance that they’ll get angry and aggressive.

It’s sad to say, but most of these cheaters will get angry for being caught—in severe cases, even aggressive.

They might raise their voice or even snap at you for confronting their cheating habits.

They will act as if they’re irritated at you for even bringing up something, that in reality, you have every right to bring up.

“Would you just cut it out already? You’re so annoying, I told you that I didn’t cheat.”

Insults and shouting aren’t that uncommon either.

4. Gaslighting is the favorite trick in cheaters’ books.

Gaslighting is the favorite trick in cheaters’ books.

It’s quite common for cheaters to *attempt* to gaslight their partner—regardless of proof.

Even if you checked their phone and clearly saw they were up to no good, the cheater will still make you question yourself and reality:

  • “No, I never did that.”
  • “Are you sure you’re feeling fine? Maybe you should rest a bit.”
  • “That (evidence) doesn’t even prove anything. Are you okay?”
  • “I don’t remember ever doing/saying that.”

All this, and more, are done as a desperate attempt to manipulate what you know is true—do not fall for their tricks.

5. Irrational excuses.

Of course, when getting confronted, cheaters will try to come up with all kinds of excuses.

They do this in a way to take a part of their guilt away and make themselves more forgivable.

They will try to excuse their actions instead of taking accountability.

  • “I was drunk!”
  • “I wasn’t in a very good place! I was stressed because of how much I’ve been working.”
  • “I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Basically, anything that makes them feel better about themselves and the situation.

Be prepared to hear a lot of desperate excuses—however, never believe them.

Cheating is cheating, no matter what.

6. A classic: Cheaters usually try to blame their significant other.

Once again: the audacity.

When and if you decide to confront your cheating partner, know that they might attempt to blame you for their infidelity.

They might make it seem as if it’s your fault that they cheated—that you somehow didn’t care for them.

A last resort is to invite you to their pity party, really.

Expect to hear lines such as:

  • “It’s because you have been so busy lately.”
  • “If you would’ve spent more time with me, this wouldn’t have happened!”
  • “We rarely sleep together anymore. It’s not my fault!”

Manipulation at its finest—don’t take the bait because it’s not your fault they aren’t mature enough to stay loyal.

7. They might even blame their affair partner.

Following up on what I just mentioned—cheaters will also attempt to blame the other person.

Making it seem as if their affair person was the one who threw themselves at them; according to your partner, your partner has no part in it!

They will attempt to blame and berate the other person for ‘seducing’ them; cheaters will throw their affair partners under the bus to save themselves.

Remember, it’s our partners who owe us loyalty—not the other person.

Not only that but there’s a chance that the other person didn’t even know your partner was in a relationship.

But your partner knows and knew all the time.

No temptation should be strong enough to come between two people who say they love each other.

8. They accuse you back.

Or, they might turn the tables and accuse their partner of cheating.

Another classic play from cheaters who get confronted: they might accuse their partner of cheating.

This is an especially annoying (and common) one.

Be prepared to be accused right back by the cheater—this is their defense mechanism.

They might bring up something—anything—that could even remotely help their case.

It’s something trivial and meaningless, such as saying that you’re cheating through text, or that you are going out with friends and that is suspicious.

They’re basically saying anything they can to make you seem like the cheater in this mess and then the victim.

9. A cheating husband or wife may attempt to downplay the situation.

Downplaying the situation is cheaters’ thing: they make it seem as if what they did wasn’t too big of a deal.

They’re going to make you think you’re overreacting; convincing you their cheating wasn’t severe.

A cheater will revolve their argument around the nature and intensity of what they did.

For example, a partner who got caught sexting might say something like:

  • “Come on! You’re crying because of this?!”
  • “It was just a picture, I don’t understand the fuss about it.”
  • “There was only one person. I promise there weren’t others!”
  • “It wasn’t a big deal, I swear. It was only once and we didn’t go too far.”

Do not allow your cheating partner to get away with it by downplaying a very serious situation.

10. Cheaters who get confronted might even victimize themselves.

Watch out for this manipulation tactic!

Cheaters react in very particular ways when they get confronted—one of the ways is playing the victim card.

This could mean anything from them blaming other people, other factors, or even making you look like the mean one.

They’re going to make you feel bad for bringing up their cheating, and might say things like:

  • “I guess I’m always the bad guy, no matter what I do.”
  • “Please, just stop it. You’re making me feel like I’m a piece of garbage.”
  • “I feel awful about the whole situation and you’re only adding to my plate.”

They want you to feel bad for them while also making you believe you’re a terrible person for even confronting them about it.

11. Cheaters may attempt to beat themselves up over it to gain pity.

When you confront a cheater, don’t be surprised once they start beating themselves up over something THEY did while being fully aware.

To gain sympathy, they’re going to pretend they’re being hard on themselves:

  • “I’m a horrible person for doing that to you”
  • “I can’t believe I did that. I’m the worst.”
  • “I never meant to hurt you. It was a stupid mistake.”
  • “You’ve always been too good for me, yet I did this. I’m just the worst”

Though it’s possible for a partner to feel remorseful about what they’ve done, this isn’t the case.

In this case, they’re simply trying to manipulate you into getting pity; they’re hoping to do damage control.

12. Expect a lot of sweet talking when you confront them.

Expect a lot of sweet talking when you confront them.

Speaking of damage control, cheaters tend to sweet-talk their partners to calm the situation.

This is another trick that, unfortunately, a lot of people fall for.

For example, a cheater might try to compliment their partner, minimize the situation, or even do comparisons.

Don’t be shocked if you hear something along the lines of:

  • “Baby, you know you’re the best. You don’t have to worry about that.”
  • “It happened only once and he/she was nowhere near as good as you.”
  • “You’re the only person who has my love. What happened was just a mistake.”

Keep an eye out for behavior like this, and don’t ever, under any circumstances, let the cheater sweet-talk you.

13. Sadly, some people don’t care at all.

When we’re getting ready for the confrontation, we have to keep in mind that any reaction is possible—including no reaction.

Some people don’t care that they were caught, they also don’t care enough to explain and save the relationship.

They will have little to no reaction, or even try to dismiss the whole topic.

Ignoring is also common for cheaters like these—absolutely no remorse whatsoever.

14. When confronted, cheaters might also come clean and apologize.

Though at this point there’s no coming clean since we already know what they did, this is another possible reaction.

The cheating partner might come clean and confess everything and apologize.

Whether the apology is sincere or not, that’s up to them—make sure to assess that they mean it.

They might be apologizing simply because they got caught, or because they feel bad.

Even so, things are going to change from now on for the relationship/marriage; a lot of decisions need to be made.

15. Some cheaters leave then and there.

This is the case with a lot of cheaters.

They won’t stay long enough to hear the end of the confrontation—they’ll simply leave.

They know they got caught and there’s nothing they can do to reverse it.

That, or they were never serious about the relationship to begin with, so they feel no guilt.

It could also be a sign of embarrassment; regardless, giving up is another way cheaters react when confronted.

16. Cheating partners will most likely plead for forgiveness.

Cheating partners will most likely plead for forgiveness.

And we’ve come to the most common reaction: a cheater pleading for forgiveness.

They’re going to beg and cry as well as ask for forgiveness—anything that’ll get you to stay.

This also includes a lot of promises that may or may not be kept and an effort to mend the relationship.

They know what they did is wrong, and they know that they’re going to face the consequences, so expect to hear a sob story.

And whether you’re thinking of forgiving them or not, that’s entirely up to you!

Just think about how this will affect your life and well-being in the long run; always prioritize yourself.

Taking a look at how an innocent person typically reacts when accused of cheating.

If we’re doubting a partner’s loyalty and thinking of confronting them about it, it’s best we do so with proof.

This way, we’re not ruining the relationship and potentially our partner’s well-being.

However, on the off-chance that you did confront your partner without being 100% sure they are cheating, know that there’s a chance they’re innocent.

When confronting an innocent person, their reactions could vary.

More often than not, they’re going to be surprised or in disbelief—rightfully so as being accused will come as a shock to them.

They’re going to deny the accusations and ask for proof or at the very least a solid reason why their loyalty is being doubted.

They will do whatever they can to prove their innocence and will cooperate with their partner’s efforts.

Laying the facts: 9 guaranteed signs of cheating.

Cheaters act a very certain way; their behavior completely changes because of the nature of their actions.

  • They aren’t as affectionate as they used to be;
  • Every little thing you do irritates them;
  • There is a decrease in intimacy;
  • They’re excessively secret and stingy with their electronics;
  • They have frequent “business trips” and other excuses to get out of the house;
  • They frequent dating sites;
  • A partner who is online cheating will get texts and calls from people you have never heard about;
  • They spend less time with you;
  • And they become extremely defensive.

Before we go through with any assumptions, we first have to make sure that a partner’s behavior is suspicious—look out for any potential signs.

And if they’re truly cheating, don’t let their reactions and futile attempts change your mind regarding the future.

Disrespect isn’t to be tolerated.

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