If you’ve ever been cheated on, you know that discovering a partner’s affair hits harder than a punch to the abdomen. It doesn’t matter how sure you were about the suspected infidelity — nothing can prepare you for the initial shock of finding proof of an affair.
That feeling may be universal, but the details leading up the discovery — how you knew he or she was cheating on you — tend to vary.
I have sampled, different stories from around the web, of men and women who have been shot with this arrow of infidelity.
1. She was informed by the mistress.
“His mistress told me at the wedding of a mutual friend so that was nice. I kept my cool until we left; I wasn’t giving either of them the satisfaction of seeing me look like the crazy person or ruining someone’s big day.”
2. The phone bill gave it away.
“The phone bill was three times higher than it should have been. There was over 400 minutes to one number. The kicker was that she also had a company cell phone with unlimited calls that I obviously never would have known about. The guy was someone she worked with. She literally wanted to get caught because she was too weak to tell me to my face.”
3. Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature tipped him off.
“She had a number of alternate Facebook pages under pseudonyms. One day, one of them showed up on my ‘suggested friends’ and I said, ‘Hey, this girl looks a lot like my S.O.’ So I looked at it. Sure enough, it was her, and she had an active relationship going on with someone else. I later found two more of these pages.
4. Her partner told her midway through a big move.
“I was driving across country to move. He had moved ahead of us and chose to wait until we were 600 miles from home and about halfway there. This was after I had resigned my job, given up our apartment, packed a U-Haul (that my mom and dad were driving), and become certified to teach in another state. I had the dog, cat, two mice and my child in my car. We turned around and went back after he told me. He left me with an incredible amount of debt and a great deal of heartache.”
5. His S.O. simply told him the truth.
“She told me to stay at a friend’s house as her ex-boyfriend was coming over for three days. She was very upfront about everything. This was no exception.”
6. She caught him in the act.
“I came home early from work and walked in on them. Yep, that’s about as cliché as it gets, but there you go. The funny thing is, I had wanted an open relationship, but he said that he couldn’t deal with that. It turns out he was just selfish.”
7. A text message gave it away.
“My ex-fiancé had both an iPhone and a Macbook. If you know anything about iMessage, you know this means that he could send and receive texts from his laptop. I was using his laptop for homework (with his permission) while he was at work. He got a text message from his ex, who he talked with on a regular basis. I was uncomfortable with her since she was ‘the one that got away,’ but she was married and he insisted he just thought of her as a good friend and I chose to believe and trust my then-fiancé. But the text she sent him that day seemed strange, just randomly saying ‘Just texting to say I love you’ or something like that, and it just popped up in the corner for me to read. I opened the messages. I found hours of sexting messages. Hours. He’d been sexting her that morning even, when I had slept next to him all night and we’d cuddled and kissed goodbye when he went to work. I wasn’t home when he returned.”
8. He found out on an international flight.
“I had just got on a flight in London headed to Las Vegas. Sitting next to my girlfriend and she wants to show me something she has planned for the trip so gets out her phone. It opens to her text messages and shows a chat with a guy (I know him) saying how much she is going to miss him and how she doesn’t wanna go away with me anyway. Then the doors close on the plane. That was a really freaking fun 10-11 hours.”
9. A notification from Tinder gave it away.
“He was fixing something on my computer and I was looking on. His phone was on the table next to me. It buzzed. I said ‘Hey, your phone just buzzed, you have a new… update from Tinder?’”
10. He found out she was having a sleepover at her boss’ house.
“It was the night of her company holiday party. I had to stay home and babysit our five-year-old son (grandma was supposed to, but she fell and was in the hospital with a broken hip.) I figured my wife would go and then come home early. Turns out, she was planning to stay the night at a hotel so she ‘could drink and not worry about driving.’ I woke up about 3 a.m. just knowing something was wrong (that’s never happened before) and checked “Find My Phone” to see where she was. She was with her boss at his apartment.”
11. She received an anonymous letter in the mail.
“I got a letter in the mail from a college I never went to. Weird, right? Inside, I found the entire texting history between my now ex-husband and his lover. I have determined that the sender was most likely the lover herself or her scorned husband (local police officer.) Added bonus: At the time, I was seven months pregnant.”
12. His insurance agent tipped him off.
“My insurance agent emailed me. I was on a deployment, and my now ex-wife and my former friend drunkenly wrapped my car around a light pole. My agent (I know him from college, he was at the wedding) happened to see the two being overly familiar at a bar, the same day as the date on the insurance claim.”
13. She received an instant message from his mistress.
“The other woman messaged me on AIM while she was dumping him. I ended up messaging him after she told me it was over and asking how it felt. ‘How did what feel?’ he asked. ‘How does it feel to get dumped by two girls in one day?’ I said. Then I signed off triumphantly.”