19 Clear Indicators of Dishonesty in a Relationship

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By Jonathan Trent

Trust is the bedrock of any relationship, so when that trust begins to fall apart, and suspicion sets in, it can be a downward spiral toward a potential breakup. Here are 19 things to watch out for in your relationship that might suggest your partner is being dishonest.

Inconsistent Communication

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Does your partner frequently change their story or avoid direct answers? Inconsistent communication, with your partner constantly adjusting what they tell you, can be a sign they’re trying to hide something. If they’re unwilling to share details about their day, you have to ask yourself why.

Sudden Secretive Behavior

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Secretive behavior that comes out of nowhere can be a sign they’ve recently begun doing something they don’t want you to be aware of. This behavior could be increased privacy with their phone or sudden changes in their routine without explaining why, so watch out for it!

Financial Secrecy

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Much like regular dishonesty, financial secrecy could mean a reluctance to discuss matters pertaining to money or avoidance of letting you see recent bank transactions. According to Investopedia, financial dishonesty can include excessive spending without telling the other partner, which is understandably a red flag.

Lack of Emotional Transparency

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A lack of emotional transparency can manifest through avoidance of discussing feelings or emotional responses. This can often be the result of dishonesty, as people try to avoid admitting how they really feel. It can suggest an unwillingness to share things with you, which will never be healthy for a relationship.

Body Language Cues

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Avoiding eye contact is one of the most common signals that somebody may be hiding something. Your partner might avoid meeting your eye during conversations or display a defensive posture, such as crossed arms or excessive fidgeting; this indicates that something just isn’t right.

Changes in Social Behavior

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Is your partner usually motivated to spend time with you socially and enjoy shared activities? If they’re now suddenly uninterested, this could be a sign of disloyal behavior. They might be strict about who exactly you see and don’t see, such as wanting you to stay away from certain friends. It’s pretty suspicious!

Contradictory Information

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There might be discrepancies between what your partner says and does, or you might have noticed conflicting information about what they told you months ago versus what they’re telling you now. If you’ve noticed that certain stories don’t add up, even if it’s just about little things, watch out–they sound rather dishonest!

Unexplained Changes in Appearance

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VeryWellMind cites sudden changes in appearance, such as “dressing nicer than normal,” as a sign that your partner might be having an affair. Sudden changes, coupled with other suspicious behavior, could mean that something is afoot. They might have improved their grooming habits or secretly bought new clothing. Bring it up to them!

Deflection and Blame Shifting

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When one partner is dishonest, they can often shift the blame onto the other to avoid attention. Deflecting questions, projecting, and refusing to take responsibility can be a sign they’re hiding something, riddled with guilt. They might accuse you just to level the playing field, which is pretty sinister.

Password Protection and Private Browsing

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If your partner was always relaxed about their technology use but is now setting up passwords for everything, it can be a sign there’s something to hide. They might also have shifted to private browsing mode, constantly deleting old messages or activity.

Changes in Sexual Behavior

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Obvious changes in sexual behavior can indicate that a partner might be keeping something from you. It’s important to note that this doesn’t just mean a decrease in intimacy; it could also mean a sudden increase in activity stemming from their unwillingness to discuss sexual matters.

Avoidance of Conflict Resolution

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Refusing to engage in any discussion about relationship issues can be a sign that your partner is not being open with you. They might deflect any conflict by rapidly changing the subject or being stubborn about compromising. You might also find it impossible to work through any confrontation with them, which can be detrimental.

Gaslighting Tactics

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If your partner is gaslighting you, you may find yourself questioning your own sanity, points out Business Insider, but don’t fall for it. Gaslighting tactics are a means for one partner to control the other, and dishonesty often goes hand-in-hand with this because they’ll happily twist the truth to suit their own reality.

Lack of Accountability

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A partner who is suddenly feeling less committed to a relationship might hide the truth by simply ignoring any accountability. They won’t follow through with promises, but they also won’t apologize for it, either. They might also refuse to admit that their behavior is having any negative impact on the relationship. It’s completely counterproductive!

Secretive Meetings or Communication

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Have you noticed your partner trying to hide any meetings or messages with a certain person? They might also be making excuses to go out ‘alone’ when they’re actually meeting someone. Trying to conceal phone calls is a clear indicator of this, as is an increased number of late nights. Stay vigilant!

Unexplained Emotional Distance

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Your partner might have withdrawn from emotional intimacy, become less affectionate with you, or show a reluctance to discuss how they feel about you. Withdrawing is often a preferred tactic for dishonest partners, as it allows them to avoid telling the truth without telling lies.

History of Deception

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While it isn’t a guarantee that a partner is always going to be dishonest, previous behavior can be a good indicator. If they have a history of deception in relationships, or they’ve even betrayed you in the past, they’ll probably do it again. Be careful giving out second chances!

Changes in Verbal Patterns

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Your partner’s tone of voice is an important indicator of whether they are telling the truth, as TIME Magazine explains. If your partner’s verbal patterns have changed, such as stuttering or speaking too quickly (or slowly), this can be a sign they’re trying to cover something up or carefully think through their wording.

You Have a Gut Feeling

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On a final note, nothing can be trusted more than your gut feeling in a relationship. If your gut is telling you that your partner might be withholding something, it’s likely the case. Always trust your intuition when something feels off, and confront them about it. It’s for your own good!