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24 Classic Things Cheaters Say When Confronted

Have you been planning to confront your partner about cheating on you?

You’ll need to know the most common things a cheater might say.

Prepare yourself with this article explaining two dozen of the most common excuses.

They don’t mean anything to me.

While this is supposed to sound like a comforting comment, it’s quite insulting. Your cheating partner is trying to convince you that they risked your entire relationship for something meaningless.

It’s a throwaway statement to calm you down in the moment. In the end, it reveals a lot about your partner’s commitment to your relationship – not much. If they don’t respect you or the person they cheated with, they aren’t worth keeping around.

We’re just friends.

Yes, people can have platonic friendships. But when your partner is being confronted about cheating? It’s a tired and predictable answer. Emphasizing the friendship can actually raise suspicion when enough warning signs are present.

If someone is genuinely friends with your partner, there are many ways to include them in your life without risking your intimacy. If your partner remains secretive or defensive, it’s time for a more serious conversation.

You’re blowing this way out of proportion.

This response is all about dismissing the problem. Your partner will argue that what you saw or heard was a great exaggeration and nowhere near the truth. Unfortunately, this isn’t reassuring when you have strong suspicions of cheating.

A cheating partner often convinces themselves that infidelity is trivial. They’ll make you seem like you’re being aggressive and unreasonable over nothing. If your partner can persuade you to believe their innocence, they’ll keep the lie going.

It’s not like we had sex.

There’s more than one way to be intimate. Sexual activity is the most common and obvious form of cheating. But the underlying emotional intimacy is the real glue in a committed relationship. Damaging that connection is all it takes.

Also, your partner might be trying to split hairs with the definition of sex. If your partner was physically intimate with someone but did not have intercourse, they might be trying to slide by on a technicality.

Either way, betrayal can happen with or without sex.

It’ll never happen again.

Confronted Cheater Response 2

Well, this could be true. But will you ever trust your partner again? Once someone has shown themselves to be a cheater, they are far more likely to cheat in the future. It’s often just one more thing an unfaithful partner will say to settle you down.

A promise like this can only hold true by earning your trust over a long time. It’s not worth much on its own right now.

They came on to me, I didn’t do anything.

Your partner is trying to make a case for victim status. They absolutely couldn’t help but cheat on you because someone else started it. Since it takes “two to tango,” blaming the person who made the first move is pretty meaningless.

It’s one thing if someone makes an advance at your partner and they firmly decline. A response like that is respectful and clear. Make no mistake, cheating is most definitely a two-person activity.

I never wanted to hurt you.

This might be nice to hear at first, but it’s difficult to believe. Cheating doesn’t happen by accident. Anyone in a committed relationship knows that betrayal is harmful because that’s how trust works. End of story.

It makes no difference whether your partner wanted to hurt you or not. They turned a blind eye to the obvious consequences of cheating, hoping to get away with it anyway. Cheating hurts relationships and that’s what matters.

I love you, I’m just not “in love” with you.

Romantic relationships go through ups and downs. Even the most committed, loving couples will sometimes question whether they feel in love. That is the nature of human connection.

Sometimes people fall out of love, too. There are honest and caring ways to step out of relationships that don’t work anymore. Cheating is absolutely not one of those, and it is no excuse for betrayal.

It was only a one-time thing.

It’s tough to prove this, isn’t it? And what does it matter anyway? One moment of full betrayal is plenty to harm a relationship.

The time it takes to destroy trust is tiny compared to what it takes to build it. What matters most is how your partner takes responsibility when everything first comes out. If they continue to minimize the problem, your relationship might not last much longer.

So, you don’t trust me?

Questioning your trust is just a stalling tactic. People often get defensive when they’re caught in a lie. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to see if they can keep it going just a little longer.

If you have strong suspicions, keep digging. It may take a little time to crack through the surface. But if you have reason to doubt your partner’s honesty, you won’t rest easy until you know the truth.

You’re crazy.

Confronted Cheater Deflecting Blame

You’ve taken a swing at them, so they swipe back at you. Saying “you’re crazy” is a way to throw the blame right back at your face. If you don’t make any sense, then your accusation of cheating may not be true.

A cheater will try to discredit you, especially if you’re sniffing around too much. They’ll immediately get defensive and try to make you uncomfortable instead.

What else was I supposed to do? You never want sex anymore.

Lack of sexual interest can happen for many reasons, including physical illness, mental health issues, and stress. An honest conversation will do a lot to uncover the real problem. Couples going through a bumpy spot like this can even grow closer as they work together.

So if your partner gives you the line about not having sex anymore, they’re just tossing you a lame excuse. They probably didn’t want to work very hard in your relationship anyway.

Really? How do I know you aren’t cheating on me?

When you try to pin down your partner on some very suspicious activities, you might get the blame thrown right back at you. Do your best to hold your line and stay calm. It’s just another attempt to deflect responsibility.

Sometimes a cheating partner will panic and almost show their hand by being so defensive. If you see this, and you know you’ve been faithful, you’ve just seen a big red flag.

I can change and everything will be fine.

People can change, it’s true. But when you find out your partner’s been cheating on you, this promise rings hollow. Their ability to change is totally out of your control. More than likely, some things will not be fine, at least not right away.

While some couples can move forward successfully, cheating completely changes a relationship. It can take years for a couple to understand what it means for “everything to be fine.” You may choose not to stick around that long to find out.

It never would have happened if you…

Get your shield up, you’re about to get blasted with blame. Cheating is 100% the responsibility of the person who does it. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, whether you are kind, rude, or indifferent to your partner.

There are many ways to respond to problems in a relationship. Cheating happens to be one of the worst. No matter how troubled your relationship is, never accept fault for a destructive choice your partner makes.

It was just one stupid moment.

This response could be an excuse or a true admission of guilt. It all depends on how your partner faces the truth. Trusting is so difficult after a betrayal. What matters now is what your partner shows you each day going forward.

If they recognize all the things that led up to that moment and do everything they can to prevent it from happening again, this may be a new start. If not, it’ll just be one on a long list of excuses.

I was about to tell you anyway, and it’s all in the past.

Kids use this excuse a lot, as in, “I was just about to clean my room.” Because of their youth, kids are still learning how to take full responsibility, even when it’s uncomfortable. Unfortunately, some adults still use immature excuses for bad behavior.

Your partner hopes that you understand their good intentions and don’t come down on them too hard. That’s not exactly the response of a grown person. A partner who brushes off responsibility isn’t worth the effort.

I don’t know what I want right now.

One thing is certain – your partner is not interested in a committed relationship. Because of their secrecy, they are not fully committed to either you or the person they have cheated with.

Indecision is not a good foundation for a long-lasting relationship. If your partner can’t firmly commit to you,  this may be your answer.

I never meant for you to find out.

Of course not. That’s the whole point of being secretive, right? The biggest benefit of cheating is that you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Hiding an affair means your partner doesn’t have to face reality. Hiding means they get to play around behind your back without any consequences.

Going through an honest breakup takes guts. Infidelity is often a far more painful way to end a relationship.

I’ll end the affair, but I need some time to say goodbye.

Wait, what? This isn’t a matchmaking reality TV show. You aren’t taking turns to see which one of you can win your partner’s heart.

Don’t allow yourself to get strung along. Either both of you are going to try and work it out, or it’s time to be done. If your partner is indecisive, that may be the sign for you to end things.

Why are you always accusing me of things like that?

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” William Shakespeare got it right. You can tell when a person is trying just a little too hard. Insincerity and overacting can really stick out in a confrontation.

So when a cheater is called out, sometimes they show a bit too much disbelief. They may think they’re pulling the wool over your eyes. But if you see other red flags of cheating, keep your eyes peeled for more.

You’re just jealous.

This is another insult to make you look like an irrational fool. Your partner is merely going about their business every day. You are obsessed and jealous of anyone who gives your partner attention. Yeah, right.

You may not know what’s going on, but you know when something doesn’t feel right. Just because your partner gets attention from someone else doesn’t mean they’re cheating. But if they accuse you of being jealous (and they aren’t joking), look deeper.

Please, stop acting so insecure…

This excuse uses the word “insecure” like an insult. Whatever you do, don’t question anything your partner does or you’ll look stupid. That’s what they’re really saying.

If you actually doubt your partner’s faithfulness, that’s a pretty solid reason to feel insecure. If you felt rock solid in your relationship, you wouldn’t be asking questions in the first place.

That’s a lie you heard from one of your friends, right? He/she hates me, you know.

Again, a cheating partner will try to throw blame everywhere else but at themselves. Since they don’t want you to find out the truth, they’re willing to throw someone else under the bus.

What better opportunity to make someone else the bad guy? That snoopy friend of yours that keeps asking your partner questions? They know something’s up and you know they’ll tell you the truth. You can’t say the same for your partner.

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Jennifer Tanaka

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for helping couples struggling within their marriage, relationship, or during the divorce process.

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