There are never any set rules on what to believe (or not believe) when it comes to rumors of a partner cheating (as in you never caught them in the act). Dr. Liz Lasky, a New York-based therapist who counsels couples through infidelity, says first, trust your gut.
"There are no set rules on when to trust someone around cheating. If you feel like you're not getting the whole truth, it's possible you're not! Sometimes you need to trust your gut," she says.
You can also just ask outright, as much as that sucks.
"Checking in with your partner and sharing how you feel can be important at a time like this," Dr. Lasky adds.
"The biggest clue to look out for is how you feel in the relationship," she says. "If you always feel like something is going on behind your back, listen to that and try to figure out where that comes from. This comes up a lot with my clients and sometimes there is a bonafide reason to feel this way and other times it ends up being rooted in general insecurity."
How can you tell the difference?
"There's never any way that we can tell what the 'truth' is. It's my story, your story, and a little bit in between," Dr. Lasky says, so just pay attention to any signs that may be there and the truth will eventually surface.
As for friends who accuse your partner of cheating, they are likely coming from a place of insecurity in themselves. Psychology Today says, in those cases, try not to respond with anger.
"When you’re being falsely accused or attacked, you might reveal what’s getting touched in you rather than getting defensive or irate. Maybe say something like: 'When you ask if I’m having an affair, it really hurts me. I don’t know how to reassure you that I’m not. It touches an old place of not being seen and trusted.'"
Or you could just try the good 'ol "butt out."
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