Your partner’s relationship with your parents could tell you whether or not they’re cheating, according to affairs site Ashley Madison

Pay attention to what your partner thinks of your parents. Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock
  • There are many signs of cheating, from behaviour to body language.
  • A surprising sign your partner is being unfaithful could be found in how they treat their in-laws (your parents).
  • If they are distant and disinterested in your parents, they might be trying to absolve guilt.
  • They also might not be that invested in the relationship at all.

What qualifies as cheating differs from person to person. For some, just texting someone else is enough the be suspicious, while others only count sexual contact as being unfaithful.

Wherever your line is, there are signs to look out for that your partner is cheating. One surprising one, according to affairs site Ashley Madison, is how they treat their in-laws (your parents).

A survey of 1,400 Ashley Madison members found that 61% aren’t close with their in-laws. Nearly half (44%) said they only see them once a year or less, and 85% said they didn’t care what their in-laws thought of them.

In other words, if your partner is detached from your parents, or has no interest in impressing them, they might be more likely to stray.

Being distant from in-laws can either be a cause or a symptom of an unhappy marriage. Or it could be a sign that monogamy isn’t a priority.

According to Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist and author of “The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity,” a lack of interest in a partner’s family could make it easier for people to cheat, because it means less family to risk betraying,

“Alternatively, a close extended family makes cheating a higher risk behaviour because it means not only hurting your spouse but disappointing the extended family if you get caught,” she said. “If you don’t care for your in-laws and aren’t invested in their opinion of you, you have less to lose if your cheating is exposed.”

Claire Stott, a relationship psychologist and data analyst at dating app Badoo, told INSIDER if you meet each other’s friends and family, a relationship is opened up and you can be closer.

“Usually you get a deeper connection and trust once you’ve met each other’s families and friends, because you’ve kind of got more people to answer to,” she said. “It sounds a bit strange but you’re more likely to be honest and open with them if you might be potentially cutting down these other people you’ve formed friendships with. There’s more in it for you if you open yourself up to their friends, and if they open themselves up to yours.”

Being distant also means the fear of getting caught is lessened, so the cheating partner may feel less guilt about who they’re letting down.

“Our members are really focused on keeping their affair life private, which means creating some distance from extended family and using that time to connect with someone like-minded on our site,” said Isabella Mise, the communications director at Ashley Madison. “They understand the importance of keeping things discrete and want to reduce the opportunity for unwanted judgment or criticism that often comes from in-laws.”

A study earlier this year found that October is the peak month for men to sign up to Ashley Madison, possibly because of cuffing season. So if you’ve noticed some odd behaviour or distance between your spouse and parents, it could be something to consider.