The concept that your boyfriend or husband is cheating on you can be tough to think about. Although it’s definitely not the ideal situation, it’s important that you discover if it’s true as early as possible. It’s up to you whether you want to seek reconciliation afterward or not, but you need all the pieces of the puzzle to do it. If you want to determine if he’s cheating, here’s a path you can take.

Notice Any “Stereotypical” Cheating Signs

Although the stereotypical signs of cheating can sometimes be a bit exaggerated, they’re not all incorrect. Coming home later, taking more “business trips,” and generally being more distant are all genuinely things that can indicate that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you. This is how many people first start suspecting a cheating partner. Remember that all evidence is stronger when you have multiple pieces, so this should only be a starting point.

Pay Attention to Changing Behaviors

Beyond stereotypical signs of cheating, you’ll also just want to pay attention to anything that’s a drastic change from the norm. If your partner is usually extremely committed to his work, it might actually be more suspicious if he stops jetting off to business meetings every weekend. Obviously, changing behaviors can be a sign of many things, not just cheating, but if it’s combined with other suspicious activity, stay alert.

Keep a Record of Anything You Find

One of the best things you can do is to keep a written record detailing everything. Once you’re fairly sure that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you, you’ll want to have a rock-solid case when it’s time to confront him about it. Make sure he can’t claim that you’re misremembering, and make sure you’re able to accurately talk about everything that’s aroused your suspicions. Write it all down so that you can access it later.

Don’t Engage in Shady Behaviors

There are lots of things you might want to try when you’re trying to determine whether your partner is cheating on you. Especially if the situation starts to become more obvious, you might want to get evidence in any way you can. Try your best to avoid these behaviors. When you confront your partner, you don’t want him to turn the situation around on you and claim that you’re just as bad as he is. Keep it above ground.

Approach on Equal Footing

Once you’ve gathered enough evidence to really prove your point, you should set a time to confront your partner. If you aren’t worried that he’ll get violent or abusive, it’s a good idea to do it at home with just the two of you. On the other hand, if your safety is a concern, consider inviting over a trusted friend who can help keep things civil. Don’t be accusatory or angry. Just express your worries and try to have a genuine conversation. That conversation might just surprise you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Bring Up Your Concerns

Remember that you do deserve answers when it comes to your partner’s behavior. Even if your partner can genuinely explain these behaviors with something innocent, he should do that. It’s tempting to get angry and want to rage at him with the information you have, but always remember that things are never as simple as they seem.

There’s two sides to every story, but there’s also an ultimate truth. If you need to use additional tools to find out if he’s cheating, that might be your best option. Give him the chance to explain himself, but don’t feel like you have to stay in the relationship if things just aren’t working out. Regardless of whether he’s cheating, you deserve the opportunity to know.