By Michael Morgan Clark, PI, March 18, 2020
Is my spouse, the one who made a vow to me, really cheating on me? It can’t be? Can it? We have kids, a house, careers, etc. I just can’t believe he/she would.
Oh, he/she is. Now what? Do we stay together for the kids? What’s our long-term plan? I don’t care if I am miserable, my kids are happy…
What about the equity in the house? My retirement? His/her retirement?
And my personal favorite, “It’s cheaper to stay together.”
The above are all real and legitimate concerns. However, if you are the one that is being cheated on, I will pass along some advice that changed my life. “You have the right to be happy too.* Let those words sink in. How long are you going to stay in a relationship, connected financially and legally, long term, with someone that you can no longer trust? That is a better question.
New statistics put infidelity present in 60% of marriages in the U.S. So, what do you do if you think the other side is cheating? Well, you can do a little investigating yourself. First why do you think this? Caution here that some people are paranoid, however, if there are specific, reasonable, articulate facts or indicators then it may be worth looking into.
Now I have seen and heard everything from recording phone conversations (which can be illegal and I am not advising this) to conducting your own surveillance, to placing spyware in the phone (again not always legal and I advise against it), etc.
I have also seen during my law enforcement career, where I developed expertise in Family Law and Domestic Violence, spouses go to extreme measures such as taking the other person’s cell phone without permission, physically fighting for the phone, using GPS, etc. In my personal life I can also tell you, from experience, that some cheaters will do everything because they are okay cheating on you, but do not want to be cheated on themselves. They can make your life a living hell due to this double standard.
So how you handle it is tricky.
What are the warning signs?
1. Improved appearance
2. Secretive phone or computer use
3. Periods where your significant other is unreachable
4. Significantly less, or more, or different sex in your relationship
5. Your partner is hostile toward you and your relationship
6. An altered schedule
7. Friends seem uncomfortable around you
8. Unexplained expenses
9. Emotional intimacy has faded
10. When you ask about cheating, your partner deflects and avoids
Again, this is just a guideline, but these are good indicators. One or two, or even 3 by themselves may be nothing, or may be enough to start watching a little closer. I saw all these present, however, the ones that really hit home to me were the cell phone NEVER being on ring, and NEVER being away from her, and always sitting upside down. This coupled with never wanting to be together, always being late to family events including vacation, etc.
So, the real question: What do you do if you pretty sure something is going on? Do you hire a PI? But what if you are wrong? You will feel guilty right? I mean how could you doubt him/her? Well here is the thing. Do you want to know or not? You have a right to find out as it is your life too. If you hire a PI and it’s nothing, then oh well, now you know. However, usually where there is smoke there is fire. And remember, you have the right to be happy.
Let me also say this. Your safety may be at risk. Google the term,” Infidelity Murder” and “Infidelity, Murder, Suicide.” Again, I am speaking from either my own personal experience here, or cases I have been exposed to. But many times, if they are willing to cheat on you, they are willing to do much more. This is not always the case, but, want some proof. Look at the Peterson case out of Modesto, The Pamela Smart Affair and Murder case, and the Carey Heidt case to name a few. My point is people do weird stuff when affairs are involved.
For some it is very easy to understand why they go to this extreme, while at the same time, the majority of us are not capable of such behavior (again that doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t capable of it). Their identity is everything. Much easier to be a grieving widow / widower and get love and support from the family and community, as opposed to being discovered as a cheater. It is also easier for them financially they think. They think they are looking at the entire retirement instead of half. There may also be life insurance money involved. So, there are motivators, and some will drop to that level to take advantage. Rest assured that these cases usually wind up with an arrest or something of that nature, as the suspects are rarely as smooth as they think they are. Their plans are not usually fool proof. Their lies usually come back to bite them in the butt.
So again, I say, if you think you are being cheated on, find out one way or another. I will say a little surveillance, and the factual information you can get by utilizing a private investigator can go along way here.
In closing I’ll say that if you are being cheated on you need to address it. It must stop. In some cases it does and the couple stays together, in many that is not the outcome. Only you can decide.
For me personally, I can say, that a healthy relationship with someone who loves me and is faithful, is a thousand times different than being with someone who lies and is out for themselves. There just is no comparison. I stayed 17 trying to fix it, and for the family, which in the end, was a mistake. Again, each case is different.
“You have the right to be happy too” Credit Jana Price-Sharps; First Responder Psychologist and President of CFI, SERI, and DMZ
Michael Morgan Clark is a retired Police Sergeant, and Owner of Michael Morgan Clark, Private Investigations, based out of Fresno, California.