Infidelity (Cheating) is “the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner”. The definition is cold and sterile but how one feels when infidelity is suspected is another matter entirely. Feelings of betrayal, suspicion and damage to trust form the moment the thought takes hold. Whether brought on by intercepting a random text message or the lack of an explanation for being late.
Scenarios start to flood the mind about what the significant other is doing. Why are they late…again? Why haven’t they called? What are they really doing on their lunch break? Jealousy may become a factor and as the negative emotions build, the question becomes what can I do about this? Is this real? Am I overreacting? As the unsure party, you want either to reassure yourself nothing that is happening, it’s just a misunderstanding… Or you feel the need to prove something happened.
What People Do
It’s at about this time that people make one of a few serious missteps. They might choose to confront their spouse or the person they suspect is involved with their spouse. They could also decide to “stalk” their significant other or deploy a GPS to track them. Maybe they engage the services of a Private Investigator, or they might do nothing and hope the feelings subside or that things change on their own.
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When people think about hiring a Private Investigator, they tend to think old T.V. shows or movies, and they picture long stakeouts, clandestine chases down dark alleys, and a quick timeline of events (often only taking about ½ an hour to solve!). In real life, some of the practices might be similar but how they’re employed, how long they take, and the results they produce are most often variable at best.
The art of following and/or monitoring one or more parties on foot, by vehicle or from a constant position, is one of many tools used by PIs to answer questions of infidelity. The investigator follows their subject, takes photos or videos of places the subject goes, people, the subject meets with, and other relevant information. There can potentially be enough evidence gathered to confirm or eliminate the suspicion of infidelity; however, can also fall short of proving anything depending on the available budget, allotted time and if the subject actually does anything inappropriate.
This can range from high-definition video to time-stamped recordings made with cell phones. Video can be covert (unknown to the subject) or overt (in plain view). In most cases, this information is shared with the client or the client’s legal counsel and can be used in court. A verbal or written account of all activity usually accompanies the package. Courts rely heavily on authentic, clear and concise images to avoid any reasonable doubt, but the testimony of the investigator also bears some weight.
Social Media and Internet Searches can assist the investigator in determining if infidelity has occurred.
This is a very effective and often overlooked tool. Many PIs and clients alike don’t realize there is a distinct difference between “surfing the web” and conducting a thorough background investigation. In many cases, research of this type uncovers alternate social media or dating apps, alternate employment, financial troubles or changes happening behind the scenes, and other important information.
There are of course options the person suspecting their spouse can attempt without engaging an investigator.
Asking open-ended questions and listening to the answers are highly effective. Starting open dialogue can be very rewarding but you have to be careful not to approach these conversations combatively or aggressively. That’s where many people go wrong. Are you cheating on me? Is not a forbidden question but it might not be the first question you want to ask when your spouse has stepped into the shower. In any event, the responses you receive will be the easiest and most accurate way of getting to the truth. It may be that your spouse lies to you or that they may in fact tell you the truth. Regardless of their answer, maybe not what you want to hear or what you’re prepared to accept.
I was once instructed to follow a spouse for a long period of time. The spouse never did anything inappropriate. Different investigators worked on the case, sometimes in teams. GPS trackers were deployed, research was conducted, and on and on and on. Still, the client was positive the spouse was unfaithful although the evidence never suggested it. It went on for almost two years and cost the client over $2 million dollars in various investigations through various firms and on the last day, the answer matched the first day. The moral of this story is to understand that Infidelity Investigations are emotionally based. While an investigation will often prove or disprove the concern(s), there will always be some people that will not accept the findings.
If you have any questions about what to do, contact your family lawyer.
Thank you for reading.
Cowritten by Zoltan Domik and Axis Geffen, of Axis Vero Incorporated.