Earlier this week I received a phone call from a person who was concerned that their spouse had hired a private investigator to follow them. The caller’s immediate reaction was to get revenge. “Two can play at this game,” they stated. That conversation led to this article about strategy, and where it gets you.
In talking to the caller, I learned that the couple had been married for several years and it was a generally happy marriage until an infidelity occurred. The caller could not forgive the infidelity, and eventually was also unfaithful. “An eye for an eye,” is the quote the caller used. Not surprisingly, this retaliation did not bring peace or comfort to either party. As time went on, they fought more often about an increasing range of topics and began “punishing” each other. Each time, the other retaliated because, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
This all came to a head when the caller noticed that the same vehicle was around on more than one occasion when they were on visits with the children. The caller said “I am going through a divorce and this has gotten out of hand. This process has not been easy on me and it’s getting unbearable in expense.”
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I asked what the caller wanted my firm to investigate…and the caller said “I don’t know. Don’t I just hire you and you follow my ex?”
You would be surprised by how many people think that this is how it works. But the answer is no. A competent investigator builds your case and answers your question(s). If you don’t have a question that needs to be answered, then odds are you don’t need a P.I.
I asked the caller, “Is there anything that you or your ex do that is inappropriate, or that your case would benefit from proving?”
The caller took a pause, thought about it, and replied “No. I get up each day and I go to work. When I’m done, I go home or sometimes out with my friends, but we aren’t the type to get into trouble. I don’t even speed when I’m driving. When I have my kids, I do everything I can to make their time happy and I don’t spoil them or treat them badly.”
So I asked, “From what you’ve told me, is your spouse spending their money wisely in pursuing you? Or is your spouse building your case for you?”
The caller paused and said, “But I’m being followed and it’s not right, so I want them followed too. They should know how it feels.”
My advice to the caller was simple, and I also share it with you now: If you believe that there is anything at all that is questionable in your own behaviour, you should be concerned about surveillance being conducted on you. If not, you should use this situation to your advantage. It is a wonderful gift.
If there is something that you believe your spouse is doing that is inappropriate, then you may want to consider your options for surveillance or another form of investigation, so long as you believe the end result will warrant the time, effort and cost involved. Otherwise, hiring a P.I. will not do you any good.
In emotional times, it is easy to get caught up in revenge and retaliation, but in the end, solid strategy will benefit you far more, and cost you far less.