Sunday, December 20, 2009

Who's Tracking You? Hint...It May Be a Pissed Off Wife

A friend and former employee dropped into my office last week. I figured it was a holiday social call, until the woman proceeded to have a melt down right in front of me. Seems her husband was having an affair and between her (significant) investigative skills and the investigative skills of the equally irked husband of the female involved in the affair, they had compiled a rather amazing amount of evidence. While I like to engender trust in my employees and I do have some level of compassion for such situations, I am not much help for people having an emotional break down just steps away from me, other than to offer some strategic advice (which surprisingly didn't come across, I think, as very compassionate). Why does this always seem to happen around the holidays?
My two cent's worth of advice about affairs: affairs happen, especially in relationships of any significant duration. If you notice odd behavior (showering three times a day as opposed to every other day) here's your sign. Marriage counseling should be considered. It takes two people who want to be married to stay married (although one can carry the load for a short amount of time). Marriages can survive affairs. The fallout from an affair can be huge and dramatic--financially disastrous, for one. Plus, if you end up marrying a person who cheated on his/her spouse, um, you are marring someone who may CHEAT on you too! Finally, aside from very bad situations, fixing problems with your spouse is probably better, overall, than having to train a new one.

But this post isn't about the moral/legal/financial implications of having an affair--what people do in their private lives is up to them. This is actually about how simple it is to track the affair due to the myriad ways that your every movement is tracked these days. If you don't want to have your lawyer's office wallpapered with evidence of your affair (or illegal activities), consider (and make plans to avoid) how you can be tracked:

  • Credit card receipts. Do you buy two lattes every morning? Did you spend big on a nice dinner for two (and the wife wasn't invited)?
  • Debit card receipts. Hmmm...a diamond necklace...and you thought the spouse wouldn't notice that SHE didn't get a necklace recently?
  • Receipts found in your possession. Did you pay rent for an apartment when you have a nice home that you currently pay a monthly mortgage on?
  • Voicemail messages and text messages. Nuf said...if you haven't seen the audio and video fallout from Tiger Wood's affairs over the last couple of weeks then you must have been out of range of a TV.
  • Cell phone bills. So easy to get online and so hard to cover up the daily calls to the mistress.
  • Transport card activity. Whether you use a Metro card, bus pass, automated toll payment system, etc., it can be fairly obvious if your costs suddenly change dramatically and it can be easy to pull these records from your account ( spouse NEVER goes to the east side of town...til the last couple of months...I wonder why that is...).
  • Email, Twitter, FaceBook, Blogs. If something is printed/shared digitally, there is no telling who will see it. Most likely it will be the cheated upon spouse at some point, thus adding fuel to the divorce fire. Note that NOTHING is safe from prying eyes if it is emailed, saved on the computer (or even if it has been deleted), written about on FaceBook, written about in your blog, written down anywhere (ie: in letters or cards), photographed or videoed.
  • Anything you bought that has a tracking system. Airline tickets, hotel reservations, your car's GPS device (don't people clear previous destinations?), an unusual pattern of calls on your home phone's caller ID, an iPod with recently updated music that the spouse never before listened to, etc.
  • Secret anything. Secret credit cards (they WILL show up on your credit bureau file), secret cell phones (these can be found and if it is under contract, will show up on your credit bureau record as well), keys to a secret apartment/post office box/locker/etc.
  • Lies that can be tracked. If you say you were working overtime, did it show up on your pay stub? If you say your job suddenly requires a lot of travel, will this lie be substantiated when the spouse calls your office?
  • Evidence of the video/audio/actual kind. Photos are bad. PDA that can be photographed by a detective are equally bad. Phone calls and conversations that can be recorded are bad. Condoms or birth control pills when the other spouse has been spayed or neutered making these unnecessary is also a clear sign. Don't even get me started on sex videos or other misapplications of cameras or camcorders...

The bottom line is that what people choose to do is their own business. Personally I think the drama and deception of an affair is a huge amount of work for what in the end will be a very poor outcome for all involved. If you do decide to do something illegal, immoral, or both, the least you can do is not get caught because you do things that can so easily be tracked.


  1. This might be a sign to become Polyamorous. Many people have misconceptions about Polyamory. I wrote about here. Take a look.

  2. Then I was, with the evidence in my hands.
    I kept quiet for for a while (6 to 8 mos.) while I prepared my exit.
    It work like a charm. No fights and a divorce follow after the legal separation. I follow to the letter the instruction from the atty. Went to the marriage consulor and at the time of the session we had with her atty and mine, I presented the evidence and she had no chance to deny it.
    Do not get angry or dramatic. Do everything legally and always expect the unexpected. Like a good Boy Scout "BE PREPARED"

  3. .....easier to fix a marriage than "train a new spouse" ????
    I might consider using a shock collar, the training obviously didn't "take" the first time!