You suspect that your partner’s being unfaithful and you’re tempted to look at his old journals, address books, credit card receipts, telephone bills and other mysterious scraps of paper. You’re convinced that all these things are evidence you can use at some point. Still, you hesitate; on the one hand, snooping speaks of your lack of trust, a fear of betrayal or an inherent insecurity. On the other hand, you’re convinced that if you uncover proof that he or she has been unfaithful, you can justify your snooping as you being clever enough to discover the truth before he shamed you any further. Nevertheless, if you must pry into your partner’s business, then do it in any of the following three ways to ensure that you do not get caught.
Casual snooping translates into, “I still have trust, but someone telephoned the house yesterday. When I answered, the line went dead.” Here are some things you can do if you’d like to snoop around:
- Look into an organizer (or the proverbial, ‘little black book’). You’ll find out information like why a particular day was ‘no good’ for him and speculate about the star he’s put next to someone named ‘Lola’ or ‘Jim’.
- If he or she has been having secret conversations in the study, rub a pencil over their notepad to see the mark of what has been written previously.
- Push the redial button on a mobile phone to view the last number called and write it down. Then, using another phone (not your own), call the number and pretend to be your partner’s prospective employers. Say that they listed the person you’re calling as a character reference. Unfortunately, the application seems to be a smudged and you need to confirm this person’s name. Once this person gives you her name, ask about the relationship between her and your ‘prospective employee’.
Intermediate snooping translates into, “Am I crazy, or is he or she still fooling around?” At this stage, you suspect lack of faithfulness and you’ve confronted the person about this. However, they deny it and then they say something like, “You’re imagining the whole thing.” You accept what was said, but there’s something bothering you about how they are acting. You keep thinking, ‘If only I knew for sure.’ Here’s what you can do:
- Go to the desk drawer. Before you rummage through everything in the drawer, look carefully at where everything is kept. Look through the things in the drawer in sections. If you see something, take it out, look at it and put it back where you took it from.
- When you find telephone bills, look for clues like unusual numbers and calls that last hours.
- Credit card bills are always a fantastic way to track what that person is paying for plane tickets, rental cars, hotel bills, flowers and dinners. Not many people can carry enough cash to pay for all these things on a regular basis.
- Your significant other carries a briefcase, but, suddenly is reluctant to open it in your presence and won’t tell you his Personal Identification Number (PIN). As people are generally creatures of habit, they are likely to have written it down somewhere. Besides, a PIN used for one thing, is quite likely to be used for everything else in life as well.
Obsessive snooping translates into, “I know he or she is having an affair. How the hell do I end this relationship and still gather enough evidence to incriminate?”
Here’s a good example: there was a story reported in the newspapers of a woman who suspected that her husband was having an affair when he kept receiving letters regularly. She steamed open one of those letters which confirmed her suspicions. Before she resealed the letter, she made a photocopy of it. She obtained a divorce soon after. When asked why she had made a photocopy of the letter, her answer was, “I’m waiting for him to become the next President,” the inference being that she would seek her revenge by disclosing his sordid past if and when he held the office of President. Although this story is humorous, bear in mind that tampering with mail is an offense in most jurisdictions.
The lesson to learn from the story above is that if you are going to gather evidence of your partner’s infidelity, you must do so with caution. Remember that your snooping could backfire: when you demand an explanation from your partner, he or she can twist the conversation to the point where you’ll be defending why you were snooping in the first place (which will be seen as your betrayal of trust and violation of privacy). The infidelity will be sidelined. It would be advisable for both of you to calm down and only then deal with issues that have arisen.
If you are going to snoop around, make sure that you take necessary precautions to ensure that you do not get into trouble. Use the suggestions made above to help snoop in an effective manner and, hopefully, you might some peace of mind.