Spy Mode: What To Do When You Think Your Wife Is Cheating

“But I’m not sleeping with him, we just talk all day.
Ok so here we go on part two of what to do when another man starts gaining some traction on your wife’s interest level. Part One is here.
As an aside, I’ve never had to do any of this with Jennifer and the majority of this information is a distilling of the overall viewpoint I gained from the Talk About Marriage boards on how to intervene in a situation where cheating is starting to happen.
So let’s learn a few simple things about people who are cheating. If you Google for signs that you spouse is cheating, you can come up with hundreds of somewhat contradictory signs, but it all boils down one simple thing. They just exhibit a change their behavior somehow. If they had been reliably doing A B and C, but suddenly they start doing X Y and Z. It doesn’t matter what A B C or X Y Z actually is you’re just looking for the change in behavior.
The second thing to know about cheaters is that they lie. Lies are like rats, for every lie you catch, there’s usually a hundred you didn’t. You may catch them in a fairly minor lie that may not seem to directly relate to cheating, but you never know. The lies can start small, like simple omissions of information – like I had lunch with a guy I’m very attracted to that I work with. Then slowly ramp up to bigger things like secret bank accounts, “I can’t leave work the boss is making me stay”, “it’s your baby” yada yada yada.
The third thing to know is that cheaters are basing their entire decision making framework on the belief in that they are able to get away with it and not experience a negative outcome. As an example – I can very much enjoy a fantasy experience of dreaming about robbing a bank and loving all the money – but I don’t rob banks because I believe I’ll get caught. Actual bank robbers believe they can get away with it and getting caught is a horrible shock to them. For the most part robbing a bank these days requires someone completely delusional considering the amount of cameras et al. Likewise people that are cheating are assuming that they can get away with it; that there are no consequences for their actions. The delusion also extends to thoughts like “I love them both, just differently”, “I can’t help myself” and so on.

Click to read how she’s hooked. Standard BS.
The fourth thing to know is that the entire thing is addictive to the cheater. The whole thing of “it just happened” really does happen, but usually it gets spread over many small occasions rather than one bizarre event. What happens is usually the cheater experiences something pleasant with a member of the opposite sex, a flirt, a smile, something nice, a little attention and it’s all completely harmless. So they go back for another little nibble on the good feelings. Then they go back for another little nibble. Fast forward a couple weeks and the Dopamine has kicked in and the full OCD-like symptoms of interest in another person has started to take over their thought process. Now they can’t live without lunch with the love interest, they have to call them repeatedly, they need their texts and so on. The more serious it is the more evidence will pile up.
The answer to this combination of changed behavior, lying, delusion and addiction is to drag it all out into the ugly light of day. And to do that you’re going to need information and documentation… you gotta spy on them.
I do have two serious warnings about spying though. The first is that it will drive you paranoid and half crazy just doing it. Then even innocent things can seem more than it really is to your crazy thinking. The second is that if you get caught spying and your spouse was doing nothing with anyone, you’re going to look like a lunatic and that could damage the relationship. So never get caught and never start this without at least some evidence that they are being shady.
Now the first thing I recommend is that you keylogger their home computer. I recommend Spector Pro for this. Never used it myself, but has many great reviews all over the Internet and seems to have a great set of features.
The next thing you can do is tap her cell phone. As far as I can tell as long as the phone plan is in your name, you’re good to go legally on tapping “your own phone” that she just happens to be using. There are dozens of websites that offer to sell this stuff and I have no particular recommendation. Importantly you can get ones that track the GPS location of the phone.
There are also GPS tracking devices for use in cars, though it seems like they are less reliable and if you’re going the cell phone tap route you may as well get a good one of that.
If you’re suspecting the relationship is physical and happening in your own home, you can go for a huge variety of nanny cams that are motion activated. If you’re catching her out and about, there are a variety of spy cameras or even most good cell phones take decent pictures or even video anyway.
Then you lay low and collect information. Print a hard copy of everything and anything that looks bad. If she’s going to some guy’s house (GPS tracked her there), you need to snap shots of her going in and out. Absolutely do not tip your hand that you are spying until you have solid evidence against her.
You need to visit a few attorney’s offices and grab a few business cards and whatever divorce handouts they have. Also do the same thing for marriage counselors.
Once you have solid proof that something inappropriate is going on, you unload the whole thing on her and drag it all out into the open. Here’s your list of 53 phone calls to Mr. X in the last two weeks. Here are all your texts to him. Here are the photos of your breasts you sent him. When you said you were at the movies with your sister on Friday you cell phone GPS was at his house for two hours. You’ve been to his house four times in the last two weeks. Here are all the emails where you said he was fantastic in bed, here’s a photo of you both holding hands in public. Whatever it is just lay it on with a shovel.
Then she has a simple choice.
Choice One. She breaks it off with the other man, as in completely off, NO CONTACT beyond a final message to him “sorry my husband caught me, I’m going back to him, this is over”. This all happens in front of you by the way. Any repeated attempts by him to contact her need to be ignored, or if it becomes threatening in any way it becomes a police matter via 911 and/or restraining order. The no contact is absolutely vital in that she needs to be weaned off the addictive effects of contact with the other man.
Gotta go get tested. Always.
She also needs to comply with immediate STD testing, regardless of whether or not she said it was physical. That can be done at her primary doctors. If there is any possibility of pregnancy I’d advise testing that as well. This is one of those “reorient her to reality” things. It doesn’t matter what she says happened, cheaters are liars and lying liars need to pee into a cup. You don’t have sex until the results are in.
Depending on circumstance it may be worth paternity testing any and all children you have with her. If you’re catching her now, what’s to say she wasn’t cheating then.
Then she also needs to agree to attend marriage counseling together.
Choice Two. She needs to pick a divorce attorney from one of the business cards. There’s no way in hell you’re going to let her cheat on you and not stop.
Now usually all this should stop her in her tracks cold. Most times you’re probably going to get a huge emotional reaction, crying, screaming, wailing and even puking for a full on remorse display. Or it may all be too late and she just opts for option two.
What may happen though is she’s going to opt for option one and then because she is still hooked into the other man emotionally etc, she’s going to try and wriggle out of it and continue things. So tomorrow I’ll talk about Plan B.
And naturally all this assumes that you want to save the marriage even after discovering what you uncover. These are serious choices; a knee jerk “kick the bitch out” usually ignores the difficulty of unpicking a long marriage relationship. Kids, money, house, savings. It’s not an easy road no matter which you choose. Many marriages can recover from affairs both emotional and physical and end up stronger for it. Others… others sadly don’t. Affairs suck. I can’t make the stay or go choice for you, everyone is different.


  1. Stephen says:

    Wow when you put it in writing it really sinks in how brutal cheating is. Both choice one and two sound like horrible nightmares. I have a couple of friends that were divorced because their wife cheated on them, thirtysome years later they still refuse to trust women. It must leave some terrible emotional scars.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Oh no question cheating is brutal. It's destructive and cruel to be involved in it.

    For what it's worth though, my options are fairly mild compared to the way nature has designed us. It's all meant to end in a blood soaked rage according to biology.

  3. I have a sweet, lovable, faithful, cool spouse.

    And just reading this post made my blood boil for a few moments, and want to punch someone in the face. Good post because in a christmas story like way, I saw a future I'd like to avoid if possible.

    Well written AK. Well done.

  4. Athol Kay says:

    For what's it worth just writing about this stuff gets me half way worked up too. It's just a horrible thing to imagine let alone live through.

  5. The Rational Male says:

    Why do men get an instantaneous gut wrenching pain in the pit of their stomach at the mere mention of female infidelity? Because a woman cheating on a man is akin to a man raping a woman.

    First off, if you think you're being cheated on, YOU ARE being cheated on.

    Secondly, beyond basic confirmation that she is up to no good, why would you waste your time playing P.I. trying to find a smoking gun? Three words- No. Fault. Divorce. You will get taken to the cleaners no matter how many holes she took it in while you weren't there.

    STD tests and marriage counseling???? Any man with an ounce of self worth would immediately rid himself of this cancerous tumor.

  6. DJDamage says:

    If a woman cheats on you, she is out the door no if's or but's about it.

    There is nothing to be fixed here, when a woman cheats it shows her low interest and lack of respect for you and taking her back ain't going to raise them but rather sink it farther due to your passive pansy like behaviour.

    In her mind if she is allowed to walk all over you then she will just rationalize that you deserve it and will do it again, or just divorce you down the line after she cleaned your bank account and hired a lawyer before giving you notice and catching you off guard.

  7. Athol Kay says:

    Well that's his choice to make as to whether to leave her. If he does that he just calls a lawyer. I'm attempting to be constructive for those that choose to play it through.

  8. DJDamage says:

    There really is nothing constructive to play it through. When you play with fire you are eventually going to get burned but if you pour cold water on it then its all over quickly and you can move on to bigger and better things.

    As a man you sometimes have to make difficult decisions instead of pussyfooting around otherwise you are opting for a machoist type of existence.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Rations Man is 100 percent correct. A women cheats once it is over. Stay for the kids? They will be hurt much more by trying to save the "marriage". I speak from experience.

  10. The Rational Male says:

    As un-PC as this may sound, female infidelity is exponentially more damaging to the other party than male infidelity. In addition to the severity of the damage that female infidelity has the potential to cause, 98% of the time when a woman cheats it is because she already has one foot out the door. There is no reconciling this. You've lost her.

  11. The Rational Male says:

    I should note that I have had sex with several married women, and none of them requested that we use protection. This jives with the observation of roissy and others. Women cheat for one of two reasons:

    1) Alpha seed


    2) Hypergamy

    If she is cheating for reason #1 she is (likely subconsciously) attempting to stick you with the bill for raising another mans progeny. If she is cheating for reason #2 she is looking to replace you.

    Cheating women get thrown to the curb by men with value.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, yeah, Mr Swinging Dick "Rational Male". You're ignoring the fact that there are plenty of relationships where infidelity, by either the man or woman, has actually strengthened the relationship where the couple decide to rebuild.

    If only life were so black and white…

  13. Athol Kay says:

    @ Rational Male – so you are happy having sex with married women knowing that in your own mind taking part in the destruction of another man? Actually you said it was as bad as rape in an earlier comment. So you see yourself as an accessory to something as bad as rape?

    I'm sure you will respond with some statement that if it wasn't you then it would be with someone else. You are after all an innocent bystander in all this….

  14. Anonymous says:

    "Cheating women get thrown to the curb by men
    with value."

    Then what does this say about men who scoop them
    right up? (that would be you, Rational Man).

    As the saying goes: If you lie down with dogs you wake
    up with fleas.

  15. Athol Kay says:

    Another good thought Anon.

  16. The Rational Male says:

    "Yeah, yeah, Mr Swinging Dick "Rational Male". You're ignoring the fact that there are plenty of relationships where infidelity, by either the man or woman, has actually strengthened the relationship where the couple decide to rebuild."

    Um, yea, stronger, right. Maybe marriage counselors should start recommending people cheat on each other!

    You're a woman, aren't you?

    "@ Rational Male – so you are happy having sex with married women knowing that in your own mind taking part in the destruction of another man? Actually you said it was as bad as rape in an earlier comment. So you see yourself as an accessory to something as bad as rape?"

    The Mating Game's a bitch, and then you die.

    If I don't know the dude, I have no issues with having sex with a married woman. SHE is the one who has an obligation. My biological imperative is to sex women and if you want to get technical about it, sexing women who already have a provider is the equivalent of winning the genetic lottery. I get the fun while someone else foots the bill.

    Despite your knowledge and acceptance of evolutionary psychology the idea of a guy like me having sex with a married woman doesn't sit well with you because you know deep down that your provider status means that you could one day become the cuckold.

    "I'm sure you will respond with some statement that if it wasn't you then it would be with someone else. You are after all an innocent bystander in all this…."

    I have never pursued a married woman. They have ALL been the sexual aggressor. The last one was a friend of a friend who was vacationing here in town, and yes, if it wasn't me it would have been someone else. This was 100% confirmed by our mutual friend.

    You can chastise me all you want but you only do so because you are the type of guy who would misguidedly unleash your fury on the other guy instead of the chick, who is the person who actually had a commitment to you. There is one person to blame in that sort of a situation and to shift that blame elsewhere you are only serving to absolve the true perpetrator of her guilt by handing her the victim card.

    Giddyup White Knight!

    "Then what does this say about men who scoop them right up? (that would be you, Rational Man)."

    When I said I had "fucked married women" you must have mistook that for "stealing married women".

    "As the saying goes: If you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas."


    There's a "Mature Man" message board at sosuave.net. You should visit sometime. They love to toss around morality cliche's and there are plenty of people just like you over there who will pat you on the back and tell you what you want to hear.

    When you decide that you want a dose of truth come check out my board.

  17. Athol Kay says:

    "If I don't know the dude".


  18. Anonymous says:

    "The Mating Game's a bitch, and then you die."


    Running with a classy crowd.

  19. Athol – I just read the complete 3-part series, it is a great distillation of information you've gathered. I know you have not experienced a cheating wife, nor have I, and I hope we never do.

    However, this post on spying didn't quite sit right with me and I've been mulling it over for a few hours.

    There are plenty of open marriages and poly-amorous people to demonstrate that sex outside a committed relationship is not directly destructive by itself. The damaging aspect of any affair is the deception… this is true for both physical and emotional cheating.

    Installing key loggers and tapping phones is also a form of deception and will clearly label you as untrustworthy when revealed.  If your goal is to amass evidence for a speedy divorce and avoid alimony then by all means, stock up on spy gear.  But if you ever hope to repair the damage done by your spouse I believe you should never falter from acting in a manner worthy of trust.

    Further, I am of the opinion that moving on and healing from an affair requires forgiveness and a restoration of trust.  If you place your spouse under house arrest and monitor their every move how does the healing happen? Second chances are just that… another chance for your spouse to get it right.  If they are committed to the recovery they will not let you down.  If not… then they'll screw up again and you can contact your attorney.

    It sounds like the message board you referenced is full of good advice but, just as always, the source is key.  Is it moderated by marriage therapists?  The advice to spy, reveal damning evidence, and then seek professional help seems a bit backward.  I'd think professional counseling (even if just for yourself) before doing further damage with deceptive tactics would be prudent.

    Here's to hoping we never have to put theory to practice!

  20. Athol Kay says:

    The increased monitoring is a short term thing. Obviously you can't keep that up forever is it ultimate chokes the relationship to death. At some point you have to be able to trust again and move on together.

    Without solid evidence the cheater just lies, lies again and then lies some more. Plus they blame you for being paranoid and untrusting. They get very angry at you and frame you as the entire relationship problem. Then the cheating just goes deep underground and it's harder to discover it as the cheater covers their tracks better.

    In fact if you go to counseling because of concerns about your wife cheating and have no or minimal proof, the counseling session will likely turn into a session about your lack of trust in your wife and poor relationship skills.

    I've been shouted down a few times as evil for suggesting keyloggers and taps etc on the TAM boards… but after the cheater gets caught I'm usually thanked for the advice.

    Open marriages and poly are entirely other issues. I do agree the deception is a critical difference between them and vanilla cheating though.

  21. You raise a good point about trapping a cheater with evidence to force a confession. There is nothing easy about resolving such dysfunction… but I still think anything covert could cause additional damage.

    If you suspect your wife is unfaithful you are either right or you are paranoid. Either way, you need counseling. Present your suspicions in the presence of a couples' therapist, a third party can be of great value.

    Launching a spy campaign against a suspected cheater who is actually faithful could damage a relationship as much as infidelity itself. Like I said… the real problem is not extra-marital sex, it is the lie that encapsulates it.

    This blog entry makes the point that cheaters lie and then goes on to condone deceptive behavior. It seems like a contradiction to me, that's all. It wreaks of dysfunction. And it makes me wonder what part of such a marriage would be worth saving.

    We'll have to agree to disagree… but again, you've raised yet another excellent talking point.

    Thanks Athol!

  22. Athol Kay says:

    >>If you suspect your wife is unfaithful you are either right or you are paranoid.

    And a keylogger can find out lots cheaper and faster than counseling.

    But yes I do agree that spying has it's dangers, which is I why I mentioned them in the post.

  23. Anonymous says:

    "Without solid evidence the cheater just lies, lies again and then lies some more."

    Actually, if you know and have the leverage, most people will confess. And besides, you don't have to proof anything to a liar, it is not a court.

    If you don't have the leverage, she does not confess but no leverage means that marriage means nothing to her. If marriage means lots for her, you WILL HAVE leverage when you are threatening with divorce. If it does not mean lot, why bother to even try?

    So I think, that if you really know that your spouse is cheating, you don't have to proof it for her. She knows what she has been doing. If she stils refuses to confess, just kick her out of house.

    I think that revealing all you sources will damage you. Spying will pobably make cheater angry because you did not trust her (yep, this is the way it goes) and revealing your tricks will hinder your future spying efforts.

    About spying: I think you get way too technical. I advise to start with no-technical stuff, because if you use all kinds of loggers and devices, you might get caught, specially if not qualified to use this kind of stuff.

    Checking mobile phone log and bills, credit bills, car mileage etc is completetly safe and if nothing yields, then you have to move to technical spying. AND REMEMBER, DECIDE BEFOREHAND WHEN TO STOP IF YOU FIND NOTHING!

    (but because if you suspect and find nothing, you are probably paranoid and will never stop spying…)

  24. Counseling is often shitte because most marriage counselors have a heavily feminist, and certainly gynocentric bent. Including the male counselors.

  25. Anonymous says:

    About finding attorneys: There are three things you MUST do if you have children.

    1) Find out who all of the local high power divorce attorneys are. Make an appointment with each of them, pay them for this(this is very important), and discuss your situation and finances with them. This will professionally, ethically prevent them from representing your wife against you.

    2) Make a fair settlement offer. The reason to do number one is to prevent her from destroying you in court. The court system is stacked against men.

    3) If you are required to pay alimony, don't make that contingent on her not being married. That will only make her resent you and delay getting on with her life. This is bad for your relationship with your kids.

    Number one especially seems kinda nasty, but it doesn't even equalize the playing field in divorce court, its still in her favor. Rule of thumb is that financially you go back a year from your wedding date for every year you were married.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget the age differential angle. If a married man in his fifties is confronted with an aggressive married female 15 or 20 years his junior, and if she is healthy and very attractive, she will be almost irresistible for him. I know because I met one like this. I was amazed. This woman was tied down with two young children in a marriage to a doofus who was a low paid teacher. She didn't want to hurt the kids, but she was definitely not getting the attention she wanted from her husband, who was 10 years her senior, and she felt he didn't help her. He also lacked ambition and was happy to sit back and let her carry the daily load. Basically, she was stuck in a marriage she hated but did not want to burn her kids. Although she called off the affair, I know that when those children are out of the house and off to college or wherever, she's going to kick her hubby out. I don't feel I've done anything to harm her or her children, and I gave her many years of comfort and sexual excitement she would ordinarily have foregone.

  27. The MacNut says:

    Why oh why are the single females virtually never that "aggressive" towards other single men?

  28. Robertson says:

    "If they had been reliably doing A B and C, but suddenly they start doing X Y and Z. It doesn’t matter what A B C or X Y Z actually is you’re just looking for the change in behavior."

    That's also something the wives might notice husbands who began reading this blog and others like it. Just sayin …. :-)

  29. Athol Kay says:

    Robertson – that's kinda the point :-)

  30. Anonymous says:

    Men who sleep with married women are the lowest scum on Earth. They are for lack of a better word, parasites.

  31. Off The Grid says:

    To the last Anon, actually the “married” woman that made a commitment to love, honor, and be faithful to her husband would be “lower scum” then the single man that had a woman that just happened to be married fall into his lap. I have had sex with engaged and married women back when I was single. As a rule I tried to avoid it, but sometimes you simply don’t even know until after its over.

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