Cheating Husband: A case study
So, what do you do if, after months of suspicion, uncertainty and denial, you start to become convinced that your significant other is having an affair?
Our recent client decided that she could no longer stand ‘not knowing’ and set out to catch her love-rat husband by hiring a private investigator and finally gather the evidence that she needed.
Rachel is in her mid-forties, married for 13 years to Simon. Both are professional people and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle on their double income with no children. Holidays abroad were regular, and they were well on their way to paying off their mortgage. Both had late-model cars and were well presented – fit, healthy, happy.
The foundations of this seemingly perfect existence became rocked when Rachel began to notice that Simon’s behaviour was changing. Subtly at first but becoming more obvious as the months went on.
Simon decided that he was going to learn to ride a motorbike and bought a sporty model with all the safety gear. Rachel didn’t understand the need for this new risk-taking pastime but chalked it up to a mini mid-life crisis and gave it no more thought.
Not long after, Simon started working longer hours than he had been doing for years. This was uncharacteristic and he put it down to a ‘big project’ and ‘staff shortages’ – but he was staying at the office for an extra couple of hours more and more often. Nights out ‘with the boys’ also seemed to increase.
Rachel then noticed that Simon was becoming more protective over both his personal and work mobile phones, making sure he didn’t leave them behind when leaving the room and changing the screen lock code.
Rachel’s became suspicious. She began to wonder if there was someone else – was Simon risking their life together with another woman? Rachel didn’t want to believe that Simon would stray outside their marriage but there were too many changes in his behaviour. She resolved to confront him.
She took the plunge and, she says, ‘After a couple of glasses of wine one night, I finally plucked up the courage to ask him what was going on and if there was anything he should tell me about.’ It didn’t go well. Simon reacted angrily demanding why she would ask such a thing. ‘He played the victim so well, that I really doubted myself and just ended up feeling a bit silly about it. After all, who would be so stupid to risk our seemingly wonderful life together?’.
Rachel’s fears were allayed in the short term, but she couldn’t shed the nagging doubt that something was amiss and confronted him again only to be told that nothing was going on and that she should stop worrying so much.
One weekend, whilst Simon was doing some catch-up work from home, Rachel was doing a little housework. Simon decided to take a break and take his motorbike out for a spin before finishing off his work later that day. Simon took off in the sunny afternoon in his shiny leathers and helmet but had not logged off his laptop. Rachel, still not convinced that Simon was being straight with her, could not help herself but take a sneak peek at Simon’s emails.
Rachel’s world came crashing down – there, in black and white, was the confirmation that she had been right all along. Simon had been having romantic liaisons with a female co-worker, Dee, for several months and was now confronted, in stark detail by the scope of the relationship. She described feeling physically sick but also a sense of relief that she had not being going mad after all.
With her heart racing and with only a brief window before Simon would inevitably return, she left the laptop - returning it to its original screen.
She decided that she couldn’t be there when Simon came home and took herself out for a walk to digest the information that she had just seen and decide on what she should do next. Should she confront him again? She hadn’t taken any copies of the information nor photographed it on her mobile phone. She knew that Simon would probably react angrily to her snooping and that she had suffered enough emotional turmoil for one day. Rachel resolved to find more evidence and then confront him with pictures so that he couldn’t lie his way out of his deceit. But how was she going to get the proof she needed? She couldn’t follow him herself as he would know – there was only one solution that she kept coming back to – she needed to hire a private investigator…
Rachel chose Locard Investigations to help her with her ‘Simon situation’ after speaking to 3 other agencies. She explained to the Lead Investigator that she knew that Simon had booked a half day off from work but had not told her about it. She suspected that Simon was going to meet with Dee at work and then spend the afternoon with her – intending to return home that evening as if nothing had happened. She wanted him followed from work and needed photographic evidence of the pair so that she could finally confront him about the affair with unassailable proof. This was great start to the investigation, but Rachel did not know whether Simon and Dee would leave the office and travel off by car or whether they would stay in the town centre and walk to wherever they had planned to spend the afternoon. Locard recommended that this would take a minimum of two investigators to keep a tail on the errant pair and sent a written proposal to Rachel which she immediately accepted – she simply had to have the evidence.
The scene was set for a Thursday afternoon. The two investigators, a male and female team, arrived early and found Simon’s motorbike parked in the office carpark confirming that he was in the office. Each assumed a position one at a café at the front of the building and the other watching the rear staff entrance. After an hour of careful watching and waiting, Simon and Dee appeared at the front of the building. The two investigators took up the follow each taking it in turns to take the lead on keeping an eye on Simon and Dee as they casually strolled hand in hand into the shopping precinct – totally oblivious that they were under surveillance by two former police counter-terrorism officers.
Simon and Dee sat down in a local pub for a cosy lunch sharing longing stares and cocktails. To anyone else, they looked like a regular couple enjoying a relaxing lunch. However, they were being covertly filmed by the surveillance team as they laughed and relished each other’s company. Whilst this footage probably would have been difficult enough to explain, Rachel had been very specific – she wanted pictures of the two having physical contact. She needed irrefutable proof that Simon was being unfaithful.
Simon and Dee finished their lunch and decided on a romantic walk around the city. The two surveillance experts followed them along the river gaining footage of the two holding hands and periodically stopping to embrace. A little further along Simon and Dee walked up a small side road and whilst approaching a small bridge – he stopped, grabbed Dee in his arms and the pair locked lips in a passionate kiss. Unfortunately for Simon, from across the street was a Locard investigator filming the enthusiastic embrace - capturing the moment for Rachel to finally have the proof she wanted.
Being careful not to blow their cover, the surveillance team continued following Simon and Dee on their long romantic walk for the next 2 hours – gaining reams of footage of the pair as they blissfully carried on with their illicit date. Eventually, the pair returned to the office and Dee drove away leaving Simon to get his biking gear on and be home in time for tea – unaware that he was going to have some tough questions to answer in his near future.
The evidence was collated, and Rachel received a 50-page submission of still photographic exhibits featuring her husband and Dee together. She also received video clips of the pair together at lunch, strolling the town and the all-important kiss. This was bittersweet for Rachel. Although she knew that there was someone else, it was still shocking to see the pictures and video and to see her husband so blatantly cheating on her. However, she was also delighted to receive the evidence pack as she now held all the cards, and her suspicions were now beyond doubt. Simon could not gaslight her, lie about his activities or deny the affair. She could now decide on what to do with her future and what to do with Simon. It was a small investment hiring private investigators, but the reward was immense – Rachel had been right all along through all the self-doubt, lonely hours and misery associated with ‘not-knowing’.
It is understandably quite intimidating hiring a private investigator – however, if you find the right one who will lend you a sympathetic ear, understands what you want to achieve and has the ability to support you then you are on the right track to resolving your situation. Rachel knew that she couldn’t achieve this outcome on her own and turned to the professionals. She got the evidence that she needed and got to move on with her life.
As for Simon? Well, I guess we’ll never know…