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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier… Oh just forget it

Chump Lady was recently approached by a nice man Trevor, who sent a complimentary email introducing himself and his website, thinking we had much in common. He wanted to inform me and my readers of his services. His website was a commercial sales site for catching cheaters and other miscreants — including lazy employees and errant babysitters. (How does that go down? “BUSTED! I TOLD you Harrison gets his toast WITHOUT crusts!”)

It was all surveillance equipment — GPSs, voice activated recorders, keyloggers, tiny cameras — and probably a shoe phone. (Anyone remember “Get Smart”?) The site had all sorts of ominous warnings and frightening statistics like: 80 PERCENT OF ALL MEN CHEAT! Does he hide his cell phone? Does he suddenly smell good? CONSIDER HE MAY BE A CHEATER! The stats were only slightly less scary for cheater women (which is a bad marketing ploy, I think. Men being much more prone to gadgetry purchases than women.) What followed was a large array of colorful gizmos.

I’m sure Trevor does a big business in spy ware. And he may be more savvy about the readers of Chump Lady than I am. (Anyone out there in the market for a keylogger?) But I thanked him for his compliments and sent him on his way.

Look, I’m not above shilling something, (I’m told that is the path to blogging fame and fortune), but I’d have to believe in it. And I do NOT believe in the lifestyle of “trust but verify.” What makes that Ronald Reagan line so memorable is that it’s funny. It’s a nice way of saying — I don’t trust you at all.

If you feel the need to behave like a Soviet spy in a John le Carré novel? Face it — it’s OVER. Your marriage is DONE.

I understand that a lot of people need these tools in the gaslighting days, where there is a lot of denial and no proof. I’m certainly not above using whatever means necessary to get the evidence you need to divorce a cheater. Especially if you live in a fault state. I also understand needing the proof for yourself. What I do NOT understand is voluntarily staying in a marriage police state.

I knew a guy on SI. Awful situation, begged him not to reconcile. He said he thought he would be happier out of the marriage, but she was “trying,” and he couldn’t break up his children’s home. Okay, win some, you lose some. Then I noticed months later the only place the guy posts anymore is the Investigative Tips forum, offering fellow betrayed spouses handy how-tos on recovering deleted Skype files. My heart just sunk for the poor idiot. Really, dude? Is this what you’ve been reduced to? Obsessively monitoring your wife’s Skype chats? Just let it GO! You’re dying by inches. It’s undignified.

Espionage and love are incompatible. If you need to spy on someone, you don’t trust them. Your actions are saying you believe they are the sort of person who would stab you in the back (because… oh hey… they actually did that…) We don’t spy on people we like or RESPECT. We spy on enemies. It’s sneaky and underhanded… kind of like cheating.

So Trevor, if you’re reading, I’m sure you provide a good service to those in need of it, but my message here  to betrayed people is GET OUT. Hop the Berlin War… run past the snipers… and make your way towards freedom.

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  • Espionage and love are incompatible.

    Hahahaha….love it! And so completely true.

    Had lunch with a friend today that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Caught her up to date on my sitch. She asked if I wanted him back. I said no, I wish I had my old life without all this drama but do I want him back? No way. I’d never trust him and I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life monitoring an asshole.

  • Yeah, and to me it’s one of the strongest arguments against reconciliation. At some point you take it on faith that they aren’t going to cheat. Hypervigilance is not sustainable. There’s probably a period, however, in which you do check up on their phone, email, work life, etc. There’s some paying your dues at the marriage police, and after that, you have to maintain the mental gymnastics to trust but NOT verify. So both choices suck — marriage police or mental gymnastics.

    • After the first dday I checked for a few months and yes, there was a red flat but I didn’t recognise it at the time. Then I trusted him because he was so damned loving. Turns out he kept on cheating and I was dumb.

      It took me awhile this time but I realised no way can I live in a marriage where one person simply doesn’t value what I value: honesty, integrity, character, my family and kids.

      So he’s gone, I’m fine (more or less) and now the current OW has the honor of worrying when he doesn’t answer his phone or he tells those little lies that are somewhat plausible but not really when you look closely. 🙂

      • And isn’t that karma for the OW? I think the long-term OW in my story would shrug it off, because she was so hip, and cool, and superior — oh hey, he fucks around, that’s what he does. But *I* am the one he comes back to (barf). But clearly she was a fetid heap of insecurities given the way she went after me to ensure I went away.

        It’s a great feeling when you realize the cheater is no prize and the side dish fuck is welcome to them.

  • “I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life monitoring an asshole.”


    Betrayed spouse as dutiful proctologist; cheating spouse as virulent ass cancer.

  • LOL I love this place called Chump Lady.

    Not a fan of “R” either. It’s like saying, “I now give you permission to disrespect me again! But, if you do, I am done. Got it? Yes, that was what our vows were for … wait … what?” Insert eye rolling emoticon .

      • Oh, right! Silly me – those poor, poor lambs! If only they *could see* what (&who) they were doing. But, deep down inside at least they still knew that … *tear* they still LOVED me. I am ever so lucky! (sorry, I just can’t stop the sarcasm)

  • This site calls it like it is. Even Harley at marriagebuilders says he would not reconcile if his wife cheated. It is no way to live, in my opinion.

  • Yep! Yep! Yep!
    Not gonna be the fidelity police.
    I loved how much I trusted the rat-bastard. Just one of the many indicators that there wasn’t all that much to love.
    I do however, love the Chumplady!

  • What kills me on SI is the sheer number of people who believe they have reconciled, finally get past the hyper-vigilent, spying phrase (usually a few years), then get a gut feeling, check the phone/website/whatever, and find out the WS is still at it.

    I really do believe once a cheater, always a cheater.

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