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.