man on laptopBy Sarah P.

Take your power back with this handy guide on how you can use technology to your advantage to catch a cheater in the act…

The technology boom that has happened in the last ten years is a paradox because it is a blessing and a curse. This boom has blessed society in too many ways to mention, but it has also proved itself to be a curse to marriage. The bad news is, now it’s easier than ever to commit infidelity because there are more opportunistic ways to connect and ways to cheat through the use of apps. 

To put it into context, in the past, spouses used to meet affair partners through extended circles of friends or at work; but now there is so much more opportunity. Spouses can meet strangers online, communicate with ex-lovers online and rekindle a romance, or take an office friendship that may not have turned into more to the next level. It can all go down under the other spouse’s nose without them knowing. The ability to have emotional and/or physical affairs is as accessible as clicking a button or swiping a screen.

Think that it couldn’t happen to you? Think again. “Over half of all U.S. households have Internet access, making the 40 million sexually explicit Web sites, chat rooms, bulletin boards and interactive games completely available to anyone who cares to partake.

An estimated 20 to 33 percent of Internet users go online for sexual purposes; most are male, about 35 years old, married with children, and well educated. Sexual behavior over the Internet can easily threaten relationships because it is extremely accessible, affordable, and the ability to hide one’s identity helps people feel they can escape being caught,” says the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (1).

The use of technology in affairs seems to enable affair partners to be more secretive than ever. Men and women who are having affairs could still adhere to a routine. So, if a wife/husband suspects something, she/he will check that suspicion by looking at outward signs. They will notice that their spouse is still coming home on time and has not left any incriminating receipts or love letters around. They check the closet, briefcase, purse, and clothing for evidence, but they come up empty.

And yet that old, aching feeling that is so hard to pin-point persists in their gut. It doesn’t matter that she/he hasn’t found evidence because that terrible feeling in the pit of their stomach just won’t go away. The idea that their spouse could be having an affair flits through their mind several times a day, but there is nothing to back it up. She/he is not ready to confront their spouse since she/he doesn’t have data. If they were to confront their spouse, they fear being called crazy, jealous, and possessive.

She/he begins to wonder what even constitutes an affair. If their spouse is flirting with strangers online, whom he/she has never met, does this constitute an affair? Flirting with a total stranger who he/she never intends to meet is harmless, right? How could someone fall in love with a stranger?

Ah, but the danger is still there and there is more danger than you could ever imagine. For example, “Several studies suggest that even when there is no in-person contact, online affairs can be just as devastating as the real-world variety, triggering feelings of insecurity, anger and jealousy.

Women usually feel more threatened by the emotional betrayal of a partner’s online affair, while men are more concerned about physical encounters, but the gender differences are lessening,” says psychologist Brendan L. Smith (2). Any way you cut it, emotional affairs with strangers have the potential to be as threatening as physical affairs.

Technology allows people to hide evidence of affairs and yet technology also allows you to uncover the objective truth—if you know where and how to look. Obtaining the objective truth was something that was not possible to attain in the past and so technology can be a real blessing.

When you were younger, you might have been an avid reader of MAD magazine. If you were, you will remember Spy versus Spy. In this wordless cartoon strip, one spy would develop a special bomb or other mechanism to get one over on the opposing spy. But, the opposing spy would always have something with which to counter the first spy’s technology. They were always in a race to counter each other. Such is the world of Internet technology—just as someone develops an app that assists cheaters in cheating, so are apps developed to spy on the cheater. Like Spy versus Spy, it’s a constant race to keep up.

Now I will get to the meaty part of the article and introduce you to some of the ways that you can find information, if that is the path that you decide to take.

I will discuss several cellphone apps that cheaters use, then I will discuss apps that you, the betrayed spouse, can use to spy, and finally I will discuss some free ways for you to search a computer for evidence.

My only caveat is that technology changes at a break-neck pace and while all of these apps are available for download now, they may not be in the future. Please use these ideas to raise your awareness on how to search for evidence of affairs and what is available for the cheater and for you. 

mobile phoneAndroid and iPhone Apps

Vaulty Stocks: Android App 

This is a particularly sneaky app because the fully functional interface is an application to check stock performance. But, that is only what it appears to be on the surface. A cheater can use the app to store naughty pictures and videos. Since it requires a PIN to access, would be snoopers will not be able to access what is contained there-in. So, in that sense it is not useful. On the other hand, being aware that this exists is useful because if this app is on your spouses phone, this is going to be a GIANT red flag. 

 

Text and Call Eraser: Android App 

Once again, it is useful to know that this app, also called CATE, exists since the presence of it will signal another giant red flag. Even if a spouse weren’t cheating, why would he need to routinely hide calls and filter text messages?

 

Invisible Text: iPhone App 

This app allows users to send videos, texts, and pictures secretly through the app. In fact, the user can set a self-destruct timer if the intended recipient doesn’t answer quickly enough. Another red flag app!

 

Mobile Vault: Android App 

Oh, this one is very nefarious. First off, if someone tries to break into it, the app takes a snapshot of the would-be spy. YIKES. It also hides any contact, photos, or videos that are shared between spouses and their partner in crime. Mobile Vault also has the ability for a user to create a private cloud so that if a user loses his/her phone, all of the data can still be accessed and preserved. This is the stuff made of nightmares for a betrayed spouse.

 

Apps for Spying  

Flexispy: Spy on mobile phones, tablets, and different programs used for messaging

This app allows you to get your stealth on big time. You can track your spouse’s location, listen in on their phone calls, read your spouse’s emails, view their whereabouts, and even bug your spouse by turning their phone into a microphone. Using this one would make James Bond smile from ear to ear (and that would be a rare occasion indeed)!

 

Mobi Stealth: All Smart Phones

This app is somewhat like FlexiSpy, although it also allows you to collect screen shots, go through Facebook, read email, and log conversations heard through the phone’s microphone.

 

laptopComputer Programs: All Major Operating Systems

mSpy

This software allows you to do everything under the sun. You can access your spouse’s contacts, go through call logs, read text messages, monitor Skype calls, log locations, look at photos and video, and see browser history. But, there is more: if your spouse has become a porn addict or is accessing other sites, such as Ashley Madison, mSpy allows you to block access to these sites. The only rub is that it costs around $40/month.

 

SpyPal

Aren’t able to hire a private investigator? That is okay because this software is like having your own private detective in a box. This software is also fairly affordable. From the company’s website about SpyPal:

“It intelligently records Facebook use, chats, emails, instant messengers, web sites visited, documents opened, applications executed, clipboard activity and much more. As an advanced monitoring software, SpyPal Keylogger takes pictures of your system Desktop screen periodically to provide you with graphics-based information, just like what a professional detective does in real life!” SpyPal also captures passwords and looks at user activities on like Facebook, Skype, Yahoo Meseenger, games, online searches, shopping, file transfers, web-based emails like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo mail and hundreds of others. For more information visit: http://www.thinkertec.com

 

Easy Ways to Search A Computer

Of course, new apps are appearing every day and mentioning these apps only scratches the surface. One of your best bets, if you want to do this yourself, is to search your spouse’s computer.

Most programs on the computer have various places that they keep track of data and store it.

Email:  Email programs automatically keep both sent items and even items that have been discarded in the trash. (Trash folders usually auto-delete after a month but are visible until then). Simply navigate to the sent items or the trash folder and take a look.

Web History: Web browsers keep track of websites that were visited in the history folder. To access these, simply open a browser and look for the history. There are various tutorials online on how to do this in detail. One can be found here: http://googlechrometutorial.com/google-chrome-general-settings/Google-chrome-web-browser-history.html.

Temporary Internet files: Sometimes a spouse will forget about deleting temporary Internet files and a whole wealth of data can be uncovered. You find a tutorials on how to do this in Windows here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/view-temporary-internet-files#1TC=windows-7

Instant Messaging Services:  All instant messaging services have places where they keep track of conversations. Search the log files on each messaging service that your spouse uses.

For example, to find a Skype tutorial on this, go here: http://community.skype.com/t5/Modern-Windows-archive/Search-the-conversation-history/td-p/1382884

To find it in Skype for Mac, go here: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10888/how-do-i-see-my-chat-history-in-skype-for-mac-os-x

Cookies: Although not as detailed as reading chat histories, cookies can be searched and you can glean information about websites visited. To search cookies, simply search for the cookies folder using a general Windows search for the cookies folder.

On Mac, pull up the Finder program and search for the cookies folder in the same way. On the other hand, some Windows versions have different ways to search. Tutorials can be found here:

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/cookies-folder-location-windows

 

hand on computer screenAdvanced Ways to Search A Computer

On the other hand, you may not be able to successfully use the former ways I have discussed, simply because some cheaters will likely go to great lengths to delete browser history, cookies, and chats.

Luckily, there are some tried and true ways, such as looking at index files, to gain insight into a spouse’s activities on a computer. Looking at these files will be easy as long as you have access to said computer (and it’s not password protected).

Since index files are a relatively new phenomenon, many cheaters may not be aware of them and how they work. Note: If your spouse has his entire computer on lock-down, simply ask for the password. If he/she says he/she doesn’t want the children to get into the computer, simply don’t tell the children the password. A password-protected computer where the password is not shared with the spouse in itself is a red flag.

Index files:

What are index files?

Here is the high level: when an operating system is installed, a main index file is immediately created. Index files are used by operating systems to keep track of all of the different types of sub-index files that your computer creates and uses. These files are marked with the extension .index or possibly .dat. The files are automatically updated as a user takes different actions on the computer. They are valuable to operating systems because they provide a short-cut for a computer to access data. This obviously cuts down on lag-time and increases usability – and they record most everything.

Why are index files relevant to you?

They are specifically relevant to you because they contain information that could be valuable to you. These files keep track of every website that is visited by that particular computer. These files cannot be easily deleted and because of this many users consider this a privacy issue. While it may be a privacy issue, you can use the idea that they cannot be easily deleted to your advantage. If you are concerned about porn, infidelity, or other issues, you can get valuable information about the websites your spouse is visiting.

The only catch is that users can temporarily remove incriminating data from the index file (by deleting pieces of the file) using various apps. But, as soon as they go back to a website or something incriminating that they tried to hide or delete, the index file recreates this data all over again. A user would have to constantly be removing incriminating data. Most people don’t have time to do this and even if they did, cheaters always slip up at one point or another. Therefore, I think these files are your best bet if you are dealing with someone who otherwise knows how to remove history, deletes their emails, etc.

How do I search these files? 

Computer users are able to operate programs such as Windows Desktop Search and Google Desktop to search the contents of files and read the content within them. If you do not have these programs, you can install them. The easiest way to search is to simply plug in keywords into the search box that might be exchanged between lovers. You can use common keywords that could be associated with affairs such as: love, secret, divorce, marriage, cheat, meet, hide, leave, sex, hot, lover, and wife. Or, if you have any suspicions about whom your spouse might be seeing and where they might be meeting, use words associated with this information in your search.

I would also recommend a free multi-file viewer. In fact, the free product below searches everything in your computer files such as documents, photos, and videos all in one. You can find a lot of incriminating data this way. You can get it here: http://file.org/free-download/free-file-viewer.

I would recommend looking for tutorials online as well. I cannot recommend any specifically since each operating system and version of an operating system will have a different user interface. Trying to write about all of them would take a year and fill a book. So, figure out what your operating system is, what version it is, and find a file viewer that is compatible with it. Then look for tutorials online specifically on how to view index files with your particular OS and its version.

Finally, there are forensic data specialists who have both the knowledge and tools to do much deeper searches that what I have recommended. They have gone back to school to learn these things and can find almost anything.

I certainly hope that it will not come to that for you and I sincerely hope that when you do search your spouse’s computer or phone, that you are reassured. One of my greatest wishes in life would be that infidelity did not exist. My heart goes out to you if you have been through or are going through an affair.

 

Legal issuesLegal Issues

But, before you start tapping away, I wanted to provide full-disclosure on the legality of taking such actions. The Electronic Privacy Act of 1986 makes it pretty clear that we are not supposed to snoop in someone else’s business. “The ECPA, as amended, protects wire, oral, and electronic communications while those communications are being made, are in transit, and when they are stored on computers. The ECPA act applies to email, telephone conversations, and data stored electronically,” states a Department of Justice website. This act also prohibits the procurement of such communications as evidence (1).

It may seem a spouse’s hands are tied since it is illegal to do some surveillance activities. Therefore, the problem of infidelity looms much larger when we consider the online component alone and all of the laws around privacy. 

So the issue is that ways to be unfaithful are growing and yet victims of infidelity seemingly are in a double bind. Even though technology helps affairs, the person being harmed by the affair is seemingly not allowed to access the technology – or at least use in court—the very thing that could provide the truth.

So, in the end, you need to consult an attorney and proceed with caution. Statutes vary from state to state and this article does not constitute actual legal advice.

 

In Summary

I cannot stress enough that if you decide to go searching your spouse’s computer that you need to do several things first:

  • Consult a licensed and practicing attorney in your state before taking action. Consult someone who is familiar with both divorce laws, the legality of snooping in a home computer and cellphone, and ask what kind of evidence might be admissible in court. States that have laws regarding alienation of affection could admit some evidence while other states without such laws might not admit this type of information.
  • Emotionally prepare yourself for the consequences of finding evidence of infidelity.

Finally… you need to proceed with caution when attempting to catch a cheater and/or looking for evidence of an affair. Many people don’t realize how their entire lives are upended once they discover an affair because they don’t think about the emotional and financial repercussions of such a discovery.

While it might be a validating experience to know that your gut feeling wasn’t paranoia, you must analyze all of the repercussions beforehand and have a plan for your future finances, what to do when this impacts your children, whether or not you will sleep in a different bedroom or ask your spouse to leave, and most importantly, assess whether or not you are safe.

Make sure you have a local therapist to speak with in the event that you discover such evidence. Have an attorney in place in case he or she is needed. But, most of all develop a plan to get out of your house or out of your location safely in case your spouse were to become violent. Someone who was never violent before could react in a way that is out of character when presented with proof of his/her activities.

If you would like to learn more about infidelity, recovering from infidelity, or simply talk to others who have experienced infidelity, I welcome you to take a look at all of the resources this website has to offer. Whether or not you are just beginning your journey, working through the grief, or are going through a divorce, this website has many resources that will help you out.

As always, I wish you the best of luck and know that everything will work out for you. It’s always darkest before the dawn, but the dawn will come and it will be a most glorious dawn indeed.

Oh!  And if you have a working knowledge with this sort of thing and/or have monitored your spouse’s use of technology in the past (or are currently), please share your experiences below in the comment section.

 

Sources:

  1. Corley, D.M., PhD. (n.d.), Online Infidelity, Retrieved March 03, 2016, from https://www.aamft.org/imis15/AAMFT/Content/Consumer_Updates/Online_Infidelity.aspx
  2. Smith, B.L. (2011). Are Internet Affairs Different? American Psychological Association, 42(3), 48-49.
  3. Department of Justice, Electronic Communications Act of 1986. (n.d.) Retrieved March 03, 2016, from https://it.ojp.gov/PrivacyLiberty/authorities/statutes/1285

 

    50 replies to "A Betrayed Spouse’s Worst Enemy: The Smartphone and PC"

    • TheFirstWife

      This is all great info. If I have to continue to do all of this almost 3 years since DDay1 I think I would get a divorce.

      To my H’s credit I have not seen any signs of affairs.

      But he knows if I even suspect something we are finished. No conversation necessary.

      He has tons of opportunity to cheat – he travels for business all over the world. If he wants to have affairs or one night stands I would never know as I sm not flying all over the world to spy. His Affair was here in our city. So away or not is not the issue.

      He is the one that has to look at himself in the mirror every day and live with the guilt.

      I am so over it. Next time anything happens – we are finished. It had better be worth it.

      And I am sure I will find out as he is not good at hiding anything – especially after reading this post. The cheaters should watch out. Haha

    • Tabs

      This is quite a list. I could probably add more programs, tips, and resources that were overlooked. I found everything from invoices for flowers and jewelry to complete texting conversations, emails, etc. I even went as far as sending the OW an email bomb. To this day I still check his PC and phone. It’s a trigger that still causes me

      TFW, I’m with you on even suspecting something is fishy. No conversation needed. Marriage over. I would love to think that my H looks in the mirror every day and lives with the guilt. Unfortunately, I don’t think he has any regrets (except getting caught), let alone guilt. I’ve confronted my H about it, and he says he is regretful. But, my intuition says otherwise. In this day and age, cheaters have to watch out. Big Spouse is watching.

      • TheFirstWife

        I can see the toll the affair had on my H. The guilt and remorse have deeply affected him.

        I guess I am lucky in that respect.

        He always treated me well during our marriage except during his affair. That is why I would not have suspected anything. After it came out and he was in the fog is when it got ugly.

        But if I had a suspicion I would not even need proof. My gut is all I need.

        I love the Big Spouse line. Haha my laugh for the day.

      • 3strikes

        I would like to see more ideas as I believe my spouse is at it again, and only uses his iphone, but deletes everything. I don’t want to go broke spying, but want to get the proof I need to move on.

        • TheFirstWife

          I think if you are suspicious he probably is.

          Your name says it all, unfortunately. Three strikes.

          I am sorry you are in this position yet again.

          In my honest opinion you don’t need proof. The CS will deny any foolproof evidence you can present. My CH did just that to me. I saw emails where he was planning on leaving me. When I confronted him he denied it. I just did not let him get away with yet another cover up.

          So in my opinion (again this is my experience and having worked for a divorce attorney for 7 years), if you suspect he is cheating he probably is. Men don’t believe emotional affairs are cheating. They don’t believe hanging out with some random girl from work is cheating. They think if you don’t have sec it is not cheating. And we all know it is.

          If you have evidence of past affairs and you are seeing the same pattern of behavior then I believe your intuition and suspicions are correct.

          Ask yourself – why does he delete his texts and/or emails? Major red flag. If he truly wNted you and your marriage there would be complete transpatency. You could see his phone any time you wanted.

          You could get his phone and put a tracking app on it like find my friend but he would know about the app b/c he would see it. Unless you his it on his phone. It could track his location which if he says he was on 4th street at a friend’s house and he was in some bar in the city miles from where he said he was, you could take a photo on w/ your phone to show him you know he wasn’t where he said he was.

          But at the end of the day if your heart and gut says he is cheating, he most likely is. You don’t need proof. You need a lawyer or divorce mediator and a therapist.

    • Kim D

      After I found out my husband had an affair, I went into our phone bill (ATT), found the woman’s phone number and assigned the number her name. Then I sorted the phone bills going back month’s to see how long it had been going on. Of course my husband said it had only been going on for a couple of weeks; that phone bill showed months of hundreds of calls and thousands of texts.

      Then, I could see that there were all these “Data” charges, not texts (SMS) or photos (MMS) so I went onto his phone and found “WhatApp”. They had been not only talking on the phone, sending pictures to each other, but also using WhatApp to communicate. What I found next was probably the worst thing possible. WhatApp keeps files of all the conversations they had while using the app to talk. I was able to go on his phone and find those files (Android). I sat listening for hours after he was asleep. It was devastating to me but I couldn’t help myself and honestly in the end, I’m glad I heard those conversations because I caught my husband in lie after lie.

      I say technology is a blessing and a curse. In an affair, it’s more so!

      • TheFirstWife

        I know how you feel. I caught my H texting the AP snd using email. I saw some of the emails.

        He then lied when round 2 of his affair was exposed. I asked him what email address he was using and he told me his yahoo email. He was using a secret gmail account. As if I would not find out.

        When the AP sent me tons of the emails that were written it is another slap in the face. It is hard to read or hear what is being written especially if there is something about you.

        I had to read my H’s plan to divorce me. He told the OW that if his friends love him, they will love her too. Well I know for sure that a number of his friend’s wives would never accept a tattoo drama queen with major issues and no morals. For sure. And I doubt those wives would let their H hang around her either.

        So now when my H professes his true love I just stop and wonder – do you not remember how you were planning on kicking me to the curb?

        Maddening.

        Sorry you had to hear those conversations but I would rather know than not know. Any day.

      • Heartbroken

        When I found out about my husbands affair, he said he only talked to her occasionally. The phone bills told a different story….over 1800 texts in six weeks! When I confronted him with the evidence, he found a way to continue the affair with no evidence. He downloaded an app that you can text and make phone calls with and they don’t show up on the phone bill. So sneaky!!! it still makes me ill.

    • 3strikes

      Can someone please clarify, my understanding is that Iphones have to be jail broken to use these apps?

    • Tryinghard

      I used a key logger and a removable GPS on his vehicle. I looked at the key logger for about a month and found nothing. It was easy to install. But I have acces to his computer at work. I saw a lot on the GPS. I haven’t used it for a long time but I wish I’d have gotten it immediately. I just didn’t know about them early on. LOL we get smart really fast. Now they are common place. I can even track him through Google. I also look at his Google search history and it grabs other search engines he would use. Again nothing. So I’m lucky I guess.

      I too downloaded all the phone records into excel and learned a lot. He would call me on his way to see her I uses to see where I was and what I was doing. He also called on his way home. I could tell his moves by the cell towers in the area. But this stuff is crazy making. You think you are in control but really you aren’t there’s throw away phones and he even bought a land line phone and used the fax line in case I was looking at the office phone records. Or if anyone else was in the office.

      I think it’s smart to look for strange apps on the phone but even those can be hidden. Really the best idea and most efficient is to hire a PI. But if you’re not ready to set boundaries and confront what use is that as well?

    • Tryinghard

      Oh yeah. I know a heater husband who put spyware on his AP computer at home and at work. LOL he was her IT consultant. Yep he caught her cheating. It was highly illegal and the ass was so indigninant when he found out she was cheating on him. But it was just fine when he cheated on and left his wife for that AP. People choose their own hell. Karma baby.

      • TheFirstWife

        Love it!

    • Had to talk

      2 plus years after D day and this post just provides me more anxiety than I needed.

      Maybe it’s because im in a pretty good place with my wife but if you need these ‘tips’, you will go crazy.

      If they want to cheat, they will.

    • TryingHard

      Had to Talk
      I completely agree with you. This stuff is crazy making. However I think if you are early in discovery or just suspicious this information is very helpful. Surly you remember when you had spidery feelings but weren’t sure? I wish I’d have had some of this info. I wish I’d have had lots more info. I was so ignorant.

      But yes it’s crazy making and untenable to maintain. As the article said there’s always new ways. Most importantly the ubiquitous throw away phones. I have a friend who has found 4 throw away phones and still hasn’t thrown on the towel. I don’t care how you slice it, it’s all crazy making and yes if there’s a will there’s a way.

    • TryingHard

      Today’s a weird day for me. Five years ago today was DDay 1. It’s an anniversary not to be celebrated with gifts or public celebration. No one is going to call you and say congrats. The only one who knows is you. Sure your spouse may have inklings of the day but given all he wants to do is forget about it he’s certainly not going to celebrate or even acknowledge it.

      I am remembering each hour what I was doing, how I was feeling, the family members who came to try to help and console me. I was out of my mind with grief. I was as afraid as if war had been declared. I was pissed, outraged you could certainly say. I’d never faced such personal and even physical devastation.

      But here I am five years later and mostly happy. But more than happy I am grateful that I persevered through it. I made lots of mistakes but there was no map or guidebook that I knew of. I had no idea about these blogs even. All I had was me. I’ve made lots of changes. Put lots of boundaries in place and right or wrong I’m still with my husband. He’s made enormous changes. His actions are loving and caring but I don’t doubt for one minute what he’s capable of doing to me to us, to our family and to our business. He made foolish choices. He allowed a manipulative person into our lives and he is regretfully sorry.

      So today while there are triggers I know they aren’t real or threatening. I’m armed and way smarter now today because of what I experienced five years ago. It wasn’t the best thing that ever happened to me but I’m better because I persevered through it. I met others and learned from wonderful people here and on other blogs. I’ve read many books and articles about cheating and infidelity as well as psychosis and personality disorders. I’ve learned about Family of Origin issues and learned to apply that knowledge to other difficult people in my life. Life isn’t perfect but life is good.

      Today I am grateful. Thanks for giving me a place to write this.

    • Strengthrequired

      Th,, my dear friend, these anniversaries are not a nice thing to remember are they? Yet I guess in many ways it shows us how far away from that terrible time in our lives we have come.
      You should most definately feel proud of yourself, your a wonderful loving and caring person, and your husband would be a fool to ever treat you so poorly again.
      You know although time has passed, what was done to us, does get easier to live with, but it is awfully hard to forget. We never will, we will always remember that our marriages meant more to us, that our cheating spouses meant more to us, our family meant more to us, than It did to them.
      Although we now know that our cheating spouses have surcumbed to the advances of an ap, we have been able to find out something about ourselves as well, and that is we are stronger than we ever thought we would be. We have found a group of people that are like minded to our values here, so that too shows me that there are still good people out there, which I believe to be something very important to realise after being through what we and so many others have.
      Look after yourself lovely, be kind to yourself, and know, you most definately aren’t alone. If there is anything that is good about technology, and that is we have been able to find a place to meet and learn from others, from around the world, without leaving home.
      So although our Cs have taken advantage of using technology for their own advantages, to help with their affairs, we have been able to as well, in finding help to heal from their affairs.
      Hugs to you

      • TryingHard

        SR
        Thank you for the kind words. I know you can relate.

        It was just such a weird day. Not like the past DDay anniversaries. It was like I was reliving the events of that day. Mostly just remembering how crazed I was :/ I’ve got to say I can’t imagine ever being that crazy again. I think I have been through the worst and would know how to deal much better than I did 5 years ago.

        They say when you’ve been through a trauma the brain tries desperately to put events in their proper place. And maybe that’s what my brain was doing. Maybe it was saying “Yes you went through this. Yes all this awful stuff happened. Yes you had a nervous breakdown and Yes look how far you have come. Look how smart you are. Look how you will never go through that again.”

        It’s been an accomplishment and huge personal growth for me. Maybe I’ve made it around the corner to permanent healing? I hope so. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life with regrets, bitterness, resentment and fear. I think I am ready to let all of it go.

        And yes we will NEVER forget but we CAN move forward. And it’s not even not to say all the stages I went through weren’t necessary to get where I am. I think all the “crazy making” stuff we do IS necessary to process the shock to our egos and psyche. Sometimes the answers are just simple. Sometimes there’s no deeper meaning. Sometimes it just is what it is and CANNOT or will not be taken back. Sometimes all the shitty things we go through in life is just part of life. We are all lucky is infidelity is the worst thing we have to go through.

        And that’s why I posted yesterday. Hopefully to encourage someone in the early stages and help them know, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER you will get through this. You will act and do crazy. It’s ok. Learn from it, learn from others and then trust your gut. No matter what your choice is, to stay or leave, but don’t do nothing. Learn from the great folks here, read everything you can get your hands on, get therapy if you can afford it, and mostly put YOU first. Not your marriage, not your children, and certainly not your mate. Put your oxygen mask on first. You can get through this BUT you will NEVER forget.

        • TheFirstWife

          Thank you for such inspirational words.

          They have helped me so much these past 3 years. I cannot begin to tell you all how much this site saved my sanity, saved me from killing my CH when he continued thevaffair, saved me from killing him after DDay2 when he continued to lie to me and saved me from utter despair when I read his emails to the OW that he was leaving me.

          Rachel with her humor and insights was/is a god-srnd to me. TH And SR were helpful in that they were further down the recovery road and helped me navigate the twists and turns during the recovery process.

          Without the posts, articles, blog, Doug’s email in why the CS lies after the fact, all of those things are what kept my sanity intact, together with the therapist who had to listen to me for 2+ years.

          But I can say I have moved past the whole ordeal. I have given myself the choice to realize I have options in life and nothing is set in stone.

          That is how I roll these days.

          One son off to college this year and one son left at home. Things are changing fast and I take each day one at a time.

          God Bless all of you for your wisdom and caring nature.

          • Strengthrequired

            Tfw, you know something, I have seen you post some wonderful advice to some bs on here. I think your comments, although I don’t normally post as much anymore , have really benefitted a lot of us.
            So although, th, Rachel and I have been here a little longer, you have helped so many people too. I it find it unfortunate that we have all found ourselves here, due to no fault of our own.
            Yet I am happy also to have found people that know exactly how I feel.

          • Falling Ash

            Completely agree. You have all unwittingly helped me more than you will ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

        • Strengthrequired

          Th, those crazy making times, at the start of dday. I never want to experience it again. I know what it like to wake up one day feeling all those emotions again, feeling like you are reliving it, have been there, more often than I would like. Each time though I feel like, the time between each episode gets further apart.
          At times I believe we go through these times, whether it be a significant trigger, or just from trying to bury the whole sordid ordeal, so to keep the peace, because we know, there is only so much you can keep talking about it.
          I know when I keep it all inside, without talking to my ch, it becomes all too much, and I just feel like I am going to burst with grief. Just a few weeks ago, it all got the better of me, and I ended up in an anxiety attack. Not only does it scare and upset my ch when it happens, it does me too. Feeling so overwhelmed, and unable to breathe, and take control of the trembling shaking body.
          I’m sure when he sees this happening to me, that he sees again, what his actions did to me.
          Sometimes I have to wonder when this happens to me, will I ever recover from his infidelity.
          Then I come here and know, I’m not alone with my torment.

      • theresa

        Beautiful!

    • Tabs

      TH,
      I just passed my 5 year anniversary for DDay 1. After about 3 years of thinking only of the PAs, there are now times I don’t think about them for days. But recently I find myself thinking about it daily. Can’t figure if it’s from a passing anniversary or something else. I even started looking through my CH’s phone and computer. (Add five years to technology and the apps are far better at spying.) Unfortunately, infidelity was no the worst thing to have happened to me. My mother passed from cancer just months after I learned of Dday 2. Years later, I realized I never really knew what I was mourning, my mother or my marriage. But TH, I agree: Sometimes all the shitty things we go through in life is just apart of life. Hopefully we can learn something from it.

      • Strengthrequired

        Th, I totally agree with your comment ” We are all lucky is infidelity is the worst thing we have to go through “.

        No matter what we have gone through, definately not the worse thing.

      • TryingHard

        Tabs

        I hope you aren’t beating yourself up for checking his phone and computer. I think sometimes we do that just to “check in”?? I don’t know.

        I also think we are so afraid of being fooled again. We may be coasting along just fine and then things seem just a little too familiar and back we go to checking. I think this is normal. I saw where someone blamed the BS for taking their marriage for granted as what got them “in the infidelity mess” to begin with. Well that may or may not be true but I think all of the BS’s will be damned if we are ever that stupid again right?

        I don’t like it when people degrade what BS do after betrayal. Some don’t do all the snooping, GPSing, key logging, etc and well I say that’s ok. I also say it’s ok if you do. Whatever it takes for you to feel safe. Some may do all the checking and find the affair is still going on or worse there’s a new one. And maybe that’s what it takes for them to get out.

        I don’t judge anyone for snooping. I will snoop whenever I feel like it and never feel bad about it.

        • Strengthrequired

          Tabs, just the other day, I asked to see the phone bill, the whole phone bill for his mobile. Haven’t been bothered for a long time. he appeared upset a little that I had asked, but obliged anyway with my request. I scanned it for her numbers or anything suspicious, and nothing. So that gave him some brownie points, and it gave me that sigh of relief.
          Yet, I know it still doesn’t mean he isn’t communicating with her in any other way, because there are so many ways, chances and opportunities that if he wanted to, he could, with me being none the wiser.
          Yet for me, if I do find out that he is still a lying cheating ass, then I will be done.

          • TheFirstWife

            I think for me, the day I ask for a phone bill I would rather just ask for a divorce. I just cannot put myself through the snooping again.

            If I suspect anything we are over.

            But then again our CS have shown what they are capable of in terms of deflect, lies, secret emails etc. I think I would have to be the CIA to have any proof or evidence.

            I don’t want to be that person again.

            • Strengthrequired

              tfw, I don’t see any harm in just checking once in a while, it has actually been well over a year, since I have requested a copy of the phone bill, I wouldn’t go as far as preferring to divorce if i had to check a phone bill. The truth of the matter is, if they are going to cheat they will, where there is a will, there is a way.
              It’s been over four years since dday, so I think I have actually been pretty good, not getting sucked in to continuous checking. That’s where you do your own head in. Noone wants to live like that.
              Tbh, I came across the ow phone number not from my ch but somewhere else, after all she is family, so for me it was more curiosity to see if this new phone number would show. Huge relief when if didn’t.

            • TheFirstWife

              I agree there is no harm in checking up or asking for a phone bill.

              But I think the CS would be smarter and more cautious and would not be using a cell phone you may know about or would have access to. My H set up a gmail account to correspond with the OW. An account I knew nothing about. I found it on his iPad and I was monitoring it until he changed the password. Why? To start up with her again.

              So I suspect if my H were to cheat again it would be even more secret email accounts, a secret cell phone etc. So for me asking for the phone bill on his current cell phone would not yield anything. He would be smart enough to cover his tracks.

              I decided last year not to waste my time wondering if he is and looking for proof. If I am suspicious of him it is a sign, to me, to move on. I guess I have evolved into a take no crap kinda person when it comes to cheating.

              I think I have just run out of energy and patience for the cheating. I could be suspicious and be completely wrong too. But that is where I am.

            • Chely

              I couldnt agree with more. I walk beside you in this situation. I cannot take not having any peace of mind in rest of my life. But I am apprenhsive about divorcing my covert, narrcissistic husband. The nightmare stories of how they begin their smear campaigns aganist you and they are such good liars/and so cleaverly charming to everyone but you. I need a REALLY good laywer but have been unable to find one who gd

    • Tabs

      TH,

      No, I’m not beating myself up. I feel more like I’ve regressed. Combing through the daily data I collected was something I did religiously. I’ve come to realize that I was obsessive…to say the least.

    • Falling Ash

      This post upset me when I first read it. It put the fear back in my heart. I had to ask my OH to go through all the apps on his phone and explain what they were all for. But now I am finding all your comments so helpful and inspirational. This truly is a club. Not one I ever wanted to join, but as I unwittingly did, I couldn’t ask for better support. 2 years on from DDay and still in my relationship and still surviving. I don’t think I could have done it without your comments making me realise what I was feeling was perfectly normal considering what I was going through. I am so grateful to have this site to turn to when I am having a wobble.

    • Hopeful

      I agree with so much of what has been said here. I was an expert in the beginning days. I found things my husband supposedly forgot about. Then it was a way to feel some control. Now over time (just passed 1 yr since dday one) I check once in a while. Someone above said they are not thinking the worst like they are cheating and for some reason that is how I feel now. We are more connected than ever which I do not think he could be this way unless he is a sociopath. However I find even looking at the number of texts was a good topic about his engagement at home. I know if I just said to him you are on your phone too much texting all the time or looking at your texts from friends he would have said no and I have no control over when they text me or I am on call for work…. Well when I showed him 18 months of data comparing our data he was shocked. And yes I know you cannot control your incoming texts but I taught him how to use do not disturb. It ended up being a really good thing I was tracking his cell phone.

      After a while I got to the point that really there is no reason to check everything. If he wants to cheat he can find a way with burner phones, fake email accounts, using his work phone, work email and computer. I will never have access to his work phone or computer as he is in the mental health field so everything is confidential. So in a way I kind of gave up on that part of it. I do agree that technology has made cheating easier than ever. But I looked at my husbands phone and never saw anything. He got caught when he went out of town for one night and a girl grabbed his phone put her number in and they texted each other that night. He happened to leave his iPad at home and it had the sound on and at 1am it woke me up and I saw it. That ended up being the least of my worries. I did go through and found he had a fake fb account and so much more on his iPad before he got home the next day. So technology actually helped me in a way.

      In the end he needs to understand what he needs to do himself. I have told him what I need and expect. At times it has still been a struggle for him to follow through. Things have improved a lot but as I told him I want him to make his own decisions and if they are not the right ones for us then we do not belong together. I asked him why is it that I always seem to make the right decisions and have never faltered in 25 years. I just hate when he says his friends are going out what do I think about it when I am going out of town and he promised to be with the kids. And he says but my mom wanted to watch them so bad. Again minor but it frustrates me to no end.

      • TheFirstWife

        I swear the H acts worse than the kids.

        Always some excuse or rationalization for the behavior. In the first few months after DDay my H had to go on a business trip. Never told me another younger woman (not the OW) was also attending. I flipped on him and he was like “what’s the big deal?”

        Apparently I needed to explain transparency and all that stuff again and again.

        Either they are complete idiots or it is an excuse to get what they want (once again). i find it disturbing.

        They force to act like their mother in monitoring and controlling their behavior like they are 5 years old. I just want to say grow the hell up AND I wonder if my CH would accept the same behavior from me. Not bloody likely I say.

    • TryingHard

      TFW

      OK I know it was probably not intentional on your part but I got a good laugh from your comments.

      I hear you about the child like qualities. And seriously, doesn’t it feel like you are playing Whack a Mole with your h sometimes???

      I’d have blown up too when he said he “didn’t know what to do” with that message. Now that is funny!! I’d have responded to the silly twit’s message and it would have only taken two words, Fuck Off! What’s he trying to be Madelaine Albright? He’s not the freakin Secretary of State. He sure as hell knew how to get himself into those situations. I think I’d just let him squirm next time. Or make him play a game of Whack a Mole so he can see how you feel.

      • TheFirstWife

        It was my intent to be humorous. You however made me laugh so hard tears are still streaming down my face.

        The whack a mole reference was hilarious!

        My son came out of the shower, heard me laughing and asked what I was watching on TV. I told him it was something I read.

        Thank you b/c tomorrow is my birthday and I really needed that laugh.

        I try to find humor in things just to lighten it up. I count you as my friends based on the support we provide each other. And I just like that we can add some humor to this at times.

        What makes me laugh is the CHeaters are guys with good jobs, run companies,an age people and cannot end an affair and do the right thing by their spouse.

        Oh come offit they are not that stupid. But I resent being a grown man’s nanny.

        So I stopped doing his laundry, picking up his dry cleaning, etc. I need to be seen in a different role. I did all of those things out of love and kindness. But not anymore. You cheat = you have to give up the little nice things I used to do. I am not a witch but I work too and his “stuff” is no longer my priority.

        Thank you all for some joy and laughs. It has made my week?

      • Tabs

        So that’s the game I’m playing the my child like husband…. whack a mole!!

        • TheFirstWife

          I am lucky I don’t have to do that anymore.

          But the whack a mole reference was soooo funny. I am laughing now as I type it.

          Thanks for the laugh of the year.

          Hope your situation improves over time. At least mine did so I am not as much in the “nanny” role but I hated it.

          Grown men = yeesh!

    • Hopeful

      My husband always gets defensive but once he thinks about it backs down and sees it my way. But why do I have to point it out each time? He says he is doing nothing wrong so it does no occur to him, I told him last time too bad. He lost the right to have complete freedom when he betrayed my loyalty. So he needs to think more and from my perspective. He needs to adjust his thinking to how things affect others rather than how do I feel at this minute. I question his judgment and decision making. I agree my kids have better judgement and decision making abilities.

      • TheFirstWife

        Good for you for standing your ground with your H.

        You are right your kids are smarter – or at least behave better.

        I spent Years explaining transparency and crap to my H. We made a deal after Dday2 no bars. No way. Out of the question. Less than 30 days after DDay he went to a bar with his boss for a drink before he caught his train. I was livid b/c he broke his promise to me. He did not see it that way.

        Idiot! You run a huge company and you don’t understand the word “no”? Really?!

        So when those little things continue to happen it feels like erosion to your soul. And one day there will be nothing left. So sad but they do it to themselves.

    • TryingHard

      Well I’m glad I could make you laugh!! This crap is so not funny but as with the rest of the crap in life I think if one uses their God given sense of humor maybe it makes it a little easier?

      I respect women who can see past the bullshit their husbands pull and call them on it. I think the worst thing you can do is ignore it, pretend he really didn’t just say that. I think there’s a lot of crap we over look like underwear under the bed and dishes left in the sink. But bullshit ignorance needs to be called out and I see lots of fierce warrior women doing just that here. So if we can keep ourselves a little more in check by laughing at it once in a while all the better.

      Yes Tabs, Whack a Mole. Have you seen the game? The player stands over the board with a mallet and every time the mole sticks his head through one of the holes the player has to whack it back down into it’s hole. But you never know when or which hole the mole will pop up from. Kinda like our cheaters and the AP’s. You get one knocked out and there’s another one right behind it! Hopefully when you are in difficult conversations with your h you can laugh a little and picture yourself playing Whack a Mole.

    • TryingHard

      The more I read these comments the more I know it turns into the game of Whack a Mole. Hang in there ladies 🙂

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree. My new favorite line is whack s mole. Priceless.

    • TryingHard

      iPhones are tough to retrieve deleted data. Can you download his bill from the provider? If you can all text numbers and phone calls show up. Maybe even a voice activated recorder for his vehicle. Others than that I suggest cut to the chase and hire a pruvate investigator.

    • 3strikes

      He knows I check his bill, that’s how I’ve found out he was having an affair of which we are 3 years from DD. All I’ve found on his bill is that his data usage is up much more then it has been in the past few months and that he has blocked numbers. I’ve used apps that will download deleted texts and pictures, which is how I found the AP’s nude photos, but it doesn’t catch emails. I’ve also used Keyloggers on his computer and recorders in his truck, but he uses a company vehicle and not his own. I have access to his facebook account and have caught him inappropriately messaging other women. This is why I also believe he is doing it again, because I could see that he refriended one of the women he was messaging, then unfriended her.(I keep his account open on my tablet). Now he uses his gmail or work email on his Iphone, and I’ve checked them and he deletes all histories daily. I know at times these things become obsessive, and drive us nuts, but I just want to prove to myself, with more then a gut feeling that he is doing it again. This is the forth time since DD that I’ve thought he was doing something, and the other 3 I have the messages or texts. I don’t think PI’s exist in my area, which is why I’m trying to go the app route. Any other thoughts?

      • Angela B

        I see you posted this months ago. Has he ever gotten honest with you? If so, he would realize that your trust hasn’t fully re-established since then and should not be deleting histories or keeping separate accounts of any kind. This kind of heart break takes too much of a toll on a person in anxiety, depression, grief, and eventually I’m sure you know the weight-loss and health effects it can have.

    • Elisa

      I found out about my husband’s EA logging into his facebook and checking the search history. He was careful about clearing this but forgot to do it once. I suspected an EA but thought it was with a different coworker. When I saw this skank’s profile, I KNEW he had feelings for her. I confronted him and he initially tried to say it was just a friendship but I knew better. Initially he was angry that I snooped but over time he realized he should not have been doing what he did. Any man with remorse and wanting to do the right thing will let you snoop through his stuff.

    • charity

      I was able to get evidence on my cheating husband through the service of cyberlaser55 gmail com … I got detailed info about his secret dating, call logs, whatsapp and others and he hacked it without physical access to his phone…you can contact him too he also helped 2 others I know.

      • TheFirstWife

        Is cyberlaser expensive?

    • Annabelle

      If two people are texting, and they both have iPhones, those text messages will not show up on the phone bill because the don’t go through the phone company. Their phone calls will show up on the bill, just not the texts (they go through Apple using iMessage)

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