It can be difficult to catch a cheater, partly because we just don’t want to believe it’s true—deception hurts—and many people would rather live in denial than face the ugly, painful truth.
And even after we’ve come to terms with the fact that it might be happening, it can be really hard to prove it—but it can be done.
Here are some top tips to help you get the hard evidence you need to catch a cheater.
Win the Oscar for Best Actor
The most important thing to remember when trying to catch a cheater is: don’t act suspicious.
This may feel like the hardest thing in the world when a potential betrayal is making you feel like your whole world is crumbling around you, but the element of surprise is one of the strongest weapons in your arsenal if you want to catch someone in the act.
When someone doing something wrong thinks they’ve been found out, they immediately try to change their behavior so they don’t get caught. So keep your poker face firmly in place, act like everything’s business-as-usual and don’t ask prying questions that night raise red flags.
Time to Track
If it helps you notice patterns or put the pieces together, some experts recommend keeping a notebook of your significant other’s comings and goings, schedule changes and anything out of the ordinary. This record keeping can also help you legally if you end up in court.
Infidelity costs money, so the first area to start tracking is obviously credit card and banking records, either paper or online. Look for the obvious—hotel rooms, dinners at restaurants you don’t remember—but also look for large monetary withdrawals.
Smart cheaters know better than to leave a “paper trail” of credit card bills.
Phone records are also helpful if you can find them, but physically checking the cell phone history of the person you believe is cheating will offer immediate answers.
Become a Computer Geek
Computer technology has given us the ability to connect with more people than we’ve ever been able to meet before, but for some, this can lead to temptation and deceit.
If someone you love has suddenly started spending more time on the computer, or waiting until you aren’t around to be on it, this secretive behavior can unfortunately mean they are doing something immoral.
Depending on which type of computer system you have, there are often ways to go into a computer to retrieve the history, even after a guilty party has superficially deleted it or used a private browser, so talk to a computer-savvy pal about helping you (or writing down directions).
There are also keystroke loggers and keystroke recorders you can install on a computer that will record a user’s passwords and emails sent.
I Will Follow You
If you can find a way to follow the person you suspect of disloyalty in a subtle way, especially consider doing so if they are going somewhere at an odd time, off-schedule and without previous warning. But remember that if you get caught, it will raise suspicions, causing the potential cheater to work harder to hide their activities.
You might consider hiring a private detective for this task, especially if you might want photo evidence of a betrayal for litigation.
Private Eyes, They’re Watching You
In addition to the computer monitoring software mentioned above, there is myriad surveillance equipment available to give a suspicious mind some solid answers to unpleasant questions.
Hidden cameras, GPS tracking devices, voice-activated recorders, cell phone monitoring devices and even forensic testing to prove infidelity are available.
Although most of these methods are inadmissible in court, if you’re just seeking the truth, surveillance equipment can certainly give it to you.
You may want proof of infidelity to use in a custody case or divorce, or you might just need it so you can finally have the answers you’ve been seeking to move on with your life. No matter what your reasons are for requiring evidence of cheating, you don’t have to live a lie any longer.
Put the above ideas to good use and get the facts you need to fight for your right to be treated with the respect you deserve.