How to Catch a Cheater

Your intuition tells you that something has gone awry in your relationship and you want to know how to catch a cheater. Mysterious phone calls, late nights at the office, even subtle or dramatic changes in your partner's behavior arouse suspicions of infidelity. While you ask yourself why this is happening, the thought can cross your mind. 

Infidelity is on the rise
If your suspicion of your partner's infidelity has you thinking you're one of the only people in the world this to whom this is happening, think again. Not only is cheating on a partner a fairly common occurrence, but it is one that is on the rise - particularly among older men and younger couples. According to a study conducted by the University of Washington, there have been marked increases in rates of fidelity among people older than 60 and younger than 35 during the past several years. For this reason alone, more and more people are looking for ways to catch a cheater.

Opportunity knocks for both men and women
Women in particular appear to be cheating more now than ever, which means it is no longer the case that men are more likely to engage in an affair than their female partners. Today, married women have more opportunities to cheat, with careers that keep them as busy; away from home more often, women are exposed to a variety of different people. Even women who do not work outside of the home can find it easier to cheat, with the ease of communication via cell phones or emails that allow people to forge relationships they would not otherwise find the opportunity to build.

Opportunity for men and women to cheat seems more abundant in the 21st century, and studies suggest that it is that open window, the chance to cheat, that often serves as a catalyst of cheating. Whether it is at church, work or in random social situations, people establish shallow social relationships with people that deepen without the initial intent of those involved. The reason behind it? There was a chance to do so.

Can you handle the truth?
Before you embark on a quest for truth, the first thing you need to do is think about how you will react upon having your suspicions confirmed. That reaction includes not only the emotions directed at your partner, but also those directed at yourself. Knowledge of a partner's infidelity can often cause feelings of rage, mistrust, low self-esteem and depression.

Before catching a cheater in the act, it's best to give some thought to why you want this information and what you will do with it once you have it. If an act of indiscretion has in fact taken place, will you seek retaliation? Will you forever hold a grudge? Will you seek counseling and work to repair your relationship? In other words, will you use this information in a positive or negative way?

Think like a cheater
The best way to catch a cheater is to think like one. Simply ask yourself what you would do if you wanted to engage in illicit behavior without getting caught. Partners in a long-term relationship often instinctively know what and how the other thinks. If you tap into your working knowledge of your loved one's mind, odds are good you can figure out several places she might go.

"What happens at the office..."
Since many affairs begin and thrive in the workplace, it's important to become familiar with your mate's work habits, schedule and co-workers. If at all possible, try to periodically make an unannounced visit to your mate's place of employment. Attempt to treat her to a surprise lunch one day, for example. Is her response one of excitement and appreciation, or does she appear as though she has seen a ghost when you arrive? Who was in the office when you arrived? How comfortable or uncomfortable did those people look when they saw you? Also, listen for names that are mentioned often. Excessive mentioning of a particular co-worker's name - particularly if flattering things are said about the person and how sharp, kind or professional they are - could be a sign of trouble.

Keep track of how many sick and vacation days your mate takes each month. Maintain check stubs on file and check regularly to see if there are discrepancies between the amount taken and the amount that was indicated to you. If, for instance, your mate took three sick days last month but you were only aware of one, this could be a sign of trouble. She might have been playing hooky with a lover.

Cyberspace love
Your mate was once computer illiterate, but now he frequents Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. He also has three or four different e-mail accounts, none of which you have access to. If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, this is worthy of investigation. Rather than call him out on it, you can do some detective work by joining one or more of these sites under an alias. You may not find him right away, but with time and persistence it'll happen.

Cell phones and text messaging
A cell phone can be a cheater's best tool or worst nightmare. It takes a great deal of tenacity to use a cell phone skillfully and flawlessly over an extended period of time in order to maintain communication with a lover. The average person is likely to drop the ball at least once by forgetting to take the phone into the bathroom, leaving cell phone bills out on the table or counter, accidentally calling the mate instead of the lover (but not realizing it until the wrong name has already been stated) or inadvertently pressing the speed dial button while committing an act of infidelity. If you are patient and attentive enough, your mate will probably slip up sooner or later.

Car clues
As you know from both Hollywood movies and real-life scandals, an automobile or SUV can be a means of getting to and from the scene of a torrid love affair or it can be the actual setting in which acts of indiscretion take place. Small traces of infidelity are frequently left in cars, whether they are as unassuming as business cards or downright questionable, such as strands of a woman's hair, pieces of jewelry, unfamiliar stuffed animals or items of clothing. You only need to inspect your mate's ride for some of these items, but if all else fails, you can pay to have the car detailed and request that all tangible items found under the seats or in between cushions be placed in a bag or box and returned to you.

Give it time and play it cool
You are less likely to catch a cheater if you use interrogation or threats or suddenly become obsessive and clingy. Not only will your mate work harder to cover their tracks, but you may also achieve the opposite effect of what you desire by pushing him or her farther away and back into the arms of the lover. When in doubt, wait it out.

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