Information about how surveillance is conducted and what you can expect from the private investigators efforts.

High-tech infidelity

INTERNET, CELL PHONES MAKE IT EASIER TO FIND AND MAINTAIN ILLICIT AFFAIRS

By Mark de la Viña
Mercury News
Rob Hernandez / Mercury News

Call it crazy, paranoid or cynical, but the next time you peruse the personals on Craigslist or scan profiles on MySpace, consider this: There’s a good chance you just ran into a cheater.

Just as purchasing concert tickets or checking baseball scores has become as simple as logging onto a computer, infidelity is a simple keystroke away.

Cheating is on the rise because technology eases the search to find a willing partner, according to therapists, researchers and relationship experts. The unfaithful no longer have to scour bars or cultivate workplace relationships. Cheating has increased along with the growing use of text messaging and cell phones, chat rooms and online dating sites, some exclusively targeting the polygamous.

“The Internet has greatly removed the barriers,” says Ruth Houston, founder of Infidelityadvice.com and author of “Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs” (Lifestyle Publications, 192 pp., $29.95). “If you are a married person who wants to cheat, you can now go online and maintain an affair even while your spouse is in the room. Everything has changed.”

Jill, 45, an elementary school teacher from Mountain View who asked that her last name not be used, learned of her partner’s infidelity when she came across his open e-mail account, which he had failed to log off on their home computer. She was shocked to read that he had done “everything from soliciting hookers to making dates with others” via the Internet, she says. “I saw that he does this all day at work. I even posed as someone he had been conversing with, and he e-mailed me 30 times in one day!”

When Jill revealed her identity, he downplayed his online trawling, which “ruined our romance,” she says.

No reliable figures exist on the increase in cheaters who use technology, but computer forensics expert John Lucich says the rise is undeniable. The president of Network Security Group, a firm in Union, N.J., hired for computer-related legal issues, says that 95 percent of the cases his company handles involve men and women who set up secret e-mail accounts for the purpose of cheating.

Online dating sites play a key role in connecting people searching for extracurricular activities. While mainstream services such as Match.com and Yahoo Personals ban married people from posting profiles, the dating sites can’t stop users from lying. Other companies are happy to pick up the slack.

Private Affairs (www. philanderers.com), an online dating site based in Toronto, targets users looking for what it calls EMRs, or extramarital relationships. Another service, Ashley Madison Agency (www.ashleymadison.com), boasts 1.03 million members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. With its tag line “when monogamy becomes monotony,” the company, also founded in Toronto, has seen its membership double annually, says operations director and founder Darren Morgenstern.

“We’re finding that it’s just not going away,” he says. “People are looking at the plausibility of using the Internet to have an affair, and it just works for them.”

Once the connection is made, technology also helps the affair to thrive. Cell phones and PDAs give cheaters the chance to communicate privately and coordinate with their side dish.

Caryn, 37, a West Valley College student from Morgan Hill, knows this all too well. Like many wired people in Silicon Valley, she used to contact a former boyfriend almost exclusively on his cell phone.

“After several months, I found out he was married,” says Caryn, who also asked that her last name not be used. “Much later, he even informed me that on several occasions I had even paged him during his marriage counseling sessions.”

Statistics on cheating vary widely because of the way pollsters word questions, says Infidelityadvice.com’s Houston. The data also is muddied by dishonest responses. And as people debate the definition of sex, they similarly debate the definition of cheating.

Sexologist Shere Hite in 1988 shocked Americans when she reported that up to 70 percent of women married five or more years have sex outside of marriage. Other surveys have concluded that anywhere from 38 million to 53 million men in the United States have cheated on their wives at least once, Houston says.

But such “studies,” as well as research reported in popular magazines and advice columns, often inflate figures, according to Tom W. Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. His 2004 study, “American Sexual Behavior,” which polled more than 10,000 people over 22 years, found that 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once.

Technology has helped the cause, prompting the curious to make the jump from fantasy to philandering, says Brian Person, a marriage and family therapist in Los Altos.

“Some people, given the proper social boundaries, would be less likely to cheat than they are now,” he says.

Network Security Group’s Lucich is convinced that the rise in advertising and e-mail spam that hype cheating sites entice people to cross those boundaries, he says.

“I truly believe that there are people out there who have not thought about infidelity and then get spam messages or hear about online cheating and dating sites on the radio,” says Lucich, whose book “Cyber Lies” (StarPath, 212 pp., $35) details how to easily check a partner’s cell phone or computer to discover if he or she is cheating. “In a weak moment, they say, `Let’s just take a peek.’ Then they start going further and further, and the next thing you know, they’re cheating.”

There is some small consolation in the rise of high-tech infidelity, Houston says, because cheaters are often unaware that they have left evidence of their affairs on their PCs or cell phones. E-mails are reportedly how Christie Brinkley found out her spouse was cheating on her with a local teenager.

“There are programs you can put onto a computer so you can see everything your mate is doing online,” Houston says. “You can even put a GPS device in your mate’s car to find out where they are going. It might be easier to cheat, but it’s also a lot easier to get caught.”
Contact Mark de la Viña at mdelavina@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5914.

Cheater Seeks Cheater

Married people find other married people for affairs through websites
by Tristan Taormino
August 30th, 2006 5:06 PM

“The site seemed simple and straight-forward . . . I knew that most members would be married. I prefer [to cheat with other married people] because they have as much to lose as me typically, and it’s easier to relate to someone who is married,” says Paul (not his real name), a 35-year-old executive at a large corporation in midtown Manhattan. He has been married for seven years, and throughout the marriage he and his wife have had sex about twice a week, but he says she’s sexually conservative. Four years ago, he went looking for “someone fun and exciting, more adventurous in bed and spontaneous.” Paul cheated for the first time with another married woman he met through the Ashley Madison Agency (ashleymadison.com), a website that boasts such taglines as “When Monogamy Becomes Monotony” and “For Women Seeking Romantic Affairs—and the Men Who Want to Fulfill Them.”

Paul is one of over a million members of Ashley Madison, which—like Married Secrets, Affair Match, Discreet Adventures, International House of Wives, and others—caters to married people who want to cheat with other married people. In the three years he’s been an on-and-off member of Ashley Madison, Paul has met two women, one with whom he had an 18-month affair, and the other, a six-month affair; he considers them “friends with benefits.” The reasons he gave for wanting to find other married people echo the thoughtful PR soundbites of the company’s founder and chief operating officer, Darren Morgenstern. “Both people have just as much to risk and lose and expectations stay reasonable,” says Morgenstern, who founded the site in 2002 after reading a business magazine article that said one-third of people who sign up on singles dating sites are actually attached. He wanted to offer a service where folks could be up-front about their marital status.

The Ashley Madison site works much like other personals sites: Members write a profile which includes their basic stats and various preferences (like cross-dressing and tantric sex), tastes in partners’ behavior (“good with their hands,” “will let me take control,” and the unexpected “likes routine”), and desires (from being creative with food to being videotaped). There is even a section where members can rate other members with such positive feedback as “better in person.” Membership costs $240 for three months of unlimited messages, or you can enroll on a pay-as-you-go system.

Sites like Ashley Madison tap into a very profitable niche within the online personals arena by bringing honesty to the dishonest practice of cheating. They allow people an alternative to a traditional personals site where they may have to lie and say they’re single, thus giving potential mates the wrong impression—yet they facilitate lying to a spouse. While Morgenstern admits the company receives its fair share of hate mail, he says, predictably, “We don’t promote infidelity.”

Married people seem to seek other married people to give themselves a sense of added security in an inherently insecure situation. Their preference to cheat within their own camp is based on assumptions about people with spouses: They won’t demand too much of the other person’s time; they’ll be less invested in the relationship since they already have one; they’re more understanding about a last-minute cancellation because the wife is sick and the kids need to go to soccer practice. Ideally, all those things are true, but in the real world, there are no guarantees and having everything out in the open doesn’t mean there won’t be drama. These assumptions make all married people out to be sane and stable, and all single people end up looking like needy, unreasonable fools with no boundaries desperate to fall in love and break up a marriage. Of course neither is true: A married person can turn into a crazed stalker just as a single person can.

“I want to be up-front with people and don’t want any misunderstandings along the way. We were very clear from the start that no one would be leaving their spouse,” said Paul, who told me that he looked specifically for women he thought seemed happy in their marriages, as he says he is; that contributed to the success of the affairs and their not becoming something he didn’t want. Another benefit of spouses cheating with other people’s spouses may be a leveling of the moral playing field: If you’re both cheaters, you can’t judge one another for cheating.

People in open relationships don’t have to deal with lying and sneaking around because they are open with their partners about their other partners. Subtract the thrill and naughtiness of doing something wrong without permission, and some people might not be into it. I’d rather hook up with a non-monogamous person than a married person, so that at least I know everyone is on the same page. Again, being open does not mean there can’t be jealousy, hurt feelings, and other emotions to deal with, but the basis for the relationship structure is honesty and communication.

It baffles me that there is not a site as popular, active, and profitable as Ashley Madison that is designed for polyamorous people. There are well-used swinger sites, but swinging is just one type of non-monogamy, a specific community and culture that not everyone identifies with. Alt.com is marketed as a site for “alternative lifestyles,” but in practice, not a lot of poly people use it; you can’t search specifically for other poly people, and the site is very BDSM-oriented while not all poly people are kinky. There is really only one credible personals site specifically for polyamorous people, Poly Match Maker (polymatchmaker.com); compared to Ashley Madison’s million, it has fewer than 7,000 members.

The Internet has made it easier for all kinds of people to connect, and has also made infidelity a lot less complicated. The websites that profit from it are not the problem. In the United States, cheating continues to be the dominant model of how people have sex and form relationships outside their primary partnership, and the stats on how many of our fellow Americans do it are pretty depressing. Statistics show that anywhere from 12 to 25 percent of women and 22 to 60 percent of men cheat on their partners. When will we embrace a more honest, ethical way of meeting our needs?

Infidelity no solution for a marriage in trouble

Toronto Star Reports:
Aug. 26, 2006. 10:11 AM
ELLIE

Q I knew he was married but didn’t expect to fall in love with him. Now I wish I could turn back the clock. I’d never do this again. It’s so wrong. He’s unhappy, I’m unhappy, but we both have obligations. I’m married, too. Please give me some directions where to go with this. I have an abusive husband who’s also a drunk. My lover has a wife who doesn’t want anything to do with romance, so he’s so lonely. So am I, and I love him so much, most times.

Lost

A My “directions” are for you to take the fastest and shortest route to get to a counsellor and look at options for improving or changing your marriage. Of course, you want to have a better life than one that includes abuse, and you cannot accept that the abuse continues. However, your affair has been only a “detour” — a delaying tactic for facing up to what you need to do. You and your lover both chose the seemingly easy path of escapism in each other’s arms. You wanted to avoid the hard work of dealing with those obligations you mention, which would mean looking to your own partners, stating your needs, acknowledging the others’ needs as well as their flaws and trying to get some help. Now you’ve discovered that the easy way comes with its own heartache, disappointments and roadblocks. Hopefully, you see the light now to go toward the only truly satisfying goal, which is to take charge of your life, starting with where you live. Once you’ve settled whether there’s hope for your husband to change or the need to leave him, you’re free to seek a new relationship. But by then, you’ll want one in which the other person has done the necessary work to be free, too.

Late Night E-mails ‘Sign of Infidelity’

By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent
www.sundayherald.com

IT could be viewed as an innocent chat in cyberspace, but sending e-mails late at night and revealing personal details of your life are signs of betraying your partner, according to new research.

Psychologists from Glamorgan University have carried out an investigation to try and define the point at which online exchanges are perceived as emotional infidelity.

The study revealed that sending messages late at night and revealing intimate information are the key factors that will cause your partner to believe you are having a virtual affair.

The popularity of websites such as Friends Reunited and dating chatrooms have been blamed for helping to fuel a rise in divorces in recent years.

According to leading counselling group Relate, one in 10 people seeking help from them now complain about the impact of the internet on their relationship.

Dr Martin Graff, psychology lecturer at the Glamorgan University, said there was now the potential for people to engage in “virtual” infidelity alongside face-to-face relationships, yet the issues around this had not been explored.

“I guess we have a definition of sexual infidelity, but this involves more emotional infidelity and we just wanted to see what people thought,” he said. “Chatting online is fine, but where do people start seeing it as not quite right?”

The research, which will be presented at a British Psychological Society conference next month, asked a group of men and women in their early 20s to judge varying scenarios involving internet communication and rate what they believed constituted online infidelity.

Certain factors were deemed to be irrelevant, such as whether the correspondence was through e-mail or instant messaging services or the gender of the person who initiated the online conversation.

But Graff said: “People who interacted online later at night were perceived as possibly more unfaithful than those who interacted during the day. I guess it is seen as being more surreptitious if you are online late into the night.

“The amount you disclose to people is also generally perceived as being a lot more unfaithful, as it signals a degree of intimacy with someone.”

Denise Knowles, a counsellor for 16 years with Relate, said that a major problem with the internet was that it could cause a distance in relationships.

“The time spent on the internet is time spent away from the primary relationship,” she said. “A few people have said to me that when their partner is doing this and they are talking to other men or women on the internet, it is almost as if they are having an affair where the third party is under their roof.

“Because they are sitting in the corner of the room – or worse, in their bedroom – it is very intrusive and they can often feel quite violated.”

Knowles pointed out another difficulty was that often the person who was carrying out the internet activities was unaware of the harm it was causing.

“People say ‘I don’t know what you are going on about, I haven’t actually seen the person and I don’t intend to’,” she said. “But the real problem is the fact that there is time being spent talking and sharing intimacies with somebody else that really ought to be shared with your partner.”

20 August 2006

A law rubs married couples wrong

In Minnesota, massage therapists can touch, but they better not touch

Sunday, August 13, 2006
By Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — LaRae Lundeen Fjellman likes to think her massage and alternative health business in Lindstrom, Minn., has a small-town touch. She knows most of her clients personally and often gives them presents, such as flowers or banana bread, on special occasions. But when she got too close to one of them and fell for former client Kirk Fjellman, who was divorcing his wife, she was surprised to learn that Minnesota bans massage therapists from having sexual relations with former clients for two years.

Kirk says his ex-wife reported the new Ms. Fjellman to state officials in 2004. Now, the state is seeking to fine and possibly prohibit Ms. Fjellman from practicing in Minnesota for having sex with someone who has become her husband.

“There’s no harm, no victim,” Mr. Fjellman said. “What’s this about?”

The case, which is before a judge and may be decided this month, could have implications for the private lives of an array of alternative health care providers — and anyone who has ever had a crush on a yoga instructor, acupressurist or even someone selling 10-minute back rubs at a mall.

Documents filed by the Department of Health say the therapist clearly violated an unusual state law passed by the Legislature in 2000. Ms. Fjellman does not deny she violated the statute, but says she didn’t know it existed.

Because the case is in litigation and sealed, state officials cannot discuss it, said Tom Hiendlmayr, director of the Health Occupations Program.

Mr. Fjellman’s ex-wife is not named in the documents and could not be reached.

Mr. Hiendlmayr said the statute is “part of an umbrella law to protect consumers” from unlicensed alternative care practitioners, ranging from herbalists to folk remedy practitioners. The statute does not target massage therapists and there does not have to be a victim, he said.

In an argument filed to the Office of Administrative Hearings in the Health Department, the state’s lawyers said sex prohibitions are appropriate because “a therapeutic relationship exists between the massage therapist and the client, and inherent in that relationship is a power differential.”

The state supported its arguments with excerpts from “The Ethics of Touch,” a respected industry guideline for practitioners. But the book’s author, Ben Benjamin, said in an interview that some of that text was taken out of context.

“If she’s sleeping with the guy while he’s a client, it’s unethical,” Mr. Benjamin said. “But if they liked each other and something happened over time, you can’t fault that. Had this behavior occurred anywhere else besides Minnesota, it wouldn’t be an issue.”

Mr. Fjellman is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and says he is fully aware of boundary issues; in fact, he is not allowed to date his current or past clients.

The state does not ordinarily initiate investigations, but it was obligated to act when it received the complaint from the ex-wife, Mr. Hiendlmayr said. But Susan Gallagher, an attorney for Mr. Fjellman, said the state should exercise discretion in such cases. The state, she said, is seeking to restrict the couple’s “right to fall in love, get married and do what all married people do.”

It is not clear how the two-year ban became law in 2000. Since then, the department has received 80 complaints against “complementary and alternative health care” practitioners, 30 of those against massage therapists, according to Mr. Hiendlmayr.

Ms. Fjellman began seeing her future husband at her business, the Balanced Body, in Lindstrom in October 2000 for numbness in his arms. He continued as a client until May 2002. The Fjellmans said in an interview they never had sexual relations during that time, though they acknowledged occasionally having lunch and attending a class together. They also helped drive a mutual friend to another state, which included overnight stays at hotels, they said.

“To tell you the truth, we weren’t attracted to each other physically,” Ms. Fjellman said.

“I always preferred skinny minnies,” Mr. Fjellman said. “LaRae is more full-figured.”

Both say their marriages were on the rocks and heading toward divorce. He eventually moved into an apartment, and a month after last seeing her as a client, she moved in with him as a roommate for “financial reasons,” they say.

The couple say they began dating in July 2002 and first had sex that fall. They became engaged in March 2003 and married in September of that year. Mr. Hiendlmayr said that even if they had waited until marriage to have sex, they would have violated the rule.

Mr. Fjellman says his ex-wife accused him of having an affair while he was a client, and gave the state bills from TGI Friday’s and hotels as proof. A transcript of the state’s interview with LaRae also dwells on their relationship while he was a client.

During their professional relationship, LaRae said, she gave Kirk flowers on the anniversary of his sobriety, and often gave small gifts to clients. He gave her a magazine subscription and a $100 gift certificate after learning clients usually tip their therapists, which he had not.

The state, however, cites the exchanges as further “boundary issues,” and contends that taking tips is unethical because of “transference,” a process in which trust in the practitioner leads to increased reliance and vulnerability.

Les Sweeney, president of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, said, however, that tipping “is the norm.” Mr. Sweeney calls Minnesota’s rule “overbearing.”

“I didn’t see that Minnesota has a waiting period on purchasing guns,” he said.

Ms. Gallagher said that if the administrative law judge hearing the case can’t decide on its constitutionality or rules against Ms. Fjellman, the next step is the State Court of Appeals.

The ethics of therapy

Rules for licensed and unlicensed health care practitioners vary widely among the various professions and states. Hospitals or providers often have stricter rules. Generally, the larger the power imbalance between practitioner and client, and the more vulnerable the client, the stricter the rules. Here are general guidelines:

Psychiatrists: It is never proper for psychiatrists to have sexual relations with a current or former patient whose treatment involved psychotherapy.

Social workers: The professional code prohibits sex with former clients, with a few exceptions in which the social worker has a burden to prove there has been no coercion.

Physicians and nurses not involved in psychotherapy: No specific time limits for former patients. Physicians must discuss ramifications and cease treatment.

Chiropractors: In Minnesota, chiropractors must assume a client will be a patient for two years, and cannot have a sexual relationship with them during that time.

A Hooker’s Insights on Married Men Hiring Her

The Sunday Mail reports:

I’m safer than having affairs

August 06, 2006 12:00am
Article from: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

YOU would never believe I was a sex worker if you saw me in the street. I certainly do not fit the typical profile that most people associate with sex workers.
I have a very “girl next door” look, and am an attractive woman in my 30s, with not a tattoo in sight.

But despite this, sex is how I’ve been earning my living for the past five years.

I started working in a parlour when I was 31 to repay debts incurred from living overseas. The idea was to work until the debt was repaid, then go back to the normal workforce, in administration again.

I remember just knowing I could do it, even though I was by no means a promiscuous person. I had only had a handful of boyfriends in my life but somehow I knew I could separate emotions from sex.

The parlour was my “learning curve”, and then I moved on to working privately, which is completely different. Working from home entails being responsible for how you run your business – from advertising, to telephone manner and, of course, how you treat clients.

You have to be comfortable being alone because working privately is very isolating. Although I have never experienced any form of violence, the fact is a woman working alone in the sex industry is at risk. I try to minimise that risk by only working day-time hours and will only take a booking when I have the client’s phone number.

Although I have seen clients of all ages, the most typical profile is a married man in his 40s or 50s. These men view going to a sex worker as a better and safer option than having an affair. Most say that regular sex is not part of their marriage any more, yet they still have needs.

I have to say that women who have gone off the boil do seem to be a major problem in a lot of marriages.

Obviously, there are the usual reasons why some women do not regard sex as a priority, including demanding careers, children, financial stress and menopause.

But they need to realise that sex is still important to their men, and if they do not get their needs met at home, they will go elsewhere. It’s as simple as that.

I would also venture to say that the wives are not attracted to their husbands in a lot of cases, as most clients I see have definitely let themselves go.

I have pretty much seen it all in terms of ugly men and don’t blame the wives for not wanting to have sex with them. You have to have a strong stomach in this job, and I often say to people I should have been a nurse or a doctor because I’ve seen some revolting sights.

I turn the fat people away now and won’t have sex with anyone over 67 or 68 because I don’t think it’s appropriate and it is beyond my comfort zone.

I will only make an exception if I am having a particularly quiet week. Then I try to switch off and get on with it.

At the other end of the age scale, I am also visited by teenagers, and some look so young that I have to check that they are legal. They are inexperienced and think they can learn things from me. They are frightened by today’s girls, who know exactly what they want from men.

Although it is very rare that I enjoy the sexual side of my job, it has happened. Most clients I do not find attractive, but some are stunning and I cannot help but like them.

Many of the good-looking men say they come to me because they find women hard work and don’t want to be bothered with taking a girl out and talking to her, they just want easy and safe sex. In those instances, I allow myself to feel the sexual energy.

Some men will try to push the boundaries and ask for more intimate services, such as kissing. I know some workers do offer intimate services but for me kissing is such a truly intimate and almost sacred part of being with someone, so I couldn’t imagine doing it with clients.

If you give every part of your sexual being to clients, then you will have nothing left for your personal life.

As for my own relationships, I won’t ever have a partner while I’m doing this work because it is too difficult for me to deal with.

But when I first started, I was amazed by how many women are married with children or have boyfriends. There are men who are able to tolerate it. They may not always like it but they put up with it for the sake of having some extra money coming in.

There is a misconception in society that prostitutes are people who have no choice because they are desperate for money. Most of us have one thing in common: greed.

Everyone comes into the job wanting the investment property or the flash car and they think that they can achieve it. They think sex is a short-cut to achieving the things that other people get by working hard for years.

Very few sex workers actually achieve what they set out to. It is difficult to save money when each week is so variable. That is why I believe the smarter sex workers are the ones who only work part-time and still maintain regular work.

I do regret the length of time spent in this industry because the longer I am in it, the harder it is to move on. You gradually lose your previous work skills and you wonder what you can do and if you will be employable again.

I certainly do not feel like a victim, though, far from it. It was entirely my choice to become involved in this industry – it’s just that now I want to feel like a part of society again.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned

A VENGEFUL wife who discovered her husband had visited a prostitute got her own back by revealing the sordid details in an email to his work colleagues.

Another girl who was ditched by text message took costly revenge by sand blasting her fiance’s £70,000 Porsche car.

Meanwhile, a third scorned lover took the drastic action of sleeping with her boyfriend’s brother and best pal when she discovered he was having an affair with a work colleague.

Up to eight in 10 women would do something nasty to a partner if they were suddenly ditched, according to new research.

And new technology is aiding spurned women with up to four in 10 of those taking revenge resorting to email or internet tactics to name and shame an unfaitful ex-lover.

One in three women say they have taken revenge on an ex-lover by putting their naked pictures on the internet or sent compromising photographs by mobile phone.

One in 10 claimed to be dumped by text or email is an act that would not go unpunished.

The survey was commissioned to coincide with the release of the film My Super-Ex Girlfriend starring Uma Thurman as a girl with supernatural powers who makes her ‘ex’ Luke Wilson’s life a living hell when he dumps her.

The report found new technology is making revenge easier to execute for a ditched girlfriend.

Of the 9000 women interviewed, 7% admitted posting false details about their partner on a singles dating website.

Around 10% of women went further and posted their straight ex-lover’s details on to a gay singles internet site.

Researchers found there few limits women will stop at to get revenge.

One in two would lie, a quarter would be willing to compromise a friendship and 15% would break the law.

And 63% of those who have taken revenge against an ex admitted to feeling better.

Of Women Rejecting Meaningless Relationships

Men have a way of wanting to hurt others and yet if the same hurt and pain is inflicted on them, they are the first to cry foul.

Which takes me back to a time long back when I was still in the nerve-wrecking institution called marriage and my husband had this nerve of coming home in the early hours of the morning while I was stuck at home with the children.

Then one day I decided enough was enough and joined my girlfriends for a ladies only session at one girl’s house where we sat, talked, laughed and tried to put our marital woes behind.

Needless to say, time flew past and I got home around 22.30 to find the man of the house pacing up and down the corridor with a worried and annoyed look on his handsome face.

It was quite amazing because I had told him where I was going to be and considering the times he often came home, he should have been the last man to complain and rant and rave about the need to be considerate about a spouse’s needs. However, men will always be men the sooner women realise this the better.

I do understand the issue of women who know they are being hurt but just never have the guts to walk away.

While I do understand this fact about women, I do not always believe in it and many a time I have ended up alone and miserable after having dumped a man who was not treating me well.

There was a time I was in a beautiful relationship with a guy who was fine and whom I loved so wholeheartedly.

Things were so good between us such that my sixth sense was even convinced that we would end up as husband and wife.

Trouble started when he seemed to have no respect for me when it came to keeping appointments and dates as it seemed that whenever he met his boys for a drink, he would banish me to the back of his mind and show up as and when he was through with the stuff that boys do.

I ignored this behaviour the first two instances it happened and advised him to mend his ways or risk losing something I knew we both treasured.

He promised to change and I foolishly believed him just the way a woman who is totally in love does but the final straw was soon to come. He stood me up for an important date and rocked up at my place very late and for me that was enough.

I did not want him to stop hanging out with the boys, all I wanted was to be advised if he couldn’t make it so I could make my own plans but in this case, I realized the brother man was taking me for granted and expecting me just to hang in there and wait as if he was the last man on earth.

Yes I did love this man and still have images of a love that was so beautiful in all other ways except time keeping. However, fact is a man has got to respect his woman if the relationship is to survive.

It has been a while since I walked away and in my heart of hearts I know I did the right thing and I hope he learnt something from this painful break-up that we both had to endure.

At times we need to be hurt in order to make a point to men and while I know it may be too much for women who dread leaving the comfort of their homes, breaking up the children, being cold alone on a winter night, etc. the same women should consider the results of their decision to stay.

A woman I knew for many years and whom I loved so dearly had a husband who walked out on her to marry a woman whose wayward ways were known in the town where they all lived.

He was gone for five years which was ample time for him to contract the deadly HIV from this new wife of his and despite people’s warnings and pleas, he turned a deaf ear.

Then things went wrong and he decided to go back to his faithful wife who had battled it alone for five years looking after their only daughter.

I was quite young, just out of my teens when it became apparent that he wanted to come back and I pleaded with this woman not to take him back or at least be very cautrious if she wanted to reconcile with him.

My advice fell on deaf ears and four years from the time that he returned home, she passed away, having endured an agonizing and painful death which still brings tears to my eyes although almost ten years have gone by since she left.

That woman was, is and will always be someone I hold most dear and who I will always miss. She was, is and will always be my aunt, my mother’s youngest sister.

I can only hope that not too many women have to go through this, maybe that is why I am not ready to compromise much when it comes to wayward men and while I know it is man’s nature to cheat, it need not put others at risk, neither do men have to be careless as to leave evidence of their betrayal for all to see.

I suppose that what you don’t know or see wont hurt you but in this day and age, one can only hope not to get caught but in the end the result of the cheating will always come out as the disease catches up with the individual if not with all the people involved.

It is one of the reasons why women should always insist on protection unless one is sure that she is in a monogamous relationship and in this vein I am not even sure how the woman is supposed to know that the man is not playing games.

In conclusion, I hope that men will learn to treasure the women who truly love them and not subject them to painful deaths and emotional stress all because of an urge to enjoy themselves.

As for women, let us not be too understanding and accommodating in all instances lest men take us as their doormats and walk all over us as they please.

So come on women, move on, it will not be easy but try and save yourselves from future pain and the deadly disease. It is now or never.

CBS News reports on Why Men Cheat

Why Do Men Cheat?
In Light Of Christie Brinkley’s Woes, Two Pundits Ponder Question

NEW YORK, July 20, 2006
Guests Stephen Perrine, Editor- in-Chief Best Life magazine and Nicole Beland, Deputy Editor, Women’s Health magazineStephen Perrine and Nicole Beland on The Early Show Thursday. (CBS/The Early Show)

(CBS) It’s the extramarital affair that has everybody talking.

Peter Cook, the husband of former supermodel Christie Brinkley, is accused of carrying on an affair with a 19-year-old named Diana Bianchi.

Brinkley and Cook are now separated, after 10 years of marriage.

And the question everyone’s asking is, “Why would anyone cheat on Christie Brinkley?” And that begs the more general question of what prompts men to cheat, period.

Stephen Perrine, editor in chief of BestLife magazine, and Nicole Beland, deputy editor of Women’s Health magazine, discussed it all on The Early Show Thursday with co-anchor Hannah Storm.

“Why,” Storm wanted to know, “would a man cheat on someone gorgeous like Christie Brinkley? It’s happened to … (other) beautiful, successful women (as well).”

“Successful, powerful women,” Perrine said. “And a lot of times, the guy is cheating with someone not quite so powerful, maybe less threatening. In this instance, it’s really interesting, because the first thing Cook did when he (allegedly) wanted to begin an affair with her was offer her a job, and created a position where he was in power.”

“So,” Storm followed up, “we’re saying that this is really not all about sex. In fact, it might be about ego?”

“I think,” Beland responded, “it’s not all about sex, although 80 percent of men who do cheat on their wives, they say it’s about sex. But I think it comes down to one thing, and that’s integrity. There are a lot of reasons why you might feel an urge to cheat on your spouse, but there’s one reason you don’t, and that’s because you have respect for your vows. … I think (men who cheat on their wives) have a weakness of character.”

“It’s definitely a little softness there in the moral core, absolutely,” Perrine agreed.

Cook is 47, Bianchi is 19 and Brinkley is 52, so Storm asked how age might be a factor.

“Again,” Perrine suggested, “I think it’s that power dynamic. An impressionable woman might worship you and think you’re great.”

“I don’t think it’s so much fear of getting old (on the man’s part),” Beland offered, “as much as it is about power. … I do think, when a man is very insecure, he doesn’t want to feel threatened, he wants to feel as if he’s in control, so he goes for a young woman, who’s more malleable.”

 

 

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Spy Gadgets and Private Eyes can Help You Catch a Cheating Spouse

By Pat Burson
Newsday

You’re reading the newspaper, and your husband or wife could be cheating on you at this very moment.

Not possible, you think?

Of the 19,000 U.S. adults responding anonymously to a national survey about their sexual behavior between 1991 and 2004, 13 percent of women and 22 percent of men reported having a sexual partner other than their spouse while they were married, says Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Although the figures remained relatively stable for men throughout that time, Smith says the numbers for women fluctuated between 11 percent and 14 percent, indicating a “small but clear upward trend.”

So, how can you be so sure they are — or aren’t?

Relationship and infidelity experts, private investigators, technology specialists and divorce attorneys say if you know the subtle and not-so-subtle signs to look for, they’ll point you to the answer.

You can put your five senses to work. Or you can shell out hundreds — or thousands — of dollars to hire a private detective. You also can invest in the newest high-tech products on the market — computer spyware, electronic tracking devices, in-home evidence-gathering kits among them — in an effort to catch cheating mates.

David Vitalli, a private investigator and chief executive of Tru-Test Forensic and Applied Sciences Corp. in Newburgh, N.Y., says his company recently began marketing a patented home evidence-collection kit that will help spouses detect with 100 percent accuracy whether their mates have been intimate with someone else.

The kit contains an ultraviolet light that will detect stains on your mate’s clothing that are normally impossible to see or feel. Protein and enzyme formulas included in the kit also will identify the presence of bodily fluids. And if you require further proof, you can mail specimens you’ve collected in an enclosed envelope to a laboratory for testing to determine whether they match your DNA, your mate’s — or someone else’s. The kit costs $79.95 (877-362-9900 or www.trutestinc.com). Sending specimens for laboratory DNA testing will cost at least $500.

High-tech checking

Suspicious spouses also are using global positioning systems, or GPS, to track their mates’ whereabouts.

Larry Wasylin, vice president of sales and marketing for Magnolia Broadband of Bedminster, N.J., has seen it firsthand in recent months during business trips to Asia. In one instance, he says, he was dining at a restaurant when a colleague pulled out and stared at his cellphone.

“I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m looking to see where my wife is.’ She was picking up the kids from an after-school program. He said, ‘She’ll be home in about 30 minutes.’ They’re marketing it right now under the brand iKids,” he adds. ‘The idea is, it allows parents to ensure the safety of their children. … It’s not confined to children. People like to know where their spouses are.”

Cellphones that capture video can do the same thing, he says, allowing a private eye to tape your mate and then stream data to you.

Wasylin says he also saw reports about a new chip inserted into a cellphone to allow suspicious husbands and wives to listen in on their spouses’ calls without them knowing.

Some are using the images they’ve seen and conversations they’ve heard to confront the cheaters.

He says you can expect to see this technology hit U.S. markets in the not-so-distant future.

Use all your senses

To Ruth Houston, author of “Is He Cheating on You? — 829 Telltale Signs” (Lifestyle Publications, $29.95), gizmos and gadgets won’t tell the whole story. For example, she says, GPS will tell you where they are but not what they’re doing or with whom. Computer spyware will tell you the content of the e-mails going back and forth, but there is information you still will not be able to detect, such as the seriousness of the relationship or the identity of the other person.

Even private investigators are limited by what you tell them. The more detailed information you can give them, the better.

“You don’t need a lot of gadgets,” says Houston, who has been researching infidelity for more than a decade since discovering her ex cheated on her.

“You can find countless signs of infidelity using only your eyes, your ears and your personal knowledge of your mate. The key is knowing what to look for.”

That involves being tuned into your mate’s work habits, daily schedule, and likes and dislikes, Houston says.

“Then you can zero in on what’s happening. You will see changes across the board. There will be things you pick up in their conversation, personal hygiene, how they relate to you, personal behaviors, changes in all those areas,” which she lists on www.infidelityadvice.com.

Some focus on obvious signs (lipstick on the collar, coming home late) and overlook the subtle clues, Houston says.

For instance, your spouse takes a sudden interest in things, like volunteering to take over paying the monthly bills — a job you’ve been doing — to give you, he or she says, a much-needed break.

“You say, ‘That’s nice,’ but maybe he doesn’t want you to see the bills and what he’s been spending his money on,” Houston says.

Once you have proof

Don’t confront your spouse with only your suspicions, some say. Go with proof.

Even with that, some cheaters will never admit betrayal, says Mark Barondess, a Los Angeles attorney and author of the new book “What Were You Thinking?: $600-Per-Hour Legal Advice on Relationships, Marriage & Divorce” (Phoenix, $25.95).

“They could be having sex right in front of their spouse and tell them, ‘It wasn’t me,’ ” he says.

“People will do and say anything they possibly can to avoid admitting they were caught cheating.”

When you confront your spouse about suspicions, pay close attention to his or her reactions, looking for anything that would be a break from the norm: a glitch in his body language or a change in the cadence or pitch of her voice, says Greg Hartley, a U.S. Army interrogator for 15 years who co-authored the new book “How to Spot a Liar: Why People Don’t Tell the Truth … and How You Can Catch Them” (Career Press, $14.99).

“This is what catches most liars: We can’t practice, rehearse or create enough details to sustain a lie. It’s the little details that break a story,” Hartley says.

“You can ask, ‘Where were you at 2 this afternoon?’ I can lie and say, ‘I was at work.’ But if I ask you to give me a timeline of your day, the details will bite you.”

Hartley’s co-author, Maryann Karinch, also says it’s important to approach the conversation logically and calmly so that it doesn’t get ugly or out of control.

Ultimately, Karinch says, you have to ask yourself which outcome you want: To catch your spouse in a lie? To salvage your marriage? To get a big divorce settlement? To hear he or she is deeply sorry?

“If you want to save the marriage and you are genuinely distressed that the person is cheating on you, then you need to come directly into contact with this person about the facts of the matter and the emotions of the matter,” she says.

 

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