You can't really hire a private eye to suss out fake friends. However, hiring an investigator because you suspect your spouse to be cheating on you is probably oldest trick in the noir writer's book. It's also something that happens in real life! David King is managing director for Lipstick Investigations who do something more salacious than checking tax reports. "I will back a woman's intuition every single time," he said in an online interview.
"There's something in their minds that's not right and some of the things they may come to me with might sound a bit strange but more often than not we investigate into it and they're dead right." So, what are the signs to be on the lookout for?
Changes in behavior
Science and David King's experience say that women are as likely to cheat as men are, but the female clients usually ring up his business after they have noticed some troubling signs. "Men start to take a bit more care. They might work out a bit more, or be clean shaven more often, or start dressing a bit better or smelling nicer," David said. "A change of appearance is generally quite strong." Luckily for you, you won't start growing horns if your partner is cheating on you (but you might catch an STD)
Suspicious smartphone use.
Smartphones are an indelible part of life now. They will also be one of the ways the cheating will be carried out over. "Suspicion starts coming through in technology," said David. "You might see a message pop up in your partner's iPhone that looks a bit weird, or he is more protective of his phone. He may have put a password on it, whereas he never needed one before."
David did not want to comment on the psychology of a cheater. However, he did note that his clients had noticed irrational outbursts of anger. "If men are guilty this can manifest itself as anger," says David. "Husbands will often manifest anger into a relationship, and this can sometimes work as a way to get out of the house." They might pretend that they're going outside to cool off, but they're actually getting hot and passionate!
Reasons to not be at home
"Men will come home late, or go out without their partner when they previously would have taken them with you," said David about new shady behaviors in men. "He [the husband] could be going for a legitimate walk but it sounds strange in their relationship."
Catching them doing it
While you might relive your young detective novel experiences while rummaging through the trash and looking at call registry, what you really need to go to get proof is hire a professional. "It's getting the proof of the infidelity on film," said David as he described the core of his 20 year professional career. "They said were going to point A and they've ended up at point B with somebody else."
A honey trapper is person sent to your partner's favorite bar or gym or Magic the Gathering tournament to flirt with them and see if they do anything untoward. And while this might seem like a good preemptive measure, David says that it's not the best. "People have quite unrealistic expectations of how it [honey trapping] works," he said. "If clients want the service I try to talk them into surveillance as a preferred option as it is going to give them the same answers. I'm not saying it's morally wrong, but it's not my preferred direction."