Sunday, August 14, 2011


The day I discovered my husband was cheating on me is forever etched in my mind. I will never forget my bewilderment, shock, confusion and my uncertainty about what to do next. I was totally devastated.
How I Found Out
As a freelance journalist and editor, I work from my home office. I accidentally stumbled onto Frank�s infidelity while doing interviews for an article assignment for a women�s magazine. To insure the accuracy of my notes, I always tape my interviews using a recording device attached to my office phone. While transcribing the interview tapes, I was shocked to find that I�d unknowingly recorded a number of incriminating phone calls made by Frank from our bedroom extension. Interspersed between the interviews, were revealing conversations he�d had with or about the women with whom he was involved.
A Perfect Marriage
That Frank might be cheating on me was the farthest thing from my mind, even though his behavior had been a little unusual the past few months. When infidelity did cross my mind, it was just a fleeting thought -- one I dismissed as quickly as it occurred. It was so far-fetched that I didn�t even give it serious consideration. Frank and I had an exceptionally good marriage (or so I thought). People who knew us -- even strangers, (male and female) often commented on what a perfect couple we were. I wrote relationship articles which appeared regularly in women�s magazines and earned me frequent guest spots on Good Day New York and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows. Our marriage (my second and Frank�s third) was the envy of all our friends. Still, I was at a loss to explain some of the odd little things Frank had recently said and done. Nothing major -- just small insignificant things that were out of character for him and didn�t seem to make any sense. I chalked it up to male menopaus e (Frank was nearing 50) or stress from the heavy overtime he�d been working. Little did I know that these seemingly inconsequential things would turnout to be telltale signs.
Right Under My Very Nose
From the conversations on the tapes, I discovered that Frank had not one, but three lovers. I was dumb-founded to hear him boasting to a friend about his weekend morning quickies with Alexis, his early departures from work for afternoon trysts with Michelle, Marlene�s weekend stay at our apartment while I was away on a business trip and more. Even more astounding, was that all these things had taken place right under my very nose. In light of my discovery, I now saw Frank�s behavior through different eyes. And I became keenly aware of how many telltale signs I�d missed. Many of the odd things Frank said and did suddenly began to make sense.
Wendy�s Story- Another Infidelity Victim
On one tape, Frank mentioned a birthday he�d recently attended which was g iven by his best friend Max. No other details were supplied except that the party was for Max�s girlfriend. Since Max�s wife, Wendy was a friend of mine, I told her what I heard. Working one single piece of information, Wendy conducted what I consider to be a masterpiece of detective work. In less than 2 weeks, she managed to find out the name of Max�s girlfriend, her phone number and address, where she worked, the address and phone number of her job, and was able to pinpoint approximately how long the affair had been going on. Wendy also found out exactly where and when the birthday party had taken place, how much it cost, the names of several guests who attended, and verified that that Max was indeed the person who arranged and paid for the event. She even confiscated a gift for Max�s lover that he�d hidden in the trunk of his car. Since Wendy and Max co-owned a business, she immediately took steps to protect herself financially by transferring the bulk of their joint fund s to a separate account -- much to the surprise (and embarrassment) of Max when he attempted to withdraw funds without her knowledge. Their marriage survived -- largely because instead of sitting back and being a passive victim, Wendy immediately searched for confirming telltale signs. She found them early enough to take positive action and get her marriage back on track.
If Only I�d Recognized the Signs
Discovering that Frank was cheating was truly devastating. Being a naturally trusting person, I was oblivious to most of the telltale signs, despite the fact that they were staring me in the face. I later learned that many telltale signs begin to crop up when a man first starts think seriously about infidelity. For months I agonized over how things might have turned out differently if I�d recognized the signs when they first began to appear. It�s possible that I might have been able to save our marriage if I�d kn own the significance of those signs. If not, I could have at least saved myself a lot of heartaches and pain by preparing myself mentally and emotionally, and protecting myself legally and financially from a marriage that ultimately ended in divorce. Yet, my marriage was not unique in this respect. It was one of the millions of marriages impacted by extramarital affairs.
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