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Should you hire a private detective to catch a cheating spouse?

answered 10:54 AM EST, Fri August 23, 2013
anonymous anonymous
As a marriage counselor do you think it is a good idea to hire a private detective to confirm that my wife is not cheating on me? Does this usually help people or hurt them? I don’t have any proof but sometimes I get a feeling that she might be. Half of me is worried that I will find out something I do not want to know and the other half of me thinks it will either just put my mind at ease or let me face the truth. She would never have to know that I had done it unless I told her.

Delisted Expert Says...

Disclaimer - I am not a marriage counselor!  I have experience working with couples and families, but I am not specifically a marriage counselor.  

That said, on to your question.  

First, what do you hope to gain by hiring a private detective and confirming or not your worry that your spouse is cheating on you?  What do you plan on doing if you find out she is not cheating?  What do you think you will do if she is cheating?  If you decide to stay with her, how will you feel about keeping the secret of hiring the detective for the entirety of your relationship?  Or would you decide to tell her eventually and hope it does not risk the relationship?  Planning out what you might do, or how you might feel may help you decide what to do.

Second, you may want to talk to someone, such as a counselor. Family and friends may mean well, but a more objective (although still based on the counselor's experiences) ear may help you sort through the issues related to your situation.  What things are contributing to your thinking your spouse may be cheating?  Do you have past issues with unfaithful partners?  And exploring your statement that your spouse would never have to know about your hiring a detective might be useful as well.  Communication, honesty and trust are usually considered important to relationships, so how might this affect your marriage?  

Third, you may want to consider couples counseling or some other couples resource.  Are you able to communicate with your spouse that you are feeling a little distance between the two of you?  Perhaps you can resolve this issue together, by working together, learning and growing together.  This could negate your feeling a need to hire a detective - you would perhaps no longer feel it necessary.  

Whatever path you choose, it seems considering thoroughly prior to any action might be useful.  The sayings "out of the frying pan, into the fire" and "cutting off your nose to spite your face" come to mind  - in other words, although taking no action may have consequences, taking action will most likely come with consequences. 


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Page last updated Aug 23, 2013

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