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The Cheating Spouse.

Suspect a spouse or lover is having an affair or hiding assets?

Find out.

Cheating Spouse

Martin Investigative Services has handled more than 33,000 cases of infidelity and marital surveillance, the majority of these clients are women who believe their partner is being unfaithful.

You spend a lot of your life thinking about, fretting over and just plain craving a solid relationship. From first sight, you're wondering how you want any encounter with the opposite sex to play out-whether you hope to see them again or pray they'll never be able to track down your phone number.

If the two of you click, the relationship builds and secrets are shared and affection grows. Maybe it's love or maybe it's passion, but after such intimacy, it's very difficult to break things off when the relationship takes a downturn.

If our relationships were neat little streets, it would be easy to recognize a dead end. More often, though, we move from stage to stage, engaging then disengaging, ever hopeful that we can make it work. We rationalize situations, even the unbearable ones, to justify staying together.

Perhaps the relationship can be saved with some effort. But maybe it can't. Don't stubbornly ignore the signs.

What signs?

  • Jennifer knows her husband, Brad, is having sex with a colleague. Does she confront him? No, Jennifer thinks it's a phase and desperately tries to make him happier.

  • Laura's boyfriend was drunk Saturday night. Laura gave him a hard time about it and he hit her. He vowed never to do it again and she believes him.

  • Kevin feels he rushed into a new relationship too soon after his last one. He feels pressured by Melissa and tells her he needs some time to date other women. Only then will he know she's the right one for him.

  • Katie is stopped by John in the hallway before they go out. "Is that what you're wearing?" he demands to know. Katie knows that what he really means is "Go and change." At dinner, he instructs her to take smaller bites and not to talk so much.

Close friends of Jennifer, Laura, Melissa and Katie push for an end to the relationship. "These guys are bad news," they say, "so get out." But each of the women justifies their partner's actions. "He's not that bad," they keep telling their friends.

If you suspect cheating, you are likely correct.

We have had hundreds of clients over the years receive bad news about their alleged soul mate. Many clients get sick to their stomachs right in the office when they hear the news. Others become paralyzed with grief.

When you try to talk to your significant other about your feelings and fears, does he dismiss you and call you "crazy"? You are most likely not crazy.

Over the last 40 years, we have performed over 33,000 marital surveillances. In 97% of these cases, we catch the mate cheating.

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When to Say Goodbye

You have to seriously and objectively consider leaving when faced with any of these conditions:

Physical Abuser

Nobody, neither a woman nor a man, deserves to be struck anytime. That means no slapping, beating or physical intimidation. Women are the most frequent targets by far: Every nine seconds a woman in the United States is being physically hurt by her husband or boyfriend. Statistics show that if it happens once, it will probably happen again. Leave and get help.

Rule Breaker

Has he done something that you can never forgive or forget? Has he been arrested? Did he have an affair? Everyone has a set of boundaries of acceptable behavior. If he has stepped so far over those boundaries that it has threatened your relationship, you can't stay with him.

Esteem Eroder

He may not be physically abusing you, but mental and emotional abuse can be as damaging. Does he tell you that you'll never be able to find someone else? That you're ugly? Stupid? Fat? A loser? A turnoff? All partners, regardless of their sex, should support the one they love. If the person you care about the most doesn't believe in you, you'll have a hard time believing in yourself.

Player Partner

It's wrong when your husband or boyfriend refuses to give up dating despite your committed relationship. Beyond that, it's dangerous. In a time when AIDS is the world's fastest-spreading epidemic, infidelity can be life-threatening. Each day, 3,000 women are infected with HIV and 500 women die of AIDS. Is this relationship worth your life?

Any Kind of Addict

He has an obvious problem if he consistently uses drugs or alcohol, gambles more than he can afford to lose or takes too many risks. If he's unwilling to seek professional help and stay straight, your situation will not improve until you pack up and go.

Space Traveler

If he needs his "space," give it to him ... permanently. The two of you should be able to work out problems together. But if he needs to constantly work them out with new-found friends instead of you, it may not be the right relationship for either of you.

Human Grenade

Is your relationship a battleground? Are you afraid to do anything? Say anything? Do you feel as if you're walking in a minefield and you don't know what will set him off? He's out of control.

Control Freak

People who lack self-confidence assert themselves by controlling the lives of others. They take command of every aspect of you-from what you wear and eat to how you act in public and raise your children. A relationship involves two people, each with his or her own voice. Speak up.

Brain Problems

You suspect your partner has very real psychological or psychiatric problems and represents a possible threat to himself, you or others. You've spoken with him, and perhaps even gone so far as to stage an intervention. He refuses to admit the problem or seek out professional help. You cannot help in this scenario.

20 Ways To Know If Your Partner Is Cheating

Jennifer and Brad have been married for five years. Their relationship seemed stable, but Jennifer has noticed changes in Brad's behavior the past seven months. She ignored the changes at first. Most were easily explained and just as easily dismissed. Then she read the eye-opening list below.

1. Changing Habits

Your husband's been coming home from work everyday for the past ten years at 5 p.m., but recently he's pushing the arrival time to 9 p.m. or so. Or maybe he use to go out with pals once a week and now he's stepping out three to four times a week, acting secretive and jumpy. Plus Mr. Practical traded in the mini-van for a Dodge Viper and you're no longer invited to ride along.

Occasionally there are reasons why you can't join him, but he should be making an attempt to involve you. Invite yourself along when he goes out with his friends. If he's working late, offer to bring him dinner If he declines, look into the situation.

2. Leaving Early and Returning Late

Is he leaving for work much earlier than he needs to and coming home later? Unfaithful partners may leave the house right after their shower, just to have breakfast with someone else. Is this another change habit that is unexplained?

3. Business Trips

He says he has to take a business trip, even though his company's travel budget has been slashed. Business trips that use to be short now start on Friday and require an entire weekend because he says he likes get settled in his hotel room and use the alone-time to prepare for Monday's presentation. He says it's against company policy to bring you along. Or, regardless of "buy one, get one free" airline and hotel specials, he says, "we can't afford" to extend his business trip into a mini-vacation for both of you.

4. Holiday Absences

He finds reasons not to participate in family events, needing to help a friend move or work out at the gym. He says he doesn't feel comfortable joining your family for a special dinner, but doesn't want you to stay home with him.

5. Excessive Overtime

His job and his paycheck are the same but his workload seems to have doubled. He now works late into the night and weekends. And why won't he discuss the details of that huge, time-consuming project he's now on? He refuses to meet near his office for a late-night date, explaining that he can't be interrupted. When he comes home, it's right to bed. And it's sleep, no pillow talk.

Delivering the bad news

Delivering the bad news can be challenging, but it's important to do so in a way that is sensitive to what the person is going through.

We also help that person with any professional help they may need, be it references to talented psychologists or the best divorce lawyers possible. We want our clients to be able to move forward with their lives.

See how we catch cheating spouses.

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6. Unexplained Expenditures

He earns money but none of it seems to come home. He makes excessive ATM withdrawals, but he can't point to any large purchases to explain where the money went. He borrows money from you. One explanation: Affairs are costly. There are dinners, gifts and getaways.

7. Secretive Accounts

You both use to have an open-door policy concerning shared finances, but now he insists on handling it all. He accuses you of snooping in his wallet or briefcase. Maybe he hides them. There's a difference between one partner taking care of balancing the checkbook and someone suddenly being secretive about checking account balances.

8. Hidden Bills and Letters

There are expenditures and phone numbers that he doesn't want you to see, so he has credit card and phone bills sent to his work instead of home. Or maybe he's rented a mailbox for bills, new credit cards or private letters. He doesn't tell you, but you stumble across the U.S. Post Office key or see it on his key chain. Sometimes, there is a valid reason for establishing a mailbox address. Frequent movers use them but usually not someone who has lived in the same house for fifteen years. Someone may want a post office box for safety reasons, too. But do you both know the location and have access to a key? Women who have hired our private investigation firm to complete surveillance are shocked to learn that their partner has a private, secret box.

9. Extra Grooming

Your boyfriend is buying expensive clothes and paying particular attention to his hair. Telltale sign: the man who use to lube his car now sports manicured nails. He may be boosting his self-esteem, but there also may be another reason for this "extra effort."

10. Scent of Another Woman

He comes home from a long day of work appearing freshly showered, well-groomed and smelling better than when he left. Is that new cologne he's wearing?

Catching a rock star cheating

A few years ago we performed a surveillance case for the wife of a legendary rock star, to determine if he was having an affair.

This job didn't exactly go as planned, as the rock star had a unique way of minimizing his exposure. We eventually caught him messing around in Miami, which led to a divorce.

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11. Buying Jewelry

He's wearing gold rings or chains for the first time. Or you find out that he's buying women's jewelry but you haven't seen any of it. Could it be a gay fantasy? Nah.

12. Unexplained Items

He keeps cologne, hair spray or blankets in his car. Ticket stubs, hotel keys, greeting cards, lipstick holders, earrings and condom wrappers find their way into your home without explanation.

13. Health Club Membership

He has a sudden commitment to improving his physique. Or he joins a gym, tells you he's going there every day but his appearance doesn't seem to change from month to month. He denies that health clubs are good places to meet people. And even though he says he's benefiting, he doesn't want you to work out at the same gym.

14. Hang-Ups

The number of hang-up telephone calls at your home has jumped. But when he answers the phone, someone's always on the other end. You push *69 and use caller ID to investigate hang-up calls. Or after he's made a call, you hit the redial button, but you don't know the person or company on the other end of line.

15. Coded Text Messages

You observe an unusually high amount of text messaging. He keeps his phone close to him; at night. He receives texts from unfamiliar numbers or with codes like "11691." You witness him on a different mobile phone than he normally uses, or find one in his car's glove box. He hides the phone bills.

Getting a better settlement

Court-admissable, tangible proof of an extramarital affair can make a huge difference during divorce proceedings.

When we provide our clients with the court-admissable, tangible proof of an extramarital affair, it can make all the difference in divorce proceedings, leading to more favorable settlements.

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16. Less Sex

He use to always be ready for sex, despite mood, workload or stress level. Lately, you've expressed interest and he's hesitant. Instead of taking the time to talk, he now walks out in mid-sentence and refuses to finish the conversation. Fights are more frequent and they never get resolved.

17. Evasiveness and Defensiveness

He no longer freely gives information. He doesn't want to join you for lunch. He starts an argument when you ask about his plans, thereby avoiding the question and making you think twice before you quiz him again.

18. Obvious Lies

Two of your girlfriends saw your boyfriend with a woman at a bar, but when you questioned him about it, he said he was working late. It's time to: 1) see if he has a twin or 2) take a serious look at what's going on.

19. Prickliness

He gets on your case when you ask something simple, like how his day was. He's irritable and easily provoked.

20. Hates Your Visits

Does he get angry by your surprise visits to his office even though it's not inconvenient or inappropriate for you to be there? Maybe he doesn't want you to meet any of the new female employees at the office.

How surveillance works

When a client hires us to perform a surveillance on their partner, they want to find out for sure - and have court admissable evidence of the affair. Here's how it all works.

Read more about surveillance services.

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Don't Panic

If some of this relates to your situation, don't panic. There's no need to jump to conclusions.

You don't want to jeopardize a valuable relationship over what may be unfounded anxieties.

Within reason, give him a chance. He might just have a good explanation.

But if you see your relationship changing and many (or most) of these actions prove true, trust your intuition. You need to have an open discussion with your partner. You need answers.

Perhaps the relationship can be saved. Maybe it can't. Don't stubbornly ignore the signs.

Some couples can resolve issues alone or with the help of a counselor. Others recognize that it's over and they need proof of their partner's indiscretion. They want pictures, a video or a formal report. Maybe they need court evidence. If you're considering gathering proof, consult with a professional private investigator.

Martin Investigative Services has handled more than 33,000 cases of infidelity and marital surveillance, the majority of which are women who believe their partner is being unfaithful. They can't afford to be naive. You might be surprised to learn that we catch ninety-eight percent of the people we follow.

How to hire a PI

When hiring a private investigator, you should hire an expert that takes your case only if he/she believes that they can help you. The investigator should be clear about (a) What the exact investigative service and plan is, (b) how long it is going to take, and (c) how much it is going to cost. The costs should never exceed the agreed upon amount.

Jump to Chapter 16: Steps to Hiring a Private Investigator.

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A true-life story

There is almost nothing worse than telling someone that a family member has died. If there ever was something close, it would be telling someone that their spouse, whom we have followed on surveillance, ended up in a local motel with another person.

We have followed both males and females who end up in a compromising position with someone of the same sex. It is a double whammy for our clients. We have had hundreds of clients over the years receive bad news about their alleged soul mate. Many clients get sick to their stomachs right in the office when they hear the news. Others become paralyzed with grief.

I had a hard time deciding what real-life drama to choose for this chapter. Was it the daughter in 1986 who hired us on the recommendation of her mother who used our services in 1984? Was it the husband whose wife made love to his brother in a local park? Was it the wife whose husband was recorded in the back seat of his car with his secretary?

My choice went to Jane Phelan. Jane had less than 100 pounds on her five-foot frame but was truly a heavyweight when it came to perseverance in catching her husband. She was very sure he was having an affair. We followed her husband nine different times and he was a candidate for sainthood. Right straight home every time. Time number ten was different. On this day, her hubby stopped at a local gin mill near his office. He was joined a few moments later by a female. Now what would be worse than dating the boss' wife? How about the boss' daughter? That's right, our family man was soon recorded snuggling up and kissing his boss' daughter. They later left the bar and proceeded to a hotel within walking distance. They were recorded entering and exiting the room. When they checked out, one of the investigators observed the husband throw away the hotel receipt. We retrieved the receipt and provided it to the client the next morning. She placed a copy of our video and the receipt on top of his cereal bowl the following morning.

Jane was hurt but she was so very strong. She used one of our attorney referrals and did quite well in the final settlement. She became the strong anchor needed for her three young children. I admire her greatly as does everyone in our office.

By the way: once the divorce was finalized, she sent her husband's boss a copy of the video.

When Your Partner Hides Your Money

If one partner is unaware of the couple's finances, something like a divorce or delinquent child support payments may make it necessary to count up what's out there.

An investigator can help. But keep in mind that there's an investigator on every corner who says he or she can obtain bank, savings and checking account records. Be warned: A liquid assets search is an art form practiced by only a handful of investigators in the United States. After being in the business for 40 years, I know of only five other investigators who are competent enough to conduct a thorough bank, savings and checking account search.

Also be very careful of any investigator who offers to find stocks, bonds, mutual funds or certificates of deposit. There are literally hundreds of thousands of stocks traded every day in this country and, as a former federal agent, I know even the mighty IRS would admit it has a hard time monitoring many of these accounts.

We're often asked if an assets search will find everything of record. Our search is only as good as the information we're given. The minimum information needed is the name, the last-known or current address, and the city, state and zip code. It will help if you have a Social Security number and/or a date of birth. A credit profile search provides information on all the subject's accounts, account numbers, when they were opened, the maximum amount of credit allowable and the current balance. This starting point provides a good window into the person's financial picture. If you are separated, this search may fall under the rules and regulations of The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Although you'll have a better chance of finding additional assets with a nationwide search, we advise clients to start with one region before incurring the cost of searching the entire country.

Most bank searches take as much as ten working days. The value of conducting a liquid assets search is that once the money is found in an account, you can seize it if you have the proper paper work and a legal judgment in hand. Funds also may be frozen during the course of a dissolution of marriage.

Our searches are completely confidential. No one knows or is notified that we're poking around.

Searching for hard assets, so-called because they can be seized (property, cars, boats), is part of most lawyers' and private investigators' daily routine, but you can do some of the legwork. You can locate personal and corporate assets by using public record indexes. Hard assets may be listed in:

  • Consumer Public Filings
  • Department of Motor Vehicles Records
  • Fictitious Business Name Records
  • Plaintiff Records Secretary of State Records
  • Statewide Real Property Records
  • Uniform Commercial Code

Unlike liquid assets, hard assets must be sold before you can obtain any funds that are rightfully yours.

Finding your spouse's hidden money

Assets can be hidden in clever ways. In the case of a divorce or other legal separation, often the partner has no idea where to even begin.

Find our more about our asset search services.

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“Never let yesterday use up too much of today.” Will Rogers