With either result, guilty or not guilty, chances are, the true culprit in the relationship is far more comprehensive. Sometimes people bring to relationships their own deep-rooted personality wounds that can create an atmosphere fertile for dysfunction. For instance, the kind of personality that allows someone to cheat without remorse or regret, that allows them to watch their partner descend into despair and suspicion, again, without remorse or regret. Caught: When Infidelity Hits Home, Now What?
Other personality traits can be just as destructive. A person with pathological insecurity, jealousy, obsession, or need for control can not contribute in a healthy way. When a relationship is built on these kinds of inherent deficits, it doesn't have a strong foundation. And that makes it ripe for failure.
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So what is the exception? When is it OK to hire a private investigator? I'll begin by reiterating that there are occasions when it is appropriate, maybe even advised, to bring in a private investigator. But I will warn you before I go any further: the relationship is still over.
However, if there are any concerns around legality or safety—regarding money, property, yourself and/or children—that may be in jeopardy because of some suspicion, by all means, hire a professional to protect yourself. Safety and security always come first. But know that the relationship is over. At this point, your actions are about self-protection or the protection of children or others, and it is not about saving the relationship.
How do you avoid all of this? If you find yourself triggered by suspicion and anxiety in your relationship, there are alternatives to spinning out of control.
1. First and foremost, it is important to stay calm and avoid reactivity.
2. Recognize that something is wrong in the relationship. At this point, it's not important to know if it's you or if it's him. Recognize it and try to keep your head.
3. Don't talk to your friends and family about your concerns. If he is innocent, you will be poisoning the waters with them. If he isn't, you’re likely to get stirred up which will only increase your anxiety and reactivity. Either way, you end up turning your friends and family into judge, jury and whistleblower. And if you decide to reconcile in the end, these relationship will suffer for it.
4. Consider consulting a professional therapist. Someone who can help you sort out the spinning thoughts, define your goal, and help you make decisions about your next move.
Ultimately, you have some choices to make. It is important to think about whether you are ready to analyze your own part in the issues that have led to suspicion. And whether your partner will be ready to look at his.
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A healthy, happy relationship must be a safe, secure and loving place. Choosing to spy on love is the least likely way to create that relationship.