Suspect An Affair? Don't Turn Into A Spy

Suspect An Affair? Don't Turn Into A Spy [EXPERT]
Love, Heartbreak

If you suspect foul play in your relationship, investigating might not be the answer!

So now we arrive at the biggest spying-on-the-person-I-love tactic there is. Now, you're tempted to hire a private investigator. And you're wondering if you should do it. The best answer, and my personal general rule, is: never.

That was probably not what you wanted to hear. There are exceptions to my rule, which I will address later, but in general, there is never a good reason or time to hire a professional to spy on someone you love. I feel your frenzy mounting as I write this. "What if he's cheating? I need to know."

Again, to what end? Ask yourself: What is my goal in hiring a private investigator?

Is it your goal to save the relationship? Is it your goal to be right? Will you be able accept his innocence, if that's the result? Will you feel satisfied once you’ve reached that "ah ha!" moment? Or will you continue to spiral out of control?

Chances are, if you've gotten so far as to consider hiring a professional, then you have probably built up to it by doing your own spying. And if all that has occurred, I would venture to say that, whether you are right or whether you are wrong about the cheating, you have a bigger problem — a much more systemic relationship problem that the relationship is hard-pressed to survive. I think we can agree. Investigative efforts (whether you spy on your own, through a professional, or both) will produce one of two results: He's guilty or he's not guilty.

If he's guilty, and making that discovery has driven you to such extreme methods to prove it, the relationship is probably over. This isn't a case where he made a mistake, came clean about it with remorse, and made sincere amends to you. This is a person who worked hard to maintain his cover. And that drove you into an uncharacteristic tailspin. There are some very basic healthy relationship qualities that are missing or damaged here.

If he's not guilty, and you have worked yourself into this level of suspicion and panic on your own, then (and I repeat myself) there are some basic healthy relationship qualities that are missing or damaged here. And in both cases, that is an understatement. Maybe it is time to consider that those essential healthy relationship qualities were missing or damaged from the beginning.

Can a relationship survive spying? The simple and most probable answer is: no.

With work and commitment, relationships can survive and recover from a lot of really challenging problems: in-law issues, struggles with kids, economic difficulties, even life disasters. And with a great deal of dedication and some pretty deep soul searching, relationships can even survive infidelity. But this kind of sneaky spying has a parasitic-like effect on a relationship. By it's very nature, it exponentially adds toxicity to an already highly fragile and damaged environment. 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Cheating (And Finally Heal From The Betrayal)

This article was originally published at Bobbi Jankovich. Reprinted with permission from the author.