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Catch a Cheating Spouse - Investigative Tips

Updated on August 28, 2015

How to Catch a Cheater

Do you suspect your partner is cheating but are frustrated because you cant find proof to confirm it? Well, today is your lucky day because I'm going to give you some great tips on where to look and what to look for! My ex husband was a sneaky bastard, but he was no match for me. He always said I should have been a Private Investigator, which is why I'm baffled that he thought he could cheat and not eventually get caught. I am by no means a "crazy woman" but when push came to shove I did what needed to be done. He was good though; it took me 7 months to confirm his affair, but that was from my own stupidity... the signs and the proof were always there but I didn't want to face it at first. Also in hindsight, and to my own defence I was a victim of Gaslighting (I just didn't know at the time that the phenomenon existed). In any event...

I quietly gathered my proof... when he zigged, I zagged and when I was ready to present my findings there was no room left for his denials. Before I share them with you, I want to caution you to always be careful and to remember to remain under the radar while snooping. Some men can become quite aggressive when feeling threatened, you know your partner best and it's never worth it if you think you may be putting yourself in danger. I am writing this article based on my experience of catching a man cheating, however, this can easily apply to catching a female partner cheating as well. To catch a cheat you need to think like a cheat, and an investigator. Yes you will be invading his privacy but he's cheating, so all bets are off.

1. Start snooping on a regular basis, check his pockets for receipts, condoms, condom wrappers, phone numbers, hotel receipts, restaurant receipts, movie ticket stubs or anything that may suggest he is cheating. Other places to search are his wallet, bank statements, briefcase, computer bag, credit card statements, phone bills etc. Leave no stone left unturned but be careful to not get caught as that will only make him be more careful about covering his tracks.

2. Start searching the vehicle that he drives on a regular basis. What you are looking for is any trace that someone else has been in it. The most obviously places to look are the dashboard, the seat pockets for personal items, look under the sun visors and in the trunk or hatch back. If he keeps a gym bag or any other bag such as sports bag or emergency kit in his car search that as well. Be sure to open the astray and look for cigarette butts (if he is a smoker you are looking for an alternate brand or cigarette butts with traces of lipstick on them). Frequently check the seat positions to see if they have been moved. Generally the passengers seat will be closer to the dash or more reclined then usual. Go so far as to sit in the seat, recline it and look up on the inside roof for hand or footprints (yes, it's happened). Look under the seats, between the seat and under the floor mats for items left behind (earring, bobby pin, sunglasses etc.) Search that vehicle like you're a forensic scientists solving a crime! Some people have even hidden voice activated recorders in the vehicle but I was not aware of this tip until after his affair was exposed. One last thing to be aware of is the car mileage, monitor it to see if it changes significantly.

3. Surprise him at work from time to time with lunch. Is he were he said he would be? Is he antsy that you're there? Take a quick skim of his desk, are family pictures still out on display? Are there any items or gifts in sight that aren't from you? If he leaves his office for any reason have a quick look in the desk drawers, but don't get caught. Whatever you can rummage through do it, he is more likely to leave things out in a place where he wasn't expecting you to be. You can also do the occasional midday pop in, make up some excuse like you've misplaced your house key or something that won't raise suspicion with him. Be sure to take note of how his coworkers act around you as well, especially females that you are suspicious of or whos name he has mentioned more often then usual.

4. Surprise him at home. If he is home for the day pop in when he would least expect it. Even if he isn't supposed to be home on a given day try to find time to stop by when he thinks you are working. If he has asked for a detailed schedule of your day (also a reg flag that he's cheating) make it sound like you are going to be extremely busy with other things. You can take this a step further and tell him you are planning a weekend away. Pack up your suitcase and head out for your "fake" trip. Go to a friends or a hotel and do random drives past your house over the weekend. Of course you want it to be late at night or at a time that he wont see you in the area. If he is expecting you to be out of town, he may be bold enough to invite another woman over to your house.

5. Have an office, den, or other room in your house where he frequently goes and closes the door to do work or catch up on phone calls and emails? What's he really doing in there? Do you sometimes hear him on his cell but he ends the call when you're near or is careful to keep the door shut. My ex was famous for retreating to the garage, he had it all set up in there with a spare computer and TV. The garage was below our bedroom so I would sometimes hear his muffled voice and knew he was on his cell with someone. My solution was this; I took my sons old baby monitor and I hid it in the garage. When he went to the garage I went to my secret hiding spot, got the receiver and tuned into what he was doing. I only figure this out near the end so I didn't actually get the information I was looking for but it worked wonderfully for listening in. The previously mentioned voice activated recorder would work in the case as well.

6. Start paying attention to how his friends and your friends in common act around you. Often times we are the last to know and it's not unusual for friends to have more information than we do. Have they been uncomfortable around you lately or even avoiding you? Ask them questions innocently, maybe they were an alibi for your spouse but he forgot to tell them the cover. With the right questions, they may offer up information they weren't supposed to. Ask casually who was at the bar or what time they left, any questions that may trip your spouse up in a lie. If they don't know you suspect your husband of cheating they are going to be less likely to hide insignificant details (details that may be very significant to you) Remember not to alert them that you are suspicious because they will cover for him if need be.

7. Was he out of town recently, took his camera but came back with no pictures on it? Do you suspect he may have had pictures of the other woman on it but the memory card has been cleared. There are some amazing card recovery programs online. All you need is the actual memory card, the right program and to follow the steps listed on the site to recover deleted files. I know, amazing right? I actually did this and it worked.

8. There is a wealth of information just waiting to be discovered on your spouses computer. If you have the chance you must go through all of it. Many guilty spouses will delete the browsing history, there is a way to view this anyhow. Go to Internet options, click settings, then click view files, this will give a list of websites visited. You can scroll through that and further investigate any sites that look suspicious. Also, check under my pictures, my documents and all other files, even if they are titled something that would never indicate proof would be inside them. Spouses will often create folders and name them something such as "work" so you would never bother to open them. If it can open, look at it! If all else fails they have this wonderful invention called a keylogger. A keylogger does just that- logs all keys entered, sites visited and some even take random snap-shops of web pages. There are some great ones out there that run completely stealth on the computer. A wonderful excuse if it's discovered is that you were monitoring your children's activities. I ran one one my home computer for a few months, it gave me all his passwords and a list of all his online activities. He was none the wiser.

9. If you can get your hands on his cell phone you are in luck, especially if he has no clue that you have been suspecting him of cheating and has not put a password on his phone. Don't get caught or a password will be put on that faster than you can say "guilty!" Check the contacts, last number dialed, emails, text or bbm messages. Look for numbers that are repeated often. If you're lucky the last numbers dialed might be the keys he entered to check his voicemail (or the other womans number). You can check voicemail messages from any phone, you don't have to do it from his. Another great thing to check is "voice notes" sometimes this key can be accidentally activated and there may be a recording there that he didn't know was being recorded. Just like the computer folder possibly labelled "work", there may be contacts in his phone that may not be who they say they are, e.g a contact named Steve, that's in fact his other woman. Again, if a number is repeated often, further investigate. You can write the info down and reverse address, reverse number or reverse email in "white pages" online. Still can't figure it out, go to a pay phone and call it, be a good detective: make up some fake reason for calling. Find a clever way to get the name of the person on the other line. If you find it difficult to get access to their phone you can always sneak off with it to the washroom or somewhere else while they are sleeping. Slip it off the nightstand, go have a quick browse, then return to bed. Do this often until you have looked everywhere or found what you are looking for.

10. Follow him or have someone you trust do it for you. If he's told you he was meeting up with his buddies or visiting a friend, drive by or discreetly find out if he is where he said he would be. Stop in with some excuse, if he's not there then you have caught your cheater. You can also call the friends house and ask for him. If he's not there, bingo! If he is there, again, a valid excuse as to why you are calling will be sufficient.

Following these tips will give you much needed information, but please remember, you need to be discreet. Once a cheating partner suspects that you may be on to them they will become much more careful, making it very difficult to find proof. If you find something small it is very important to bite your tongue and hold you temper. You know they are slipping up and leaving proof, if you wait a little long and keep checking you are going to find something big, something undeniable. Patience is key here! Yes I understand that you want to tear them a new one, but you can't, not if you want to have future access to information or prevent them from diligently covering their tracks. Good luck and be smart!


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    • profile image

      Unfair Advantage 4 years ago

      My wife is cheating with a co-worker. I know it because I'm checking the phone records, computer history, key-logger, etc daily. The only problem is: she caught me snooping about three weeks back and has gone radio silent. I'm a fool and I wish I'd never got married. Jody has got my girl and gone and probably did the entire time I was deployed.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you dotty1, I am glad you found it useful. I appreciate the feedback!

    • dotty1 profile image

      dotty1 6 years ago from In my world

      Really good hub :)