As a thirty-five year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department and now in my second career as a New Jersey Private Investigator I have come to learn that one of life’s most stressful events is being involved in a committed relationship and finding out, or even worse yet, suspecting but not really knowing that there is infidelity in your relationship and your spouse is cheating on you. The feeling and emotions you experience from your cheating spouses disloyalty is enormous; someone you have depended on as being your partner, a person who you could trust, share your innermost secrets with and the person you lean on for support has now found someone else. The worst part of a cheating spouse is the lying and deception, which takes place in order that your cheating spouse can cover their tracks. A cheating spouse leaves you feeling like a jerk, at times you even discover that people around you, people you know have been aware of your cheating spouses infidelity but for purposes of either not wanting to get involved or even worse yet, these people wanted to help cover up for your cheating spouse, and have stood silently by while you were victimized.
As a New Jersey Private Investigator many victims of a cheating spouse have related to me that one of the first emotions they experienced when they began to suspect infidelity and that their spouse was cheating was that deep feeling in their gut (gut instinct) that something was up. The cheating spouse telling lies or otherwise being deceptive usually precipitates this “gut instinct”. At first, the lies and deceptions were not noticed because of the trust which the victim has for the cheating spouse, but as time goes on with the accumulation of the deception and lies, most victims of cheating spouses related the trust they once had had diminished and they began experiencing that ” gut feeling” because of the suspected infidelity. Once you have that “gut feeling” infidelity is occurring in your relationship it is important you examine your relationship for any concrete evidence your spouse has been cheating on you. The first step of obtaining this evidence of Infidelity is by examining your relationship for the common signs of cheating (I have a related article posted on my blog); you can then use the observed “signs of cheating” as a foundation in obtaining hard evidence of your cheating spouse’s infidelity.
As a Private Investigator I have learned the betrayal in a spousal relationship occurs when your spouse lies to you about relationships with others, or your spouse cheats on you by either having a one time sexual relationship or a one-night stand behind your back. Equally dishonest and unhealthy is if your spouse has an emotional relationship with another, in most instances when this occurs the physical relationship will not be far behind. Additionally, when a cheating spouse utilizes family funds or other assets to fuel this relationship he/she is not only taking away from you financially but also your children, if any. When a cheating spouse constantly criticizes you, or abuses you, either mentally or physically, you will be the decision maker on how long you will let yourself be treated this way. Such conduct displayed towards a spouse in what is supposed to be a mutually trusting and loving relationship is extremely hurtful and emotionally damaging to the person on the receiving end of it. After all, the person you love is the one person in the world you are supposed to be able to trust, why would your spouse treat you like this? What have you done wrong? It is at this moment you should be seriously considering the retaining of a New Jersey Private Investigator to conduct an Infidelity Investigation.
When you believe in the honesty of your spouse despite the fact that they begin to deceive and lie to you, don’t feel like a jerk; many experts say it is human nature to trust and believe in people, especially those close to you.
Most people in a committed relationship believe in and trust their spouse to be faithful to them. When two people have deep feelings for one another it is natural that they will place a significant amount of trust in one another, both parts of the couple will feel secure and comfortable in the relationship and unless their suspicions are otherwise raised they will not have reason to believe their spouse is cheating on them. It is optimum when a relationship develops to this point, however, the problem occurs when one of the spouses has a proclivity to be dishonest, because this same security and comfort that is enjoyed in a healthy spousal relationship can also create the opportunity for a cheating spouse to be deceptive by misusing your trust; a trust, bond and security that is the very essence of a comfortable and loving spousal relationship.
According to many experts including Dr. Jack Schafer Ph.D. There is a concept known as “Truth Bias” which acts as a psychological cloak for deception. People in general want to believe what other people tell them despite seeing evidence to the contrary. According to Schafer, this phenomenon allows society to run efficiently, absent the “Truth Bias” people would spend an inordinate amount of time checking on information which had been provided by others in all sorts of matters; the “Truth Bias” serves as the social default. Could you imagine if it was normal that anytime someone started a conversation you had to be suspicious of his or her veracity? According to Schafer, if that were the case relationships with loved ones, friends and business colleagues would become severely strained if the veracity of their statements were continually questioned. When people are faced with small discrepancies in the information they receive they often tend to excuse away the inconsistencies because they want to believe the person who is telling the story according to Schafer. This “Truth Bias” provides dishonest people (cheating spouses) with an advantage because people want to believe what they hear, see and/or read. Schafer continues to inform that the effect of the “Truth Bias” is much stronger if the person telling the story is a spouse. Schafer concludes that the “Truth Bias” diminishes when the person on the receiving end of the story becomes aware of the possibility of deception; the best defense against the “Truth Bias” is judicious skepticism.
Is Your Spouse Being Deceptive And Untruthful Regarding Your Suspicion Of His Or Her Infidelity?
As the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department with thirty-five years experience and more recently as a New Jersey Private investigator I have done much research over the years and have recently found a particularly interesting study that might be helpful to you in determining whether your spouse is being honest and truthful to you. It would certainly behoove you to be aware of how this study, which was performed by UCLA Professor R. Edward Geiselman, was utilized to train law enforcement on how to be able to tell when you are being lied to.
UCLA professor of psychology R. Edward Geiselman has taught investigative interviewing techniques to detectives and intelligence officers from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Marines, the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments, and numerous international agencies. Here are 9 tips:
- When questioned, deceptive people generally want to say as little as possible. Geiselman had initially thought they would tell an elaborate story, but the vast majority gives only the bare bones. Studies with college students, as well as prisoners, show this. Geiselman’s investigative interviewing techniques are designed to get people to talk.
- Although deceptive people do not say much, they tend to spontaneously give a justification for what little they are saying, without being prompted.
- They tend to repeat questions before answering them, perhaps to give themselves time to concoct an answer.
- They often monitor the listener’s reaction to what they are saying. “They try to read you to see if you are buying their story,” Geiselman said.
- They often initially slow down their speech because they have to create their story and monitor your reaction, and when they have it straight “will spew it out faster,” Geiselman said. Truthful people are not bothered if they speak slowly, but deceptive people often think slowing their speech down may look suspicious. “Truthful people will not dramatically alter their speech rate within a single sentence,” he said.
- They tend to use sentence fragments more frequently than truthful people; often, they will start an answer, back up and not complete the sentence.
- They are more likely to press their lips when asked a sensitive question and are more likely to play with their hair or engage in other “grooming” behaviors. Gesturing toward one’s self with the hands tends to be a sign of deception; gesturing outwardly is not.
- Truthful people, if challenged about details, will often deny that they are lying and explain even more, while deceptive people generally will not provide more specifics.
- When asked a difficult question, truthful people will often look away because the question requires concentration, while dishonest people will look away only briefly, if at all, unless it is a question that should require intense concentration.
How Do You Illicit Information From Your Spouse If You Suspect Infidelity?
If your are able to (and this is a big “IF”) get your spouse to cooperate with you when you inquire about his/her infidelity make sure you ask open-ended questions to get them to provide as many details and as much complete information as possible. First, ask your spouse “general open ended questions” such as “what did you do on this fishing trip this weekend”. The more information initially imparted by the suspected cheater the better. Only after asking these open ended general questions which are designed to elicit a whole range of information and locking in certain facts do you move to the more specific questions, i.e. Tell me exactly which highways you traveled, where you stayed etc. Information such as this can always be verified through certain records, i.e. EZPASS, credit card statements, mileage on the vehicle, and verification through conversations with friends who had reportedly on the “fishing trip”.
Someone You Trust And Love Is Lying To You And You Feel You Have Nowhere To Turn?
Earlier in this article I wrote about the “Truth Bias”, a concept that had been discussed by retired FBI Agent Jack Schafer, PH.D. Although, the “Truth Bias” concept makes a lot of sense to me, and I believe concept to be mostly true, I think my past has precluded me from possessing the “Truth Bias” Schafer writes about. My past work history included a period of Thirty-five years I had served on the Jersey City, New Jersey Police Department; Jersey City is the second largest municipality in New Jersey.
During my entire career on the Jersey City Police Department I mostly worked the night shift including weekends and holidays. During my career working nights I rose through the ranks of the department to the rank of Deputy Chief and subsequently Chief of Police, even as the Chief of Police I spent a significant amount of my time working on the street late at night or very early morning hours. I tell you this for a reason, as a police officer and then as a police supervisor I was constantly interacting with people both the public and other police personnel. In the position I was in on the police department out of necessity I had been forced to discard “Truth Bias” Concept; in the police business it was imperative that I be skeptical when people would relate information to me about a host of matters, I always needed to be on the look out for people who were willing to provide false information for one reason or another.
As a police officer you become somewhat jaded in life because you see the very worst society has to offer, or you may go out on patrol and encounter the very best people society has to offer at their very worst; neither of these options are pretty. However, as depressing as this might sound it is a definite that my past extensive police experience has helped prepare me in my career as a private investigator; if you need to sort things out and find out if you are being lied to I am only a phone call away.
About the author: Bob Cowan is the owner of Cowan Investigations a full service New Jersey Private Investigations Firm, Bob is the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department and has 35 years experience as a police officer in New Jersey’s second largest municipality.