Discovering Infidelity - One Woman's Story
By Ruth Houston
The day I discovered my husband was cheating on me is forever etched in my mind. I will never forget my
bewilderment, shock, confusion and my uncertainty about what to do next. I was totally devastated.
How I Found Out
As a freelance journalist and editor, I work from my home office. I accidentally stumbled onto Frank’s
infidelity while doing interviews for an article assignment for a women’s magazine. To insure the accuracy of my
notes, I always tape my interviews using a recording device attached to my office phone. While transcribing the
interview tapes, I was shocked to find that I’d unknowingly recorded a number of incriminating phone calls made by
Frank from our bedroom extension. Interspersed between the interviews, were revealing conversations he’d had with
or about the women with whom he was involved.
A Perfect Marriage
That Frank might be cheating on me was the farthest thing from my mind, even though his behavior had been a
little unusual the past few months. When infidelity did cross my mind, it was just a fleeting thought -- one I
dismissed as quickly as it occurred. It was so far-fetched that I didn’t even give it serious consideration. Frank
and I had an exceptionally good marriage (or so I thought). People who knew us -- even strangers, (male and female)
often commented on what a “perfect couple” we were. I wrote relationship articles which appeared regularly in
women’s magazines and earned me frequent guest spots on Good Day New York and several nationally syndicated radio
talk shows. Our marriage (my second and Frank’s third) was the envy of all our friends. Still, I was at a loss to
explain some of the odd little things Frank had recently said and done. Nothing major -- just small insignificant
things that were out of character for him and didn’t seem to make any sense. I chalked it up to male menopause
(Frank was nearing 50) or stress from the heavy overtime he’d been working. Little did I know that these seemingly
inconsequential things would turnout to be telltale signs.
Right Under My Very Nose
From the conversations on the tapes, I discovered that Frank had not one, but three lovers. I was dumb-founded
to hear him boasting to a friend about his weekend morning “quickies” with Alexis, his early departures from work
for afternoon trysts with Michelle, Marlene’s weekend stay at our apartment while I was away on a business trip and
more. Even more astounding, was that all these things had taken place right under my very nose. In light of my
discovery, I now saw Frank’s behavior through different eyes. And I became keenly aware of how many telltale signs
I’d missed. Many of the odd things Frank said and did suddenly began to make sense.
Wendy’s Story- Another Infidelity Victim
On one tape, Frank mentioned a birthday he’d recently attended which was given by his best friend Max. No other
details were supplied except that the party was for Max’s girlfriend. Since Max’s wife, Wendy was a friend of mine,
I told her what I heard. Working one single piece of information, Wendy conducted what I consider to be a
masterpiece of detective work. In less than 2 weeks, she managed to find out the name of Max’s girlfriend, her
phone number and address, where she worked, the address and phone number of her job, and was able to pinpoint
approximately how long the affair had been going on. Wendy also found out exactly where and when the birthday party
had taken place, how much it cost, the names of several guests who attended, and verified that that Max was indeed
the person who arranged and paid for the event. She even confiscated a gift for Max’s lover that he’d hidden in the
trunk of his car. Since Wendy and Max co-owned a business, she immediately took steps to protect herself
financially by transferring the bulk of their joint funds to a separate account -- much to the surprise (and
embarrassment) of Max when he attempted to withdraw funds without her knowledge. Their marriage survived -- largely
because instead of sitting back and being a passive victim, Wendy immediately searched for confirming telltale
signs. She found them early enough to take positive action and get her marriage back on track.
If Only I’d Recognized the Signs
Discovering that Frank was cheating was truly devastating. Being a naturally trusting person, I was oblivious to
most of the telltale signs, despite the fact that they were staring me in the face. I later learned that many
telltale signs begin to crop up when a man first starts think seriously about infidelity. For months I agonized
over how things might have turned out differently if I’d recognized the signs when they first began to appear. It’s
possible that I might have been able to save our marriage if I’d known the significance of those signs. If not, I
could have at least saved myself a lot of heartaches and pain by preparing myself mentally and emotionally, and
protecting myself legally and financially from a marriage that ultimately ended in divorce. Yet, my marriage was
not unique in this respect. It was one of the millions of marriages impacted by extramarital affairs.
9 Years of Research and a Promise
At the time there were less than 5 books available on the subject of infidelity. Desperate for information, I
endured the embarrassment of purchasing them at my local bookstore. As I struggled to make sense of what was
happening, I began earnestly researching the topic of infidelity so I could find out how to handle the situation.
My research led to my writing a series of infidelity articles based on information gleaned from leading marriage
and family therapists. Although I gained a wealth of knowledge about and coping with infidelity and recognizing the
telltale signs, for me, this knowledge came too late. Frank and I eventually got a divorce. But I promised myself
that when I recovered from the trauma of that experience, I would share this information with other women in
The Infidelity Statistics are Shocking
It was shocking read the statistics citing how widespread infidelity is. Though they vary from study to study,
the most widely accepted figures indicate that between 50 and 70 percent of married men (between 38 and 53 million
men) have cheated or will cheat on their wives. One study found that 2/3 of the wives (26 to 36 million women)
whose husbands were cheating had no idea their husbands were having an affair -- largely because they failed to
recognize the telltale signs. Yet the media continues to treat infidelity as a form of entertainment. Movies,
novels, soap operas, talk shows, gossip columns and women’s magazines continue to dramatize, trivialize and
glamorize extramarital affairs. Few people other than its victims take it seriously.
An Infidelity Book is Born – Gathering More Facts
Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs is the first of a series of information products for women who are
victims of infidelity. It’s based on not just my personal experience, but on 9 years of in-depth research on the
topic of infidelity. I’ve read thousands of accounts of infidelity, interviewed hundreds of women about their
personal experiences and the experiences of women they know, and dozens of cheating men. I’ve read hundreds of
articles, studies and transcripts on infidelity and spent countless hours surfing the Net checking out websites,
chat rooms, forums, message boards and discussion lists that deal with infidelity and related issues. Is He
Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs is the result of all those efforts. It’s the book I wish I’d had when those
first telltale signs began to crop up in my marriage. If I’d recognized those signs early on, things might have had
a different ending.
A Multitude of Telltale Signs
Is He Cheating on You? is probably the largest collection of telltaIe signs ever compiled. It documents hundreds
of signs of infidelity, including a multitude of little-known telltale signs not listed anywhere else. Despite the
subtitle, it actually contains 950 telltale signs. Even after the cover was designed, I continued to add telltale
signs until the final version of the manuscript was sent to the printer. And readers continue to e-mail or phone me
with telltale signs that were not included in the book. What’s different about Is He Cheating on You? is that it
tells women how to spot the warning signs of infidelity without using gadgets, surveillance equipment or private
investigators. All of the telltale signs documented in Is He Cheating on You? can easily be found by any woman
using only her eyes and ears, her personal knowledge of her husband and the information provided in the book. No
special skills or equipment are needed. The signs are conveniently grouped into 21 categories so a woman can easily
find the signs that apply to her husband or her marriage. A few of the signs are listed in more than one category
so that no one will miss an important telltale sign.
Sharing Information with Other Women
This is my way of sharing all the information I gathered about infidelity, with other women in this traumatic
situation. It’s unfortunate that any woman would ever need a book like this, but the facts speak for themselves.
Millions of acts of infidelity go undetected every day. Unsuspecting women need an easy-to-use, reliable,
inexpensive tool to help them find out the truth about what’s going on. I am committed to providing them with that
Empowered by Knowledge
Knowledge is power; and I firmly believe every woman should know how to recognize the telltale signs of
infidelity. The future of her marriage may well depend on her ability to recognize the telltale signs in time.
There’s nothing worse than not knowing-- or being the last to know. But the first step in solving a problem is
knowing that the problem exists. If a woman doesn’t know her husband is cheating, there’s little that she can do.
If she’s oblivious to the fact that her marriage may be in jeopardy, by the time she finds out what’s happening, it
may be too late. She will have had no chance to try to get her marriage back on track, or to prepare herself
emotionally or protect herself from the devastation that lies ahead. Rather than being proactive and making
conscious decisions about what to do, she’ll become a helpless infidelity victim, swept along with the tide.
A Fighting Chance to Save the Marriage
On the other hand, if a woman recognizes the telltale signs and understands what’s happening, she stands a
fighting chance of being able to nip the infidelity in the bud on her own, or seek professional help. More
importantly, she can take steps to prepare herself mentally, financially and legally for the possibility that her
marriage may come to an end. At least she won’t be taken by surprise, and end up being the “last one to know”.
Who This Book Is For
Is He Cheating on You? is not just for wives who suspect their husbands of cheating. It’s also for :
--the millions of unsuspecting wives who’ve never even considered that an affair might be going on.
--women who’ve been cheated on in the past want to make sure it doesn’t happen again
--women who are trying to reconcile with a cheating husband and want reassurance that the affair is no longer
--women who think it could NEVER happen to them (no one is immune)
--women who know their husbands are cheating and want to get solid proof
--women who want to know ahead of time what to look for, in case it ever happens to them
--women who in view of the high infidelity statistics want to know where they stand in their current
--single women who want to avoid entering into or staying in a relationship with a cheater
--Men who suspect their wives of cheating (many of the signs are universal and apply to both sexes)
--people with female friends or relatives who are being cheated on and who are in denial
--people who don’t know how to tell a woman her husband is cheating – give her the book and let her find out for
No Marriage is Immune to Infidelity
One of the most surprising things I learned about infidelity is that no marriage is immune. Infidelity knows no
boundaries. “Good husbands” can cheat. Infidelity can occur even in happy marriages. It can affect couples of any
race, creed, color or economic background. Rich or poor, young or old, newlywed or approaching a fiftieth
anniversary – infidelity can happen to anyone – even you. The likelihood is very high that, given the current
statistics on infidelity, every woman will experience being a victim of infidelity at some point in her life. So I
feel strongly that Is He Cheating on You? is a reference book that belongs on every woman’s bookshelf. This is
important information that no woman should be without. The future of her marriage may one day depend on her ability
to recognize the telltale signs in time. Armed with this book and her personal knowledge of her husband, she’ll be
able to easily spot the warning signs.
The Purpose of This Book
The purpose of Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs is not to make women suspicious of their husbands.
The purpose is to make women aware of what’s already going on. Statistics prove that infidelity is happening all
around us. Just pick up a newspaper or listen to the nightly news. Infidelity touches 80% of all marriages. It is
my sincere hope that this book will open the eyes of the millions of women who are unaware that their husbands are
having an affair. It was written to make women aware of the many telltale signs that indicate possible infidelity.
Every woman deserves to know the truth. It’s my firm belief that if more women knew how to recognize the signs of
infidelity, more marriage could be saved. With Is He Cheating on You? every wife now has an affordably priced tool
to keep her from being the last to know.
A Final Word
To any woman who suspects her husband of cheating, I implore you - for your peace of mind, for your physical
health (think HIV/AIDS and other STDs), for your mental and emotional well-being, and for the future financial
well-being of yourself and your children too -- find out if what you suspect is true. Don’t speculate –
investigate! Take it from someone who has lived through infidelity – find out before it’s too late. Believe me, in
this day and age, you can’t afford to be the last one to know.
*Frank, Marlene, Michelle, Alexis, Max and Wendy are not their real names. The names have been changed to
protect the guilty as well as the innocent.
NOTE: Despite my traumatic experience with Frank, the story does have a happy ending. I’ve been happily
re-married for almost5 years now, to a wonderful man who also values the sanctity of marriage as highly as I do.
(Ironically, he too, was cheated on by his first wife.)
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