We don’t handle that many infidelity cases anymore. Our choice. Why? Because besides being depressing, they’re often physically grueling. Trust me, sitting for hours in a car watching an apartment/house/exercise club/etc. can be exhausting. Sounds easy, but it’s not. You can’t let your attention slip, your back is aching from sitting there for so long, you’re afraid to drink too much water because you don’t want to have to use that wide-mouthed cup again (it’s a girl thing, for guys it’s so much easier), you’re been staring at the place for so long your brain is starting to turn to mush…

That’s just the surveillance part.

Then there’s the emotions. One client might be enraged that his spouse might be fooling around, another gets weepy almost every time you talk about the investigation, another is fearful for the kids while struggling with a broken heart…

Except once we had a client who was very cool, very level-headed. She told us upfront that she knew her husband fooled around. She didn’t care. He could fool around all he wanted…as long as he didn’t get emotionally involved with another woman.

She was planning a trip out of town and hired us to follow her husband because she wanted to know if he was meeting other women for lunch, dinner, drinks, movies, exercise dates at the gym, library outings, coffee…that sort of thing. If they went to a motel, she didn’t care. But if he was growing emotionally close to anyone else, that worried her. She wanted photos of any “dates” — and if we could get close and hear whatever they discussed, she’d like to know that, too.

It wasn’t the normal “infidelity” case, but she was very rational and clear about what she wanted, so we accepted it.

We did indeed learn he was meeting other women for outings. Once my husband (my investigations partner) went undercover at an excercise club and walked numerous miles on a treadmill next to them (they were on stationary bikes), listening to the husband and this woman talk about their families, what colleges they attended, other “getting to know you” stuff. Then they left the gym and went their separate ways. My husband dutifully recorded the overheard conversation, took photos of them leaving the gym in separate vehicles, and put all of it into a report.

Another time our client’s husband met a woman at a health food restaurant. They drank healthy fruit shakes and laughed while looking at pictures on their smartphones. From their conversation, it sounded as though they were sharing pictures of their kids. We took pictures of them looking at their smartphone photos with our smartphones. And we took more pictures of them leaving the restaurant in separate cars.

Our client was very interested in these encounters. She asked a great deal of questions about the women — what they wore, how they behaved, did it seem as though her husband was interested in their stories?

We offered our observable facts of these encounters. Our client was pleased with our work, paid us well, and we never heard from her again.

In the years since we worked this case, we’ve sometimes wondered how that marriage worked out. The man certainly had a very open-minded wife when it came to certain escapades. We hope he continued to give her the one thing she wanted above all else: emotional fidelity.