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Office bash may reveal an affair
By Leah Shafer
OK, Inspector Holmes, you’re convinced your boyfriend is having an affair at work.
Your clues? Special projects eat up his weekends. Overtime keeps him late and has him canceling plans with you. His behavior has changed at home, with him either giving you much more attention than usual, or acting like you’ve got a contagious disease.
Your intuition may be correct – the office ties the Internet as the No. 1 place to have an affair, says Ruth Houston, a self-proclaimed “infidelity expert” and author of Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs.
Houston is working with divorce360.com to promote her book and research, and she notes that in one particularly horrifying study, 73 percent of the married men who had affairs met the other woman on the clock, she says.
“Workplace affairs are notoriously hard to detect unless they spill over into nonworking hours,” said Houston, who started InfidelityAdvice.com as a way of helping people detect and cope with cheating. “But all that changes at Christmas time. Christmas parties have a way of exposing workplace affairs.”
So if cheating is your suspicion, get yourself to that party come hell or high water and watch your man interact with the women in his office. Houston says you might even be able to tell which woman is the co-conspirator.
But the first obstacle? Getting invited.
“I was not wanted at his office, period, let alone happy hours or the Christmas party downtown,” said Afyia W., 25, whose past boyfriend had multiple affairs with women from his job. “I know now through a friend of a friend that he was at the parties with his dates. That was their time.”
Afyia says her boyfriend used one of the common tricks to keep her away: He didn’t mention the party until he was out the door, then downplayed the importance, saying he’d be right back. He didn’t return until 2 a.m., she said. Had she made it, Houston claims, she might have actually been told about her boyfriend’s cheating.
“Every December I hear from women asking if it’s okay take a cheating co-worker’s wife aside at the Christmas party and tell her that her husband is having an affair,” said Houston. She advises a woman who suspects cheating to “keep your eyes and ears open. … There’s no telling what you might overhear. One wife overheard the following comment about her husband at his company Christmas party: ‘That’s his wife? He’s married? But I thought he was seeing Maureen.’ ”
But perhaps the best reason to attend: to help dissuade stupid behavior on the part of a significant other. Office holiday parties are prime time for flirtation and can be breeding grounds for kissy kissy that moves on to full-force infidelity. The presence of a partner will likely keep all mistletoe kisses between you two.
Stats on cheating can seem overwhelming, so we looked to Thomas Martin, a former FBI agent and president of Martin Investigative Services, a California private investigative service.
With 38 years under his belt, Martin could write a book. So he did, online at investigatorconfidential.com. An entire chapter is about determining if your partner is cheating.
1. His clients are mostly women – 80 percent.
2. Of the women who caught their husbands being unfaithful, 65 percent divorced them.
3. Of the men who caught their wives doing the same, 100 percent ended the marriage. (“It’s a guy thing,” Martin said. “When your wife, your significant other has been soiled by another man, you cannot handle it.”)
4. The average case is wrapped up in four to eight hours because cheaters are careless. About 80 percent of the 25,000 men who Martin followed were caught easily. (“Many men don’t think that their wives will call a P.I. and have them followed,” Martin said. “It’s all ego.”)
5. Some cases were same-sex cheating – about 3 percent. (“Women really Internalize this. I tell them, ‘You didn’t make him gay or bisexual,’ ” Martin said.)
6. Eight clients have died from AIDS contracted from their cheating spouses.”