Dear Auntie Janey,
My husband has been working for a BPO on the night shift for more than 2 years now and I suspect he’s cheating on me. When he started with this particular company he would make time for me regardless of how little he’d slept during the day. He would wake up for lunch and talk to me about anything and everything. He would take me to company team events and parties without my asking. He introduced me to his manager and teammates and talked to me about work and how his clients had been a bitch that day. He got home as soon as his shift ended.
A few months ago he started acting differently. He would go home at 7 or 8 in the morning smelling like he’d taken a shower with beer. He would hide his mobile phone under his pillow. Before that he never hid his phone from me. Everytime he gets a phone call, he takes the call in the other room. He hardly talks to me about work and he doesn’t take me to company functions like before, making excuses about budget and everything. Who is he kidding? One of my college batchmates works for the same company and she says that at all company events, spouses are invited, even encouraged to attend. I don’t want to ask my friend to investigate for me because I don’t want to involve her in this.
I think my husband is cheating on me.
Auntie Janey, would it be wrong to act on this hunch? The last time I talked to my husband about this, it ended in a screaming match and broken china. I don’t want that kind of stress level and conflict between me and my husband again. Am I wrong to suspect something’s going on? I don’t have any solid proof that he is having an affair and I don’t know what else to do. Please help.
Annette Bening and Colin Firth played the same characters in Milos Forman’s adaptation of the same novel by Choderlos de Laclos. There was an earlier version starring Jeanne Moreau, directed by Roger Vadim, and later a TV miniseries by Josee Dayan starring Catherine Deneuve. And a teen movie version with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon.
Upon reading this question an answer immediately formed in my head but it was incomplete. I may know something about everything but I don’t know everything. I am not God. Not yet.
My knowledge needed to be supported by wisdom fuller than mine and this was one of those times that I needed to summon one of my guiding spirits. I had one in particular in mind and I immediately made preparations for the Rite of Summoning. I took out my bag and put in my ceremonial vestments, a vessel for water, and implements for cleansing.
I went to the gym.
At the appointed hour, I positioned myself near the shoulder press machine for it was at this spot that this guiding spirit would manifest itself. A few minutes later my Guiding Spirit of Manliness and Masculinity a.k.a. fitness trainer appeared. First I had to dutifully perform the exercises he taught me, while occasionally cursing under my breath, before daring to ask him the question. From the few details he told me about his past, I knew he was the perfect guy to ask.
Seeing that I had performed the exercises to his satisfaction, he allowed me to rest. I seized the opportunity. “Oh great spirit, lend me your wisdom and enlighten me on this grave matter.” Even before I finished narrating the facts, he gave his answer.
If your husband no longer talks to you about his day, furtively answers text messages and calls, does not kiss or greet you hello or goodbye, no longer calls you by your pet name, or has stopped doing sweet things for you, he may be cheating. Other signs are: he always comes home late and leaves for work early, he always seems to be excited whenever he leaves the house, and he has stopped taking you to certain events that you used to attend together.
You must never confront him about this. Instead, enlist the help of those you trust and engage in systematic espionage. Go through his things and messages to look for evidence, without his knowledge of course. You have to confirm that he is cheating and pinpoint the identity of the slut. You must never let him sense that he is under suspicion. He might be put on his guard and evidence-gathering will become difficult.
Once you figure out who the whore is and where they frequently go, surprise them with a personal appearance! If you see them cuddling, whispering sweet nothings to each other, holding hands or doing anything that can be construed as a public display of affection, approach them and say Hi. You can even say, “You look so happy together”. The point of doing this is to catch them in the act and let them know that you know. You must see it for yourself and make your husband realize that denial can no longer be his defense. After making your presence known, make a graceful exit.
Do not make a scandal because it will be to your disadvantage. Do not scream and shout at them in public and broadcast the news to both your families, your friends and colleagues. If you scream and shout at work and at home, he will resent you and this will only heighten his desire for the other woman. He will think that you are unreasonable and oppressive and move out of the house. Do not rub his nose in the affair for it will only make him angry. “Kapag ganyan, ang lalake nananampal talaga ng asawa.”
The best tactic to employ is Emotional Torture. At home, act as if nothing has happened. Do not allude to the affair. Go through your usual routine. Let him stew in his guilt. Let his knowledge that you know what is going on drive him crazy. Give him the silent treatment. If he still values your marriage, he will put a stop to the affair and start working on your marriage. If you still love him and want the marriage to work, forgive him and respond to his efforts at reconciliation. However, if he continues the affair or proceeds to have strings of affairs, the marriage is over.
The initiative of making the marriage work at this point must come from him. If he is still unrepentant, it is time to think of who will have custody of the children, who will give support to whom and who will get the house, unless you aspire to sainthood by committing yourself to martyrdom.
I admonish you not to do anything drastic and illegal. Always stay within the bounds of decency and law. If you act recklessly you might expose yourself to law suits. Mistresses would not hesitate to sue you for oral defamation, unjust vexation, slander and even assault. You could lose. Do not sleep with a man out of revenge. You are still technically married and you can be convicted of adultery.
I must also inform all women out there that just because your marriage had been dissolved you do not have the freedom to marry right away. Article 351 of the Revised Penal Code restricts this right. You cannot marry within 301 days from the official date of dissolution of your marriage or death of your husband. If you are pregnant with your husband’s child before your marriage is dissolved, you cannot marry until you give birth. You may be imprisoned from 1 month and 1 day to 6 months.
Mature married women I know always tell newlywed girls that they should always take care of themselves. Wives should secretly stash money somewhere and have a Plan B. If things go wrong, you should be able to fend for yourself and singlehandedly take care of your children. You should never reveal to your husband the full amount of your earnings so you will have room to manipulate your finances. You may be sharing your life with your husband but he does not own you.
A little deceit can be good for your marriage.