When it happens to you; Cheating

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 2/12/2013 10:26 am Published: 2/11/2013 11:01 pm

A nagging pit in your stomach that hits your heart, your loved one is cheating.

One third of divorce litigation is caused by online affairs.

For the betrayed person in the relationship a clue of infidelity in the relationship could be a suspicion fueled by a discovered text message, voice mail or Facebook conversation.

“We have a way of knowing that something isn’t right,” said licensed marriage and family therapist, Brad Robinson. “If we listen to our gut, our gut is rarely wrong.”

Robinson tells FOX23 he regularly counsels couples who are struggling with infidelity issues especially with the explosion of online relationships.

A discovery of that magnitude can create an emotional toll and be detrimental to a person’s wellbeing.

“This ranks right up there with the death of a spouse, the death of a child, as far as trauma goes,” said Robinson.

He says technology can’t be blamed for unfaithfulness, but it does make it easier to cheat, if a person wants to.

This begs the question: what do you do if it happens to you?

Robinson says gathering information is a key component.

“Part of the healing process is knowing the details of what happened,” said Robinson.

If the issue is headed to court, an attorney suggests that if you document everything that you find.

“The first thing that I tell them is to try to preserve as much as the information as you can,” said attorney and counselor at law, Travis Barnett.

Barnett focuses on family, domestic and counseling rights. He tells FOX23 he advises clients to save discovered chat sessions or take screen shot images of text messages or tweets.

“It can never hurt but whether or not you can actually use it is another question,” said Barnett.

If you are married and head down the path of divorce, Travis says you must be able to prove that your “proof” is authentic.

“You have to first lay a foundation and prove that is authentic and that it is what it purports to be,” said Barnett.

He says most couples divorce on the basis of incompatibility and not adultery.

“I generally try to steer my clients away from it because it will create more litigation and emotions and it won’t get the client any more benefit ,” said Barnett.

Some people look to private investigators to help provide them peace of mind.

“If you are sitting across the table from me you probably already know that this is going on, all I’m going to do is prove it,” said Private Investigator Chris Slaton. Slaton is the owner of Midnight Run Services in Tulsa. He says he receives inquiries on infidelity cases about five times a week.

“This is simply for their peace of mind to determine if it is, in fact, or not in fact, happening,” said Slaton.

Slaton tells FOX23 he offers surveillance as well as GPS trackers. He says he can only do surveillance in public places where there is no expectation of privacy.

Barnett says if you opt to have a private investigator you should tread lightly due to legal issues that may arise.

Robinson says that the most crucial decision a couple must determine is if the relationships is worth salvaging.

“In order to make it better and stronger than it was before the affair you have to have that new level of honesty,” said Robinson, “The betrayer has to become the healer.”

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