Local News

All May Not Be Rosy For Cheating Hearts This Valentine's Day

Posted February 8, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Valentine's Day is supposed to be a special time for couples. The flowers, the candy and the romance. But Valentine's Day has a dark side.

Private investigators say it is a perfect time to catch cheating spouses or lovers red-handed.

The holiday is a time for lovers, but just who is loving whom? One private investigator WRAL talked to says catching a cheating spouse or lover around Valentine's Day makes for an interesting day at his office.

At the heart of catching a cheating spouse around Valentine's Day is the theory that people are creatures of habit.

So says private eye Donald Harris.

"Generally, when a person is cheating on the lover or spouse, they've done it before, and they'll do it again," said Harris.

Harris says Valentine's Day tends to bring out the sentiment in the Don Juans of the world.

Harris says secret rendezvous, many at "they thought were private" hotels, bring out the surveillance equipment. He says, in most cases, there is a slip up.

"The spouse who is really sneaky is most interesting because, they'll cover their tracks, but they'll forget the simplest thing like a number on a cell phone bill," said Harris.

He also says they will forget a receipt for flowers or candy or any other knickknack that could have a jilted lover or spouse seeing red.

Relationship counselor Dr. Tracy Robinson says unmasking a cheating spouse or lover around Valentine's Day is especially painful.

"Those are special days which are protected that you spend them with a special someone, with family, with loved ones," said Robinson.

That painful revelation forces people to act on emotion. That's why he has a long talk with anyone seeking his service, because it does not come cheap.

Emotions and money add up. He says, the fees for most private investigators start at $50 an hour, not including the retainer which can range from $500 to $2,000.

According to a recent survey, 24 percent of husbands have had an affair. And 15 percent of wives have cheated on their spouses. But 94 percent of married people say they've been faithful in the past year.