Wilmington, NC - WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – There's nothing quite as thrilling as being in love – the butterflies, walking on cloud nine, the desire to be with this one special person – and nothing quite as devastating as learning your lover is a cheater.
From Gov. Mark Sanford in South Carolina to golfer Tiger Woods, we hear about the scandals all the time in the news. So how can you make sure what happens in the headlines isn't happening in your own home?
Cape Fear Investigative Services is proof you don't have to be famous to be caught up in a cheating scandal. Private investigator Bill Ratcliff says his company has evolved from seeing the majority of his customers interested in criminal law to up to 90 percent focusing on family law.
Even in tough economic times, some scorned spouses are paying a pretty penny to get answers through private investigators. Others are trying to fix their marriage by talking it out.
"I guess the attempt is to find out the truth, but once you find out the truth, then what?" asked Randy Reed, a marriage advocate.
Randy and his wife Becky try to help couples that are having problems using Bible-based principals. Their ultimate goal is to see broken marriages restored. They point couples to scripture that calls for "oneness," even if it seems like snooping around for answers is the only way.
Whether you sneak around or sit down and talk, it is important to get to find out what's going wrong in your relationship.
Ratcliff says to follow your gut, if it feels like something is wrong, chances are it probably is. Next, he says to look for changes in your spouse. An unexpected change in hair style, perfume, or sudden dedication to the gym could spell trouble. Finally, he says cheaters tend to play the blame game – the guilt piles up and spills over into criticism.
"We basically deal with other people's humiliation, sometimes their misery," said Ratcliff. "We've had men, women, all of them sit here and just cry their eyes out before they could even finish telling me what's going on."
Once Ratcliff learns the problem, he sends out some of the sneakiest investigators to follow the person of interest. They use trackers, computers, and every kind of hidden camera imaginable – some as inconspicuous as a coffee mug.
When the evidence is laid out on the table, the issue often turns from detecting the problem to dealing with it. Some couples appeal to a high court, while others turn to a higher power, hoping the help of counselors can save a marriage.
Randy and Becky's 15th wedding anniversary was horrible. He said they were at the point of divorce, but church counselors helped restore their union. Now, the couple is trying to offer hope to others in similar situations.
While there's nothing more devastating than a broken heart, there's nothing more thrilling than the hope that it can be put back together again.