updated 18 Jan 2013, 04:11
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Fri, Jan 18, 2013
Her World
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To catch a philandering husband
by Jeanne Tai

Extreme measures

Tan Siew Kim, a divorce lawyer with RHT Law Taylor Wessing, has seen many women go to great lengths to catch philandering husbands.

in the act - even combing through their credit card statements, wallets and snail mail. "I had a client who checked her husband's underwear for semen stains, and his clothes for pubic hair and lipstick marks," she reveals. "She also counted his condoms and installed spyware in his computer and phone."

Smartphones have also changed the game. Forget the image of a harried wife who surreptitiously checks her hubby's SMSes while he's in the toilet. These days, women can e-mail entire Whatsapp chat histories to themselves with just a swipe of their finger.

They can then pore over their husband's text messages on a computer at their leisure. "Sometimes, more explicit Whatsapp messages can be used in court to prove adultery," says Siew Kim. "In this day and age, if you don't lock your phone, you're dead."

Other women take an even more aggressive approach.

Karen, 26, a teacher, recalls how she once received several e-mails from a male friend's fiancee. The woman believed Karen had previously dated her fiance and demanded details of their "relationship".

She later found out that the woman had been going through her fiance's phone, contacting many of his female friends. She'd even deleted the numbers of women she was suspicious of. Unnerved, Karen chose not to reply. "It was weird because I never had a romantic relationship with the guy," she says.

Vicious circle

Hannah, 25, a production assistant, admits that her snooping behaviour bordered on "crazy". During her five-year relationship with Ryan*, she suspected him of cheating on her several times. While he never admitted to it, he constantly lied about his friendships with several women.

So she would obsessively check his Facebook and e-mail accounts and text messages for signs of infidelity.

Once, she logged into his instant messaging account and deleted the contact of a female friend to see if he would notice. He did and added her back shortly after. "It proved to me that he was constantly talking to her and that she was special. He was trying to keep her in his life," she adds.

She recalls how Ryan once specially created a blog account so he could access the private blog of a female friend. Hannah hacked into Ryan's account. "He used a different password, but I figured it out after trying different permutations," she recalls.

She cracked the password in three days. When she accessed the other woman's blog, she found a photo of her posing in a shirt Hannah had bought for Ryan. He'd been staying over at her place secretly.

Discoveries like this wore Hannah down. After almost three years of keeping tabs on him, she finally had enough and broke up with him. She got sick of him constantly denying any wrongdoing and telling her she was "mean" for suspecting him.


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