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      Is your spouse cheating? Four red flags to help you find out

      P.I. Amy Drescher follows a subject into an adult bookstore.
      It generally starts with a little niggle at the back of your brain. Something about your relationship seems a bit off. Could your spouse/significant other be stepping out on you? Should you trust your instincts? Even though your heart is screaming â??No!â?? the answer is yes, 90-percent of the time, according to private investigator Amy Drescher .

      Amy is a former KHQA reporter and anchor who moved to the Nashville area to earn her private investigator's license. We've been following her story as she appeared this week on CNN's Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show. Amy's specialty is uncovering infidelity. As an expert in the field, we asked Amy what signs to look for that may indicate your spouse is cheating.

      â??There is no secret formula to recognize a cheating spouse,â?? Amy warns. But after issuing that disclaimer, she says in her experience, 9 out of 10 clients who ask for her help will find that their spouse is indeed cheating, based on the following observations:


      * Obsessive need for privacy. For example, the hiding or protecting of the cell phone, even taking the spouse's name off the account so that it is not accessible. â??The cheater guards his or her phone to the point of taking it into the bathroom, never leaving it out on the counter, and has it password protected,â?? Amy said.

      * Change in appearance. The cheater begins to give new attention to their appearance--buying new clothes, losing weight, religiously working out, extra primping such as teeth whitening or manicuring body hair. â??I had one client who, when she told me her husband was plucking his eyebrows, I knew it.â?? Amy's surveillance confirmed the wife's suspicion.

      * Emotional distance. The adulterer becomes increasingly disinterested in the spouse, family, and friends. â??The spouse seems to have his or her own agenda and plans,â?? Amy said.

      * Inappropriate defensiveness. â?? One of the most common things I hear, especially from my female clients is, when she starts to really confront her husband, he's going to tell her 'you are crazy.' It's important for her to realize she is not crazy; there are legitimate reasons for having those doubts.â??

      Amy is careful to point out that each case is different, and these red flags are not proof that a spouse is being unfaithful. For actual documentation, you may need to hire a professional. A private investigator will not be able to actually follow a couple into a motel room. That would be illegal, and well, disgusting. But a P.I. can snap a photo as the guy slides the key into its slot and leads his companion inside.

      To get that â??money shot,â?? Amy has an arsenal of surveillance weapons; everything from a binocular camera to wireless microphones, disguises and multiple vehicles. She'll even equip a doll with a camera, strap it into a stroller and meander around a neighborhood in her hunt to flush out cheaters.

      A major part of Amy's work is following her subjects. To do this, she'll enlist the help of one or more of the four other P.I.'s in her firm.

      â??I will flatly refuse a client who wants to save money and asks for only one P.I. to do a moving surveillance,â?? Amy said. â??Itâ??s one thing to follow a vehicle around town, but itâ??s an entirely different ballgame to follow someone and NOT be detected!â??

      Once Amy has confirmed infidelity, that's when it comes down to the hard part of her jobâ??informing the spouse. It's always fraught with emotionâ??anger, pain, vindicationâ??even denial. â??My job requires a lot of hand-holding as I help my client find the truth.â??

      It's hard to find the silver lining in the midst of the heavy clouds of doubt ... but if there is one, Amy says it's realizing the relationship is not necessarily doomed.

      â??Extramarital affairs happen to good people.â?? In fact, adultery is committed by good people too, Amy said. â??In my opinion and experience, extramarital affairs can be committed by people who are of good moral character. Generally speaking, I do not cast judgment on the cheater. I tend to simply recognize what caused the marital breakdown.â??

      That said, Amy has one final observation based on her professional experience: â??Infidelity can happen in ANY MARRIAGE.â??

      Would you ever hire a private investigator? Post your comments below or on our Facebook page here to join the conversation.