Danine Manette is the author of the popular book Ultimate Betrayal: Recognizing, Uncovering and Dealing with Infidelity… and she is also the Diva’s newest *celebrity* writer at IDCheaters.com, lending her personal experience and professional training on how to catch a cheating partner.
Interviewed by numerous television, radio, newspaper and internet media, Danine is often called upon as an expert on the topic of infidelity. Oprah caught the *buzz* and asked her to take a guest spot on the show! Quite impressive considering the humble beginnings of her book.
Ultimate Betrayal was conceived during the darkest hours following the discovery of infidelity in her marriage. “I’d been cheated on in previous committed relationships, but this man was my husband,” Danine said during our interview. “The discovery tore me apart from the depths of my soul and completely devastated what I believed to be my reality. We immediately separated and the journey to recover from my pain was a difficult and seemingly impossible task.”
Encouraged by a friend to write a book on her experience, she began putting her thoughts on paper. What started out as irate, emotion filled, depressive ramblings as a way to vent her frustration, became a journey towards enlightenment, self healing, and personal instrospection. “Ultimate Betrayal is still, and always will be, the single most important tool that pulled me through one of the lowest and darkest points in my life.” Danine hopes that her book will reach out to others who may find themselves dealing with the same crisis and help them navigate through the darkness. Ultimate Betrayal is available for purchase at Amazon.
Danine is available as a guest speaker for relationship seminars covering common sense approach towards potential relationship risks and personal accountability. For a more personal individual evaluation of a specific situation, she offers one-on-one professional assistance in formulating a game plan and advice on the best course of action based on the clues and evidence gathered. For more information, please visit her website.
As our *resident* guru on infidelity here at the Diva, Danine dishes out the advice on how to deal with the possibility that your partner is cheating on you.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEIR PARTNER IS CHEATING?
Try to remain calm and methodically gather your evidence. The worst thing you can do is to rush into confrontation with one stray phone number or half of a story. You need to begin taking note of changes in behavior, attitude, appearance, and a host of other things mentioned in my book, which can point toward the possibility that something is going on. When someone takes one piece of evidence and confronts their partner, it does a couple of things. First, if your partner IS cheating, it alerts them that you are suspicious and they will certainly do a better job of hiding their affair in the future. Secondly, it can give the appearance that you are unstable and perhaps have carried unresolved baggage from your past into a perfectly healthy relationship. This may not be the hand you want to play, especially if you are in a fairly new relationship. Even if you are a snooper, it’s best not to let that fact be known until you are in a place where you have enough evidence to confront a cheater.
Therefore, bottom line here is patience is a virtue, and jumping to conclusions or moving too quickly can sabotage either your investigation or your otherwise healthy relationship. Keep your cool.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAVE PROOF YOUR PARTNER IS CHEATING ON YOU?
This is a list of tips I’ve composed for how to confront a cheater:
#1 Never allow the cheater to turn the tables on you and attack you before they provide a valid explanation for their behavior. Once confronted with facts, they will try to pull a Jedi Mind Trick on you by calling you crazy, stupid, psycho, insecure, childish, petty, ridiculous, looking for trouble or trying to start something. All of this will occur before responding to your question about who they were having drinks with after work last Friday. Don’t let them twist the issue. Acknowledge that you are whatever they say you are and then demand that they give you an answer to your question. In other words say, “Yeah, I’m stupid and insecure. Fine. So who is she and how long have you two been screwing around?” Once you allow them to turn the tables, attack you, and then leave the confrontation, you will likely never get to the bottom of the story because he/she will have gained additional time to get their story straight.
#2 Never allow the cheater to make you explain their behavior. In other words, never get drawn in to the game where they expect you to explain why they would or are doing what you suspect them of doing. A typical cheater will say something like this, “Why would I resume a relationship with my ex when you know how important this family is to me?” or “Why would I have an affair with someone at work when I know your sister/cousin/ best friend/dog works there?” or even, “Why would I do that to you when you know how much I love you?” These are tricks to confuse the victim and make them rationalize why someone wouldn’t have an affair. For committed, unselfish, honest people these rationalizations make sense, but when a cheater is caught up in the throes of an affair, normal, rational thinking is replaced by whatever selfish behavior is necessary to accomplish their goals.
#3 Never be fooled by confrontation tears. Although they may be sincere, be sure to distinguish between “I’m sorry” tears and “I’m sorry I got caught” tears. Even though tears may be a good starting point for reconciliation, be mindful of who the real victim is here. Don’t run to console the hurt, devastated cheater. Leave them alone in their misery for a little while in order to ascertain what their true desire and motivation is for the emotional breakdown. It is not your place to comfort and reassure at this time. It is simply the time for answers and stating of objectives. Your feelings of anger, hurt, rage, disgust or confusion should in no way be minimized in order to deal with the cheaters outpouring of guilt, sorrow, shame, etc. For once, it should not be about them, but rather about you and you alone.
#4 Never reveal your source of information. Once you reveal that you obtained his email password, he will change it. Once you admit that you got information from her best friend, she will end that friendship and cut off your ability to obtain future information. And once he discovers you examined the cellphone bill, he will stop the statements from being sent to the house. If you decide to end your relationship, don’t do the cheater any favors by letting them know how you obtained your information. Let them go through the rest of their lives thinking that you are a psychic genius. If you decide to reconcile your relationship, you would not want your mate to know how you caught them in case you need to check up on them again. Therefore, there is never, ever any good, smart, or reasonable reason to divulge your sources.
#5 Never assume that infidelity will ultimately end a relationship. Often problems which precipitated the affair are dealt with following the discovery of infidelity, and a relationship comes out even stronger on the other end. As long as both parties are willing to do what it takes to rebuild the relationship, it can work. A relationship can absolutely survive infidelity and can sometimes become more durable than before.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING OF LEAVING?
Never make the discovery of infidelity or decision to reconcile your relationship a family affair. Minimize input from parents, siblings, friends and other well intentioned bystanders. You alone need to assess whether or not this relationship is in your best interest and perhaps the best interest of your children, and therefore you alone need to make the decision of whether to stay or leave. Counseling and spiritual input are always great options, but in the end the decision needs to be made by you. Often well meaning people who love you will provide advice that is not in your best interest. That’s why it is best to keep your business as private as possible when it comes to family and friends. Often online support groups and input from those who are removed from your personal world can be far more beneficial than those who are closely related to the situation. In the end, remember, you are the one who has to live with your decision, not the rest of the world. This decision must be made wisely, carefully, and after you’ve had time to remove yourself from the emotional phase in order to be in a better position to assess and evaluate the big picture.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING OF STAYING?
Much of the same advice as in the previous response regarding not making your decision a family affair, speaks to this question as well. I would add, however, that once you have decided to stay and work on your marriage, you absolutely cannot keep throwing the affair back into the cheaters face. If the cheater is doing everything possible to repair the relationship and rebuild trust then you cannot undermine your stated goal of reconciliation by continuing to attack, berate or punish your partner. If your purpose for staying together is simply to torture your mate, then you have made a poor and unhealthy decision.
Rebuilding trust takes hard work, cooperation from both parties, and most importantly time, but it can be done. I have several articles circulating on rebuilding trust: http://www.idcheaters.com/2008/01/rebuilding-trust-after-an-affair.html.
If the cheater is indeed interested in repairing the relationship and is following the framework I’ve set forth for rebuilding trust, plus the victim is able to have an open, introspective and forgiving heart, it CAN work. Additionally, I strongly recommend both individual and couples counseling, in order to help get through the rough patches on the road toward reconciliation (believe me, there WILL be many). I managed to get through it though, so you can too. And today, my marriage is both stronger and better than ever before.
About Danine Manette – She received her Bachelors Degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley, and went on to earn her doctorate at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. She is currently working in the field of criminal investigations. As a married mother of three, Danine currently live in California where she is working on a series of children’s books.
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