So here’s a fun topic:  infidelity.  Now…most of us don’t think that geek guys are the type to cheat.  After all, you’d think they’d be happy enough to find someone, much less someone who shares their interests  and experiences.  This knowledge makes us feel more secure in our relationships – which should include trust, anyway.

 

With or without trust, there’s no need to be an idiot.  Being an idiot leads to a perfectly lovely geek lady turning down countless offers from countless painfully attractive suitors and wasting two years of her life seeing an apparently harmless, intelligent, though somewhat distant racecar driver turned rocket scientist only to find out after having thrown him out and taken him back once that he in fact has a fiancée and at least one other girlfriend a mere three weeks before his wedding day.  Not that I speak from experience, or anything.

 

Fortunately, this particular area is one in which geek ladies have several advantages over the general population.  One of the most important is that generally, geek women are far less catty toward other women and far more likely to team up with them.  Geek women are much more likely to place the blame where it belongs – on the cheating bastard – than start up a slap-fest with the other woman as though that’s somehow going to change history.

 

 

 

Just for those who may for some reason be leaning toward a slap-fest, tire-slashing, or whatever other things women do to the ladies they see as “stealing” their men:  calm down.  I know that’s easier said than done.  But look at this logically:  she might not have even known that he was cheating on you by being with her.  Therefore, chances are that she shouldn’t be faulted.  The only one of the three (or four…or five…) of you who is definitely doing something wrong is the cheater.

 

I’ve been on both sides of this one.  I’ve inadvertently been the other woman, and I’ve also played the role of the wronged significant other.  I won’t say I’m an expert on the subject because there are plenty of things at which I’m not adept, and taking care of social problems is one of them, but I will say that I learned a lot.  And that knowledge has come from friends, the other women involved, the guy himself…overall, it really is a learning experience.  It’s very easy to ignore potential warning signs, especially when you can easily justify them by pointing to geekishness.  Again, as I said, the geek men seem more harmless than most.

 

Here are a few things I’ve experienced which should never, ever have been explained away (some with the corresponding explanations – some his, and some mine):

 

1.        He abruptly changes plans out of the blue without consideration for what your situation might be…and he does these things on a regular basis.  [Oh, well, he has a very demanding job.  They sometimes need him at the last minute, and sometimes he just gets so tired that he falls asleep before he can show up at my place.]

 

2.       He is absent during more than two major events during which “significant other” support is reasonably expected – you have a family emergency, and you can’t get him on the phone for days.  You need to be taken to the emergency room on a Sunday morning, and he can’t make it.  Something happens to your pet, and your significant other is strangely absent.  In short…if you start to see a pattern of a lack of support when he’s not there in front of you. [Again, oh, he just has a demanding job.  He had to go to this base in New Mexico where they don’t let anyone use phones or the Internet.]

 

unlogical opinion sign3.       You start to feel as though you are a compartment of his life rather than a part of his life.  You know very few, if any, of his friends.  You often get the sense that “out of sight, out of mind” applies a bit too literally to your relationship.  [He’s preoccupied, scatterbrained, secretly Iron Man, whatever.] 

 

4.       He says he doesn’t have a profile on any social networking site.  Considering that my sixty-one-year-old mother is now on Facebook, I wouldn’t buy that for a second.  In fact, I can’t even come up with a justification for that one. 

 

All right…so let’s say you’ve noticed some weird patterns when it comes to your guy.  Do you fly into a rage and confront him the moment you’ve become suspicious?  Maybe it’s because I’m the spawn of two attorneys, but I’d answer this question with a big fat “NO.”  And there is a very good reason.

 

If you just wildly confront him without any real evidence (aside from the way you may look if he is in fact innocent), he’ll explain it away.  Trust me.  He will find a way to explain every little suspicion you may have.  In the end, you might end up crying and apologizing for ever doubting him.  If you get to that point, you’re in a pretty precarious situation.  That’s one of the many reasons why I’m in favor of gathering evidence.  Put a case together as though you could somehow sue someone for the tort of “reckless douchebaggery.”  You might find that your suspicions are unfounded.  If there is in fact something fishy going on, you can counter his justifications with further evidence.  And where, pray tell, might one find this damning information?  Why, look no further than your friendly neighborhood Google.

 

1.        Google his full name and any variations of his name.  See what pops up.  Maybe he didn’t actually graduate from college the year he told you he did (my college graduation is one of the first things that pops up when I Google my own full name).  Maybe he has a personal website somewhere, or maybe his name has come up in a forum.  Sure, every once in a while you’ll feel a little insane, but considering that we all need to be aware of what shows up when we run our own names through search engines, it’s not all that invasive, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort.

 

2.       Enlist friends.  Chances are that if you’re finally getting worried, your friends have been worried long, long before you considered infidelity as a possibility.  Friends can offer you moral support as well as help you find information.

 

3.       There are many different government records that people don’t realize are accessible via the Internet.  For example, one might find that one’s “29-year-old” boyfriend received a speeding ticket a couple of years ago (complete with description of both him and his vehicle)…and that although the day he said he was born is correct, the year is definitely wrong.  Most court records are available online by now, so if he’s gone before a judge for something, you can probably find out…but you’ll need to have an idea of the state and county in which to look.

 

4.       husky playing chessThose social networking sites?  Make use of ‘em.  People put tons of information on them.  If he’s told you he doesn’t have any profiles, look for some.   Otherwise, look through his comments and friends.  You might find someone you can at least approach for information, which is a huge plus.  If you or your friends are clever enough, you might be able to find other social networking profiles that you didn’t know about, Livejournal accounts, and so forth.

 

5.       Interesting stuff shows up in newspaper archives.  Check them out if you’ve gotten to this point and seem to have found evidence to support your suspicions.

 

All right.  Worst case scenario…you’ve dug up information, and it’s not a pretty picture.  If there are definitely other women involved, what then?  Do you let them know?  Do you mind your own business?  Have they BECOME your business because you’re both entangled in this moron’s web?  In my opinion, any other women involved have the right to know what’s happened.  If I’ve been approached by someone who thinks I might be the “other woman,” I’m honest about it.  I’ll also try to inform other ladies who are involved if the situation is reversed.  However, it’s perfectly natural to be afraid of that sort of thing.  Personally, my approach has always been along the lines of “I’m very, very sorry, and this is very horrible news, and I understand if you want to yell at me or call me names, but I think all of us have a right to know what the whole picture is.”  I’ll accept name-calling, swearing, incoherent screeching, commiserating, and anything else that might come to the surface.  I went into the situation expecting to be torn a new one and letting the woman in question know that I would understand if she did so.  I don’t know if that diffuses the situation or if geek ladies are just more likely to conspire with one another, but I have yet to have my tires slashed or have my parentage questioned or have my virtue insulted.  Instead, usually, we’ll end up formulating a plan.  We’ll share what we’ve found, and then we’ll come up with some scheme to cause maximum shock and awe when the guy realizes that not only has he been caught…but that he’s been caught by both of us and can’t talk his way out of it.  It’s pretty cathartic, actually.

 

The most important point however is this:  if you’ve presented your information and made a decision about what you’re going to do…if you’ve informed the other person or people involved and they still choose to try to work things out, take the guy back, or make some other life choice you may see as completely ill-advised….you cannot involve yourself any further.  Your duty is to make sure everyone knows where he or she stands.  What other people do with that information is beyond your control, and you can’t beat yourself up over it or try to convince them to change their minds.  Leave it be.

 

And how do you get past what’s happened?  In my opinion, everyone has “trust issues.”  Don’t cling to that.  Have some ice cream, watch some DVDs with painfully gorgeous men, and maybe treat yourself to a date or two with a vapid yet very pretty individual just to remind yourself that you’re irresistibly hot.  Go easy on yourself for a little while.  Be shallow.  Put your ex’s face on a dartboard.  Make playlists entitled “I hate you; pls DIAF” or “I am way too awesome for this BS” on your computer and blare them at high volume.  Take everything that he gave you and donate it to charity or run it over with your car or whatever happens to make you feel best.  I like donating to charity and/or sharing with the friends who supported me through all the crap, but I also prefer distracting myself with more gorgeous mancandy as opposed to much in the way of symbolic retribution.

 

So if you do find yourself suspicious, and if you find a backing for those suspicions, don’t let the harmless geek guy thing fool you.  But don’t go off tracking down every scrap of information you can about someone simply based on a hunch.  If you find something, hear something, read something that seems to warrant your feelings….go ahead.  In my opinion, it’s not crazy.  Besides, they say whenever you’re applying for a new job you should be prepared for your potential employer to look up a lot of these things, anyway.  No reason an applicant for the position of significant other should be held to any lower standard.