This was a first for our customer service team: an anonymous experience of a MailTag user, and how it played a role in his marriage…
Full disclosure, if you are sensitive or in a bad relationship… this might not a good piece for you to read. Or it might be just the thing you need.
I’ve spent the last 6 months debating whether or not I should publicly discuss what’s clearly been a difficult time. I’ll get straight to the point, my wife cheated on me — and I caught her red-handed.
Before I get into my investigative mode… I’ll talk a little about how I started to notice something was off at home and in our relationship.
- We went to college together at the University of Michigan and began dating Senior year
- Moved to Chicago together to work in the logistics business
- As we progressed in our careers up the corporate ladder, we both started traveling to satellite offices and clients around the USA
- We grew up in different places, I grew up in the heartland (midwest) and she grew up in Los Angeles
One night, we were watching The Sinner in bed, we were binging the whole thing and after an episode in season 2, she went off to shower — and left her iPhone on her pillow. I am not a nosey guy, but I did see a lot of messages coming through and the name of the sender was “New Jersey Spirits Truck” — this isn’t uncommon in our space, usually I label the names in my phone more like: Daniel NJ Spirit Trucker.
But at 10:30 PM? 8 messages? Weird? Maybe.
I didn’t read the messages but took a mental note. We watched another couple of episodes and went to bed.
The next morning I had a 6 AM flight out of Chicago O’Hare which meant a 4 AM wakeup, so the alarm sounded and I was out of the house within 10 minutes.
I went through the motions all day and totally forgot about the texts from the night prior. I felt like I was going to get this deal that I’ve spent 5 months jockeying for. I finally returned back to the Dream Hotel in South Beach, went to the bar, had a drink.
The thoughts of the night before crept back into my mind — and I decide I’m being paranoid and move on.
I flew back to Chicago, head straight to the office, work on closing off that deal and servicing my existing accounts.
Back home for dinner with the wife by 7:30pm, she has dinner on the table that she brought in from the local pizza place (Giordano’s for those who know Chicago!). We recapped the last 24 hours, all was normal. We got ready to continue our Sinner binge…but before we got wrapped up in all of that drama —
Weird reply? Not really — once married — sex decreases. Back to The Sinner until bedtime.
There were a few of these things that isolated were not significant — but all together I think they spelled trouble.
The final straw was when she called me the following week on a Wednesday night from Phoenix to tell me she’d had a rough day and missed her flight, but she’d be on the first flight out in the morning. It was no coincidence, she was up to something shady….she’s punctual — she’d arrive 3 hours before a domestic flight. Missing a flight would be impossible for her unless she was hospitalized.
I wasn’t sure how to react and obviously I didn’t have any proof of anything — I just had a few bad signals and a feeling. My wife is cheating on me.
My goal now shifted to how much diligence could I do before confronting her… if I couldn’t prove it with facts, a talk with her isn’t a good idea, especially not so soon. She’d have the chance to dissuade me and twist the truth. I needed to approach her with 100% certainty.
I needed to check bank account, credit cards, phone use, attendance at events, etc. to verify odd behavior. We share those accounts, so those were very easy to review.
Nothing out of the ordinary there. But I didn’t feel any better. What I knew I could not get access to was her work accounts which could be meaningful considering when she’s traveling — and it’s on the company dime, I have no visibility into that.
How to log into her corporate Amex? I can’t.
How can I see her hotel records? I can’t.
So I did what we all do — I googled. I clearly was not alone, and unfortunately for me — my fears about her work trips became bigger.
The big “gotcha” tactic most of the people who were successful in confirming their spouse’s infidelity were people who read their spouse’s emails.
Lucky for me, she was away for another 11 hours and her MacBook is on our coffee table in the tv room — I knew her password so I figured Gmail would already be logged into. I took a deep breath, bracing myself for the worst, and opened the Mac and logged in.
The chrome browser already had ~35 tabs open (yep, she’s one of those types). I open up a fresh tab, type in “Gma” and it auto-filled to her personal email address. Bingo — here we are. The inbox was a mess, as you’d expect with someone that has 35 tabs open on a browser. I changed her sorting filters to see personal emails in the inbox and get rid of the promotional junk. There was very little, emails from friends on plans, etc. Dead end.
How about the Sent folder? This one was not full of junk — it was all stuff she’d sent or replied to…. and one thing caught my eye, it was a 15-year high school reunion email with 74 messages in the thread.
It starts off as you’d expect, “Hi Class, Hope everyone is well. We are going to have our reunion at Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel”, the next 20 replies or so are a variation of these:
- Yes, see you there!
- Sorry, I can’t make it!
- OMG, I’m sorry I can’t make it but I saw your kids on Instagram — they are SO cute!
After that initial RSVP, I notice my wife is in a back and forth email exchange with a guy friend from high school — I read them all, it seemed like a catch-up, she even referenced that things were great with me. The only issue was he said “it’d be great to meet for a drink one of these days” and then it ended… which seemed odd that there wouldn’t be a reply to close the exchange off….
I suspected there was more on email — but I couldn’t find it. Being that I was already on her Mac, I figured jumping onto her Facebook to see if there was any more would be easy. And I was right — I got right in.
I looked up the guys name, they were already friends on Facebook — he lived and worked in Los Angeles, so I initially felt OK because she was in Phoenix, Arizona where she frequently visits for work. There was no direct communication on Facebook.
Shit. What if she was lying and not in Phoenix? A midweek trip to Phoenix where she goes at least once a month for work is an easy lie to tell me. What can I say? It’s business.
11:04 PM: Back to the MacBook
I think a little about what else I can do to triangulate her location and movements.
I kept digging into these forums and most people suggest hiring a personal investigator, but I don’t have time for that. Some other people who were dealing with similarly traveling spouses were talking about location tracking via email. Basically the way I understood that it works is that someone who uses email tracking sends an email with tracking (I have no idea how that works) and it tells you where they opened the email… and some of them seemed to have even deeper information.
OK…. so that’s interesting, if I email her I can confirm her location assuming she opens the email. But that’s only half of the battle — what about him?
A few people had suggested Hubspot, I installed it and learned that they removed the Location functionality — so I removed the app. Next I tried Superhuman, but they have a waiting list… and I read that they too recently removed location tracking after some bad press.
Finally, I stumble across MailTag. Anyway, I installed it — it was pretty simple to use — I emailed some friends on the west coast random YouTube links of highlights I thought they’d like… but that wasn’t the real intention — I wanted to see if they opened the email and if it was accurately placing them in the cities they live in.
And within a few minutes I had my answer, the location tracking could crack this all for me, the only issue is that I can’t just email this dude — he probably knows who I am and would get suspicious if I emailed. The best part? The recipients had no idea I was tracking them!
I needed to get them in the same place around the same time to open emails and I’d feel like I got as close as I can without seeing it in person. I’d email them both and make the subject lines something that would force an open or reply.
- To my wife, I’d email the subject line: got notice about three months missing rent — did you forget to pay? body message: LMK
- To that guy — I’d email from a Gmail address I’d just created with a generic American name with a subject line of: Interview Request and the rest didn’t matter — since all I needed was him to open the email.
Both emails sent within 10 seconds of each other. Now I wait for opens…
They are both in Tucson, Arizona. 11:42 PST. I caught her.
I called in sick to work in the morning and spent most of the day packing and making arrangements to leave — I wasn’t sure if I’d file for divorce but I knew I needed some space away from her. I waited for her to come home to confront her.
When she walked in, she could see my suitcases in the living room and clearly knew she’d been caught. She began apologizing and saying it was just a one-time thing etc. I told her I don’t know if I could trust her again and I’d go away to stay with family while I came down from the shock.
Please no! Let me explain!
me: I’ve spent the day crying thinking about all of these years… what’s real… what’s fake…. I can’t right now. There will be time for that, I can’t deal with this right now. My world is upside down.
I grabbed my bags and walked out as she cried with her face in her hands.
Yep, that’s my story…. I just had to share it with you MailTag, because your location tracking was the magic that saved me from further humiliation. What a time to be alive.