Learning lessons from the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Maria Shriver divorce
Every day, more couples are finding their marriages ruined by a philandering spouse. Of course, few burn out as spectacularly as the one between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver did. From the affair with the housekeeper that produced a son to the payoffs he kept behind her back, the former Mr. Olympia could only keep so many secrets until finally, he was "forced" to write a tell-all book.
If you have the misfortune of this happening to you, we hope it isn't as public. However, whether it's out there for the world to know, or just the family, the essence of the wrongdoing hurts regardless. Secretive spouses believe they can get away with anything. So let's take queues from Schwarzenegger and see how we can stop them from happening to you.
"It's not the best thing for people around me ... but some information I just keep to myself." That's the quote that the former Governor gave to 60 Minutes about why he kept everything hush-hush. While we 100% don't advocate snooping around your spouse's things (what if they're, you know, innocent?), if you notice anything – weird withdrawals or charges on your bank or credit card, second cell phone, etc. – out of the ordinary, confront them immediately. Not harshly or accusingly, but just in a way that you feel comfortable trying to get an answer.
Watch out for red flags If your spouse makes huge, life-altering decisions on a whim with barely a conversation with you, then that's a warning sign. Schwarzenegger had open-heart surgery in Mexico, and filed for the California governor's race, all without telling Maria. Someone like that is impulsive, and that kind of attitude will get them in hot water sooner or later. Make sure that you catch them sooner.
Become an electronic watchdog Don't ignore tell-tale signs of cheating, or any other types of ill behavior, that are left out on a computer or a cell phone. If you're having troubles with your spouse, turn on your computer and occasionally check the browser for things like dating sites or fund sites where money could be funneled off-shore (and out of the reach of your divorce lawyers). If you find something, remember – don't become confrontational. There may be a simple explanation for it all, even the dating site. If not, then you know where to go next – someone like me.