This deadly combination of clues, involvement of other people,
and the ever increasing chance of discovery with every successive
repetition of your secret affair, can be fatal. While there are
steps you can take to reduce your risks, keeping an affair secret
is something akin to playing dice at a Las Vegas casino. You can
adopt strategies that help even the odds...and...experience coupled
with a cool head can help a lot. But in the final analysis the odds
are stacked against you.
If, after reading the information you are still
determined to go ahead... then I strongly urge you to exercise
prior planning and proper diligence, (and hope for some good luck).
RULE #1: You ALWAYS Leave Clues Behind ...accept
it and plan for it.
Everything you do leaves a physical trail and you
always leave some evidence that your affair occurred. Additionally,
you will always leave behind some evidence that you participated
in the affair. There is no such thing as the perfect crime...OR...a
completely secret affair. The prisons are full of people who thought
they could commit the perfect crime and failed. The divorce courts
are full of people who thought they could keep an affair completely
secret and failed. Accept the fact that no matter how careful
you are...someone saw you and that someone (even if they don't
understand what they know) has knowledge of your affair.
- Remove as many clues as possible....and if possible...make the
remaining clues difficult to find.
- Think in terms of "types" of clues as well as specific
clues. What types of clues will be left behind?
- Evaluate the types of clues (or what specific clues) that will
remain and try to make those clues difficult to associate with
you and/or your affair.
RULE #2: Limit the number of people involved.
The more people you have involved in the affair
and/or involved in keeping your affair secret, the greater the
chances that you will fail to keep it secret. The chances of discovery
go up exponentially with the number of people directly involved.
Involving lots of people in your affair...or worse yet...involving
lots of people to support your deception is NOT a good idea. The
ideal number of people to participate in your secret affair is
one...(you). However, understanding that this will often not be
possible or desirable, LIMIT the number of people you involve.
RULE #2A: Carefully consider the trustworthiness
of those you involve.
This sounds like a "no-brainer", but you
would be shocked at how many times people involve untrustworthy
folks with helping to keep an affair secret. The general rule
of thumb states that everyone involved in your affair should have
as much (preferably even more) incentive to keep it secret than
you do. If EVERYONE involved doesn't have as much to lose (or
gain) by keeping this affair secret...then you are exposed.
RULE #3: You MUST have a good Cover Story.
The best way to keep an affair secret is to construct
it in such a way that it appears legitimate...or that it appears
that you are involved in a legitimate affair while you are in
fact involved in your secret affair. You need a plausible, consistent,
and believable story (delivered in a believable manner) that explains
your actions...or covers up for them. You need plausible reasons
for being where you are and doing what you're doing. Spend LOTS
of time on your cover story.
RULE #4: Spend time building credibility and background
for your cover story.
For example, the spouse who suddenly starts being
gone from home a lot, or suddenly starts taking business trips
when they didn't travel much before...attracts attention to their
behavior (even if it is legitimate or innocent behavior). A sudden
change in behavior ALWAYS prompts attention. If your sudden change
in behavior also coincides with keeping your secret affair....guess
what....the chances of your being found out increase. The best
way to cover up clandestine affairs, is to somehow mask them in
your usual range of affairs...or alter your usual range of affairs
to the new style BEFORE you begin your secret affair.
RULE #5: Learn to Lie Effectively.
When keeping affairs secret, it should be an accepted
conclusion that you may have to lie and deceive to maintain your
secret. Keeping affairs secret involves far too many uncontrollable
variables to completely take care of with the other methods of
deception. You will definitely have to lie to maintain the secrecy
of your affairs. Learn to lie well and effectively....or you are
doomed to fail.
RULE #6: Prepare for the "Unexpected Event".
The Unexpected Event is a more frequent problem
in trying to keep affairs secret than with any other type of secret.
There are so many variables and so many opportunities for things
to go wrong that the odds of something "out of the blue"
happening are pretty good. Evaluate what might go wrong, but don't
make yourself crazy trying to anticipate every little thing (because
you can't). Definitely look at what parts of your secrecy plan
are most vulnerable and/or most likely to be susceptible to problems.
One way to illustrate how to effectively prepare for unexpected
events, is to take a look at airplane pilot training. Pilots must
pass tests that demonstrate knowledge of emergency landing procedures,
as well as handling emergencies in the air. Emergency training
for pilots is NOT taught on specifics such as "what do you
do when the oil pump fails...or what do you do when the spark
plugs fail". The training is taught on a more general level
of "what do you do when you lose power".
No one can anticipate every specific event (or thing) that can
happen. You can however, anticipate what "TYPES" of
things can happen, and decide how you might deal with them.
RULE #7: Stay Calm...Don't Panic....THINK.
Keeping affairs secret requires more "on your
feet thinking", than any other secret. For example, the fact
that someone you know accidentally saw you going to or coming
from your secret affair, does not automatically mean they know
about the affair itself. Don't panic and give yourself away by
starting to explain, give alibis, and otherwise act guilty. Stay
calm, act normal, find out what they know (or suspect) before
you do anything. You may not need to say anything other than "hi".
The fact that someone may think it odd to find you in a certain
place, or out at a certain time, does not automatically mean they
suspect you of anything.
Remember, people with no secrets don't feel the need to explain
their every action....act like a person with no secret.
RULE #8: Make a list....check it twice.
One more time....keeping affairs secret involves
many variables. Unless your affair is very simple and it only
happens once, there will be lots of issues to deal with. There
is power in the written list. Write your plan and sequence of
events down on a list. Think about (and jot down) the clues you
will leave behind and what (if anything) you can do about them.
Think about what things could go wrong, write them down, and then
list remedies and/or damage control plans. Pay attention to the
Little details matter. Ignore them and you fail...Remember the
old fable about the missing horseshoe nail...
- that caused the horseshoe to fall off
- that caused the horse to stumble
- that caused the messenger to fall of the horse
- that caused the message to not get delivered
- that caused the general to do the wrong thing (because he didn't
get the message)
- that caused the battle to be lost
- that cause the kingdom to fall.
P.S. DON'T FORGET TO DESTROY or SECURE THE LIST...
RULE #9: Every Type of affair has it's own Specific
The rules on this page are strategic (rather than
tactical) and therefore they are applicable to all affairs. However,
to be complete, I must mention that different types of secret
affairs also have their own unique strategic problems and issues.
This topic is too large for one paragraph...in fact some types
of affairs could warrant their own web page...so let me say that
I will add specific topics as reader interest directs.
RULE #10: Manage the Motivation Levels of Those
Looking for Your Secret
You should do everything in your power to NOT make
someone suspicious and NOT do anything that might cause someone
to look for your secret. If this sounds too simplistic, let me
state once again that a huge number of people start secret affairs
immediately after doing or saying things that would cause any
rational person to become suspicious.
EXAMPLE: A person begins a clandestine affair AFTER having a big
fight with their spouse...or...after a prolonged period of conflict.
Under these conditions, any spouse is on heightened alert. Starting
a clandestine affair under these circumstances is just asking
to be discovered.
One Last Thought... If this process seems too underhanded,
too sneaky, or just too much work...then I strongly suggest you
reevaluate your reasons for keeping your affair secret and your
commitment to keeping it secret.