Hell, hell, yet I’ll be calm.
Now the dawn begins
And so hand of fate is stretched to draw the vale and leave thee bare.
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
No hell a fury like the woman, scorned.
William Congreve – The Mourning Bride
The quote above often wrongly attributed to Shakespeare is used as the closing lines from the first episode of the recent BBC drama Doctor Foster starring the beautiful Suranne Jones in the title role as the woman cheated by her husband.
At first, after she spots a blonde hair on her husbands scarf, her mind us full of paranoia, that knot in her tummy, natural overreaction, suspecting his newly blonde assistant, their friends.
When the opportunity presents herself, she checks his phone but finds nothing.
But the doubt doesn’t stop as she bumps in to his assistant at the school gates who tells her that her husband usually leaves at 5 and she locks up the office every day.
The next day, she leaves work early, parking outside his office, then following him, as he picks up flowers, hoping to catch him with the other woman only to find him visiting his mother at her care home.
She’s obviously feeling guilty and its written all over his face, which he notices.
They have a private chat away from his mother and she confesses that she was suspicious and followed him.
How stupid of her ..
Stupid for showing her hand too soon, stupid for following him, wasting that time when there are so many other checks she should have done without the chance of being spotted.
But thats emotion, the heart ruling the head.
As she leaves the care home, she signs out and it dawns on her that he had to sign in and out every day but when she checks the book, theres no record of him being there despite his claims.
Later, as the evidence gathers, she finds a second mobile phone with the damning evidence of the texts and pictures with the daughter of one of their friends in the boot of his car.
The first episode ends at his 40th birthday party, after he gives a speech insisting how valuable she is to him, the younger women looks on as she passionately kisses him, laying it on thick.
Meanwhile, the quote above is playing in her head .. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
I’m looking forward to watching the other episodes.
I was speaking to a friend of mine recently who was cheated on by her husband, lied to, huge debts run up on secret credit cards, the equity of her house lost when he secretly remortgaged.
Her husband was caught red-handed, but denied everything despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
He continues to lie and deny even although they are now living separately.
So a bit of advice for anyone worried about their partner cheating
If you suspect, do not confront, stay calm and take action.
For most people in that situation the confrontation is direct, and they react and show their hand too soon, without gathering evidence or making plans. The desire to know the truth outweighs any other thoughts or future plans.
But you must stay calm.
If you don’t and show your cards too soon, you give the cheat the opportunity to cover their tracks, act like a good boy or girl for a while and destroy all evidence until the heat calms down.
She should have kept her powder dry, waited, kept her cards close to her chest, gathered the necessary evidence and independently verified his lies.
Cheats are by definition devious, it would be stupid not to think ahead, realise that their missing time isn’t going to raise suspicions and that they would already have a game-plan to cover their tracks.
Like most people in the situation, she didn’t she know that cheats with the available resources as in this case always have two phones. One clean, one dirty. A separation between their real life and their alter ego.
So where would he keep it? In his car obviously in a place you wouldn’t look like in the boot beside the spare wheel.
For people in a committed relationship, doing a credit check on themselves and their partner will show the debts they have on credit cards, loans and mortgages and they will be able to see if the partner has done anything underhand like running up debts or another credit card without their knowledge.
Credit cards are so easy to obtain and are ideal for cheats as they can operate them over the net without any paper trail arriving in the mail.
If my friend had done this years ago, she would have found that her partner had been cheating for years, living a double life and running up debts in their name, taking equity form their home and spending it while she was totally oblivious.
Yes she’s angry about the cheating, bad enough in itself but with the added issues of unexpected debts things are a lot more complex.
If it was me, I’d be furious, she’s actually surprisingly calm, but like the programme, I think that might just be like the calm before the storm.
The BBC site and a few related links below