Picture the scene: Your partner gets back from drinks (or should that be âdrinksâ??) with an old friend âIt was so good to see them again!â? they implore. âHe’s so nice, and he plays the guitar really well!â?
âThat’s cool….â? you reply. It’s not cool though, and you’re only a quick facebook stalk (thanks timeline!) away from morphing into a green-eyed monster. You may even buy a guitar in attempt to emulate his âWonderwallâ? playing skills. She thinks he’s cool, you think he’s a twat. Of course they’re just âfriendsâ?, but that won’t stop you from thinking that the whole thing is more suspicious than that business with OJ Simpson.
Now, thanks to Cheaters, you don’t even have to work for a paper to hire a Private Detective, nor will you have to deal with the expense, provided you live in er… Dallas, Texas. Cheaters is a TV show that for the last 12 years has offered Texans the chance to find out whether their partner is, as they suspect, cheating on them, and all the better for us, they stick the inevitably high charged confrontation on telly. It’s now arrived on UK screens courtesy of Really, so we talked to the muscular Joey Greco, whose been hosting the infidelity reality show for the last 10 years, about the programme, bad relationships, and of course… How to spot a cheat.
So… Why âCheatersâ??
âA job! I didn’t know what I was getting into. I got an audition call and went, and ended up booking it, and at the time, this was after two seasons of the show. I had no idea how long the show was going to last. We thought âlets just do it, get some experience and exposure, and move on down the road cause this really isn’t going to last too long. At the time, it had a certain element, but as we continued to grow and change, it kept getting renewed and renewed, and then 10 years later it’s made quite a difference.â?
What was this âelementâ??
âReality television, to me, has changed a lot in 10 years. Back in the day, it was looked at differently. It was quite shady. As I looked at it after I became exposed to it, and researched it a little bit, I thought it was a sensitive and delicate situation. It’s something that interests people because everyone is intrigued by it. But yet, it’s emotionally very charged, there are a lot of different elements that are floating around, and if we can handle those more responsibly, for example, at the time I started, it was something that everyone wanted to watch, but perhaps you couldn’t feel good about yourself to watch it, because it was so controversial. But I felt if we were more responsible as a production, then it would relief some viewers from that guilt â of looking in at someone else’s tragedy.â?
Most of the confrontations tend to end in a bit of mild violence. What happens to those featured after the show? Do they do well, or do they struggle?
âI think, whether or not they stay together, the majority is positive. If it wasn’t working out, there would have been nothing worse then to stay in that situation, so on one hand I think we can empower someone to improve their own situation, and take control of their own choices, and their own life a little bit. The more self-esteem someone has, the easier it will be for them to say and recognise; ‘I’m not happy in this situation… what do I need to do to change it?’
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on the show?
âThey’re all crazy. Nothing surprises me any more! There was a pregnant woman whose partner was out on a date, and took this girl onto a lake – where they were kayaking. I was happy waiting for them to come back, but she was determined â she was like ‘No. I don’t wanna wait, I’ll get in the canoe myself if you’re not gonna go out there!’ And at that point, you say ‘Ok! Here we are!’ We loaded the woman in the canoe and went out.â?
And how did it end?
âWe all stayed dry, which was a surprise!â? Luckily I was able to back out â I have enough paddle experience to keep us from capsizing anyone.â?
So no buccaneering?
âIt wasn’t Pirates of the Caribbean, no!â?
For the insecure amongst us, how would we go about spotting a cheater?
âAny number of ways. The first thing, and the biggest thing is what does your instinct tell you? If you can sense an emotional disconnection, that would be the biggest thing. There’s some others that always pop up â is somebody all of a sudden very protective over their information, and their whereabouts, and their cell-phone, email, and social media activities? If they become very protective and try and hide that information â that would be one. Another thing is when someone uncharacteristically becomes suddenly aware of their appearances and their grooming and are they acting or dressing differently â that could be another thing. One I always hear is bedroom techniques! If all of the sudden someone has a completely new set of skills, you wonder ‘well where did that come from!?’ – That might be an indicator. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is going on! I don’t want panic to set in! If anyone recognises some of these… pay attention…â?
Is there a point where paranoia becomes common sense?
âYes! But sometimes, paranoia is paranoia. It’s such a delicate balance between the two. What I would encourage anyone is: Find yourself â be a complete person. I know it sounds romantic â like a Jerry McGuire ‘you complete me’ thing, but that doesn’t happen! Be a complete person. One person cannot complete another. If you’re whole, you bring that to the relationship and then you have a great relationship if the other person is likewise. You grow from the experiences of the other, encourage each other to explore and learn new things.â?
You had me at paranoia… Have you ever been the victim of an affair?
âHavenât we all?..â?
Not me â but then again I’ve never had a relationship…
âThere are times… This is what I’ve learnt: If you’re not happy in your situation, does it matter why? You know you’re not happy. If you can address that, and say ‘I know I’m not fulfilled in this relationship – regardless of what it is and why â I need to move on’, and you deal with that, it’s a much healthier approach, because what would be worse? Not having a healthy relationship and finding out that the other person wasn’t unfaithful? You just didn’t have a good relationship. It doesn’t matter why â you know you weren’t.â?
In the case of someone who is engaged to another, they obviously want to marry them, but they have their doubts. Why do you think they come to your show?
âI think it’s that they’re not equipped, or afraid to deal with it, or they don’t have the tools to address it. Even though they’ve tried, when you think of some of the variables that come into play â you don’t know everyone’s situations. They don’t have the time to follow someone around. They may say ‘I don’t feel good about this’. Just think about approaching a wedding. It’s stressful enough as it is! Sometimes people â this sounds crazy â they will contact us to try and satisfy and confirm that nothing is going on. Sometimes that happens. You just never know.â?
Do you ever feel sorry for those involved in the affair? You often catch them with their pants down… Literally.
âEveryone is searching for something. I don’t know if I really feel sorry for them, because we’re trying to stick up for someone who’s being taking advantage of. Everyone can make a bad choice. It happens. It will continue to happen. Hopefully throughout the course of our show people will just learn and make an attempt to make better choices.â?
So, in summary; If you suspect that your partner is cheating on you, hire a private detective to find out. If you’re the one doing the cheating, simply dress badly, and exhibit your worst bedroom skills (or in our case, just act normally). If you just want to watch the unfaithful humiliated in front of a camera crew and their (former) partner, then tune in to Really every weeknight at 11pm.