The ONLY way to prevent your partner cheating
Being cheated on, or the FEAR of being cheated on is one of the primary crutches in a relationship, and ultimately destroys many of them. I personally have never cheated on a girlfriend and to the best of my knowledge, have never been cheated on either… but that’s not to say that the irrational fear of someday being cheated on occasionally crops up with me too.
First I am going to list a couple of instinctual techniques that both men and women frequently use as clear tactics to settle these fears of cheating. I will explain why each one is not the best course of action and then reveal to you the ONLY way you can prevent your partner cheating on you…
First, what to avoid doing…
Keeping tabs on your partner:
This is a really common one. I remember a few years back when I was out with some old friends for a lad’s night out. Girlfriends were elsewhere and all was set for an epic, fun night in our favourite nightspots. One of my friends (whom I shall call John for the sake of privacy) was a confident and intelligent man, who had acquired himself a seemingly lovely girlfriend and they were now in their first year of living together.
Well, an hour in to our night on the town, with the drinks already flowing faster than a drunken man urinating behind a police station, John tries to subtly function his phone under the table. This obviously does not go unnoticed amongst a tipsy and boisterous group of men. After a few demands that John reveals the bearer of his trans-communication attention and a few sarcastic jokes that he’s “under the thumb” with his missus, John sheepishly shows us the rather blunt text message; “Where are you? Who are you with? You better be thinking of me at home”. After a quick-fire evolvement to the previous under the thumb jokes, everyone got back to the night, drinking and laughing jovially, dismissing John’s possessive enquiry.
As the night went on, it seemed every thirty minutes at most John was dashing off to answer his phone or replying to a barrage of texts from home. Every time I got a chance to ask him what’s up, he would reply “ah, it’s just the missus checking up on me”.
The point of this story is to highlight the difference between taking an interest in your partner’s life and keeping tabs on them. This story, although an exaggerated version, occurs not just with one or two of my coupled friends, but with the majority of ones with slightly insecure girlfriends or boyfriends.
Everyone knows that a key element to a healthy relationship is trust, so try to live by it. If you find yourself in a similar position, about to fire off a probing text or the equivalent, take a moment to rephrase it in a way that portrays genuine interest rather than suspicion.
Acting weird, jealous or overbearing when your partner mentions someone of the opposite sex:
I have to confess that this is something I have been guilty of in the past and although I still sometimes get these feelings when my girlfriend talks enthusiastically about another guy, it only takes me a few moments to rationalise it as non-threatening. If this really is an issue for you, take note of HOW your partner mentions these other people. Is it essential to the natural conversations of their life, or are they actually holding back more sinister details. It will normally be fairly obvious if they are but don’t be hasty with accusations.
If your partner is mentioning someone else, even if it seems to be a constant occurrence, 99% of the time you have nothing to worry about. The times you genuinely have to worry is when they are actively NOT telling you about the other people they are seeing, skipping over important details to what they have been doing, or you inadvertently find out some sinister information from a third-party.
Accusing your partner of cheating without any viable proof:
This is probably the best way to actually PUSH your partner into cheating. Accusing them of cheating without any viable proof displays the ultimate lack of trust and illustrates what you really think of them. Contempt for trust is one of the two reasons why someone would actively cheat on their partner. If you really suspect they are cheating, dig a little deeper without doing anything detrimental to the relationship before even thinking of confronting your partner.
I had a friend a number of years ago who somehow got access to his girlfriend’s email and was checking it almost daily to try and discover proof of her infidelity. The constant suspicion was no doubt crossing over in to how he treated and communicated with her in real life to the point where she did actually cheat on him! As fate would have it, he found out via her private emails and was actually overjoyed that he now had proof and could confirm his distrust. Whilst on this example, checking your partner’s email or phone without permission shows a distinct lack of trust and contempt for their privacy. If you ever find yourself doing this, you should ask yourself why you really feel the need to!
Trying to make your partner jealous to get one over on them:
This is something I witness time and time again, often between couples in high-pressure social situations where alcohol can also be a factor. While mild jealousy is a well recognised technique in creating attraction with someone new of the opposite sex, in a long-term relationship it is simply disrespectful!
I believe harmlessly flirting with other people is a healthy activity, even when you’re in a relationship. It keeps your personality fresh and attractive. That said, you must obey certain boundaries and respect your partner’s feelings at all times.
Not letting go of the past:
It may be likely that you have been cheated on in the past… but remember that it is the PAST and has no influence on whether your current partner will treat you the same way.
Deal with your own trust issues first before transposing them onto your partner.
And now for the only way to prevent your partner from cheating…
The ONLY way to prevent your partner from cheating:
Be the best option available!
It sounds simple but as long as you are actively trying to be the best boyfriend or girlfriend you can be, your partner will always want to be with you. As long as you are wholeheartedly trying to fulfil all of your partner’s physical, emotional and growth needs, they will never want or need to look elsewhere.
Not only must you strive to be the best option available, you must BELIEVE it too. Avoid becoming arrogant and criticising other suitors. Once you truly believe you are the best option, you will no longer see other people as competition and subsequently never get jealous.
In a followup post I will detail exactly how you ensure you are the best option available. There are ten key factors! 🙂
Oooh! Sammy I love this article. As someone who has been the cheater, the cheatee, the cheatah;), and the i-finally-found-the-perfect-relationship girl, I think I’d like to comment.
Sooo I agree that keeping tabs and nagging your partner is a horrible idea. STORYTIME! Ricky went to a strip club the other day… and called me before, during, and after he left. Yeah, he called me, not the other way around. I kept assuring him that it was totally fine, and that he should have fun– but all his friends were either getting in trouble with their girlfriends or they were being secretive and just not telling them. See, I didn’t bug my guy by calling/texting him every five minutes, and he declined a lap dance from a very naked girl! I think that the more freedom you give your partner, the more they will appreciate you and keep track of themselves so that you don’t have to.
Unless you’re dating a jackass.
… But if you’re dating a guy (or girl) with a brain, give them the respect they deserve and they’ll return the favor.
ps- I NEED TO KNOW the ten key factors to ensure I’m the best option available, now!
Thanks for your comment Bennyboo! Love your insights. I definitely agree that allowing freedom to your partner makes them respect you more and want to be honorable towards you. 🙂 Turning down a lapdance though… that boy’s got some will power!! 🙂
Unfortunately a lot of people do date ‘jackasses’ for a variety of reasons, where this sort of approach wouldn’t be so rewarding. What would you suggest to them?
Oh and you don’t have to worry about the follow-up article… you cover most of the ten things already… most 😉
Thanks again for commenting,
PS: On a somewhat related note, this got me thinking… If your partner had cheated on you, would you rather know or is it a case of ‘ignorance is bliss’? I’d be interested to hear people’s honest opinions on this.
Dear junk mail, aka spam:),
I’ve thought about that a lot. I think personally, I would want to know if I had been cheated on. I think knowing is the tried and true way to find out if your relationship is real… your partner is telling you the truth, is probably very remorseful, and obviously cares about you if he hasn’t taken that opportunity to break up with you, and you have the choice to forgive him.
But can you make a general recommendation for this? I think it’s different for everyone. I think some people might react so strongly that it would be better for them not to know… and if the cheater is truly sorry, then maybe ignorance IS bliss.
I do agree with you. However, I’ve always felt that if someone cheats in a relationship (as the above article heads towards) is that it is because of something not right in the relationship, in which case should it end anyway? My point being that if the relationship is as perfect as can be, would anyone cheat?
On the flipside, if someone has confessed (without any external push) and it is sincere, then they are probably less likely to cheat again than someone who keeps schtum and realises they can get away with it.
I have a few friends who do cheat on their girlfriends yet live by a complete double-standard whereby they would break up with their girlfriend if she cheated on them. To me they simply shouldn’t kid themselves that the relationship is exclusive in the first place. What do you think about ‘open-relationships’ as a solution to a chronic cheater? At least then everyone knows where they stand.
Thanks for the discussion… I’m enjoying your insights. 🙂
I definitely agree with Boo and yourself about keeping tabs on your partner. By doing so your lack of trust becomes clear and they may be more inclined to act in a way that you disapprove of. Although I may have been guilty of this some years ago, I have since realised that a healthy relationship is all about giving your partner freedom and letting them know how much you trust them by letting them have a great night out with their friends with no interruptions from the other half (I must say though, I still text my boyfriend a fair bit when he or I am out with other’s, but it’s certainly not so I can keep tabs!).
In response to your question, my answer is a definite YES. I would almost certainly rather have the knowledge that my partner was cheating. Imagine if you found out that a large part of your relationship had been a lie; it would certainly taunt me. Yes, it would take time to get over something like that, but I think in the long run it would make you a stronger person, who can deal with difficulties such as this. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Honestly, honesty is always the best answer 🙂 Life isn’t perfect though. People make mistakes and everyone deserves to know if they have been cheated on so that they can make an informed decision about their future. But every situation is different, so who knows.
I want to know what you think too.
Thanks for your insights Eva. I like what you said at the end about ‘making you a stronger person if you had to deal with something like that’. So many people wallow far too long over a relationship hiccup rather than using it to grow effectively. I just got added on Twitter by someone who has a ‘get your ex back’ style website, dedicated solely to getting your ex back. Whilst I admire that they are trying to help people at a sensitive time, actively getting an ex back (where things obviously weren’t working) is generally counter-productive to relationship happiness. hmm ok this wasn’t specifically relevant to your point but I’ve just been thinking about it. 🙂
Thanks for your comment too Miranda. Great points. It’s a nice ideal to think everyone can be perfect but you’re right, people do deserve some leeway for some genuine mistakes. I think it’s often when someone knows or thinks their partner will irrationally fly off the handle that they hold back information. If you have trust in your partner to react in a rational way to anything you tell them, then you’re right… Honesty definitely is the best answer. 🙂
All these points have been so insightful to me. I’m going through a hellish time as I was cheated on before but I have also cheated in the past. With the man of my dreams now (or so I thought)and I have raked and found things I shouldnt have seen like dating website member ship which he denied, messages from other women “still saying miss you sexy” but he is denying anything is going on. Opended a secret email account to do god knows what on weith these women he’s in touch with but I am the one who has issues and its none of my business.
Honesty is the best policy and if anyone cheats they think nothing of their partner if they continue the relationship.
I’m being made a big fool of but sometimes people cant just leave.
I wouldn’t say it’s none of your business but it does come down to either you trust this person or you don’t. If you don’t, well then that’s something completely separate for you to work on but if you do then any over-analysing of things he does is only going to sabotage your happiness in the relationship. Even the most faithful partner will have things (e-mails or messages from the opposite sex etc) that when taken out of context can make them seem deceitful.
You probably do want to talk over some of these feelings with your partner but as I mentioned in the above article, be wary of accusing him of things without any viable proof.
Thanks for your comment and please keep in touch. 🙂
nice! helped me a lot
Thanks John, glad you liked it 🙂
my fiancee cheated on me for 2 years & i found out wen i was 5 months pregnant..that is last year(2008) june..i cant seem to forgive him..we had the perfect relationship…so it seemed at the time..he broke up with the girl he dated…and hes realy trying to gain back my trust but am the one holding back…everytime we ague the issue comes up again and again..its realy bad.
i need help because we have been together for 6 years & we have a beautiful little gal who is 6 months now..i dont want to loose him & this relationship
pliz help me Sam
Hey Candice, thanks for writing.
I can imagine it must have been tough finding out something like that when you were pregnant. I know it is easier said than done but if you have decided to stay in a relationship with this guy then it is imperative that you truly forgive him. As you say, as long as you hold resentment against him, it is always going to crop up in arguments.
There are many reasons why he may have cheated in the first place and none of those reasons particularly matter anymore. The fact that everything is now out in the open and he WANTS to be with you should allow you both to put the situation behind you. Having a child together is a huge bonding experience in itself but the issue of trusting him again does predominantly lie with you.
If you felt you had the perfect relationship before then you can most certainly get back to that state with a bit of cognitive reconditioning. Try to focus on those positive emotions whenever the anger regarding the infidelity starts to surface again.
Another article that might be useful to read can be found at the following link but please don’t hesitate to write again if you want any further resources or advice:
My girlfriend had a dream she was mouthkissing a guy? How should I react?
I was schocked when she told me.
This is a really interesting scenario and I actually bought a fascinating book called ‘Understanding Dreams’ by Nerys Dee last year to better understand myself what our dreams mean in reality.
To some degree our unconscious sleep patterns are influenced by our worries and desires but in your example, I would take it with a large pinch of salt. Even if it was a specific guy she was dreaming about, dreams are far too vague to take literally and that particular dream could have a magnitude of different causes.
The only time you have to worry is when an unconscious thought (or a dream) steps over into CONSCIOUS thought and you start to recognise that she is actually having some of these desires for real. The fact that she even told you about this dream strengthens the fact that you should casually laugh this off. 🙂
Thanks for the comment,
Good article. I’ve been with my partner for 15 months now and I still continuously struggle to cope with her getting attention on Facebook & Nights out. We rarely go out clubbing together as we have seperate friendship groups, and I think this adds fuel to the fire, especially because she tends to drink quite heavily and from time to time becomes unaware of her surroundings and actions. Sometimes it’s just difficult to realise your partner is with you through choice.
These are feelings that I’m sure a lot of guys can relate to. You sum up the point perfectly though that the grand solution is “to realise that your partner is with you through choice”.
‘Being the best option’ is primarily about having the right mindset rather than having the best physical or external attributes and assets. If you truly believe that you are the best option (without being arrogant) then your girlfriend will continually want to ‘choose’ you, regardless of attention she may be getting online or on nights out.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a separate issue and I would always recommend making sure that she has a good group of friends around her to look after her if she ever does drink too much on a night out.
Thanks for commenting,
My girlfriend and I have been dating for a year and a month now. We are absolutely perfect for each other, we do everything and anything for each other. On my end I make sure to offer her the up-most respect so she never feels “not good enough.” I tell her how beautiful she is EVERY day, I don’t look at other girls when I’m with her, I look her in the eyes when we talk. It’s just to show her how much I love her and not just say it. Sometimes with out realizing it she kinda does the opposite for me. When we stand around and talk she will be looking around everywhere (mainly at other passing guys) if someone comes in to the room she’ll look at him a few times and I kinda get upset (not tell her though). She’s gotten better about it because we tell each other when something bugs but it still bothers me when she does it and I want to know how to deal with it. Its more of a “I put my full attention to you so why can’t you do it for me?” maybe because she is a girl and that’s just their nature? We’re about to go off to college together and I just want to make sure I do everything perfect to never loose her. We’ve already talked about life plans and it just seems like a fairy tale to come true. Thanks
It’s great that your relationship is so perfect, that you both seem so happy and that you can freely discuss with each other anything that bugs you.
Whilst it is wonderful to show your girlfriend that you respect, love and admire her, it is possible to go too far or subconsciously demand too much, which actually dilutes the effect.
Things such as your girlfriend looking around or seeming distracted whilst you are together in all likelihood has no real significance with regards to how much she likes you or how invested in the relationship she is. It would be unproductive to force her to change a behavioural trait such as that without an express desire on her behalf.
Your relationship sounds great and I’m sure if you concentrate on doing the things she enjoys and responds well to, whilst ignoring any trivial things that don’t directly affect the relationship, it will be long and fulfilling. 🙂
Thanks for writing,
i love this! could you do one on “ways to see if your partner is cheating” y’know little tell-tale signs
Thanks for the suggestion; I shall add it to my list of future topics. In the meantime, you can check out some of the “related posts” that are linked immediately after the above article. They discuss other facets of the same topic. 🙂
me and my girlfriend are together since 3 yrs and relation ship was going too good for both of us until 2 months ago when i realized that she no more calls me and texts me of and on like she used to do it ..i also ignored it and thought as i am also busy in work and dont call her too much and may be that is why she is not calling that much coz of my lack of communication..but later on i just opened her email by cracking password just to know whats the issue..i found out in sent mail there were some pics of my gf sent to an old friend of her and a text msg ” MISS U “..i had already asked her not to have any contact with that man coz he was such a bad person and we both were in agreement on that point.she not only sent her pics but she also did nt tell me about that..even after i found out about this pics thing i asked her gently if she has any contact with persons i asked her not to contact and she said no..then i disclosed every thing i knew with proof…but she persists he is just a friend..but my point is why did she agree not to contact with guy earlier on when i asked her not to contact him she could have told me earlier that she will contact that guy if she wants to..that means either she is lying now or she was lying earlier..i think she is cheating on me..plz advise me..
There are several points to address in what you wrote and as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the issue concerning this other guy that your girlfriend has been in contact with is the least significant. It is the product rather than the cause.
If you think back over the last few months, try and pinpoint the sort of behavioural changes in the relationship that may have led to these forms of distrust, deceit and even not wanting to call each other as much anymore.
If you have a browse around the website, there are several other articles that address these issues and how to keep a relationship continually fulfilling. As a general rule though, a woman will only purposefully hide information from you if she thinks you will react in a bad way or judge her actions. Her thought process probably wasn’t a calculated one intending to hurt you, but more as a consequence of you implying that she can’t be in contact with whom she wants to be, along with the relationship perhaps not being as exciting and fulfilling as it could be at the moment.
Evidence that she has been contacting another man secretly does not automatically mean she is cheating. It is how you react, deal with and progress the relationship from here that will be the defining factor as to whether she does do anything untoward in your relationship.
If you start thinking back to how you both were in the relationship during positive times over the last three years, then you can start trying to recreate those sorts of attitudes.
It will have to start with you accepting that she may want to communicate with other guys but you should encourage her to be more open with you, without any repercussions. If this is done correctly, she should never feel the need to lie to you and you should never feel the need to check her emails.
It is impossible to respectfully control who your girlfriend wants to communicate with but you can control why she would want to. Using some of the advice from the above article, you want to get back to concentrating on what’s important in the relationship, which is being the best boyfriend you can be, and stop any instances of control and mistrust before they escalate too far.
All the best and thanks for writing,
hmm yeah i my self also thought that may b the way i am going to keep her away from those ppl is kinda weired …may b i should do it in more sensible way and then she should also understand my point…Sam it was a real nice relation ship and i want to shape up things back again..she also felt her mistake and called me today but didn’t said a word about being sorry.how should i now proceed keeping in mind that she doesnt contact those guys in future..and yes u were right its a product some where i was being too rigid..
now at this point what should i exactly do when she is kinda irritated and does not wana say sorry but i know she feels bad about what she did.how should i gain her trust and make her understand that contact wid those guys is not in her interest..
thanks a lot for ur enlightenment
I wouldn’t dwell too much on whether she specifically said sorry or not. Although she shouldn’t have specifically hidden stuff from you, she may not think she did anything that wrong, or at least that it was done in your best interest.
The point is that her not contacting these other guys should be completely her decision and not yours. If you restrict or disrespect her own judgement, she is only going to resent it.
Although it may be hard to put your own feelings on the matter aside, ultimately the only thing you can do is express rational reasons why this other guy might be “bad” for her but tell her that you trust her judgement and then encourage her to be more open with you.
For the time being, I would suggest forgetting about the whole incident and concentrating on making the relationship fun and endearing once more. Coincidently, this is actually the way that she is going to respect your wishes and opinion a lot more, rather than feeling forced or controlled into not speaking to certain people.
hi name sake,
As a general rule though, a woman will only purposefully hide information from you if she thinks you will react in a bad way or judge her actions.
Im in a 4yrs relatnship,n i met my girl a virgin bck in university,we datd 3yrs in sch n durin d first 2yrs i cheatd with 4diff girls n i told her afta d act..reasons were bcos she was Godli,n didnt wnt 2 loose her viginity until afta marriage,but she stil 4gav me,then in our 3rd yr she gav in2 my pleas of sex,n we started but d 4th yr,i once again cheatd on her n confessed,but she was so hurt dat she had plans on wat 2 do n didnt want to tell me,she cheatedd with a guy for a month n broke off with him b4 i knew,i had a friend who she didnt knw of dat observed d event den,so whn i askd y she didnt own up,she said she was scared of my reactn,wel now we r workin on our relatnship,n im now in good terms with God courtsey her advice, n we r both determind 2 serve him righteousli,so no sex,n we r workin on a futur 2geda…though we’v been hvin issues of finance,cos im not strong presentli in dat aspect,im stil jobhuntin but she’s employed in a bank here for abt a month now,few weeks bck we had an issue of finance n didnt communicat for som tim,whn i called her so we can resolv d issue,she responded…..but she says now dat she’s numb abt her feelings for me n shes confused…..then i got her to talk more abt d happenings @ work cos she workin in a faraway state from wher i am residin..her collegue approachd her with courtship to marriage offer and she told him she’s in a commited relationship but she owned up 2 me dat she’s attracted to him but i shud not panic cos she’l tak car of d situation,but im seriousli worried cos when she cheated on me it all started like dis but d difference is den she had d motive of hurtin me n she never told me she was attracted to him,but now she says she’s attracted to dis guy but will control herslf n remain focus,dat i shud trust her…..n i shud also giv her time to cool off d pressure n be convinced of wat she feels for me,cos @ dis stage she’s confused not becos of d new guy but bcos of series of challenges we have had to go thru….can u advice me on dis issue??
And Sam i also want u to undastnd dat in our 4yrs i can bit my chest and say,she is not a male,sex and money freak….but afta she cheated,i find it difficult to trust her around guys she’s close with n dis mental torture increases bcos she also said she is confused n numb abt her feelings for me,but yet she declined we breakin up cos accordin to her it wont solve d problem,only dat i should be patience with her n give her time…dat she feel we will be stronger if she can rediscover d feelings again..wat shud i do???
Your comment touches on a whole host of relationship issues. Rather than working on certain areas of the relationship whilst other areas still suffer, the best thing you can do is have a clean slate and take the relationship back to basics. Start acting like the attractive, confident version of you that your girlfriend clearly desires.
I personally don’t think there should ever be strict regulations put on a relationship. If a couple communicate well and react dutifully to each other’s non-verbal communication then the relationship can adapt accordingly. I do understand however that personal beliefs and religion can impose strict regulations and that is something you just have to work with.
The whole issue of who cheated and why they cheated is also best put in the past. Start agreeing on how you want the relationship to be NOW and start acting accordingly. That includes being faithful to each other. If you want to sleep with other people or change aspects of your sex-life then that is fine, but only if you discuss it maturely beforehand!
As the above article discusses, there is only one way to prevent your girlfriend from going off with another man and it is all completely within your control!
Hapi NY…..pls i need clerification on this issue…my partner cheated on me with her collegue at work,n this is the second time she has cheated on me in space of 7months.
I 4gave her,but the truth is i sensed the last treat and tried to avoid it but she told me that she’s goin to handle it her way,only for her to succumb to the guy’s plea. Now i dont trust d guy around her and i told her to always tell me things that happens between her and the guy outside work…i knw she cant avoid him completely bcos dey work together bt there shudnt be any personal discussion again…..and if there is,then she shud let me knw abt it.cos we r experiencing a long distance relationship now,so if she tell me tins truthfully then i will be sure all is well.
Is it a bad tin?
If someone in a relationship has cheated then in order for there to be trust again, you both have to recognise the changes in attitude that must occur. Your girlfriend has to know that she can’t disrespect the relationship like before.
The work colleague isn’t actually a factor if the above changes take place. If your girlfriend genuinely wants to be in a monogamous relationship with you then you must let her know what is and is not acceptable to you. In the short term, being more open and detailed about her activities, feelings and desires will give you a better idea of how sincere she is being.
Removing a physical temptation (the work colleague in this case) does not remove the inclination, so concentrate on improving the relationship from the ground up, rather than focusing on damage control.
All the best,
Hi Sam! My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now. We met while I was going through a divorce. It started as friends and then evolved into the most incredible love I’ve ever experienced! He’s only been in one other serious relationship and was cheated on, and so he’s always been so jealous. I hate that because I grew up with brothers and have always had a lot of guy friends, but I learned to deal with it because he’s worth it to me. All of his friends love me, and his family is a dream come true!! But lately he’s been disappearing a lot and wanting to go out more with the boys and then not answering the phone until 3am when he wants me to pick him up. We both partied a lot before we met, but settled down almost immediately when we got serious so this has had me a little concerned. Finally one night I couldn’t take it so I found him at a club and wouldn’t you know he was there with this girl he used to mess around with before we met and this girl has a BAD reputation. I had heard her name long before I even met my bf. she claims he said he was single, but he denies the hell out of it. Then the other night when I had to pick him up at 3am and the whole ride home he was telling me how much he loved me and wants to get married and have kids. Then he passed out when we got home and I couldn’t help but look at his phone. He had been trying to meet up with her. I confronted them both and they both swear nothing’s going on. He says “I’ve been cheated on and it’s something I’d never do to anyone. I love YOU!” I don’t know what to do or what to think! I’m 28 and ready to be married and have a family, and I want that with him because of how perfect we can be! But I don’t want to get hurt either!
It is understandable that you might have confused thoughts and suspicions after the incidents you have described. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything ominous going on but it does mean that you should discuss the recent changes in the relationship with your boyfriend.
Having been together for two years, you should be able to calmly and maturely discuss how certain incidents make you feel and get him to talk about some of his recent lifestyle choices. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you both still want the same things and are both happy in the relationship at the moment.
The main things to take extra care about are not coming across as biased or judgemental. If he is genuinely just friends with this other girl then that is fine, but let him know how you actually want to be treated with regards to honesty and openness, not as a threat but as an independent, personal standard.
It is likely that all of these behaviours are the result of how the relationship has conditioned both of you, especially regarding your boyfriend’s past jealousy. For a relationship to have a future you can have parts of your social life that are separate, but those separate social lives should still compliment the life you want to share together, without any secrecy or reason for suspicions.
All the best and thanks for writing,
Loved the article, I found it extremely helpful. Now I need to be a little sure of stuff.
I have a girlfriend of exactly 5 months now and things are going alright, except for the fact that we won’t see eachother this whole summer, meaning a long distance relationship. It is the complete opposite of our relationship in college, which was seeing eachother every single day, hanging out with our friends which we share the same group, and just talking all the time. Now she’s busy with work and I start soon, she’s stressed about stuff I don’t know about at home, and she doesn’t seem nearly as happy or bubbly as we were when we went to school. Every time I mention that, she is dismissive about it and she just seems distant or a little… off. She’s the sweetest girl in the world and wouldn’t hurt a fly, she’s actually the one who wanted a relationship in the first place, not me. She’s also the first one to say I love you. But I still have a guard up from the past since I’ve been cheated on before (I know like you said, I shouldn’t be dwelling on the past, but it’s true since that girl was also sweet and caring and never would have expected something like that.) I try my best to treat her like gold, but now that we’re separate I feel like she kind of took that all for granted. Tonight she’s having dinner with a guy who I noticed called her cute or whatever in the past and I can see him trying to do something with her, even though I can’t exactly judge because I really don’t know him. She just says it was to make up for the other day which he showed up drunk to her house and started acting like an idiot. Now I’m not so paranoid about that, but I have a gut instinctual bad feeling, which I should have followed in the past. Breaking up with her would kill me, and we have so many future plans, and I’m trying my best to be good. But if it comes down to breaking up which would hurt me so so badly at first, then so be it. Do you have any advice about this? I would appreciate it very much, and thank you once again for such a good job at what you do. Your article and comment replies make me feel alot happier.
It is inevitable that you will feel the changes after being around each other all the time and then suddenly having that aspect of the relationship change. I have been in a similar situation several times back when I was at University. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, there are ways that you can use the change to your advantage.
When you speak to each other, try to block out any extraneous worries or hypothetical scenarios you might have. Keep the focus on the two of you and keep your mind on making it a relationship you both want to be part of. If she does have new stresses back at home, try to be her relief from that stress and not a magnification for it.
It is great to mention missing each other, although make sure the sentiments are shared a roughly equal amount. Try not to highlight anything that might suggest a strain on the relationship. Let her reveal such thoughts if she wants to, without too much prompting. Missing each other should be a positive thing (as in you can’t wait to next see each other), rather than a negative thing (not being able to cope being apart).
As for your girlfriend meeting another man for dinner, make sure you don’t blow such instances out of proportion, especially if your girlfriend makes a reasonable justification for her actions. It is so easy to exaggerate the meaning of such activities whilst apart, so think about how you would act if you were actually there. If you assume everything is exactly the same in your relationship and talk to your girlfriend accordingly, you will get far more obvious indicators if something actually is awry.
All in all, the time apart should be used to emphasise the positives, whilst keeping busy and attractive, and making an untold effort not cause unnecessary arguments or act jealous needlessly.
The relationship in some ways is in an unavoidable state of limbo during this time. Try not to act rashly when judging the relationship due to artificial feelings of emotional distance created by the physical distance.
Thanks for commenting,
Guess what? Everything worked out!! I’m so happy, I don’t think you have any idea. I was being silly before and overly worrisome and she even called me crying and apologizing for being a jerk throughout all of our conversations and felt bad about taking out her stress on me. Since then we’ve been lovey dovey and talk about seeing each other all the time (as a positive thing as you said) and everything is good. Thank you very much Sam for your support, you actually helped his situation a whole lot. The sky is clear with no more clouds and now we wait to see each other again.
That’s awesome to hear! Keep that positivity and I’m sure your relationship will continue to prosper. 🙂
Thanks for the update,
I have this horrible fear of my girlfriend cheating on me. I do not know why?!
We have been together as an exclusive couple for 8 months now and she has given me absolutely NO reason to mistrust her. I do have trust issues from my past and do not completely trust ANYONE entirely. I have never been cheated on (not to my knowledge)
but the obsessive thoughts of her cheating on me everytime she goes out with
her girlfriends haunts my inner thoughts almost to the point where I am unable
to function my daily tasks. as soon as she tells me she is going out with friends the worry,
insecurity and paranoia begins – even it her plans are in a months time. I feel like I am going insane.
We have broken up several times over my jealousy and I cant seem to stop worrying. She loves me dearly and provides me with everything I need to make me feel secure, but always in the back of my mind the thoughts of her being unfaithful are always there.
HELP ME PLEASE !!
It is unusual to have such severe issues with trust without significant past experiences relating to an abuse of trust. You acknowledge that you have no legitimate reason for this lack of trust with your girlfriend and that is something you want to constantly remind yourself of.
Finding where the feelings of mistrust stem from will give you a better chance to reverse the process: to rationalise, accept and deal with those feelings. You also want to make a conscious note of the triggers that cause those feelings. Whenever you are tempted to do any of the pitfalls mentioned in the above article, it is always easier to force a reality check if you have positive reminders from doing those thought tasks.
Sometimes it helps to share anxieties with an understanding partner but as it has already caused friction in your relationship, it is better that you assure her that you are working on your trust issues and then act like a trusting boyfriend would when you are around her. Reward and reassure yourself whenever you fulfil that role and it turns out that your girlfriend was trustworthy again, as you know deep down she always is.
Take it easy,
Thanks for the article i just hope it helps i find myself doing all of the things I shouldnt be doing but i find it hard not to i often found messages that i was really not happy to see from girls and to girls. I confronted him about texting a girl once and he swore she was only a friend that he has just never mentioned for the past year we have been together he is a quiet guy but i dont know if i believe him. He wasnt impressed about me looking at his messages and now I am afraid to say anything about what I did see because I read his messages was I in the wrong??
The reason checking your boyfriend’s messages without his knowledge would be perceived as wrong is because it signifies a lack of trust regardless of what you find. Retrospective justification does will not remove those fears and can actually make them worse when checking those messages becomes habitual.
You want to discover a mindset that works for you in order to trust someone fully and turn those thoughts into habits instead. Your boyfriend’s actions, or potential actions, will only change due to the relationship. A fulfilling relationship is as much about how you think about each other as it is how you act towards each other. Your boyfriend can only be as trustworthy as you are willing to let him be.
Keep some of the points from this article in mind as well as some of the related articles on this website. You should be able to find a balance between having to know more detail about your boyfriend’s extraneous activities, and trusting that he won’t have anything to hide. That will arise naturally if the two of you work on having an optimal level of trust and communication.
Thanks for reading the website,
Me and my boyfriend have been dating for a year and nine months and he cheated on me with another girl for eight months and two other girls he just f****d. should i still date him?
The answer to your question can only be decided by you! It ultimately comes down to two main factors: can you wholeheartedly forgive what has happened and can you both make the positive changes necessary for the relationship to work going forward.
Both of those factors must be fully embraced by you and your boyfriend equally for there to be no further repercussions. In this case, where it seems like more than a momentary lapse on your boyfriend’s behalf, most areas of the relationship should be fundamentally reviewed. The main areas that he will undoubtedly have affected are trust, respect and desire.
The most important point is that you make a decision with full conviction. Doing so will give you far more confidence and control in the relationship, whether you decide to stay together or not.
To sum it up, I’ve been dating my woman for about 3-4 months now. “talking” total about 7-8 months. She pursued me, said I love you first, chased after me, everything her And took things slow in the beginning. She’s very attractive, smart, respectful, and tells guys off all the time. Here’s my dilemma… I may have some trust issues from the past. Guys hit on her all the time, she shows me texts, messages, Facebook comments, everything and tells guys she has a boyfriend… Why do I still worry? I’m an attractive male, confident in myself, and she tells me all the time that I have nothing to worry about. She has guy friends who text her, an ask to hangout, she tells them no. Why do I worry? Insecurities maybe? I think I’m a pretty secure guy. I had an ex who I found out was texting a guy back home, behind my back inappropriate things, and we broke up due to lack of trust, since then we moved on. This new girlfriend actually cares, shows me texts, tells me everything and I still get jealous sometimes… Why?
Also, she works ALOT, as a server. Gets hit on a lot I’m sure… And she never seems to make time for us. She admitted multiple times shes sorry for not making time, and nothing has changed… How can I approach to her that she needs to make time together, or it’ll fall apart? She’s blown me off before. But she claims to want to change… I try really hard to be understanding… But how can you have a relationship without experiencing good times together and have fun? I’m not asking all of her time, just some.
Also, I have a personality sometimes like “don’t take advantage of my kindness” attitude, because I was always the “nice guy” and got taken advantage of. She sees this side of me, and sometimes (admitingy) I do it to keep her on her toes that I’m not a pushover. She’s admitted not respecting exes because they never did or said anything to what she did and always did what she said. Shes been cheated on 3 times, and only been with 4 people. And said she respects me for having a backbone, but where can I make a median between letting her know she can’t take advantage, but still letting her know I will cater to her? Because I’m really a nice guy, not a jerk. Just don’t want to be taken advantage of… Which always has happened. Let me stress we tell each other everything, like best friends, and laugh all the time. She’s always there for me as I am for her. She’s someone I can picture marrying. We do tall about a future… I just don’t know why I feel these feelings. I haven’t felt this strong about anyone in my past before.
Any help can be appreciated, thank you! I just don’t want to lead these problems into possibly cheating because she’s over it… Thanks Sam!
The main issues that you have described are indeed related to jealousy and trust, but the actual cause is due to a contrast of emotional investment in the relationship. Your girlfriend sounds like she has been loyal and loving throughout the relationship. If there is ever a noticeable difference in the rate at which your individual levels of emotional investment increase, a slight disconnect can develop.
From what you have described, the fundamentals of an amazing relationship are there. It is great that you are a “nice guy” and still know how to be fun, attractive and decisive. What you want to do now is make sure that your feelings towards the relationship don’t jeopardise how in control you are of that.
The reason why the overriding message in the above article is to be the best boyfriend possible is because it is the only factor in a relationship that is solely within your control. Everything else such as trust, respect and commitment is a direct result of that effort. It will also help with any jealousy or trust fears if you have a focus that you feel in control of.
It is great that your girlfriend is willing to show you private messages and text messages that she receives but the willingness should be enough. If those messages are of shared interest or part of a conversation piece then that is a different matter, but if it is purely for proof of trust, try to resist actually reading them. It may feel like it is harmless and reassuring, but you are actually anchoring your level of trust to the detail of knowledge, whereas trust and boundaries should be wholly based on intent.
Making time for each other is also something that should be judged on intent and mutual desire. It is hard for some people to change habits and routine even if the intention is there and has been verbalised. You can help your girlfriend with this by making an extra effort to arrange activities and time together that does fit around her schedule. There are many people in relationships with unconventional setups. People in long-distance relationships may rarely get to see each other in person, yet embracing the circumstances and finding a setup that suits both of you is what is important.
If you ever feel like your girlfriend is not making enough effort, it goes back to your current levels of emotional investment being out of sync. In that case you either want to tone down what you expect from her, or do things to make her WANT to “make more effort”, i.e. be the best boyfriend you can possibly be!
I hope that helps and thanks for reading the website,
So my gf and I hav been dating for a year in 8 months. She’s cheers on me with the same guy in the first few months with just a just…. Around the year mark she has sex with him…. Yesterday she cheated again, they had sex. She says that they hav been best friends for years before me and that she doesn’t see him that way and each time she says she sorry and will never do it again. What should I do? Today is my birthday and she tells me she wants to be with me the rest of my life. I feel the same but I don’t wanna be cheated on anymore…. Right now they Arnt talking cause I made sure of it… I feel like I have the right to step in between them. Idk what to do. I’m so upset.
Staying with a partner who has repeatedly cheated is a difficult thing to do but it can be done with the right attitude. Firstly, do whatever you can to get away from the negative emotions surrounding the relationship. Do something you enjoy outside the relationship to regain some positive emotions and confidence. You will need to take decisive action towards your relationship if you want it to work.
The main thing you need to do is establish new boundaries and roles in the relationship; ones where your girlfriend respects the relationship and doesn’t feel that she can or would want to take advantage. Conveying in a non-threatening way that you would leave the relationship if she does continue to cheat is important in establishing those new roles.
Your girlfriend may well promise that she will be more trustworthy from now on, but if nothing fundamentally changes within the relationship then there is a chance that she will find herself in a moment of indecision again at some point in the future.
You shouldn’t actually have to step in and prevent her from cheating or speaking to the man in question… she should be doing that herself if she truly wants to be in this relationship. This is where the relationship restructuring comes into play and the two of you talk openly and decisively about what your mutual boundaries are.
Removing opportunity does not solve what is the fundamental issue with regards to cheating… a lack of desire to be monogamous. You have to help your girlfriend renew that desire by setting up the relationship how you both want it to be, including solid boundaries.
All the best,
just been reading your article and you are right!
I have been with my boyfriend for well over a year and we are perfect. he even goes on about our future together which i enjoy listening to. hes the most kindest person you’d ever meet and detests cheating on every level. we also talk about our problems when there are any.
but for some reason i can get very insecure over somethings like hes taking to long to text back, i wont ask why but he’ll say why he took so long(vaild reasons) and then im fine again.
if he talks about other girls and other girls looking at him i get very jealous but try to hide it. although i know/hope he would never over step the boundaries.
some days ill be fine with this though and others ill have to hide my true emotions. even when hes going out with friends(male only), ill only text him if he texts me(i dont wonna bug him) but other times im itching for my phone.
there are a few other things i get insecure about but the only reasons i can think of for these are my mother has gotten cheated on 4 times. my dad 1 time(mother farther seperated). my dads always saying first loves never last, and he’ll probs run off with some one else one day. i was also bulied at school for not being pretty or worthy enough.(although my boyfriend says im the most attractive thing walking)
basicly how do i try and get over all these insecure feelings? because i think in reality theres nothing wrong with the relationship. its just me and i need to stop before i make a boo boo in the relationship.
There are many ways to overcome insecure feelings in a relationship and regain confidence; it starts with rewiring some of the beliefs you hold related to trust and cheating. Try not to focus too much on possible causes for those beliefs, unless doing so actively helps you to discover your own truths. Instead, focus on the outcome of how you want to be now and how it affects your relationship.
Your boyfriend sounds very understanding from what you have written, so don’t feel you have to keep everything bottled up if you think his support and reassurance might help you.
It is only certain situations, where you know you are acting purely from a place of neediness that you want to try and suppress those feelings. At those times, stop and think why you are feeling that way, what the truth of the situation is, and how the best version of you would act as a result.
Once you have done that, rather than dwell on those negative or insecure thoughts, make sure you quickly change your focus towards something positive, especially if you can associate it with your relationship still. A practical example to achieve this could be going and making something thoughtful for your boyfriend or planning something fun to do together.
All of these small instances will help to overcome what is essentially the foundation of confidence: experience in positively working through a particular comfort zone. Once you have successfully got through such comfort zones several times without reinforcing the insecurity, you will become far more confident and trusting about the relationship as a whole.
All the best and thanks for reading the website,
I wrote to you before in the “trust issues” section and I want to thank you for your response. However it turns out I was right. I found out my (ex) boyfriend was sending really dirty messages to another girl, saying things I’ve never imagined he was capable of. He became a completely different person and finding proof of his infidelity just made everything so real. I broke up with him but I’m going through an emotional whirlwind. I feel so betrayed but mainly find myself asking why he would do such a thing when I gave him everything and was the best girlfriend to him. He is broke and dropped out of college and I stayed by him even though everyone was telling me that I can do better. The thing is my last boyfriend also cheated on me and I was just starting to not have those insecurities and now I feel like I will never be able to open up to someone again because it seems like everyone cheats. Do you have any advice?
I’m sorry to hear that your relationship ended that way.
The first thing I would suggest is to do things that will put you in a good mood and forget about what happened as best you can for now. Overanalysing the relationship whilst in an emotional state will probably lead to unhelpful conclusions.
When you feel you can rationally approach the subject, see if you can find any patterns between the two relationships, or between your ex-boyfriends. Although what they did is condemnable, with hindsight there will usually be hints as to why they wanted to cheat, and why they felt the need to keep those desires secret from you. Try not to take it too personally and see if you can learn anything from an outside perspective.
Although it may not seem like it from your recent experiences, men that treat women with a lack of care and respect are in the minority; genuine men who are honest about their desires and intentions do exist. Your task is to learn ways in which you can help a man to be that genuine, caring person you deserve.
Even though it may seem like “everyone cheats”, thinking that way can actually lead towards locking the cycle and never fully trusting someone again. It is imperative that you give the next person you meet a “reset” on your level of trust, without tainting them with the bad experiences from past relationships. Your ex-boyfriends treated you badly and do not deserve any further emotional feedback from you. Take the lessons you can from those relationships and force yourself to believe that with those lessons you can meet someone who will never resort to cheating.
I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. We werent very serious with our relationship when we first starting dating. He was “talking” to other females and i was “talking” to other males. But then after we both expressed the way we feel about each other, we made our relationship official. I ended up texting a guy that he did not like . He was upset but we worked it out. a year and a half in our relationship I gave out my number to a few guys and they would call me whenever I was around my bf. I was not engaging in any sexual activities of even holding convos with them. They just had my number. My boyfriend was very upset. This situation happened again and he told me that he couldnt trust me. Just last month i found out that he had been emailing a female for more than 3 months. Pictures were exhcnagesd. I was hurt and disappointed. I then broke up with him. He promised me that he had stoppped communicating with the girl, but I found out that he wasnt. I broke up with him for good. Recently he stressed to me that he wanted to get back together and he wanted to work things out. I really like him but my gut instinct is telling me that he hasnt changed. Everyone around me including my friends and family dont want me to be with him. i want to be with him but I dont know how i can forgive him. i dont even know if he will ever stop cheating on me
I talk a lot about how to effectively learn from past relationships to benefit your future ones. Well that same advice can be applied if you are getting back together with someone with whom you have relationship experiences with.
If you do start the relationship once more, it needs to be that, a fresh start, with a renewed level of communication and effort from the off. There should be no more assumptions or secrecy in any of the aspects of the relationship that previously caused problems.
You will probably find it hard to trust each other fully straight away even with verbal reassurances; instead, you must convince each other through actions that you are trustworthy. This is especially true for your boyfriend who knowingly neglected your trust last time.
Trusting him and enjoying the relationship carefree is purely down to whether you believe that he is equally committed to having the relationship you both want. You both need to have a level of communication that creates a complete mutual understanding of each other’s intentions and desires at all times. If it takes direct statements to remind each other and challenge insecurities then that is fine for the time being.
Your friends and family, although meaning well, probably have a fixated and somewhat biased view about how your boyfriend is and how they assume he will be. Only you know the reality of the relationship, assuming you focus on that reality without letting emotions cloud your judgement. As a result, only you know if you can forgive him and whether the relationship really has a future.
Thanks again for your reply!
There were definitely similarities between my two ex-boyfriends and in general, I seem to be going for people who make me feel like they need me and I take care of them rather than being an equal partner. I do believe that that are genuine guys out there but I need to deal with my own insecurities before I can date anyone again.
You’re welcome. 🙂
That sounds like a good attitude to have. Recognising and understanding any patterns in dating is the first step towards changing them. Dating and overcoming insecurities do not have to be completely separate activities, but it is great that you have a positive attitude about what to do going forward.
Keep in touch,
Good evening! I just got the link to this page since due to my past, I have an overwhelming fear of being cheated on or the guy falling out of love with me.
You mention how it can usually be avoided. I would like to say this is not entirely true. Some people will cheat regardless of how good of a person you are.
You are right though, for most it tends to be that there is something pushing them to cheat (insecurity in themselves, maybe the guy/girl is pushing the other to cheat with their own insecurities, making them want to delve into relationships with other people, etc.) However, I do not believe there is any justification for cheating. Ever.
Anyway, I have been in a relationship where I was cheated on. I had no insecurities, and never gave the guy a reason to want to cheat. I loved him with all I had. Luckily it was not a long-term relationship but the effects still are devastating. He cheated on me with two other women. Lied about both when I confronted him. He finally admitted to one but lied about why he was cheating, which I found out the truth from the girl he was cheating on later. He then proceeded to yell at me and blame me for not trusting him, when I had all the facts in front of me from the other women… messages/texts, conversations, and flowers he sent to them, photos, etc.
So your article is true for some but not all. Certainly it can help to thwart the normal, faithful person from even thinking about cheating when they normally wouldn’t, and to help build confidence in the partner, but it does not stop those that want multiple partners from cheating.
I do appreciate your story though. 🙂
I appreciate what you are saying and I agree that there are few absolutes when it comes to relationships. However, I do believe that in the majority of cases, cheating can either be avoided, or at the very least anticipated. This is achieved through greater relationship proficiency and social intuition respectively: two skills that can always be improved.
It has little to do with how genuine or good someone is. In fact, I would say the majority of the people that get cheated on are “good people”, as they are generally more passive and forgiving.
I agree that there is no moral justification for cheating; cheating is always a choice. There is, however, always a reason that cheating became an outcome for the person in question, which is slightly different. I say this without personal judgement on the actual character of the person who cheated, who is at best confused and misguided, and at worst manipulative and narcissistic.
I prefer to reserve judgement or bias for either side when I work with couples involved in cheating. The reason being that it no longer matters who was to blame, but rather why it happened and what lessons can be learnt from what is an awful experience to have to go through.
Most of this discussion is not about giving the other person a reason to cheat, but rather giving them a reason to be more honest about their true desires, regardless of what their moral standpoint is on cheating. Being honest about personal desires (wanting multiple sexual partners for example) and knowing that your partner can handle that honesty without resentment is the responsibility of both people in the relationship.
Most relationship theories and indeed any branches of social psychology are based on generalisations. There will always be a few cases of cheating that seem beyond explanation, although with thorough insight I have found them to be rare.
There are also a few men and women who will have a distinct lack of respect for their partner regardless of how fulfilling their relationship is. In those cases, if cheating cannot be avoided through learning to create a more mutually fulfilling relationship, the only thing you can focus on is being able to better identify the traits of someone who fits into that category, in a way that helps eliminate any related insecurities, rather than create new ones.
Thanks for adding to the discussion; you have some good insights, 🙂