How Can I Learn To Trust A Man And Give Him Freedom?

How Do I Cope With the Other Women in His Life?

Hello Evan,

I’m new to you, but I’m a quick student. My question is not really for you, though, it’s for your wife. Has she written anything you can refer me to? Like her, I have ALWAYS believed in giving others freedom to live their lives, make their own choices, etc. I’ve not found a man that believes that’s a 2-way street.

I’m 49, out of a 20-year marriage followed by a 2-year relationship with a “player” who took advantage of that freedom. So now I am newly on the dating scene and need a fresh belief system that doesn’t trigger those old fears.

I am interested in her perspective and/or philosophy in regards to how she “deals” with the other women in your life, particularly those you might feel attracted to. I’ve investigated the “polyamorous” and “open relationship” scenarios and I don’t really think that’s what you have or nor what I’m looking for, but how does a woman handle those situations as I do believe in people having freedom in a relationship is the only way it can work. Is this a fine line?

Thanks, Kim

I like your question, Kim, and while my wife is too busy running to Mommy and Me classes and shopping for our dinner parties to sit down and compose her own response, I did actually read her your question after dinner one night last week.

A wife trusts her husband enough to not cheat, even when there’s temptation? That’s crazy talk!

She was flattered and really wanted to give you the best possible answer. Her only recorded thoughts on dating have been compiled in a four-page section of “Why He Disappeared” and I’ve been told, much to my consternation, that her part is the best part of the whole book. I don’t know that I’d go that far — but I would say that learning how to best deal with an alpha male from the horse’s mouth is pretty invaluable. I’m quite candid that everything I teach comes from the “What Would My Wife Do?” school of thought and I think you’ll really enjoy it.

As to your provocative question about how much freedom you should give a man when you’re in an exclusive relationship and how do you deal with the inevitable fears and insecurities, allow me to set the record straight:

It is not at all difficult for my wife to deal with me, for one huge reason.

She trusts me.

Unconditionally. No question about it. Wouldn’t even occur to her that I would ever do anything to breach our vows.

She knows that I value my character and morals as highly as I value anything else in my life. The way other people value religion, I value doing the right thing.

Acceptance is the most powerful tool in making a man feel loyal to you.

And because of that worldview, there’s nothing I can do that’s remotely threatening.

This is why I can be surrounded by five attractive 30-year-old women at a party in Hollywood and I won’t get lectured when I get home.

This is why I can get a lap dance at my bachelor party in Austin, and all my wife asks me when I come home was whether I had fun.

This is why I can occasionally point out a woman in a low-cut top in a restaurant or watch online porn. Neither my wife nor I thinks that this is a slippery slope that’s going to destroy the foundation of our relationship.

This is why my wife can hire burlesque dancers to join the 80’s rock band at my 40th birthday party last month. They were a big hit with everybody — and about 10 women came up to me and told me how extraordinary my wife was. Huh?

Don’t get me wrong, my wife is extraordinary, but the only thing I think is REALLY extraordinary is how RARE this kind of behavior is.

A wife trusts her husband enough to not cheat, even when there’s temptation? That’s crazy talk!

But why? Shouldn’t ALL wives trust their husbands? I sure think so. After all, what kind of relationship do you have if you don’t trust the man you’re supposed to trust?

Thus, the first thing you have to do, Kim, is to find a man that you completely trust, without a doubt. It’s your doubts that will drive you nuts, not the man himself.

Some women would be driven nuts by me, but that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with me. You may think I’m disrespectful. My wife doesn’t. She thinks I’m normal and she loves the fact that I can be myself around her without any fear of retribution. And because she’s so accepting of me — a trait I’ve found very hard to find — I love her in a way that few men openly love their wives.

Acceptance is the most powerful tool in making a man feel loyal to you.

Now that does NOT mean accepting behavior that is inherently unacceptable.

Wherever you draw the line becomes the line

Some women freak out if he talks to another woman, has lunch with another woman, says something cute on Facebook to another woman, or looks at another woman. I think this is a bad policy because it’s essentially asking him to spend his entire life lying to you and denying the existence of any other woman. If you find a man who is willing to pretend that no one else in the world is attractive but you, I applaud you and hope you’re happy.

Agonizing about whether he’s going to cheat is like agonizing about whether a plane is going to crash. You really can’t do anything about it, so you might as well try to enjoy the ride.

But since you’re a freedom-loving woman, Kim, you don’t have to do that. You just want to know how far you should go. It’s not my place to say what’s right for you, but if you believe what I do — that both sexual contact and sexual intention can be considered cheating — then that becomes your tipping point. If your boyfriend is asking for women’s numbers, flirting on, taking other women out to dinner secretly, having phone sex, or actually cheating on you, then, well, he’s broken the boundaries of exclusivity.

In other words: fantasizing, fine. Acting on his fantasies without your permission, not fine.

As long as you know your boundaries, you can give him all the leeway in the world, until he breaches your trust. Which brings me back to the three things my wife had to say about your question:

1. Go with your gut.

My wife trusts me so much that even when she had physical evidence that I was cheating on her (panties in the dryer), she still believed me when I swore that I wasn’t.

She trusted her gut.

My wife knows infidelity — she’s had three boyfriends cheat on her — and each time, she knew when something was wrong. Her wisdom was in not treating those men (or me) as if they were untrustworthy until they actually did something untrustworthy.

2. Stop looking for it.

As my wife pointed out, if he’s going to cheat on you, he’s going to cheat on you. You can’t stop it with fear or worry or interrogation or jealousy. If anything, those kinds of behaviors will be more likely to drive a man to escape. Agonizing about whether he’s going to cheat is like agonizing about whether a plane is going to crash. You really can’t do anything about it, so you might as well try to enjoy the ride.

3. Trust

As I’ve long said, it’s either full trust or no trust. If you truly trust your guy, you couldn’t even imagine him cheating on you. He has a strong moral code. He treats you like gold. Even if he’s attracted to other women, he would never think of jeopardizing his relationship for a quick fling. And so you let everything go that is not actually cheating behavior — and watch him express his further devotion and appreciation to you.

For you will be the only woman ever who has done that for him — who was confident enough to let him be himself and not try to change him.

That’s why he’ll stick with you forever.

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  1. 1

    I love Evans comment thats its the doubts that will drive you nuts not the man. To me worrying about trusting the guy is about as unhappy as comparing yourself to other people all the time. If you are secure in yourself and the man has done nothing to warrant distrust why distress yourself. If your intuition is up though thats a different issue

    Im at the same stage of life as Kim My ex husband of 20 years was 6 4″ extremely good looking and women would notice him everywhere Overseas people would ask him for his autograph thinking he was an athlete or movie star. I never distrusted him because I was secure and safe with him and our marriage didn’t break up over infidelity. My guess is Kims last 2 year relationship lowered her self esteem so she could focus on rebuilding that  
    At my age I am very self accepting and confident which is attractive Insecurity is not attractive for men or women   If a guy Im with wants someone else he can go and Ill find someone better.
    Thanks for another great topic  

  2. 2

    I love this article.. very much like me to my husband… it’s amazing how difficult it is to find a man worthy of such trust, however, i should say that you will definitely know once you find that man.

    I totally agree with Evan, a man with high morals is worth trusting. And it is not only with his relationship with you that you would see this. Observe his dealings with other people, his dealings with money, work and other things, keep you eyes and heart open, and only then would you be able to decide whether you can trust the person.

    As I always said to my husband, there is no gray area when it comes to morals and character of a person. What is wrong is wrong, and what is right is right. And acting on something is entirely different from thinking or fantazising, as Evan mentioned.

    I do sometimes still get crazy squirrels in my head, however, it is something that is easily resolved by talking and opening up to him about issues. I have been burnt before, where i just overlooked things and thought that things would go away if you dont talk about it. This time, i learned that communication is as important as love and trust in any relationship. And it was my husband who guided me towards that direction.

  3. 3

    Okay, you lost me at lap dance. I consider lap dancing cheating, your wife doesn’t? Really? Then I question her self-esteem. Okay then If some random girl does the same to you at a bar, that’s okay too? Is it okay if a guy fondles your wife (clothes on)? Why not? First, I find anyone who goes to a strip club to be lacking in the class department, if this happens at a stag party, then time to go. My fiancé will not do these things. If he did…buh-bye!

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Kathy – This. This is what I’m talking about. And I think we can agree that a guy like me would never go for a woman like you – if only because you’ve never met me and have already declared that I’m classless because my friends took me to a strip club at my bachelor party. Judgmental much?

      All I’ll say in reply is that I hope that your fiance never goes to a bachelor party, and if he does, that he stands with a Coke in his hand, far, far away from any scantily clad women. But I suspect that he will go to a bachelor party and be forced lie to you about it because of your hard-line stance. If that works for him, as I’ve already said in my post, God bless you both.

      1. 3.1.1

        Hey Evan – would it be possible to respond to the issue of the lap dance that she raised? I’m approaching this cross road with a current boyfriend (approaching bucks parties). I am working hard to put a lap tap dance into perspective as the guy’s character is irreproachable and I want him to fit in with this friends but for unexplainable reasons, the prospect just makes me feel so crap. I suspect it’s the double standard so I do sympathise with Kathy’s point – I imagine he’d be mortified if I gave a man a lap dance or groped some guy’s genitals for a laugh. Nothing I read knocks this horrible feeling on the head.  

      2. 3.1.2

        Kathy, go with your guy to a strip club.   You’ll see that it’s not the big deal you have in your head. It’s nothing, really. And maybe you’ll be offered a lap dance like I was. Seriously, this is nothing to be worried about…see for yourself.

      3. 3.1.3

        I think lapdances are disrespectful and cheating also. I believe strip clubs are classless and degrating to women. To me, lap dances are basically conducting sexual behavior, just with your clothes on. And let’s not even discuss private rooms! I ahve heard from guys what goes on there… even married guys. Let’s just say if a married man ends up with lipstick on his underwear after going to a strip club, CLEARLY, STRIP CLUBS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE IN A MONOGAMOUS RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP, AND CLEARLY THAT MAN IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY. Having said all this, I have, actually, been to a strip club with y bf. I wanted to see for myself becasue i don’t like to judge without knowing. Quite frankly, my bf was nervous, the girls were actually very respectful, and Other than being totally surprised when I saw a girls hoo ha entirly as she lifted a leg up in the air (yes, it ended up being a fully nude club) All I had to say was huh, I rpobably would enjoy dancing up there (with more clothes on) and probably could get a pretty good crowd haha. BUT…I was included and it was something we did together. If he were to go out with his buddies to a strip club, have lap dances by some pretty aggressive women,   not be capable or turning them down for fear of being rude (yes he has actually said that- big fight) and basically engaging in this behavior towards other women without including me? Well then i find myself getting anrgy and resentful and insecure and I think it’s totally disrespectful. I can give my bf a full nude (and more) lapdance at home and do what he wants… tehrefor i find no need, and unacceptable, to get it elsewhere. period.

      4. 3.1.4

        One more thing (and sorry for the typos) I was married for 10 years. My husband cheated on me. twice. It has really damaged me and it is very hard for me to trust people in gnrl. Have bene with my bf for over 2 yrs now. Initially i trusted him and he worked with me and avoided things that   he knew would upset me. However, as time has gone by, if there is an argument he will use these same things to get to my head. THis, has had a counter effect and so obviouslly, if I was trying to trust him before, and wanting to be ok with certain things, now, I’m not because He has sort of predispositioned me to be negative and worry about stuff. I think it has to do, like you saidm with values and moral. IN my eyes, there are ways to carry yourself and respect your partner. In his eyes, I geus he sees nothing wrong with anything even if it upsets me. So We clearly have an issue and different values and not on the same page. It’s about two people respecting each other and reaching mutual agreemnts. As long as you have that than it’s easier to trust.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Why does he have to go first?

          If he makes you unhappy, and I’m assuming feeling insecure makes you unhappy, then why don’t you break up with him? He clearly doesn’t define respect in the way you do, so, yes, you have different values.

          Why are you wasting your time and his?

          Dump him and find another guy who will cater to your insecurities.

          But you’re find many will be the exact same as your current boyfriend. They will try to cater to your insecurities in the beginning and then get tired of having to walk on eggshells around you and start expecting YOU to get better.

          So the only LASTING solution is that you learn to manage your insecurities instead of expecting  the men in your life cater to them.

        2. MA

          True.  I don’t know why. probably because deep down I believe that i am the problem and feel not good enough and allow for people to make me feel worse. So i guess i should focus on healing myself first (and my great 3 boys!)(easier said than done)  THing is, i can’t forget how great he was and really want him to be a better person like he used to… But i feel like his family, friends, and even he, is against us. hha I’m taking on the world! And trying hard to go above and beyond to work things out. What do you do, when a rleationship was GREAT, than things slowly got bad, then worse, how do you get back to that great place?! It’s hard… and it’s also hard to give up and call it quits. I think i put him first because he has manipulated me into thinking that if I didn’t, and didn’t step it up he would go elsewhere. he claims that by “not having a life” (menaing, bars, clubs, other women etc basically acting “single ” in my book, ) than i have to make up fot it. I’m trying 🙁 Some of us women WANT t be ok with things, but we smply can’t help getting upset over things or don’t know how to handle them.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          find a different guy. seems healthier than complaining about the one you have.

        4. Karmic Equation


          All relationships start out “great”. Otherwise, why would people even have relationships?

          But that greatness is a phase of the relationship.

          After the greatness wears off, then the REAL relationship begins. The REAL relationship is the one you need to evaluate. Daily, if need be. If the the real relationship you have is NOT making you happy, then you need to leave. But don’t leave because it changed from “great” to “real”. Real relationships feel good most of the time. Sometimes it  feels neutral. Occasionally you’ll question it.

          If you question the relationship MOST of the time instead of occasionally. If you feel bad or sad about the relationship MOST of the time. Or even if you feel neutral about the relationship MOST of the time, then the relationship is wrong for you. It could be wrong because you have unrealistic expectations (e.g., greatness for the duration of the relationship) or it could simply be that his and your values don’t align and you’re not compatible.

          If you have unrealistic expectations about relationships, then you’ll never be in a long-lasting one because you can’t accept the reality of a relationship after the honeymoon period is over. You need to readjust your expectations if this is the case.

          If it’s because he and you are not compatible, then you need to end it.

      5. 3.1.5

        Agreed… I geuss I’m not done hoping and trying. You’re right i shouldn’t complain, maybe more so seeking advice (while commenting on other’s posts) I wonder fi I’m the crazy one in not wanting him to do whaetver he wants whenever he wants: even when I find some of those things to be offensive.

        1. Nancy

          As a woman …. I have become much more like a man … I allow myself to spend my free time thinking of other men and gazing at other men (I used to spend it thinking about how to make my marriage better, I used to buy and read lots of self improvement and marriage books… seems now like I wasted lots of my time)  … insecurities solved (and my life is soooo much easier) 🙂   And frankly, now I haven’t found a man I want to be committed to over the long haul … I like the variety and I like the excitement of the new variety that is just around the corner and easily obtainable( I haven’t met a man yet that seems better than the next possibility but I have only been re-single for 5 years post 25 year marriage).   Possible as we raise our daughters we can teach them to understand that they are capable (more women work and take care of themselves, a male is not needed but instead something one has in one’s life if they actually improve  our life) thus so what if we change men as frequently as we change clothing styles?   It does seem possible now to   solve women insecurities by changing our behaviors and belief system since we have changed our financial capabilities.

          As a woman I now do not even try to pin a man down … pretty much what is good for the goose is good for the gander.   Only give as much as you are given.   So … if a man is going to the strip bar, I engage in like kind of behavior(I’ve found I can actually enjoy it now since I have changed my belief concerning it … lot of funny and good  looking bodies to spend free time thinking about)  … I don’t allow the double standard and I make the man decide the level of respect, behavior,  and tolerance.   If it is good for him (to go to the strip  clubs, bars, flirt, etc)   then it is good for me to do as well(would I be tempted to have sex with a stranger I was flirting with …. sometimes …. does it change how I feel about my man …. often times …. what keeps me straight is more fear of STDs not faithfulness to a man that has set our relationship bar this low as I know this relationship is temporary  … I use the flirty time to find a new companion I’d be interested  in when my current one flames out)   …   usually these relationships take care of themselves in that the man typically ends it (he is looking for a woman to be behaving much better than he wants to  behave … he wants the high feelings and the ego rush but he doesn’t want the insecurities of watching his female engage in like kind of behavior).       I have come to the conclusion that when I find a man that acts as he wants me to act it will be one worth investing time in otherwise, best to just enjoy the journey and not get committed to a relationship that has a lot of double standards.


        2. Karmic Equation

          You’re not wrong in not wanting him to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, particularly if you find some of those things offensive.

          You’re wrong to try to change him.

          You’re wrong to stay in the relationship with him.

          If   your guy often does things that you find offensive, why are you with him? No one’s perfect, so being offensive once in a while is being human. This you should accept. However, being offensive most of the time is a character flaw. This you should NOT accept.

      6. 3.1.6

        “And I think we can agree that a guy like me would never go for a woman like you.”   Evan Marc Katz, you’ve GOT to realize; “Different strokes for different folks.”

        Men don’t need to have a bachelor party to enjoy themselves. “But I suspect that he will go to a bachelor party and be forced lie to you about it because of your hard-line stance.”   You think that because you’re a male that you know the mind of all men and that all men have a calling or desire to go to a bachelor party and strip club and allow some TOTAL strange woman.

        “Hard-line stance to dance in his lap.”   Evan, NOT all men take a stand to this strange behavior.   I’m married and my husband it NOT into this kind of behavior.  He see it as disrespectful and low-class, and SO DO I!  Why be so thin skin.


        1. Karmic Equation

          And he’s probably a bad lover.

          Men who are oblivious to other women tend to be more sexually repressed.

          Men who overtly appreciate the sex appeal of other women (e.g., look forward to bachelor parties, enjoy going to strip clubs occasionally)—but aren’t cheaters—tend to be better lovers (or at least they try to be).

          Men who covertly appreciate the sex appeal of other women are the ones that make the best partners. Simply because they are relationship-savvy enough to know ogling other women in front of you will royally piss you off. And this relationship-savviness carries into other parts of the relationship.

    2. 3.2

      Kathy, I’m with you. A lap dance is NOT acceptable in a monogamous relationship, and I believe the vast majority of women would agree with me. I know my boyfriend would definitely not appreciate me doing a lap dance for another man.

      1. 3.2.1

        I have to reply to Karmic’s comment. I highly disagree with your statement that men who overtly appreciate other women tend to be better lovers – That could NOT be further from the truth in my experience. My husband is one of the most blatantly obvious oglers of other women & he is not the best lover I’ve been with by a LONGGG shot. I don’t think prowess in bed has anything to do with a man’s ability to be discreet while checking other women out. Totally independent factors there!! Just speaking on my own experience.   I love my husband very much but he ranks in the 30/40 percentile range as far as love making, unfortunately. Even though I’ve tried to teach/tell him over & over again what he does wrong/bad etc. Never works (8 years later).   But he is definitely that guy that walks into a room & scours the room for attractive women & then makes a point to walk by them to get closer if he can, or go to the bathroom 3 times to get a look. He is also a guy that used to go to strip joints a lot, not so much any more just b/c he’s older, but he’s still actively checking out 20 year olds, as long as they are tall, blonde & have big boobs. he’s a man & it’s what they do…haha

    3. 3.3



      Its disrespectful. Wives across the world have been forced to be normalized to this sex culture and have been taught that “men will be men” and it’s disgusting. Not a woman on earth can honestly tell you it doesn’t bother her a little bit that her man is flirting, getting lap dances, or projecting himself as available even if only for an hour or evening. It’s hurtful. It’s culturally accepted that men will do this but it’s still hurtful and disrespectful.

      I recently got into an argument with my boyfriend because he had to speak at a dinner and he texted me saying he would be home at 845…..then at 930 he texted saying he was about to leave and was “stuck at an annoying bar thing”….then stopped answering my texts and didn’t come home until 11. You know what he was doing? Stayed at the bar late with a group of young coworkers who are notorious for getting sloppy drunk and sleeping around. He knows I do not trust or approve of these girls and he knows how it makes me feel that he has to work closely with them all the time.

      I trust him 100% not to kiss or cheat on me with them but it is still disrespectful and hurtful when he omits details and when he picks up the bar tab to be charming to several promiscuous women.

      Nope. This article completely lost me, too. I’m with you.

    4. 3.4

      Oh my goodness, what’s a big deal about a lap dance or strip club? Have women become so insecure? Is he going to the strip club because he WANTS to get a lap dance from a strange barely dressed woman? Or is it simply a situation and he’s going with the flow and in the end he comes back to you, albeit a little hornier than usual, and you have amazing sex?

      As a woman, I don’t see a problem with my man going to a strip club in this situation. If that leads to him cheating (and what else, dating a stripper?? LOL), then it’s better I found out sooner rather than later. I’ve been to strip clubs myself (with my man), and we actually had fun – together! It got us a little more sexually charged, buzzed, and in the end we had a great time and it gave us something to giggle about for weeks/months to come.

      I guess it all goes back to self-confidence, self-esteem, how we (each one of us individually view ourselves). Are we confident and secure enough that **I** am a great catch and he would be foolish to cheat on me with a stripper? I know I am.

  4. 4

    I have recently begun a long distance relationship with a man  I have only met a few times, and clearly in a situation like that you really have no way of knowing exactly how someone is spending their time when you’re not around. I know he’s a man who appreciates women and is confident around them, so how do I deal with the   issue of trust and freedom?

    Firstly,  I think its important to remember that if a man is with you, its because he wants to be with you.  You have to give him some credit for his own choices – if he wanted to be with someone else, well, he’d be with someone else, wouldn’t he??!

    Secondly, as this in a new relationship, I pay attention to his behaviour. How open is he with me about what he’s been doing? Does he call when  he said he would? Are there a lot of inconsistencies in his stories? I don’t snoop. pry. or even worry about where he is or what he’s doing, but I do take note…. and one thing I would say is that men who are being faithful to you, particularly if you are apart, are generally anxious to demonstrate this to you. They know women worry about these things, they don’t want to be though of as a player if they’re not, so if you don’t act nosey about what they’re up to they will often go to great lengths to demonstrate that they are not out with other women(often by giving slightly tedious accounts of the details of their day – but hey, you can’t have it both ways!) In contrast, a player will generally try to keep quiet about his whereabouts unless asked, at which point, yes, he may come out with some story, but there is a difference in the type of stories players tell in these situations.      

    Thirdly, as I have commented in other posts, I will happily tolerate   –  indeed, actively encourage –   my man to express appreciation for other women, by pointing out good looking women and taking an interest when he does the same.  Today I got an e-mail from him commenting on the women’s beach volleyball in the olympics, and mentioning he’d seen some gorgeous photos of said volleyball girls asses. I googled the photos and e-mailed back agreeing that they are, indeed, superb….

    I think this sort of openness makes a man feel  closer to you, more relaxed, and perversely, less likely to seriously stray – if he can admire other women without you freaking out he doesn’t get into the “going behind your back” mentality, like a naughty child who thinks his mother is spoilijng his fun.

    And yes, lastly, if a man is going to cheat there is nothing you can do, so why worry about it – if he does, you can deal with that when it happens – like earthquakes, there is not much you can do in advance !    

    1. 4.1

      Agreed 100%. I’ve recently ended a 2 year long distance relationship, and I can say is you are spot on on all of your points there.

  5. 5

    Finding that fine line is so hard. My boyfriend and I have been off and on for 3 years (the off only being about 2 months combined)….he likes his freedom and he distances himself when he finds me acting co-dependent (understood). I am now trusting him with all my heart and it’s an amazing feeling. My only issue is that his ex keeps trying to contact him. How do you make those annoying pestering thoughts go away? I deactivated my facebook so I wouldn’t see her comments but it still nags at me. “Come visit me” she always says.

    1. 5.1

      I agree, that’s si frightening because it makes us vulnerable. And I mean, let’s face it. We aren’t stupid and we notice things that make us even more worried. Especially if you have been cheated on before… In my case i was vulnerable but felt amazing when I trusted him. It’s like a   domino effect, you trust him, he feels more love and wants to behave… (usually) win win, right? In my case I basically found out a ton of stuff that made me realize he was a total playboy, and he had lied to me about many things, so then the trust was shot, and I began to stress everywhere he went…. because everywehre he ahd hooked up with someone (bank, bar, restaurant, you name it) So then, He claims I became “controlling”. Why? Because I obviously had an issue with the fact that i thought he was someone who didn’t do that… and come to find out all the places that i trusted him and where he was hanging out, he failed to mentioned he had sexted or slept with like 1-3 people there!   how do we react to that??? And Kristina, I totally understand!! my bf I speak of has a pestering ex… they have 2 children together… and you’d think they’d communicate on an “as needed basis”? well… apparently they “need ” to talk and text and chat about the kids 24/7. Every day. Multiple times a day. it’s extremely frustratingand I find it disrespectful on her part, and also on my bf’s part for not understanding that it upsets me. As for the “visit me”…. well… idk. I would not be strong enough to delete my fb. I’d delete his instead lol.

    2. 5.2

      (Unless of course he is one of the rare ones that would actually let her know nicely, to please stop making those commenst, or simply ignores her)

  6. 6

    I agree with the article, i just don’t think I know how to get there already. As someone who always believed in the “not put yourself in risky situations” advice, I still have trouble being tottally fine when something like that happens

  7. 7


    While I disagree with you on your assessments of EMK and his wife (we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors so best not to go there really), I can understand how you feel about a guy you are with, getting a lap dance from a stripper or some other woman.   It does make me uncomfortable.   Just like I am sure it would probably bug my guy if some stripper came and was grinding on me.  

    However, that’s their relationship and that’s the point he’s making.   If that works for them and she trusts him, well there you go.   Everyone has their boundaries and what makes them comfortable or uncomfortable.   I trust my guy to go out with his co-workers or guy friends and that he wouldn’t cheat on me.   There’s really not alot I can do about it to make it not happen, but trust that if it were to happen, he would be sent packing.   Very quickly.   And he knows it.   His cousin just had her now ex-boyfriend cheat on her and we talked about the subject, and I told him my views on it, that it is a dealbreaker, that if I were to be cheated on, I do NOT want to “work on the relationship”, etc.

    I can understand how you feel, truly I do, it’s not a fun thought to think of some strange woman grinding on your guy.   But what EMK and his wife are OK with, well that’s kind of their business.   Just sayin.

  8. 8

    I’ve never worried about a boyfriend cheating, but then again, I shy away from attractive alpha males who are charming ladies’ men. I try to find guys who are cute, but have some flaw that other women would judge him for, such being on the short side, being foreign, having kind of a nerdy look, or simply not being slick with women. I might not be so cool if were with a man like Evan, who had dated a lot, was attractive, and charming with women. However, it’s probably not fair to judge like that – I have been going on dates with a more conventionally good loo king, charming guy. I’d assume if he kept asking me out in a timely fashion, and showed interest , there is no reason to freak out. I’m not bothered by strip clubs either, but I’d still prefer a man not say anything at all but attractive women to me.  

  9. 9

    Evan, something isnt’t really clear to me. Doesn’t fully trusting a stranger (say, in the first months of dating)based on ‘(s)he hasn’t done anything wrong…yet’ put you in a vulnerable position? You know, getting your feelings hurt and all that…? Or should you just not get really emotionally involved with a stranger and wait for the trust to build?
    And how did your wife react, after being cheated on? I mean, is she the advocate of giving another chance, or should one simply cut the cheater off?  
    Do you think there can ever be an excuse for cheating? Or that if someone cheated once, there will surely be a second time?

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, Ileana, trusting a stranger puts you in a vulnerable position. And yet that’s the only way to find true love. If my wife judged me for the sins of her exes, she wouldn’t be my wife.

      I’m writing a newsletter about cheating later this week. Sign up above if you want to hear my thoughts…

  10. 10

    @Evan #11: Signed up to your newsletter from the very first time i visited this site. Each one of your mails resides in my ‘Evan’s f***ing brilliant dating advice’   file.  

  11. 11

    What Evan wrote makes sense and that is what I’ve always practiced, but sometimes it just backfires. I must be one clueless person with bad judgement of character. I just found out six years later that my ex cheated on me several times during the seven years we were together. I always trusted him & never doubted him. Even after we broke up he asked a mutual friend to never tell me because he knew I never suspected him. What I do know, if a guy ever admits to cheating on every girlfriend he has ever had and acts remorseful, I’m still not dating him.

  12. 12

    Evan’s right when he said it’s all about…


    And I’d add that trust is a 2-way street.

    You want to be able to trust your man, but he also has to earn it.

    You wouldn’t want to immediately trust every single guy you date…

    That he’s going to treat you like his queen…

    To love, respect you, appreciate you and never do you wrong?

    Instead, you’d just stand back,

    And let him show you what’s he about.

    But don’t close him off.

    Now if you have a habit of not trusting men,

    There’s only 2 reasons for this:

    1) you keep dating the types of guys you can’t trust (players) or  
    2) someone lost your trust once, and you won’t trust anyone else again

    If it’s the former, start dating men who are trusthworthy.

    If it’s the latter, have faith in yourself that you’ll be okay.

    Even if it happens again, it’s not going to break you.

    It never did and it never will.

    1. 12.1

      WOW! I like that!!!

  13. 13

    I think that for many women — at least, for me and quite a few of my friends — we make a fuss over certain behaviors not because we think the guy is going to cheat but because it’s humiliating when he acts in certain ways.    
    For example, I know plenty of women who try to establish their superiority over other women by flirting outrageously with their husbands and getting a charge when these guys respond.   I don’t mind if my guy notices a pretty woman but what if it’s obvious to everyone in the room that he’s leering at her?   What should my small-breasted, brunette friend do when her boyfriend announces, loudly, at a dinner out with friends that he loooooves big-boobed blondes the instant the waitress fitting that description saunters away from the table?   I suspect Evan’s lovely wife was cool with him enjoying the burlesque dancers at his party not only because she knew he wouldn’t cheat but also because he didn’t spend the evening talking loudly about how sweet the ass was of one and how he’d love to ride another like a pony.
    What I’m trying to say in my round-about way is that even though I’ve never worried that a guy would cheat on me, I’ve had a harder time establishing and maintaining boundaries about a fellow’s behavior around these kinds of subjects.   When does appropriate looking/appreciating turn into embarrassing ogling; when does mentioning that a mutual friend is hot go from being a few non-threatening comments to being kinda creepy overkill…   and how can I help a dude understand the difference… and when should I simply bite my tongue?

  14. 14


    I really don’t think anyone should stress about where their boundries “should” be. Your boundaries are your boundaries and they should be wherever  feels comfortable and appropriate TO YOU.  That said, you cannot impose your boundaries on another person – all you can do is stick to them yourself. If the man your with has different boundaries, there is no need to stress about how to make him adhere to your boundaries – you simply have to say, well, he’s not the man for me.

    I do think, though, in setting one’s own boundaries, that we owe it to ourselves to ensure that they come from a place of confidence and self  esteem, and not from fear or insecurity. If you don’t like your man commenting on another womans boobs because  it makes you feel anxious and unattactive, then that is a boundary coming from a place of fear and anxiety. If you don’t like your man commenting on another womans boobs because you are a member of the Amish and in your religious worldview   such behaviour is disrespectful to  God, then that’s another matter.  

    I do agree with Evan, though that we have to accept that men are MEN…. and that’s why we like them! Men admiring other women’s boobs in the street   is liek women drooling over shoe shop windows – its just part of our make-up, and nothing to complain about.            

    1. 14.1

      Wow. What you said about boundaries is on point and so true. Thank you. Also when you discussed setting the boundaries from a place of confidence and self esteem instead of insecurity is also key. Thank you for these thoughts

  15. 15

    @leo: Very, very sound advice. Pretty much the same advice i’ve been getting from my mom all my life. She married my dad at 19 and they are going on 40 years next march. She’s wise. As are you.

    @evan: I suspect your wife is so rare for the immesurable difficulty a lot of women find in adopting such attitudes. I suppose for some it always has and always will come naturally. As you know, not so much for others.

    Letting go of the trust issues, bitterness, sadness and defeat of ending a marriage was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder to let go than to continue going through it. Going through it was damn hard enough. The person I was closest to in my life betrayed my trust. The person who trusted me with EVERYTHING (even his feelings…his deepest thoughts)ended up lying to me. It damn near killed me. I remember one moment when I thought I lost my soul.

    To give someone that power again is not so easy. To give it in the first place isn’t easy. Proving that you’re worthy of it is hard enough. The trust thing takes a lot more than just knowing a relationship needs it. It takes a lot of strength and values from both sides.


  16. 16

    I have never worried that someone might cheat on me in a relationship. I don’t approve of strip clubs though not because I have an issue with trusting men to behave but because a) there is a lot of human trafficking in this country and b) lots of women who start with stripping end up on a slippery slope towards prostitution and blighted lives. I would therefore rather that the men I date keep out of them because although they are not hurting me in any way, they are indirectly and unintentionally contributing to an industry that exploits women and destroy lives and I have a very hard time condoning that.

  17. 17
    a noun y moose

    This is a really interesting post and discussion.   As a recovering codependent and the former wife of a sex addict, I can relate to most of what has written here.
    It seems obvious, but we all have our own sets of values and who is to say what works for us is supposed to work for someone else.   Even though I sense it was tinged with a bit of sarcasm, I appreciate Evan’s words to his detractor, essentially saying if it works for her “God bless you (her).”   While I would also have a problem with the lap dance, Evan is not my husband, so it is essentially none of my business.   I agree with his overall advice.
    What is my business is knowing my own bottom lines are and then sticking to them.   Part of the process of being with a sex addict is continually adjusting one’s bottom lines to accommodate the addict in ones’ life.   For example, watching porn with your partner because you don’t want to be accused of being a “prude” even though it makes you feel creepy; or not speaking up when your spouse wants to go out with other women alone — and it doesn’t feel right in your gut — because you again don’t want want to be the party pooper.  
    A lot of people in this thread have said things like that there isn’t a lot you can do if your guy wants to cheat.   I agree to some extent, but I think there are protections one can build into a relationship so that your guy is very clear about what kind of behavior you will and will not tolerate.   If he really does love you and doesn’t want to wind up alone, he will be more likely to avoid those behaviors as long as you are clear at the beginning about those boundaries so he doesn’t feel like you’re doing a bait and switch.   I’m making sure that those things are in my online dating profile (or questions) so potential partners know upfront where my boundaries lie.   No surprises so they will not feel disappointed if I restate them later on.   I can also tell you that based on my anecdotal data from talking with people   in my job and on behavioral research, people will condition their behavior based on clearly communicated expectations of others.   In other words, there are things you can do try to ensure that your (caring) partner will not cheat on you.   If someone has an addictive personality (another red flag) or doesn’t truly care about you, these types of protections will be less effective.
    On red flags, etc.:   I really love Evan’s three step advice.   So easy and so true.   The first thing that I noticed in my relationship the sex addict was a general sense of discomfort when out and about with other people.   I had never been a jealous girlfriend, but I started getting my feelings hurt when my then-boyfriend and I were out in groups.   The reason was (and I couldn’t identify it at the time) that he showed no sense of romantic connection with me in public and was non-verbally communicating his availability to other women all of the time.   Even if you can’t quantify it, I say honor those gut feelings because they are usually right on.
    Another red flag:   If you feel lonely even though you are in a relationship or feel like using drugs or alcohol more often (or working longer and later, etc.)   then you were before, I’ve found that those are signs (to me) of my gut trying to tell me something about my primary relationship that I usually don’t want to hear.  
    Somebody else said you can tell a lot about a person’s character by other things in his life.   I’m not so worried if he occasionally pays a bill late or something.   I think how he treats other people is way more telling — especially those he doesn’t like or has had a falling out with.
    @Kristina – #4
    Does your boyfriend make you feel special and valued or do you get the sense that he is keeping his options open?   If it’s the latter, I’d ask yourself if you really want to feel insecure while you’re sitting at home with a six month old baby and five inch stretch marks on your abdomen while your husband is MIA.   Those insecure feelings don’t leave when you get married if your guy is not fully committed to you.   As Evan says, believe the negatives not the positives, trust your gut and, if it’s not working for you, cut your losses and find someone new.   Three years lost is still probably less than the rest of your remaining fertile years.  

    1. 17.1

      Thankyou, this is great advice. It’s really helped me.

  18. 18

    I was reading through the comments.   Someone mentioned that she thought it was classless for a man to go to strip clubs, for god sakes he isn’t going to one every night, it was for a bach. party. It’s harmless fun.   While I wouldn’t be happy with my guy visiting strip clubs as a hobby, if it’s for a party that is fine.   Trust, yes is the essence of being vulnerable, it’s definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but in my opinion… sometimes as people men or woman, we know inside something isn’t right, but we lie to ourselves.

  19. 19

    Kathleen @1 said it best – “Insecurity is not attractive for men or women   If a guy Im with wants someone else he can go and Ill find someone better.”

    If my girlfriend wants to watch Magic Mike, The Chippendales, or flirt   with a guy at a bar I’m not going to be offended, hurt, or jealous.   She is either faithful or she’s not and I don’t believe any of the actions above lead to a slippery slope to infidelity.   To paraphrase Kathleen, if your partner wants to be with someone else, let him or her go and find someone who does want to be with you.  

    1. 19.1

      True, but what about the ones that want a woman at home safe and secure that he can home to and have other women too, because he needs an ego boost to feel good about himself?

  20. 20

    Sorry Evan, you’ve lost me on the panties in the dryer. If you find physical evidence of your partner cheating & choose to ignore it, it tells alot about someone’s self esteem (or apparent lack of it). That’s not at all healthy.

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Hey Tash, go read the story about the panties and then come back and apologize. Thanks.

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