I find myself giving the same advice over and over on cheating boyfriend questions. In an effort to quit repeating myself I am going to give some general advice below. After this point I will not answer future questions if I feel the advice below applies.
The foundation of all gambling advice on this site is that when faced with a decision, go with the option that results in the highest expected value. The same advice applies in looking for a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. Seek out somebody with the highest expected value you can reasonably hope for. How should you measure the expected value of a human being? To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., I think you should look first at the content of his/her character.
I'm often asked about forgiving somebody who was caught cheating. In general I recommend not to. This is an obvious sign that you are dealing with somebody of low moral character. Maybe, if you have otherwise years of happiness and it seems a one-time incident, then forgiveness is optional. But don't do it twice.
When in doubt about cheating don't make any accusations without evidence. Questioning about every possible window of opportunity is not likely to result in a confession, and you will only make you look like a distrustful nag if you're wrong. So when in doubt keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open.
My general advice for all "should I stay or should I go" or "which one should I pick" questions is to do what your BRAIN is telling you to do. That will often be the harder decision to make in the short-run but in the long-run you will waste less time in bad relationships and expose yourself to higher quality candidates.
Another frequent question is on how to break up. My advice is that a break up should be cold and clean. None of this friendship nonsense. If you can still be friends, then why are you breaking up? If there was already a breakup, which you are happy with, but the other party is not letting go, then don't lead him on or humor him. Tell him to not call, write, or communicate in any way and do not respond if he does anyway.
"Be true to yourself and you can't go wrong" - Eurythmics May 10, 2006
I have been "seeing" a guy for three years. He says he doesn't want a relationship but always wants to be with me. Now we only sleep together. Will he ever want to be with me more or after this long can a guy just continue just to do one thing with me and pursue others? I don't know what to say to him but feel sad all the time that I don't get more. - Kristine from Tacoma
It seems he doesnít want to buy the cow because the milk is free. December 26, 2006
Okay, my bofriend and I have been together for about 6 years and I just moved far away from him to finish my schooling. He cheated on me with a promiscuous girl. But he told me that he didn't mean for it to go that far and he was just trying to make out with her to get back at me for making out with another guy-- a couple years ago. I truly love him and want to get past this, but he ended up having unprotected sex with her, in an elevator. He seems sincere in his apologies and is extremely remorseful. Is this something I should try to get over and continue my life with him? Or am I wasting my time? Ė Abby from LaVista, NE
Sex in an elevator? How come these things never happened to me while I was single. It took me about six months of dating just to get to second base. As I have said numerous times before, forgiveness for cheating the first time is optional but never a second time. Since you say he seems sincere and remorseful Iíd get past this if he otherwise has no major faults. November 23, 2006
My boyfriend admitted to cheating on me about 4 months ago, but we have been trying to rebuild our relationship. I'm having a hard time trusting him and I can't tell if I'm being overly paranoid or if I truly have something to worry about. I don't know how to talk to him about my concerns without him becoming defensive, but I need reassurance. What should I do? Ė Neeki from San Jose
I wouldnít bring it up. It will at best accomplish nothing and at worst cause a big argument. Over time you will start to get past this. This also just goes to show that if you do cheat, stop it, but donít confess.
Regarding relationship questions in general I quit taking them for a while. However I would say that my readers liked them by about a 2 to 1 ratio, so Iím bringing them back. However unlike before Iíll limit them to just two per column. November 23, 2006
My ex and I have been dating for 5 months. We broke up 2 days before valentines. Mind you he was on the verge of losing his job. Got back to getter two weeks later. Everything seemed fine, no fights. No heís in the middle of a little legal trouble. We got into an argument on the phone. I hung up. Had some time to think and went over to his house to talk. H broke up with my and said I donít want a girlfriend thatís what he said last time but we ended going out a gain. Iím very confused. Is it I or is it just when stress kicks in he takes it out on me. -- Jen from Vancouver Canada
Iím not big on yo-yo relationships like this. Legal and job troubles are no excuse to act like a jerk. You already reconciled twice. If youíre happy now then I would continue with the status quo. However, the next time you break up, truly end it. April 19, 2006
Hi, I met this great guy through the internet 3 years ago so it's been a long distance relationship everything went well until he decided that one day he needed space 'coz he is not sure if he is ready to settle down. Just the beginning of this year I found out that he has been seeing someone from work and has not told me anything about it. Guess you are wondering how did I find this out? Well, I found out from someone and also I saw emails between the two of them which made my stomach turn. I kept asking him if he is honest with our relationship and he replies "YES and that he LOVES me and there is nothing for me to worry about 'coz there is no one in the picture but me." The hard part is that I fell in love with him for who he is but now seeing the other side of him I don't know if I want to be with him in the future if he is "cheating" behind my back. What should I do? Should I just move on or stay in this relationship even though I may see him different everytime we meet or if we meet don't even know if I want him to be touching me? I need your advice please... -- Angel from Edmonton
On the singles market of course people tend to put out their best side at first. The purpose of dating should be to get to know the real person, including the bad side, before starting a life together. You have discovered that this guy is a cheater and a liar. This is an easy one to call, Iíd move on immediately. Trust in what your brain is telling you to do. The next time, donít be so quick to fall in love until you know the guy better. April 19, 2006
is my boyfriend cheating on me? i have 2 friends that talk to him a lot more than me. when i tell him to call he almost never does. people also tell me that he's on drugs and is cheating on me. no one wants us together so i'm afraid to trust them. does it look like he is cheating on me? -- Mia from Minneapolis
Why is he talking to your friends more than you? If he isnít calling then it doesnít sound like he is truly a boyfriend to begin with. I would ask yourself whether the people who say he is cheating and taking drugs have a reason to lie. If not, I would take what they say seriously. However, does it really matter? It sounds like he has already let you go but doesnít have the courage to break up to your face. April 19, 2006
my boyfriend of 2 years keeps talking to his ex girlfriend (she hurt him really bad) on the phone. I found out he is text messaging a girl from the same town we live in. He said he doing nothing wrong and for me to stop worrying about everything. He has never gave me a reason to doubt his action but I don't know if I'm being paranoid. -- Kabra from Odessa
This alone doesnít sound like enough evidence to doubt him. Thereís nothing to worry about until there is something to worry about. Iíd give him the benefit of the doubt and stop worrying. April 19, 2006
I was with my boyfriend for a year and a half when I found out that he would have to move to america as part of his job as he is in the military. We were madly inlove and as I was in the 1st year of uni & couldnt move with him we decided to try a long distance relationshio. That was almost two years ago and until days ago I thought we were both happy. I visit him in all term breaks but in the stretch before xmas a mate informed me that he was listed on a singles site. I didnt mention to him that I knew about the site but I did tell him that I couldnt understand why attached guys would go on there. I then got another email from a friend sayin they saw him on another website which he had paid at least $30 per month to become a "gold member". When I confronted him he said that it was his way of dealing with our long distance relationship & he swore blind he had never contacted or met any of the girls on there. After setting some strict conditions & askin to see his recent emails I took him back. However there was one email that I wasnt happy with. It was to a girl & it asked for a photo of herself. He said that it was harmless and just a friend but it was too shady so I emailed her & she told me that my boyfriend had tried it on with her at the pool where they live, petting was involved before she stopped him saying she had a boyfriend. When I asked my boyfriend about it again he denied it & it wasnt until I told him about the email she sent that he admitted to it. I have broken off the relationship but i love him soo much & I want him back but I know that I cant trust him anymore. Please can you advise me on the right thing to do! And if there is potential solutions that we could try to try and build bridges. Or do you think that he might have cheated more times-as everytime Iv looked Iv found something. Is this just a coincidence that I managed to find it all or do you think that there are many more dark secrets? Please Help!!!! -- Sophie from London
Long distance relationships are tough. For every one lie you catch him in there are likely several you donít. However, I would keep in mind that it is tough for a young single man to stay true to a long distance relationship for a long time. I think this will continue as long as you two are apart. In this situation I would be generous with the forgiveness. Unless one of you is able to move soon I suggest agreeing to an open relationship where dating others is allowed, both ways. He sounds like he is still in love and is just looking for something temporary. Hopefully youíll survive the test of time. April 19, 2006
I have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. We've had a child, but given her away for adoption. While pregnant he would instant message an ex frequently, with very sexual messages. He said that it was nothing. Now, 2 years later, I found hes saying very sexually explict things to another girl. (I found pictures on his cell phone with her from when i was pregnant)I work in the day, he works at night, so i have no clue what goes on during the day. What are your thought? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. - Confused in Chicago
I consider sharing sexual banter electronically with other girls a low, almost harmless, degree of cheating. It could easily be a man at the other side pretending to be a girl (no, I donít do that myself). So if this is the worst thing he has ever done Iíd give him a pass.
My boyfriend of 8mo swears he has not cheated on me. But every time I ask him if he has he says no and looks away, or squints his eyes. And i just get this qut feeling he has, although I cant prove it.Is it just me or could he have really cheated on me. -- Ameli from Deerwood
It is a good sign somebody is lying if he canít look you in the eye. You can never totally rule out cheating unless it would somehow be physically impossible. However, unless you have some much harder evidence Iíd give him the benefit of the doubt and stop nagging him. April 19, 2006
I know my girlfriend is cheating .how can i get her to tell me -- Alex from Taylor, TX
p.s. After publication of my original answer I recieved the following e-mail about the dangers of sodium thiopental. The link I provided talks of common usages for euthanasia and lethal injection, which I thought would scare off anybody who didn't realize I was joking. However lest anybody just rush out and buy some I will post his e-mail. He suggested I change "sodium thiopental" to "truth serum" but I would rather my audience learn something about chemistry.
I love your site. It's fabulous. I have a couple of advanced degrees, including one in biostatistics, and I could never program a computer to generate all the odds as wonderfully and cleanly as you do, nor could I explain them in such clear terms. You are unquestionably an authoritative expert when it comes to gambling.
I'm not just shining you on, though - I do have a point. In your April, 2006 advice column someone asked you how he could tell if his girlfriend was cheating. You replied "Sodium thiopental." I laughed. It is a funny joke.
Unfortunately, however, even a brief perusal of your site is enough to convince anyone that you are an authoritative expert. I am concerned that someone who might be a bit less sophisticated than the median might take your advice seriously, obtain some sodium thiopental, and administer it to an unwitting victim.
Thiopental's really dangerous. Its therapeutic-to-toxic ratio is roughly 1:2, which means it has to be carefully dosed by weight. Physicians like me don't even use it anymore, preferring the newer class of drugs called the benzodiazepines which have a therapeutic-to- toxic ratio of closer to 1:10. And its interaction with alcohol is dangerous and unpredictable. Frankly, I'd much rather do my gambling with dice.
I wonder if you might consider changing your answer to something similarly amusing but possibly more harmless, such as "Truth serum?"
Dave F., MD
April 19, 2006
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 1/2 years and we just had a son whom is now 7 months old. when i call my boyfriends cell phone he never picks up, or ill keep calling him and he'll turn off his phone. and when i tell him why wont he answer my calls he says that his phone died or that he didnt hear his phone or that he was bussy. Sometimes my boyfriend dissapears from me and his family and wont come in contact with us. He doesnt spen as much time as he did with me and his son like before. Hes always braking promises and all he can say is a plain and simple sorry but ends up doing it again. He also leaves me hanging but always tells me that he loves me and that he wants to be with me but at the same time lies too much? I want to know whats going on. is he with someone else or what?? -- Fairy from North Hollywood
Actions speak louder than words. There could be lots of reasons for his behavior, including just being too young to be a father. Regardless of the reasons there is no excuse for neglecting his responsibilities to you and his son. I would strip him of his boyfriend status and donít take him back until you get a marriage proposal. April 19, 2006
I suspect my b/f of 8 years is cheating what are some of the signs I should look for? M.T. from Fort Lauderdale
You can tell he is cheating if he is happy. April 19, 2006
Lately my boyfriend of 5 months has been acting distant from me. He doesn't show me affection like he used to and he doesn't kiss me the way he used to. Also last night when we were making love he shouted out the name of another person whom happens to be a male co-worker. Should I be concerned that he has feelings for this other man or am I over reacting? Do you think it is possible that he may be gay and is just using me as a cover? - Sophia from Berkshire
What did you do to this guy to make him switch sides? My advice is to put your cards on the table and tell him your concerns. If he chooses not to confide in you, perhaps a time apart would help him to sort things out. I'm not big on staying in a state of limbo in a relationship, you should either be going forward or getting out. April 19, 2006
i meet my boyfriend at church, last year then we started dating for 6 months. i thought that he was going to be faithful to me but what do you know he cheated, i was looking through his phone and seen some nasty text messages. so before i could break up with him he broke up with me. then about 8 months later he said that he changed and that he want to be with me again. so i took him back. turns out that he didnt change after all. infact he was planing on dumbing me for a new girl at the church, and so he did but he dont know that i know about his plan. if he askes for a third chance should i? my heart is still with him. - Brittney from suitland
No. As I've said before, I'm not that big on forgiveness when it comes to cheating. Once is optional, twice and you're a fool, three times and you are a hopeless door mat. April 19, 2006
About a 7 months ago I left my ex-boyfriend for my current boyfriend now. I love my new boyfriend with all my heart and I would do anything to keep him in my life. But my ex-boyfriend keeps calling and asking me to be with him. So feeling bad that I left him for another guy I decided to have lunch with him. Then when he took me home he kissed me. My question is if me and him are suppose to be or if me and my new boyfriend will overcome this. Thanx! - Amy from Jacksonville
One thing I repeat a lot is that once you end a relationship, truly end it. It is easy to say this in retrospect but seeing him was a big mistake. You were only giving him false hope. Tell him in no uncertain terms that you two are finished and he is never to contact you again. Also, nothing is ever meant to be. You are the master of your own fate. Apologize to your current boyfriend and ask him to help enforce your new no-contact rule, with force if necessary. April 19, 2006
Hello Wizard of Relationships. I think you should do a website devoted to relationships. So far I've been quite impressed with your advice. OK here goes...
There are three women at the casino where I work (we'll label them B, C, and J). B and C are both 23 years old. J is 26 years old. I will be 40 in June. B and J work mostly graveyard shifts (as do I). C works daytime. If I had to choose I would go for C (but I rarely see her). But me and B were holding hands one night (even though we were drunk). I flirt like crazy with J. So based on all these variables, which woman would I have the most success with? - Jason from Vancouver, BC
Thanks! I'm not big on large age differences. Based on the information given I favor J. This is because of the lesser age difference, common work schedule, and the flirting shows you like her. All things being equal, any one of them could be the best for you. However, my advice is to be practical and go with the known and convenient choice. April 19, 2006
I think a "good" relationship question is in order. My gf and I have been dating for a year and a half. We both graduate in the spring from college, I with my MS and her a BS. She is going to graduate school and wants me to follow her. Is moving in with her a good idea without a ring yet? I need to work a while before I can afford one, and a year of two apartments seems stupid. We get along perfect, but dropping that on her dad might be a bad idea. - Russ from Columbus, OH
If you can get her father to give his approval, even reluctantly, I would go ahead. Perhaps you can sell him on the idea if there are separate beds. So I would indicate you favor the idea but respect her decision if she opposes it for any reason. April 5, 2006
dear wizard, I have been dating my boyfriend for 6 months, we both came to our school not knowing one another, and we liked each other when we met. I didn't know that he had a girlfriend, because he never told me, when I asked he said that he would leave her for me. He did and we have been together since except for a month into the relationship when he said that he needed time away to get over his ex. after that we have been very close, but i still feel like he may be secretly dating her or emailing her. even though he says he's not and I am stupid for thinking so, what can I change? - Melanie from Victoria
There's nothing to worry about until there's something to worry about. Unless you have some compelling evidence he's cheating you should give him the benefit of the doubt. For all he knows you could be cheating on him too. Eventually you will have to choose to trust him if there is any hope this will last. April 5, 2006
hi. recently me and my boyfriend had an arguement and i walked out of his house. i rang one of my friends and said can i come meet you cause me and him have had arguement. she went into the toilets as she was at a loud bar and said hes not worth it dumphim, he cheated on you. i was gobsmacked. we had been together everyday and night except for a week after my gran died, he suddenly went round his friend jamies house saturday and sunday.on valentines had a pool game and left me at home on my own, and the dayafter said he would make it up to me but went out with his brother.i was crying when he left asking whyhe couldnt take me out, adn why he went back on his promise. he left me to sit at his all night til he came home out of his face drunk at 2 in the morning.he went out with is brother who is known for cheating and messing women about. apparently that night he saw one of my friends and he kissed two of her friend. there was no exchange of numbers or anything. the day after this hhad hapeened we were rowing alot and i moved out of his. now a month and a half later my friends tell me he cheated on me that night. my friend who saw it didn't tell me herself and still hasn't rung me or even text me. the friend who saw it did try and split het rx up with his new girlfriend because she wanted him back. they can say what he was wearing that night but he already said to me that he had seen them out. after i asked him we split up but got back together the next day. he said he will ring the girls and speak to them when i am there and even said if we see them out he will ask them with me why hey were lieing. i dont know who to believe. he has had so many chances to tell me and could have told me when we split up but still said he had never cheated on me.my friends who werent there that night keep telling me he is not worth it and i should end it but they have only heard the girl who supposedly saw its story. what do you think i am so confused. i believe him as he has not stopped telling me he didnt do it. aand even text a few of my friends asking why they lied and hey havent text back. Help - carrie from london
This one I think sets a new record for my spell checker. I have read this several times and I still can't make much sense of it. While this evidence of cheating is rather flimsy and hearsay, I'm big on listening to the advice of friends. Love can blind you but your friends can more clearly see what is going on. So if forced I would say go with your friends and dump him. I would recommend using the free time in your social schedule to take some remedial English classes. April 5, 2006
is my boyfriend cheating?he goes out late at night for about two hours but comes home and tries to have sex with me.why is that? - jametrice from los angeles
If he were cheating he probably won't have the inclination or the stamina for you just two hours later. Plus if he were smart he would keep a longer buffer time afterward to help obfuscate an evidence trail. He probably got worked up whatever he was doing while he was out, perhaps at a club or watching pornography, and came home to release his energy. April 5, 2006
i work nights on the weekends and when i come home to take care of our kids the next day my 3 year old son says things about another person he says she comes and plays with him sometimes askes where this person is at or says that he wants to go to her house or talk to her on the phone and there are no friends or relitives that have that name he keeps saying could my son have an imaganary friend or could my spouse be cheating on me - renee from springfield
Interesting question. To be honest I don't know much about imaginary friends. My kids and younger brothers never had one. I would question your son further about the details of this mystery woman. What did she play with you? What did she talk about? What does she look like? If your son seems to be making stuff up as you go then it is probably an imaginary friend, if the answers are realistic and things a child would not come up with on his own then there was somebody else over. Even if there were another woman over that still doesn't necessarily mean there was cheating. If after questioning your son you feel there was a real woman over then I would confront your husband about it. You can tell he is lying if he doesn't look you straight in the eye and/or he fidgets when he answers. If it gets to the point where you think your husband is lying I would hide a video camera somewhere when you go to work, like the girl did in the movie 'The Sixth Sense'. I'd be interested to know what happens. April 5, 2006