Recently, I got this question from a reader:
I read an article written by a woman in which she said about a guy’s personality (this guy was already married) being so strong that it was too much for her and the only way she could resist this is by reducing the time she spends around him. This is sooo scary.!!! This means I could possibly lose my wife to this guy isn’t it?? And if this is true how can I make sure that my wife (future) never even thinks about any other man in her life.
This is an interesting question and one that’s been coming up a lot lately, so I wanted to share my response here on the blog. If you’ve ever wondered how to make sure your woman (or future woman) only thinks of you–or if you have had a woman cheat on you–then read on because this issue actually goes to the heart of why cheating happens and how to handle it.
To start with, we need to make a distinction between a woman thinking about another man and you losing your woman to another man. The only way to lose your woman is if she was so unhappy with you or the relationship that she would see no other option than to leave. Even if she meets many other charming, sexy, strong men in her lifetime, if she is happy in the relationship, then these men do not have power over her.
So let’s talk about cheating: a person can cheat physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. Some people delude themselves by thinking that as long as they don’t “act on them” then having strong thoughts or emotions toward someone else besides their partner is fine, but it is still cheating. It’s just a different kind of cheating. This is sometimes called an “emotional affair.”
This is where it gets tricky, because then where do you draw the line? What if she watches a movie where Brad Pitt takes off his shirt–is it cheating if she thinks, “Ooh, he looks sexy”? Maybe, maybe not. Actually, there is no definitive line; the line is for you and your woman to decide and agree on. Some people have relationships where they go out and flirt and even kiss others, and they are fine with that. Other relationships have a stricter line. Where the line is is NOT important–what is important is that you and your partner agree on the line and then you both respect it.
Cheating is a symptom–a sign that something is wrong. Think of it like a craving. If you have a well-balanced diet, and you are getting all of the nutrition you need, then you feel satisfied. Well what if someone’s diet lacks vitamin C? Some people will start to crave foods with vitamin C, because humans need that vitamin. A relationship is the same way. If someone doesn’t have all of their needs met inside the relationship, they will begin to crave other people that could potentially supply the missing “nutrients.” It’s not that she wants that other dude; it’s that she believes that that other man has a quality that she wants. What needs to happen, then, is that you both need to figure out together how to give her that quality in the relationship.
There is no way to ensure that a woman never thinks about another man besides the one that she is with. And keep in mind that this is as difficult (impossible even?) as you never even thinking about another woman. Remember that whatever boundaries you want in the relationship you have to be able and willing to adhere to them, too.
If you are going to be in a committed relationship, like a marriage, then you can’t restrict your partner from being around other attractive, powerful men. This will only make those men more tempting–like a child that is told they can’t have a cookie, this only makes the cookie seem more appealing. On the flip side, if you are confident, not just in yourself but in her and in the relationship–that you could leave her in a room with 100 sexy, powerful men because you know she would remain faithful, that will keep her committed to you, body, mind, and heart.
The way to ensure this kind of fidelity in your relationship is to choose a woman who is honest and of integrity, and then create the kind of relationship where she feels comfortable asking you for the “nutrients” she wants and needs. I have been in relationships where I loved the man, and was committed to him, and then I met another man who had the kind of strong personality that I image this woman is describing in her article. I chose to talk to my partner about it and say, “I’m sorry, I flirted with this other man all night at the party…” and then we talked about why I did that. Not from a place of judgement, but more to figure out why it happened. When this happens, neither person is to blame, because this happens out of ignorance on both partners’ parts.
Why ignorance? Because until I met that other seductive man, I didn’t know that something was missing in the relationship, and neither did my boyfriend at the time. And even though I pushed that other man away and told him to stop before it crossed the physical line, I didn’t push him away right away–I spent a good few minutes letting him flirt with me first. Then, the next day, I had a conversation with my boyfriend where I remorsefully told him everything and the resulting conversation strengthened our relationship and my commitment to it. And I stopped thinking about that other guy (or any other guy) altogether.
These encounters with others can be a wonderful gauge to grow the relationship when you realize what they really are: symptoms. To go back to the vitamin analogy, some people, when they don’t get enough vitamin C, will start to develop symptoms. These symptoms can seem awful, but really, they are a good thing, because they are a message saying: “Hey! I need vitamin C!” The symptom of a straying mind and heart are the same way–uncomfortable in the moment, but ultimately a positive, as it is a signal letting both partners know that there is a “deficient nutrient” in the relationship.
There is no way to know what your future wife’s “complete relationship diet” is beforehand–it is through the process of the relationship that you will find out both hers and yours. That’s why I suggest that if you want to ensure fidelity, choose a woman who you can trust to tell you when she does think about another man. Because it’s not the thinking about someone else that’s the problem: it’s how she decides to deal with it. The woman who wrote that article chose to limit her time around this man. But what if she decided to keep flirting with him, or have an affair with him? Then she is not of integrity. But she DIDN’T do that–she limits her time with him. You won’t find a woman who is unaffected by other men, so choose a woman who is honest, of integrity, and committed enough to you that she would walk away from him and back to you when she is affected.