Worried He’s Cheating? Here’s What to Say (Script)

I had a conversation on my latest Fast Track session that I really wanted to share with you.

Her question is one I get so often: “Am I being irrational and jealous? Or is it ok for me to be upset about this?”

In this video, I share my reaction, and give you a clear way to say what you really feel in this difficult situation…

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Jameson: “Hey guys, Matthew Hussey here…. Jameson here… I thought you were going to introduce me.”

Matthew: “Was I supposed to introduce you?”

Jameson: “We’re tag teaming this because we work so well together.”

Matthew: “It’s like we finish each other’s…”

Jameson: “Breakfasts.”

Matthew: “Jesus.

“We just finished our members’ session, where for an hour, we Q&A’d with our Fast Track Members. If you don’t know how to become a member, by the way, click the link here? Or at the end of the video? We’ll figure it out some way.”

Jameson: “I’m going to pop it up all over the place. It’s a great link.”

Matthew: “But there was something very interesting that happened during that webinar.”

Jameson: “We had a caller call in. She’d been in a relationship for three and a half years and there was this moment where she thought her boyfriend was possibly being unfaithful.”

Matthew: “He basically went away on vacation for a couple of weeks. Or no, he was on a work trip for a couple of weeks. And she, essentially, long story short, received a couple of messages on her phone that were from him but were not intended for her.”

Jameson: “The message was something like, ‘Lol, a little aggressive for me. Ha ha ha.’”

Matthew: “Yeah.”

Jameson: “Something like that where it could be completely innocuous but imagine receiving a text like that–”

Matthew: “Horrible.”

Jameson: “… from your significant other when they’re on holiday.”

Matthew: “Well, actually, here’s the horrible part. What happened next was she wrote back and said, ‘Clearly those weren’t meant for me.’ And she then proceeded to ask for a screenshot of the text conversation that he was having with whoever he was having it with. He said it was with a male work colleague who was late for breakfast or something, which, by the way, may be true. I’m not putting any judgment on this situation right now. We’re coming to it from complete outside perspectives. But here’s what concerned me. She asked for screenshots of the messages. He then said, ‘You should trust me. And if you need me to send a screenshot, that’s about your insecurity and I don’t want to feed that insecurity. This is a lesson you need to learn and I’m not going to send you the screenshots because it’s better for you that I don’t. It’s better for your insecurity that I don’t feed it.’

“And I heard this and this lovely woman really didn’t know what to do. She said, ‘Do I just accept that and move on? Or should I be frustrated or angry at that?’ Here’s how I broke it down for her because there are many people out there who will be facing some similar situation to this.

“If you’re in a relationship and you’re coming with past baggage from a previous relationship, maybe someone cheated on you, maybe someone gave you cause to constantly be insecure and jealous and that is not something you’ve fully gotten over, in your new relationship, it’s not your partner’s responsibility to take on all of that baggage, right? If you’re going through your partner’s phone and investigating them, if you’re prying all the time, if you’re constantly trying to look for something that isn’t there, that’s not your partner’s fault and if they’re giving you no reason not to trust them, then that’s something that you need to look at in yourself.

“But in this situation, where he has sent her something, that she’s reacting to something, information she’s actually gotten, not by looking for it. It’s found her. That is not a moment for him to teach her a lesson about her confidence, right?”

Jameson: “Well, here’s what happened on the call, by the way. Because Matt gave that spiel and I wanted to press back a little bit on this woman because I wanted to see: has she really never brought this up before? Because from the man’s side, if they’ve been together for three and a half years and you’ve built up a lot of trust over the three and a half years. And so, when someone is doubting you from an errant message, that can be painful, too.”

Matthew: “Yes.”

Jameson: “I don’t know if it’s an insecurity but it brings up some pride, being like, ‘Hey, hold on. I’m a good man. I’ve been a good man for three and a half years.’”

Matthew: “I agree.”

Jameson: “So we pressed her a little bit to see, like is this a recurring insecurity? Has this been something that’s addressed and so he’s getting defensive for a reason? She seemed really, really genuinely sweet and sincere that it kind of wasn’t, that she had done a pretty good job.”

Matthew: “If anything, she suppressed her insecurities most of the time and didn’t bring them to him.”

Jameson: “Right.”

Matthew: “This was a situation that really caught her off guard. So here’s what I think. If he says, ‘Here, take the screenshot. I don’t mind. I’ve got nothing to hide,’ she sees it, she says, ‘Oh my God, I’m such an idiot. I feel terrible. Blah, blah, blah,’ he, at that point, can say, ‘I want you to trust me because I would never do anything to hurt you. I would not do that to you. I understand that your insecurity today made you want to see that but I would prefer in the future if you would trust me because we’re in this together and we’re a team, right? I’ll never give you reason to doubt me.’

“But maybe you do acknowledge, ‘Today may have seemed a little different because maybe I sent you something and it caught you off guard and it triggered something. And I love you, and I want you to feel safe, and I want you to feel secure, so I’m showing you this. But in the future, I would rather you trusted me because we’re on the same side.’

Jameson: “So that’s the response–”

Matthew: “That’s the lesson moment.”

Jameson: “That’s the response from the person who was doubted.”

Matthew: “Yes.”

Jameson: “So what was the script for the person who was jealous? For her, what would you have her say?”

Matthew: “If he says, ‘You should trust me. I’m a trustworthy person,’ you should say, ‘And I’m a flawed person.’”

Jameson: “Right.”

Matthew: “’I’m flawed and I have my insecurities and it’s just on my mind and I hate that it is.’ I think two people have to be a team together. And she has to be a team in giving him the benefit of the doubt. But he should also be a team member in not creating more doubt by withholding something… I could understand if she’d done this 10 times in the last six months. ‘Show me the message, show me the message, show me the message.’ Then he might be like, ‘You know what? I don’t want to be in a relationship like this. Because if you can’t trust me and if you constantly need me to show you proof of everything, I don’t want to be in that relationship.’ That’s his prerogative. But if this is genuinely the first time that’s happened, I don’t know. I think he’s hurting the relationship by doing that.

“What do you think? I’m curious. Leave us a comment, let us know what you’re thinking about this. I think this is an interesting discussion. I want to read your comments. We’ll see you next week.”

Jameson: “Bye guys.”

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

82 Responses to Worried He’s Cheating? Here’s What to Say (Script)

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  1. Tina says:

    It sounds like he’s a textbook narcissist and gaslighting her. My husband spent the majority of our marriage saying things like that to me, blaming me when I questioned him. “If you weren’t snooping, you wouldn’t have found it” after he told me to check his phone for details his mother had sent him and I found texts from some chick. “It’s your fault for letting my have female friends” when another actually had the stones to call ME and say he isn’t answering his phone. It took me way too long to figure out what I was married to, but once I did, I took steps to end it. No one deserves to have their soul destroyed, no matter what you’ve been through together.

  2. Fiona Ip says:

    He doesn’t sound like a patient/tolerant person. As per mentioned by Matt, if she had done it many times, ok, his answer is understandable but saying that for the first time is a bit suspicious. It would certainly put doubts in my mind if I was her. Good luck to her, I hope she gets it sorted. Just need to have a honest dialogue with him and he is still defensive about it, she needs to evaluate her relationship. It’s not about the length of time you are with someone but the quality of it.

  3. Karen says:

    Dated a guy for 3yrs all was good until he received text @11pm from a women I had never meet. Ask to see the conversation, he replied that I had insecurities and needed to grow up. He informed me we were rock solid & would never jeopardise the relationship we had.
    Asked for clarity, more closure. He refused to show me conversation
    and pushed all the blame on me for past in security

    I showed him the door, locked it and cried myself to sleep

    Two yrs later have a beautiful gentleman, however this past experience taught me a lot in finding my feminine inner soul instead of being defensive and masculine past vibrations as not all guys are the same, nor should we treat them so

  4. Jolene says:

    Something like this happened to me once.
    My response to the errant text would have been:
    “lolz! oh yeah, so tell me how YOU like it!”

    It’s a little different way of learning what’s going on.

  5. Drana says:

    She should take it as the first signal he’s cheating. There will be other signals she’ll see once her eyes are open.

    Decide for herself if she will walk it he is cheating or she’ll accept it if he keeps it hidden. Have a polite conversation and state her position without accusations.

    Next business trip surprise him with a visit.

    If he isn’t cheating he’ll enjoy the company.

    If he is cheating and she still wants him
    … confront him about the why and what is missing for him. Don’t promise to fix the issues. Just listen.

  6. Martina says:

    My opinion? It definitively hurts relationship and her trust… and I think what he did is a manipulation. I speak from my own experience… I was in a relationship for some years where after some time similar things happened – when I asked him – he manipulated situation very smartly to make me look jealous, stupid or as I do not have a right to ask for more information. It was manipulation and it worked…I could felt something is wrong (because I knew I would react opposite way as he did if he was in my shoes)… but I closed my eyes…closed again….and one day I found finally all the truth about his behaving (lies, cheating). It is hard to say when this happens to you and you have never experienced this before – but after you have this experience, you can more clearly smell these lies and you put your standart higher for getting the right reaction from him and you see more clearly the manipulation. I don´t say he cheated on her – he could…or he could just flirt with someone in messages and knows he should not do that.. but I think he is something hiding…and she fears that and he let he to have these fears. It totally destroys trust.

  7. Naddy says:

    Hi everyone, I don’t know how to start but I need advise from everyone about my life. My boyfriend cheat me like 3 times but he didn’t feel or say sorry for that. If I ask why he cheat me he just said I just want to f**k other girl but you are no 1 always. I can’t even think what should I do to save my relationship, I’m too stupid to make my own decision and I still love him. Even I said to him that I will cheat him back but still he didn’t care and he even ask me for a thr**some. Please help me,somemore I don’t have any friends or anyone to share my problem

  8. Leanne says:

    Sounds like a clear case of gas-lighting to me. Not saying the situation is easy – but, RUN. Does sounds like there is more to this relationship… the old ‘I’m doing you a favor and being benevolent by ignoring that you’re not trusting me and helping you in the process – so your welcome’ is more than a little worrisome and I’m sure this isn’t the only situation this type of behavior comes up.

  9. Sibel says:

    Hi, guys!

    I have doubts, and do not totally agree with you. Up to my experiences, men can cheat at anytime in a relationship. Also he might be bored in this relationship. You mentioned that this insecure thoughts ate about past. Yes, this is true. But also, as human beings our experiences are important when we talk about human psychology and behaviors.

    I believe there is a bad smell in this conversation and relationship. We should think about the condition. He is on a vacation. It doesn’t matter it is work or holiday. It is very possible that he had cheated or tended to to cheat. Besides, he is not the teacher or father of his girlfriend, and telling her that she needs a lesson is rude and narcissist. Sending this damn screenshot is really easy. He had already fed her insecure behaviors. Instead of feeding her insecureness, he could improve her trust by being more open. Of course if she repeats this behavior several times, it can be boring. But as I see, she is not that kind of a partner.

    Cheers,
    S.

  10. Jennifer says:

    If it I the first time I would say I as a woman can give him a benefit of doubt for the sake of our love. But like with my experience just recently. He does a lot at front that I cannot fully trust him sorry but I cn say a player…at the same time very toxic as he’s creating something for me to be insecure when the situation has been agreed and talk about. Things happened over end over. And that I decided to let go. A woman can feel if the man she loves is faithful. We have a unique instinct and of course the quite obvious. Thanks

  11. Susan says:

    I totally disagree Matt and your being much too wishy-washy with your response to this woman .
    She should definitely ask to see the screenshot and the fact that he’s playing her and dies not want to show it to her and is now putting it on her telling her she’s insecure is totally bogus,
    He is a player !!

    PD
    I’ve had more men than you’ve had hot dinners !!
    Lol
    Cheers
    Susan

  12. Naomi says:

    He’s totally gaslighting her. I think it’s pretty clear he’s been caught out. What an a-hole. If that happened to me or my partner we’d talk about, and listen to each other. Either someone has an intuition or an insecurity. Both need to be respected and not belittled, or patronised about it. They need to be worked through properly, with respect and maturity.

    As an aside, whenever I have felt insecure in a relationship, I’ve had good reason. Whenever I have felt safe, I’ve had good reason. Either I have been with someone trustworthy and I’ve felt safe OR I’ve been with a player and I’ve felt insecure. Either way too much responsibility is placed on one person to feel safe. Feeling safe in a relationship is a team effort. Of course there are exceptions, but generally that holds true.

  13. Tekla says:

    He is gaslighting her! Who is he to “teach her a lesson”??? Even if it’s not the first time she’s asked, this is inappropriate.
    If he’s tired of her asking the question, they either need to work out what is triggering her, or he needs to accept that she has that insecurity, OR he needs to move on. But she is not his pupil. It’s insulting.

  14. Laurie says:

    Very interesting discussion and one that needs to be had since this is a common scenario. I like having both perspectives and both responses from the one who is accused and the one who feels insecure. I agree with Matt that if this is the first time this has happened, that guy is hurting the relationship by not sending a screenshot. I generally believe that someone who is telling the truth has nothing to hide. Thanks for tackling this topic, Matt and Jameson, and for giving us scripts for both sides of this issue. Communication is so key and many times in situations like these it’s difficult to articulate well what you want to convey.

  15. Tricia says:

    His response was a clear example of “gaslighting” (emotional abuse. ) What a horrible thing to say to someone you’re supposed to be in love with. Big red flag here.

  16. Thuraya says:

    I take a part of my analysis back…
    ‘Lol, that’s a little too aggressive for me…’

    I cannot think of a non-flirty context where that would be used. A guy doesn’t send that to his male friends pretending to be weak. He’d more likely go like ‘I’d kick your ass, bring it on’
    I get it. I get that her asking for a screenshot was a last stroke for her to see his reaction. I don’t think she’s flawed. I think it is normal for any human being to be caught off guard from a message like that.
    He would have reacted with the same insecurity had that happened to him (presuming he cared).
    I would like to know how right or wrong we all are if you ever find out Matthew. :)

  17. Len says:

    Looool, “Here’s the screenshot, I want you to trust me and I understand” – Said no one ever

  18. Cali says:

    And if he has given cause multiple times over the span of that relationship and asks for more faith, then what? With no proof. How do you have accountability without evidence at this point when his words no longer hold value. Grace for faith on the words he had have been false for so long so now what?

  19. johna says:

    What if core confidence becomes an issue for both of you during the same relationship and your partner goes outside of it to get their needs filled (emotionally or physically)? I know we can’t expect our partner to be the one who is going to fix “me” but they should want to be down to fix “us”. I think they should be there to be like, ‘how can I help you babe?’….especially when you come to your partner in an open and loving way…

  20. M says:

    Is anyone frustrated by her boyfriend’s “man-splainy” way of talking to her? I also think, if this was something she did all the time, he would have said “babe, you do this all the time”. But no – what he said prob just made her more paranoid and caused her to second guess her feelings – which were completely valid. If he has nothing to hide, he’d have just sent the screenshots and been done with it.

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  22. Pheonix says:

    I think he’s cheating hehe. I mean why would you hide it if there’s nothing wrong with it.

  23. Nikki Restagno says:

    That was a great answer from a mature high quality man. I wish more men thought before they spoke or more importantly not be worried about their precious ego!

  24. Luisa says:

    It was such a neutral message (it said aggressive, not sexy?!?!), one among thousands we all use everyday, I don’t think it was appropriate to expect a screenshot

  25. Lilly says:

    What I’ve learned over the years, you may give him the benefit of the doubt, forgive and move along. No need to bring it up again because then you come across as a “nag”.
    If he has done nothing wrong in your relationship, it will move along great. However if he believes he got away this time, he’ll either drive himself crazy with thoughts of your cavalier behavior and start messing up or he may fess up for fear of losing you, if he really cares.
    This doesn’t mean you let him walk all over you.
    I always keep in mind a quote from a book I read; “How you act is not who you really are, but the real you comes out by the way you react to things.”

  26. Stephany Robinson says:

    Looooved this story & dialogue and especially loved the dynamic with Jameson. He’s adorable. Spot on advice, exactly the right direction to go. My only 2 cents would be that while a person who’s been cheated should definitely not expect the new partner to manage or deal with that kind of baggage, they definitely should be considerate of the triggers. Nice teamwork Matt & Jameson!!

  27. Tawnya says:

    I think he’s feeding her insecurity…if you have nothing to hide, show it and move on. He’s being controlling and turning it all onto her, when it was his txt that got her upset to begin with.
    Everyone is human, everyone has insecurities at some point…if your partner can alleviate that, then do it…more trust is built. Why would you want to hurt your relationship because of pride.

  28. Hilary says:

    I totally agree with you Matt. If he had nothing to hide he would show her the screen shots out and respect and kindness for her feelings and to have an awareness of how his text may have led her to make the assumption she was having an affair.
    His turning the finger and making out it is her problem, says to me that he has something to hide. That or he lacks awareness.

  29. S.E. Olson says:

    The response from the errant text sender lacks the kind of empathy you would hope 2 people have built up in a committed relationship that has lasted for multiple years (3+ years, do we know if they are living together or if they have just been seeing one another for that long & in either case are they exclusive & have pledged to be monogamous to one another? I am assuming they have promised monogamy & exclusivity to one another).

    It may well be gas-lighting, deflecting & lying from a narcissistic abuser (Cluster B personality/narcissist/borderline/sociopath/etc) or it might simply be a lesser issue *he* has, *his un-handled baggage* is showing in his harsh “you need to learn a lesson” response to a long-term partner. That could be evidence of a past trauma or problem of his he needs to own & handle.

    If the caller were me, I would be getting out if he does not own his baggage around this out-of-proportion & over-the-top response to his own mistake. Potentially hard to do after 3+ years (even harder if they have been living together), but assuming he does not back down from projecting this onto his female partner as “her insecurity” & see this as an opportunity to work on & let go of an issue of his own, she might be better off single, unencumbered by such a low empathy person, so she can work through why she would want to be with someone who would so harshly & suddenly try to devalue her.

  30. Lakshmi says:

    Love this video for a few reasons. Firstly, nice to see the two of you discuss. Secondly, I completely agree with the both of you. You Matthew are completely right. Your approach is how it ‘should’ be, in other words the ideal way. It is up to the two of you to work on the relationship. Momemtns like these exemplify how prepared you are to let go of your ego and work as a team to keep the relationship strong. J’s approach is more practical. Whatever it is, I’m sick and tired of people being stuck in such situations. The current way of life is very fertile for the development of a##holes and fools. In this instance, they have been in a relationship for about 3.5yrs. Why havn’t they decided on marriage? Ideally when in a relationship if you’ve crossed the 2.5yr mark it means, the woman must take the responsibility to bring stability into the relationship. The woman must be nice but not naive and submissive with a lesser mindset. This allows the man to take advantage and slack off. Eventually, he’l lose interest in her because she gets across as weak. Vulnerability all the time is no good. Also, even if the man was genuine; practical measures that add stability to the relationship will not provide room for such disturbing situations of insecurity and doubt. If you are dating, you better get the girlfriend title by 6months time and anything more than 2.5yrs as the girlfriend means you are just a friend with benefits. Don’t expect exclusivity if there is no improvements in practical display of commitment levels. I don’t want to talk about the ‘I’m not ready’ situation. If you think you are not ready, then better do it solo until you are ready. I’m tired and you guys look tired too.

  31. Lia says:

    So my situation is a bit weird. When I met my current partner, I was talking to multiple people. Around the same time I met my partner, I also met someone else. I’d never been in this situation before; I genuinely liked both people. I knew I had to make a choice, and I did- strangely, choosing the other, instead of my current partner. I tried to be honest with both of them from an early stage, but I think my partner had assumed exclusivity too soon, and was very hurt when I explained the situation. Obviously this situation changed, and ended with this person being my partner. And it’s not exactly that I cheated, but I did do something (which is uncharacteristic of me by the way) that hurt someone I cared about, and who is now my partner. They have since expressed to me that I did nothing wrong and there’s no ill will, but sometimes I get nervous that this will come back to bite me.
    Should I be this nervous?

  32. Nofyah Shem Tov says:

    Last December I had pneumonia and didn’t head from my boyfriend of over a year on Skype for an entire week. I was upset and sent him a.link to 15 signs a man is checking out. He got.offended and dumped me.on Skype without even asking me about my health. Turns out he was cheating on me for months. I woke up two weeks later after almost dying. It hurt. I found a great guy a month later…but it hurts to be left like that. I’ve had to push a lit of insecurity to the side to move on. My new man has cried with me when the hurt was overwhelming. Amazing too that he has responded so differently when i express insecurity.

  33. Elouise says:

    Every single time I felt the guy was cheating he was. Women always know.

  34. Sarah says:

    Some weekend he stays out and don’t tex me and when he do tells me he stays at his mum’s

  35. Jane Reinhardt says:

    They are not married, so no one is cheating! Without marriage, there is no commitment.

  36. Kim Quincey says:

    I ask him are you seeing someone because you are showing all the signs to me that you are? And he just says dont be silly and gets in a bad mood with me.
    He try’s to avoid me alot but gives nothing away. I just get that gut feeling.

  37. Angie says:

    It sounds like gaslighting to me. Looking back I can see clearly now that my ex-husband did this to me all the time. It’s definitely a red flag for me now. If it was innocent then it would be more of a funny story for him to share with her not a teachable moment for this women he should know pretty well after 3 1/2 years. He should know her triggers and be understanding of them. Sounds like he’s manipulating the situation and her to benefit his needs. Only she can know if her insecurities are dominating the relationship to decide if he is being truthful.

  38. Anne says:

    I also agree with Matt. If the guy had nothing to hide he ought to have sent her a screenshot.

    I have had the same happen to me and he was cheating with multiple women.

  39. Jen says:

    I agree with Matt completely. He should have just shown her the messages. What’s he trying to hide?

  40. Marie says:

    Well, ironic this is exactly what I’m dealing with. The man in my world, is smoothe. He avoids questions. He changes the subject and redirects the conversation. All while never admitting, answering…or committing on anyquesrion I have. I have received text that clearly was not meant for me…an off the wall answer or statement to nothing we are discussing… it’s memorial day weekend and he’s going away…but doesn’t know when he us leaving or when he is coming back. I have heard nothing….no text ..no call…nothing. I’m very certain he is seeing another woman…he is on dating sights…i have asked about being in a relationship…i asked for truth and honesty. Nothing but…ignore and twisting conversation. Says I’m a crazy insecure woman…i told him do not insult my intelligence. I am on point w this man. I made a decision to drop him totally…if I’m not respected w the truth and he continues this over and over, im more valuable than that. My past has caused me to he insecure, and I’m not proud of it. But this same round the lies and avoidance is not for me…my gut feel..hes a player. Uses money to manipulate women…im better than this…..i should never have to beg for time or answers. If he really cared for me…he would be more respectful towards me…my questions…and feelings….my eyes are wise open….and he is history.

  41. Kathy says:

    Matthew I never fail to learn something from your insights. Thanks for sharing

  42. Buchheit Allison says:

    I agree with a previous statement Matthew stated

    “a marriage is when you kill your ego. It’s when you say “I just want what’s best for the other person. I love this person.” It’s not where I’m going to be sitting there worrying if I’m good enough or should I be jealous…that’s all ego. I want them to be happy. I love them. I’m going to be there for them and show up for them. And of course, I’m going to have certain asks. I want them to be a teammate to me just like I am to them. Real relationships aren’t power struggles”.

  43. Lyn says:

    I definitely think of a relationship as a team. Everything is for the benefit of the team. If you aren’t progressing in the same direction or at all, you need to communicate with each other. If this girl is constantly on this guy about everything, then his response is supportive of the relationship progressing. If this is a random occurrence, then he is hindering the progress of this relationship. Either way, they need to discuss this when he gets back. His actions over the past 3 1/2 years should dictate how she approaches that conversation. It’s not about feeding an insecurity, it is about building a strong foundation for your relationship. If he didn’t want the foundation of their relationship to erode, he should’ve sent her the screen shot immediately and said we need to discuss this face-to-face when I return. If she’s constantly on him, he should’ve done the same thing and say we need to discuss this when he gets home. The steps should’ve been the same with him sending the screen shot. Where the fork in the road hits is when they determine together who is impacting their relationship’s foundation and progress negatively.

  44. Ahlam Ali says:

    Hi, I believe that relationship between the two should be build with trust. Why I check his phone or feel insecure if he treated me well. However, if I know that he is that type of person that I can’t trust why do I have to stay with him from the beggning, these relationships will be impossible to stay long. Furthermore, If this his first time I will teach him a lesson that he never will forget because I’m loyal to myselfe first then to him. I deserve to be treated the same.

  45. Adriana says:

    The guy was obviously cheating. His response was defensive and made the woman feel like she was being irrational. Typical cheating person move.

  46. Maria says:

    The boyfriend’s response is an example of “gaslighting” which is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse.

    He could have reassured her in some way by just sending the screen shot or by responding compassionately. Alternatively he could have offered to address any trust issues that exist.

    Instead he quickly changed the subject from his suspicious texts to her emotional stability – intentionally making her doubt herself. It’s a tactic meant to deflect attention away from his behavior, and it’s a pretty harmful dynamic in the relationship.

  47. Michelle says:

    Having been through this before, I feel so sorry that it’s happened to yet another woman.

    She had every right to ask about the text. She wasn’t snooping or being insecure as this was something he plopped into her inbox, mistakenly or not.

    His response says everything. That is Deflecting and Gaslighting 101. Run. Lying is one thing – it hurts when discovered, but it is on the liar. Gaslighting tears down the person being gaslighted from the inside out, making them question their worth as a person and every relationship after. It is simply vicious and inexcusable.

    Even if we put gaslighting aside for a moment and assume he was telling the truth, nothing about his tone is that of a partner. Instead, he is talking down to her and “teaching her a lesson” as if he were her parent. Again, if your “partner” feels s/he can speak down to you and direct you as if you are a child, it’s not a partnership. That’s control and manipulation. It makes me wonder if he’s been telling her how to feel and what she should and shouldn’t do for the past 3 years, or if this was the first incident. Either way, run.

    Finally, having gotten these kinds of “accidental” texts before, in the end, they were never truly accidental. Follow up conversations and events showed the texts were sent purposely. Sometimes it was the guy’s hairbrained way of seeing whether I valued him enough to be jealous (basically, an ego boost for him executed in the worst possible way), it was a test given by a cheater to feel out the limits of what he could get away with, or (as it seems men don’t like to do the hard emotional lifting), it was a way to say he’d found someone else and get me to end the relationship so that he wouldn’t have to.

    Bottom line, regardless of whether he was texting another woman, the way he responded shows he is looking down on his partner and does not value her as an equal. That, in my book, means it’s time to move on.

  48. Priya says:

    I think its not okay to ask for a screenshot that’s his job to do so.
    she can say I am sorry babe if I over reacted, but I felt bad when you made me look like a bad person. by the way, I love you and it’s normal for me to feel jealous in this situation. anyway, I don’t want us to talk more on this. if you had a messed up moment, it’s ok. I forgive you. if not I was stupid, I am sorry.

  49. Alexandra says:

    Hey,

    Good to see Jamieson talking!
    But you didn’t give answer for her-or anyone in her shoes.
    When you have a feeling you’ve been cheated or played how to react to not seem jealous and insecure but also to show you’re not stupid.
    I had this before when men wants to put the stamp on you “oh darling you just jealous” but trying to avoid straight answer and get away.I think this what the guy done, he turned the situation straight back on her.He must be intelligent or an intelligent player
    Also I think we need to listen to our gut more often.We always feel what is
    going on we just don’t want to listen to it.
    Good subject!

  50. Ameejo Taylor says:

    Her boyfriend should not have said this is a learning thing for her … he should have just shown the screen shot of the texting and said we will talk later about it…and then when he got home and they were face to face that is when you have a conversation about the trust issue… you do not have conversations like that unless you are in the same room together.

  51. Diana says:

    I don’t think she should have asked to see a screen shot right away. I think she should have just asked him what was going on. If he was smart he would then have sent her a screen shot. If he didn’t respond to her satisfaction, then she could have asked for the screen shot.
    The way she could have responded to his telling her she should just trust him is: you know what I would really have liked to hear you say? “Absolutely, here’s what was going on and here’s the screen shot.” I don’t agree that he should say, “I want you to trust me”. If he wants her to trust him, he needs to behave in a trustworthy fashion ie be 100% transparent. I really like the suggested response to “I’m a trustworthy person” – “and I’m a flawed person. I have my insecurities etc”.

  52. Louis says:

    Well, I have to say there could be a multitude of reasons of why this actually happened.

    Though, if we focus hard on the problem, and we don’t take any side for the sake of solving this issue…

    An understanding of trust is key here. The guy is actually right about associating proof with insecurities. Trust is all about security and for both sides. The more you actually need trust, the more insecure you are physically or mentally. This has nothing about cheating or bringing proof.

    Established Trust and value in a relationship are imaginary mechanisms of insurrance that can differ from one person to another. I therefore invite you to reflect on this…

    Is it possible that they just actually have a different definition of trust and a different vision of their partner’s value.

    That said,the woman is in her right for asking a proof because in her mind, he seems to be lying and that implies that a possible threat might come from him, but here is the catch…

    Her asking proof did not help her feel more secure, and will not make it so at anytime in the future. Here’s why any outcomes will hurt anyway.

    1- He’s flirting or cheating and that is reason enough to break up if it does not fit her value. = hurt

    2- He actually never flirted or cheated and there was nothing to worry about form her standpoint, but at the same time his partner clearly sees her as low value and this caused damage to the relationship = hurt

    3- They live on together without saying further word or they compromise on the issue because they come from a point of scarcity and they end up unhappy for a long time until the next trust issue arises.= hurt ++

    My friends, to me that is a definition of a wall. It’s gonna hurt and sometimes making a bad choice is actually the best thing to do, but to make it a win, we have to remember that it might also be the consequence of previous mistakes about finding the right person for you.

    Hey,don’t be so hard on yourself either, people change too. Nothing last forever! Enjoy the relationship while it’s great, and when it does not work, aim for a better one!

    So, my point here, is that asking a proof is never a good thing to do to fix a relationship trust issue.

    It is not a matter of being right or wrong. The best outcome should always be the aim and doing right according to your beliefs standards will be your best compass to find someone that actually fit yours.

    I also think that a man will automatically be able to reassure her woman especially for little things as she will be able to do that for him too for as long as they value each other enough to do so. This is the key of the problem here.

    The woman could have said that she does not like it but that she trust in him, but she didnt. (Lack of trust)

    He could have said ok, I will show you, but he didnt. (Lack of value towards her)

    Maybe he was never good enough to make her feel that she is his woman.
    Maybe she was never good enough to show him that she was strong enough for him. Those ifs, don’t matter at this point except for their next relationship.

    So, my understanding of this situation is this: To him, she was not worth the hustle as she could not see his value or that she must not have enough value herself to deserve a confirmation. If he actually flirted or cheated, she still did’nt have enough value to not do it.

    Again, whoever is right here, that is enough reason to break up from any side as both the man and the woman deserve a partner that have a compatible vision of each other’s value.

    In the case he wants to sleep with other women and lie about it, he should be with a woman that understands this and think the same, but if it’s the case, cheating is also low value as it reflects his own scarcity in getting what he truly wants.

    Also, If he does not seem to be the kind of man she wants because she doubts him, then she should let him go.

    No matter who is right in that situation. This is not an isolated incident, this will further escalate. Compromise will make things worst later on.

    Remember, that is an opportunity for growth from both sides and that painful experiences in relationships are also a part of the fun journey that is called life!

  53. Terri says:

    Is it really insecurity that caused her reaction or plain old intuition and common sense? I agree full heartedly with what you are saying and I get that being vulnerable and saying you’re flawed might get the man’s defences down, but the whole focus on her insecurity kind of felt off. To me, it’s pretty obvious this guy was flirting with someone and probably cheating, so I think it’s important that the woman remain assertive, reasonable and rational in her exchange, but not make it seem so much like her issue. If I feel like I’m overreacting and being insecure, I’m happy to admit it. But in this case, I think any woman, insecure or not, would be wise to be on the alert for cheating in this case. The only reason this guy reacted the way he did was because he was guilty. I would be totally shocked if he weren’t.

  54. Kia says:

    Thanks or this. A lot of times men will make the women think she is insecure, unreasonable, crazy and belittle to cover up for either something OR not having the ability and understanding that a woman wants to feel safe and secure with a man. I like the answers you gave her as it’s not about one side or another but a team and how to make both people feel comfortable and safe and willing to do what it takes to make the relationship stronger………if there is nothing to hide, and the curiousity about something odd one observes and wants to know more about can be clarified, a conversation had, used to make the connections stronger not weaker.

  55. Selene says:

    Id’ tell him… and I think I did before: “Miss target? lol ;P [… (he probably said “Yeah! ;P”)] “Oh, then is okay!” But that’s after several videos and Mattew’s book.
    In her case I figure is not the first time she shows herself as unsecure, or he showed signals of suspicius behavior because he HAD to put it clear that is a male contact.
    P.S.
    I don’t think he is innocent… His response sounds a lot more like defensive than showing standars like “I don’t want to live with an unsecure woman” or so. That response was too much more than “a lesson”.

  56. Valerie says:

    There is a lot going on here. A good rule to go by is: would I behave this way if my partner was with me, watching everything I am doing. (Like sending this text message.) If the answer is no, then one should not do it.
    How would her boyfriend feel if the situation was reversed? Sometimes in relationships, there needs to be complete transparency when your partner becomes upset. Transparency reassures your partner that everything is okay and helps the trust grow. When transparency is withheld it helps suspicions grow instead, and does hurt the relationship. Totally agree with you Matthew.
    Last, what is going on in the relationship that suddenly caused her to become paranoid about him? Sometimes in relationships, people do pull away etc. If this is the case they need to be aware that BOTH of them need to nurture the relationship more. This will keep them from feeling insecure like this.
    Both should definitely discuss this in person.

  57. Shelby says:

    3 1/2 years?!! He should have proposed to her and they should be going forward with a marriage. Not going backward with not giving her a screen shot. Of course he’s up to no good- he’s changing the m.o. They don’t speak like that to each other for 3years then he mistakenly sends her that instead of his male coworker?! She could use an MH script on him & if he doesn’t respond with the screenshot still, then it’s time for an ultimatum and leave, mourn, heal, find a worthy new man who respects your standards and wants the team you’re creating with him to succeed…Good luck!!
    ( This whole situation sounds frustrating, angering, & just sooo disappointing! Sadly, has happened to me too)

  58. CK says:

    I always thought if you love and care about someone you would do everything in your power to make them feel safe in the relationship. If this situation was reversed, no matter how many times I was asked, I have no issues showing my messages. My phone is always unlocked and I have nothing to hide. I feel he is deflecting the real issue by saying it’s her problem.

  59. Adele says:

    In my experience women’s intuition and gut feeling rarely lie. When we think something is going on it usually is! Having the chat on the phone isn’t the right way, she needs to see him in person and calmly call him out. She’ll just know whether there’s cause for concern. Women are too savvy! I have not been with a single man who would ever respond with the level of emotional awareness/literacy like Matt has described. Generally they either wouldn’t engage in the conversation or manipulate and turn it back around to deflect responsibility. Sad but true!

  60. Hayley says:

    I agree with Bonnie. “it’s really difficult to find a male person who can be that understanding and compassionate when they are put in that position- they become defensive and or completely silent and or say they don’t want to talk about this right now.”

  61. Priya says:

    Yes, he is hurting the relationship. Maybe he just had a moment of flirtation with someone he did not intend to have and he didn´t want to hurt the relationship by exposing himself so he just got defensive to hide his mistake. I believe he wouldn’t do it again (It’s a good thing he instinctively messaged his partner than the new person.)

  62. April says:

    i think he is hurting the relationship. i had almost the same situation, my boyfriend showed me their whatsapp conversation, him and a girl from work, because while we were together this girl messages her. The only thing that bothers me was why was she sending him selfies? so i confronted him and he defended her that maybe she’s just like that, so i told him that he should have done something about it. I asked him who message who first and he said either of them. I told him i don’t feel comfortable anymore with your friendship with this new girl from work. If you still insist on chatting with her, going out on breaks with her and will not consider how i feel then better we broke up. be with her and let me move on. However, he chose me. he said he will end things with her. So now we are still together, but i’m still observing. Hopefully our relationship becomes stronger and will last a lifetime ❤️

  63. Annie says:

    I think I agree with every point Matthew said. Another side, unfortunately, I think the right for private businesses is higher than the other parties feelings. After seeing this, I am more and more confident that my partner cheated on me, but I had no doubts or not so much before. Actually, I had, but I convinced myself it is my insecurity. I think people have to accept that providing room is very very important. Even if someone is flirting, what matters is how good partner is somebody in the relationship. And you can also expect the same room, of couse, including with the same trust level and same room. Asking for a screenshot for me is way beyond the limit. But teaching lesson is a very jerky style, immediate termination would follow from my side if there are no kids, etc.

  64. Jenn says:

    Matthew,

    I think the way you scripted it sounds perfect. He shouldn’t have an issue with both showing her what she needs to see in that moment, or being the one to help her bring her insecurity into light. As her partner, he’s agreed to help her become the best version of herself. Maybe that was his initial intention and just handled in wrongly the first time. Either way, it seems to be a subject that they’d benefit from developing a deeper understanding of each others feelings about monogamous commitment. She may need him to reaffirm his beliefs when it comes to that, to be able to regain her faith in him.

  65. Bonnie Christman says:

    Great conversation. However, it’s really difficult to find a male person who can be that understanding and compassionate when they are put in that position- they become defensive and transfer back to you- just saying. They usually do not want to do the hard work and leave it up to you. I would wait until they could talk in person and ask again to see the content of the text- if he is unable to share after full discussion of the circumstances- that means he IS hiding something and either is afraid of does not care as much as you do.

  66. Gale Scaramuzza says:

    I think he should show her the text messages. Also unless they were in high school, and they clearly are not (because he’s on a work related trip), by 3 years he should have asked her to marry him. I never was in a relationship, since being out of school, for more than 3 months that my guy didn’t ask me to marry him. Unfortunately, I never met a man that I wanted to marry. So I was the one to break it off. Okay, I did string it along for years. But that just goes to show how uncommitted a person is if they don’t commit by (fill in the amount) years.

  67. Marly Jimera says:

    If it was the first errant message and her person asks that she trust him, she should at least give her guy the benefit of the doubt. It is also just right that she call his attention, letting him know that she wasn’t suspicious for no reason at all, that she isn’t someone who’s dumb! It would be best perhaps for her to let things rest this first time because putting her guy on the defensive might widen and strain an imaginary relationship gap that wasn’t there in the first place.

  68. Lynne says:

    Very interesting. I think you read my mind. Last night at 9:15 I got two texts from my guy friend. It said going to my friends granddaughters wedding, the one who puts me up in Florida. I’m like an escort service. He then called me and said the text was meant for his grown granddaughter. We are going to a wedding in California in ten days. I said did you think I would be mad and he said yes. This morning I thought more about it and thought why would his granddaughter be texting him about the wedding at nine o’clock at night. I now don’t believe him and think he was actually replying to another woman. I just don’t trust him as early on in our relationship after we were intimate two years ago he told me he was seeing another woman. She is no longer in the picture. While we have a good relationship we do not have a commitment. We are both in our 70’s and I know he would never want to live together. So I can accept what I have or I can question him about the text and open Pandora’s box. I feel we really need to put our relationship on the table and I need to know does he want to be with me and also socially date other women. And if that’s the case then our intimacy must end. He can’t eat his cake and have it too. So what do I do? Am I being paranoid ?

  69. Paula says:

    For this situation: It should not be discussed via telephone. However, if she has had insecurities in the past, the screenshot shot have been sent along with a message stating that they would discuss it further when he got home. Should she find he has been faithful, she knows what she needs to do. They have been together for over 3 years.

    I have been dating my boyfriend for less than a year, but we have known each other for 18 years. Both of our exes cheated on us and we have both have agreed to be faithful to one another. This last year, we had allowed a small family to stay with us, as they had no where else to go. This couple cheated on each other and the female of the couple, has and to this day (even though I have proven time and again, I have been faithful) that I am cheating on him each and every time I leave the house. His ex-wife has even convinced him that I am cheating!!! I have records of where and what I was doing when I supposedly was cheating. I leave my phone alone, unlocked at all times so he can go through it if he wants to. And he has, my children have told me. I love my better half with everything I am. But this has to stop somehow, someway, this all HAS to stop. What do I do?

  70. Janet Roy says:

    I totally agree with you both here…the one question I have is…is he projecting HIS insecurities? Is he worried that she discover something he wants to hide. Been there. I tuned down my Spidey senses and trusted to find out later on that my gut feeling was correct.

  71. Maggie says:

    yeah the way he reacted, turning it into her problem, and that she is a source of that issue even though it’s him who sent it… not a good sign. Also everythinbg he said is beautifully logical, which seems very thought throught. The truth is rarly that…

    I am sorry if it will be insensitive, but if he is lying, he is really talented in recovering from possibile worst mess ever.. I would be afraid of him…

  72. Thuraya says:

    This is difficult, but if she doubts him he must have given her a reason to.

    On the other hand, asking for a screenshot is a full on in the face (I don’t trust you) message which could be perceived as disrespectful(and not necessarily a solution to proving his innocence)
    The message is neutral, it may have had flirting potential.
    I’m more interested in her sudden insecurity…or is it sudden?
    His point is, if he did that, he makes her entitled to distrusting him. (And this game should not even start) I get him. Because if he was faithful this is a discussion he wouldn’t even want to have.
    But it is also sort of distancing her. I think as Matthew says. But giving her a screenshot entitles her. In the end, it depends on how much he cares about her insecurity. Will he let it escalate or will he explain it?
    She will doubt him more now for being defensive. I think they need to have an honest conversation because I don’t believe her insecurity is solely about this message.

  73. C4 says:

    Catching my partner in truths is very important.
    Being caught in a truth is very important. There’s no reason why he couldn’t put her mind at ease. Also, Maybe he was being hit on by an aggressive female work friend and was trying to thwart the situation by saying she’s being just too aggressive and maybe he was really feeling uncomfortable the whole trip and he could have shared that with his partner too.

  74. Natasha says:

    Misunderstandings happen, however I firmly believe that this guy is damaging the relationship. Instead of belittling his girlfriend for her insecurity (that he helped create with this text message), he should be willing to assauge her fears. It takes a second to send that screenshot to show her nothing shady is happening and they can have a laugh about it. Instead he chooses to make her feel worse. Probably because there is something he’s hiding and the best way to deflect that is make your girl feel shame for asking a legit question.

  75. KD says:

    It’s a hard situation. Sometimes I’m not sure if it comes from a place of insecurity but more sometimes a gut feeling . I had a situation that was similar happen to me. I had been married for a few years and my husband was gone a lot for work and when he called me one night he was out drinking and I could hear women in the background and he mentioned that he was at a bar but something just seemed off, nothing really gave me reason to think he was cheating except this feeling I had. It kept nagging at me and when he got home I asked him about. He got really defensive and he said he couldn’t believe I would even accuse him of such a thing. He told me I was crazy and insecure. I felt like I really had no leg to stand on because I really didn’t have much to go off beside this feeling I had. So I believed him and really thought I was just crazy or insecure. Then couple months go by and we were lying bed just chatting about life and he all of sudden just blurted out that he in fact did cheat on me that trip. I felt pretty angry and wasn’t so much the cheating but I felt really shitty about myself for months thinking I was horrible person for not trusting him. He let me believe that I was insecure and jealous. I get we all have insecurities but I feel like men really like to through that in our face or play that card way too much. Its like heaven forbid we even get a little upset even when they know damn well they are in the wrong and we get called insecure, too sensitive, nagging or crazy when we have every right to be upset when they did something wrong. I feel like a lot of women are afraid to even bring something like that up or stick up for themselves because we afraid we will be automatically labeled on of those things.

  76. Angela Elliott says:

    In response to the video “ is he cheating!” Here is my question. 31/2 years and no engagement? REALLY??!?! Look,I don’t know the whole situation but YOU know if he is cheating or not. A woman knows!! There are signs and you know that!
    If your not planning a wedding by now after 3 years of dating you are wasting valuable time…..I dont know the age of these two but as a 50 yr old woman, life is short and you deserve to be totally happy. With that being said you must also realize there are some ‘women’ who are just nasty. They will flirt no matter what!! Sad but true. But he should have sent screenshot to you. Hopefully it wasn’t her sister or mother . Anyway, pray about this! If God isn’t the center of you relationship, it will NEVER work!!

  77. Victoria says:

    I’ve been in a situation where my current partner found some private videos from a previous fling in my Google photos app. He brought it up with me a few days later and I instantly whipped my phone out to see what he was asking about. I showed him the date they were from (2 years prior to our relationship and I had no idea they were saved there) If you’ve nothing to hide then there shouldn’t be any issue backing that up. Is it really that hard to be kind and considerate to someone and understand they may need that visual proof to ease their anxiety? Throwing the blame back on them and making out like they’re helping you is a rubbish excuse that a narcissist would use.

  78. Francine Ward says:

    I definitely agree with Matt and Jameson about the guys response to his girl. The fact that he responded with “you have to just trust me” and “I am not going to feed into your insecurities ” is just making the situation worse. If anything, by him saying these things helps to increase her insecurities and makes look like he has something to hide. As partners, both people need to agree to support each other, and alot of the time it requires both to come together through compromise and love to work the situation out, i.e. This guy if he really cares about her needs to show her the “receipts”, (screen shots of the conversation), and be open to having a real conversation about how each others feelings instead of being dismissive.

  79. bloo says:

    He’s too shady for my liking, my senses tell me he’s got a lot that he’s hiding

  80. Gail Morales-Cummings says:

    I agree with your advice Matthew. If the woman had asked her boyfriend 10 times to see his phone, then he had a right to try to teach her a lesson. But if this was the first time, he trying to teach her a lesson did not help her trust him. It only caused doubts. He could have avoided the doubts by just showing the screenshots.

  81. Jamie says:

    You are spot on. She was completely within her rights to ask and, based on previous experience, he was likely hiding something. People who have nothing to hide and care about how something they have done made someone they care about feel usually very easily share. Just my two cents.

  82. Izabela says:

    I had the same situation but from man’s side. I showed him the conversation and after 1 minute the all story just end without any emotional heaviness and drama. He can have doubts, because today’s world it’s crazy, but I have nothing to hide, plus I didn’t took his request as an attack to my faithfulness. Let’s not put so emotional baggage and find the easy solution not making a drama were it’s isn’t. He can have insecurities, because I am a woman who attract many men (I am a professional dancer) , but I can leave my phone open next to him. I can’t control what the other men write to me, but the most important is how I respond (or not respond at all). As you said, a couple it’s a team. Work it out fast without freaking out (if you have nothing to hide, it will not cost you anything to clear things up, put your ego on the side).

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