Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “I Don’t Trust My Boyfriend to Go to Strip Clubs”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I just recently read another column of yours regarding strip clubs and boyfriends, but the girl asking the question was not that worried about her boyfriend cheating. I’m in a different situation and would like your help. I’m older than my man and currently pregnant with his baby. He likes to go to strip clubs quite often, and I absolutely hate it because I don’t fully trust him in that environment and I have reasons for the mistrust. How do I get him to stop going to strip clubs? Do I give him the ultimatum or just break up with him and raise this baby by myself? Please help. — Strip Club Worries

If you have reasons to mistrust your boyfriend, then it doesn’t matter whether he goes to the strip clubs or not. Your trust for him doesn’t increase or decrease by where he spends his time. That isn’t how trust works. You either trust the guy or you don’t, and, clearly, you don’t. If he were to stop going to strip clubs, there would probably be some other behavior of his that would worry you because you don’t trust him. Deal with THAT and, if you can’t, then, yes, MOA and raise your baby as a single parent.

My fiancé and I have been together for almost four years and we have a little girl. We don’t have a car so my older sister helps us with groceries, bills, etc. It’s only the two of them who go out; I stay home all the time. She tells him just about everything that goes on in her relationship, which is really really bad. She’s even told him she wishes she has what I do: a man who takes care of me. I don’t know whom to trust. They just talk about each other a lot to me when they’re separate from each other. Please help! — Jealous of Boyfriend and Sister

It’s ironic that your sister thinks you have a man who takes care of you when, clearly, if it weren’t for your needing your sister’s help buying groceries (and paying bills?), then it seems like she and your boyfriend wouldn’t have the opportunity to spend so much time alone together. But even if you do need her help, there’s no reason it always has to be your boyfriend who runs these errands with her. Why can’t you go along? Why can’t your boyfriend stay home (and watch your little girl if you don’t want to take her)? Why do you never leave your home? The problem here is that you aren’t spending enough quality time with your boyfriend (do you EVER have dates? do you ever do anything fun together just the two of you?) and he is finding the companionship he craves in the woman who is available to him — your sister. So stop giving them opportunities to spend alone time together and make alone time for the two of you a bigger priority.

My husband has been chatting and sending explicit jokes to my cousin via social media since November last year. He even claimed to have met her on the road this year February when he traveled overseas. I found out the day before yesterday that he has deleted the previous chats he had with her from his phone. My cousin hasn’t said a word to me. After questioning her in regards to meeting my husband, she just said yes. Do you think this is normal? — Suspicious of Husband and Cousin

Is it normal for someone to meet up with a relative in another country while in that country for work or pleasure? Yes. Even if that person is a relative by marriage, that seems like a normal thing to do. If the online chatting and sending of explicit jokes between your husband and your cousin causes you concern though, you need to pay attention to your gut and talk with him about your suspicions. Like the first letter in today’s shortcuts, if you don’t trust your man, you need to deal with that. If you are snooping in his phone and social media accounts (which is how I assume you know details about his correspondence with your cousin), you obviously have trust issues. Deal with those — seek the help of a therapist — and stop fixating on the details of your husband’s behavior because that’s not going to get you anywhere.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

9 comments… add one
  • kmentothat April 3, 2015, 9:20 am

    Look, I’ll disagree a bit that letters are all centered on the LW needing to deal with trust issues. It seems they have to deal with respect and boundary issues as well. LW 1 for example, if she tells her bf she absolutely hates him going to strip clubs and he still goes “quite often,” I see that as him really not caring at all what she thinks. Obviously we can’t all be throwing boundaries on everything to the point of controlling each other, but when someone blatantly disregards the feelings of his pregnant significant other over something that isn’t exactly imperative for him to do, it really gives me pause. I’d be exploring in what other ways he minimizes or ignores her feelings or boundaries…which is a larger/equal issue as trust.

    Per LW 2, why is the onus exclusively on her for carving time for just the two of them? I would be suspicious in her situation, because it seems again her husband isn’t respecting her needs and is prioritizing time with her sister. Does she ever ask to go along? Does he expect her to take on the bulk of childrearing and doesn’t want the child along on errands, so she is always left out (in which case, no moms need time away form the kiddos too!)? I’ve been cheated on a number of times, and my spidey sense says that the reason they are talking a lot about each other to you and sharing emotional intimacy is that they want to, and don’t care how you feel about it. You are in a precarious situation in that she provides for you. Are you able to save for a car? Or take public transit to a part time job? How long will you be dependent on your sister? Build ways to independence, be firm in telling them that while you appreciate that they have become friendly, you’d prefer to be included from here on out, and be clear to your husband that his sharing of intimate relationship details isn’t appropriate. Oh and if he expects you to stay home and take care of your little girl all the time and never takes care of her solo so you can get some personal time, he sucks. Period.

    LW 3, I don’t support snooping. But I find it very, very, odd that you found out after the fact that he met up with your relative and they are both remaining totally silent on the matter. Again I think it’s obvious to both of them that this and their explicit jokes and ongoing conversations let alone meeting up without telling you would have made you at least a bit uncomfortable, and did it anyways with no attempt to be transparent or reassuring. I’d be checking in with myself to see if this is a pattern with him just doing what he wants and not respecting your feelings . But yeah, where I come from flirting with my cousin and secretly meeting up with her in another country and refusing to talk about it…MOA.

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    • Cassie April 3, 2015, 2:55 pm

      I agree with you. It’s not enough to tell a LW to work on trust issues. They should trust if their SO is demonstrating trustworthiness. Otherwise they are just sticking their heads in the sand.

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      • Stonegypsy April 3, 2015, 3:05 pm

        But, that’s kind of the point. You either can trust a person or you can’t. And if you can’t, then that relationship is doomed anyway, and it’s time to move on.

      • kmentothat April 3, 2015, 4:30 pm

        Idk, I had trust issues that I brought into my relationship (from past ones), was very open about it, and since have worked on it and have a very healthy and trusting relationship (he was a patient man, I communicated and he respected my boundaries, time helped develop more trust, and I never violated his privacy).
        I feel like saying it’s just a trust issue is a little limiting, “Your trust for him doesn’t increase or decrease by where he spends his time” would generally be true…but it doesn’t take into account personal boundaries. I have friend whose bf totally gaslights her for not being “trusting” because she had an issue with one particular female friend…who he then flew across the country with, shared a hotel room with, and spent Valentine’s Day weekend with for a “conference” and told her he booked it without telling her because it was “easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” Meanwhile he hadn’t visited his long distance gf in months. She isn’t a jealous or untrusting person at all, he just totally ignored her feelings and personal boundaries. I feel like ALL of these LW issues aren’t about trust, but rather, douchbags.

  • Addie Pray April 3, 2015, 10:17 am

    What Wendy and Kmentothat said.

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  • Wendy (not Wendy) April 3, 2015, 2:13 pm

    I hate it when snooping is automatically labeled as “trust issues”. The snooper isn’t necessarily the one with the issues.

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  • Stonegypsy April 3, 2015, 2:35 pm

    He goes to strip clubs quite often? That seems like a really expensive habit.
    I have nothing more to add. WWS

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    • kmentothat April 3, 2015, 4:34 pm

      If I am carrying your child and you are wasting money on strippers, uffffffffffffffffffff.

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  • j.walker April 6, 2015, 11:55 am

    Not sure I’ll ever understand the concept of frequenting strip clubs as just a regular dude. Perhaps as a rich old bossed up dude it might be a cool place to conduct business but just a regular dude like FREQUENTLY going to strip clubs alone? Or with bros? (“let’s all get turned on together, dudes!”) Again, for a bachelor party I can see the kitsch value but on a regular basis it just weirds me out.

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