Text Cheating? Can You Trust Her?

The Bad Guy asks:

“My live in GF for past 9+ years gave me her cell phone to fix video settings. I went to gallery to test settings and there were these pics of a man. In sequence started dressed down till nude with close up. I left the latter pic up and handed her the phone. She said it was a friend who sent them to her last year for her birthday. Understand that today is her birthday and she had them for a year. There were also pics of her that she said she sent to me. I never received them. I didn’t continue to prob being my heart just hurt. Bottom line, I am the bad guy cuz I’m upset and she thinks I should trust her, even after she had another friend a few years ago come to our house and take seductive pics of her. I also found out after the fact. She said she had them taken for me as a gift. I never received. She is super defensive and making it like i did wrong. I should trust her? Well, what do u think? Could she be trust worthy?”

Hey Bad Guy,

OK, Razor Ramon. This is one of my favorite questions I’ve gotten in a long time. Mostly because it sounds like something one of the women on my other list would send in . . . then I’d answer it and would get an entire Facebook wall full of “THE GUY IS A SCUMBAG AND SHE SHOULD DUMP HIM” type stuff.

(Actually, it would be way worse than that.)

But when you swap the genitals like this things suddenly get way more interesting and way more complicated.

So let’s dive in in handy numbered form:

1. This reminds me of something really stupid I did.

A few years back I was driving out to go paragliding with some friends. My girlfriend was sitting in the back seat and asked to see my (then brand spanking new) iPad. Later that night we were hanging out at the bunk house about to go to bed when she looked me in the eye and very calmly (my girlfriend is weird) said “So, who are all the nude women in your iPhoto?”

Which made my… shrivel up and try to hide inside my body.

Because those photos were women I used to date . . . or at least sleep with. And because if I was with almost any other woman in the world her finding those photos would have caused a rift in our relationship as deep and potent as the Razor’s Edge itself.

(Yes, I’m going to keep making wrestling references since you called yourself “The Bad Guy.”)

But point A is: Your girlfriend really should have been smarter about this. Even if there’s a innocent reason to have those pics on her phone she should have been smart enough to wipe the photos off before handing it to you.

2. Why were you looking through her photos?
OK, I’ve fixed a couple iPhones (and Androids) in the past, and I’m pretty sure the settings and the photos are nowhere near each other. So why were you digging through her photos in the first place?

Personally I’ve got a strict policy on this kind of thing. My policy is that I will NEVER (ever) look at anything on my girlfriend’s cell phone unless she explicitly tells me too. Texts, photos, browser history, who she called, whatever. It’s not my business.

And I expect the same from her. Yeah, yeah, I hear from couples all the time who say that they have “absolute openness” but I think that’s crap.

Trust to me doesn’t mean laying everything on the table all the time, it means knowing that your partner is human and giving them the privacy and the freedom they need to be trustworthy.

So . . . stupid move for digging through her photos. That was a little Razor Ramon.

3. The Photos On The Phone.
OK, this is where things get a little weird. Who was the “Friend” who sent her the half nude dude photos? Was it a guy? Was it a girl sending pics of a guy?

It’s totally possible that the guy who sent the photos (I’m assuming it was a guy) really was just a “friend” but that’s still a pretty damned flirty thing to do. And the fact that she’s getting mad at you and making you into the villain on this one seems like the usual “deflect and attack” behavior.

Even if nothing funny ever happened with this guy it’s still . . . well . . . inappropriate.

4. Seductive Photos.
I actually had a girlfriend do this once. She paid a pro photographer to take some hot photos of her and gave them to me for my birthday. I still have them tucked away somewhere even though that girlfriend and I aren’t together anymore. They’re kind of awesome.

But . . .

Did she have any explanation why she never gave you the pics?

So here’s my last read on this whole thing . . .
1. You were a douche for going through her photos. Bad form.

BUT . . .

2. Something wonky is going on. She’s either an exhibitionist or she’s not happy in the relationship and is looking for an excuse to make you the bad guy or she’s been cheating on you. Or maybe not. Maybe she just likes pics of dudes in their underwear.

But something is fundamentally broken here. The communication and the love between you guys is twisted and bent like roller coaster tracks after an earthquake.

What you really need to do is talk like adults. You need to sit down without the screaming and the yelling and the pain and actually figure out what’s going on 9 years in.

I’m actually working on a program called “Never Fight Again” that tells you EXACTLY how to do that. But for now know this . . ..

You’re not the bad guy.

You’ve got every right to be upset. (If you were the girl and she was the guy everybody would already say that.)

But the best thing you can do is man up and talk like a rational human. Because something is rotten in Denmark.

Michael Fiore

About Michael Fiore

Since early 2010, Michael’s been teaching men and women around the world how to use simple digital tools to dramatically improve their relationships.

He lives in Seattle, Washington with his (frankly incredible) fiance.

Dating, Mens, SexBookmark


  1. April says:

    She is definitely NOT trustworthy. Wake Up. Secondly, what on earth are you together with someone for N I N E years and still not married? Unless you hooked up at the age of TEN this is unacceptable. Net – if you want it to be all yours then put a ring on it and make her an HONEST woman, otherwise, don’t be surprised she is so dishonest! Also don’t be surprised when some other guy comes along who is serious (eg. doesn’t dally around 9 years) and steals her from you. If I was a guy, I would consider her fair game!

  2. Phil says:

    Well, Mike, the guy said he went to test the video settings. That’s why he saw the photos. Besides, she asked him to fix it. So if he saw anything, I don’t see any issue with it. But I also say that if they’ve been together 9 years and aren’t married, that’s a big issue as well. Seems like she’s found a way to stay in the relationship and get needs she needs to be fulfilled. I bet she thinks this is their unwritten understanding.

  3. Zobr says:

    She’s cheating on u for sure. You haven’t looked at her phone ever before. This happened and u were meant to catch her. Friend sent them my ass!!!

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