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Ethan Hawke: Relationships Can't Hang on Sexual Fidelity

Ethan Hawke: Relationships Can't Hang on Sexual Fidelity

Ethan Hawke is broodingly handsome for this fashion feature from one of Mr. Porter‘s November 2013 issues.

Here is what the 43-year-old actor had to share with the mag:

On his relationship with his wife Ryan: “My relationship with my present wife is thrilling to me and I’m committed to it. But neither she nor I know what shape the future will come in. Sexual fidelity can’t be the whole thing you hang your relationship on. If you really love somebody you want them to grow, but you don’t get to define how that happens. They do.”

On his divorce from Uma Thurman: “We tried to be as optimistic as we could be: we all want to believe in love and the possibility of love. The older you get, the more you realise how powerful love is. You understand the right ways for emotion to lead your life and the dangerous ways. I don’t regret marrying early. Gattaca was a great moment in my life and a great moment in Uma Thurman’s life and we fell madly in love and wanted to do all that.”

On the general view of monogamy: “People have such a childish view of monogamy and fidelity. ‘He’s cheated so he’s bad, she’s cheated so she’s bad’, as opposed to a recognition that our species is not monogamous. To act all indignant, that your world has been rocked because your lover wasn’t faithful to you, is a little bit like acting rocked that your hair went grey. I am [monogamous], but in Before Midnight there is the threat of sexual attraction to others and maintaining your sexual identity with your partner over a long period of time. Human beings are sexual beings.”

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Photos: Mr Cedric Bihr
Posted to: Ethan Hawke, Magazine

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  • Guest

    He seems like a a-hole making excuses for him cheating in his relationships and using his own pseudo philosophy to make it seem like it’s ok

  • guest


    lmao i agree with this.


    He’s right! Amen Ethan

  • janekay

    I am female and agree with him as well…

  • lissa


  • mia

    wow, he looks rough. Sorry Ethan, if anyone cheats it will probably be your younger wife.

  • nina

    He is an idiot. If you can’t be faithful then don’t get married, don’t be in a committed relationship. Unless you have an open relationship, cheating will never be ok.

  • rhea

    I hope his wifey cheats on him. It’s only natural, right, Ethan?

  • Diedre

    He comes across like such a douche. All that ‘philosophical’ double talk is crap. What he’s really saying is that he’s monogamous right now (maybe) but if he feels like cheating in future he’ll do it under the guise of ‘growing’.
    Uma Thurman is so much better off without this @ss hat.

  • Ha

    What a big fat load of BULL. Damn. How idiotic of a reasoning. I guess men will be men? Ugh. If you’re a woman and you agree with him, you’re not a simple woman, you’re a hoe. Sorry, honey. Don’t get married in the first place if you’re not going to be committed to that one person and stay faithful to her/him. It’s unfair to go cheat on someone who loves you. Me personally, I haven’t been cheated on but if it ever happens, I won’t accept it. And I’ll leave the cheater because I DON’T SHARE =) …. If I’m in an “open relationship”, yeah maybe? But if I consider it serious. It stays serious!

  • siennagold

    Sounds like a jerk and a moron. I wouldn’t be surprised if his relationship with his present wife will end in divorce in the future.

  • Maggi

    @Guest and @Diedre – Couldn’t have said it better.

  • Yawn

    ‘My present wife’

    This phrasing should have her on her toes! He’s way past the 7-year itch…

  • Isa

    Not sure I agree with him … It’s weird ways to associate his wife with his thougts about cheating !

  • DanaJ

    You can call him names but that won’t change the fact that the man is 100% right.

  • Wurry

    He is being candid and a lot of people (men and women) like myself happen to agree with him. He has an emotionally mature view on relationships, devotion and individual indentity or I think so anyway. The reason he is speaking about this is because it was asked of him as it relates to the ‘Before’ films, he didn’t just start talking about it. lol.
    And both him and Uma were seeing other people. And she was known to do drugs with other men, so it wasn’t totally him although he took all of the grief of course.

  • living in a box

    so let me get this straight, cheating is okay as long you still love your spouse/partner. thank god, this guy career is over. nowdays, he only make stupid horror movie.

  • Adam

    He’s entitled to his opinion and for some people that works but as a man and a gay one I can tell you in all honesty being monogamous for me is like second nature. It’s an easy process if I love the one I am with and it’s a desire that lingers regardless of how I grow. I am lead by emotion and not my loins so in regards to the human species as a whole not being monogamous I call, bollocks! He’s probably already slipped with his current wife and that’s how he justifies it and that’s just his weakness to sex. It doesn’t apply to me. I enjoy being with just one guy emotionally and physically

  • Ivana

    o boy, what a douche…

  • Ivana

    o boy, what a douche…

  • Mandy

    LOL people come with every type of excuse to make it right to be a selfish, cheating a$$hole. Its so funny that he tries to romanticizise cheating “If you really love somebody you want them to grow”. He tries to find all this excuses and all this reasons why its ok that he cheated, so he can keep being this good-romantic-guy persona, when in reallity he is just one of many selfish, cheating a$$holes. You are nothing special Ethan, just because you thing you have special reasons to cheat. In the end you are just a selfish, cheating a$$hole, like all the others.

  • Lol

    @Wurry: Its so laughable, how your Ethan fans like to trash Uma, to make Ethan look better. But you will not change the truth. It just makes you as cheap as Ethan.

  • me me me

    @Adam: hear hear..good for you Adam…we are all entitled to our opinion:)

    Being that Ethan “cheated” to get with his current partner, the former babysitter..I am sure the lady is well aware of his perceptions and is okay with it.

    As long as the people within the cirle of sharing fluid understand and accept actions and resulting consequences ….hmm then enjoy

    I am thankful that ethan said it out loud, I certainly will not seek a relationship with him knowing his opinions upfront.

    Be more hateful towards those who do not disclose thier opions and lie thier way into a relationship only to admit they cant follow the monogamy route.

  • Liza

    There is no excuse for cheating. If you are unhappy with he partner, break off from the relationship but do not cheat and lie and deceive your partner. Cheating is a choice made by cowards and deceitful people.

  • ladyb

    His wife better start heading for the hills. Looks like he’s going to break her heart.

  • 3

    @nina: Exactly. If monogamy is unnatural, then why get married in the first place? If you want to “grow” and experience other people, then that should be put on the table in the beginning, so that both people know where they stand. The biggest issue people have with cheating is the lying and deceit that is involved. It takes an actual effort to manipulate the person you love which could be very hurtful.

  • Translation of this article…

    ..HE’S not the one who’s been cheated on yet! Wait until this wife of his or someone else down the line does it to him. Let’s see how liberal he stays.

  • Translation of this article…

    PS. It’s weird how playas and romantic con men have double standards when it comes to a woman’s behavior. Hugh Hefner is a perfect example. He’s has always wandered on his centerfold wives and mistresses but they are made to sign a contract stating that they are to be sexually faithful to him regardless!

  • mom50

    I used to love him… before he started talking.

  • kylie

    We’re also a species with brains and intelligence (at least some of us) so that we can think things through and make decisions based on that. Do we impulsively cheat because we feel like it? Well our intelligence should cause us to consider the consequences of that behavior. We as humans (unless we are mentally incapacitated) have the power and the will to stay monogamous if we want to. We don’t steal something because we impulsively want it…well most of us. So, his theory is just a crock of sh&t. That said, I agree with those who say that if monogamy is not the goal then why marry at all? What the heck is the purpose? Being legally married becomes pointless without certain boundaries.

  • Really

    Not ageing well…

  • Dee

    He is just being honest, some of us choose to be monogomous and and some don’t. It’s no big deal, just human nature. As long as both partners agree on the ground rules, who cares what they do.

    Frankly, I think most people in Hollywood have open relationships, and many more outside of Hollywood have open relationships, they just don’t tell you.

  • Lol

    Having open relationships is not the problem. Getting married with a person who is faithful to you and you cheat, THATS A PROBLEM. If you want an open relationship, tell it your partner BEFOREHAND. Dont get into a monogamous relationship and when you get caught cheating, start talking about how “If you love your partner” you want me to grow stuff. If you want an open relationship just say it. Dont cheat first and then say it.

  • YUKK!!!

    Talk about the life you lead showing revealing itself in one’s face? The way Ethan Hawkes looks now, wife Ryan is gonna be the one doin’ the cheatin’!!!

  • How Obtuse!!

    @Liza: I couldn’t agree with you more! Oddly enough, I also agree (somewhat) with his statement that our “species is not monogamous”… if only to account for the “un-evolved” following their “lower drives” without thought. However, when we add higher thinking, I don’t see how it’s possible to divorce ourselves from the fact that “cheating” is extremely destructive to the one we supposedly love, and to the relationship itself.

    Additionally, his statement of “people have such a childish view of monogamy and fidelity” is profoundly absurd!! Considering the fact that the leading definitions for these two words are, Monogamy: the condition or practice of having a single mate during a period of time… And Fidelity: the quality or state of being faithful.

    With the above mentioned, why would a person who has entered a relationship where “monogamy and fidelity” have been agreed upon, not act “indignant” when they are not adhered to? Absurd! It is far more “childish” to assume broken trust is not something that needs addressing!! He would have been better off stopping at “Sexual fidelity can’t be the whole thing you hang a relationship on”. There is at least some value in that statement because of the opportunity to forgive, and to weigh your priorities so that you can make the best decision for yourself, your family and your relationship.

    IMHO, if you want to consider yourself a mature and “decent” person then you treat people with respect! Be honest with people, most of all the people you have CHOSEN to “commit” yourself to… if you don’t want to commit yourself to a monogamous relationship, or practice fidelity, then DON’T! No harm-no-foul! You can establish a relationship in whatever form works for you… even in marriage you can write your own vow’s that can be tailor-made. There is no need to betray a trust! And furthermore we don’t live in a society where we are devoid of accountability… why should people not be held accountable for their actions? Because they can’t keep their pants zipped (male or female)?

    I have no idea what his “story” is, but I gather that he cheated on his first wife from this bogus rant, and even sillier “pseudo philosophy”. He’s being completely obtuse! As if he didn’t realize the moment (if not much earlier) he unzipped his pants for someone other than his wife, that he was making a clear choice to disrespect his wife, himself, his family and HIS commitment! He did it; he should own it… this is truly the only way to “grow” if that’s what he’s after. How I ask is he to grow if he can’t simply admit to any wrong doing by cheating? I would have more respect for him if he just said (for whatever reason) it wasn’t working, I cheated… it happens. Than trying to hide behind the BS in these words of his… if he truly believes that monogamy is not natural, then why did he take vows yet again?

    I don’t live in a bubble, and I get it… sh!t happens! But when it does it’s called a mistake or a transgression! To pretend otherwise is, I’ll say it again… ABSURD! But that’s the problem with pseudo intellectual’s who assume their command of vocabulary and ability to “spin” concepts is anything more then justifying their own arrogance.

  • chelsea

    Don’t want to be monogamous? DONT GET MARRIED THEN!

  • Peanut Gallery

    That “our species is not monogamous” is slightly assumption laden don’t ya think? Monogamy might not be innate (debatable), but it is a possibility by way of our unique capacity (as rational beings) to choose it–an ability some might argue separates us from the other animals.

  • Ami

    Being faithful in relationships is hard. Cheating is easy. That’s the reason it seems like human beings are not monogamous. Human beings (including you Ethan) like to take the easy way out. If you want to sleep around do so and don’t start relationships or get MARRIED. Your present wife is in for a rude awakening just like YOUR EX.

  • GFW

    I’m in the don’t get married group. When you marry you take a vow. And when we do this it is in a church and before God, family, friends, and all that jazz. Do not marry if you feel in the long run you’re incapable of keeping that vow. There is no need to be married then. I don’t care if you’re an actor, or work at Home Depot, just don’t do it. My prediction is this time next year he’ll be ISO of another wife.

  • ladyb

    I agree with most that if you want to sleep around and know you are not going to honor your vows, don’t get married. It’s actually in the Bible – if you can’t commit to one person, don’t get married. But I also believe that he talks this way because he’s the one that does the cheating and not his partner. The guy needs to realize how extremely painful and betraying it is to be cheated on and maybe he will realize that one day…..I will look for the Bible verse and come back and post it.

  • wow

    You have no idea what goes on in other people’s relationships Who are you to judge? Screaming about how cheating is never ok!! just makes you look like a loser who spends too much time on the internet. Fidelity is a topic for individual couples to tackle.

  • Guest

    @wow What in the hell are you talking about? Ethan isn’t talking about his relationships. He’s talking about this view of fidelity. People aren’t judging his relationships, they are responding to a stupid comment he made. You’re comment about people being losers is stupid.

    Good job, “Bro”. Get a clue.

  • Otto

    @living in a box: well, u nickname says it all…..

  • http://JustJared Jan

    Geez…just what every woman or man wants – a partner who is looking at other people as a possible sex partner. For every moment you invest in a stranger, is a moment taken away from your partner. Betrayal and lack of trust and lack of commitment are killers of any relationship. He says people are “sexual people”, but it sounds like he has low self-esteem and needs approval from other women.

  • The reward of love is trust.

    When we share our bodies, hearts and minds with another other than our, in this case married partner, neither get all of us. We’re divided. A divided soul is one at unrest. Ultimately it will end for all involved. The hurts will prevent trusting again. And trust is the hardest currency. If you can’t trust most likely it means you can’t be trusted. The reward of love is trust. Trust takes time to build like the foundations of a relationship, which are built on trust. It’s all about trust. How can you look at your partner knowing hours, minutes, days before they shed their clothing and became naked with another person? How is that sexy or wanted? 99.9.9% of all open relationships and marriages end because of divided emotions.

  • LOL

    he sounds like a døuche but he’s not far from the truth. I mean if there are so many people we have read about or known to have cheated and we have all met friends (couples) who experienced this..why be in denial about it. People cheat. And just because some don’t (or mastered not getting caught) why act childish and indignant. If you accept that it could happen the ego would not be so wounded.

  • Wurry

    I’m not a big fan of his. I just have an opinion.

  • Cheetah

    He calls his wife his “current wife,” as if he’s already planning to have another. He’s just another cheater (screwed the babysitter when he was married to Uma) and commitment-phobe trying to justify his failings. I don’t know what species he’s in, but I have no problem with monogamy in my species.

  • me me me


    The screwed baby siter is now the current wife…so they both know what they are in for…how you get them is how you lose them

  • Mark


    I agree because sexual orientation is in zero way a choice yet having sex unless rape or something horrible is a choice and people can make the choice to be with just one person or not. Granted, nature might tend to cause humans to want to cheat but humans are capable of horrific and wonderful things by choice and it’s more logical for humans to seek out that one soul mate and work on building a lifelong relationship. That’s what I am about to do now for the second time in life. The first one lasted 17 years but he just tossed it all away and nothing I could do even though my instinct was to stay and fixed things so this time, i seek Mr. Right not Mr. one night or Mr. Toss it out instead of fix it. I think the gay community is becoming more faithful than the straight community but both should be trying to stay with just one person imo.