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Elvis Expected Total Fidelity From His Girlfriends Despite His Constant Cheating

Elvis Expected Total Fidelity From His Girlfriends Despite His Constant Cheating

Elvis Presley only ever married Priscilla Presley, but he had multiple girlfriends in his lifetime. He made demands of his girlfriends’ appearances and behavior, demanding complete devotion and fidelity from them. Despite this expectation, Elvis was rarely loyal to his partners. He consistently had affairs with other women.

Elvis Presley wanted total fidelity from his girlfriends

When Priscilla and Elvis began dating, he spent their nights together describing his ideal woman. He liked blue-eyed brunettes who would shape their opinions to perfectly match his. He wanted his relationship to align with traditional gender roles, and he expected full fidelity from his partner.

“Fidelity was very important to him, especially on the woman’s part,” Priscilla wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “He constantly reminded me that his girl had to be completely constant.”

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley stand in front of a red curtain while people throw confetti at them. He wears a tuxedo and she wears a wedding dress and veil.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Despite this, Elvis wasn’t loyal to any of his girlfriends. Even at the very start of his relationship with Priscilla, she could tell he wasn’t being faithful.

“Despite his moralizing, I feared Elvis wasn’t always faithful to me,” she wrote. “His bantering with some of the other girls at his house made me think that he might be intimately familiar with him.”

Elvis Presley talked about another one of his girlfriends with Priscilla

Priscilla was right. When they first met, Elvis was in a relationship with another woman, Anita Wood. He even complained to Priscilla about her.

“He admitted that he was concerned about Anita,” Priscilla wrote. “She was a Memphis beauty queen and television personality. Elvis said that lately her letters had become impersonal, and he suspected she had been with another man.”

A black and white picture of Elvis Presley and Anita Wood dancing in a crowd together.
Anita Wood and Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images

Elvis was in a romantic relationship with Priscilla at the time, but the hypocrisy of his words appeared to be lost on him. He spoke about Anita frequently while on the phone with Priscilla. 

“Occasionally, he’d talk about Anita, saying their relationship wasn’t what he had expected when he returned from the Army,” Priscilla wrote. “He was no longer sure he wanted to be with her. I didn’t know where I stood. Time and distance had created doubts and questions; I wanted to ask him, ‘Where do I fit in your life? Or do I?’”

Ultimately, Elvis’ relationship with Priscilla led Wood to end her years-long romance with the musician.

Priscilla wasn’t sure that he could have ever lived with only one woman

Years later, Elvis’ constant infidelity led to the breakdown of his marriage to Priscilla. While she loved him, she struggled to deal with his cheating. 

“He wasn’t faithful, not that he had someone special, but when you’re in the entertainment business there is always that and I tried to turn my back to that, but I just didn’t want to share him. Simple as that,” she told Sunday Night, per Today. “As much as he wanted to be married and have a family, I don’t know if he was ever cut to be married because I don’t think he could ever be faithful to one woman.”

The couple divorced in 1973.