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Is email flirting cheating? I have been with my boyfriend for 3 and a half years. I am really inlove with him but I have had doubts about our future for some time – his mother is rude and abrasive and he won’t stand up for me (so am worried about what the future holds if we have children), he no longer makes an effort with me and he has emailed a girl for the last 6 months and hidden it from me. What’s worse is that he has been discouraging me from going to see him play football (using the excuse of his lack of fitness and lack of spectators at matches generally) and when I really pushed him that I wanted to see him play he said I was being possessive – how ridiculous over a game of football! The girl is someone who is on the girls’ football team and both teams play and train together twice a week so I don’t understand why he would need to email her in addition to seeing her already and why he would hide it from me – I told him I saw her name in his regular contacts list and he looked sheepish and then admitted (when I questioned him) that he had now stopped contact and that he admitted she may have liked him. The emails never suggested anything had happened nor did they suggest meeting up outside football but they were slightly flirty and it’s not my boyfriend’s usual style (not does he like email much anyway hence my surprise at his longer than usual emails to a girl). This has really upset me as I now longer trust him – it isn’t just this, it’s for a variety of reasons that I think he puts himself first all the time and he will never change and the flirty emails to a girl who fancied him were the last straw!

 

Do you think I am reading too much into the emails? After all the secrecy, I am just worried the trust has gone and he will never put me first in his life. I have actually been a very easy going and loving girlfriend so I feel a bit put out!

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You are not overreacting. He was trying to hide this from you, so he obviously knew it wasn't on the up and up.

 

This combined with your other problems would prompt me to suggest that you cut your losses. Life is too short to be second place in your relationship.

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Ya - you are not overreacting here.

 

He is engaging in discreet conversation with someone of the opposite sex and is now telling you not to come to his football games? Its more then likely that the doesnt want you there because she is there.......you have every right to be upset here.

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Thank you so much to you both ... you are absolutely right. We actually took a break a couple of weeks ago (I Moved my stuff out of our flat back to my parents) to give us some space and he has sent me flowers, letters and called me to say he is sorry for taking me for granted and wants me now to come and see him play football. But he has hurt me so much that I think too little too late ...

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If you do want him back, tell him that you will require access to all his passwords; knowledge of where he is; no female contact that YOU can't be in contact with as well; and a plan for detaching himself from his mom.

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If it takes you moving out for him to appreciate you, it sounds like a losing proposition to take him back. If you do, more than likely his newfound appreciation will only last a short while, then he'll be back to the same-old, same-old tricks.

 

Based on what you've written about the emails and him dissuading you from going, there's no doubt there was mutual attraction going on. Whether he did or didn't physically cheat on you, who knows.

 

Either way, if he's willing to risk the relationship to the extent of taking it to the level of emailing with a girl who "may have liked him", smacks of ethical problems, problems that can easily crop up later on in your relationship, if you choose to proceed. Consider this one a major, major red flag, since ethics and personal boundaries of behaviour within a relationship, are very weak inside of him.

 

And yes, it does sound like he's selfish, which is why he also won't stick up for you with his mother, doesn't treat you well and is willing to interact with this girl who "may have liked him".

 

There's one more side to this which you should consider. A "chill chick" tends to get walked all over. Unless you assert your reasonable needs, as at the time they happen, there's no motivation for any partner to appreciate you or change their crappy ways. Also, if someone is unwilling or unable to meet your needs, it's time to walk away.

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I just want to say thanks for all your responses - they were really helpful and made me see I was not on my own and was not being paranoid. I met up with him over the weekend and realised we had such different ways of looking at things - we spoke about the emails and he again accused me of not being able to move forward but at no stage did he say it was inappropriate but instead called me insecure and I was pushing him away by mentioning it so many times. In fact, when I asked him how he would feel if I had been emailing someone and kept it from him, he said he would laugh it off as he trusted me!! Incredible! Anyway, I just need to keep strong and move forward with my life.

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