I recently discovered that my live-in boyfriend has been sending emails to several other women. I read the e-mails. The conversations are all very explicit and sexual, and he even tells these women about the two of us. I’ve confronted him, but he doesn’t get why I’m upset. He says he doesn't feel like it’s cheating or wrong since it’s not physical, and he hasn’t agreed to stop this online activity. This feels like cheating to me. Am I over-reacting? --Virtually Betrayed
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Dear V. Betrayed – If your boyfriend is still living with you, I’d go so far as to say you might be under-reacting. He doesn’t get why you’re upset? He says the emails don’t matter because he’s not having sex? But he is having sex in a way, isn’t he? The exchanges are a form of sexual involvement. You know it and I know it. And he knows it. Everyone has their own comfort level with these things, but you’re upset and feel betrayed, which means you know where you stand about this kind of interaction with other women. Don’t move that line, and don’t apologize for it. I don’t like that he’s sharing intimate details about the two of you, either. That’s what a journal and close personal friends are for, not random women online. If you’re living together, you’ve made some choices about exclusivity, respect, and privacy. You get to choose what’s acceptable and important between you and a partner, Miss Betrayed. I’m wagering there’s a guy out there who’ll think more of you and more like you.