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Help Me! Is Emotional Cheating a Reason to Break Up?

This post comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

Hi everyone, I need some help figuring out what to do. I am considering breaking up with my boyfriend (together approximately three years). When we're together our relationship is wonderful and I believe we love each other very much. However, I am seeing a bad pattern. He does things that are really hurtful and very disrespectful to our relationship.

Currently my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. We met in college; he's a med student. Right now he is interning at a hospital about a 10 hour drive from me. For Christmas I went to visit him and discovered that he is spending all his time with a girl from the same med school. They weren't friends before, but it's shocking that they have developed such a close "friendship" within such a short time. My boyfriend and this girl spend all day in the hospital together (which I can understand) but what shocked me is that they spend all their free time together, too, and on top of that they call, email, facebook, text message each other multiple times every day, which he is now not doing with me.


To see the rest of the dilemma,


So to recap, they have spent all day and everyday together now for several weeks (except for the few days I was there, although she joined us a lot)! When I talk to my boyfriend on the phone and ask what they did today, he is extremely defensive, acts like I am a psycho-jealous girlfriend, and tries to blame me for getting in his way of making friends. He promised me that he will never cheat on me and that I can trust him since he had a previous girlfriend that cheated on him. He may not be physically cheating on me (at least not yet), but I really feel that he is emotionally cheating on me. (Btw, his friends absolutely hate this girl for some reason, and the doctors at this hospital call her "Bimbo" behind her back!)

Similar drama has happened before in our relationship that have caused me to doubt him. My boyfriend is handsome and smart (at least academically), but he is shy and socially awkward, which he has used as an excuse to explain why he has gotten into bad situations in the past. He also avoids confrontation. I love him and thought we had a committed relationship, but it is now seeming one-sided. I am quite sure that he doesn't want to lose me, but I am getting tired of this emotional roller coaster.

So please help me decide what is best to do. Do you think I should completely break it off? Or should I back off from this relationship? Or am I just being overly paranoid here? What should I do?

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Micheal3536417 Micheal3536417 4 years
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Jessica2609689 Jessica2609689 5 years
awww this is so sad /: heart breaking. all these people commenting and saying that he's interested in her or maybe has fooled around with her probably breaks your heart when you read that... i have a boyfriend in medical school to at UCLA he's my everything and bestfriend. we have a semi long distance relationship. i see him on weekends. but when were not together were ALWAYS on the phone or web caming. the only time were not on the phone is when were asleep or when hes in class or when our phones die lol. but as soon as we wake up we call and as soon as hes out of class he calls. when im on class i keep him on cause i have blue tooth n hide it with my hair lol. My boyfriend is shy and socially awkward as well he has like zero friends besides me and his family and the kitten i bought for him lol. but i like it this way cause all his free time is reserved for me. i would be pissed if he spent his time with a girl.. i dont allow my boyfriend to talk to girls at all anymore because he cheated on me before and i really made him pay for that. it broke me into pieces n im not the same person anymore. but its good that now i have my reasons for why girls arent allowed in his life. I think that fine, its ok that your boyfriend talks to her while hes in the hospital. as long as its in a professional manner, but once out of the hospital there should be zero communication. like hello he has a fucking girlfriend. so either tell him how you feel about this and if he cant handle it date one of his classmates ahaha thats what i did. when my boyfriend cheated on me i started flirting with his med school classmate. so, i think you should tell him how you feel about all this. it seems like youre not too fond of this girl talking to your boyfriend. especially outside of the hospital. and there is no reason whatsoever for them to be texting i mean come on now, get real. if he choses her over you, fuck him. move onto the next. even if it hurts. find someone better. and more educated. ;)
amandaface amandaface 7 years
Ok Sister let me make this short and simple women like you and I we want controle over many situations and most "bimboish women" tend to crave controle of taken men because of lack of attention from men growing up. Women like this go after "easy going kinda men" (like your boyfriend)He wont stop the friendship and she will keep pushing his buttons to further his security and hers. You surprise your boyfriend go see him and do what his favorite thing is to do or make him his favorite dish because hes working so hard at school he deserves it right? show him that and spice up the relationship a lil so its like new again. don't and i repeat do not mention nor disprespect the "other girl" because it only makes you look weak and vulnerable which will leave him running! good luck!
urika urika 7 years
Cheating in any form, is cheating. There are definitely levels of it, but none are acceptable. I've been were you are, and it is a roller coaster full of mind games, disrespect, and pain all mixed into one huge complicated confusion. Breaking up isn't easy, and to be completely honest, you'll talk yourself out of it several times and try to make up excuses for the person you love, it's only natural because you do love him. And I'm sure he loves you as well but this can escalate into something without him even intending it to. Long distance relationships I'm sure are hard enough, especially with suspicion like this. The best advice I can give you is to trust your gut, because it's right. Unfortunately, if your instinct tells you that something isn't right, then it just isn't. No matter how hard it is, you need to stand up for yourself and speak out about your feelings and how uncomfortable this whole situation makes you. If he cares, truly cares for you like he says he does, he will distance himself from this girl plain and simple. But in a relationship, that relationship should come before any other, especially with a female "friend" that just came into the picture.
Red77 Red77 7 years
He's emotionally and eventually going to really cheat on you. You have two people who are sharing the same experiences at the same time in the same place. He understands her stress and she his. I just watched a very close friend go through the exact same thing only replace law school for medical school. He doesn't put you first and he is treating you poorly. You don't deserve this. Talk to him.
kimmyk10 kimmyk10 7 years
Girlfriend, I know almost exactly what you're going through. I personally believe that often times EMOTIONAL cheating can be just as bad, if not WORSE than physical cheating... The bottom line is, if he doesn't bring out the best in you, why would you want to be involved with someone who makes you someone you don't want to be (ie. the psycho/jealous girlfriend)? I understand that it will probably take awhile for you to realize this, (it's taken me almost a year!) but you are probably better off without him. Take some time away from him. If it's meant to work out, it WILL. Good luck!
Veka Veka 7 years
If what you say above is true, then it sounds like you both want the relationship to work. I personally think you should both go to counseling (together, if possible) if your conversations constantly turn into fights. If you honestly don't care about this German student as more than just a friend, the girlfriend and OP of this thread should see that you're being genuine. Unfortunately, the distance is probably the hardest part of the relationship. I honestly think that you (boyfriend) should try to cut down on the time you spend with this other female student, while you (girlfriend) should try to loosen up and have some trust in your boyfriend.
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 7 years
your situation happened to me a long time ago-my boyfriend was in med school and i was still in college. we were 3 hours apart but it weemed like 10. he beccame a jerk, a differet person. dump the guy and cut your losses now. believe me. there were never any doctors after that. Instead i married a pilot! good flight bennies. lol-good luck
Liadee Liadee 7 years
Its a tough line, especially in long distance relationships, but to be honest I think hes crossing it. My boy and I just spent a little over a year living 5 hours apart, and we both are people who have close friends of the opposite sex. And yea there were times that I was jealous of the time he was spending with some of them ( ill admit shallowly especially one very hott one) but one of the key things that let me know everything was okay was the fact that he was very open with me about everything. It worries me when you say that he gets defensive when you ask about what they did that day. If they are just friends why go on the defense? Especially if hes open about what he does with other friends, that would be a huge red flag for me. Emotional Cheating always eventually leads to physical cheating. But I dont know if you should jump to breaking it off right away. Have you talked openly to him about how you feel? If not I would try to have a conversation about it and tell him its something you feel is a serious issue in your relationship right now. I wouldnt accuse him of being more attentive to her or tell him to cut back on time with her right out, but talk about how its been worrying you and that you know he said hed never cheat on you, but you dont feel as close being so far apart and that it worries you that he is so invested in this friend so fast. the conversation may be ugly, but I think it will shed some light on how things should go, and if he still isnt open or just blows you off, maybe you should just end it. Either way GL and I hope for only the best
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
I think that your boyfriend is going through a tough time with school and all. Medical school is a huge deal and one needs to devote a lot of their time in order to be successful at it. I was in a relationship where I believed my boyfriend was cheating emotionally. He didn't believe that there was such a thing as emotional cheating though and continued to act as he did with his female friend. It drove me nuts and made me into a crazy jealous person. Someone I was not. I basically sabotaged the relationship because I was so concerned with catching him in the act of cheating. You have two options. You can accept that this is platonic and he will really never cheat on you. Or you can end it now before this situation drives you even more crazy.
Bailey-Bloom Bailey-Bloom 7 years
I agree with everyone above. I think you are the only one who can find out if he is really into her romantically or he is just being friendly. But if he really loved you, he should be trying to touch base with you a couple of times during the day and not acting all defensive when you ask him questions. Well, then again, it depends on the way you are speaking to him. I know it's hard if your bf has a female friend who is close, however he should not be spending ALL his free time with her. That right there to me, is a red flag. I think you should have a serious conversation with him and talk calmly because he is under a lot of stress. And to answer your question is emotional cheating a reason to break up? For me, yes. Even though they did not do anything physically, they did it emotionally. They talk and shared stuff with each other which should be kept with the S.O. as well as spend a lot of time with each other like a couple. Do I think your bf emotionally cheated on you? I think so. When you wrote that he spends ALL his free time with her that was the sign for me. You could work it out in the end since you've been together for so long. But it's hard to work out big problems when you are far away and the other person is in med school. They don't have time for personal problems and it will bring them out of focus. I wish you the best of luck. Being in a relationship with med students are hard especially when they are so far away and you have your own full time job. I've been there.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i'm a bit torn on this, just because a lot of my really close friends are guys. guys with girlfriends. and some of these people i have developed a really really really close friendship in a short time. i never did anything with any of them. like hypno said, boys and girls can be friends without any hanky panky. med school is one of those experiences that creates special bonds, some of which result in hookups, while many don't. think about how you confront him when you talk about her. take note of your tone. if you are accusing him, he was every right to be defensive. wouldn't you be if your bf accused you of sleeping with a friend? maybe the reason he hangs out with her so much is because everybody at the hospital is mean to her. maybe he's just being a supportive classmate. i'm just trying to give you some perspective. but at the end of the day, if you can't trust him, you have to end it.
Monique-Marie427757 Monique-Marie427757 7 years
He is already seeing her or wants to. Fact is, long distance relationships are hard and he has more in common with this new girl then he does with you anymore. I would cut your losses and find someone who you can trust and who can respect you.
free-fallin free-fallin 7 years
I would end the relationship. He clearly is very intrigued with this girl and they are already close, and it seems to be more than just a friendship. Long distance relationships are difficult in the first place, but it seems like there isn't a lot of trust in your relationship, which is bad for any relationship. Plus the fact that he's defensive about it and not casual seems a little off to me.
Steph84 Steph84 7 years
This is a tough one. I agree with LaProfesora. I am currently in medical school and you really do form a close bond with your classmates that you are around 24/7 and sharing common experiences with. It's a crazy schedule we all have to keep which sometimes makes it hard for people, who do not go through the same thing, to understand and it feels like we ignore them. Two of my close friends here at school are guys and they both have girlfriends (gf's not in med school and live a few hours away). I am not interested in either one of them and they are really dedicated to their girlfriends. I think a lot of med students only have school on their mind which makes it seem like your boyfriend doesn't care about you as much anymore. This may not be the case. One of the two guys actually asked me advice about how he could be a better boyfriend since his gf is a bit insecure since they are living apart, These two guys are part of my study group so, if the girl and your bf study together as well this may just have contributed to their bond and might be the reason they are together 24/7. I do think the facebooking, emailing, and continuous texting is a bit much..... but again, this depends on what they are talking about. I would recommend that you talk to him about it and maybe just state that you have noticed that the two spend a lot of time together and it has made you a bit insecure. If he cares for you he should be able to address that and hopefully reassure you a bit. However, if overall this is a feeling that continually bothers you you may want to think abut what you want in a relationship and if this is worth it to you :) I hope this has helped a bit with what he might be going through. Good luck!
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 7 years
If it were me in this situation, I would break it off. His behavior is unacceptable - he should be making an effort to stay connected with YOU, not this new friend of his. While it's understandable that he is under a lot of pressure right now, as his significant other it should be you he is turning to in his spare time; the fact that he isn't is a huge red flag. Get out now, and save yourself even more pain in the long run.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Well first of all it would have helped to get your perception of her since you say she hung out with you and him on your visit. Secondly, platonic friendships between men and women is not unnatural it's just against our cultural norm. They could possibly have a platonic relationship. I think you have to examine what they have in common. If it's shared activities like white water rafting, their both fans of the same local sports teams, bowling whatever the case may be and their relationship is centered around those activities then I would relax a little. However, if a like for shared activities is not the center of their relationship then that may pose a problem. With out the distraction of shared hobbies that only leaves an interest in each other as the center of their interest which could foster serious intimate feelings but again it's not a gaurantee. You just have to read the situation the best you can using your knowledge of your bf and your personal impression of the woman and how she related to you on your visits.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
whether or not he's done anything "wrong", you clearly are feeling hurt and pushed away. if he loved you and wanted to stay with you, he wouldn't treat you that way, regardless if there is another person in the mix. break it off and take time to recover, because it is obvious that you still love him, but take care of yourself first
Veka Veka 7 years
In my book, emotional cheating = cheating, period. But you also have to define to yourself what emotional cheating means. There is a difference between a casual friendship/partner in school where, as #1 commented, they need the support of another person; and emotionally cheating where he develops feelings for this other girl and has thoughts of leaving you, etc. The distance makes the whole situation worse - it seems to me like he is kind of replacing you. This is a tough situation because if it were me I would be very torn. I would try to get him to have a serious talk with you and try to sort things out, but be sure not to accuse him of anything because that will just make him more defensive.
appolgurl appolgurl 7 years
I agree with notinthemood He's definitely done something wrong here. I would ask if he's done anything with her that he would not do if he knew you were watching. It could be as small as flirting, or suggestive talking, or be something much much worse. My guess is that you know what his answer would be, now it's a matter of figuring out if it's break-up worthy.
spanishgirl69 spanishgirl69 7 years
yeah, talk to him first and give him an ultimatum, if he doesnt step his game up with you and start giving you the place you deserve as his woman, then its time for you to leave, its not worth spending time and money to go see him if he's not invested in the relationship.
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