Is it infedelity?

by Liza

My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year.

We live together, and have been for the past six months, so it is not anything new.

Recently I found out that he had been e-mailing some girl and he did this while we were visiting my parents house for the weekend.

He does not know her, and he has never met her. He told me that she was "Fat and unattractive, and he was scared for our relationship." And that he "Wanted to see how he felt talking to another girl to see if he still loved me."

He even sent this girl a picture of the two puppies that we bought together.

He said he knows he loves me, and that he just "needed to be sure."

Should I trust him after this?

Ben's Answer:

A relationship with too many rules and restrictions will never remain healthy and happy. I know couples who aren't even allowed to look at a member of the opposite sex. I don't think that emailing a stranger constitute infidelity... but your boyfriend's rationale that he's just needing to make sure he loves you, is a little irrational. I think a more honest answer is that he's not sure about his desire for a long-term commitment to you. This doesn't mean he doesn't love you. We can't be everything to our partners. Any happily married couple will tell you this. We need to have other relationships, friendships, mentors, and connections with other human beings in order to be healthy, balanced individuals. If other connections threaten the primary partnership, then this relationship needs some work. It's natural to want to connect with others. You just need to be honest with each other, and establish what you decide is the boundary. What is OK within your relationship? Being friend's with a member of the opposite sex? Emailing strangers? Being online friends with random people? Sleeping with other people? Every relationship has it's own unique boundaries and limitations.

You and your boyfriend have to decide together, what those boundaries are, and what you are both comfortable with.

Work on your own intimacy issues, and learn to be independent individuals within the relationship, and you will build trust and security between you.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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