Dear Miss Emily:

I am a 23 year old female. Within the last 8 months I have relocated cross country for my job. My boyfriend (of about a year and a half) came with me. Prior to this we were living with my parents for 2 months to get back on our feet from losing jobs and stagnancy of the place we were living. This took a hard hit on his pride and he became vacant. I found out a few months after the move and he had been corresponding with on of my old friends; flirting with her, asking to meet up to drink and "see what happens" etc. About a week after finding this out a good friend of mine came forward and said the same. He was asking for graphic photos of her and asking to meet up when he came back to town to visit. Thus far in the relationship I have taken the financial burden since he moved here for me and I am making more money than him. When I found this out I threatened to leave but decided to stay and give him a second chance. It happened again just the other day! The same friend forwarded me facebook messages of him saying "we can talk privately with out Jill knowing." So now I'm at a crossroads. Our relationship was good aside from these "emotional affairs" (that's what I consider them). My gut says it's over and all logistics are manageable in regards to our living situation. My brain says "is it right to throw all of this time away when he didn't physically cheat?" He promised he would change and has taken steps like deleting numbers from his phone, eliminating text messaging, and deleting his facebook. Is once a cheater always a cheater? Do I have the right perspective? If so, do I go with my gut or my brain?

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------

Poor baby. His pride has taken a hit? He made a decision to move with you, and his feeling inadequate over not being able to compete with you on an income level is his problem, not yours. You can't be punished for that, but you can open your eyes and see that a guy like this isn't really someone who measures up to your expectation of what a trusting, committed relationship is all about. The fact that he wrote to your friend and made the overtures he did, is repellent, and you know it. I don't care if he deletes his facebook account, or whatever he does to make you think he made a horrible mistake (and please forgive him, again), it's a sign he's not content, he played a fool's game of duplicity and it shouldn't be tolerated. On one level, maybe he wants to go home, and this whole experiment of moving across country with you has failed. But he needs to come to terms with that, not hang you up thinking he's going to be loyal, now, when time will only give him an opportunity to get what he really wants. And it doesn't seem like it's you, despite his protest to the contrary. Stop being a parent to him and use your head. If 2+2=5, and not 4, that's all you need to know. And no, once a cheater, not always a cheater. But I don't trust this fellow based on what you have told me, and you shouldn't either. He set the stage for cheating, and it hardly matters that he wasn't able to act on it because your friend blew the whistle on him. If it weren't so pathetic, it would be humorous -- however, I'm sure you aren't laughing.