Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend and I just moved in together with our two children 7 months ago. He works the late shift and is not home at night, and to keep him up(he says) he got into Internet chatting on his phone. There has been many times when I felt that it was inappropriate for him to be doing this. Like the time I caught him hanging up just before our Valentine's date. And when confronted he always responds with he's not cheating just talking. He is a good guy. And he does do things for the family as he should and gives me presents. BUT I also have been on websites too. I have found myself chatting with other men out of spite, anger and hurt feelings. I don't know if I should end it or try to talk again?

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

I don't think you should throw in the towel, just yet. You moved in seven months ago, and I would assume the children enjoy the environment. I would try to talk to him about it, again. Find out, if you can, why he feels the need to do this and where he thinks it might lead. And that's the problem. This kind of thing can become an obsession, and when you are talking to strangers it can open up the flood gates. I think some men and women do this because it allows them to create a fantasy, or brings them out of a normally inhibited "self."  And, of course, there's going to be the person who does it because he (she) simply is not satisfied with what he has. But get this settled to your satisfaction before you make any decision. Tit-for-tat is not a way to deal with this issue. If he hides things and appears evasive, that's not a good sign.