Emotional Cheating?

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My boyfriend and I have been together going on four years. And for the last three of them we’ve been pretty happy. We took a break last summer and after four months of “doing our own thing” we got back together in October and have been doing well since. We talk about our future and moving in together and overall, it seems that we are making the steps to build a loving future together. Until, that is, the beginning of February.

It started with me doing some maintenance work on his computer (per his request) and stumbling across cell phone images of another girl topless and in scantly clad attire. I of course confronted him about these pictures and he said that a friend of his sister had sent them to him. He had asked her to stop, but that she had continued to do so. So he had saved some of them and told her that he would send the inappropriate photos to her brother if she did not stop … as insurance of some sort. I accepted his explanation as I have never had reason to distrust him in the past and nothing of this sort had happened ever before. (At least that I’m aware of.)

Well a couple months later I was once again on his computer uploading pictures of us when he, I guess stupidly, left a photo of someone else in his picture folder, where I came across it. I recognized this girl; she was a coworker of his at work who I had seen a few times before and remarked to him that I thought she had a crush on him (call it woman’s intuition) he blew it off and said, “No, she doesn’t. We’re just friends.” Well I guess in his world his friends send him suggestive photos …

I confront him about this, he at least doesn’t try and come up with some lame story. I explain to him that it doesn’t bother me that some girl is sending him pictures. He has the power to delete them and put a stop to it. But he WANTED to keep them, since he emailed them to himself. There was a definite desire to keep these photos of this coworker. I asked him if he found her attractive and he said she was okay. I asked him if he wanted to use the photos for masturbation or something like that; he said no. (I doubt that, but whatever.) He simply did not have a reason (or one he could come up with) for having or saving those pictures.

Needless to say, my senses are on high alert. And I’m ashamed to admit it and I definitely feel guilty about it, but I’ve come to believe that if he leaves this stuff out and in the open where anyone sitting at his computer can find or see … then imagine the stuff I’d find if I actually wanted to look? So that’s what I did.

I left for a ten-day art trip for my college and upon my return, while he was at work and I was at our home by myself, I got on. And really, I didn’t have to search farther then his desktop. Because right there was an image of another girl. Her breasts exposed, laying in bed, also set from a cell phone and saved to his computer. The girl is a high school friend of his from eight or so years ago who is in the process of going through a divorce. Guess she’s lonely, or horny.

He doesn’t know that I know about that picture. And it’s been a couple weeks since then.
I’m pretty sure he’s not physically cheating on me. We spend almost all our time together and besides these pictures, he behaves normally. Our sex life is good, we go out, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. He doesn’t treat me any differently and his routine is the same. There are no “blips” in our radar (especially since I’m on the lookout for them). So what’s his deal? Does he just want to get pictures of girls he knows for fun? I mean, I don’t care about porn; that’s fantasy, and healthy. But I do have a problem of pornographic photos of girls he knows! I just need some perspective as to why he’s doing this and if this is a valid reason to end our relationship. I’m a pretty understanding person and I’m afraid I might just reason him right out of any fault. HELP.


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