I'm on the younger end of your readership, and my boyfriend and I have been dating for two years now. To be straightforward, he sends kiss emojis, heart eyes, and hearts to other women on social media. I honestly didn't care at first until a series of things happened. 1) He cheated on me. 2) He tried to cheat on me again with a girl he was friends with on social media (all because of my reaction to a guy's Snapchat. 3) He's very handsome so a lot of women try to talk to him, and I think he gives them the wrong impression. 4) His friends encourage him to flirt with other women.
I didn't have a problem with his flirtations until it became more than that, and I told him that I now feel disrespected when he sends these messages. He brushed it off as "it means nothing" – that they're just emojis – but to the girls he is sending these messages to, it does mean something.
He has gone behind my back, checking my phone and my messages. He's been critical of my own messages to male friends, and says that these friends are only trying to have sex with me.
I don't know what else to do, but surely I can't be wrong for feeling how I am feeling. What should I do to get him to understand where I am coming from? Our relationship is fine otherwise.
– Heart Eyes
I can't speak to the "fine" part of your relationship because everything you described in this letter sounds like a deal-breaker. You don't trust your boyfriend, and you feel disrespected – frequently. You're trying to convince him that your feelings are valid, but ... why should you have to?
On top of all of that, he doesn't trust you either. He checks your phone and objects to your friendships. For the record, that says more about his intentions than anything else. In his mind, everyone is up to no good because that's all he knows. He assumes the people in your life share his motives, but that's not necessarily true at all.
Your four-point list about why you've lost trust can also be a guide to why you should break up with him. I understand it's been two years and that you'd like to make this better, but relationships without trust are no good for anyone.
You and your boyfriend can't break the cycle of checking up on each other and assuming the worst. Relationships are supposed to be easier than this. Give yourself permission to walk away from this one.