Is cyber-cheating wrong?
In a word… YES!
“But,” you say, “it’s not cheating if there’s no touching.” So… tell your partner that and see what they say!
The Internet is the new frontier of infidelity, and apparently it’s a confusing place because men and women don’t agree on what constitutes cyber straying. The line between being a cheat and just being cheeky has been blurred by the release of a new book, which claims that emotional infidelity is just as destructive to a relationship as physical cheating.
In “Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship,” author M. Gary Neuman, delves into the destructive patterns of modern day relationships, and he rubbishes the perception that it’s okay to look, as long as you don’t touch.
And, according to relationship experts, the internet is a dangerous seductress. Social networking sites like Facebook, are the biggest culprits in instigating these “emotional affairs,” or “cyber cheating.” They allow you to contact old friends, lovers or people you’ve never even met before and the seemingly innocent exchange of personal details, messages, chat and photographs, can apparently be enough to spark an intimate relationship.
In a poll conducted by womansavers.com, over 63 per cent of women felt that online emotional affairs constituted infidelity and 70 per cent of them believe that emotional affairs could lead to physical affairs.
Particularly in these hard times, a lot of conflict can exist between a couple, regularly arguing about debt, bills, child-care, and other every-day conflicts. Whether a person has any inclination to cheat or not, carrying on a conflict-free conversation with someone with whom you have no ties can be far more attractive than conversing with someone that lives with you in the real world.
It might sound a bit harsh to describe a harmless chat with a member of the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that’s your bag) as cheating, but Neuman maintains that, “when you start to invest your emotional energy in opposite-sex friends – instead of focusing on your spouse – you are being unfaithful to your marriage”.
The internet allows you to live out your fantasies. You can do and say what you are afraid to do and say in real face-to-face encounters. Sending sexually suggestive photographs and engaging in sexually inappropriate conversations is cheating in my opinion. This sort of behavior can destroy your relationship. Cyber-cheating is a gateway drug. It can lead to other things. Deceptively going behind your partner’s back to send and receive sexually arousing photographs and taking part in sexually inappropriate conversations qualifies as cheating. Pathetically promiscuous actions online is wrong.
To me, the best way to deal with suspicions of infidelity – online or off – is to talk with your partner about it. If you don’t have communication in your relationship – the ability to approach each other openly, honestly, and safely then talk about concerns and issues like these – then you probably don’t have much of a foundation for a “healthy” relationship to begin with. If your partner is cyber-cheating, there’s obviously a problem with the marriage or relationship. I suggest that you get help.
Trust is the very foundation of a healthy love relationship. Consent and concealment are at the core of the issue of cyber-cheating; and at the core of matters of consent and concealment is a fundamental matter of trust. Couples need to spend more time “together.” If you devote what little free time you do have to cyber flirting, what’s left for your partner?
When it comes right down to it – anything that you do online that you would not want your partner to find out is wrong. Call it whatever you want… it’s wrong! The bottom line, if you are flirting with someone online behind your partner’s back, you are being deceptive. If you are honest about your online hanky-panky, and your partner is uncomfortable, insecure or outright hurt by it, maybe you should stop. Although it may seem harmless, flirting via e-mail and online messaging can be very destructive to a relationship. It can be considered a betrayal. The very fact that a partner feels the need to have regular contact with someone else in an enticing manner is totally inappropriate.
The defining question is this: Would you want your partner to know?
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/