Are you Having an Online Affair? – Online Infidelity
The internet has forever changed how we interact and communicate with those around us. And however great this tool of technology may be it has also created a platform for fantasy and hidden personas which can be misused and abused in many forms. The comfort of secrecy and the ability to alter identity in a virtual world has given rise to another form of infidelity and that of of online infidelity in the form of online affairs.
Many of my counselees argue that conducting in communication with a third person on the internet or in adult chat rooms does not constitute infidelity. The argument almost always revolves around physical representation and physical actions. Their argument is that if they have not physically conducted in an active psychical sexual or romantic act with a third person that this could hardly constitute infidelity.
Emotional affairs are still affairs and affairs do not necessarily take a physical form. Almost always the emotional affair turns physical at some stage of the affair. Sharing intimate information and comfort from someone besides your spouse, and thus in a sense “replacing” your spouse emotionally, still constitutes as an affair.
Many also argue that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the internet. The lines are blurred and because of this it may give rise to a legalistic point of view. The person having the affair may argue that the counselor expect of them to have absolutely no conduct with the opposite sex and absolutely no communication with the opposite sex. Once again this argument is flawed and indirectly justifies their internet infidelity, questions the logic of the counselor and manipulates the situation to suite their needs.
Here is my list of warning signs to consider when questioning if you or your partner may be having an online affair:
If and when you do anything in secret and your partner does not know about it this should immediately set off warning bells. Secrecy destroys trust and builds a bridge for infidelity. The convenience of the internet aids in secrecy as internet chat rooms can be hid behind passwords, identity can be altered and internet history can be cleared. The secrecy of the affair my be exciting and thrilling in the beginning of the relationship as if an adventure of the unknown and is usually very addictive.
However thrilling the secrecy of an online affair may be in the beginning of the relationship, it can take it’s toll on the person bearing the secret. Guilt and remorse usually follows the secrecy, especially if the person committing the adultery’s partner has remained true, faithful and been a good spouse or partner during the relationship
Secrecy is almost certainly followed by lying. In order to keep the secret the person engaging in the internet infidelity has to keep on being untruthful to his/her partner in order to maintain the internet relationship. Once again lying is a destroyer of trust and builds a bridge to having and maintaining an online affair.
Here you should ask yourself who is occupying your thoughts. If you find yourself daydreaming about the person with whom you are having an internet affair or wish you could physically be with that person or imagine being married to them or in a relationship with them, then you are without a doubt in an online affair. As mentioned above, these types of affairs almost always lead into some form of a physical relationship.
4. Getting Physical
If the messages from your internet affair starts getting physical or suggestive with tones of direct sexual desires or with undertones of sexual innuendo then the line has definitely been crossed. Any form of sexual orientated emails, chats or messages will almost always lead to a real physical and sexual relationship and if the distance is too far between the parties involved, it usually leads usually to things such as “telephone sex” or some form of virtual sexual act.
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions you may need to seek assistance from a registered counsellor or psychologist who can help you overcome the obstacles and the traps that the internet poses to aid in being unfaithful to your spouse. Read more on our marriage counselling services or contact us to book your session today.