More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Internet Relationships - Is It Really Cheating?
by Kristen Houghton, Relationship Examiner
July 31, 2008

There is a site on the internet where men and women openly discuss their ?internet affairs.? It is a kind of online therapy for cheaters. A friend who does a lot of web-surfing directed me to it. She thought I might be interested in writing an article on people who cheat on their spouses via the web. I checked it out and, after reading some of the postings, decided she was right. There?s a lot of information there. The internet has spawned a whole new definition of ?extra-marital relationships.?

The internet is a wonderful thing; it connects you with a world of people you might not ever have met in your entire lifetime. For businesses, for services, for advertising, the net created a revolution for getting noticed.

But like any place where people meet people, there are potential problems. Internet relationships have become a by-product of the modern world of web-surfing; all well and good for singles, a new form of cheating for those who are married.

?I don?t really see it as cheating,? posted one man on the site, ?it?s not physical. I?ll probably never meet the woman, but the erotic atmosphere adds a spice to my life.?

?It?s just harmless, sexy flirting brought to another level. No one is getting hurt,? is another posting.

Does internet cheating hurt if there?s no ?real? relationship? Can it even be called cheating on your spouse if no physical contact is involved? The answer to both questions is yes.

While it may not be physical, it is still considered cheating. It is the emotional variety of having an affair. There can be no question about whether or not anyone is hurt. The knowledge that your husband or wife is writing erotic messages to another person diminishes the relationship you have together.

Marriage therapists are seeing more couples who have problems with virtual cheating than ever before.

Melissa Martirano, a couples therapist in the New York area, says that the number of couples she has seen, where one spouse has used the internet as a means of cheating, has tripled in the past two years.

?It hurts to know that your husband or wife has an intimate relationship with another person, whether it is in person or on the internet. Emotional cheating destroys trust too. Physical or not, any form of cheating takes something precious away from your partner.?

Any person who thinks that virtual intimacy is innocent needs to re-evaluate his or her idea of the word relationship and decide what love and commitment really means to them. A relationship based on trust should extend to all areas, even the internet.


This is a touchy subject for me!!! It is so funny that by boyfriend who is 1o years in age difference first told me that the girl he was sexually involved with right before he had met me was someone he had connected with through the internet. I will never forget how amazed I was when he told me how brief their chat sessions were before inviting her over to hang out and get naked. Immediately I felt the activity he encounters on the computer was going to be one of the biggest threats to our relationship. Well my nightmare became reality! My boyfriend is a home body, so I didn't have to worry about him going out to bars and bringing new faces home...I felt worse! It was all at the click of a button on his keyboard. He encountered new relationships with new females anytime we had the least bit of confrintation. I mean from something that is so petty to something as serious as leaving me for 13 hours on my 31st birthday to meet a new {woman}! To answer the question of internet cheating or not...HECK YES!!!
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