Mention extra-marital affairs, and most people think of secret meetings, furtive phone calls and booking into hotels under a false name.
A modern twist on this is the cyber-affair.
Whilst many dismiss the notion that relationships that form online can be adulterous, those that discover a partner involved in such activities know the real and damaging effects it can have.
The allure of a distant relationship with no strings attached can seem more appealing than the primary, real-world relationship.
The internet also offers certain advantages for the cyber-cheater: relative anonymity, ease and affordability of access, and a huge selection of services to use and people to ‘meet’.
These relationships often start in chat rooms, and can become quite sexual in nature. Sex is not the only attraction, though: sometimes it’s simply about contact with another human being.
Partners who find out what’s going on speak of a range of emotions: anger, desperation, depression, hopelessness, vengeful, loss of trust. What seems particularly hurtful is that the betrayal often happens in the home.
There’s currently no clear profile of the sort of person who cheats online, or why.
As the Internet becomes more prominent in the home, this new temptation has the potential to cause more problems.
Whilst the Internet can be used for many good things, couples need to be wary of its overuse. They should continue to keep open communication about their relationship, bringing up problems and issues quickly. Doing regular ‘health checks’ on a relationship will reduce the risk of unfaithfulness, however it’s pursued.
Read the full article, including real examples of the problem: Virtual adultery