Is Online Cheating Really Cheating?

Posted on Apr 14 2014 - 10:21pm by Ronnie

Is online cheating really cheating? Yep! We'll tell you why. #relationship #cheating

Today, we speak of a subject that sits heavy on my heart. I don’t usually write such personal posts on the site, but this is a subject that I wanted to deal with.

Last week, I discovered that my now ex-boyfriend had been having a ‘fling’ online with another girl. The whole thing was shocking and painful, especially as I had completely trusted him. He abused my trust and lied to me after telling me thousands upon thousands of times that he would never do anything like that. The result of it was of course, me ending the relationship. In my opinion, without trust and honesty, the relationship is better ended than continued.

I’m in the process of moving on right now. It’s tough but necessary. I’m sure plenty of other people have had to go through something similar in the past decade or so, so I wanted to break down, based on research and my opinion, why I believe online cheating is cheating.

1. It provides the same ‘rush’ and exhilaration of face-to-face cheating

Though exchanges may start as harmless flirting, they can trigger a compelling emotional and physical reaction. “During the heat of the moment comes a rush of exhilaration from being naughty and sneaky,” Kaiser says. “The blood in the body is rushing somewhere else, and it’s not to the brain!” The instantaneous feedback and immediate gratification make for an irresistible environment that keeps drawing you back. And the slope can get very slippery, very quickly.

Source: Everyday Health

People consider their online sexual relationships as real, as they experience psychological states similar to those typically elicited by offline relationships.

Source: Psychology Today

2. It’s done behind your partner’s back

If you have to hide it from the person you love, it’s because what you’re doing is not right – and you know it.

The bottom line, if you are flirting with someone online behind your partner’s back, you are being deceptive.

Source: Divine Caroline

Online infidelity, like real-life affairs, tends to create secrecy, lies, and covering up, that has the potential to destroy the trust that hold the relationship together. Even if your real-life partner does not discover the affair, there is a bond of trust that is broken when one partner is unfaithful.


3. You are lusting after someone else, and you’re acting on it.

Some people think that cheating online is not really cheating. In truth though, it is, because it involves lusting after someone else, or having an emotional connection with someone other than your spouse.

Source: Psychology Today

Although it may seem harmless, flirting via email and messages 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. 

Source: Divine Caroline

4. It hurts your partner and it damages trust

Whereas people having online affairs tend to reduce their problematic nature, their offline partners often do not see any difference between online and offline affairs: the lack of physical contact and face-to-face meetings does not diminish the sense of violation of their vow of exclusivity. The fact that most of these affairs are concealed from the offline spouse is indicative of such possible harm.

Nevertheless, since online affairs are psychologically real they often cause actual harm to the primary, offline romantic relationships. Accordingly, people are likely to be just as disturbed about their partner’s online sexual affairs as they would be if they discovered that their spouse was exchanging steamy love letters with someone else. Since people do not consider online affairs as mere fantasy or as mere interactions with an anonymous series of computer links, such affairs are highly emotional and can be harmful.

Source: Psychology Today

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.

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.

Source: Examiner

The bottom line

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.

Source: Examiner

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  • Robin Rue

    I think it is cheating. I think emotional cheating is just as bad as a physical cheating “relationship”. I know each marriage is different and everyone has their own sets of rules per se, but for me, I think online cheating is still that – cheating.

    • I agree. If you’re in a relationship with an understanding of it being fully monogamous, then you should both be committed to it.

  • Jessica J.

    It is definitely cheating and I’m sorry you had to go through this. Cheating, in my opinion, is when someone acts on his/her desires and engages in behavior that they need to hide from their partner. Of course, every relationship is different, but no matter what – it needs to be built on mutual understanding, respect, and trust in one another. His loss!

    • homelifeabroad

      :'( It is his loss. I’ll move on… it’ll just take time to build myself back up. Thanks xoxo

  • Rebecca Bryant

    It;s definitely cheating I am happy to say hubby and I don’t have that problem. He has never gotten upset with me for using his phone nor have I done anything online or on my phone that he is not aware of.

  • I think that any time that you share emotions with someone else outside of your relationship, it is definitely cheating.

  • Jennifer Williams

    There are two types of cheating – emotional and physical – either is just not okay. I applaud you for knowing your self worth and ending the relationship. It takes a strong person to walk away and start over.

    • homelifeabroad

      Thank you. 🙁 I don’t need to be with someone that I now know I can’t trust and who would be so willing to hurt me. I deserve better!! :/

  • Terry My Journey With Candida

    I think it is cheating for sure. If my Hubs did it.. I would consider it cheating and leave so fast his head would spin.

    • homelifeabroad

      That’s how I did this too. The moment it all became clear, I ended it. There’s no going back on a thing like this.

  • Mandy Young Carter

    I agree with you! Exchanging of emotions on an intimate level is always cheating regardless f the platform

  • mail4rosey

    If they’re willing to breach trust going that far, your best interest is not in their heart. I’d be gone too, and with no regrets. Life’s too short to waste time entrusting your heart to the wrong people.

    • homelifeabroad

      You are 100% right. It was just so difficult for me to realize who he really was all along. 🙁
      I need to move on and leave my heart open to meeting someone who would never do something so hurtful and deceitful.

  • Carolan Ross

    Once other relationships are kept secret, regardless of their exact nature, then trust is gone and the damage is done. Cracks in the foundation of trust. Sad.

  • Maria Sinclair

    I’m sorry that this has to happen to anyone. Trust is so important!

  • Curby Aardvark

    Any form of cheating is cheating; hence why it is called cheating. It’s sad that people can’t be faithful, if they’d cheat online than they’d cheat in person; no need to waste your time with someone like that.

  • Theresa

    If you wouldn’t talk that way in front of your spouse with the other person, then it’s a good chance it’s cheating. I’ve had a few online people try to engage in flirting. If they wouldn’t do that with my husband present, then that’s a no no.

  • Amy Desrosiers

    I definitely can see your points that cheating is not just a physical thing. I would hope my husband would never do this, as neither would I.

  • Pam W

    Cheating is definitely cheating no matter what. It’s so sad that people aren’t faithful to their partners.

  • GrandmaBonnie A

    I think #2 says it all. Cheating is cheating if its done behind ones back its cheating. It’s so sad that it has to happen at all.

  • JadeLouise Designs

    I whole heartily agree! It doesn’t matter if it is done online, in person or via snail mail. cheating is cheating. They are weakening your relationship by building up a relationship with someone other than You. It’s cheating. It hurts. And it’s wrong. So sorry you have to go through this. -Amber E.

  • Mel Cole

    It’s a stressful situation if you see your partner cheating once or twice. I hope the two learn to ask forgiveness and forgive. The 2 should get a marriage counseling.

  • I completely agree, online or offline it’s all the same – an ex once told me ‘it was only online I’ll give you 2 weeks to get over it’ (the relationship was far from healthy in other ways as he was abusive) but those words have always stuck with me.

    Good on you for holding your ground 🙂 x

  • Veronica Solomon

    I am so sorry that has happened to you. Happy to hear that you are moving on. And I totally agree with you on this

  • Amber Nelson

    Sorry that happened. That is not cool.

  • celebdirtylaundry

    Cheating is cheating no matter what!

  • So sorry to hear about this Ronnie. 🙁 But yes. Online communication and flirting or so – is still a cheat. They not only lust but go deep into their emotions too even with just online.

  • ashj3nt

    I am so sorry you went through this. Cheating is Cheating. If you are speaking to another person in a way that you would speak to anyone that you are in a relationship with or would want to pursue it… its cheating.

  • Natasha Mairs

    I am so sorry to hear this, I hope your ok. But your right, online or textin on the phone is cheating! Once the trust has been broken it’s really hard to get it back if at all

  • This is so awful! Sorry that this has happen to you! I agree with you online cheating IS cheating!!

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I think when you cross the line in any way, even if not in person, it’s cheating. Mental cheating is still cheating!

  • TheNewClassy

    I am sorry that your boyfriend did that to you. I know that I wouldn’t appreciate my husband having an online affair with anyone.

  • Danielle Leigh

    Honestly, I have to say that I am surprised that it could even be considered an uncertainty as to whether or not it is cheating if it is done online. The moment anyone engages romantically, with words or otherwise, with someone other than their partner… they have strayed. So sorry you had to go through this 🙁

  • Gillian

    I have just found messages between my husband and a person on Facebook messenger. He went down the ‘have you been snowing on my phone’ response. I was numb yesterday. Today I don’t know what to do. We have two little ones 3 and 5. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. This article has just saved my sanity and given me strength. Thank you. I don’t know what to do though! X

    • homelifeabroad

      <3 This had me shedding a tear. I wish for you strength, and I hope so much that you are able to work things out however is best for you. xoxo Ronnie