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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.