How internet affairs can ruin your marriage
Online affairs are increasingly leading to divorce, marriage counsellors warn.
The president of the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors, Eric Hudson, said there had been a significant rise in the number of couples separating as a result of cyber infidelity, a view backed by family lawyers. Virtual affairs might not involve physical contact, but a growing body of research suggests partners are taking them as seriously as the offline kind.
"It's the betrayal of intimacy and the betrayal of trust," said Mr Hudson. "It's like the Monica [Lewinsky"> and Bill [Clinton"> question. 'Did you have sex?' is not the issue. It's 'Have you betrayed my trust?'.
"I have heard stories of people taking overseas trips to meet the person they're having an affair with, to make some kind of personal contact. Then it moves into your classic affair dynamics."
Telltale signs, according to the web-based Centre for Online Addiction, are changes in sleep patterns, a demand for privacy, ignoring household chores and a declining investment in the primary relationship. Monica Whitty, an Australian psychology lecturer at Queens University in Belfast, said websites such as friendsreunited.com.au had increased the potential for online affairs, as had sites set up specifically for cheating, such as meet2cheat.com.au.
Because it was easier to separate online relationships from the outside world it was easier to justify them, she said.
"But when I put these items to individuals, things like cybersex and hot chatting were considered to be almost as bad as sexual intercourse. They were rated really highly as acts of betrayal."
Damien Tudehope, a lawyer and NSW spokesman for the Australian Family Association, has seen marriages break up because of wireless internet infidelity.
"I have got one [case"> where a previously pretty happily married couple is now divorced because she found someone else on the internet," he said.
"It is an increasing trend."
Technology is catching up with cyber-cheats. Suspicious spouses are using spy software, available online from the United States, to monitor their partners' emails, messages and keystrokes.
In some cases, internet affairs have ended in disaster: Joe Korp, who took his life last week while facing an attempted murder charge, met his mistress, Tania Herman, in an internet chatroom. She said he had brainwashed her into choking his wife and leaving her for dead.
Re: How internet affairs can ruin your marriage wowee: I agree with this completely. I think what happens is a person feels they aren t really doing anything wrong when they are just innocently flirting on the wireless internet. They get a little jolt or thrill from it. But soon that isn t enough of a jolt, they start seeking out sites geared specifically for internet cyber sex type communications. Then that isn t enough to give them as much of a thrill anymore. It just keeps going & they keep liking it because they can be anything they want to be on the internet. They can portray themselves as something maybe they really wish they were & it causes them to feel less & less satisfied with their boring real life of kids, a wife asking them to take out the trash & mortgage payments. It makes them want their other world more & more & even come to a point where they think that world or person in it is what really makes them happy. When all of it is just an illusion. Take that same person they think is now so important to them & makes them feel alive & put them in the house with a dog, some kids, a mortgage whatever and the generally all the fascination & lure of that fantasy life is gone again.
Re: How internet affairs can ruin your marriage alonewith2: Thanks Michael for posting that for us.
Wowee, I agree with you 100%, but would like to add that usually all affairs (whether wireless internet or real life) usually start that way. My STBX stated those reasons for his first affair. He liked the freedom away from the boring life of paying mortagages and other bills, etc. He liked who he could "pretend" to be when he was with this younger college woman who didn't have those responsibilities weighing her down. But reality does sink in. I think the internet provides a slower way for cheaters to "move in" to that frame of mind, and I do believe that it starts out as a little thrill.
Re: How internet affairs can ruin your marriage Discarded: This is how my Divorce Started.
X started having wireless internet affairs, then E:mailing pictures, then Phone sex/internet sex, then meeting and having sex from internet affairs, and finally just having sex at the hotels/motels from the latest and greatest she met that evening at work.
I had to find all this crap out in a 10 day period using spyware, while she was being the "dutiful wife". What a sick B*tch. Over 500 pages of crap I got in that 10 day period. Talk about getting the wind kicked out of you, especially the lovely emailed pictures and video.
Re: How internet affairs can ruin your marriage tara: This is where it all began, in 2001, when my now-ex ended up falling for someone in another country, who he met via an Internet gaming forum. We ended up reconciling after that one, for a few more years.
It's weird -- standard "my expectations of monogamy and potential for jealousy probably aren't the same as yours" disclaimers apply -- I don't consider flirting or even full-on cybersex to be cheating (I find it to be more silly than anything). But he has to keep it under control -- not get taken in by the fantasy (which is a tall order for a lot of people) and not at the expense of his RL relationship with me, and while he doesn't have to announce, "hey, Tara, I'm going to be chatting with h@x0r_babe_69 tonight while you're at that meeting," he can't deliberately hide it from me either.
But Al's dalliance with the German woman was over the line -- it started as a friendship, and escalated to the point where this idealistic fantasy of "ooh, I'll get divorced, move to Germany and live this exotic life happily ever after" began taking over his life.