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    Internet Relationships - Is It Cheating?

    By Kristen Houghton     

    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.

    There are also special interest sites where like-minded people can get together, virtual social clubs, if you will. 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 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.”

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

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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