The internet changed the way that people communicated. Mailing a letter was primarily replaced by email. Conversations did not require face-to-face interaction or talking. Today, instant messaging seems to be the rule, not the exception.
With the evolution of the new form of interaction came acceptance. Lines that divided in-person conversations with essentially typed communication became blurred. Instead of mailing a letter and waiting for a response, one-on-one communication was instantaneous.
A new form of cheating
As with any cutting-edge innovation, some users used it with nefarious intentions, with many seeing it as an opportunity to form romantic relationships outside of their marriages. An affair would not involve traveling or in-person meetings. Infidelity could happen with the simple click of a mouse. The advent of smartphones only made things easier when it came to concealing a virtual affair.
Any type of infidelity represents a violation of trust and is usually the result of relationship issues, if not instability. Interactions have been forever changed by the Internet, and that is true for those that involve married people committing some form of “e-infidelity”.
Various categories of infidelity exist, with the most common being sexual and emotional. Online interactions can take either form. Many will point to sexual behavior outside of the marriage as the most extreme example. However, researchers actually identify online chats based on emotional bonding to be more damaging to a marriage than explicit chats, pictures, or videos.
Whether the intentions of the online interaction were innocent, immoral, or even part of an addiction or mental health issue, the damage done to a relationship may be irreparable. Partners who suspect that their spouse is engaging in this behavior should not put off a difficult conversation. If the behavior continues, that could spell the end of the relationship and inevitable divorce.