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Does online dating increase infidelity

Is Online Infidelity Really Infidelity?,How Does Online Sexual Behavior Start?

Increased usage of the Internet has given rise to a new challenge to marriages: That of online infidelity, which is perceived to be as traumatic as actual infidelity. This article highlights Sexual opportunity involves two important factors: 1. An increase in exposure to possible sexual partners and a willingness of those partners to participate in infidelity. 2. Technology can Approximately 25% of all marriages experience infidelity, according to their paper, but now more than ever before, couples are engaging in extramarital affairs through dating apps, where they In order to understand the increased incidence of Internet infidelity, researches have examined three key components that comprise the chemistry of an Internet affair - anonymity, In the coming years, as the number of households with Internet access grows, it can be expected that more and more couples will suffer a variety of problems related to online infidelity. ... read more

These codes of behavior represent the socially constructed reality by which we as members of a society live by. Within a society, the members - or, actors - operate together over time to develop their culture. Based upon that reasoning, the Internet poses a whole new definition of a functional, interactive society, in the sense that it is comprised of actors who interact with one another, and indeed have formed a sort-of "culture"; however, that culture is not subject to the same rules as is the culture we adhere to in everyday, "real" life in the physical realm.

There is, in fact, surprisingly little transference of those same rules we consider commonplace that guide our everyday behaviors to the rules or lack thereof that govern behavior that is acceptable to engage in on the Internet. If people define their situations as real, their consequences will be recognized as real as well; in line with that thinking, it can be argued that the perception of Internet adulterers is that their situation is truly not real, and therefore, not subject to the same codes that must be adhered to in the real realm.

Evidence of the degree to which this phenomenon has expanded - that of a cyber-society absent the same rules as physical society - is the preponderance of websites that are designed specifically for this purpose - to encourage Internet infidelity.

A curious husband or wife may at any given time on the Internet secretly peek into one of these such rooms, with titles such as the MarriedM4Affair, Cheating Wife, or Lonely Husband; the numbers of participants in these websites and the perceived permissiveness of their engagement in Internet infidelity behaviors is nothing less than unsettling.

Those people who are shown to participate in these forums on the Internet would be otherwise deemed "normal", non-deviant members of society. Actions result from decisions made by us through the manipulation of the situation in our minds, and acting upon that manipulation by the choices that we make. Adultery itself is becoming more common in our society, according to statistics, and researchers are finding that women are just as likely as men to have an affair.

A study found that 29 percent of married people under 25 had had an extramarital affair, with no statistical difference between the number of men and women who chose to be unfaithful to their spouses early in life. By comparison, only 9 percent of spouses in the s under the age of 25 had been involved in extramarital affairs. Another study concluded that by age 40, approximately 60 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become involved in an extramarital affair.

Real-life affairs are typically more than a one-time event. A study surveyed men and women and found that their affairs lasted an average of two years. These affairs - just like traditional relationships - were seen to go through transitions over time. They may begin as romantic, sexual, or emotional relationships and may become intimate friendships. There is evidence that those affairs that later turn into friendships may indeed last for an entire lifetime, providing no discovery was made of the initial nature of the relationship by the married partner.

Internet affairs differ from these other real life affairs, however, in that they may not involve a physical component; however, often the emotional attachment is still there. Internet affairs develop because of the dual attraction of attention and anonymity, and surprisingly enough, it is the anonymity that often encourages the emotional investment, as it is seen as an investment without the risks that are felt to exist in real life romantic scenarios.

It is the anonymity that in turn feeds the addictive nature of these sorts of affairs based upon the unknown of the affair partner. Internet affairs are predominantly fantasy-based; on many occasions, when the choice is made to meet in real life, that is when the true danger begins.

These kinds of affairs can be very seductive; an Internet addict calls out to a spouse "one more minute" just as an alcoholic justifies "one more drink".

Social and emotional needs are met, flirting is allowed and even encouraged, and an illusion of intimacy feeds the addiction that has caught so many unsuspecting Internet advocates off their guard. Internet affairs typically develop because the cyber relationship meets various social and psychological needs; self-esteem needs often appearing at the top of that list.

Self-esteem needs are met through knowing, understanding, and acceptance. Psychologists say that those needs are enhanced through talking intimately about feelings, thoughts, and needs. Even though online affairs may not involve a physical component, the emotional attachment can be just as strong and even overwhelming. And when they end, this strong attachment often can leave the participant in emotional pain. One question often debated is whether an Internet affair is as harmful as a "real world affair" in which the partners physically meet.

There seems to be a belief held by many that affairs that occur on the Internet in this manner -entirely anonymous and absent any real life contact - are not as consequential or serious as those that occur in the physical realm; some even believe their existence is entirely harmless. There was a qualitative study conducted in of 94 people who had a partner engaged in an Internet affair. These are the reported results of that study:.

Is this a matter of free choice? According to Mead, "freedom is the control of the [social] actor over his or her own action".

However, action that does not result from direct thought or perhaps even conscious decision - impulsive, if you will - Mead would argue is not a result of that decision-making freedom. These sorts of acts may often even surprise the actor that is committing them in the first place, when confronted with the reality of the behavior they have chosen.

There is justification often given when confronted with such decision-making, however; the justification of perceived boredom in the marriage, or of somehow not garnering adequate rewards through the marital process.

A University of Florida researcher, Beatriz Mileham, studied Internet infidelity as part of her doctoral dissertation, interviewing 76 men and 10 women who used popular chat rooms for the "Married But Looking" crowd.

Most of the participants insisted they loved their spouses, but were still compelled to seek a romantic encounter via the Internet due to boredom or their partner's perceived lack of interest in sex. It could be said that society is largely to blame for this problem, as we are taught from a very young age to have grandiose and largely unrealistic expectations of marriage.

We watch romantic pictorials in television and media, and are socialized from a very young age to believe that marriage should be effortless and unexceptionally fulfilling to us as individuals. Life, as it were, let us down, as our expectations were not met as we had believed they would be. Couple that with the messages in our society about what will make each of us truly happy as individuals, and the self-serving music behind the words of capitalism, and the stage is undoubtedly set for people to relish an avenue to pursue those ego-gratifying needs.

However, the reality of consequence still exists in the physical realm; so, in line with the growing efficiency needs of our culture and society as a whole, the Internet is introduced, and has indeed provided an avenue for this sort of gratification without any perceived risk of physical-realm, real-life consequences.

Many people falsely assume that the primary reinforcement to engage in adultery is the sexual gratification received from the erotic and sexual behavior engaged in on the Internet. Studies have shown the experience itself is reinforced through a type of addictive "high", providing an emotional or mental escape and serving to reinforce the behavior, in turn leading to further compulsivity. A lonely wife in an empty marriage can escape into a chat room where she is desired by an Internet affair partner.

A sexually insecure husband can transform into a hot lover on the Internet that all the women in a given chat room may actually fight over. While sexual fulfillment may provide the initial reinforcement, the more potent reinforcement is the ability to cultivate a subjective fantasy world whereby the Internet identity can escape the stresses and strains that they face in real life. The courts, however, have argued that the role of online compulsivity as a mental disorder in the defense of online sexual deviancy cases.

Are women any more at risk, or vice versa? Research indicates that the percentage of women who have extramarital affairs has increased the last few decades. In , Alfred Kinsey found that 29 percent of married women admitted to at least one affair. However, this does not indicate that women are more prone than men to have an affair; this merely indicates that women are more prone today than they were in the past to engage in such behavior.

Men still carry the leading statistic on infidelity in marriages; the reason that there has been so much more recent investigation into the rates among women is because our society has practiced an attitude of greater acceptance toward this same behavior in the male population through history.

Today, more women are employed outside the home than ever before; and, as may be expected, women who are employed are more likely to have an affair than full-time homemakers. One study found that 47 percent of wives who were employed full-time and 27 percent of full-time homemakers had been involved in an affair before they were 40 years old. Men and women have affairs for different reasons. Research has shown that women seek affairs in order to be loved, have a friend, and feel needed.

Men seek affairs for sexual fulfillment, friendship, and fun. They are also excited about the chance to know a different man; they experience intimacy with their cyber-lovers because they can talk about their feelings openly. The anonymity often serves as a defense mechanism, rendering the participant immune to any fear of rejection as is typical in real life relationships.

They found that for males there was no difference in the amount of jealousy reported for offline sexual infidelity and online sexual infidelity. This suggests that even sex which is purely text based as in cybersex and does not compromise parental certainty still evokes a jealousy response for males.

Females on the other hand reported being more jealous than males at thinking their partners might form an emotional attachment to someone else, and this was the case offline and online. The researchers also found that females reported stronger feelings that phone sex or cybersex constituted cheating, which is explained by the fact that females compared to males are less likely to agree to sex without commitment Simpson and Gangstead, However, females were more likely to admit to engaging in cybersex, even though females compared to males judged cybersex to be a more serious form of cheating.

Finally however, they found that overall, people in this study reported lower amounts of jealousy, hurt and anger to online infidelity as compared to conventional infidelity. However, they did report more disgust at the thought of their partners engaging in extra relationship activities online. The researchers suggest that this may be to do with the secrecy and anonymity afforded by online relationships. Yet participants in this study reported lower feelings of jealousy, hurt and anger to online infidelity than to conventional infidelity.

So is online infidelity actually infidelity? Atwood, J. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy : Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions, 4, — Becker, D. When the sexes need not differ: Emotional responses to the sexual and emotional aspects of infidelity. Personal Relationships, 11, — Buss, D.

Sex differences in jealousy: Evolution, physiology, and psychology. Psychological Science, 3, — Guadagno, R. Mileham, B. Computers in Human Behaviour, 23, Schneider, J. Sexual and relationship therapy, 18, Simpson, J. Individual differences in sociosexuality: Evidence for convergent and discriminant validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, — Whitty, M.

Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 6, — Visit my website www. com and follow me on Twitter martingraff Martin Graff, Ph. But who we end up becoming and how much we like that person are more in our control than we tend to think they are. Martin Graff Ph. Love, Digitally. Infidelity Is Online Infidelity Really Infidelity?

Over half of all U. households have Internet access, making the 40 million sexually explicit Web sites, chat rooms, bulletin boards and interactive games completely available to anyone who cares to partake.

An estimated 20 to 33 percent of Internet users go online for sexual purposes; most are male, about 35 years old, married with children, and well educated.

As many as 17 percent of users become addicted to online sexual activity. In the coming years, as the number of households with Internet access grows, it can be expected that more and more couples will suffer a variety of problems related to online infidelity. Online sexual behavior is proving to be highly addictive to some users and serious relationship problems are reported in almost all marriages in which one partner is cybersex addicted.

Even if the user does not become addicted, problems can still exist between partners. Online chatting or e-mailing can begin simply as a distraction from boredom or emotional distress. Behaviors that were once off limits in a face-to-face situation with strangers are suddenly available through the Internet. Problems that arise include loss of trust, a decrease in self-esteem, and a sense of isolation. Some users begin to have difficulty becoming aroused by their partners, avoid sex, and experience emotional distress in their relationships.

In fact, 52 percent of cybersex users lose interest in relational sex. Or, to the other extreme, the user may request or demand sexual behaviors that the partner finds offensive.

The partner may notice a significant change in sleep patterns, the demand for privacy, and the user may make excuses for spending time alone. To be in a secure love relationship is to be desired and thought of as special. It is our main source of security, emotional safety, and comfort. Infidelity of any kind disrupts this special bond and one or both partners no longer have the sense of being connected in a secure, safe haven.

In the case of Internet infidelity, when a partner suspects the user is engaging in cybersex behaviors, he or she may become overly sensitive to the partners activities and whereabouts, searching for evidence of wrongdoing. After a confrontation, both partners may agree there has been a betrayal and the goals are to move beyond it, recover, resolve what led to the betrayal, and repair the relationship.

Other times, the partner experiences the situation as a betrayal, but the user is hesitant about giving up the Internet behavior because he or she believes no real harm has been done; then the couple is stuck. In some cases, the situation is worsened if the user has lost a job, been arrested, or has a health concern such as worry over sexually transmitted diseases after a physical affair.

Some times after confrontation, the user is fearful of losing the relationship with the partner and children, pets, finances and at the same time also fearful of loss of the online behavior.

He or she usually only discloses what he or she thinks the partner has already discovered, or is likely to discover, or be told by an outside party. Sometimes the user will even say that he or she reached a sexual Web site by accident or that it happened while looking for or chatting about something else. He or she wants to avoid having to admit any wrongdoing at all costs. Users in this mindset are reluctant to change or seek help.

Partners feel betrayed because the user has been sharing information that has been thought to be private within the relationship, especially if the dialogue contains emotional intensity or sexually suggestive flirtations, or if the user has arranged to meet with the other person face-to-face.

Reluctance to change must first be resolved. Any hesitation should be replaced by a desire to make a plan and take action to improve the relationship. In some cases, the betrayed partner may be so disgusted or angry by what the user has done, that a period of separation may be useful to cool down or reduce feelings of shame. A trained mental health professional can assess your particular situation and recommend the best course of action and treatment. A therapist will likely want to determine if the user is addicted.

If so, the therapist will offer support and assistance in the development of a plan, which might include restrictions on further computer use, accountability measures, and finding a step or support group meeting. Some tips for changing behavior include:. With help, the couple moves toward re-establishing trust and their sexual relationship. In the end, the couple will have strengthened their ability to repair problems, look for the good in each other, and find ways to successfully discuss and resolve long-standing issues.

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, therapy with a marriage and family therapist MFT can help. Continuing education designed specifically for MFTs. Explore the 85 online courses offered and expand your knowledge on a variety of topics. Start your personalized online classroom and earn CE credits at your own pace.

Online Infidelity. How Does Online Sexual Behavior Start? What are the Signs? Likely Reactions to Confrontation After a confrontation, both partners may agree there has been a betrayal and the goals are to move beyond it, recover, resolve what led to the betrayal, and repair the relationship.

Seeking Help Reluctance to change must first be resolved. Some tips for changing behavior include: Use pictures of spouse, family or other important people as a screen saver so the user can see what is important to him or her each time the computer is accessed. Move the computer to an open area in the home. Do not use the Internet alone; go online only when family members or supportive friends are present. Use the computer only for specific, planned tasks that have been reviewed with someone who will hold you accountable.

Have periods of time when no online behavior happens. Control Internet access with filtering or blocking software, or use an Internet Service Provider that already filters Internet content.

You can also use monitoring software that e-mails reports of visited sites to a chosen person. Resources Recovering Couples Anonymous: step recovery groups for couples in which one partner is a sex addict. Sex Addicts Anonymous: step groups for sex addicts.

Understanding the Benefits of Marriage and Family Therapy. Find a Therapist If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, therapy with a marriage and family therapist MFT can help. Find an MFT. TENEO Continuing education designed specifically for MFTs. Earn CEs. LOC[OK] LOC[Cancel].

Online Infidelity,"You can survive this. Talk to others that have"

In order to understand the increased incidence of Internet infidelity, researches have examined three key components that comprise the chemistry of an Internet affair - anonymity, Infidelity — both physical and emotional — is easier thanks to social media. Apps make it easier to escape into the lives, and arms, of others. Chris knew it was over as soon as his girlfriend Like any form of infidelity, online affairs are damaging to a committed relationship, and they can trigger feelings of insecurity, anger, or jealousy in a partner. They are seen as acts of betrayal In the coming years, as the number of households with Internet access grows, it can be expected that more and more couples will suffer a variety of problems related to online infidelity. Sexual opportunity involves two important factors: 1. An increase in exposure to possible sexual partners and a willingness of those partners to participate in infidelity. 2. Technology can Factors Leading to Online Affairs. Here are some reasons that people in relationships may pursue an online affair: Anonymity: Online affairs allow people who are in relationships ... read more

These are the reported results of that study:. Over half of all U. I hope it will help those that need it most. Finally however, they found that overall, people in this study reported lower amounts of jealousy, hurt and anger to online infidelity as compared to conventional infidelity. Learn more. In the coming years, as the number of households with Internet access grows, it can be expected that more and more couples will suffer a variety of problems related to online infidelity.

They may begin as romantic, sexual, or emotional relationships and may become intimate friendships. A sexually insecure husband can transform into a hot lover on the Internet that all the women in a given chat room may actually fight over. Learn more, does online dating increase infidelity. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 6, — I hope it will help those that need it most.

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