Ah…the joys of technology. We can’t live without our desktops, laptops and cell phones…or can we? Social networking sites are all about connecting people, right? Sure, that is correct; however, in today’s society, they are also becoming an avenue for people to use to stray or shall I say….cyber-cheat!
Some ask the question, “is virtual or cyber socializing and straying actually cheating? In my opinion, if a person feels the need to connect (either emotionally and especially physically) with someone else whether that be by virtual/cyber means or in person, and they take the necessary steps to do so, then absolutely, they would fall into the category of cheating.
Spouses/partners, often times, assume that their mates/significant others will agree that this type of behavior is harmless to their marriage, which in turn is setting unspoken expectations between you and your partner. Of course, some sincerely feel that this type of behavior is not straying; however, this type of environment walks a very fine line. If you value your marriage vows, you will be open to discussion about it with your partner. Remember, anything that you are not being honest about is not healthy for your marriage/relationship. Communicating the fact that your needs are not being met (whether emotionally or physically), instead of turning to an alternate source of fulfillment such as the internet, will help to avoid you or your partner from resorting to this alternative.
When networking becomes more than networking and turns into a “hook-up,” there is obviously a serious problem in your marriage. If you are finding yourself up at 3:00 a.m. on the computer waiting on that “instant message” to arrive, your connection may not be as innocent as you are trying to minimize it to be. My question would then be…”what are you getting out of this cyber-relationship that you are missing in your own marriage?” That question then needs to be explored by both you and your spouse.
Although social networking has been very useful for the original purpose it was created (to engage business contacts, reunite classmates, etc.) it has now become a nightmare in some folks’ lives and marriages. Before the invention of social networking, you had to connect with people the old fashioned way. Furthermore, when you were trying to “hook-up” with someone, you had to take time to get to know that person. Not any more. The internet takes all that out of the equation. It makes it really easy to feel that instant gratification of connection, therefore, making it easier to cyber-stray.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself to guard yourself against this type of behavior:
- Would my spouse approve if I was talking face-to-face or on the telephone with the person I am constantly emailing, texting and tweeting with?
- Am I not giving my spouse the benefit of the doubt by allowing him/her to know that I am lacking emotional and/or physical nurturing from him/her?
- Would this behavior hurt my spouse?
- Would this behavior hurt me if my spouse were doing same?
- Am I being truthful with myself about my feelings?
Although social networking sites can become an escape for some people who are struggling with the pressures of day-to-day life such as family issues, work and children, allowing the breakdown of communication in this respect can cause irreparable damage to your marriage. It takes courage to step back and look at the reality of your situation. You may discover that if you analyze yourself and your true intentions, you will find that your need for “virtual hook-up” may just be an illusion and that illusion is definitely not worth your marriage.
Peace & Blessings,