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Online Affairs
How an Online Affair can Lead to Divorce

Get help today if you - or your partner - is having an Online AffairOnline affairs are increasingly leading to separation and divorce. As online chat rooms and dating sites have spread throughout the Internet, greater numbers of married people are visiting these sites for an online affair and sexual excitement.

Are you a Victim of an Online Affair?
Why are Online Affairs Growing?

Online affairs are fast. Where else can you meet someone you don't know in a matter of minutes by typing on a keyboard? It's no joke that you can literally get involved in an online affair in less time than it takes to order a meal in a nice restaurant.

Online affairs are easy to establish. In the past you had to join a dating service and pay with a major credit card. Now free dating sites and chat rooms to "hook up" are available to anyone surfing the Internet. Anyone who knows how to surf the web can start an online affair and be cheating on their spouse in no time.

Online affairs for the most part are discreet. You can chat online without revealing your true identity or even posting a picture of yourself. Of course in time, as the online affair progresses, one is more likely to start sharing photos before actually meeting in person.

Why are Online Affairs so Tempting?

The relative ease and convenience of using the Internet for online affairs can make it a tempting and arousing prospect. In the past, the cheating spouse engaging in online affairs had to find time alone in their office or at home without interruption. Since most people were using desktop computers, there was a greater chance of someone walking in on them. But today, many can surf the web for their online affairs using the tiniest of laptop computers or Blackberries. Many can cheat and start an online affair in the privacy of their own cars - or while sitting alone in a coffee shop!

The Definition of Online Affairs

To define Online Affairs is a good question. An Online Affair may depend, to some extent, on the individual being victimized by their cheating spouse. Some consider actually cheating and having person-to-person sexual relations as being an online affair. Others define online affairs as cyber-sex with someone on the Internet. You may never physically meet and have sex with the person online, but if you're talking about it, for many that's enough. And there are those who believe that just chatting online about intimate details would fall into the category of Online Affairs.

Online Affairs from the
Perspective of Who's Getting Hurt

Perhaps the best way to look at an online affair is to consider the perspective of the victim: If you're discussing topics of an intimate nature which would normally be reserved for your partner, then what you're having is an online affair. Continuing to do something you know might hurt your mate within this context is like having an affair. If you feel the need to "hide" what you're doing, then you must know it is wrong, and if you're talking about sex, it's an online affair by definition.

What is the Lure of Online Affairs?

Because online affairs are fast, easy and discreet, is this why online affairs are so popular? Yes and no. You see, as computer technology continues to increase, and more people use Instant Messaging, dating sites, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, the world has opened up in new and exciting ways - and in some ways like a futuristic movie. You can find and do anything online as it is literally as close to you as your fingertips. What has really grown by leaps and bounds is the ability to meet total strangers. There are even special dating services which help married people cheat on their partners.

Take, for example, the following story by a woman we'll call Susan, which will illustrate how online affairs can destroy a marriage - and even lead to divorce.

Susan writes: I was married for 5 years when I started noticing changes in my husband. My husband, who is not very Internet savvy, started spending ridiculous amounts of time on our computer. At first he was hooked on eBay, always searching for car parts. At some point he must have found some other sites when I wasn't around. My husband doesn't know how to delete Internet cookies, the history of the sites he's visited, or even his records from chatting. To make a long story short, I first found a bunch of porn sites he was visiting. When I confronted him about it, of course things turned ugly. He said he found them by accident. I became very suspicious for the next week or two and checked to see if he'd continued visiting those sites. He hadn't. Keep in mind that I view a spouse watching porn as cheating. As far as I was concerned, this was like Internet infidelity or having an online affair.

A couple weeks later I went on the computer to check my e-mail and I noticed my husband forgot to log out. He had saved his password. I know I shouldn't have spied on his mail, but because of what had happened, I did. I wanted to see if he had any records of porn sites. He didn't. Instead he had emails from women he had been corresponding with as well as several dating sites he had secretly joined. Needless to say I confronted him immediately when he got home. He accused me of being a snoop. I accused him of being an Internet cheat. From what I read in his email, it appeared he had already hooked up with a woman he'd been chatting with - he was having an online affair.

I really felt betrayed by what happened. He denied the whole thing in spite of the evidence. I absolutely knew he was lying. How could I ever trust him again? As far as I was concerned, I was a victim of an online affair.

Why can Online Affairs be Addictive?

Many people get hooked on dating sites and chat rooms for the attention and because it makes them feel special. Some really believe that if they never meet who they are talking to in person, then it will not in fact be cheating. Others just need the constant connection and attention. If you don't believe Internet chatting can be addictive, look at all the teens - not to mention adults - who are Text Messaging on a daily basis.

Some really believe that what they find online will make them happier - more satisfied in some ways than their marriage. Add the lure of meeting someone sexy online and you have the ingredients for Internet infidelity. Many people who engage in online affairs are hooked on the fantasy they will find with a stranger. Let's face it. The Internet is a technological catalog. Just like you can find any product or service online, some believe they'll find happiness through online affairs, but this can ultimately ruin a relationship.

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