Cyber Affairs And Virtual Infidelity

When affairs are virtual - are they still 'real'? A look at virtual infidelity and what it means for relationships

Guest Blogger The Girl Next Door as the name implies, is just another ordinary girl with ordinary dreams and ordinary desires – but she likes to imagine that she leads an extraordinary life, in her own way!

R is a neighbour and a family friend. He is married and is a father as well. His family stays in India while he works abroad. He is hard-working and sends money home regularly – even funding his wife’s higher education. I’ve often heard him praising his wife and speaking fondly of his child. It appears that he loves and cares for them. I don’t believe that he consorts with other women in his wife’s absence and I’ve never seen him bring strange women home. However there is a particular aspect of him that I fail to understand.

R engages in intimate chats online with unknown women. He meets women online, chats for a few days and then proceeds to video chats – which involves sexual activity. Keep in mind that the women involved are fully aware of his intentions and in all probability they are also looking for the same thing – it is not as if he misleads them. Why does he indulge in this? He says that it gives him a thrill to ‘seduce’ these women.

R takes great care to not let his wife find out about this. But what if she did someday? Can one justify it saying that afterall R is away from his wife and he has his ‘needs’? In the spirit of ‘adjusting’ should the wife just thank her stars and feel glad that her husband didn’t have a ‘real’ affair?

With advancements in technology, rise of social networks and busy lives, it has become remarkably easy to create and maintain an alternative life online. Would you be okay if your spouse ‘friends’ unknown men/women online? Is it okay as long as they are ‘just chatting’? When ‘real’ affairs can get explained away with, “It was just sex – it didn’t mean anything!”, can we also say, “It was just chatting! I didn’t really do anything!”?

Virtual or real, to me this seems like infidelity. In fact if anything, it actually seems like a coward’s way to have an affair! While adultery is grounds for divorce, do such virtual affairs fall into the adultery category? I don’t know the answer to that. But what I do know is that if I found out that my spouse was having virtual affairs, I am pretty sure that I would experience the same emotions that a real affair would cause – and my marriage would never be the same again.

*Photo credit: rajsun22


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