Internet Infidelity: Identify and Know the Signs of Cyber Cheating


Internet infidelity, cyber cheating, and online infidelity are new buzz words that were never part of the language of relationships and marriage. But with advent of technology, it’s not surprising that the person with the inclination to cheat has found another avenue of infidelity.

But is Internet Infidelity Really Cheating?

To answer that question we need to look at what constitutes infidelity and faithfulness. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry’s October 2009 article, Online Infidelity: The New Challenge to Marriages: “Infidelity is commonly understood as a violation of the marital agreement, a betrayal of one's trust, and a threat to the marital bond.

The article goes on to provide a definition of online infidelity: “the definition of infidelity now includes a romantic and/or sexual relationship with someone other than the spouse, which begins with an online contact and is maintained mainly through electronic conversations that occur through e-mail and chat rooms. The emphasis is on the process whereby individuals already involved in a committed relationship seek to be involved in computer synchronous, interactive contacts with members of the opposite sex.”

Understanding that infidelity that is confined to cyberspace is just as much a violation of marriage vows as is a steamy office affair, will help you understand and justify those feelings that something is wrong in your marriage.


The Signs of Internet Infidelity

So your spouse has changed and you are trying to figure out what’s going on, here are a few signs of internet cheating that you need to consider:

  • More time online - Your spouse is spending an inordinate amount of time on the computer (or cell phone accessing the internet); time that used to be spent with you and the family.

  • No more computer - Instead of accessing the internet by computer, your spouse now only goes online using his/her smartphone, which is never out of his/her sight.
  • Passwords changed – Where you may have once had the passwords to your spouse’s email, Facebook and other online social media accounts, now those passwords no longer work.

  • Computer password protected – suddenly you cannot get on the family or household computer due to needing a password, or your spouse has created separate user accounts for each of you and you cannot access your spouse’s account.
  • New online identity – you discover your spouse has created a different Facebook identity or opened another email account and not told you.

  • Missing online history – when you check your computer’s browser history, you notice that there are huge gaps in the history, or that the history is missing altogether, especially after your spouse has been using the computer.

  • Hiding online activity – when you come into the room while your spouse in on the computer and you notice that he/she immediately minimizes the windows or closes the lid of the laptop.
  • Excitement – your spouse exhibits excitement or anticipation about getting on the computer.

  • Depression – your spouse “pouts” or is obviously unhappy about being deprived of computer access.

  • Accessibility a must – anywhere you go together or as a family, your spouse now insists that it must have Wi-Fi or come with internet accessibility.

  • Stays up late – long after you go to bed your spouse is up and at the computer.

One thing you don’t want to do is to dismiss internet infidelity as being harmless or not a threat to your marriage. You know your spouse, and may sense that something has come between the two of you, interfering with your bond.
All too often what starts online eventually progresses to phone calls, and inevitably to face-to-face…or skin-to-skin…contact.

Remember, to trust your gut. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and internet infidelity is one fire you want to put out right away.

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