By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Are internet affairs real affairs?
The internet has changed the way we interact with others forever. Social Media, Blogs, and member sites have opened up new possibilities for connecting with others. It has also resulted in a whole new set of conflicts for couples. Internet created or maintained affairs are one such problem.
The way in which one partner in a relationship uses the internet has serious implications for a couple’s relationship. The mental health profession is still sorting out the effects of internet issues on relationships. One area that is particularly troublesome is how far is too far when it comes to interacting with members of the opposite sex.
Some of the internet affair questions being asked are:
When does talking to others online slide over into a virtual affair?
Is it really an affair if they never get together and exchange bodily fluids?
Does it matter if the person you are talking to is real?
Can you fall in love with an avatar or someone who never exists outside the internet?
The internet has altered the affair landscape and has created a whole new set of problems for couples and families.
In the past affairs required two people to meet in real-time and space.
The major places where affairs originated were between two people who were working together, people who met out at a bar, or things that might happen when a person was away from home for an extended time. So in the past either there was a high chance that the non-affair party would find out or might know the affair partner. Otherwise, the affair would be a brief occurrence while one party to a relationship was away from home.
The internet has made it easier for people to meet, and to continue interacting with each other. It has opened up the possibilities for affairs for those who were predisposed.
The internet has also blurred the line between what constitutes flirting and when has it crossed over into an affair.
In-person, people are often deceived every day. The deceptions are different in kind and in magnitude from, the deceptions that are occurring online.
While someone in the bar may represent themselves as single and really be married, the online deceiver can misrepresent their gender, age, appearance, and life story. People can and do fall “in love” with fictional characters that turn out to not be real people.
If you or your partner has had an internet affair, that does not need to spell an end to your relationship. What you need to do is to talk this out and find ways to be sure it has come to an end and that it is unlikely to happen again.
Marriage counseling can help mend a damaged relationship before it becomes permanently broken. Sometimes individual counseling is also useful in helping the affair partner to understand why they did what they did. It can also be useful to help the injured party cope with all that anger and hurt.
The virtual, internet affair, and the on-line hook-up that results in a real-world meet-up are not the only ways in which one person’s internet usage may damage their relationship. Last week we looked briefly at 5 ways in which internet usage might be damaging your relationship. You may want to check out that post also.
Has internet usage affected you and your relationship? Would you care to share that experience?
If you think that you could use some help with internet usage issues or affair behavior issues please contact me and we can talk about how counseling might help you get through this situation.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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